Cul-de-sac Chronicles

Can We Talk

password-word-cloudI had the same passwords for about a hundred years. As I’ve mentioned before: one for purchasing online, one for financial stuff, one for blogging, one for emails and one for something else… oh, yeah, social media. I knew all of them and never had a problem remembering them. It was the golden age of cognitive clarity and password heaven. There weren’t so many little snits going around taking pleasure in making others miserable.

Then that awful worm came slithering along a few months ago, and along with you and everybody else in cyberspace, I had to change my passwords. Fine. I did it. And I gradually managed to remember them. Now, for some reason, I’m having issues with passwords again. I had a problem with my email last week. I don’t know if it was hacked or… Well, I guess it was hacked. It sent out an obnoxious email to a lot of people in my address book that had a link to a nasty site that wouldn’t allow you to exit. So, that was that. I had to change my password.


This morning, when I tried to log into my blog, I was locked out. I had to wait for a text and reset my password. What do you think are the chances I’ll still remember it tomorrow? How often do I have to change these things? I changed my email password less than a month ago.

I’m considering one of the password managers. I’ve read about 1Password (thanks Awkward Widow). My son mentioned that I should get a password manager a few weeks ago. Every time I turn around, I’m forced to change my password, and with ever-growing security breaches, I’m about to fall prostrate on the floor and scream, “I surrender.” (Unrelated, but we were one of those who used their Home Depot credit card less than six months ago.)

I read that five years from now we will probably no longer use passwords to access our ATMs and PCs. We’ll look into a camera or speak into a microphone. Because our eyes and voices are unique, it will be safer. Sign me up, Buttercup. But not so fast. I wonder if it will work for people who have an eye disease  in which the blood vessels leak or burst, like Macular Degeneration. Your eye is constantly changing in that situation. Hmm. Or if you have a cold. I guess there would be a fallback solution. Um. Would that be a PASSWORD?


We went on a purging rampage. I wanted to clean out the family room. There were some things that I wanted H to take up to the attic and a couple of things that needed to go to Goodwill, but I had no idea how much. We got rid of an old stereo and that insanely gigantic and massively heavy, ancient television. Look at me calling it all kinds of bad names when you know I was just fine with it only a couple of weeks ago, until I threw it over for a newer, sleeker model. Shallow be my name. We went through the toy box and tossed a few things and donated a few, and there were tons of old magazines. Oh, Lordy, there were magazines. We are crazy people when it comes to our magazines. We should start getting them online.

Then I went into the dining room and opened the sideboard. I gave all my good china to a friend’s son when he got married last year. That did my heart good, but I still had tons of serving dishes. I thought about selling them, but I was in the purging mood and couldn’t stop myself. They all went to Goodwill. As I write this, some woman is telling her sister about what a steal she got on a beautiful casserole dish at Goodwill. That’s fine with me. My days of formal entertaining are long gone, and good riddance.

By the way, my son just called. I said, “Who is this? Your voice sounds familiar.” He said, “I’m the bad son.” :) Then we talked about what a lot of people are talking about: war, abusive NFL players, password managers and Sarah Palin’s family brawl, because who doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned brawl when it isn’t your family? At least you see the punch coming, unlike these slithering boobs who sneak in the backdoor to crack an old woman’s password while she’s taking her acid reflux meds.


Until my sister died after a long and painful dance with cancer, I was closer to her than any other woman since my mother died in 1973. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years today since I last heard her voice or saw her face. That time thing is deceptive. I never think it’s been that long.

We were very different, but we were also very much alike. Our tastes and choices in clothing, interior decorating, politics and husbands were completely different. She kept her secrets close, taking some huge ones to the grave; I have a tendency to reveal too much, too soon, too often about myself. Still, we were more like each other than we were like our other two siblings. We held mutual core beliefs. We lived similar lifestyles, we were both extroverts (I’ve become more introverted.), we loved cookbooks, food, movies and books, and we viewed motherhood in a similar way. Neither she nor I were incautious, risk-takers, spendthrifts or tax evaders. We both liked happy-ending movies.

She liked lovely, sweet, nonviolent, relationship-type books, and I like history, horror, psychological thrillers and end-of-the-world-oh-my-God books. She loved Renée Zellweger and I love Diane Keaton. We agreed on the world’s most urgent problems, but hardly ever agreed on whose fault those problems were or how they should be resolved. I see both sides of every coin and often struggle with decision making, she never sat on a fence in her life. She was very decisive and confident in the side she chose. She was so sure that she had it right, and I always think one more piece of information could change everything I know and believe about something. I’d be a perfect juror for the defense; the prosecutor would love her.

I’m sure we never voted for the same president in our lives. We tried not to talk about politics too often, but we had our moments. Let’s say we had similar values, but they often directed our decisions and actions in different directions. We always agreed about what the problem was, but seldom agreed about the resolution or the right guy for the job.

We could have been twins if our mother hadn’t given birth to her nine years before me. Once a server asked us if we were twins. I cringed. She glowed and promptly told the woman that she was nine years older. She could hardly wait to get home and tell H and her husband. You know I loved that. Not.

We shared so many genes, it was disquieting to look at her sometimes. It was strange to see another version of myself. It was like looking at myself nine years from now. She loved telling me what to look forward to: dry skin, scaly elbows, thinning hair, skin tags. It was like little, bitty horror stories every time something new popped up. But I always knew she’d be there to tell me about that certain lotion that would cure the scaly elbow skin or what lipstick would stay on my lips all day, or how to stem the flow of hair that falls from my head every day. She would always look out for me.

Once she borrowed my coat on a rainy day. We were on our way somewhere, and she was driving. We were chatting away when I turned to say something, but I stopped in mid sentence. She looked at me and I looked at her. Only an instant passed before we both burst into laughter. It was eerie to see her in my coat – not her style at all – and looking almost exactly how I would look in one, short decade.

I’m only a few years from her age when she died. Nowadays, I walk past a mirror and catch my reflection, and who do I see? Not me but her. It’s her, the way I remember her. I know that one day I will see her older than she was when she died. It’s disquieting.

We were so different in certain ways and alike in others that we had a difficult time accepting each other in the beginning. After our mother died, I remember making a deliberate decision to make things better. I was twenty-four, only beginning to understand what was most important to me. I picked up the phone and called her one day. I didn’t know what to expect, but she was receptive. That started the ball rolling in the right direction. It only inched forward at first, lurching here and there.

I’d like to say that the rest was history, but it was not. We hacked and chopped our way through one resentment after another, and when we thought we were done with it, we would revisit it, all of it to be beaten down again. At some point, we became real sisters with a bonafide sisterly relationship. We accepted our differences; that’s to say, our differences no longer stood in the way of our love for each other. In our last real conversation, I told her she had been both mother and sister to me. Nothing was left unsaid.

The most important thing you should know is that we laughed. There was something that she really hated/loved about letting loose and laughing uncontrollably. She did not like being out of control, not even in laughter. She was wound pretty tight, and I loved to snap her spring. She would laugh so hard that she would gasp, and in the gasps she begged me to stop. Then I would lose control, laughing at her laughing at me.

I performed for her more than anyone. When she was dying, I was living with Dad so I was in the midst of family. I had lots of stories. Almost daily, someone in our family did something crazy, and I couldn’t wait to call her and tell her outrageous stories about them all. They were all true, every one of them, but I embellished and spit-shined them until they whined and shined, and I spun them for her until she laughed uncontrollably and begged me to stop. Her daughters and husband later told me that in the last months of her life, she only laughed when I called her. Her husband said, “I always knew it was you when I heard her laughing.”

She was my older sister and she was the boss of me. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that I let her be the boss. It was a comfortable role for her and for me. That’s why we were both shocked when I was the one to care for Dad. Of course, she was sick by then and lived in Florida, but that wasn’t it. I came to realize that the role of caregiver would never be a comfortable fit for her. She was not cut out for it. Who would have ever guessed that I, the baby, was.

Our roles reversed after I moved into Dad’s and her illness progressed. She could no longer support me. I had to support her just when I needed her most. Everything was backwards with her and with Dad. Two of my closest relationships turned upside down over night and at the exact same time. It was a very challenging time. The worst was that she was in Florida and I couldn’t go to her because of everything that was happening with Dad. I didn’t see her that last year. All our conversations were on the phone.

It’s been seven years today. Seven years since she died. So much has happened. The grieving is long over, but I still miss her. It’s like she’s been on a long vacation, and I wish she would come home already. I don’t know what happens after death. As in most things, she was sure of it, and I’m here, still trying to figure it out. I hope she was right.

It’s Punch and Judy Time

puppet-theatreI woke around 2:30 to a loud bang. I may have just thought I heard a bang. I probably dreamed it. H got up and checked things out. I don’t know why he does that. It always ends badly in the movies. I prefer the stay-in-bed-pull-the-covers-over-your-head-and-pretend-nobody-can-see-you approach.

I checked my Cul-de-sac Chronicles’ email, and there was an email from me. It was sent from an old email address I had when I was at Dad’s. I should have deleted the account long ago. I opened it and …. I hate to admit what I did, but I did it. I clicked on the link. Can you believe I did that? I did it before I realized what I was doing. It was one of those awful sites that wouldn’t let me leave. I had to shut down the computer. Who knows what it did to me. I feel dirty.

I didn’t see the president’s speech last night. I tried, but I fell asleep. We could have invaded Sweden for all I know. I only heard a few words after I saw him walk out to a lectern that was flanked with flags. There was an extremely tall window with long, blue curtains behind him. Did anyone else think it looked like a puppet stage? I expected to see Punch and Judy jump up. It was the strangest thought, but that’s what I thought as I drifted off to sleep. obama-speech

And can’t they get the president a room that doesn’t sound like he’s standing in the Grand Canyon? Did you hear that echo? I have a lot of opinions for someone who couldn’t stay awake long enough to hear his third sentence, but you come here for color, not substance, right? I hope it went well for him and for us, but I’m sure the commentary afterwards was wild. You couldn’t pay me enough to do that job. I’ll catch the highlights this morning.

Not to Beat a Dead Horse, But…

… I thought I’d post this for anyone who is interested. Something else could come to light, but for now, this is the word…

Joan Rivers’ Air Supply Cut Off From Unexpected Throat Biopsy

The routine surgical procedure that ultimately took the life of Joan Rivers was the result of an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords, according to The New York Daily News.

The procedure is one that should not be conducted outside of a hospital, according to medical experts who spoke with the New York Daily News. Rivers underwent the procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York, which generally deals with digestive issues.

The biopsy caused the “Fashion Police” star’s vocal cords to seize, known as laryngospasm. The medical source told the paper that had this procedure been done in a hospital, Rivers may have survived. The source further alleges that Rivers had only signed off on an endoscopy.


Getting Serious: Maybe, Maybe Not

pretty ladyYesterday, I started thinking about walking/nature trails and wondered exactly what we had available around here. I knew about a few of the larger parks around town, but I wanted something really close. I searched for one that we used to walk on back in the seventies. It was gone, but when I did a Google search, I found three that were really close to my house, and I didn’t even know about them. If I had kids, I’m sure I would have been aware of these places.

It was a rainy day – one of those slow and regular rains that just keep coming. We decided to take a drive and look around, probably not the best day for it but we were on a mission. We found one county park that offered volleyball, baseball,  swings, jungle gyms, etc. type things for the kids and nature trails for H and me. The grands would love it.

I need to start walking again. I need to lose weight. I’ve reached the desperation stage. I watched a woman walk across the parking lot at Food Lion the other day. Do you ever do that? Check out someone and think to yourself, “That could be me if I’d only put in the effort?” She was about ten years older than me, and she looked fabulous, dahling. I thought to myself, way to go girl. Then I thought, I bet you don’t eat cheesecake or meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Thanks to a comment on this blog (You know who you are, Shore.) I couldn’t stop thinking about meatloaf until I finally made one. It was so good. You know how you think about something you want to eat, and when you finally get it, sometimes it isn’t as good as you thought it would be. Well, this meatloaf was absolutely as good as I thought. I wish I could give you the recipe, but my meatloaf recipe is the little-bit-of-this-little-bit-of-that kind of recipe. The mashed potatoes were great, too. I used Yukon gold potatoes. So good.

I’m giving up wine in the evening. Oh, good grief! Honestly, I’m annoyed with having to give up anything anymore. I really am, but that’s life, I guess. I never drank alcohol until I was in my thirties, and it was maybe once a year on New Year’s or something. I’d say that around fifty, I started enjoying a glass (or two) in the evening, but I think I need to give it up. It slows the metabolism and it really is disposable calories, unlike meatloaf. Okay, I should watch the meatloaf, too.

I need to get serious. I’m so good at losing weight when I get serious (So are you, right?), but I have to be in the right frame of mind (So do you, right?). I have two doctors’ appointments coming up in the next two months, actually three, but only two of them are the get-your-butt-up-on-that-scale types. The other one is the poke-in-the-eye doctor. I swear, I’d rather get a poke in the eye than get on the scale. I also have vacation coming up and out-of-town company coming later this month. You see the problem here.

So, we do the best we can. That’s my attitude until I get serious. Serious better arrive soon, or I won’t be able to fit into anything in my closet. I’m already reduced to items that possess phenomenal stretching abilities. You know what I’m sayin’? I know you do. Unless you’re a man whose metabolism roars while you’re stretched out on the sofa, watching the game, eating roasted almonds and sipping a beer. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

A Simple Girl Walks into a Clinic

“I hate people who die of natural causes; they just don’t understand the moment. It’s the grand finale, act three, the eleven o’clock number — make it count. If you’re going to die, die interesting! Is there anything worse than a boring death? I think not. When my time comes I’m going to go out in highs type. I have no intention of being sick or lingering or dragging on and on and boring everyone I know. I have no intention of coughing and wheezing for months on end. One morning you’ll wake up and read a headline: Joan Rivers Found Dead…On George Clooney’s Face. Clooney Was So Bereft All He Could Say Was, ‘Xjfhfyrnem.'” — Joan Rivers

Well, it wasn’t exactly like that, but close enough, Joan. We didn’t have to watch your slow slide into dependency like so many mere mortals. You all know by now that Joan Rivers died a week after a minor elective procedure at a Manhattan medical clinic, and that’s what I want to write about – the decision to have the procedure performed in a facility other than a hospital.

Joan stopped breathing and went into cardiac and respiratory arrest at Yorkville Endoscopy. She was then transported six minutes across town to Mount Sinai Hospital and died on Thursday. The outpatient clinic is under investigation by the New York State Department of Health. The New York medical examiner office is also investigating her death.

As people get older, it is not uncommon for them to take their spouses into the doctor’s office with them. There are a few reasons this is a good idea. If a person has significant health issues, there could be a lot to remember. Four ears are better than two, and two brains are better than one. If there’s a decision to be made or a procedure or operation or even tests to consider, maybe the supporting spouse would like to weigh in. Maybe one or both spouses feel more comfortable making these decisions together. Maybe it’s a child/elderly parent situation, and the child wants to be in the room.

H and I do not do this… yet, but many do, and I can see why.

We both had colonoscopies a few months ago. H has Medicare and Medicare requires this procedure to be done in a hospital setting. However, I do not enjoy Medicare yet, and my doctor (the same doctor as H’s) suggested that it would be less costly if I underwent my procedure at an outpatient clinic. I chose the outpatient clinic option, but H was not in the room when I made the decision.

Let’s say that H wasn’t keen on the idea of an outpatient clinic and this is why. My heart and lungs are compromised. That is to say that neither of them work just right. He would have felt better if I had chosen the hospital setting and all of its personnel, backup systems and plethora of doctors and just paid more. Now that I think about it, I should have waited a year, and I would have been on Medicare.  That would have saved a lot of money and discussion in my house, but all is well that ends well and all that.

So, when I heard about Joan going into cardiac and respiratory arrest, my mind immediately went to those decisions that she made about the location of her procedure, and I wondered if she would have fared better if the procedure had been done in a hospital. I thought from the first day that she would not recover or at least would not be the same Joan she had always been. I suspected that her famously quick brain had been deprived of oxygen too long. Having a hunch about her wishes surrounding death and dying, I hoped she would get to do it her way, and while we do not know all the details, it appears that her daughter made sure of it.

So what’s the answer. Should we go to an outpatient clinic or choose a hospital setting. Well, like most things… it depends. This is what Dr. John Abenstein, president-elect of the American Society of Anesthesiologists has to say.

“It can be done safely under many circumstances,” he noted, adding that what’s most important is assessing a patient’s underlying health status, functional status, medical history, and the risk factors of the procedure itself.

One of the first questions he asks patients when deciding whether to move forward with a sedated procedure is if they can walk up two flights of stairs. “If the answer is ‘yes,’ it’s most likely appropriate,” he said. If the answer is “no,” he dives deeper to uncover why—to find out if it’s because of arthritis, for example, or a cardiovascular issue, which could be a red flag. “Cardiopulmonary function is what we concentrate most on,” he added. That’s because the highest risk with anesthesia in general, he said, relate to the depth of sedation, and the fact that the deeper one is put under, the harder it is to breathe and protect oneself with reflexes (the gag reflex, for example).


And here’s what Kevin Campbell, a cardiologist and heart-rhythm disorder specialist has to say.

“I prefer older patients with risk factors to have procedures done in a hospital, just in case,” he said. “Sometimes in an outpatient setting it’s a different mindset, and I worry that they sometimes cut corners.”

Still, he agreed that it was often appropriate for an elderly individual to undergo an anesthetized procedure in an outpatient clinic. “It depends on the procedure,” Campbell said. “If it’s a low-risk elective surgery, with low-risk sedation, and various criteria are met, then it’s probably acceptable.”

Before submitting to the operation, he advised, a person “should be evaluated by a primary-care doctor and get pre-op clearance from a cardiologist.” It’s also advisable for patients to find out as many details as possible regarding the clinic’s plan for administering the anesthesia— what sort it will be, what the possible risks and side effects are, what the emergency plan is in case something goes wrong, and even who will be administering the sedation.


Do your homework, talk to your doctors, ask questions and make an informed decision. Joan Rivers had heart arrhythmia. I don’t know if it complicated her situation.

A Family Affair

pd_bob_mcdonnell_text_watch_2_kb_140801_4x3_992“All politics is local.” — Byron Price (1932) – Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill (1935)

I know there’s a lot going on in the world, but we’ve had a little drama in our own neck of the woods. You may have seen it on the news. Our former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were found guilty on corruption charges on Thursday. The Governor was convicted of eleven out of fourteen corruption counts, and Mrs. McDonnell was found guilty on nine counts and obstruction of justice.

The federal government brought the charges. There’s a dispute about that. Some think they did the right thing. McDonnell supporters think they should have stayed out of it. Either way, the State of Virginia declined to charge the governor.

This has been an ongoing soap opera in Virginia for over a year. The McDonnell’s accepted over $165,000 in undisclosed gifts from questionable business man (McDonnell’s daughter called him a crook) Johnnie R. Williams, Sr – CEO of Star Scientific. They accepted vacations, shopping sprees, loans and even access to a vacation home. And there were enticing details. Johnnie Williams shared a $3,000 (some say $5000) bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac with the McDonnells on Labor Day 2012, and he took Mrs. McDonnell to NYC on a shopping spree, and then there was the $6500 Rolex watch.

Though the McDonnells’ acceptance of such lavish gifts was political suicide, unbelievably, it is  not illegal in Virginia. Our laws regarding personal gifts to governors is probably the most relaxed in the country. Just about anything goes in these parts, but the line is crossed when access to the governor’s office is promised or given in exchange for gifts, loans or other favors. The Governor hosted events for Star Scientific at the Governor’s mansion and appeared in photographs with its product. The Governor claims he only did what he would do for any Virginia company. The jury did not believe him. And that is the problem with accepting such elaborate gifts. Anything a governor does that benefits the gift-giver is suspect. The line is blurred.

The disturbing part of all of this is how this family was shredded by the governor’s choice of defense. He was offered a plea deal in which he would only be charged on one count that would carry a short prison term (which he would have completed by now), and his wife would have been completely spared. He declined. Now he is facing up to thirty years in prison.

McDonnell’s defense claimed their marriage was in such shambles, and their communication so poor that they never could have conspired together, that Maureen had a crush on Johnnie Williams, and she was unbalanced, unfaithful (at least in her heart for lusting after Johnnie Williams) and deceptive, and that she had accepted all the gifts without Gov. McDonnell’s knowledge. The defense portrayed him as naive, trusting and unaware. His wife did all of it without his knowledge – the old she-made-me-do-it defense. This defense has been around at least since the Salem witch trials.

The trial was a family affair. Maureen was depicted as a woman with a fragile grip on mental health. She stoically looked on as her family told their version of her story. McDonnell talked about their troubled marriage on the stand, and read an email that he had written to Maureen during troubled times. The oldest daughter testified that her mother had “a mild obsession” with Johnnie Williams. Gov. McDonnell’s sister testified that Maureen had two sides: one sweet and tender; the other manipulative, unpredictable and deceitful. Even the first lady’s special assistant turned on her, saying that Mrs. McDonnell seemed, “enamored with Johnnie Williams, infatuated.” She testified that the first lady would rant and rave in the private quarters of the governor’s mansion while the governor tried to read the newspaper or watch television news. “He usually just tuned her out.” It was all too personal and painful to share, but share they did, and while impassively watching the parade of witnesses, Mrs. McDonnell took the brunt of it. It was a slow-motion video of a family setting itself on fire. In the end, I don’t think many people believed it was real.

When the verdict came down, all I could think was how does Gov. McDonnell feel now about that plea bargain he so cavalierly declined. There were times during the trial when McDonnell looked hopeful and times when he looked desperate, but when he left the courthouse on Thursday, he was simply a beaten man – at least for the moment. I think most Virginians were exhausted when the whole circus packed up its dog and pony show on Thursday. No one looked good in this, and I don’t think anyone in Virginia felt good about it. This was the first time a Virginia governor was indicted and the first time one was found guilty.

Gov. McDonnell could be sentenced to thirty years in January but he will not, but I doubt he will get the minimum. There will be an appeal, and we’ll see how that goes. I hope this will change Virginia’s laws about gifts and loans to governors. They can’t seem to govern themselves.

Labor Day Weekend


The Cul-de-sac Gang

They were the terrors of the cul-de-sac all of Labor Day weekend. Even the little one got in on the act. You can see it all in this pic, how the babies of the family learn to operate later in life. Our charm gets us through. We can always find someone who will help us along the way and be happy to do it.

I was a limp dishrag yesterday. The kids left on Monday, and I started this post on Monday afternoon, but I haven’t had the energy to finish it. I’m a non-operational jelly fish for at least twenty-four hours after they leave. Ten minutes after they left, I barely had energy enough to pull the covers over myself before I passed out. Their spirit and energy are stunning. They fill the house with it; when they leave, it almost implodes.

They had the best time. They spent Saturday afternoon riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac. Sunday, we tripped it up to Five Below for a little blatant, thirst-quenching consumerism. I know, but they think Five Below is the finest establishment in the history of the world. Then they went to the pool for a few hours, rode their bikes, and after supper H turned the sprinkler on. They ran through it until I was exhausted just watching them. It was so much fun. When my son asked my oldest grand what she liked most about her day, she struggled. She couldn’t choose.

Sunday morning, while everyone was still asleep, H went down to make coffee for the two of us. He came back upstairs and told me to come down before I got in the shower. Our big, fat, dinosaur of a television was sitting on the floor, and a much bigger flat screen was in its place. My son and DIL had done it after we went to bed. I don’t know how they got that old monster down without causing hernias. They said they knew we would never replace the other one until it broke. They were right. This one is fantastic, and I can see it so much better. I can’t believe those two.

Me ~ I can’t believe you guys did this.

Son ~ See what happens when you make chicken and rice soup for me?

Our weekend was splendid.


The Chicken & Rice Solution

The kids will be here in time for lunch. I’m making chicken & rice soup this morning. I know it’s a fall/winter thing, but it’s my son’s favorite childhood food, and for some reason I haven’t made it for him for a long time. The last time he was here, he said, “I haven’t had chicken & rice soup for a long time.” I said, “I know. Only a few days ago I was thinking that it’s been ages since I made it for you, and how as soon as the weather cools down I should make it.” He said, “Really?” I said, “Sure.  Then, he said the strangest thing, “Good. I thought maybe it was a passive aggressive thing… that you didn’t want to make it for me.”


Is that the funniest? I had no clue. Do we ever know what’s going on in someone else’s head? You can think you do, but you do not. I felt bad, and then I wondered why I hadn’t made if for so long. Mothers are so ridiculous, but there you have it.

H and I managed to get into a considerable kerfuffle over nothing yesterday.  We seldom argue, but one of us was tired (me) and the other was edgy for some reason. We both took a nap, and marital bliss reigned in the cul-de-sac once again. We’re like toddlers. Naps do a huge service for our dispositions.

I seldom mention it here, but the news is horrifying. It’s too much to absorb, too much to make sense of. I cannot watch, and I cannot not watch. It’s like eating something bitter. I try a little, and then I back off. Then, I hold my nose and dive in again. I can’t decide if our world will be a fit place for my grands or if perspective is impossible to come by with access to so much information. If you were locked in a hospital for the mentally ill for a year, your perspective would be askew. That’s how I feel about watching too much news. It’s so grim, we should all play with puppies a couple of times a day to cleanse our mental palates. A little chicken & rice soup would be good for our world and a mama who would cook it for us and then make us take a nap. Oh, if it were only that simple.





grilling-cartoonThe kids are coming for the weekend. I decided to have an honest-to-goodness Labor Day Weekend cookout – burgers and dogs, apple pie for dessert and cupcakes. Cupcakes with pink frosting, mind you. H just went down to make the coffee, and we’re going to drink it on the deck. Then the cooking begins. I like to make as many things as possible before they arrive. There’s less to do after they get here and more time to spend with them.

I guess it really is the end of summer. Can you believe it? We had the most beautiful weather this year, and I can say that we did not let most of those summer days go by without enjoying them. I spent more time outside, in my yard and taking day trips than I can remember.


Oops. The coffee is ready and so am I.

What are you doing this weekend? I hope you have a lovely Labor Day 2014!




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