Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time has run out

So a year ago, I began to reflect, albeit not always seriously, on the evolution of my final year before I turned 50. I am still kind of in shock about the fact that I have been alive for 50 years. I can hardly believe it. I kept trying to figure out just who I was going to be when this magical and scary age finally dawned. So well, here I am, one week out from the big or small day. Have I had any revelations? Nope. Not really. But today I said to someone that I've been trying to figure out who I was going to be at 50, and basically, I am what I am. Popeye not ignored. Suddenly, OK, I admit it was neither sudden or quick, but I found myself realizing that THAT's the message, I am comfortable being me. I'm finally comfortable being all the things I've been, and sometimes uncomfortably, for the past 50 years. I don't need to have an epiphany. It's o.k. right here, right now to stop and just be me.

Friday, August 13, 2010


OK, so this year trudges on relentlessly toward my 50th birthday.
And I remain determined to not freak out and consciously look at how this makes me feel. So in this spirit I signed up for AARP. It appears you become eligible for the Association of Retired Persons or whatever it stands for when you are 49. Now, let's get this straight, I am no where near retirement, so this must be a relic of times gone by when people died at much younger ages and money flowed more freely into retirement funds.
Anyway, AARP gives you discounts and sends you advertising and newsletters on all things for senior citizens.
I don't feel like a senior citizen. I don't think I look much like a senior citizen, but nevertheless, I am eligible for discounts and stuff. Kind of ironic because I got carded buying alcohol not long ago. And I mean this literally, like in the last year not long ago.
Anyway, I no more want to get caught up in the I have to look young thing than I want to obsess about growing older. I am determined to happily live in the now... age 49 and 10/12s.
I like being eligible for discounts though.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roche Harbor 2010

Survival of the Fittest

   We got back from our Vacationorama, none the worst for wear. We had a really good time. The two smallest troopers brought colds on board, which immediately affected the oldest and the largest of the troops. The amazing thing was that the medium-sized troops, who are 9 and 11, were not infected in the slightest, and the one of us who teaches 5th grade was least affected.
   I think that this might actually be significant.
   All of these efforts to remain germ free that we have invented, like these hand wipey things, may actually be keeping us from charging up our immune systems.
   Really there are worst things than cold germs. Our two middle-sized troops spend most of their lives around other middle-sized troops. This age of person is not known for cleanliness. They touch each other and forget to wash their hands and rub their noses and do all sorts of other things that we have come to think of as disgusting. But these two little buggers were super immune to this lovely cold that knocked us all flat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Mother, an Honorable LOL if I ever knew one... she wanted this published.

I was born in a boxcar without doctor in attendance in a raging blizzard. I was the fifth in a family of eight. When I was six we were fortunate enought to move to a three bedroom house just about 4 months before the eighth and last of my brothers and sisters was born. We thought we had hit the big time. I only had to sleep with one sister and in a separate bedroom from the 3 brothers who had always slept in the next bed.

We had a real basement, not a dug out where things were kept cool under the boxcar set up on a cement foundation. We did not know we had been the poorest family in the little town of 50 where we lived. When Dad got a regular job, finally, he was close to 40 and the depression was finally over.......thanks to WW II. He worked in a canning/freezing factory for the rest of his years, retiring at 65 and dying from a heart attack at 67.

I never knew whether my parents were democrats or republicans because it was not polite to discuss those things in front of others. The political leanings of people were considered private and separate from social life.

My parents were prejudiced against blacks and mexicans...............mostly because they lived in MN which had very few of them. Only some Jamaicans came in by truck at corn harvest and lived in the barracks which were by the factory where Dad ran the big engines. When I left for college I met my first blacks and people of other races, ethnicities, and religious belief. It was an education in itself but I attended college to be a teacher, having a great affinity for children and teaching. I got to know some of them and lo and behold! They were normal people with the same problems and aspirations I had!

I worked every summer, after school, and after classes when I was in college in order to pay for my education or I could not have gotten a degree. There were no college loans, grants or other opportunities at that time. I value that education. It has supported me for about 50 years and given me a background of understanding I might never have gained in a town of 50. By the way, the town is still there and since we lived a block from a lake, it is now a recreation spot with cabins, boat decks and rental places around the edge. There is also a hydroelectric plant on the opposite end of the lake that provides electricity these days. The boxcar was used by a retiree for several years and then taken away and the place where I was born is a vacant, grassy lot.

Anyway, I also resent paying a living for people such as the lady who sat in a house with 2 TV's, a Satin housecoat, 2 house pets, varnished wood floors, and was talking to the TV camera about how she had worked a year out of her welfare years and didn't care for working so went back on welfare and was angry she had been in a flood and they refinished her floors afterwards.......but they were the wrong shade of brown so she wants us to pay for her to have them redone.....She deserves it! She said. Why she deserves that as an able bodied person is beyond my understanding.

I resent having to have a translator for many of the things that are done for a very good price! Most of the things are well done but if they aren't, I have to get the translator back to describe the short comings! Is that right? Perhaps at 73, it is time for me to finally learn Spanish or Mexican or whatever so I know what they are saying as they grin at the stupid, rich Gringo. Is it too much to ask that people who come into become workers, Americans, or whatever should learn enough English/American to communicate with me? It should be slightly easier for a young person to learn my language than the revers, but that is just my opinion!

I approve of the message below and I am Virginia, running for no office, trying to improve myself as always, and happy to be an evengelical American.............hoping it will remain a free place to say that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Sound and the Fury - a blatant Rant

I am fed up with noise.
But I must define for everyone what I mean by that. I am sick of sounds emanating from televisions that offend me. I am sick of Comedy Central, Tosh 2.0 or whatever it is called. I don't want to ever watch Zoey 101 or Hannah Montana or Spongebob again. But more than any of those things, I HATE cage fighting.
Who invented this sport? Can we even call it a sport. You get in a cage and pummel, kick and bite and pull hair and anything else you want to do to another human being until they can no longer fight back. All of this is done in a chain link fenced in box. It's bloody, violent and loud. The announcers never say anything in a normal voice, they are always yelling and the crowds scream horrible cheers to egg on the near death experience by these obviously brilliantly intelligent and trained fighters.
I HATE IT, did I mention that I HATE IT?
I have always assumed that the person who wants quiet should be the one that prevails, not the noisemakers, but my family, and I use the word loosely, is convinced that it is their right to invade my ears, my brain, and my soul with this noise.
I am fed up with noise.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Officially Summer

When most people in the Pacific NW say it's officially summer they are referring to the fabulous sunshine that doesn't bother to show until after the Fourth of July... I am implying that it is the time of year in which people stop wanting to sit in front of computers, they buy houses, they sit on their patios, jump into their boats and will run through any manner of running water to cool down.
I am an official hater of all things air-conditioned, well except cars, cars can be torture chambers if not ac'd. So I spend as much of this glorious time of year outside. And luckily for me, that's easy doing what I do.
So this summer, we are engaging in a ritual that is growing each and every summer... the "family vacation." The first summer we truly did it was really last summer. We grabbed Steve's grandson and my daughter, and we took off for the San Juan Islands on his boat. It was a really good time. The kids fished, kayaked, designed hats for all of us, and of course, the traditional all-time family favorite --- bickering.
I was semi-patient with this, Steve was angelic.
This summer, we are stepping up the game. One boat, three grandchildren, three daughters, at least one husband, maybe two, one mother and one father/grandfather.
The whole sleeping thing will be interesting, two cribs, one blow up mattress and 6 bunks... 1.5 bathrooms... is a whole other issue!!!
I've started to figure this out, it's all about logistics.
1 yacht, 2 refrigerators, 1 freezer, one drawer per person, one towel per person, two storage boxes for toys, 10 hats to be decorated, 8 chairs for sitting, 2 high chairs for toddlers, 10 life vests, 2 kayaks, 1 dingy, 1 outboard, 2 generators... I can do THIS!!!! 7 dinners, 7 lunches, 7 breakfasts, time 10 people oh my GOD 210 meals, 7 bags of chips, I don't even want to think about the amount of water, beer, wine and juice... 5 fishing poles, and now I feel that I must add and a partridge in a pear tree....
Believe it or not, we're looking forward to this!!!
More later on Family Cruiseorama 2010.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Today we have beautiful company. Steve's two lovely daughters and their gorgeous children are visiting. I know, over the top adjectives... but seriously these people are beautiful. They are also active and smart and vocal, and it's a real houseful. I am a fan of a houseful, and this is tons of fun, but it doesn't make me feel the need to have more kids or add more noise or activity to my life. This is the best of both worlds, we get to see the kids, hold the babies and the responsibility goes home when they do.
It's true what they say, grandchildren rock.
I am so lucky to get to share in this family time with these awesome kids.
How often can you truly look around and just be OK?
It was worth noting.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dude looks like a lady

My little sister, and I use the term loosely (she towers over me), is obsessed with the idea that as we age, we begin to look more like men.
She calls it "Lady looks like a dude." She has always, always, ALWAYS been the funny one.

I love her so much, and as we have grown older, in spite of our childhood competition and various spats, she remains now and always the person with whom I will grow old. We call it "Blue hair and shoes."

She used to work at a shoe store and she would delight in these little old ladies with blue rinsed hair shopping together. So we made a pact that that would be us. Men shmen, there would always be each other, blue hair and shoes.

Anyway, yesterday I sent her this email of all these sayings about how your friends grow more special and women need each other as we grow older. All true of course. But what does my sweet little sister write back? "The one in the middle toward the bottom LOOKS LIKE A DUDE."

I'm sitting a thousand miles away from her right now literally laughing out loud.

I love you Renee.

AND, I absolutely refuse to look like a dude. With all the science and hormones and advances, I will find a way to continue to be a Little Old LADY.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Got Property? Got Friends? Please Read...

Hey folks, I continue to have people looking for property that does not match the current listed inventory. So I'm writing here and in some other nontraditional places to put it out there, that I have clients in the market for retail, office, and light industrial properties (buildings and land). If you have any or know of anyone in Thurston County who may want to sell, but hasn't listed, please have them give me a call at 360-480-7917 or drop me an email at and let me know. I would be happy to tell them a fair opinion of value, and if I can sell their property, I'll do that too.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eat, Pray, Worry????

I'm reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book, "Eat, Pray, Love," one word. WOW.
I don't usually go down the path of nonfiction outside newspapers and magazines, so this is outside my comfort zone a bit. But this book is such a nice read.
Not only am I enjoying the writing, but I'm finding that it makes me feel like I'm not alone. This woman's experience is easy to connect with. I want to go to Italy and eat my way through 4 months. I'm not a good traveller either, but I still love it. I love yoga and I too suffer from depression.
Ironically, she has given me so much to contemplate and some real tools that can help with my constant search for peace and grace. She struggles with silence and meditation as much as I do, and she kicks its butt... so maybe I can.
At one point in her book, Ms. Gilbert personified depression and loneliness. It was such a good description of how they kind of take you over, that I put the book down and thought about how anxiety works its way into my life. It's like those cartoon monsters huge and dark on the wall of your bedroom at night... but if you look really close there's a little tiny two-inch monster standing in front of the light making the shadow.
So I decided to picture this little fella in my mind and invite him to jump up on the bed and talk to me. When I finally got ahold of him, he was wily, strong and muscular. So, I grabbed him, held him down, hugged him and cuddled him close. I calmed him with my voice and told him, he didn't have to go around scaring me anymore. He was just a little guy, and we could try to be friends.
He's still creeping around and jumping out at me, but now when I see a glimpse of him, or he wakes me up in the middle of the night, I try to calm him down and tell him to settle in, I'm not going anywhere, and everything is going to be alright. Afterall, I'm almost 50, and I haven't starved yet, my kids are doing ok, and I have a roof over my head.
And he's just a little guy --Really.

Friday, May 28, 2010

How much do we tell our kids?

This question has so many different levels that I don't quite know where to begin. The first is the obvious, when and how do you talk about sex... for me that's an easy one. Sex is a part of life and kids are aware of it before they can talk, they just can't tell you.
Grown-ups are the ones with the hang ups. We think it's something to regulate, govern and prohibit. That, to me, is the ultimate crack up. For generations, for EVER, young people have found each other, touched each other and life has happened, over and over and over again. We're the ones with the fears that keep us from talking, and by not talking, we set up our children to get into trouble.
So enough said about sex talk.
But what about telling our kids about ourselves? the mistakes we have made or make? When do we tell them? Do we A. load them down with all of our baggage or B. wait until an issue comes up that demands it?
In this case, I vote for B. I don't think they really hear half our stories unless they pertain directly to their experiences anyway, so I wait until it's relevant.
Last night, it was relevant. My baby boy (who is 23) was in pain. Pain that was self inflicted. He knew it, I knew it, and I wanted to take it all away from him, and I couldn't. So I tossed and turned all night thinking about him and what I could have, should have said. When I did sleep I dreamed that I couldn't find him and tell him all that I needed to say. When morning finally came, I was relieved to find him sleeping in his bed, and I bared my soul to him about some mistakes and choices and things I've learned from them. I hope it helped. He seems so beat up today. I love him so very much. I hope I did the right thing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Am I?

After I wrote about my meds issue, I never followed up, and yesterday someone called to see how I was doing, so I thought I'd better follow up.
I've been back on them for a couple of weeks now, and I'm fine. It is amazing to me how the tiny little quarter of a pill dose I take daily can just even out my world.
I don't get irritated by the small stuff. I smile easily. I am more able to roll with the punches.
But it does not alleviate stress.
I think if I could invent an anti-stress pill I would.
I think it would look like a huge bank account and endless love and good business and great health and lots of exercise.
I guess what I'm trying to say is LIFE IS STRESSFUL because it is never perfect.
OK, so I get it. I need to learn to cope with the stress instead of trying to eliminate it.
Yoga helps, if you can figure out how to find the time to go to the classes.
YIKES. I sound like a stress case.
Reality is I'm studying for my Broker's exam in 9 days, working, helping my friend with her work, so she can go take the same exam and trying to do all my normal stuff too.
I'm over committed in my volunteer life, and my house is a mess.
I think it's time to re-evaluate some priorities... BUT FIRST - I have to pass that EXAM.
More wine please... I think that's an anti-stress pill of choice right now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WARNING - Sensitive Subject, Stop here if need be

For the past two years, I have joined millions of people in the taking of antidepressants. I have struggled with this over and over again. At the time I started taking them, I had just gone through a crazy six months, had lost hair and could not sleep because I was overcome with anxiety. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Since that time, I have been, well -- blissfully happy. It's weird. I have never been this happy. So much so that I keep thinking there's something wrong with me.
Should I need drugs to be happy? Isn't this fake? Maybe I'm supposed to be irritable, anxious and tearful.
So periodically, about every 6 or 7 months, I try to go off the drugs. My doctor said I may not need them forever right?
About 2 months ago, I decided (on my own) that it was time to go off of them for good. I didn't need them and I was dependent and it was time.
I did it right too, I slowly, very very slowly reduced my dosage. Well at first it was slow. For a month, I took only 6 doses a week, then I went down to 5, then 4 then I decided (again on my own) that I was actually for all intents and purposes off of them, so I stopped. And for a few days, I thought yeehaw, I've kicked this baby!!!
Then gradually, I started snapping at the kids. I started getting irritated at my coworkers, I began noticing that I was having to force myself to smile. I had to remind myself that I hadn't smiled for a while, and make myself smile. It was interesting. And I thought it was normal. I thought cool. I'm normal again. No more of this drug induced euphoria. I'm real.
Then about two weeks after I was completely drug free, I woke up one morning and didn't want to do anything. Nothing. So my partner recommended, I go work out that day. I snapped at him for the suggestion, after all, it was none of his business. Then I got up and went to a Body Pump class. The entire class, I was miserable. I finally just left. I was done. I wanted my drugs. I wanted my drug induced happiness. So I went to the store to refill my prescription only to find out I couldn't the doctor had to call it in. It was at that moment, I completely lost it.
I went home and crawled under the covers and cried. I called my Steve and said, I can't get out of bed. He (sweet man that he is) came to me, crawled under the covers with me and told me it was o.k. to go get my drugs.
The doctor helped me immediately. I've been back on them for four days now, and guess what? I'm not euphoric. I'm still me. But I am once again happy. I can smile. I'm not as irritable (pms so a little hunh?).
I need to remember this. So I'm writing it down. My brain has an issue with me being in balance. I'm off kilter somehow. It is not my imagination, and there is nothing 'wrong' per se. I'm just like millions of people who suffer from depression. I didn't do anything bad, I don't 'deserve' this anymore than someone who has a physical illness deserves it. It just is part of my makeup, and thank God for science and treatments that make it so I can live a normal and happy life.
My children and everyone around me are thankful too.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Follow your nose day

My favorite kinds of days now I call a follow your nose day.
It's a day when you don't have to work, but you have a lot to do, but you don't want to make a list or a plan. So I just go with the next right thing.
It is a blissful way to have a weekend day. I usually end up getting a lot done, and I never feel like I'm working, just floating from one thing I want to do to the next thing I want to do.
The only rule is that I don't do anything I don't want to do.
So my nose said to write this down, now I think I'll go find food, then wherever my nose leads me next.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Talking to myself and feeling old...

I love my Bluetooth headset for my cellphone (a new millenium necessity right?) and because I have hair that hangs over my ears, no one can even see it. This is nice, and sometimes humorous.
This morning I was having a long talk with my sister on the phone and since I had to go into Safeway and buy a couple of things, I just decided to take her in with me. So I'm chatting along picking up this and that (that including a bottle of wine that I have trouble finding, so I grab it when I see it) when I notice a guy giving me the funniest look.
Suddenly I realize that I must look like one of those people who have loud and boisterous conversations with their other selves. So I stopped talking to my sister and focused on this guy and told him, "I'm on the phone..." He smiled and said he wouldn't interrupt me no matter who I was talking to.
I about lost it... I had to hang up the phone and laugh -- the gentleman came back and informed me that he was a pastor and talked with many people with similar issues. And besides he said, you have a bottle of wine, and it's before lunch, heck it's before breakfast. By this time I am busting a gut and trying to balance all my stuff, he and I agreed we had made each other's days.
I find the world is full of these joyous and small connections if you are open to them.
I'm not suggesting you go around talking to everyone or even yourself because they're liable to put you away for that, but if you are awake and aware of your surroundings, there are lovely people and moments every five feet or so.
Good morning Friday!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The art and science of child rearing

I've been known to be naive on some topics. I actually thought child rearing ended when they turned 18 and went off to college. When my dear son Nick turned 21 and was still living with me and going to school, I realized that was a myth. Sort of.
Nick is 23 now, and he's a man. But I still feel responsible for taking care of him. He still needs my help now and then.
Anyway, my two beautiful children 23 and 11, yes 12 years apart are currently engaging in a traditional sibling practice. They tattle on one another.
Now, I get that siblings do this. I have a sister 2 years my junior. BUT I also have a brother 10 years my junior. My sister and I sibling rivaried 'til we dropped, but my brother and I -- NADA. I would never have thought to compete with Tony for anything or to tell on him. It would have been ludicrous. Maybe this is because I was out of my parents' home when I was 18...probably.
So here I am in a different place in time, and my mind is boggled.
Recently my son broke a precious bowl of mine. This bowl had been moved several times and carefully treasured for years and years. He left it on the counter in its broken state, so I would know it had happened. Afterall, he's 23 and a good kid.
But when I returned home that night, his little sister, my sweet 11-year-old daughter, Claire, leapt to tell me that Nick had broken the bowl. She actually seemed to delight in telling me, and when I asked her why she tattled, she explained that Nick would not have told me... which was kind of more than a little amusing because he so obviously left it out for me to find.
OK, so this was not all that strange coming from an 11-year-old girl. But this is where it gets kinda twisted. Two days or so later, I get a call at work from my darling boy. He wants to inform me that No. 1, he's doing dishes, (which is very cool) but No. 2, his sister has 9 -- count 'em -- 9 dishes in her room and 7 plastic drink bottles in various places throughout the house.
At this point, I am stifling my laughter and trying to explain to the young man that 11-year-olds are slobs. REMEMBER????
Nick goes on to tell me that he has piled these things on his sister's bed and is of the opinion that I need to come down on her in a strong manner, so she learns her lesson and doesn't turn out --- like him.
I am so delighted that they are acting like siblings. When I had them 12 years apart, I feared they would never really know one another and never have the issues that siblings have and that I now look back on fondly from my own childhood. So for me this is an amazing and delightful part of life.
I hope they grow to treasure one another and understand that this time is brief and fleeting and all that gushy mom stuff, but more than anything what great free entertainment!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I find every day is a balancing act. Not the kind where you are on a tightwire, but the kind where you are trying to balance ten bowling pins on your hand without dropping them. Some might call it a juggling act. I prefer to think of myself as someone who balances. Call it what you will, for some time now my goal in life has been to be healthy, in every possible way. And that means balancing the needs of my clients, my children, my partner, my pets, my friends, my self, and definitely not in that order!!!
Most days, I do a reasonable job of pulling it off, but some days I want to toss the friggin' pins in the air and walk away.
Today has been one of those days.
It doesn't happen often. For the most part, I'm just grateful for my life and the gifts inherent within it. But today, it's grey out, I'm being challenged by technology, I have too much to do and I'm tired.
Any thoughts? Because I'm coming up empty.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LOL says, Life is Short

Priorities, necessities, needs, wants...
I was talking with a friend this week and jokingly told him, all I need in life is my dog, adrenaline and Prilosec.
I kind of meant it.
My dog is my sweetness, centering and peaceful. Petting him erases stress. Murphy rules.
Adrenaline keeps my blood moving. I feel alive.
Prilosec calms my acid reflux from the stress adrenaline causes.
OK, so yes, I joke, I love my kids, my people, my partner.
I am an unbearably happy woman.
And today a young man died. He was 59, and his time was up. Too soon. I am so lucky. My life is amazing, and I'm so glad that I am where I am in this time and place with the people I love.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Public Enemy Number -- ME!!!

It has been a long time since I was in grad school fighting the good fight in a newspaper column. Back then I got threats and hate mail, those were the days.
And yet, it appears I still have a way about me -EVIDENTLY. I found out recently that one man has named me as one of the top most evil folks in Thurston County.
I am strangely flattered!
Evidently, little old me has done something to irritate a certain ex-Tumwater Councilman. I even think I may know what I did, but come on seriously???
I think what I did was taking a job with the Economic Development Council , where I helped find ways to make more jobs in the county.
Or maybe it's because now I sell commercial real estate???
The gentleman in question is part of a small cadre of locals who are anti-growth. We call them No growthers. They are very outspoken environmentalists. I have NO problem with environmentalism in all of its forms. I am a strong supporter of all things green, REALLY.
My job is to help businesses find places to do business. That doesn't mean I am a proponent of knocking down trees or using up resources.
I'm truly just trying to feed my kids.
I am flattered by this guy thinking I am worthy of his red highlighter, but I honestly think it says more about him than me.
I am hoping I don't get any hate mail or threats this time around and besides, I think red highlighter is cool. Red is my favorite color!!!

Being Sick Still Sucks

I'm sick.

I'm not dying, well we're all dying, so I guess that's not quite true.

But I am sick.

I hate being sick.

They passed that physician assisted suicide bill in Washington State this year.

I'm all in favor.

Just so long as I get to make the rules, and I am the one that basically takes care of business if and when I want to.

It's not that I don't trust my kids or the doctor, but I don't want anyone else to take this on as their burden and feel badly about it. As I am writing this, I am realizing I may not be as ok with it as I say. Questions are filling my mind, like "If I kill myself, will I go to Hell?"

Just when I least expect it -- when I think I'm clear on a subject, the God thing pokes its head out of hiding and brings moral issues to light.

I know thou shalt not kill, but what about mercy?

What about when your life has ceased to be of value?

God says all life has value.


What about the life of a serial killer? What about a person who is brain dead?

There has to be a place at which we draw the line.

I've always been against the death penalty because I don't believe anyone has the right to end another person's life, including the state. But what about mercy???

Obviously I don't have an answer, and I am hungry for one.

Being sick sucks, and I wouldn't want to be REALLY sick and a burden on others and in constant pain. I would want to move on, but does my will matter?

Are we truly meant to live out our days as handed?

Or is God just as merciful as I would think, and did he maybe give us a way to opt out?

I think we are all allowed to figure some of this stuff out for ourselves.

Black and White is easy and straightforward, but Grey sometimes is the right color.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why this LOL is not getting plastic surgery

I was at Joanne Fabrics shopping when I met the most adorable 18-month-old mini woman. She had on the most proper wool coat and a blond bob. Her crystal blue eyes stared up at me as she walked determinedly with her stout little legs in front of her mother through the crowded store.
I couldn't resist crouching down and chatting with her (really her mom). She was enchanting. After I turned and walked away, she followed me. Her mom didn't notice, so I said "honey, go back to momma." Momma barreled around the corner about then, grabbed her sweet child and said "Does that lady remind you of grandma?"
She was talking about ME.
Grandma. I will delight in being a grandma whenever it happens. I am ready willing and able to be a grandma. My life partner, Steve, has three grandchildren, who I delight in spoiling and enjoy playing with. Being a grandparent will rule.
But this gal knew I was old enough.
My secret undercover age is gone. Because my entire life, very few people have ever guessed my age correctly. I was carded up until I was almost 40. Mostly this is because I'm small. 5-foot to be exact. It makes you look young.
In our culture looking young is a big deal. So when I was in my 20s and watching other women age, I saw some of them get plastic surgery, face lifts, eye lifts, boob lifts... and I decided then and there that I would never do this. These women were beautiful and their age did nothing to change that. In my 20-something opinion, they didn't need to change a thing.
Later I had a daughter (ok, much later... I was 38 when she was born.) I repledged myself to abstain from plastic surgery at this time. I didn't want Claire to ever think there was anything wrong with aging.
When Claire was 8, we were both looking in the mirror, and I said something to the effect of when she was older she would have earned all the lovely lines and wrinkles around her eyes and mouth that showed years of smiles and life. My dear sweet daughter screwed up her face and peered at me in the mirror. She finally said, "Gosh I hope not."
I still laugh out loud at that memory. So much for my quest to show her one can age with dignity and beauty. At almost 50, it has grown increasingly difficult to abstain from a little lift here, some collagen there, or maybe that poisonous stuff that they inject into your forehead.
But somewhere lurking under the surface of my slightly saggy body, my slightly wrinkly face is the 20-something, and my ideals remain intact and my body remains au naturel. And someday when I die, it'll all be worm food anyway, at least my worms will be able to eat every bite!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Going Live

Today I posted the link to this blog on Facebook.
Weird how I am suddenly VERY self conscious and going back trying to decide what to edit or change. I took down the bathing suit pic.
What a goofy thing to do. The whole idea was to make this about not caring what people think anymore... so hmmm another life lesson. You are never too old to feel self conscious, to question yourself and your judgment.

Note to self: First instincts rule. Keep listening.

LOL says: He who has not sinned, cast the first stone...

I was a nut. Ok some might argue with the past tense in that sentence. When I was a kid, I was VERY religious, and I memorized Bible verses until I was blue in the face. My father, who is a crazy Sicilian reformed Catholic, accepted Christ and became a Christian when I was 12 years old.
Like most teens, I thought I knew everything, was dying to be right, fought authority and basically anything else I could to make my parents lives miserable.
My father was all about the rules of Christianity... with a Catholic devotion to dogma and a spare the rod and spoil the child philosophy.
So it didn't take long before his new found Christianity gave him the knowledge to pass judgment on sinners of all kinds.
But as his child, the only sins I could see were his, and with singleminded fury, I would fight him tooth and nail, screaming "HE WHO HAS NOT SINNED, CAST THE FIRST STONE..." my attempt at a Bible quote along with "JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED..." Nothing better than a know-it-all kid with endless courage, a sense of self righteousness and a BIG mouth.
Needless to say, my less than perfect and less than patient Sicilian father would regularly knock me on the floor after one of my self righteous rants.
As a woman of almost 50, I know he could have been more patient, but man what a pain in the ass kid. I have one now who is the opposite of religious... to the point he wears a "God Free" sweatshirt. And as the ironies of life would have it, I have come back to my spiritual roots.
So having grown up in a different time and under different circumstances than my father, I am practicing what I preached -- loving this kid with all my might, trying to be an example of God's love in his life. Judging not lest I be judged because God knows --- I have sinned.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Relationships change, flow, they do not end

I have been married and divorced twice.
Not a great record in most people's books, but to me, it means a life fully lived.
I have never settled for being ignored, treated badly, cheated on or lied to.
I have always known somewhere inside me that I deserved a good relationship. But I have not always known what that meant.
I've made a jillion mistakes.
I've loved deeply, fully and frequently.
Recently a strange confluence of events has come into my life, every person from my past with whom I have unresolved issues has shown up within 90 minutes of my home.
Now maybe this wouldn't be so odd if I hadn't grown up in Kansas, more than 1,000 miles from where I live in Olympia, WA.
And these three people just happened to move to Seattle or Portland.
And we found each other.
And resolutions occurred.
One of these folks, my lovely mentor from 20 or so years back asked me, why do you want to reconnect with me???
I answered her truthfully...
I never left you. I believe relationships, once created, exist. They change, they flow, they alter and live. But they do not end. Even when the other person dies, the entity that is the relationship still exists.
A relationship between people is a living, breathing reality.
It is a beautiful thing.
My ex husbands... probably don't agree.
Nor do most people whose relationship has bent in a way they did not choose.
But even those feelings and relationships are still out there floating and living.
There are a few more people out there with whom I have unresolved issues... we'll see what the future holds.

Not sure what this year means

This year, October 29 to be exact, I turn 50. It truly seems like yesterday I was 20. I know everyone says that... ok so it must mean something then.
LIFE really IS short.
One day you're sneaking around behind your parents back trying to have some fun and the next you're trying to pay bills, trying to catch your own kids having fun, married or divorced and smack in it. A grown up.
This year I actually feel like one.
Yikes. I can't believe I had to get this old to feel like an adult.
So I chose this photo of myself in a bathing suit being randomly hot at 50 on a beach in Hawaii. (Which I later removed...) Why? because even though I know I sound and feel like a little old lady, I think this age is fabulous. I don't feel particularly old, but I can't get into some of the yoga poses I used to and running hurts me now, so is it time to work out more? or less?
LOL says more.
I love that LOL means laughing out loud AND little old lady.
I'm doing both right now as often as possible.
I started this blog because Paul said to, and I'm going to start putting my thoughts into it. I doubt anyone will really read it, I'm not even sure how people find blogs really, unless of course they're your friends.
But nevertheless. Tallyho, for me.