A day in the life…

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7:00-7:30 a.m.  Scritch, scratch.  Lulu is at the bedroom door.  It isn’t her feeding time.  She doesn’t go outside.  So, what does she want?  Company.  Me.  Sometimes I get up and let her in to snuggle for a while.  Other days I get up straight away and go downstairs with her.

Almost every day I get out of bed with an “itch” to write.  As regular readers know, I haven’t written much in the last few months.  So if I get up with a desire to write, what’s keeping me from doing so?  In part, it’s because I’ve been as busy as a honey bee in a bed of clover.  There was a while that I couldn’t write because I was seriously depressed.  That is no longer a problem, thanks to antidepressant medication which has worked a not-so-small miracle in that regard.

My upbeat mood and new-found energy have given me a joie de vivre that I haven’t had in a very long time.  I’m finding my schedule almost over-booked these days simply because I feel like doing things and seeing people.  Who knew there were so many entertaining endeavors waiting for me?  Well, I did.  But I couldn’t get past the lethargy that depression causes.  I’m grateful for another chance to live my life, and to enjoy doing so.

In the past couple of months I have been walking regularly with two of my neighbors.  (It’s lots more photo(19)fun when you have company.)  I’ve attended numerous grandchild functions:  a pre-prom photo session, an elementary school graduation, a high school graduation, two engagement parties, a gymnastics celebration banquet (the end of a rather lengthy gymnastics career–happy and sad), and more that I can’t remember at the moment.

In addition to the fun stuff, I have taken on a front yard project.  I’m wondering if my meds have made me a little more wacky than I normally am–not an easy feat since I’ve always been pretty wacky. As some of you know already, I don’t grow grass very well, so I decided I should construct some around-the-tree gardens in order to have less weedy grass to mow.photo(16)  I started by digging a v-shaped trench around the tree.  My research tells me this is a Victorian edge.  I didn’t want a brick or stone edging because it makes using the weed eater a bit fussy.  I thought the digging would be the hardest part, but abundant rain had saturated the ground and digging was a breeze.

The next step was to cover inside the circle with newspapers.  The newspaper kills weeds and unwanted grass in the finished product.  Then I spread four (or so) inches of soil on top of the newspapers.  Next came a nice thick layer of mulch on top of the dirt. Viola. The garden is ready for some shade-loving plants.photo(20)

I took this photo shortly after I planted.  We’ve had a great deal of rain and sunshine since then, so I’m able to see growth almost every day.  Only two more trees to go.  My neighbors are waiting patiently.  I’m still a little surprised (and proud) that I was able to do this by myself.  Gave me a nice sense of accomplishment.

Words, words, I love words.

All my life I’ve looked at words as if I were seeing them for the first time.   ~  Ernest Hemingway

I’m with you, Papa.  Me too.  And even before I could look at words and read them, I loved them.  Sometimes, at a very young age, I would hear a word and adopt it right away because I liked the sound of it.  I would roll it around in my mind and silently repeat it over and over.  I guess I was a bit OCD early on, wasn’t I? 🙂  And I would have repeated it aloud except that my mom would say, “Honey, could you please just not talk for a little while?”  I understand that now but I didn’t back then.  I did, however, want to make her happy, so I would try very hard not to talk–no easy task for a three- or four-year-old would-be wordsmith.

I wish I could say I have always used my words wisely but I haven’t.  I have not-so-jokingly said that when my genes were figuring what goes where, they should have had some sort of thingy to put between my brain and my tongue.  Unfortunately, that piece disappeared like an important piece from a grandchild’s Lego set.  Whenever a notion enters my brain, it almost instantly exits my mouth.  Sometimes that “quality” makes me look outspoken but honest, which I am.  Other times I look and sound like the horse’s ass who forgot to consider my words a little before I voiced them.  And once spoken I can never get them back.  I have worked on this issue for years and I will give myself credit for being much more modulated and moderated than I once was.

I’ve been thinking lately about my written words.  Writing gives me an opportunity to weigh my words before I pass them off to a receiver.  I like that.  I usually proofread and edit my posts several times before I hit publish.  I’m not usually checking for spelling and grammar.  I’m looking for tone and how I will sound to my reader.  But here’s the problem:  When I’m speaking I have many tools at my disposal that I don’t have when I’m writing.  I have a very mobile face and a voice that changes tone and emphasis and mood.  The person I’m communicating with can see and hear if I’m making a joke or if I’m crying or if I’m angry.

When I’m writing I have to use words to convey those messages.  You who have been writing seriously for a while have probably figured out how to do that.  I think I am slowly learning but it isn’t easy for me.  I’m thinking maybe I will take a writing class.  Have you had experiences, good or bad, with writing classes?  If so, I would love to hear from you.  I’m sick of smiley faces and I really don’t think they’re very effective.

Something’s happening here…


There’s something happening here.  What it is ain’t exactly clear.
~ Stephen Stills

I admit this isn’t one of my more attractive photos.  I had to shoot it though.  I showed it to my grandson recently and asked him to tell me what he saw.  His response was, “Cookies?”  That’s not at all what I thought when I first saw it sitting on the drainage grate in front of a house in my neighborhood.  I recognize that my vision isn’t what it once was but I thought it looked more like dog poop than cookies.  I took a closer look and realized it was a Thomas’ English muffin with peanut butter.  There must be some irony here but I’m not sure what.  I say that because this is what D used to eat most mornings for breakfast.

When I realized what it was I said aloud (yes, I talk to myself) “A free writing prompt!”  Then my imagination took off for the rest of my walk as I tried to figure out what scenario might have led someone to leave breakfast on the grating.  There are so many possibilities.

Scenario #1–Ten-year-old Emma loves animals.  It would be just like her to leave her breakfast there for the neighbor’s dog to enjoy when he goes for his morning walk.  She knows his owner will bring him by at about 9:00 or so.  She sat on the front steps and waited for him during the summer.  Or maybe, because the weather was colder than usual, she wanted to feed the birds.  There are so many of them flitting about from tree to ground and back again.  Could be she’s noticed the yellow and white long-haired feral cat that scavenges the neighborhood looking for a bite.  It would be just like her to sacrifice her meal for that poor wanderer.  Everyone else fears him because he might be mad.

Scenario #2–Emma had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.  Mommy had to call her several times.  She wanted to get up the first time but she was so tired.  Mommy and Daddy fought again last night.  Emma has noticed that the fights are happening more often and getting louder.  She wishes Daddy wouldn’t hit Mommy.  She wishes Mommy wouldn’t make him mad.  This morning, because Emma couldn’t wake up, she didn’t have time to eat.  She had to catch the bus to school because her mom didn’t have a car to drive her.  Daddy wouldn’t allow Mom to have a car.  Mom, rushing to the bus stop to give her daughter breakfast, watched sadly as the bus pulled away from the curb.  She didn’t have the heart to take it back inside.

I have mentioned before that usually when I write my fingers go places and my brain tags along.  I think I wrote #2 because domestic violence was on my mind.  My blogger friend Kim writes passionately about and against such violence and its devastation to families and communities.  Her passion has led me to take up the cause in some small way.  Several years ago I volunteered for a time as a Guardian ad litem.  (1-866-341-1425)  My perspective is from the child’s point of view because, as a Guardian ad litem, I was a voice in the court system for children who were often victims of domestic violence.  Thank you, Kim, for reawakening my awareness.  It certainly has put my divorce in perspective.

National Domestic Violence Hotline–1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224