Giving Thanks

gratitude

 

Things I am grateful for:


  1. My beautiful, intelligent children, all of whom make me so proud to be a mom.
  2. My D’Bear. He IS the love of my life. Who knew I would find that so late in life? I am unbearably awed by it!
  3. Trees. I love trees!
  4. Grandchildren! Three grandsons and one (unknown gender) on the way!!
  5. Fuzzy slippers
  6. My home. I could so easily have walked away from it in the divorce settlement but I didn’t and now I’m glad I held out.
  7. Friends. They are like the blood in my veins. I could never have survived in this world without them.
  8. Starry nights in Pennsylvania. They’re glorious!
  9. Books and the people who write them. Thank you, Authors! You helped me escape many a horror in my life. I am eternally grateful.
  10. My Subaru. 92,000 miles and zipping me along the highways with ease. I love her!
  11. Coffee. Was there ever a time when I didn’t reach for it first thing in the morning? Ahhh, that first hot sip of nectar!..
  12. My country. I wonder how I got so lucky as to have been born when I was into a country that tries so hard to be the kind of place where people can be enjoy freedom and democracy..
  13. Birds. They make me happy.
  14. My body. So far, so good. I am healthy and have the use and function of all my parts. For that I am grateful! (Some parts better than others, but hey..{shrug})
  15. Hot showers!
  16. Ibuprofen
  17. Wine, that glorious concoction that is food and drink all rolled into one.
  18. Buttered toast
  19. Down comforters
  20. Ludovico Einaudi  and his beautiful music.
  21. The Internet. How would I have met all these amazing people without it? I still am amazed that I can know incredible people all over the world and never leave home.  There is so much beauty, talent, creativity, and caring out there in the voices of my dear Internet friends. Hey, it’s how I met my D’Bear!
  22. Fleece
  23. Kitties, puppies, bunnies, all the widdle baby animals. I have an antidote for the Blues: find a litter of puppies and sit on the floor with them for fifteen minutes. It takes all your cares away to be pawed, licked, snuggled, and sniffed by several warm, sweet pups! Guaranteed!
  24. Clean water
  25. Good food. Gawd! I love to eat! And luckily I am a fair cook!
  26. Bread. It deserves its own category! I could happily live on nothing but good bread ( well, with some butter or olive oil thrown in for good measure.)
  27. My new-found sense of “c’est la vie”. I am learning to let go…..to go with the flow…to sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s so refreshing! I always tried to control everything until recently when I finally realized I couldn’t!
  28. Free time, daydreaming, doing nothing’! I just learned how to do it! Not well, but I’m working on it and I like it! This kinda ties in with number 27.
  29. The teachers who drilled me till I learned to count and multiply and divide until I could do it in my head. Bless them.
  30. My faith that there is more to life than what I see and feel here on this earth and that one day my eyes will see beyond all this to the very heart of everything.

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you and may your blessings be many!

 

 

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By Dose is Stuff D’Up

Yes, this really is my nose. Count the pores....

Yes, this really is my nose. Count the pores....

This is so random and pathetic. My brain isn’t working up to capacity but I am blaming the cold medicine.

    I got a lousy cold. I just know it’s from some snotty-nosed person touching the same shopping cart as me. I am going to turn into one of those germophobes. I just know it.

According to one source ( and this will gross you the fuck out) “University of Arizona scientist Dr. Charles Gerba, who’s made a name for himself as a top “germ cop,” says kids in carts only add to the problem.

“Many of them are diaper age and don’t have good sanitary habits. You’re putting your broccoli right where your kid’s butt was,”said Gerba in an interview this month on Good Morning America.”

AGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  YUCKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are lots of intelligent folks with germ phobias: Mandy Moore, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, the late Howard Hughes, to count a few. I am going to count myself among them. I think I’m in good company.

Before I got sick,this was my week:

I returned to PA from Rochester amidst a snowy white-out. I arrived home, threw some wood into the woodstove to warm up my house and while I was making dinner I saw this little fellow:pb110360
This little deer was looking for more apples. The apple tree unfortunately is now bare. There were several who came every evening to scarf up the windfalls.

I don’t know if this is a “she” or just a young “he”, pre-antlers. I just call it “cute”.

 

I also caught one solitary wild turkey “gobbling” up the stale bread I threw out . I sadly did not get a picture. You’ll have to take my word for it.

I had a couple of pumpkins that came up voluntarily in my garden. I decided to make pumpkin butter so I roasted them and then pureed them. I then cooked them with some pumpkin pie spices, brown sugar, a bit of apple juice and some orange zest and then some toasted pecans, chopped. The results were spectacular! I almost hate to give the stuff away but I think it will make a great Thanksgiving gift! Two medium-sized pumpkins reduced to this:pb210390

 

 

It is SO good on toast or English muffins or scones!

Or, as I most enjoy it, just me and a spoon!

 

 

 

 

 

I head back to D’Bear tomorrow if my cold isn’t too bad. I love it there. I have some “wildlife” there that I also enjoy. There are at least three feral cats that my soft-hearted  D’Bear feeds daily. They won’t let us come too close but they have come to expect a daily supply of kitty kibble which we dutifully supply. Here is one of them:pb150383

 He thinks he’s hiding!

I call him and his partner “the meatloafs” because they look alike and they often sit with their bodies all bunched up into a meatloaf shape in the driveway! Isn’t he the cutest fellow?

 

 

 

 

The neighbors have a pretty kitty that I often chat with through the window. Her name is Marley and she is quite the little princess.pb150384

 

She loves the attention because her mommy and daddy work all day and she doesn’t like to be left alone.

We have incredible conversations, she and I.

Me: Hey, Marley, what’s up?”

Her: “Get in here and scratch my neck, you lowly peon! I am bored!”

I’m off to take some more DayQuil. And there’s a book waiting to be read.  Or maybe a nap……….See ya.

Wouldn’t Ya Like To Be a F*cktard, Too ?

fucktardI am seeing that wine can  sometimes bring out the fucktard in people. I am only praying I am not one of them, but then if I drink enough of the stuff, will I know, or even care?

Cases in point:

Friday night a local wine shop hosted a free wine tasting. They offered some lovely pinot noirs, a couple of chenin blancs, and I think, a shiraz. The time for the free tasting was listed as 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

As D’Bear and I, and a couple of our friends bellied up to the tasting table we heard the pourer say she was all out of the pinots since the tasting was almost over. It was 6:50.  A very tall, Eddie Bauer-ish man protested by saying, “what do you mean? It most certainly is NOT!” in a very obnoxious manner.

The pourer, a tall, lovely woman who represented the wine distributor, not the retail store directly said “The tasting is over at 7:00.”

Mr. Snotty Pants pulled himself up even taller and said, “It is NOT over till 8:00 according to your advert and anyway I wanted some of that pinot you promised!” , in a petulant voice.  (yes, he actually said “advert”) Fucktard!

Evidently there had been a typo and the store hadn’t realized it was supposed to go on till 8:00 and they had not stocked enough wine for the tasting to go on that long. There were probably about 20 people in the shop at that time who did not get a taste of the pinots but they all had the good grace to accept that the FREE wine was gone and tough noogies! The store offered a few unadvertised wines for the tasting in place of the ones that had run out.

This man continued to make an ass of himself by arguing with the poor woman.     We all just moved away……lest we be thought to be acquaintances of his, God forbid! Thankfully we were not!

Not one of us could imagine berating the store for running out of FREE WINE! Well, except for the fucktard.

The next night one of the neighbors with whom D’Bear and I are close friends hosted a dinner party for us and one other couple on the block. The other couple is nice enough. Just quirky and sometimes clueless.

The hosts provided the dinner while D’Bear was gracious enough to have offered to provide some wine for the meal. He brought two bottles for the six of us. Actually it was for five of us since our host himself does not drink wine, only beer. When the meal came to it’s delightful end we all began to clear the table and head for the living room. The other invited guest, Mr. Quirky (I’m being nice here ) said “Hey, is there more wine? My glass is empty!”

He and his bride brought nothing to the party. Not a bottle of wine, nor a bunch of flowers or even a crumb of food, which, while it’s ok, is not something I’m comfortable doing.  Our sweet hostess found an open bottle of wine in the refrigerator and graciously offered it to him and he proceeded to fill his own glass to the rim, leaving approximately 2 ounces of wine in the bottle. Fucktard!!

He and his wife will be hosting our next round of dinners at their home. My moral dilemma is this: do we bring wine to their dinner party? I say “NO!”  Let him figure it out when we ask him for a glass of wine and he looks around to see what was brought for the night. My inner Southern Belle says “why of course, honey ( we Southern Belles say ‘Honey” a lot). You must bring something for the hosts! They will expect wine!”

My other Southern Belle (the bitchy one) says “Oh, hells bells, bring them young’uns some peanuts in a can instead! They’re on sale at the dollar store!”

I’m leaning towards the latter.fucktard2

Fourth & Fourth Meme

My very handsome son Dobeman  tagged me for a meme. He is a brilliant writer, an amazing father to two of the cutest grandsons a Nana could ever hope for and he’s a computer…. geek? That seems harsh. Well, he knows scads about ’em and that’s his profession so let’s just say he’s quite the techie!

  His meme was very telling. I do hope you check it out!  Meanwhile, I must follow the rules (and y’all know how much I love THAT!)

They are as follows:

1. Go to your pictures file.
2. Go to the 4th file.
3. Go to the 4th picture.
4. Post it and tell the story.
5. Tag 4 more people.

p6280400

This is the one. Not very exciting, huh?  That’s what happens when I follow the rules…Well, here’s the story behind it:

Early last summer I was sitting on my porch swing watching the rain fall, feeling sorry for myself. I wanted to go for a bike ride but the weather sucked. As I sat and whined to myself I saw the steam coming up off the road in front of my house and I liked the effect it made.  So I got my camera and started taking pictures.

The stand of pine trees across the way are on the property my ex got in the divorce. The pines were planted by the C.C.C., or the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the early 1930’s.  If you are driving south towards my house on this road you can see this perfect circle of pines from miles away. The are planted densely and underneath them is this wonderful thick bed of pine needles that feels almost like carpet beneath your feet.

 This used to be a quiet country lane. Now, 27 years after we moved here, it’s like a freeway sometimes. There is a Spring Water bottling company just about 3/4 of a mile north which ships semi-trailer loads of bottled water all over the northeast. The trucks leave all hours of the day and night and while they are ,as a rule, very civilized about obeying the speed limit, they have to really push their gears to make it up the hill to my section of the road.  Coming from the south of me they hit my curve in the road too fast sometimes and the brakes make my windows rattle!

In the winter time wild turkeys cross the road right here almost every day to come eat the cracked corn I toss out for them. I have been known to stop traffic to make sure they all cross safely. Two winters ago I fed over 80 wild turkeys at a time! (I counted them!) They became almost tame and would come running towards me in the field when I called. It was crazy! I became known for a while as “The Turkey Lady”!

 A few weeks after this picture was taken I made friends online with a wonderful man I met on a dating web site. We chatted online for a couple of weeks, then I gave him my telephone number and before you know it D’Bear was my man !  Now we sit on the porch swing together on summer nights, candles lit, wine flowing and we talk about how we met.  We like sitting out there especially on rainy nights. I tell him this porch has never felt so good.

Now the fun part. I tag the following folks:

Betme over at Dis Is My Place because she always has the greatest stories to tell!

Two Lazy Dogs because she takes awesome photos and I just know she can make this meme rock!

Pamajama because she is too funny and wicked! I can’t wait to see her post on this!

Joanharvest because nobody makes me laugh like this crazy woman!

Ok, Ladies! Start your engines ( and don’t hit me! It’s not my fault! Blame Dobeman!)

Uninvited Critters

My sweet woodstove

My sweet woodstove

My wood stove is getting a good workout for the first time in many years.

Like so many young homeowners in the late 1970’s we purchased a wood stove for our country house and me, the young wifey was responsible for the care and maintenance of said appliance. I stacked, toted, and occasionally split the lengths of firewood and was in charge of making sure the fire was up and roaring early in the morning to take the night’s chill out of the house. I cleaned the ashes out daily and disposed of them in the garden to boost the soil for the vegetable garden I planted each year.

Needless to say this wore thin once the price of wood continued to creep up and the cost of heating oil came down. The wood stove sat, unused for almost 15 years. Until this winter.

Divorce is nothing if not a creator of realities. Where before I had the steady income of my own business and that of a husband, I am now dealing with divorce settlements which, If I am very frugal might last me till I am dead. Perhaps not in a falling economy and the fear of living on tea and kitty kibble made me learn to economize in surprisingly creative ways.

 I lit the wood stove about a month ago for the first time in years and suddenly I felt that intense radiant warmth from it that I had long forgotten. Sitting by it on a cold day when the wind has sucked the warmth from my fingers and toes and no wooly cardigan is sufficient to take away the shivers in my body I settle down with a sigh of contentment.my pile o' wood

 I didn’t even mind the woodpile and the carrying of logs to the log ring on the porch outside the front door. I gathered fallen branches from around the edges of the fence line and stacked them for kindling in a basket by the door. The smell of woodsmoke is like perfume to me.

But what I do mind are the uninvited critters that make their homes in the woodshed and even on the logs themselves! I was restacking some wood which had fallen from the woodpile last week when I decided to neaten up the woodshed. I picked up a tarp that I had place over the potting table and as I lifted it the the tiny clay pots stacked so neatly  came alive ! Mice, dozens of them began pouring out of the flower pots! A veritable fountain of mice erupted, jumping and running and flinging themselves off the table in search of cover! I shrieked! My skin crawled! I ran, flinging the tarp as I gasped in horror at the scene!36_mice_wide1

I can handle snakes. I grew up in Florida where snakes are just part and parcel of the landscape. But there are two things that skeeve me the fuck out and that’s mice, well rodents in general, and spiders! The other thing about burning wood is the fact that spiders live under the bark of the wood so that bringing wood into your house also brings those disgusting creatures into your house! I have seen them creep out, those loathsome black wood spiders, then run under the baseboard where they wait for the can of Raid I haul out to kill their asses!  I feel horror in imagining them crawling out and setting up house in MY house!

wolf_spider_lrg

Florida Wolf Spider

 When I was a little girl living in a Cracker house in Central Florida I used to sit on the toilet in our house and watch as these giant wolf spiders spin webs in the corner of the bathroom. They were as big as a small child’s hand, these loathsome creatures and that’s where I learned my fear of spiders. My mother wouldn’t kill them because they ate the cockroaches!  Ah, my childhood. What a time that was. Imagine having to do your business in a room where no sane person would venture, your little legs dangling there while you pray for a fast poop so you can get the FUCK OUT!

 I have since returned to the woodpile but I carry a long stick with which I pound the woodpile to send the critters  a warning before I pick up the first piece of wood. So far, so good.

I’d Rather Be Thought a Fool

  willworkforfood111806

On Friday I was at D’Bear’s house in Rochester while he was at work. I was doing a little straightening and baking some cookies for the get together with the neighbors later when the doorbell rang. I don’t know which door to go to since there is the front door and then there is a side door which everyone who knows D’Bear uses. I went to the front door thinking that’s where a doorbell is most likely located.

A man was walking away by the time I got to the right door. I thought at first he was the UPS man because I could see a UPS truck out by the curb in front of the house next door. This man wasn’t wearing the “Brown” but I asked him if I could help him , thinking he may be a meter reader since I do know they come around to read the gas meters here.

 He turned to me and said “Ma’am,my name is Kenny ******. Lots of people in this neighborhood know me.  Would you like me to rake the leaves from your front yard? I sure could use the work ’cause I have no food for tonight.”

 He was a slender black man of about 40-years old. He appeared clean and quiet and non-threatening. I started to say “No” but only because D’Bear has a leaf blower and that was one of things I had planned to do that day. However when I looked at that face all I could think of was: here is a man asking for help. Not a handout. Just some help.

Now in my community back in Northeast Pennsylvania I seldom see  African-Americans or Asians or even Hispanics. We have a fairly uniform white populace. I have lived there for 27 years. Rochester is much more diversified racially. I have no real prejudices that I know of so this black man didn’t even make a blip on my radar as a man of color, only as a man in need.  I’ve been in situations in my past where the opportunity for any kind of work would have been a lifesaver. The thought of someone going without food even for a night breaks my heart when I am so blessed with food in the refrigerator all the time!

 I asked him how much he wanted to rake the yard and he hesitated only a moment before saying ” $12.00 okay?”

I said “Sure! That would be great. Just ring the bell again when you’re done and I’ll come out and pay you. By the way, are you hungry now?”  “He said “No, ma’am, but some food for later would be much appreciated.”

It was a crisp and chilly day as he began to rake the leaves but he removed his sweatshirt and hung it on the shrubbery along the driveway.  I went back inside and placed some bread, a jar of peanut butter, some grapes, cheese, and a half of a stick of pepperoni I had in a bag along with a plastic container of juice. In about a half an hour he rang the bell and I gave him the money ( I made it $20) and the bag of food. He looked at me and said “You’re gonna make me cry. That is so kind of you. Thank you.”

 I said “It’s my pleasure. You did a great job on the lawn!”  He had! It was clean and all the leaves had been neatly raked to the curb.

 He put his sweatshirt on and walked a little ways and then turned back and smiled at me as he walked on.

 I closed the door just as the phone rang. It was D’Bear. I told him what had just happened and I told him the man’s name, asking D’Bear if he knew of him and he immediately said ” NO! I have never heard of him! WE DON”T do that! That’s dangerous! There have been lots of house invasions in this area lately!! Don’t EVER do that again!”  and he was sort of shouting.

 I said, “Well, I did it. I won’t do it again. But I usually read people well and this man seemed to be no threat. My only stupidity may have been to open the door to a stranger at all!” D’Bear must have taken a moment to think about what I had said because he apologized and said “I trust your instincts. I was just frightened for you AND he could have been casing the place so he could come back and rob us later.”

  Huh?? Ok, maybe I am naive but would a man actually rake your leaves in order to canvas your yard and see if he could break in later? I guess it’s possible but it kinda makes me giggle. “The Yardman Bandit”!  Or the “the Roving Rakeman Robber”!  heeheehee!!

  D’Bear and I have talked about this a lot since Friday. He has since told me that I have a good heart even if I am kinda innocent in the ways of city life, and he feels bad for having shouted and said those things. He even offered to give me the $12 since it was for HIS yard! (I didn’t tell him I made it $20)  We had a long talk about race and the lack of jobs for unskilled workers in the city and about how one goes about being a good neighbor. I think maybe I taught him a lesson in giving and compassion. He taught me to be more cautious about opening the door to strangers. He’s right. But I’m still glad I did.

Random Thoughts and Gratitude

  As I sit on the crapper my thoughts go will-nilly sometimes. This morning I got the word “Kudos” stuck in my widdle brain. Then I thought “what the hell IS a kudo, anyway?”

According to the Wiki- World it ” means “fame” and “renown” resulting from an act or achievement.” Evidently kudos was originally singular even though to us it appears to be plural. Thus one can not give one kudo, at least not in the common English usage.

That made me think of other weird things like, “screaming meemies”. My grandmother had those sometimes and when she did, you had better watch out! While I think I know what they feel like, I was not so sure of the origin of the phrase so I looked it up. ( I loves me some computer dictionary!)

According to Slang Citya screaming meemie  “ was originally a rocket in the First World War. It went up into the air, came down making a loud screaming noise, and exploded when it hit the ground (or an unfortunate soldier). Needless to say, hearing one coming would make you pretty nervous!

In the Second World War, screaming meemie was used specifically about a rocket called the nebelwerfer. Its other nickname was moaning minnie (also from the sound it made), an expression which is now used in British slang to describe a person who complains a lot.”

 I love my new expression: “moaning minnie”!  I will definitely try hard to NOT be one!

      Meanwhile. I am so overwhelmed (can one be underwhelmed  or even just “whelmed?  YES ! ) by the outpouring of responses to my recent blog about my daughter, Birdpress’s wedding. It’s almost as if we’d had you all there with us to help celebrate the occasion!

So to all of my blog commenters, for being there to make the experience even richer I say:

award22(Feel free to grab this little present!)

 I only started blogging here at wordpress.com back in February of this year but since then I have made so many wonderful friends. I honestly think that you all helped me survive my divorce and you shared my sense of wonder and renewal as I learned how to manage my (fairly) new relationship with D’Bear. You laughed at with me as I “walked the Bob“, you celebrated my being “Freak of the Week” , you listened to me rant when I need to dump some crap about my ex, and you’ve made me laugh so hard at your crazy, wonderful views of the world that I’ve nearly peed myself (Thank Goddess for those Kegels!).

You’re all heroes in my book and I am eternally grateful that you’re all in my life.

Permission Granted!

  My darling Birdpress  has given me permission to post pictures of her wedding to J. on Saturday, November 1st !!  I didn’t want to let you all see her if she wanted to remain anonymous but I am so glad she’s letting me show you just how beautiful it all she was!

Here we are before make-up, sharing a glass of bubbly…..no, just sparkling apple cider! Yummy!  She looks gorgeous already!! That’s Birdpress’s sister on the right.

 We didn’t know just yet that the florist had forgotten the fresh flowers for the cake!!

 When I was told about the problem I made a quick call and they were soon on their way and all was right with the world once again. (I, meanwhile was grateful that Secret is strong enough for a woman !)   

The girls, Mandy, (BP’s best friend) and Sister  help Birdpress get dressed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   BP’s Beautiful hair and veil. (Note the tiara fit for the princess bride!)

 

 

 

And then the wedding began.

Julie from Texas played Pachelbel’s Canon.

                         

 And J. looked on in anticipation :

      

 

 

 

 

 

      The “Three J. Amigos” !

                   (  J. , his brother JC, and Jason  )

 And then she came down those stairs looking like a princess from a fairy tale.

 The ceremony included BP and J reciting their own vows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. and Mrs  J !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The happy

 couple!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was totally swept off her feet !

 

 

 

Next to Daddy’s car …..

 

The Bride and Groom cut the cake!

Maybe best friend Mandy is next? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Thank you to everyone for all your good wishes and the outpouring of love for sweet Birdpress and J. !  Taking these pictures to share with you was a wonderful way to keep Mom from bawling her eyes out all afternoon!

 

 

 

(Hey, D’Bear, we did good!)