Monday, September 01, 2014

A Review: Movies and Holidays

We had those 4 young people Friday and Saturday.  The first day was quiet with wine on the dock and good conversation.  A crab and salmon and freshly harvested oyster dinner went off without a hitch on the deck and the mosquitoes held off until late evening.  Since one of the young men was from Hong Kong, he fully appreciated the fresh seafood even though it was not prepared as he was used to.  The next day was full of loud and busy boating.  Everyone was out on the water from noisy ski-doos with teenage boys hanging on to drooping swimsuits to those super fast useless speed boats filled with bikini-glad dyed blondes and the guy who owns the boat.  Little guys were driving(?) small flat-bottomed fish boats and others were pulling floats behind with small brothers.  We cruised to a nearby pocket beach and snacked on cheeses, deli meats, olives, dried fruits, etc..  The heat was a bit much, but we survived well, except for one small accident by me which I will save for another  post.

The couple that is friends of my son and his wife admitted to us they were thinking wedding plans!  It is not an easy road for the following reasons:  her parents are traditional, southern, and very conservative and somewhat religious, his parents are a big noisy Chinese family from Hong Kong with that Asian energy the Chinese bring to any celebration which can be somewhat overwhelming and demanding.  They are also not Christian.  I did not ask what religion or if they belonged to any religion at all, but the young couple were clear it was NOT going to be a church wedding.  They are not wealthy so having to keep all decisions frugal or give in and then let the families fight over who pays for what and thus runs the show...not a good scenario.  (I will let you in on a little secret in that they were thinking and we encouraged that they go ahead and get married secretly by a "Justice of the Peace" so that the future husband he can get on the bride's health insurance plan and they "plan" another wedding in a few more months when they have saved more money and had time to create a strategy.) The young man from Hong Kong has become bored with his job, and because they have no mortgage, no children, and are in their early 30's, he has decided to leave this job to join a start-up with greater risk but far greater potential but with no health insurance.  I am excited and hopeful for both of them and want to help them in any way without adding to their stress.

At the end of the second day this couple left on their way to do other things and son and daughter-in-law stayed on through the evening and next day.  We talked and talked (DIL was drinking wine so I did not ask about their plans for children...although I do know from another source that she is trying to get pregnant.)   Son helped us with our wi-fi and set up a password which I have been trying to do for months.  He also fixed some hardware on a window which had boggled my mind.  We have a great relationship with both of them.  Years ago we were not as close to our son who wanted to be on his own and not keep us in the loop of his merry-go-round life, but he has matured and she has also influenced a change in him.  Our times together are fun, peaceful, and rewarding.  I feel very, very, very blessed.  I am not the easiest person to hang out with if I care about you, so we all have adjusted I am guessing.

We did all watch the movie "Noah" on TV one night and may I warn you that it is the biggest waste of time.  The acting is the only thing of any merit.  The script is terrible, the plot is weird, the character development non-existent, special effects ho-hum...so do not waste your money.

Well, I am now off to do 7 (yes SEVEN) loads of laundry.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What a Silly, Where is your happy human spirit?

I will be returning my little grandson to his parents tomorrow eve after taking care of him all week.  There are always food issues, but for the most part, he is a most amenable child.  We visited a reptile show, had a watergun fight, raced Lightning McQueen cars, did new puzzles and watched a few movies.  Hubby played his part and fortunately this little man likes us both equally.  But I am not slated to have time to breathe, read, photograph or write poetry yet.

I must plan for the weekend as I will have guests coming down the very next day.  I do not usually plan a Labor Day party.  I used to ask my daughter and her son, but they already had plans almost always, and we, trying to think of others, seemed to always be between neighbors, so no Labor Day picnic or BBQ was usually on the horizon. (I must be better about plans.)  Please note that I am ignoring the fact that we were not invited anywhere either!

Anyway, my brave  daughter-in-law has asked if she and my son can come down for the weekend.  They have invited themselves.  And I am glad they have, even though I am totally exhausted from my bad back and my grandson.  And I refuse to make them feel imposing and I will pretend this is the best weekend ever.  Another reason is because she is also (with prior request) bringing her best friend and that friend's boyfriend and I just love this couple!  They are struggling in their lives, but are the good people we all want as citizens.  I am really impressed that my daughter-in-law is brave enough to ask to come for the weekend.  I do not know if I would have been that upfront with my MIL, who was a gentle old soul, but did not live nearby

So this Saturday I am up early to clean a little and try to plan/shop for meals for the weekend.  This is the hardest, but I will try to keep it simple and just enjoy their young ideas and energy!  If I learn some new stuff I will certainly share.  Have a great Labor Day, because no matter what you do, you deserve to celebrate you labors.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

No Clue

It is early morning just after breakfast and I am sitting on the sofa avoiding as much movement as possible since I seem to have some sharp, terrible, lower back pain when I do move.  I have not had back problems for over a decade, but I did something wrong, cannot pin point what, and am hoping it goes away soon.  I am also caring for my 3-year-old grandson all this week.  Hubby is off to neck therapy as I sit here.  We are a pair!  Grandson is happily ensconced with his second puzzle of the morning.  I am peaceful as long as I do NOT move.  What are the chances of that happening the rest of this morning?

I have had the little guy all week and today is the first day of pain and I really do not think it was lifting him in and out of his carseat, or crawling around on the ground racing cars, or sitting on the floor putting together puzzles or lifting him in and out of a bathtub.  It just started out of the blue as if I had scraped away the soft tissue in my joints during the night and now there was bone on bone!  Many of you have been there and know exactly what I am writing about.

I am just thankful that I have the "easy" child this week!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tag, You're It!



While I was roaming the land of Big Skies with two of my favorite males, I got "tagged" by Colleen Redman.  I must state that I usually ignore memes, surveys, blog-monkeys...whatever you want to call these infectious bugs that dash through the social networks of digital song and make you dance/sing to their rhythm.  Yet, I have read Colleen's blog for years and since she herself is infectious, I accepted her challenge.

This is a very difficult challenge because it is for "writers."  I have just recently begun to see myself as a photographer, and now before I get too old, I guess I must get my mind about whether I am a writer or not.

I started writing for fun when I was in grade school.  I kept notebooks that were pasted with photos cut from magazines or bits of nature collected and then I wrote prose or poetry that had emerged (like vomit) in my brain.  It was an addiction and I really never thought about it.  But I had to do it.  In primary and secondary school the writing assignments (fiction or non-fiction) were my favorites.  I am a story person.  I even made up stories about my math figures to get through Algebra!  Blogging is my adult panacea, but I do wish they provided a free editor.

Anyway, that is the background for my answers below:

What am I writing/working on now? 
My blog posts, of course.  I just finished a short photo-journal book of the trip for my grandson and it will be a memory gift.  I tried to write in the mind of a 9-year-old and thus it was pretty yucky.  I had started a fictional book months ago and it was such a disappointing venture that it gathers cobwebs on my laptop.  I am always writing poetry in my mind, which sometimes makes it to the page.  I keep thinking I will follow through on a few ideas that are germs in my mind...but this is why I do not see myself as a WRITER.

How does my writing differ from other writing in its genre?
Unfortunately, I do not think my writing differs much.  My voice is a common one.  I strive for honesty and try to avoid bluntness, but they seem to come hand in hand.  I think that Gandhi had it precisely correct when he said the only God is truth...or something to that effect.  Truth is very hard to capture in words, though.  And I have not yet decided if it is truth that changes or my mind.

Why do I write what I write?
It is like eating and breathing and loving.  It is something that I HAVE to do.  I am a seeker and I hope that by putting the pen to paper I will find what I seek.  I hope to make astonishing connections and sometimes I actually do, on a smaller and more comfortable scale.

How does my writing process work?
I do not have a process, which is, of course, the problem.  Consistency is the engine of great writers.  Coffee and early morning and being the only one up are the keys to getting my writing engine going.  I procrastinate on keeping a notebook for all my treasured thoughts as I work through my day.  Colleen keeps a notebook and even more important she can decipher it when she needs to!  I am a people watcher and do have a skill for recognizing a good character...now if I could just weave that into a tapestry of a story.

What are my future blog plans?
Since I do not have deadlines nor do I get paid for this, I do not have to have a plan.  I still feel a calling to write and would do so even if no one read these words.  When I began blogging in 2004 (before you were born?) I had no plan and thought of it as a private journal.  Then I may have been a better writer in purity of thought and tone---who am I kidding?  Now I am somewhat addicted to "my readers" and have them in mind when I write.  It is probably not good for writing that you care how your readers perceive you and sometimes bite your pen.  

I will not tag anyone, but would love if any of my readers desired to pick up this tag/flag and run with the ball and any other metaphor you care to use...just let me know.





Thursday, August 21, 2014

Time Travel

I have heard of jet-lag but I think I had become infected with time-lag this trip.  I went from seeing old, old, old, friends where I had deep and emotional touchstones, where it was almost as if they were on the other side of a time warp and while my fingers touched quickly, that only happened if my eyes connected at the same time.  Otherwise it was somewhat like rapidly flipping pages in a dusty old photo album.   You try to hang on to the memories of you and them that happened and created part of the puzzle pieces that form bits of what you are today, but you also realize, at least those of us who live great distances away, that this is like visiting an old and favorite movie.  It brings back feelings, but you are not sure that you were a character in that movie...maybe you only watched it one time long ago when you were most impressionable.

Those of you of live near where you grew up may not have such a jolt when your paths cross with old friends.  I do not know.  I do know for me it is a bit of  an acid trip.  My energies get drained and I lose my place in time and understanding.

This may very well be the last time I see old classmates all together.  It will not be the last time I visit family.  We see each other every few years, but that is mainly due to weddings and children moving across the country.  These will soon dwindle and we will have to make an effort to meet up.  Someone, a sister-in-law whose family lives across the Atlantic Ocean, suggested we needed a big family vacation together.  The last one was in Italy well over a decade ago.  I am up for it this decade, but may not be up for it in decades to come.

I do think part of this sweep in emotions was that in the middle I shifted gears to share 9 days with my nine-year-old grandson who is a treasure of a traveler.  I hope he keeps happy memories of this trip because we were all in a super genetic link with similar interests and energies.  I do not think the link will be so smooth with the other two when their time comes for such a trip.

OK...next I will take on Colleen's TAG...!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

As Luck Would Have It

So the first Sunday in Colorado was going to be a rather long day.  I had a 50th High School reunion at a local small town restaurant (there were only 21? in my graduating class and only 7 showed!).  It was an emotion-filled thing with many having passed recently including one of the men helping to organize the event.  We all are talkers and I did not get to any really in depth conversations with anyone as we sat around a rather large square table with our spouses and significant others.  No one has changed in personality or interests though.

The horse girl is now a horse lady and she forgave my best friend and I for TP-ing her house every Halloween.  It was a big old mansion at the end of Main and we just could not resist.  She is about four feet five with a lovely long gray braid down her back and drives a BIG truck.  My two best girlfriends sat on either side, and as is true with best friends, we found plenty to talk about and started right where we had last left off.  The star quarterback and main basketball player who went to STATE our senior year had shrunk!  He was small in build and shorter than I. What happened???  My old boyfriend was in the process of his second divorce due to having an affair with the pretty blonde lady that he brought to the luncheon.  He is fairly wealthy owning lots of land in the area and seemed to have no problem leaving his house on the lake in a nearby town to his former wife who sadly was fighting cancer. Whatever did I see in him?  The class Valedictorian was still somewhat of a snob, but had spread in size and looked less like a book worm and more like the life coach she had become with her PHD in psychology.  Two of the spouses (men) sat like cigar store Indians, but were not bored, just quiet.  My husband talked almost the entire luncheon with my ex-boyfriend...wish I would have been a fly on the wall there.  Below is the class with partners, only 12, and faces blurred to protect the innocent, although I am guessing that none of us were innocent anymore.


Then later that afternoon my family had a get-together BBQ in a nearby town with even MORE food.  Hubby had his birthday that day and I was helping carry out a HEAVY strawberry/chocolate/poke(?) cake in a glass casserole when I missed the 1-inch step down on the patio and went down like a drawbridge just missing the metal table where everyone was sitting.  I landed on two knees and one elbow with the cake in my arms.  I managed to save the cake!  I had whipped-cream on my nose as I struggled up after someone took the cake and no one DARED take a photo.  Actually they were in shock when I stood up and you could have heard a pin drop.  My knee and elbow bruises were ugly...but no broken bones, even though I have osteoporosis.  I sat with ice on the knee for a while and broke out in a sweat due to the shock, but managed to maintain my cool.



As luck would have it, all the bruises were superficial and I was able to do all the walking and hiking the next two weeks in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana although the knee bruise got much uglier!  Oh yes,  I did say I saved the cake...didn't I?  (Post Script...my dress pants tore in my fall and luck had it that this happened AFTER the reunion so I did not wear torn pants!)


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Assess the Situation

She is back.  She is thinner!  She is older.  She is much more meditative after spending time with old high school friends and family that she sees once every few years.  She is more mellow after spending two weeks touring the Wild West and Big Sky Country with a nine-year-old.  She has tales to be digested before being shared and she has to work on a "tag" from Colleen of Loose Leaf Notes.  But right now she is heading out to a small, local, French restaurant with her hubby to honor our 44th anniversary!  She has missed the blogging and the bloggers and will return to full force soon. (For some early photos go here.)