Getting lifted up very early in the morning by my mother. It was pre-words, but I have that image, but just that one image.
Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?
In front. Of course. Even the guy who invented it thought it belonged on top. The ONLY reason to put it the other way is to keep your cats from unrolling the whole thing. Then, it become permissible, but ONLY then.
What makes you feel grounded?
Mud. Nothing like a boot or shoe covered in New England’s special black gooey mud to make me feel deeply grounded. Do I like feeling grounded? No, I do not. I prefer to feel airy. Springy. Light and fluffy! Mud, begone!
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
This picture of the Duke grinning his way into the heaps and piles of snow. What a face!
I don’t do awards, not because I think there’s anything wrong with them, but simply because I’ve been blogging a long time. I’ve done a lot of awards.
When we first start blogging, awards are a pat on the back that someone “out there” has noticed us. In those early months when a hot post got five or six views, we needed all the pats we could get. It kept us going, kept us thinking, writing, and believing. If we just hung on, our blog was going to “be something.”
Most of us had no idea what that something might be. I’m still working on it and whenever I think I’ve “got it,” I realize within the following 24 hours, no — I really don’t.
I will never “get it” because I think it isn’t “gettable.” We blog for whatever drives us and that changes with the times, our age, the seasons of our soul. Art or photography, music, writing — or everything. What we blog about changes as we change. And I am always changing. I don’t even agree with me, much less the rest of the world.
This month, the weather seems to be my hot (read very cold) topic. When winter finally blows itself out, I’ll probably be back to deploring the fascist government we’ve (hopefully accidentally) deployed.
Nominations for this award — which I’m sort of doing because I really like the lady who bestowed it — is supposed to go to ten or twenty other bloggers. This is not going to happen because all of the people with whom I am in contact are really busy, so I will offer this to anyone I follow. You can rightfully assume — without any fear of correction — that if I follow you, I really like your blog.
Probably,I also really like you! Even if I don’t comment all the time, that is simply because I sometimes feel silly trying to create a comment when I don’t really have anything to say except “Nice!” or “Lovely” and so I click “like”letting the blogger know I was there. “Like” is my calling card.
Any of you are welcome to join in if you like. Or not. Feel free to plunge or pass. I’m good either way.
These are the questions I’ve been asked:
QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE
1. Your favorite Season of the whole year and why.
Autumn. Absolutely. The best weather, the most wonderful colors. I could live in a 12 month autumn — if it were offered and it hasn’t been.
2. What’s the most mystical or magical thing you ever experienced?
Doing a Tarot card reading and seeing my subject’s death. It was not a happy experience.
3. Do you enjoy a lot of company or are you happiest when in solitude?
These days, solitude. Funny how solitude creeps up on you. Time is a strange and wondrous thing. The funniest part of it is that we find we are happy in places and times we never imagined we could be happy. Go figure.
4. Would you do something dishonest if there were no witnesses?
Define dishonest. If I were starving, I’d steal food. If we were freezing, I’d grab some wood. Would I take that pretty thing because I happen to like pretty things? Probably not. I have enough pretty things. When I was a kid, we used to steal small things that had no real value to prove we could, but we were children. We learned better with time.
5. What is one destination you’d like to visit before you die?
New Zealand. Or Paris. Maybe Greece or Rome. Or maybe, we’ll just stay home. Home is fine.
Is there anything about me you don’t already know? That I can’t sew, but I can cook. That I have a really severe case of spinal arthritis and a few years ago, my heart got repaired — and surprisingly, it works quite well. I also lost both breasts to two different kinds of cancer. We call that a two-for-one-sale around here.
I don’t know if I have a favorite blog. I might, but I can’t necessarily remember what it is. There are more than 7,200 blogs on this site and I’m pretty sure I wrote at least half of them. My definition of “favorite” shifts too.
What was my favorite five years ago probably wouldn’t be now. Feel free to cruise. Maybe you’ll find something you like and it’s entirely possible it won’t be one of mine. Other people also write and some of what they write is better than mine.
I have a few posts that have received a lot of views. They aren’t my favorites but for reasons I do not understand, they remains extremely popular. If you’ve been blogging awhile, you understand what I mean. If not, you will. A post that wasn’t a big deal gets a ton of exposure and the things you think are really great … not so much.
Finally, here are a few questions I’d like to ask you:
1. Why did you begin blogging? What got you started? What keeps you doing it?
2. What — if anything — do you hope to gain from blogging? If you think you are going to get rich, I might not stop laughing until sometime next week.
3. What do you do in the blog world that makes you feel the most proud?
4. What makes you follow a blog?
5. Do you regard the people you meet online as real (not-virtual) friends?
If a distant uncle dies and you were always his favorite and leaves you $50,000 (any currency) in his will, what would you do?
Aside from having no distant uncles with any money … or for that matter, actually not having distant uncles of any kind, the likelihood of this approaches zero on a very close order. Moving into the realm of sheer fantasy, I would pay all the credit cards and the car.
With the remaining money, remodel the bathroom and put down a new kitchen floor. Get someone to paint the inside of the house. Hire a gardener! And finally, get someone to come in and clean once a week. If there was any money left, get rid of the crappy old rugs and put down good dog-proof flooring.
By now, I think I ran out of money and am probably in debt.
What sound or sounds do you love?
I would do better telling you what I don’t love.
Opera. Lyric soprano voices. Pop music where everyone shouts and no one every really sings. Music without melody and songs without rhythm.
Any noise that is loud. I don’t care what it is. Music or just noise. To me, if it’s loud enough, I don’t like it, so I’ve never been much of a rock concert fan. People who sing a little off-key. You know, one of those voices that’s always a quarter of a tone flat and the singer doesn’t know it. It makes me grind my teeth.
What’s your middle name? Why?
I don’t have a middle name. My sister got a middle name. My brother had a middle name. They barely managed to find a first name for me. But considering the middle names of many of my friends, I’m probably better off without one.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?
My birthday was lovely. Cards and good wishes and watching Lord of the Rings — the extended version, if you please.
The first time I accessed Facebook was early 2011, a year before the 2012 Presidential election went into a full-tilt boogie. I had never been on a social media site though I’d heard of MySpace. My impression was it was where 12-year-olds went to pretend they were 16. (I was right.)
Initially, was surprised by Facebook. It was easy to use. I could connect with almost anyone. Anywhere. That warm fuzzy feeling evaporated faster than morning mist on the river. Facebook was very soon the most angry place on earth.
Everyone is pissed off about something, frequently for no logical reason. So much of the stuff on it is based on opinions which are based on rumor and some kind of bizarre obsession — nonsense or just plain scary.
Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts! This is Facebook! MY opinion is as good as anyone else’s (no, it isn’t). It seemed as if everyone was posting angry diatribes. From the left, right, middle and far ends of the universe, everyone had something to shout about. Whoa, I thought to myself. This could get ugly (I was right … it did).
Then I discovered games. I connected with kids (now grandparents) with whom I went to grade school or college. People I wanted to reconnect with. Then, with people I had hoped to never to hear from. The good, the bad and the wholly unattractive, all in one basket. Whoopee.
I began backing away as fast as I could. The games were cool, or some of them were. But the percentage of enraged people, illiterates, the mentally unbalanced, the lunatic fringe — all posting whatever was on their minds (perhaps “minds” is too strong a word) was too much for me. The temperature on Facebook was permanently in the red zone.
I continued to play games, which is why so many friends are those with whom I connected because we were playing the same game. The remaining 5% are real live people, some of whom I actually know. Personally. Among these, some prefer communicating via Facebook rather than email, telephone, or in person. To each his/her/their own. Who am I to judge? (Okay, I think it’s weird, but I try not to judge.) (I don’t succeed.)
In the beginning, I got upset when Facebook made blatantly exploitive changes to their site. Then I remembered: I don’t have to go there. I don’t need to post there. If Facebook vanished tomorrow, my world would not crumble.
By then, I’d found WordPress and begun blogging. The more into blogging I got, the less reason I had to visit Facebook … unless I was in the mood for a game. And of course, there is the convenience of using Facebook to publicize my blog. I may not like it, but lots of others do.
The thing is, you can’t completely avoid Facebook. Whether or not you post on it, so many places do — builders and electricians and plumbers and all of that kind of stuff — if you are going to find a local worker, that’s where you’ll end up looking. And that’s where you’ll get recommendations, too.
Facebook is the elephant in the room, the itch you can’t scratch.
Moreover, a surprising (to me) number of authors and artists choose Facebook in preference to having their own website. Is it because Facebook offers wide open access and effortless connectivity? It is less demanding than a website. Since almost everyone already has Facebook access, so no one has to forge a new alliance.
Maybe that’s it.
For me, the open access of Facebook is a reason to avoid it. I want a modicum of control over who does what on my site. Others feel differently. Or as Mom used to say: “For everyone, there’s someone.” In this case, something.
Facebook is the something many people choose. It will never be my first choice, but freedom is one of my core values. And, it’s the American way — or used to be. In the old days. When we lived in the real America.
As if we get that choice. All paths are untraveled until we walk them.
Choices? When I was 18, I had a choice to go to Cape May and spend the summer with my previous boyfriend (good sex, bad everything else) or marry my first husband (meh sex, but great conversation and social life) including a real opportunity to never have to spend another night under my parents’ roof.
I went with the husband. It was what they now call “a jail-break marriage” and it worked surprisingly well. I wasn’t the only one who needed the jail break. He needed to break out of his prison too. We urgently needed to make a life. We might not have been the most passionate of lovers, but we were very fond of each other. We had tons of shared interests and many mutual friends. We liked the same books and loved history, cats, and dogs. We even had the same taste in furniture and houses. We got along well and what we lacked in fervor, we made up for in affection and caring.
We meandered along for 13 years and if he had not been an alcoholic and so terribly depressed all the time, we might still be together — and he might still be alive. I don’t know if the alcohol and the depression were linked, but probably were. Back then, these connections had not been made.They hadn’t invented Prozac and going into rehab wasn’t a “thing.” So we meandered along, had a son and a life. Garry was his best friend which is how Garry became Owen’s godfather and eventually, his stepfather. It isn’t as complicated as it sounds if you realize that we were all really good friends.
Most of my life has been one or another kind of meandering. Over the years, maybe a handful of distinct choices got made and I am happy with how they worked out, though are often times when I wonder how the other option might have gone.
In some other world, I made other choices. I’d love to chat with the other me and find out how it went. But — never was there an option to choose the “less traveled” or “more traveled” path. That’s a poem, not reality. When we need to choose, all paths are equally untraveled.
For most of us, there also comes a time when we get to say: “Okay world, I’m up for something different” and we have an adventure. Every life deserves adventures. I hope you are having yours now — or delighted with the memories of those you had.
Age is a very strange thing. You are a child, then you are young and these days, you are young for a very long time. Young really up through your fifties and for many people, pretty youthful into their sixties. Then, it changes. Maybe a little. Sometimes a lot and quite suddenly.
The face that has been almost the same since your twenties is different. Older. Not just wrinkles, but there’s a “look” of maturity that tells the world — and you — that’s you’ve been around. You’ve seen a lot. You know things. Older eyes are different and it’s impossible to explain what that means. It doesn’t mean they do not sparkle with joy, but there is a knowingness that is missing in young eyes.
This year has vanished even faster than usual. In fact, this entire last decade has been a wink and a shrug. I do not feel older this year than last. Actually, I feel better this year than last, but I’ve been gradually recovering from earlier surgeries and it’s nice that there’s a semblance of progress. Still, I sometimes don’t understand how I got here. I remember the years. I mostly remember what I was doing for most of them … but how do they add up to such a big number?
Yet here I am.
This twirling, whirling, busy world is a bauble in the great universe and we are just little crawly dots on its surface. In the even greater scheme of things, we are barely here at all. I’m not sure whether or not that perspective is comforting or chilling. Maybe both?
The other night I had a seizure or something pretty remarkably like one. It isn’t the first time this has happened to me — nor is it the first time I’ve tried to discover why. I’ve had several sound theories, but none of them has been correct. Garry wasn’t going to let this one slide and I can’t blame him. I think I scared him half to death and I found it pretty scary too.
My doctor booked me for an EEG on the 15th. It has been a few years, so maybe they know something now they didn’t know last time. I’ll see.
What did you or did not like about the first place you lived without your parents?
Wow. Talk about a blast from the past! The first place I lived away from home was a room in a little house in Hempstead or maybe it was East Meadow. Near Hofstra University, which at this point didn’t have its own dormitories. It would a decade later and by then, I had graduated — and was also married.
What did I like about it? It wasn’t with my parents. Anything away from “home” was great. Also, no one cared who you brought home or basically about anything except whether or not you paid the rent. There was no one watching you, reporting about you, or keeping tabs on you.
We had fun. It was an old, dinky house, but we played music, laughed, and every night was a little party. It was the way dorms are supposed to be but generally aren’t.
What is your most favorite smell/scent?
Vanilla or cinnamon.
Would you prefer snowy winters, or not, and why?
I want snow twice each winter and never on New Year’s Eve because the drunks driving on snow die in heaps of twisted metal.
Not that I will be one of them because we have long since stopped doing anything on New Year’s Eve other than watching movies and giving each other a kiss when the ball drops in Times Square.
I want each snow to last 24 hours, then melt cleanly away. No ice. No pile-up on the roof. No need for $50 for each plowing of the driveway.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?
Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
Reading “Lord of the Rings” has reminded me of all the other times I read it. How much I love the books. How the first time I read it was a couple of months following my spine surgery in 1967. I was in the hospital for 5 months and I read everything I could get my hands on. Which included “Lord of the Rings.”
These books opened a whole new world of literature for me.