Just Things

Life is Up & Down So Why am I not Getting Stronger?

 (Something from another blog in 2009)… My life lately, again. Sigh…
Lately it feels like my life is an amusement park and I am on all the wrong rides. The roller coaster has been running fine until it’s my turn. Up and down, flying cars full of elated and excited people all day long. Not when it’s my turn to ride. It stops on the uphill-brakes failing-no momentum-back down to the start the car rolls and I wait.

Next ride-the tea cups. But instead of precise spins of joy, my cup is spinning out of control. It won’t stop. The ride operator has taken a break! He forgot I was on the ride. Spinning and spinning until I feel sick and unable to hang on to the wheel. I close my eyes and wait.

The sun comes up, the sun goes down. Some days are brighter than others. Some days are gloomier than others. It all averages out in the long run.

So I wait for the brighter days, shades in hand, sunscreen applied, umbrella poised to be put away. Maye if I squint, I will see a shred of blue in a sea of gray clouds. Maybe.


About Me

I was not born a California girl but after so, so many years, consider myself as one even though my heart still sometimes resides in Washington. I have three wonderful kids-all adults now- and three wonderful grandkids. I have been married to the same guy for almost 40 years now. We met when I was young and have just hung in there all this time. He makes me laugh-a lot-which is ever so important to me as there has been enough sadness in my life that I can always use a good, hearty guffaw and laughter scream. Yes, I have a tendency to scream in laughter which causes my husband to laugh even louder.

I have a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare (never used it) and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership (again, never used). I have had a lot of fun jobs that I just loved and a couple that were just awful but doesn’t everyone? My hardest job was being a mom because it was new and scary territory with so many ways of doing things and none of them came with an owner’s manual (kids or ways.)

I have always loved cats and have had several and wonder why now I have two dogs. Go figure. My son has a cat but she’s not the friendliest in the world. No love there.

We have a lovely home that is way too much for us. It’s the kind you buy when you are young and regret when you are older. I mean, who wants to carry laundry up stairs or tend to a half acre? I know, get a goat. But, then, I would have to tend to the goat, along with the dogs. Uh, no.

Reading is the one hobby I have maintained since I first learned to read. I remember the first time I looked at a billboard and could read it! I remember the feeling of amazement that the picture of a VW bug had meaningful words attached to it. Must be why I own a Jetta and had a Vanagon. But, I digress. I only keep the books I know I will re-read. And, believe you me, sometimes the titles call to me and I do re-read them. Before I began to day watch my grandson, I would go to the library and check out at least seventeen books at a time just to be certain I wouldn’t run out. My library card had flame marks on it and the barcode was disappearing from all the use. Now, I buy when I see something and download a lot on my device. I don’t think I am ever without a book. It would devastate me.

That’s it in a nutshell. I’ve left out a lot of really boring stuff because who wants to be bored? Lots of living, lots of loving and lots of laughing is better to dwell on any day.

Oh, the picture is of Rockport, Mass. where I don’t live.



Ten Things that Drive Me Crazy

  • Facebook posts that are not single page. Stop this “Go to Next Page” stuff
  • Blog food recipes or crafts instructions that have ads taking up half the page when you print them
  • Forgetting that I left the sprinkler on…overnight
  • Ants anywhere in the house. I think I was an anteater in my former life and they are taunting me now
  • Seed balls from the tree in our front yard. They are an accident waiting to happen (or have already)
  • Gas valves aren’t on the same side in all cars
  • Trying to find the perfect sandal for my feet that is not a thong/Zorie/flipflop
  • Middle squeezed toothpaste
  • Animals that eat the fruit off our trees but not the grapefruit or the lemons
  • Water spills on the tile floor that “someone” forgot to wipe up. I don’t need a darn slip ‘n’ slide in the kitchen thank you.


Books I Could Not Stand

I thin the title aptly puts how I feel about some books. So, when I run across one, I’m going to put it here. Granted, if anyone else has way different opinions of a particular book, that’s OK. I mean, I am the only one who can judge what books I can’t read past three chapters and someone else may love the book.

Now the why’s of why I can’t finish or even get into a book. Some books just don’t catch my interest enough or at all. They may sound great or I like the cover but in between, no deal. My brain starts repeating things like boring, blah, blah, blah, so what, who cares, get on with it, stop with all the detail (especially going overboard with scenery, the town, the house, etc.) The last one especially makes me think that there isn’t enough real story line to fill the prerequisite pages so there’s senseless filler.

Another thing is unbelievable characters or characters that just bother me from page one. Whiners. Nasty mean people with no redemptive qualities (although not if they are in a thriller or suspense novel). Characters with no meat (thin air characters.) Ramblers and repeaters. I can understand paranormal, shape-shifters, other world characters because it is the genre.

I used to frequent the local library every couple of weeks and check out at least seventeen books or more to have a lot of choices. A few times I picked more duds than good ones. Sigh.

So, my partial list of recent books that I have just not been able to get into:

I Hate Everyone But You: I got this on Netgalley to review but I just can’t. It sounded like a fun novel idea: two college girls communications by email and texts. To be honest, I think I was expecting “Damn You Auto Correct” entries. Plus, no dialog was boring.

Behind Her Eyes: psychological thriller that completely drags on and on and on and on.

Next Year for Sure: two ships passing in the night over and over and please get off the darn boat already.

Escape to the Cotswold: it felt like 80% of the book was devoted to descriptions. That’s a lot of fluff

This is not Over; too much anger and rancor on every page to even try to get to any resolutions

The Goldfinch: yes, I know a ton of people loved this book but it just didn’t hit any marks for me. I couldn’t keep treading through it

The Spectacular: not spectacular at all

I think that’s enough for now. There are a ton more still hanging out on my e-reader. I usually give them one more chance before I hit the delete and quit wasting my time. Purging is a tiring process as is trying to read a book that I just can’t stand.

Don’t Foist your Dreams on Me…I have Insomnia

I wrote this back in 2009 and still find it relevant to me today…

Dreams, whether at night while we sleep or in the day when we hope, can be wonderful and enlightening or horrifying and scary. At sleep, dreams can be mirrors of the stress in life or of mistakes made, no matter how long ago or of things we wish could be or have when we are awake. We can wake feeling happy or surprised because of the content: colors, people, places, answers. Or we wake sad or crying or feeling that deep seated sense of loss or loneliness. We never know what wewill get until we wake up and remember or try to remember what is was we dreamed. Dreams are such a personal extension of ourselves and our imagination that it sounds funny when we try to describe them. And, there is always something amiss or missing that would connect the dream dots. ah, but htese are dreams of sleep; we don’t have to know what they mean. They just are and then they are gone.
But what about when we are awake and not dreaming but someone else is-about us and what we should or should not be or do. Now, these are true nightmares: images of someone else transferred onto us without our approval or input or desire. It is someone telling us how to be ourselves which is impossible because someone else is writing the definition and leaving out all the real truth. And what if we have chosen to allow this person to enter the door of our lives and invited them to sit at the table of our heart? They have scooted their chair in so far that it it wedged into the table, seemingly becoming one with it, one with us. The invitation now includes the inevitable throwing their dreams for us on us like a tablecloth. To them it makes us better, neater, coordinated with their dream. To us, it is a heavy burden to bear, to have to carry around and to clean when it gets dirty. And, what happens when we become their dream and lose ourselves? What condition will the wood of the table be when the tablecloth is removed? Will the finish be gone, eroded or worn away? Will there be any patina left? Will we be scratched and forever dented? Or will we one day throw off the tablecloth-the dream of theirs-and set the table with dreams of our own of what we want to be?
Dreams of someone else are never as great as our own. Dreams of someone else are never as clear as our own. And dreams of someone else are never as real as our own.