Que Sera, Sera

2 09 2015

In a few weeks, my dear father-in-law will be eighty years old,  so we’ve spent the last week in Mexico, celebrating this milestone with seven days of sunshine, food, drink, and family.

I am a very lucky woman to have married into this smart, funny, and kind group of people.

While this week has been wonderful, it has also been melancholy, for my own dear father’s birthday is also toward the end of September. It seems odd that the happiest family moments can draw the most bittersweet of memories, the sharpest pangs of grief.

Dad’s been gone for over twenty years, but I often hear his voice in my head, usually gently teasing me, always supporting me. This week, I heard him singing to me.

          Goodbye Joe, me gotta go me oh my oh . . .

          Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be . . .

          Bet my money on a bob-tail nag; somebody bet on the bay.

These were songs he sang to me when I was a little girl. They remind me that my earliest memories are of my father’s love. I suppose the family love that surrounded our group this week is what drew that music to my ears.

I am a very lucky woman to be the daughter of a smart, funny, and kind man.

Now, I am going to sing myself to sleep. Dream sweetly.





The Waiting is the Hardest Part

26 08 2015

I am not a traveler.

Let me rephrase that; I am a militant non-traveler . . . and yet, here I am, in Mexico . . .

after a four hour plane ride, an hour wait for ground transport, an hour in a 12-seat shuttle bus with thirteen other passengers, seventy-five minutes of check-in comedy, and seventeen of my in-laws.

We’re together to celebrate my dear father-in-law’s upcoming 80th birthday, which is the ONLY reason I accepted this challenge to my homebody-ness. I’m told that other folks actually do this – and I shudder as I type this – take vacations – on a regular, like annual, basis. I am dumbfounded.

It’s been eleven hours since we left for the Newark airport and I am finally reunited with my luggage. Whew, I feel some semblance of control re-entering my system.

The resort is lovely – thanks to my generous sister-in-law.

The room is spacious – thanks to my generous sister-in-law.

The booze is free  did I say thanks to my generous sister-in-law?!

Okay. I’ll make the best of it.

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Image courtesy of my brother-in-law.





A Brash Suggestion

19 08 2015

8-19 blog

This meme came into my view, this morning, and I – to my own surprise and dismay – found myself compelled to question the Dalai Lama. I know, I know. Who do I think I am? I think I am someone who not only reads the advice and counsel of sages, thinkers, and poets; I consider it.

I originally thought, “Great! This is so true.”

Then, I thought “Sir, I think you have made a mistake.”

Yep, I am criticizing the Dalai Lama.

Before you set fire to my blog, just hear me out, please. I believe that the planet does need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers. I also believe that those ARE the successful people.

Here’s to all you successful, wonderful, kind, funny, compassionate, creative, loving people!





Friendly Fire

12 08 2015

One of the things I’ve noticed, as I have begun to grow up, is the change in my circle of friends. I am not talking about changes caused by the inevitable job transfer or retirement move; I am talking about the selective culling and rebuilding I’ve been doing, without even realizing I was actively doing it.

Upon examination, I see that my friends share a few traits. They are highly ethical. They are kind. They are reliable. They are decent.

They are also smart.

With all those common traits, there are vast differences, too. I’ve come to realize that (by design or accident) my friends have wildly divergent viewpoints on many issues: social, political, ideological, and fluffy. They and I disagree on a lot of things and they disagree amongst themselves.

There was a time when I felt it necessary to be surrounded by friends who shared my ideas about life. To be challenged was too frightening because I was unsure of my position. Now, I realize that being challenged will either lead me to better understand why I hold a given position or it will give me insight into why I might need to modify my stance. This works for me, whether it involves the desirability of the Designated Hitter Rule or the viability of the Affordable Care Act.

My friends make me better and stronger because they’re not just like me.

They make me happy because they just like me.





Top Ten Republican Debate Questions We’d Like to Ask

5 08 2015

I am thrilled and excited to introduce a guest writer for tonight’s post. Without further delay, here, with his thoughts on the upcoming Republican Debate, is Pig Newton.

8-5-15

I,  Pig Newton, would like to ask these questions of the ten contestants on the Pander is Right . . . I’m sorry, the Republican Presidential Debate, tomorrow evening. Forgive my impolite tone, please. I am just a little bit miffed to have been overlooked for the festivities, as I am, in my considered opinion, highly qualified to be center-stage:

I am a white, privileged male, who lives in a gated community and I’m named after two political icons – pork and the Gingrich who stole Washington.

10. Not counting the Second, what’s your favorite Amendment?

9.  Since Planned Parenthood is in jeopardy of being defunded, do we really need a Secretary of Labor?

8.  Has anyone seen Rick Perry . . . oops!

7.  Who was the better president: David Palmer or Jeb Bartlett?

6.  Our twist on the parlor game F*#k, Marry, Kill – Hillary, Bernie, Biden: who would you Tax, Indict, Swiftboat? 

5.  Explain, in the length of a bumper sticker, why Trump’s ahead of you in the polls.

4.  The preceding debate’s been called “The Kids’ Table.” How upset are you that they got the pizza and ice cream?

3.  Of all the world leaders we’ve “helped resign,” who do you miss most?

2.  Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show – great news or Best News EVER?

1.  Education – Yes or No?

BONUS: Match the Campaign Slogan to the Candidate Game

Trump                   El Canadienne

Bush                       School’s Out Forever

Kasich                    The Great Hydrator

Huckabee              Not Your Father’s Wingnut

Christie                  Jesus Take the Wheel (So I can eat this donut)

Carson                   A Breath of Fresh Hair

Walker                   I’m Moderate, Sorry

Cruz                       The Smart Brother

Rubio                     Shut Up and Vote for Me

Paul                       Constitutionally Illiterate

 

Bonus Question:

Would you like to see a Trump-Palin ticket? What if it were for Wrestlemania?





Thank You

29 07 2015

Thank You

In one very special circumstance, these are difficult words for me to say:

I am not a graceful receiver of gifts.

I’m one of those folks who’s always more comfortable with credits on my side of the ledger.

What? LEDGER? What ledger?

You know the one, the mental scorecard we keep that tracks who bought the last round, who baked the last batch of cookies, who held the door last. It’s a deeply ingrained habit for lots of us, especially those of us who have a whit of control freak (or, perhaps, inferiority complex) in our personalities. We want to be sure we do not take advantage of our friends. Even more, we want to be sure our friends never feel that we might be getting more than we give. It’s always all about us, isn’t it?

Well, no, it’s not. Here’s why.

When someone gives you a gift, it is their intention to do something nice for you because they want to do it. It makes them feel happy. There’s no need for reciprocity. As a matter of fact, if you do try to repay the kindness, you ‘ve completely undone the whole damn thing. It’s a GIFT, not a trade!

Stop keeping score with your friends. Loving acts of kindness and generosity are not so trivial as to be counted and catalogued; they are to be appreciated, period. That is how real friends do it. Give gifts for the joy of giving.  Don’t ruin your experience or your friends’ experience by making it a competition.

This afternoon, my dear friend Erica gave me a gift – two glorious hours of her time. She also gave me this stunning home-grown bouquet.7-29 15

I said, “Thank you,” and she smiled. That’s how you do it.

I’m sixty-one years old and I am learning to get over my gift insecurity. If I can do it, so can you.





Nothing But the Truth

22 07 2015

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Most of us over the age of seven have heard this adage and, for the most part, take it seriously. When it comes to infomercials, “Nigerian princes,” or time-share deals; it’s solid gold. Of course, there are times, when we should suspend our skepticism and just revel in a moment of goodness, even if it may have been embellished or just plain made up, if it lifts our spirit.

If, no matter how cute that Photoshopped squirrel with the purple umbrella in your newsfeed, you can’t let go of your cynicism regarding the “too good” stuff, then I have just one request.

Believe the corollary, too.

If it sounds too awful to be true, check your sources before you believe it – especially before you repeat it.

The truth is the best antidote to the fear-driven, hateful things we’re being bombarded with from our radios, televisions, and social media feeds. Yes. I know there are seriously horrible things going on in the world. No, I don’t think the answer is to pretend they don’t exist. I think we owe it to ourselves and our families and our friends, though, to not add to the awful by recycling invented crap that just pisses us all off.

It’s one thing to give up spell-checking and grammar checking – it’s another to give up on facts.

As President Andrew Jackson said, “It’s a little pitchy, Dawg.”

Tune it up.

P.S.  The squirrel with the tiny purple umbrella is (almost) real! http://laughingsquid.com/backyard-squirrel-poses-adorably-with-a-tiny-purple-umbrella-provided-by-the-photographer/








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