when you hug a child

Today was one of those days.  Growing older and living (mostly) alone I often look back on my life and the vision is not always what I wish it to be.

 I cleaned house for my daughter today. I enjoy that and she pays me well but I do it while she is at work and the grandchildren are in daycare so the house is empty.

While I clean my mind is free to wander   As I cleaned my grandson’s room I remembered my own children and the way their rooms looked and smelled.  I remembered how when the girls were very young I would watch them as they slept and how they looked like little angels. I would often feel bad because during the day I had lost my temper over things that I now know are really unimportant. I would see their sweet little faces relaxed in slumber and feel the time I had with them rushing, rushing away!! I wanted to stop time, to rewind and get a chance to go back and do things better, more lovingly!

If only I had worried less about whether they tramped mud in on their shoes, or whether they goofed off at bedtime so as to delay the time for lights out and had instead spent more time playing Candyland and lying in the grass watching the clouds with them or catching lightning bugs in a jar on a hot summer night.

I found this video today. Please watch it and then ask yourself if you’ve hugged someone you love recently.

the 360 Tour

Imagine sitting at the very top row of the Rogers Center , home to the Toronto Blue Jays, a building  which could contain a 31-story office building, and which for concerts can hold 55,000 fans!  (Note: I was just informed by my friend Marlaine, a Toronto native, that for Wednesday night’s performance there were 63,000 people in the stadium, a record!) Over my right shoulder stands this, the CN Tower, which at 1,815 feet tall is the tallest freestanding structure in the Americas! It’s dark and I am waiting to see U2 and their world tour .
photo courtesy of Wilson Coley

photo courtesy of Wilson Coley

The band Snow Patrol is rocking the Skydome (aka the Rogers Center ) and thousands of fans are still pouring into the stadium.

When we first arrived and were directed to our seats we began the long hike up, up, up , up the stairs and thought WHAT THE FUCK? We paid for nosebleeds? But once we settled in and quaffed a couple of beers and looked out over this massive body of fans and saw the skyline of Toronto with the sun setting directly in front of us, framing the high rise apartment buildings in golden light… well, we realized it was all right. Very all right!

The CN tower has lights running up and down and around it and the light show they put on is nothing short of mind-blowing. Seeing the elevators going up and down while the lights blink and spin and change colors is amazing!

Then Bono and the band came out.

U2 tour

The set, one of three used for the tour, cost 40,000,000 dollars. YES! 40 MILLION DOLLARS! The “starship” was unbelievable.



While I would have liked for the sound to have been a little better, this was one of the most amazing concerts I have ever seen.  It’s hard to expect the sound quality to be excellent for every seat in a venue this large. It was still worth the trip and every penny we spent to attend!

U2imageThanks, guys, for an unforgettable night!

After the concert D’Bear, two of our good friends from Rochester, Mark and MaryJo, and I went for some food. We found a pizzeria with outdoor seating and sat and enjoyed gobbling down a couple of hot pepperoni pizzas and talking about the concert and our impressions of Toronto. I noted that it is a very quiet city! While we sat only a few feet away from a busy street, eating our post-concert meal, the traffic was heavy with thousands upon thousands of U2 fans filling the streets. And yet it was quiet! No one seems to blow their carhorns, or shout obscenities at other drivers, no screetch their brakes. It seems a very civilized and friendly city. People actually walk around with smiles on their faces! I kid you not!

The next morning, after a tummy-filling breakfast at Cora’s,  evidently a chain of restaurants in Ontario, where we ate a delicious meal of crepes, fruit, eggs, and coffee we made our way home via the wine trail. We stopped off at Tawse Winery and sampled some delicious Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. I highly recommend making the difficult drive to find the place. The are an amazingly beautiful winery located in or near Grimsby. They are an organic winery which uses geothermal heating and gravity-fed systems to make some absolutely amazing wines!

Home at 8:30 and four tired but happy people got to dream of the great mid-week roadtrip we had just had!

ok…..maybe not…


Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy a Ryobi Power Paint Sprayer.

I was so anticipating this to be a great day. Checking items off my to-do list makes me happy!

I was so ready to paint some fencing! Around 1:30 I assembled my items: new Ryobi paint sprayer, extension cords, Glidden Satin Exterior paint, large brush, and paint stirrer.

I first took the string trimmer out to get all the grass and weeds away from my fence.   I managed to get it running though I did have to keep the choke on over halfway the whole time.

 Once that was done I ran three heavy-duty exterior extension cords out  to the fence. I read ALL the instructions for the new paint sprayer, as only a woman would do. I lubricated the piston as directed. I filled the paint cup, primed the sprayer and proceeded to paint the fence.

The paint didn’t come out quite as I imagined it would , in a nice lovely, even mist but rather in a clumpy single stream with a slight misting overspray. After three 8-foot boards the sprayer stopped and I realized it needed more paint. I didn’t like the way the paint was sort of clumpy so I fetched a quart container of Wagner Paint Conditioner, guaranteed to thin without diluting. This particular sprayer had promised that thinning the paint was unnecessary but I thought the thickness of the paint might be the culprit.

The next round seemed a bit better  though I had some trouble screwing the bottle containing the paint onto the sprayer. Lining up the grooves proved to be difficult with hands slippery with paint!

The next sprayerful was not happy! I primed the sprayer , as directed, but the paint came out sporadically and then stopped. By this time I was completely covered in white paint and tried to remove the full paint cup but it refused to come off! AGGH!! I wedged my sneaker-laced feet around the container and whacked at it with all my strength! That’s IT!   Finally!!   Off it came, drenching my shoes and me with white latex paint.

 I’d had enough by now! Cursing the very day I decided that this was a good idea I poured the remaining paint back into the can and took the damned thing over to the hose and sprayed as much paint off it as I could. It then went with me into the kitchen and for the next 30 minutes I scrubbed and wiped and rubbed and rinsed that damned thing clean. I disassembled the parts and cleaned each piece thoroughly and packed it all back snugly in the handy, dandy carrying case.

It took me twice as long to put away extension cords, clean my kitchen, take a shower, scrub my fingernails, and get as much paint off me as was humanly possible.

I was prepared to do battle with the folks at Home Depot. Receipt in hand I marched in to the store and right to the counter marked for returns.  I said “I have a return!”. The young man took my receipt, the boxed sprayer and in less than 2 minutes I had a receipt for the credited amount.  No questions asked. No suspicious examination of the boxed item. I could have returned a dead woodchuck in there! He never even looked!


Ryobi -0

Home Depot-1000

I am back to imagining that I will somehow find the time to hand paint 5oo+ feet of board fencing before the snow flies.








Dead bug position



This morning it was 48 degrees Fahrenheit. I went to bed with a few windows left open and when I awoke I was shivering under my quilt and spread. I am not ready for winter. I still have too much to do!


I went to Home Depot today to buy a paint sprayer. I have over 500 feet of three-rail wooden fencing that is in dire need of painting. In the past I had access to a husband who was willing to either

a. have me paint it all summer

b. hire someone else to paint it

c. bribe one of our daughters to do it


 d. leave it go till it rotted and fell over.

I, on the other hand, do not have access to his money nor am I willing to paint it with a brush over the course of weeks and weeks. My life is too short to do that! I am old, dammit! And letting it go to rot and fall down is not an option if I am ever hopeful of selling this money-sucking monstrosity of an estate beautiful, classic farmhouse and surrounding acreage.

I was just in the last bit of cursing and kicking at the self check-out due to the fact that I had indeed, despite the damned machine’s insistence that I had not “placed items in the bagging area” when my friends Jay and Pinky showed up. Jay informed me that my idea of using the electric paint sprayer wouldn’t work. I had told him I was willing to use several extension cords rather than pay for a gas-powered sprayer which could cost hundreds of dollars. He tells me this after I check out!

I had spent 20 minutes in the paint department with two lovely male employees who were both willing to help me find exactly the right items. Of course one had no idea where the exterior paint was located so I am pretty sure his advice is fairly unsound. This was the really adorable one with the dreadlocks….in HONESDALE, PA! We don’t normally DO dreadlocks here in Nowheresville, USA but hey! We are becoming quite the trendy hot spot! They tended to my Home Depot needs quite attentively and I left with my new Ryobi paint sprayer. I like Ryobi products! I also like attentive male employees!

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I had on extremely tight jeans or maybe it was simply “Be Nice to the Old Ladies Day”. I prefer to think it was the former.

So now here I am with my purchases and Jay, aka Mr. I Know Everything, tells me it will never work. I can only hope to prove him wrong. PLEASE let him be wrong!

I also bought a 2 gallon pump sprayer for insecticide. Ever since I fired my exterminator and started spraying Spectracide Once-and-Done Bug killer around the perimeter of my home I have had far fewer invasions of ants, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies than ever! The fact that my urine glows in the dark is a small price to pay for not having earwigs crawling on toilet seats in the middle of the night, let me tell you!

I leave you with this bit of wisdom today:



“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” —-Muhammed Ali