Tag Archives: live-like-you’re-dying



Some time ago, someone I considered a friend decided our friendship was too much of a bother. All communication was cut. No explanations, no apologies. I spun scenarios in my head, trying to determine how I messed things up, what I did to cause such a rift to happen. Nothing made sense, every recollection seemed normal. I worried I had hurt feelings, made possible transgressions that were not easy to forgive. In public the banter is still friendly when our paths cross, adding to the confusion. It seemed disconnected, forced.

And then I realized that all I had done wrong was offer an ear. I’m a big believer that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I lent my shoulder and my ear, and perhaps sharing was something akin to breaking a confidence. I’ll never know. It’s a habit of mine to reach out and try to help others when they are distressed or sad. I’ve offered total strangers the comfort of my shoulder as they grieve for a sick relative. This time I got burned. But unlike other people who would learn a lesson from it, I refuse to let it dictate reaching out to others in the future.

There’s Bactine for that 🙂

The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year 😀

How I Spent My Week Away From the Internet

Yes, I had a very good reason for being away. Eldest completed her classes and was now PCS’ing from the East Coast to the West Coast.

By minivan.

Which we, her parents, drove out in to pick her up, and to bring her home, and to take her to her next duty station. I have two words for y’all:

Never. Again.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the trip. Most of the trip to the East was very scenic, and some of it was downright wonderful. I got to see the U.S.S. Alabama from the bridge (had no time to stop), Lake Charles’ Hell Bridge (as I like to call it) and the Atchafalaya Basin, and the beautiful Magnolias of Mississippi. The trip out is a favorite of mine as well. I love driving the desolate areas of I-10 in Texas. I really do. New Mexico had awesome signs about watching out for snakes among other animalia as well as plenty of hot air balloons dotting the sky. Arizona had the misfortune of putting up with us experiencing a flat tire, but all in all it was a good drive.

Until I-8. I thought I-10 in Texas was desolate. That strip of highway made I-10 look like a booming metropolis. I asked the tow truck driver how people lived in such a desolate area and he said, “Very carefully.” Not soon enough we waved buh-bye to AZ and greeted California, which went from sand dunes, to rocky mountains to more mountains, to BOOM!!! cities. Seriously, we went around a curve and suddenly there was actual population clustered everywhere. And driving everywhere. For a state that frowns on emissions, it sure had a lot of drivers expelling it. Soon enough we arrived in San Diego….. and found out we were too early to check in. No matter, because we had a good friend waiting for us, none other than XBradTC, who was kind enough to meet us and show us a bit of San Diego before he had to leave for his home. I saw the Midway and enjoyed the views of the bay even though it was 66* F, which in my terms is parka weather, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner overlooking the water and a rather cloudy sunset which didn’t detract from its beauty. Aside from finally meeting XBrad, the best part was the gift he bestowed upon me:

vader kids book

I’m not sure if he is saying I am a princess, or if he is referring to my parenting style. Either way I was very touched to receive it, and I fully admit to laughing out loud while reading it at the coffee shop. Yes, people looked at me funny and I didn’t care. It was a wonderful day spent in a wonderful city and far too short. I can’t wait to visit Eldest again and take some time to see more of the West Coast.

But I will fly out next time 😀

The Perfect House

Everyone dreams of their perfect house. Some people want the picket fences and others want 12 foot high concrete walls. Some want the wood shingles while others want copper roofing. It’s fun to watch home renovation shows to see what finishes people pick for their ultimate dream home. Sometimes people are predictable and pick the same stuff as other families, like glass tiles, brushed nickel faucets, hardwood floors, etc. All of that sounds nice, but after a while it’s stuff you don’t notice much. Personally, I’m ok with just pretty tile. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s porcelain or stone or glass or mirror (mind out of the gutter) or steel. Flooring is there to be abused, so I would prefer something less flamboyant than flooring made from tips of koa trees harvested by monkeys fed exclusively on organic bananas. No, there’s no such thing. Well, koa wood is a real thing, but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive. But for me, a dream home has to be good for the long run, and there are far more important things to get than the “oooooh…SHINY!!” things.


Yeah, not everyone can live in a Biltmore.

My perfect house would have flooring that never scratches, breaks, chips, or stains. I’m talking titanium tiles. The windows need to be made from borosilicate and made with the same stuff in Transition™ lenses. In the living area, the fireplace will be gas, and the gas will be pumped from the local fracking area. The TV will be inset into the wall so that I never have to dust it again. The sound system will be optional so that if he wishes to hear it, I can turn my side off and save my hearing. I will not have a conventional HVAC system. I want a geothermal system, and along with that, every bathroom will have its own tankless heater. And heated floors. And towel racks. The master bath will also have a big, BIG tub. Not just a soaker, but one you have to wait two hours to fill. In the kitchen I want an Aga™ with three ovens, and seven burners and two griddles. Why? Because. Moving on, the sink will have a disposer with a two quart capacity and a Saab Turbo™ motor. The counters will be made from cement and zinc. If I have to slam a cast iron pot on the counter I want any damage to look like it was done on purpose. And finally, the very last thing I need I need in my dream home is a dryer that folds clothes.

They had one on Lost in Space and I need the technology to catch up, pronto.

I’m sure that my vision clashes a bit with Hubby’s, but I think he will be on board with most of these. Especially the sound system and TV part. I don’t think he knows what an Aga™ is anyway, nor does he care as long as I use it to make him dinner. Priorities 😀

Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

Yesterday I was doing some grocery shopping. Kids were complaining of a decided lack of sustenance in the pantry, mainly junkfood. I was complaining of a decided laziness in their bones that prevented them from actually cooking what was available. But I was running very low on coffee and creamer and decided my needs outweighed my crankiness, so off I went to Walmart. Why there? because I didn’t feel like putting on make-up, ok??

Anyway, I got some general school supplies, some new anti-wrinkle cream, just random crap. Eventually I make it to the coffee aisle, whereupon I begin to make my selections: Donut House coffee and some hazelnut cappuccino for Eldest. Standing in front of the vast selection of K-cup coffee is an older couple, looking a bit dazed and confused. Having been in a similar circumstance when I first got my Keurig™, I decided to offer any help in picking out coffee. I’m not a connoisseur by any means, but I figured I knew a bit more than they did. I asked them if they needed any help, and the gentleman turned to me to thank me and asked me for advice.

That’s when I noticed his cap. He was a Marine, and had served in WWII and Korea. He was a little stooped, but when I asked him about his service he stood a little more straight as he spoke of his time in the Marines. He never spoke of the gore and the violence, though. He talked about the field, and his friends, and how even now he sometimes put coffee grinds between his gum and cheek so he wouldn’t wake his wife by using the coffeemaker. He talked about how the only fights he had were over who got the first cup of joe before patrol (first one done, was first one out on patrol). Coffee, he said, kept him sane and kept his world going. As I shook his hand to wish him well, he noticed my Aggie ring. He asked what class I was, and then proceeded to tell me of the Aggies he knew from his time in service: the Aggie who rescued cattle at the expense of a truck’s tires; the Aggie who made pigeon stew; the Aggie who sang before battle. He told me that every Aggie he knew was made from something he could never define, but that was easily recognizable. I told him I felt the same way about my Marine friends. He laughed and told me I was probably right. As I thanked him for his service, he asked me to thank my husband for his. When I asked him how he knew my husband was in the service, he pointed to my purse: Hubby’s Purple Heart, which I always carry with me, was sticking out. I laughed and thanked them both for a lovely time spent in the coffee aisle. They waved and wished me a good day.

In truth the medal could have been my dad’s or my brother’s or mine. But he is a gentleman of another era who learned that only men go into combat. His memories will soon leave us without record but that of what he chooses to leave behind. In that moment, I felt very small. I had been in the presence of greatness by virtue of history. I pray his story is told for a long time, and that children learn good things from it, like the reason those men fought over a cup of coffee.

Family Reunion, Binding Since 1809

No, not since 1809. I’m pretty sure the reunions began in the 20th century. Still, Hubby’s family has hosted a reunion since well before I joined it, so it has that going for it. I think. Anyway, this past weekend was especially fun, since my sister-in-law came down for a visit and attended it as well.

family reunion

It was fun, but also very bittersweet. The group was smaller, and some were older, and others gone on. Remembering them was especially hard for some of us that had not attended the reunion in the past few years, but it was also a chance to make resolutions to not let time go by and try to keep in touch with extended family. It was also a chance to learn new things.

The EPA has only 200 armed agents in its Criminal Division.

Play-Doh™ colors fade after a few months.

One is never too old for Play-Doh™.

Lemon pound cake is the equivalent of crack.

First dibs is totally legal.

Memories become sweeter with time.

But most important, Time never stops for anyone. I still live with the regret of waiting to connect with someone because “there’s always next year”. Yes, next year is sure to come, but one isn’t guaranteed the chance. Don’t wait to do tomorrow what you can do today.

Unless it’s the dishes. There’s paper plates for that 🙂

Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ the Pompitus of Love

Last night we enjoyed attending the Journey/ Steve Miller Band concert. And by “enjoyed”, I mean I went insane.

It all started with one of Eldest’s good friends asking if we wanted to buy tickets her parents had. Turned out these tickets were for the private box seats. This was the view above my seat.

spurs banners

I know, I know… haters will hate. Tower of Power opened, followed by The Steve Miller Band, and ending with Journey. I must say Mr. Miller still looks like a badass in his shades. Watching him took me back to those first years here in the US, when I first heard of this “Rock and Roll” stuff. As iconic as it was to see those majestic Pegasuses flanking the band, it was nothing compared to their Jet Airliner backdrop. It was classic 70’s styling, in a Peter Max kind of way.

And then it was Journey, and that took me back to high school and made me reminisce on my friends and good times. I admit, Jonathan Cain is still totally drool-worthy, even with the sideburns. What I wouldn’t give to starch the handkerchiefs he uses to wipe his brow. Yes, Neil Schon was there, but he’s not my type. And I can honestly say a certain former member was NOT missed, if you know what I mean. It was an awesome five and a half hours of wonderful music, and I can honestly say this was beyond the scope of any concert I have ever attended. I even got myself a souvenir!

steve miller shirt2

Tickets to see icons: $$$

T-shirt souvenir: $$

Opportunity to act like a fangurl in front of total strangers and not caring: PRICELESS!!!!

But I still don’t know what the Pompitus of Love is 😉

One Small Blessing

Sometimes we get so entrenched in Life that we forget to live and appreciate it.

Last week someone decided to remind me. I received a postcard. It was unsigned with only a simple message:

Just a note to let you know someone is thinking of you ♥

That made me tear up. No, not because I thought it was a stalker warning me. That I can handle. I was overwhelmed that someone would take the time to do that for me. The last time I received an anonymous note like this was in seventh grade, after the Valentine’s Day “secret admirer” carnations had been handed out in class, and I was the only one to not receive any. I’m pretty sure that note came from my Earth Science teacher. Just as in seventh grade, the postcard was a lovely gesture and a comforting one. I can only hope to repay the kindness shown to me soon. But for now, I can only do this.

thank you smiley face

To whoever sent me the postcard, I will keep it always. It will remind me about my blessings, and also to pass that on to others 🙂

How to Have a Spa Experience at Home

Some of y’all know, I am a fan of bubble baths. So I thought I would take the opportunity of sharing my tips for a successful spa day at home.


First, make sure no one is about to run the dishwasher or the washing machine. Cold water is not your friend. Unless it’s 113* F outside, and only if the cold water has fermented hops in it.

Second, choose the aromatherapy. You can opt for bubble bath, bath oil, candles, whatever makes you feel happy. Be advised that bubbles hinder you when reading, oil makes the tub slippery, and candles can be hazardous to long hair. All three together is only going to end in tears and fried hair.

Third, secure the premises. Sure, locking the front and back doors is fine, but I am talking about securing the bath from pets and kidlets. Nothing more distracting than having to fight your sheltie for bathtub acreage while a kid is asking to help bathe the four-legged sister.

Fourth, keep your robe and towel handy. Nothing worse than taking a hot bath while slathered in a facial mask, only to find that your towel is nowhere near, and your eyes are shut from the sweat having melted the mask down your eyebrows, making you trip out of the tub and faceplant on the carpet.

Fifth, and most important, do not take a single glass of wine into the tub. Bring the bottle. You will find that time really does stand still and there is only so much reading of a crappy novel before you want to drown away the bad taste of some idiotic damsel in distress over a broken nail. Bonus: it helps drown out loud pets, loud kidlets, and loud hubby.

I hope these tips help y’all to have a nice relaxing spa experience at home. If all else fails, you still have the wine 😉

How Do You Do?

A few days ago, I was in line at the check out, waiting my turn to unload my cart, when my eyes wandered over the many, many tabloids and what passes for investigative magazines. Incredibly, I had not heard of most of the people that grace the glossy covers. Ok, maybe not incredibly since I am a hostage to the Cartoon Network.

If it’s not animated, I don’t know about it.

But I had to stop and stare to read one magazine cover, twice.

friend IRL

This made me a bit sad. I remember when we first moved to the US, being a new kid in school, and how every kid in my class came up to me to greet me, be it with “Hey, you’re new here?” or “My name is Amy and you can be my friend” or a few kids saying “Watch this!” It wasn’t hard to meet new kids. As I grew older it was more subtle, but it was still relatively easy to meet people. College made an art of it, what with “mixers” and frat parties and ice cream runs.

But I don’t remember having to read about how to make friends. Yes, I recall a book along those lines. But my issue here is how disconnected we have become from the physical and how connected we are in the technological. I admit to having plenty of online friends, met through the magic of the internet. And I am grateful for each and every one of them. But it’s a sad state when someone feels the need to publish a guide on social interactions that we should still remember from Kindergarten.

Always remember: it matters not how awkward or how smooth the path is to making a new friend. What matters is getting there 🙂