“…and the livin’ is easy.”

I check the time.  It’s 7:30.  I’ve been lying in bed awake for quite some time, seriously considering the possibility of staying here all day.  An overhead fan slowly stirs the air giving the illusion of a lazy afternoon on the plantation where “the livin’ is easy.”  The air conditioning clicks on erasing my fantasy; so I stretch and roll out of bed.

When I was a child I thought that old folks who talked about the weather all the time were boring.  Didn’t they have anything more interesting to talk about?  The perspective of maturity and the reality of our current drought over much of the country give the weather an altogether different slant.

Even though I grew up in a small college town, the majority of the population in my mountain county lived off the land.  Weather is everything to farmers.  Of course they were going to talk about it.  Last night at nine o’clock the temperature at my house was still sitting on 90 degrees.  This kind of heat permeates every aspect of my being.  Of course I’m going to talk about it.

Being hot and sticky all the time causes me to lose patience with the “small stuff” which probably wouldn’t ordinarily bother me.  For example–Mitt Romney in London.  On a good day I would likely shrug, mutter “What an idiot.” and let it go.  Not so last night as I watched the news.  Instead, I had an overwhelming urge to write him a letter, send a text, call him — better yet, go hunt him down and give him my best (worst) nose-to-nose critique.  Lambaste him!  Give him what for!

Alas, another fantasy which must be erased.  I’ll try not to think about Mitt Romney in Israel and Poland.  Let us pray…

Y’all have a good day.  Stay cool.


After the storm, a divorcee’s view.

And after the storm                                                                                                              I run and run as the rains come                                                                                       And I look up                                                                                                                    On my knees and out of luck, I look up


But there will come a time you’ll see                                                                              With no more tears                                                                                                         And love will not break your heart                                                                                    But dismiss your fears                                                                                                     Get over your hill and see, what you find there                                                               With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair

Some days I can almost see what awaits on the other side of my hill.  Today was not one of those days.  This song by Mumford & Sons expresses my feelings well.

Unexpected encouragement.

I can’t wait to get up in the morning…..I always have something to do…..I’m a musician and a humorist…..I drive a cab…..I’m running for public office…..I’m an activist and I walked from California to Washington…..I’m an athlete…..I love giving people what they need to get along in life…..Spend time with others…..I go to the gym three times a week, well at least twice a week…..I get up early and go roll dough at the Cinnabon…..I work on my art until very late at night, then I get up early and work some more…..I  never eat heavy…..I exercise while I watch TV…..I’m training for the hurdles…..Share your life with someone…..Learn to use a computer–it’s where we are…..Enjoy today…..I never have thought about age…..We were told we couldn’t work after sixty-five.  That’s wrong…..         I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and now I’m writing a paper for my Master’s.  I enjoy it….. I chop a little wood two or three times a week and the next thing you know we have enough wood to get through the winter…..If I can’t do  anything about it, I don’t worry about it.  DON’T WORRY!

All of the above statements came from the mouths (and hearts) of nonagenarians.

I was about to go to bed last night when a program on PBS (Public Television) caught my attention — “Over 90 and Loving It.”  Seriously, all participants were ninety plus.  In fact, there was at least one who was 103.  For the most part they were everyday normal people.  The one celebrity was Pete Seeger.  His was the comment about chopping wood.  He also mentioned that he had spent his life singing songs (protest songs) that caused people to pay attention, to want to make positive change in the world around them.  Of course he said it much more eloquently than I just did.

These elderly citizens were remarkable.  Except for one or two, they walked without the help of a cane or walker, and didn’t even need an arm to lean on.  They were smiling and happy to be alive.  Several, as you may have noted from their comments, were serious athletes.  They were from all corners of the United States, not any particular region.  My impression is that their longevity must be attributed to attitude as much as anything.

I went to bed uplifted and inspired.  Now I think I’ll work on a bit of an attitude adjustment.


A birthday on Bastille Day.

It’s Bastille Day in France.  In our family it is granddaughter A’s birthday.  She’s fifteen, the middle child of my nine grandchildren, and the middle girl of seven granddaughters.

Today I recall one of my favorite memories of A as a young child.  She was four or five years old when her family took her and her older brother and sister for about a month-long trip to Europe.  My ex-husband and I had the good fortune to meet them in Paris for the better part of a week.  A’s mom, my daughter, had rented a little apartment in Montmartre.  D and I found a hotel a few blocks away so we could be near them.

I don’t know if it was sheer good luck or good planning on my daughter’s part but they could see the Eiffel Tower from their living room.  Imagine her mom’s delight when an excited A exclaimed, “I know I’m in Paris because I can see the real Eiffel Tower!”  Her mom had probably told her in advance that she would see the Eiffel Tower but I know that she had recently seen a movie called “Rugrats in Paris.”  I’m guessing it was the movie that impressed her but I was glad she recognized what she was seeing.

So Happy, Happy Birthday Dear A.  I hope you will one day return to Paris.  It’s a magical place.

And FRANCE, as you put this day to bed, I’m hoping it was a happy celebration for all.

Light one candle…or a few.

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~ Chinese Proverb

Yesterday afternoon the skies became almost nighttime black.  A storm was brewing and it looked ominous.  It hit with a fury — blinding rain, tree-bending wind, and angry thunder.  No problem.  We need the rain.  The temperature dropped to a bearable level.  I love a good summer storm.  I watched for a while from the front door, then settled in with a book.  Shortly the lights went out.

Well, I thought, there’s plenty of daylight left.  The power company will have us up and running before dark.  Sure enough, at about 6:15 the lights came on.  I high-fived the air.  As I lowered my hand the lights flickered and disappeared.

“Be prepared.” I told my best boy scout self.  I stashed my tiny travel flashlight in my pocket and put a candle and lighter on the nearest table.  With cell phone in one hand and reader in the other, I was ready to ride it out.

I LOVE modern technology.  I used my phone to go online and report the power outage.  I  read all my pending email.  (Now I need to respond to some of them.)  I played Solitaire and Sudoku on the reader.  I play those mindless games because they free up my brain and allow me to think.  I recognize that thinking sometimes gets me in trouble, but I do a lot of it all the same.

For obvious reasons, I was thinking last night about light, both figurative and literal light.  Literally, as night fell, I chose to add candles to my table in order to increase the light pool and my sense of visual security.  (See photo above.)  Figuratively, I started to wonder about the definition of light as I’ve perceived it most of my life.  I’m still working on the figurative angle, but my long-held perceptions probably come from religious/spiritual influences via my teachers’ and parents’ lessons on morals and values.

To my way of thinking, if I see the light, that’s a good thing.  It means I know which path to take.  I’m aware that I can cast a good or a bad light on any situation/person/group.  Whether I’m writing a post for my blog or figuring out what to say to someone who has stepped on my toes, if I have a little niggle in my gut that makes me wonder whether I’m doing/writing/saying the right thing, my answer is no.  If I don’t want it done to me, I shouldn’t do it to someone else.  I think of that as using my light in a positive way.

(Deep breath.)  I started this blog as a recently divorced and jilted woman.  Did I always practice what I said in the paragraph above?  No, I did not.  My excuse, if I’m allowed one, is that the pain was unbearable.  I wanted them to hurt as much as I did.  I’m healing now and I’m doing better.  At least I think I am.  That doesn’t mean I’ll stop telling the truth as I see it, but I would prefer not to strike out and hurt anyone else.  That’s not who I am.

(Another deep breath.)  A final note about casting a bad light on others.  Recently, my ten-year-old grandson told me, “Some people are prejudiced.”  I agreed.  We discussed it and I could see that he understood the concept. If your humor or entertainment consists of denigrating others, my boy would call that prejudice.  Have a nice day.

Nothing but blue skies do I see…..

Summertime blues.

“…and there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”  ~ Eddie Cochran, 1938-1960

Back in 1959, young Eddie Cochran wrote and recorded “Summertime Blues.”  It has since been recorded by many other artists, including Roger Daltrey and The Who.  It continues to entertain me whenever I chance to hear it.  I included the link so that you might enjoy it, too, if you choose.  Music, as I have said before, soothes my soul and brings me great joy.

I have mentioned in previous posts that I have bouts of depression.  Some of the worst times come in the summer.  I am at my core an outdoor “girl.”  When we have days, sometimes even weeks on end, of ninety-five plus temperatures, it starts to wear on me.  Walking in the mall isn’t my idea of satisfying exercise.  Walking outside is out of the question–even dangerous.  Stubborn soul that I am, I try hard to outwit my depression and negative thoughts.  Tonight I’m looking back on my last twenty-four hours and remembering the things/people/events that brought a spot of happiness into my world.  For example, red flowers in a summer bouquet as seen in the photo above.  I bought these for myself at my local grocery.

Stella and her mom spent the night with me last night.  This is her Bananagrams message on our Winnie the Pooh rug in her favorite room.  You can see Pooh’s feet, lower right.  We rocked and I sang the songs I used to sing to her mom when she was little.  S sings with me on You Are My Sunshine.  We read books, ate chocolate cake, watched a bit of Sponge Bob Square Pants (a very funny show for adults), and lots of other fun stuff.  No time for depression with S around.  She’s a joyful little girl.

This is Stella’s t-shirt for the day.  She didn’t want to pose long enough for me to snap a picture but she finally relented so I would “just get it done” and leave her alone.  I’m proud of her parents for teaching this message to their children and for promoting it in the community via t-shirts and attitudes.  Title IX lives! and I’m glad for that.  In fact I can gratefully add that all three of my daughters encourage and support this message.  Thank you, Daughters, for your open minds and progressive thinking.

High on my list of hot-weather activities is visiting my nearest book shop, so I don’t need to tell you that I was delighted when Daughter #1 (numbers established by birth order) texted and asked if I wanted to meet her there.  Of course I did.  It’s a large store and it’s wonderfully cool.  I often spend a couple of hours browsing, and I admit it, I buy far too often for one who has an electronic reader.  It helps that there’s a Starbucks there.  This time of year it’s the coffee frappuccino that calls my name.  Yum!

I keep telling myself that I must start to spend more time at the nearest public library so I won’t buy books.  It would be just as cool.  Of course they don’t have a Starbucks and the library is farther away.  One of these days.  Maybe.  I’m considering it.  Really!

Do your best.  Give.  Eat good food and share.  Celebrate tradition.  Cherish family.  Look back.  Look ahead.  LIVE NOW.  Play games.  Dream.  Accept change.  ~~  These are the messages on a lovely, handcrafted Lazy Susan which sits on my kitchen table.  Today, I’m happy to say, I did most of these things.    It was a good day. 

Happy Birthday, USA!

I took this picture at my local mall.  I went out searching for an American flag to photograph in honor of America’s birthday tomorrow.  I was at first taken aback by the fact that it was flying at half mast.  I quickly realized that it was because the state of North Carolina lost one of its favorite sons this morning.  Andy Griffith, Andy of Mayberry, comedian, actor, singer, political activist, and all-around good guy, died this morning at the age of 86.  As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this year, we will celebrate at the same time the life of Andy Griffith.  May he rest in peace.

My favorite patriotic song is “America the Beautiful.”  This is Ray Charles’s version.  It’s awesome.  There’s also a very nice slide show with it.  Enjoy!