SHARING MY WORLD — AGAIN

Share Your World – 2014 Week 18

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

Cameras

Cameras. Laptops. Medications. Kindles. A road atlas, a GPS and a cell phone, just in case.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

How to spend money. Shopping in expensive stores for computers, widgets, gadgets and really comfortable clothing, especially shoes. Oh, finding those perfect couple of cars which won’t get stuck in the driveway every winter and will be heaven on our poor aching backs.

Yarn Shoppe back door

Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

We’ve done the wild turbulent part so this might be a good time to go for some comfortable, happy times with friends and family. You know. Just for a change of pace.

What are your favorite spices?

Cumin. Ginger. Lemon (as a spice). Pepper. Salt.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Finding a real doctor and next week, a cardiologist!

TIME TO SHARE AGAIN – WEEK 17

Share Your World – 2014 Week 17

Time for another round of sharing.


What are some words that just make you smile?

Shirley or surely. Reminds me of “Airplane” and that always makes me smile.

“Walk this way.” A Mel Brooks classic line appearing in at least three four of his movies. Extra points if you can name them!

Finally, anytime anyone in any cop show says “Stay in the car,” it sends Garry and I into fits of laughter. Because they never stay in the car and you have to wonder why anyone would bother to put it into a script … or how an actor can say it with a straight face!

When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own?

If it’s dark, I grab a flashlight first because I have to find matches. No problem finding candles. I’ve got candles all over the house, but matches are a different issue and finding them can be more of a challenge. I have no idea how many flashlights we have, but we have two that I can find quickly and which actually work. There are many more lurking in dark corners, probably with dead batteries.

What is the longest book you ever read?

Thomas Wolfe’ “Look Homeward, Angel” is a contender … but since I read that (more than 50 years ago), I’ve read some very long science fiction/fantasy books. Anything by Robert Jordan is a probably winner in this category!

75-BookStory HP-2

And then there was the original 18 volumes in one binding “Jean Christophe” by Romaine Rolland. I read it, though involuntarily because Mom figured if the author won a Nobel Prize, it had to be good. It was good, but also really long.

“Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945″ by Tony Judt at just over 900 pages is also a competitor. But worth the investment of time and attention.

So you win a pet monkey at a fair, but this isn’t just any old monkey. It can do one trick for you whenever you want from getting a pop out of the fridge to washing your hair. What would be the trick?

I’m sort of a dog and cat kind of gal. I can’t imagine having a monkey for a pet. Sorry.

SHARING MY WORLD – WEEK 16

Share Your World – 2014 Week 16

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

Okay. This is a real challenge since I’ve moved around quite a bit in two different countries and several American states.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I have no idea where I first lived, but eventually we moved to Rose Street in Freeport, Long Island. By the time I was 4, my parents had bought a house in Holliswood, Queens.

96-Holliswood1954

I lived there until I turned 16, at which point I moved to a shared house near Hofstra College in Hempstead. I wasn’t there long because I got married at 18 and Jeff and I moved to an apartment on Front Street in Hempstead. We were there just a year, then bought a cute little house on Bedford Avenue in nearby Uniondale. Eight years there.

The house was friendly, cozy … but had only 1 bathroom — which proved to be a problem. We balanced the cost of adding a bath against selling and getting a bigger house and bigger house won.

So we moved to a big Georgian-style house on Dikeman Street in Hempstead. Built in 1928, it was a classic old house — a classic money pit too. We loved it.

115 Dikeman Street

It needed tons of work. Endless. No matter. I loved it anyhow. But life was changing. Jeff got kidney cancer, then had a heart attack … and I needed to move on with life. I wanted a different life, so I left the house and the U.S. — and everything else — to Jeff. I took my son and moved to Israel.

The first place I lived was the absorption center in Gilo, outside Jerusalem. Almost in Bethlehem, really. Then, after getting involved with the guy I would so unwisely marry, moved to his house on Rehov Peterson, then to a new apartment and finally to an old Arab-build place on Derech Hevron, just down the road from the Old City.

Where I used to live.

Where I used to live.

Years passed. I was going home. First stop, Jeff’s house on Dikeman Street, then a tiny rental apartment in Waltham, then a condo I bought (again, unwisely) in Lynn. After that, Garry and I were together and moved into his place at Charles River Park in downtown Boston.

Charles-River-Park

A year later, we found a tiny (adorable and cockroach-infested) apartment on Grove Street on Beacon Hill.

beacon-hill-winter

No, not done yet.

We bought a triplex townhouse in Roxbury. It was a great place and the ONLY home I’ve ever had with a really fine kitchen and enough closets. But then there were dogs and the big dig and we fled Boston for the far suburbs landing in the Blackstone Valley. Here we have remained.

Home

Home

What type of music relaxes you the most?

Classical for relaxing, but folk, country and some rock for listening! I’m eclectic.

If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?

Spanish, because a lot of people speak it and I don’t.

If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?

Not an easy choice, but flying has to be the winner here. How can I help it? To soar in the sky, free of the earth? Got to do it!

Free Bird

SHARING MY WORLD – SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE

Share Your World – 2014 Week 9

Would you prefer a reading nook or an art, craft, photography studio?

Photography studio! I can read anywhere, but a little studio with lights and a clean backdrop? That would be delicious. I wouldn’t mind a little listening room, however, where I can play music without competing with the television. Given one thing and another, I’m glad I at least have an office where I can do what I please in my own space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

If I don’t have the TV in the living room, what would I use it for?

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

Very pale lavender, the official best color for sleeping. Otherwise, it’s fine in off-white.

BEDROOM SOUTH 14

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

One floor. These days, my stairs look like Mt. Everest.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m thankful the other laptop got fixed before the desktop broke. I’m grateful the guy who is selling us the tires will let us pay for them over two months. I will be even more grateful if nothing more breaks that needs immediate repair — because I’m out of time and money.

Next week? I’ll be happy if I’m alive and recovering.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue — Hello, I’m your wife. I live here!

Photo: Debbie Stone

Photo: Debbie Stone

“Whoa,” he yelped. And jumped, startled to bump into me. It nearly made me drop my glass of juice. That would have made a fine mess.

“Whoa? Garry, I live here. I’m your wife. I live here. Married twenty-three years. We just had an anniversary. You need to get used to having me around.”

“Yes,” he said. “I think I recognize you. I’m pretty sure we’ve met before.”

“Ha, ha.”

We met at the college radio station in 1963. We’ve been friends ever since. Fifty years of friendship and we’ve been living together for the past quarter century.This is no fly-by-night arrangement. Yet almost every encounter surprises him enough to make him jump. After all this time, you’d think it wouldn’t be such a shock.

“Remember,” I repeated. “I’m your wife. I live here,” I said it loudly because he didn’t have his hearing aids in.

He grinned. “I know.”

“Then why are you surprised to see me?”

“I didn’t expect to find you in the hallway.”

“Why not? I think it’s safe to say I might pop up anywhere at any time. You need to get a grip on this.”

“Right,” he said.

Immediately after this conversation, I left the bedroom to get the telephone and bring it back to its base in the bedroom. When I opened the door, he jumped. Startled again.

I’m sure he knows we’re married. He bought me flowers and a card just yesterday. He recognizes me with and without my eyeglasses. He put a band-aid on my nose this afternoon. He sends me emails and reads this blog. Nonetheless, he’s always surprised — even shocked — to see me. I’m sure there’s a reason. I’m just not sure what it is.

I live here. Really. I do.

Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads – Sharing

Sharing is many things. Sharing food, sharing space. Sharing our homes, lives, playtime, work time.

Joining together to sing, make music, celebrate. It’s all sharing. It’s life.

Daily Prompt: I Want to Know What Love Is — LOVE IS

Together

- – -

Love is.

Love wants not to be defined.

Love defies explanations.

 – – -

Do you breathe? Live under God’s light?

Then you know love.

It’s in your bones, your blood, your soul.

- – -

Love is feeling.

The more you try to imprison love in walls of words,

The faster it will run from you.

- – -

Trust is the food of love.

Trust love, that you know when you give it, know when you get it.

Mated Swans

Embrace it when it comes.

Share it.

Bestow it freely, in joyous abundance.

Love given away never diminishes the love you have.

- – -

Love is for sharing, not saving.

Is it love when unshared?

Then it is, I think, an idea only.

Love thrives in light, withers in dark.

- – -

There is but one kind of love.

Its expressions and objects vary, but love is, of all things, the simplest.

Love is.

“VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” – My Cup Overfloweth

Very Inspiring Blogger award

Tonight I went with my husband to Sutton’s Congregational Church. They were having their Christmas Concert and Garry and a friend of his had produced a documentary about the concert … how it was put together, how the choir family pulled together to create this every year. It’s playing now on local cable stations around the valley.

75-Choir_HP-17

This was the official Christmas concert performance. Considering how trying these past few days have been, a trip to church to hear Christmas carols was exactly what we needed. It was a nasty night. When we got out of the car at the church, the entire parking lot was covered with black ice. It was drizzling, but just cold enough so that the drizzle froze instantly on all the paved surfaces. I barely made it the 20 or so feet from the car to the church without falling and the minister did fall on her way out of her house.

The concert was lovely. Good singing, lots of smiles. And I took pictures and by the time we left the church, it had warmed up just enough so that the ice was gone. As the minister said, we had been blessed.

And now, blessed again by yet another gift of a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, courtesy of  Dear Kitty. Some blog: On animals, peace and war, science, social justice, women’s issues, arts, and much more. This is a woman whose causes are my causes, whose passions are also mine, a woman who I greatly admire. I am touched and honored to receive this award from her.

I often don’t feel particularly inspiring, but inspiration comes from many sources. I am glad that my words and pictures … and the other posts I find and reblog because I think they are important and worthwhile … provide inspiration for others. It makes the effort worth it to know that there are people “out there” who read the words and it means something to them.

That somehow I’ve gone in less than a year from “who’s that?” to getting more awards than I imagined possible leaves me a little breathless. Awards are always given by people who do not know us intimately. I am sure if people knew me better, they’d be incapable of giving me an award because they would, as my old friends do, remember that time I had one Mai Tai too many, fainted dead away and had to be dragged home by three big guys in a fork lift. People who know you very well may love you, but they don’t give you awards. Moreover, anyone who met my second husband or first boyfriend would never find me inspiring, although I might serve as a cautionary tale … if that could be considered inspirational.

The difference between something that gives me a migraine and something that inspires me can be razor-thin. This last week, full of tragedy and madness has been inspiring … but not in a way I would ever have chosen. It’s been a grim week. I only hope that from this something positive will emerge. I guess we’ll see how long people remember and if all the talk turns into some kind of action.

Being told that I’m an inspiration is an inspiration. It means I have not become irrelevant and maybe the experience of a lifetime is was not entirely wasted. All of you in my blogging world inspire me. I read your stories and poems. I admire your photographs and art. You change my view of the world, the way I do things, give me food for thought. If I do a bit of the same for you, I am glad.

Keith and St. Nick

Happy whatever you celebrate. Celebrate everything, why don’t you? Rejoice that you are alive, because you have a friend, a roof over your head, and maybe something to eat. Forget for a while all the problems and craziness because it won’t forget you … it’ll be there, waiting, when the party’s over. Love you all!!

The rules of this award are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell us at least seven things about yourself that you would like to share.
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them. I am not going to set a specific number. I know how difficult it can be to keep coming up with nominees and rather than burden you all with having to find everyone all at once, you can keep a few awards in your back pocket and pass them along when the time is right. The holidays are upon us all, so please don’t feel pressured to push beyond your comfort zone.
  • Notify your chosen bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself that I haven’t explicitly said before (at least not where anyone could hear me) are:

  1. I was a music major in college, then finally graduated as a drama/broadcast dual major. I would have stayed for a third major in social science, but they told me I had to graduate.
  2. My favorite movies are comedies. I love to laugh.
  3. I have owned so many cats and dogs that I really can’t remember all of them any more.
  4. I’m a good cook, but after more than 40 years of dishing up meals, I’m very happy to eat other people’s cooking.
  5. If the mother ship comes and offers me a ride, I’m outta here.
  6. I learned to read in about two hours when I was five.
  7. I believe that anyone could write well if they would just remember that writing is just talking through your fingers. Good writing should sound as natural as speech. Most people try too hard; others don’t try hard enough.

My nominees (the envelope please):

  • Lust and Rum: New York, thy name’s “Delirium” — because I grew up in New York and  Anton Brookes’ photography and commentary reminds me that I still love it. His pictures are touching, evocative, the kind of photojournalism you rarely see any more.
  • Wessays – by my old friend Wes Richards whose writing is so good  that every time I read one of his posts, I immediately feel inadequate.
  • Awakenings: Awakenings from Then ’til Now allows you to Embrace Your Past, Empower the Present, Enrich Your Future. Because Sharla inspires me every day in more ways than I can count.

For all of you to whom I’ve already give awards, know you are likely going to get more. I like you, I like your websites, your thoughts, your pictures, you opinions … so you’ll have to cope with getting a few awards now and again. There are worse fates!

“VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD” – An honor, a privilege, a puzzlement.

Very Inspiring Blogger award

First of all, thanks to Mike Smith at  MikesFilmTalk who honored me with this, my second Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I have no idea why anyone finds me inspiring, but I like the idea.

I suppose the most inspiring thing about me is that despite everything, here I am, sense of humor intact. Survival is inspirational, but surviving while retaining a sense of humor is better. Unless you are going to be drowning in a sea of your own tears, you’d better laugh because no matter how much crap you’ve already gone through, I can personally guarantee that there is more just down the road past that traffic light. Crap, much like the tax collector, can always find you. You might just as well stop trying to hide because it’s pointless. What’s going to happen is going to happen. If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make a great story.

Somehow I’ve gone in less than a year from “who’s that” to frequent honoree of awards … inspiring and brave and wise. Getting awards is all about finding someone … or someones … who don’t know you well enough to realize what a jerk you are.  I mean really … does anyone who you know close up and personal ever give you an award? No, right? That’s because they remember that time when you had one brandy Alexander too many and danced on the table … or that other time when while passing something around, you fainted dead away and had to be dragged to your tent by three big guys and a fork lift. These people love you, but they don’t give you awards. Intimacy precludes formal honors. Moreover, anyone who ever met my second husband or my first boyfriend could never find me inspiring. Perhaps if there were an award for it, I could be a cautionary tale, a warning to not do that!

Too much stuff

Mike sort of reminds me of me. That’s probably how come he has gotten a lot of awards from me and will get more. He doesn’t just write about movies. He writes about life. His life, and just any old life. He thinks about stuff. He’s had a hard time and I suspect that 2012 will never be marked in his mental landscape as “one of the great years.” Mike has managed to survived the worst life could throw at him and while he isn’t thrilled with it, he’s found ways to cope without whining and can apparently still laugh. Around here, that’s an achievement worthy of note. Somewhere, he got the message that life is neither fair nor easy. For anyone.

Inspiration comes to me from so many places, but oddly, the comments I write to Mike on his posts have, at least half a dozen times, morphed into posts of my own. He has a knack for saying stuff hovering on the edge of my consciousness that while I’m commenting to him, I realize is something I’ve been meaning to write.

Then, there are the books I read, the shows I see on the telly, current events, the weird stuff that happens at home to me and friends, and the way the light filters through the trees. The difference between something that gives me a migraine and something that inspires me can be razor-thin.

Doggy ChristmasBeing told that I’m an inspiration is an inspiration. It means someone still listens to me and I have not yet become completely irrelevant. The older one gets, the more the fear of irrelevancy stalks us. Not just me, but whole generations who were shakers and movers and now find themselves as designated “old people.” In our society, we don’t honor old people. We just shove them away and try to ignore them. Blogging lets me continue to be a part of the world and to still have a bit of impact on it. I’m not going to shake up the establishment, but I might just inform, inspire, awaken a few minds … or at least make someone who’s having a bad day, smile. That’s something.

All of you in my blogging community inspire me. I read your stories, poems and look at your pictures. You make me want to do more and be better. If I can do a little of the same for you, then I am glad.

I’m going to pass this honor to a few of the usual suspects, a couple of surprises … and suggest that any and all of you with whom I am regularly in contact, whose blogs I follow … any of you could equally well be recipients of this or one of the (I’m losing track) other awards I still need to deal with. Truly, if I hadn’t so recently received another of these so that I could take the post I wrote for it and redo it, I’m not sure I’d have been able to deal with this today. Christmas is near, my project deadline is breathing down my neck, my family has gone completely wacko and all I’m eating are homemade cookies which is unlikely to make me a more attractive or healthier person, but wow, they taste great.

Happy whatever you celebrate. Celebrate everything, why don’t you? Rejoice that you are alive, because you have a friend, a roof over your head, and maybe something to eat. Forget for a while all the problems and craziness because it won’t forget you … it’ll be there, waiting, when the party’s over. Love you all!!

The rules of this award are:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Tell us at least seven things about yourself that you would like to share.
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them. I am not going to set a specific number. I know how difficult it can be to keep coming up with dozens of new nominees and rather than burden you all with having to find in a single batch so many blogger, I will suggest that as you find worthy blogs you would like to honor, pass the honor to them, then let them pass the honor along as they find worthy recipients. No need to rush!
  • Notify your chosen bloggers of their nomination and the award’s requirements.

Seven things about myself that I haven’t explicitly said before (at least not where anyone could hear me) are:

  1. My second husband was a moron. I have no idea why in the world I married him. I will never understand. It may have had something to do with drugs and sex.
  2. My favorite shows are reruns. M*A*S*H is the best.
  3. I have a back so bad and a spine so damaged there’s no medical name for it.
  4. I make killer chile.
  5. I’m still waiting for the mother ship to come and take me away ala Cocoon so I can be young again.
  6. My first IQ test showed me to be a genius of the highest order. I was 11 years old. It’s been all downhill since. Now, I’m lucky if I can remember my name.
  7. Before settling down to writing, I was going to be a pianist. Which is how I completed a full major in music before realizing that I’m not good enough to be a musician, at least not classical. But once upon a time, I was pretty good.

My nominees (the envelope please):

For my friends to whom I’ve already give several awards (you know who you are!) and who live in fear of getting another, you are doomed. If I missed you this time, trust me … I will get you on the next round. And if you like any of these awards, feel free to just take the award, pat yourself on the back, and pass it along. It really is all about sharing. Share and be glad!