A Month of Thanksgiving – Late Bloomers

7 11 2018

In these first few days post-Daylight Saving Time, it’s been a little challenging for me to feel anything but cranky, but today a few stalwart friends demanded my attention and showed me somethings thanks-worthy.

These are my late-bloomers.

The fuchsia and impatiens are just too stubborn to give in yet to the frosty evening temps we’ve had.  I know they’ll be gone soon, but their tenacity reminds me that sometimes, even the fat lady will do an encore, so don’t quit too soon.

The sweet little perennial geranium blossom, all by herself, after her cousins have all sung a rousing magenta chorus in June, has the grace and courage to take center stage for a solo performance.  She deserves a rest until next spring, but she must’ve known I needed just one more song.

I’m thankful for other late-blooming things in my life, especially friendships.  After college, I immersed myself in the machinery of career and family and, from the time I was in my twenties until I was in my fifties,  I did not make friends. 

There was a time when thought I did not need friends, when I thought I could not be a friend to anyone, a time when I believed that no one would want to be my friend. Now, at almost sixty-five, I find I was happily mistaken; I have a few good friends. These are friendships born of common interests that led to the discovery of common ethics and common ground.  These friendships have grown quite naturally and have blossomed beautifully – and without a load of manure!

So, this first Wednesday of November, I am thankful for my late-blooming friendships.  They are more reliable and more beautiful than any hot-house forced blooms.

Thanks to you, my friends.


Don’t Try Any Tricks!

31 10 2018

Halloween was one of my Jessie’s favorite holidays. She especially loved to answer the door, exclaim over costumes, and hand out treats.  We continue to learn from my sweet girl.

Be neighborly.

Compliment energetically.

Share joyfully.

Here are our official Halloween photos of Rebel and Piggy Stardust – no costumes, this year, but, as you can see, there were still treats.

Rebel’s the perfect color for this season!

Star is a little less professional in her posing than Rebel, but she’s cute.

Treats! Treats! Treats!

Let’s (NOT) Blame

24 10 2018

Warning:  this may be outside what some of you expect to see from me.  It looks political, but I PROMISE, it is not!

This morning, the first news headline I saw was Three Explosive Devices Sent to Clintons, Obama and CNN Offices.

Almost immediately after I saw this, I began hearing “I blame Fill-in-the-name-of-some-conservative-politician-or-pundit!”   I’ll admit, it was my first thought, too, but that is just way too easy and way too ineffective a path to take.

While I know we can debate who’s political party did what to whom – we do it all the time – I’d like to suggest we just stop it. 

How about this instead:

1.       Don’t send bombs in the mail . . . or on Facebook or Twitter, for that matter.

2.       Think hard about how to make life better, instead of trying to figure out how to absolve ourselves of responsibility.

3.       Do nice things for your neighbors, family, and anyone else who crosses your life path.

4.       Stop equating our democracy with a sport or reality competition; take your vote seriously and look beyond the color of a player’s jersey, for crying out loud.

Be kind. Be smart. Be responsible.

There are far more good people than evil ones.  Let’s show it! Be in-your-face neighborly.  It’ll confuse the hell out of the bad guys.

Closing for the Season

17 10 2018

Last night, I had a strange and unsettling dream. Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you ALL about it. It’s enough for you to know that it was about copper-colored round elevator cars that seemed to shrink when I entered; dust-covered burgundy-colored vans I had to board, even though every seat and the floors were packed with passengers; and damp slippery paths that led to stark, windy, crumbling rooms.

I awoke thinking this was simply a nighttime figment of my claustrophobia, but, after half a pot of coffee, I realized it was really not that at all – it was about mourning the end of a season.

Ever shrinking copper elevators of sunlight rake across my browning landscape. The  ruddy, rusty reds of foliage threaten a quick tumble to bare earth.  Blustery rain showers away the remaining color from my garden. 

I am sad to see the summer go. 

I do not trust autumn to cruise gently across the calendar.

Winter has never been kind. 

The last few weeks have been underscored by a feeling of melancholy and last night, my dream-mind tried to explain why. Although I still feel that low-grade sadness, at least I know the cause – and I know that, worst case scenario, it will only last until the first little green bud awakens in a few months. We’ll be back in business, then!

Until that time, I will medicate, as I did this very afternoon, with a very effective – if temporary – compound. Take two (scoops) as needed.

Road Running

10 10 2018

I remember my teens – a time when car engines were big and gas prices were small. Driving was for the sheer joy of moving asphalt under treads.

Then, I grew up and got a job that required me to drive many miles and cars got smaller and gas prices, well . . . driving lost some of its charm. When I retired, I was very happy to let my car sit in the driveway, un-started, for days at a time.

Well, today was more like the old days, except for the big engine, low gas prices, and joy . . . I made a nice round-trip through Philly to Ft. Dix (and I get to go back to Philly, tomorrow – another hundred miles one-way) . . . for my beloved family and for my very important volunteer job, so I guess there really is some joy.

Okay, after I have a nice long nap, I’m pretty sure there will be quite a bit of joy. Until I sleep, though, there’s just “Jeep Seat” and furry contact lenses.


Thanks, Dad, for the 16th birthday present! Soon, I’ll dream of you and the Goat, both now gone from me, but both remembered with reverence.

Works in Progress

3 10 2018

Remember that whole “Mars-Venus” explanation of the difference between men and women . . . yes, it’s a lot of BS, but I do think that there is some validity to the idea that some people are born “fixers.” I am such a person, as are many of the women in my family and my circle of friends.  We are the “See Something Wrong – Do Something About It” folks who see most problems as challenges and we never back away from a challenge.  If you know my nuptial history, you’ll understand that I have (finally!) learned that this is not always a good thing.

I started thinking about this while mowing the lawn, pondering the changes in my neighborhood, as kids have grown up: specifically the oddness of the (lack of a successful) relationship in the life of one very fine and lovely young man.  As I blundered along behind the Toro, letting it slowly growl its way through grass that has been far too well watered for the last month, the reason for this fellow’s troubles came to me. 

He has chosen women who need to be fixed.

(It should be noted here that there are two kinds of “fixers” – the empathetic, kind, and too generous type, which describes my neighbor, and the ornery, bossy, authoritarian kind, like my sister and I.)

Now, even though I am an inveterate fixer, I will not barge over and tell this kid’s mom she needs to make him read this, but if I could give him one piece of old-lady advice, it would be simply this.

Pick a Partner, not a Project!

A partner is someone who, as perfectly described by my (ornery, bossy, authoritarian) sister, does not need to be changed nor wants to change you; a partner is someone who helps you become the best you and is their best them because of you. 

After (quite a) few fits and starts, I am delighted to have found such a fine partner over thirty years ago.  To paraphrase someone whom I am loathe to quote, “Can you imagine if I hadn’t, what a mess I’d be? I’d be the world’s worst.”

Partner with someone who’s your equal, not your mirror. Don’t mistake neediness for loyalty or charity for love.  Projects involve stuff. Partnership is about far more than that. 

When I began to write this, I failed to note the date of this post – October 3rd.  Now, I more fully understand why Miss Muse brought me to it.  This is my (ornery, bossy, authoritarian)sister and her husband’s 37th wedding anniversary and they certainly exemplify the beauty of a true partnership.

Happy Anniversary, Phyllis and Eric!

Partnership is a beautiful thing. This one was established 37 years ago!


Every Crayon in the Box, and then Some

26 09 2018

Every once in a while, something comes along that thumps my brain. This week, there’ve been two bits of news that also poked at Miss Muse and her high falutin’ ideas about her importance.

First, I read one fine blog post about how talent plays into the professional artist equation. It is by the wonderful potter Mea Rhee, Good Elephant Pottery and you can read it here: http://www.goodelephant.com/

Second, I got a preview of the new homepage of the marvelously inventive, introspective, and inquisitive Karen Anne Isaacson Glick’s website:

Karen’s choice of adjective to define herself  – multidisciplinary – is simply perfect, but it, coupled with Mea’s post about talent’s role in living as a professional artist led me to do a little introspecting of my own . . . and now both my brain and Miss Muse’s ego are in need of a booboo kiss and a band-aid.

I surely LOVE to make things. My imagination runs at RPMS that would make a NASCAR pit crew sweat. There’s no questioning my drive to combine, cut up, color, stitch, paint, write, melt, photograph, smear, anneal, bend, . . . well, to dance to whatever tune Miss Muse is humming.

Therein lies the rub. Miss Muse has eclectic taste in music. She’s yet to meet a genre that doesn’t get her toes tapping, so, while Mea is talented and dedicated and Karen Anne is multidisciplinary, I am simply curious and have no discipline whatsoever.
I’ve decided that’s okay.

There are gifted and driven potters, painters, performers, and poets. My true talent is that I know my limitations – but I ignore them, in the name of having a good time! Not every artist will be a great artist, but as long as creating things (even if what is created is simply a messy studio) is fun, let’s play.