December 24, 2013


Christmas Eve today. Headed out to deliver some gifts, buy some asparagus and baby red potatoes.
Not going to lie to you, not excited about getting on the road on Christmas Eve, but I have a nice bottle of Merlot to calm my nerves when I get back home.

Tomorrow we will gather at my oldest son's home to celebrate the holiday....oops....excuse celebrate Christmas (Note to word police: sorry, sorry, sorry, really, sorry).

On the 30th, my other son and his family will arrive for a visit. He will be here for a couple of days but it never seems long enough to really talk and share and just be.

I think about family. Last week some of the family sat in a hospital room while our husband, dad, brother, son, grandfather was in open heart surgery; there was a bunch of us. Several generations. Tomorrow there will be almost 5 generations at my son's house, yes, we have one growing in mama's belly.

When I think about the wonderful bunch sitting in the hospital and the group gathering tomorrow, adding the group to gather for the changing of the New Year, my heart expands way beyond the walls of my chest, even beyond the walls of this room and beyond the walls of this house.

If you were an observer, you might look at the group, listen to their conversations and wonder, "what the hell are these people doing together!"  If nothing else, we are a diversified bunch.

Tattoos, Master's Degrees, Triatholon athletes, Kung Fu students, students of gymnastics, singers, musicians, dancers, gimps, pierced tongue and pierced ears, even a pierced belly button or two. Christians of every level~even borderline pagans and an agnostic.  Cat lovers, dog lovers, cat dislikers, snake owners, tarantula owners, gigglers and grumps, cup-half-full and cup-half-empty, cup-runneth-overs.  Some Republican, some Democrats, some liberal, some conservative and a couple of moderates. Engineers to Nightclub bouncers, public and private sectors, retail to academia. Managers, Coaches, Artists. Veterans and Pacifists. Typically, we have no fence sitters. Everyone has an opinion and each opinion is welcome. (well, mostly. Sometimes we get uppity but that's life). At different times of our lives we have all spun cartwheels or dragged knuckles, again, part of life.

Dysfunctional at times, at odds at times, but always loving each other.

The outside observer might look around and think to themselves that these people do not fit!

The individuals may not fit perfectly in the puzzle that is called our family but there is one thing I know for sure. We belong, we ALL BELONG, because we are a family. In the end, isn't that what matters? Belonging, be a part of the whole. Acceptance, Validation and Love.

I am so happy you are all part of my life.

On this Christmas Eve, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and Blessings without end.

Dang, I wish I had more to say right now. I really, really do not want to go out in the traffic or into any stores filled with people who are filled with the spirit of Christmas. Did that yesterday and some of those people were just a little bit scary! Wish me luck!

December 22, 2013


Spent a couple of days in the hospital keeping watch with family while my brother prepared for emergency arterial bypass surgery. (He went through with flying colors and is already home! Pioneer stock!)

His sons were there, our mother, father and sister and, of course, his wife.  While brother is in surgery the whole family sat in the waiting room, watching the 49er's football game.  My brother's wife sat mostly in silent prayer or reading, the rest of us talked and watched the game.

Now, imagine this: the television is on,  Mother, Father and both nephews are very hard of hearing (can you spell deaf?') My sister and I realized about half hour into the sitting and waiting that six of us were having 4 different conversations but all thought it was the same conversation.

It went something like this.

"Grandma, how have you been feeling since your stroke?"

"Thank you, I bought it at Penny's but I'm not sure this is a good color for me!"

"That's good!"

"I left it in the car, but thank you anyway, I'm fine!"

"Go! Go! Go!"



"Frank Gore ran it in for six points!"

"No, I think that was Vernon Davis"

"Yeah, Adam said she wants to major in animal husbandry, she'll be a lot closer to us at Davis."

"They shaved him, you mean his chest?"

"I'm fine, honey, I got lots of rest last night."

My sister and I just watched and giggled and every now and then Sis would throw in something totally random....yes, even more random then what was already going on!"

"Why do giraffes have purple tongues?"

Prompting a response, "yeah, Keapernick is so much better than Young!"

Then there was was the Dance-off between my 85 year old mother and my little sister, and the singing, "Go Grandma, Go Grandma, Go Grandma..."

The room had it's fair share of what's and huh's but it was a room filled with love, crazy love, but still LOVE!

December 19, 2013


There is a place for everything in this house.

A drawer for the scissors and scotch tape, push pins, batteries, etc.

A file that the "to be paid" goes into.

A spot for rags for cleaning.

A shelf for keys, a drawer for matches.

Decree from the Post-Menopausal Woman of the House: Put it Back!!!! Now!!!

1....2....3....4...5...when I get to 10 the packing tape better be on the third shelf in the laundry room (WHERE IT BELONGS)....6... 

Yesterday....not the Beatles version!

Yesterday, I wrote about a meltdown I had the day before. In the meltdown I sorta trashed poor 2013.

I've been on the warpath against 2013 for a big part of it. Wrongly.

I am not saying it wasn't a tough year for our whole family. It was a year of trauma, drama and serious situations and conditions. I am not making excuses for losing it on Tuesday nor am I apologizing for it but, when you come right down to it, 2013 proved our family to be strong, resilient and one tight group of supportive, loving people (if not slightly dysfunctional).

I started some pretty intense therapy in the beginning in the year with the best therapist in the world. Just in time, she helped ground me.

My mother did have a stroke last year and it was damn scary but she has not only survived the stroke, she is better than ever.

My grandson and his girlfriend had a miscarriage but are expecting again and she is 12 weeks healthy.

Dad was diagnosed with a scary condition. Several more tests and procedures and he is completely out of the woods.

My brother had an emergency coronary artery bypass, four way, and the next day he was up, second day he was walking, eating solids and going home tomorrow, better than ever.

It's been tough for a couple of other family members in one way or another but we are one resilient family. We will reach that light at the end of the tunnel and we will outshine it....really, we will.

What did I learn from 2013? More than I can ever explain.

Remember when Oprah gave her whole audience new cars and she was yelling, "You get a new car and You get a new car and You get a new car.....".

I'm feeling a little bit like one of those sitting in that audience, jumping with joy. Screw the car though, I get a NEW YEAR and you get a NEW YEAR and you get a NEW YEAR and in the words of my therapist, I am a "Kick Ass Warrior"!  2013 confirmed it. 

Our family is filled with Kick Ass Warriors. We not only made it through this year, we have risen to each challenge and kicked its ass!  There are a couple of challenges still looming but compared to the Stroke, Miscarriage, Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease, they are like a fly on a bear's back...!

All in all, 2013, thank you for the challenges. You honed us. We rose and are continuing to rise to the occasion.

December 18, 2013

Every now and then....

...a person just needs to take a deep breath and scream WTF!

But this was a WTF Year and I thought I was doing a good job of maintaining.

Jobs got done, everyone in family is on the mend, extended family has had some trauma but things are falling into place, outlook is good.  I'm talking BIG stuff, too.

Yesterday, my friend came by to check on things. How's brother? How's mom and dad? What's happening with sister? How about brother-in-law.  We were sipping tea and just talking.

She looked around the room, "Aren't you going to decorate for Christmas?"

I kind of laughed. "I haven't even done any gift shopping yet either, but I have 10 days."

She shook her head and said, "No, just seven."

"Isn't this the 15th?"

"No," she answered. "Today is the 17th! A week until Christmas!"

I started crying  (WTF) and I couldn't stop! Can you believe that?  Strokes, Coronary Artery Bypasses, Colon Cancer, Borderline Homelessness....big ticket items and the simple statement,
"ONE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS!" drops me to my knees. I literally couldn't stop crying!

Big decision ahead of me...72 hour hold in the closest mental ward or conversion to Jehovah Witnesses who don't celebrate Christmas!!

Anyone out there know of a mental ward that serves margaritas?

December 11, 2013

Sold My Piano!

If there is truly an after life, will I be judged evil and committed to Hell forever for selling a member of the family? Last week I sold my piano and the young woman who bought it took it away today.

Bethany, the young missionary who has just returned from China, came in and gave me a big hug. She promised to cherish my Art Deco, Story and Clark beauty.  She is getting it tuned immediately. I saw her lovingly stroke the cherry wood, claiming the piano as her own. When she played it, the music was heavenly.

In my heart I know it is going to a good home and down the road when finances are better I will buy another one. (or steal one, as long as I am probably headed to hell anyway!)

Funny, when making music with an instrument a minor miracle occurs. The wood and metal and strings transform from an inanimate object into an almost sentient being. I am using the word "almost" because the soundness of my sanity is already under suspicion and I don't want to add any fuel to the fire! (Shh, "they" are watching!)

With my piano, actually any piano that has ever lived under my roof, and my guitars, I believe that a part of my spirit and soul travels from my heart, down my arms, through my finger fingertips and infuses the instrument with a life and soul of it's own. This piano was especially enriched. Each of my grandchildren have sat at it making music since they were babies!

My grandson sits to play Ozzie Osbourne's "Crazy Train" and other bits and pieces of rock tunes. Two of my granddaughters have written their own songs with this piano. One granddaughter has actually written lyrics for her songs and they are good!  My dad has played the Boogie Woogie on it, he also plays Chopin's Polonaise and the Hamm's beer song!  My niece taught my granddaughter's a song and they play it every time they pass by the piano. Everybody in the family plays Beethoven's Fur Elise and various little ditties. I loved all those moments.

Piano, I will miss you! Don't worry about me; I'm Catholic, I will confess the sin of selling a beautiful family member and may only get a couple of eons of Purgatory. Knowing you and sharing those memories was worth it.

December 05, 2013

National Priorities

Just read a headline: "Michelle Obama presents the White House Christmas decorations". A staff of 83 people decorated the rooms and the first 24 trees. The 25th tree is upstairs and the Obama family will decorate it themselves.

Our national economic crisis has had us cutting funds for school lunches and breakfasts for hungry children, medical care for sick children, medications for seniors, shelter for 1,600,000+ homeless children in the U.S., etc. Why do we need 25 Christmas trees in the White House?

This is not a personal attack on the Obamas.I like them. I, for the most part, have respected their attempts to draw attention to important issues. Over the years, other First Ladies have also presented beautiful, over the top decorations and huge gingerbread models of the White House. It is a precedent that has been set over the years and continues. Our Annual National Monument to Decadence!

This is a serious question. Why millions of dollars would be spent to decorate the White House for 30 days out of the year when those dollars could help so many people? What is wrong with a big, beautiful tree in the entry and a very nice tree for the family in the private quarters?

It hurts my heart that our priorities seem so upside down.

December 03, 2013


Stumble Upon referred the article "10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of theWorld."  The following paragraph was part of #10, a definition of a philosophical theory called phenomenalism.

"... Phenomenalist philosophers believe that objects only exist as a phenomenon of consciousness. So, your laptop is only here while you are aware of [it], and believe in its existence, but when you turn away from it, it ceases to exist until you or someone else interacts with it. There is no existence without perception. This is the root of phenomenalism."

Is that not cool?  Those scientists must have gotten some really good acid in the '60's because that is some deep stuff!

Philosophy excites me. Nothing I enjoy more than a conversation or book about philosophy! A new-to-me theory is like a fine wine or really good bourbon; you check the clarity, look for the "legs", taste and body. I couldn't restrain myself. I needed to test it myself. (No, if my best friend jumped off a cliff I wouldn't try it too and I resent the question) Luckily, I just happen to have a laptop available to test this theory.

The keyboard on my Toshiba laptop stopped functioning two months ago. Not all of it, only the a, e, n, space and enter! I tired quickly of using the screen keyboard, tapping away, one letter at a time. So the laptop has been sitting on the hearth for two months...not the same exact spot, but within an inch of the space I abandoned it to. I assure you I have had no perceptions of it for those two months.

I discovered Phenomenalism today while sitting at the PC in my bedroom.  Jumping with joy and excitement,  I closed my eyes and swore to all that is holy that I did not believe in the Toshiba.

"I don't believe. I don't believe. I don't believe." I so didn't believe it existed that I almost forgot what it was that didn't exist!  (previous line best read when not consuming alcoholic beverages).

Rising from the chair, I tip-toed down the hall, not wanting to scare anything not existing into existence! I stopped right at the corner of the family room. The house was as quiet as a  meadow in the country when snow is gently falling.

Slowly, barely moving, I peeked around the edge of the wall. The couch was there. I was clearly aware of my perceptions of the recliner, followed by table and lamp, finally there was the "Dad" chair...I believe in them ( I don't know if they were there when I was down the hall in my bedroom but they had popped back into existence just in time to be perceived). The brown pillow and fluffy blanket were on the arm of the dad chair. Moving my eyes slowly to the left, I spotted the fireplace screen, the bricks....and.....the Toshiba, right there where I put it two months ago!

My experiment was not a complete waste of time though! I discovered that I have a profound belief  in dust! Who knew?