Monday, May 28, 2012

Photo Prompt, May 28, 2012

A holiday weekend and I am doing OK.

Photo Prompt Monday

Mondays PhotoPrompt is a laid back project wherein anyone at anytime can join a picture on a Monday, write something generated by the prompt (prose/poetry/long/short/fiction/nonfiction), read, critique...whatever stirs your pot. You have all week to think about what you want to write (or not). That's just how we roll lol.

If you are going to post a PhotoPrompt or are going to write about a PhotoPrompt or are planning to do some reading and may enjo critiquing please leave a note in comments so everyone can follow

over to your place and see what's happening.

Current list of participants:

June, the wedding month, is almost here. So here is a picture of a young couple taking the chance and committing themselves to each other.  It is a start of a new life and there is much to look forward, much to dream about, and much to share.  May the years be good, may the troubles be few and may the memories be filled with times of laughter and joy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Wow, May flew by like the wind, but I am doing OK.

Because I have lost weight this year, I have had to purchase some new clothes.  I no longer really enjoy shopping like I once did, as running around stores to buy things to add to my collection of "stuff", is no longer a priority.  I already have too much "stuff" which I am trying to give away, and adding to it defeats my purpose.  However, right now my pants hang on me like a hip-hop teenage boy, and believe me, it is not a pretty sight.  I have to bend down quite a bit doing my gardening and the moon shot that I give off could send small children screaming to their mother's side.

So now I am down to a size with a single digit, a feat I thought I would never experience again.  This does make me feel quite good, however, the parts that used to fit into this size, are no longer in the same places.  Because of this, "separates" are the name of the game and structured underwear is a necessity

Now I am feeling very fashionable in my straight leg pants (not to be confused with skinny).  At first I got some cool boots with heels to wear with this very popular style, only to realize this was a form of suicide for women of a certain age.  I have settled on wedge heels which, so far, have kept me vertical.

As my friends can tell you though, my foray into new hip clothes has not been without incident.  It seems that manufacturers like to put cellophane labels on their apparel.  Aren't the two or three tags that they attach enough?  These labels usually go up the side of the leg of jeans and on left side of the chest  on tops.  I don't always notice them as they are clear except for the size printed on them.  I have now been told by complete strangers that I have forgotten to remove these.  Last week I was out having dinner with friends and I saw someone take a quick glance at the shirt I was wearing, and I knew right away, something was amiss.  No one stares at a mature woman's anatomy, unless of course, they are sickos.   I looked down and there it was, a large M circling my now lifted mams (with the help of my erector set like new undergarments).  It could have been worse, it could have said XXXL.

I can't say this is all new to me.  Back in my perkier days, I used to do my shopping during my lunch hour. Once I went into a store looking for a sweater for my son and bent over a display where they had their merchandise stacked on pyramid-like shelving.  Not finding anything, I left the store and then walked around the mall for another half hour.  Upon returning to work, I walked into my boss' office to give him some paperwork and noticed a  look on his face.  "Arleen", he said, "you have something on your dress", and he made this hand gesture across his chest.  I looked down and sticking to my clothes was a sign saying "50% off".  It must have become attached to me as I leaned over the array of sweaters.

For half an hour I walked around a crowded shopping center with this advertisement.  After thinking it over though, I was not sure to be embarrassed or insulted.  Gee, 50% off and no takers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Stealing Some Scenery

It was a beautiful weekend and I am doing OK.

I have been spending the last week working on my gardens but today is gloomy with showers expected for the rest of the week.  The rain will be good for the plants and although I am anxious to get all this work completed, maybe a little rest for my breaking back is in order also.  So today, I am catching up, doing some inside work and just vegging out.

I checked in on my daughter, Heather, and saw that she posted some pictures of her family camping trip to Big Sur, CA.  I had the pleasure of making that tour (not an over-nighter) with her a number of years ago and it was spectacular.  Unlike Heather, (and all my children), I am not a camper and enjoy the comforts of a four star hotel (but will rough it in a three star, if necessary).  However, I  am proud of how they can enjoy living in the great outdoors at the mercy of all the elements.  They must have inherited a recessive gene because being covered with crawly creatures and listening to sounds that are foreign to me throughout the night is an adventure I would now rather skip. Then there is that whole bathroom business!  However, I can understand the beauty of it all and certainly enjoy looking at their pictures.

California is one of the most beautiful and interesting places that I have visited.  It's scenery is exquisite, it's population eclectic and it's pace is oh, so laid back (especially as compared to that of the northeast coast).  It is a great place to live,  play and dream big dreams.  The distance from Heather's home to Big Sur is about 70 miles and the drive is scenic beyond belief.  You will go through the majesty of the Redwoods and Sequoias,  the elegance of Pebble Beach, and drive along the coast of the mighty Pacific.  There are not enough adjectives to describe it properly.

Dwarfed by the trees

Swinging to the beat!

The Living Room

The fog will lift - eventually!

Beautiful beaches and beautiful ladies

So what do you do when you get to the top?

Looks like the fog is lifting a little.  Must be noon.

So much to see and do!

Lazy river day.  This would be more my speed.

Peace and Serenity

Like me, the river just flows around to the next bend and looks forward to what is to come.

In my next life, I hope to be more of an adventurer like my offspring.  I am sure though that I will still need my own indoor bathroom.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Gift of Self Portraits

Six Grandchildren, and I am doing OK.

Raising children is hard work, but having grandchildren is perfection.

I have been blessed.

  I have four great kids that have made me very proud, and six wonderful grandchildren who fill my heart with joy.

When I first met Madison (my first granddaughter), I thought my chest would split open from the happiness I felt. She was perfect in every way, and time has not changed that.  She is now thirteen years old, and blessed with a kind heart and a very sly sense of humor. (Of course, she is so like me.)  She takes the maternal role with her sisters and cousins and is the one they all go to when they need a hug.  She is the daughter and granddaughter that everyone would love to have.

Michael, my only grandson is 12.  He was born during a difficult time in our lives and with his birth, things turned around. A terrible car accident had put my hubby in critical care and times were grim.  Michael came into our family a month later, just when all the news started to look brighter.  And bright he is.  He is the leader of the cousins and when he comes into the room, things start happening (so much like me). The girls get all excited, and run to him.  Within minutes, they are all laughing and acting silly and a good time is had by all.   How lucky I am to have him in my life.  He is a love!

Emma is the middle child. She expresses herself in so many ways.  At 11 years old, she is a talented artist, crafts person, guitar player, athlete, and expert on all things of nature.  Since the age of five, she has told us all that when she grows up, she wants to be an entomologist.  She looks at all things with a curious eye, and questions everything (so like me).  Her sense of humor is so quick, and I am always surprised at how clever she is. We see great things in her future. 

Ruby at 8 is the youngest of 3 girls, and the clown in the family.  She relishes in this role and is full of fun.  She is into physical comedy and if slapstick ever comes back, she could make her mark on the stage.  She has me laughing all the time and keeps me on my toes.  Her stories are hysterical and I have often told her mother that we must write them all down. In this regard, she is so like her mom, Molly, who always cracked me up and made many unforgettable statements when she was growing up herself.  Ruby loves to express herself and when it comes to affection towards her family, she had no equal.  She will tell you how much she loves you every chance she gets.  Ruby just melts my heart. 

Right from the start, who stole my heart,
Ruby it's you.

I think it is because she is so like me.

Sophie and Poppy are the California girls.  They are 7 and 5 and the youngest of my grandchildren.  Of course, in keeping with the California culture, they both began to learn to surf before starting kindergarten.  

Sophie, a clone of her mom,  is inquisitive and has the most wonderful imagination.  She is never bored and could play 18 hours out of the day.  However, she will stop what she is doing to watch a football game, as this is her passion.  It might have to do with the fact that her parents are football fanatics.  However, I think Sophie will soon surpass them in her devotion to the sport.  Two weeks ago, she asked to stay up late to listen to who the teams were drafting this year.  Not your typical 7 year old, she is so bright and happy, and a joy to us all.

Little Poppy came into this world not much bigger than a peanut.  Small in stature (until this year), she steals your heart all the time.  She is her own person, has strong opinions, and is a dancing queen.  She loves her sister and the closeness of these two girls is wonderful to see.  As the baby in the family, she will always have a special place in all of our hearts. 

Yes,  both these girls are so like me.

My life has taken me down many roads, but being a grandparent has been the best journey of all. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the worn, weary, rushed, tired, proud and happy moms and grandma's out there.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bees Do It.

Spending the day with my granddaughter and doing better than OK

It is a beautiful day and I have a visitor, my granddaughter Madison.  We have a few things planned, so I don't have time to write a post today.  However, a friend sent me this video and I thought I would share it. 

Nature is magnificent!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Brain Farts, It's Mind Boggling

Moving out of the fog and doing OK

As we age, we become more sensitive to and frightened of "losing it".  I read recently that people fear getting dementia more than they do cancer.  This is understandable, since many cancers are treatable, but a disease of the brain is a dark journey where no one wants to go.

Brain : Illustration of a brain cartoon character giving a thumbs up sign
I have always had the theory that the minute you have children, the degeneration begins.    Actually, I think they start sucking out your brain cells while in utero.  By the time they leave home, you are no longer the person you once were, and much of the grey matter has been depleted during the intervening years.  My life in the past few years has been all about:

Where are my keys?

Gosh, I just had my glasses.......

"How come I can't work the TV any longer?

What am I looking for?

What is that word I want to say?

What was I talking about?
funny but crazy smiley
and it is all driving me crazy.
(so to speak)

However, according to, many of the things that you worry about are just natural occurrences and not to be worried about.   For example:
-    How often have you walked into a room only to forget why you are there?  It is not Alzheimer's catching up with you, it is the door itself.  Psychologists have discovered that passing trough a doorway triggers what is known as and "event boundary" in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next.  Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale.  The answer might be to move into a one room house, with no closets.
Talking to yourself might not mean you are crazy.  Studies have shown that it can actually benefit thinking and perception.  Besides, we will never find a more interested listener.  
 - Zoning Out.  No matter how hard we might try to stay focused on an everyday task, such as brushing our teeth or queuing for coffee, we simply can't stop our minds from wandering. Fortunately, those bizarre bouts of cognition sans awareness known as "zoning out" are actually a good thing. They’re vital to creativity and imaginative thought.

Instead of staying completely focused on a dull and familiar external stimulus, neuroscience research shows that our attention waxes and wanes, and we spend 13 percent of the time "zoned out." During this time, we are free to float along internal streams of consciousness, following wherever our minds randomly take us — perhaps arriving at a "eureka!" moment, or at the very least, a spontaneous and interesting ideathing and perception.  Works for me!

As I have been questioning my capabilities lately, this was very good news indeed. It turns out I really am  OK, at least until I go through a doorway.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gardening is a Ball

It is showering outside which is good for the plants, and I am doing OK

There are so many blogs that are instructional and post recipes, crafts, medical advice, travel information and the like.  I am really not qualified to do any of the above.  I am a so-so cook and by that I mean, "so, that was SURPRISINGLY good", or "so, maybe we should dump this meal and go out to eat.  My hands don't work as well as before so crafts that include any pointy objects or tools are to be avoided as I wish to stay away from emergency rooms as much as possible.  My traveling is limited and my only advice about that would be to take a sleeping pill or a stiff drink as soon as you get on a plane.   Flying is very uncomfortable.  I would enjoy globe trotting so much more if Scotty could only beam me up.

No, I can't sing and I can't dance and my hula hoop days are behind me.  However, I do have lovely gardens.   I know I over-plant and sometimes my enthusiasm for new found species can get the best of me, but all in all, I do have fun.

A few years ago, I noticed that the large plants which hang from posts in our local town had a variety and abundance of flowers coming out from all sides.   I investigated and saw that holes were made on the sides and bottom of the pots, and plants inserted here, there and everywhere.  I then saw an article in a magazine showing how to do this.  I have been making them now for about three years.  The ones that turn out well are splendid, and the ones that don't meet expectations, are still quite beautiful.

The following is my first (and probably last) DIY How To:

Step 1:  Buy 2 coconut moss lined hanging planters. Remove the chain from the planter that you will use on top. You will only need the chains attached to the bottom pot.  With a Sharpie pen, mark an X in all the spots where you want to place a plant. Either cut holes or cut out an X and pull sides out.   I suggest you stagger these holes, one high, one low (although I did not do this on one of the containers).  I also cut out the very top circle and the bottom for plants that I will insert at the end of the process.

Step 2:  Choose the plants you wish to use.  Smaller ones from market packs work the best. Push them through the holes you have cut out. You want the holes big enough so the plants have room to grow.  However, do not make them too large or flowers will fall out.  Add soil, and include some Soil Moist and fertilizer. Fill completely, pushing down hard so the dirt is tight in each planter.  Thoroughly water and again pat down.  Make sure dirt comes to top edges.

Step 3: Get a large piece of cardboard and lay over the planter that will go on top.

Step 4: Holding cardboard tightly, turn planter over and set on top of bottom pot.  Slowly, pull away the cardboard. 

Step 5:  Wire planters together.

Step 6:  Shoo away any wandering nosey neighbors.  They will sit on the cardboard and eat you out of house and home.

Step 7:  Adjust all the plants and put in flowers on the top hole.  Make sure your chain is not in the way and breaking any foliage.

Step 8:  Hang in an area where all sides can get light and is not against a tree or wall.  Place your reserved plant in bottom hole.

All kinds of plants can be used and mixing types can make a beautiful display.  The one I am showing is just Impatiens, but it is a nice spreading plant and you can get a wow effect just sticking with one species in a few colors.

and Viola, in about 6 weeks, you will have something like this.
Minus my granddaughter Poppy


And granddaughter Sophie