Archive | July, 2014

Day 37 – Marginal Way

31 Jul

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A wooden park bench
along the marginal way,
sweet ocean mist air.

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Day 36 – Move your feet, lose your seat

30 Jul

wpid-20140728_093020.jpgI took this photo of ZuZu yesterday. Whenever we are outside, she insists on coming out too. Sadie and I had been sitting on the front porch together reading. When she got up and went inside I saw ZuZu get up and start to circle, eying Grandma’s chair. I knew what she wanted and all I had to do was say, “Go ahead.” She jumped up in the warm chair and circled once more and settled in. She sat there with me until I got a snack, then she had to move closer. I swear she thinks she’s people too. I took the photo because she looked so sweet and part human sitting in that deck chair. Before we got her, I lobbied with Glenn harder than the kids to get a dog. But I never could have imagined just how much I would end up loving her.

Day 35 – DKHtR Syndrome

29 Jul

The opposite sexes have longed to figure each other out for years. I’m no expert, but I do have twenty years of married experience… 2 x 10 = 20. Having been married twice allows me to understand that most characteristics are individual and likely have very little to do with gender. However, the things that are similar make me wonder: are most men like this?

Both men that I’ve been married to have this thing I call DKHtR Syndrome (Don’t Know How to Rest Syndrome). My first husband only really rested when he was sick or sleeping, and like many men he didn’t do sick well. He was so stereotypical with his man colds. Glenn rests slightly more often, but this may just be the age difference. He rests when he’s sick, sleeping, on vacation and most evenings between 9:00 and 11:00 PM. Occasionally, in the winter, Glenn will sit in the recliner on Sunday afternoons and watch football.

Neither of the men I married is very good at resting at home during the day. With Glenn, there’s always a fix-it project. Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful that I never have to nag, NEVER. He’s on vacation this week and yesterday he cleaned and detailedwpid-20140729_123402.jpg his car. It looks great. Today he had appointments in the morning and so did I. When I got home he was cleaning the kitchen. I retreated to the front porch with my book. After about 45 minutes I got curious, so I came in to see what he was doing. I found him sleeping on the couch with his best friend. I tip-toed around, not wanting to disrupt him on this rare occasion.

After he woke up we sat on the back deck together for a while and I told him how proud I was of him for actually resting. His response? “I should be waxing my car.” What is it? I don’t get it? I have more productive things I could be doing with my time, but none of them, even once they’re completed, are nearly as satisfying as sitting with a good book. Do most other men have this strange disorder, or did I just happen to marry two of the rare few?

I’m so glad that I don’t have to convince Glenn to rest when we go away for vacation. If I walk the beach with him, and we go for a swim together, he’s happy to sit on the beach and read together in companionable silence, my favourite thing in the whole wide world.

Day 34 – Insert enjoyable thing here

28 Jul

Is there anything you get so much enjoyment from that you can’t help but encourage others to participate? There are several things/experiences that I enjoy so much that I can’t help but talk about them, but that’s not quite what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the difference between “This is such a great [insert enjoyable thing here]; you really should try it,” and, “This [insert enjoyable thing here] is amazing; you MUST try it.” See the difference?

I love getting pedicures. They can be pricey and I know not everyone likes having other people touch their feet. However, if you’ve never had one, you cannot know what it is that you’re missing. In his late seventies, my dad who has just started getting pedicures would agree. However, I don’t go around telling others that they really need to have a pedicure. I love going to the chiropractor. In the short-term, the adjustment gives me a little rush and relieves aches and pains. In the long-term, I have greater mobility and it allows me to be more active in general. However, I rarely mention chiropractic care, unless someone mentions their joint or back pain. I could recommend other things that I love: yoga, places I’ve traveled to, certain restaurants and experiences, but I’d never push any of it on others.

There is one activity that I love so much, I can’t help but encourage everyone else to engage in it as well. If you’ve been reading my blog, or even if we’re Facebook friends and this is the first of my blog posts you’ve read, it won’t come as any surprise to you that I’m talking about reading. If you’ve read this far, you can read, but are you a reader? There’s a big difference. For instance, I can ride a bike, but I’m certainly not a wpid-20140728_204031.jpgcyclist. Most people read to get information, but readers read more and more often because they enjoy the experience. It is much more than functional; it’s pleasurable. Our desire for the printed text is insatiable; the more time I spend reading, the more I want to read. To say that the list of books I’d like to read is ambitious is a huge understatement. Readers can generally tell you what they plan to read next.

Poeple who don’t regularly read for pleasure are missing out! However, it’s difficult to convince them that reading can be as or more enjoyable than how they’re currently using their discretionary time. If it’s so enjoyable, why is it hard to get people to do it? The problem is that reading is a slower way to ingest a story. Who wants slower? Why walk when driving is faster? Why write when typing is faster? Why paint the fence with a brush when a sprayer can cut that time in half? We often choose the faster route to any outcome. However, when the experience is more important that completing the task, we generally choose the slower route. We want vacation to slow down. We want sex to last longer. We savour fine food. If we only ever read for function, of course we want to get it over with. It’s a chore. However, when we allow ourselves to enjoy the experience, we like that it takes longer.

I believe that everyone is a reader, but some people just don’t and may never realize it. In order for someone to become a reader, they have to connect with THAT one book, the book that does it for them, and there’s one for everyone. THAT book is so interesting that they don’t want to put it down. Some people might think that there isn’t a book that they wouldn’t want to put down. Don’t believe it! Once they find the first one, it gets easier to find others. Most people don’t find THAT book on their own. Most bibliophiles, like myself, are happy to help them find it and if they get close to a bibliophile, they usually don’t even have to ask. The love I have for books makes it impossible not to promote reading.

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Day 33 – Elisa 43: Blackout

27 Jul

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Day 32 – Maloik

26 Jul

wpid-20140726_192324.jpgIt’s nice to be out and about and have someone say, “I’ve been enjoying reading your blog.” What’s horrifying is when you turn to my mother-in-law and tell her that you’ve been reading all about her. She doesn’t want to be on the internet. We tried to tell her years ago that resistance is futile, but she’s quite insistent. You have to understand, she was a child of the depression. She hid her money under her mattress. Even though her digital footprint is non-existent, she doesn’t want her identity stolen. She’s threatening to sue. While I know she is joking, I sense a hint of seriousness. What I’m really worried about though is what she calls maloik (evil eye/Italian curse). Can you see that thing she’s doing with her hands? Before it was a universal hand signal used by rockers everywhere, it was a curse used by angry Italians. Not that I believe in curses, but it never hurts to be safe, right? I get a little shiver just thinking about it.

So, just like we’ve agree not to talk about other things… please stop telling my MIL you’ve been reading about her or seeing her photos on my blog. It just gets her going. And while I do realize that I could just stop writing about her, but where’s the fun in that?

Day 31 – Friday solution

25 Jul

Since I’ve started this daily blogging, writing my blog on Friday nights has been the most difficult part. For some reason, at the end of the week, writing that blog has been so incredibly difficult. That isn’t the only problem I’ve encountered while blogging. When you force yourself to write, and post every day, some blog posts turn out better than others. After three or four weeks of blogging I began to notice a pattern, one that is supported by evidence when I look at the statistics of my blog. The writing that I like the best, almost always gets the most traffic to my blog. I know when I’ve written something good. The opposite is also true. I know when I’ve written something mediocre or blah and this shows up in the stats as well. I’m an astute judge of my own writing. Whenever I write about the ordinary happenings of that day, I bore myself. So here is my solution, don’t allow myself to cop-out by writing “today we did this..” until Friday night and then I’ll use lots of photos to tell the story of my week. That’s my solution for my struggle to write my blog posts on Fridays.wpid-20140720_122938.jpg

This photo of Savanna was from last Sunday. She stopped to chat with me for a minute before she left for work. Then she went out into the garage and I heard her say to Glenn, “Nope, she didn’t notice.” Then she came back in a minute later and said, “Look at my shirt.” It was Glenn’s sweat shirt from his time in Royal Rangers; it must be thirty years old. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Glenn wear it, but she has claimed it now. Every time I ask my kids to let me take their photo they have to do this, well not this exactly–an awkward pose, make a face, give me a stern look or a double chin. I can never get just a simple smile or pleasant look. wpid-20140721_104247.jpg

Glenn’s mom has been with us for three weeks, and she’s going to be with us for another three. This is the kind of thing she does on a daily basis. She’ll see something she thinks needs to be done and she does it. Monday it was cleaning the BBQ grill. It looks almost as good as it did the day we bought it. Another day she cleaned the sliding glass door and track; another day it was the little windows in the double doors between our office and living room. She also ironed all of Glenn’s shirts. She’ll find something to putter away at, then she sits and reads, does her Sudoku and Price is Right, Let’s Make a Deal and Dr. Phil have become more regularly watched in our household.wpid-20140721_211149.jpg

Monday night was the perfect night for a trip to Tingley’s. Is it even still called that? Maybe just by the people who know better, but the kids working there were all wearing shirts that said Dundonald Dairy Bar. Pfft. It’ll always be Tingley’s to me. Even ZuZu came along and enjoyed a little ice cream. Here we have Seldon making his stern face. Why? Why must my children do this? It’s not like I was one of those mothers constantly chasing them with a camera.

When we were at Beulah Seldon ended up needing stitches. He was playing a game of man hunt, or wpid-20140722_142024.jpgsomething with the youth and he took of his shoes. He sliced his big toe open on a sharp rock. We went last Thursday to get them out and the doctor said they needed to stay in longer. It was a long 12 summer days that he could not swim or long board. Tuesday afternoon we went back to the doctor’s office and nurse Debbie was finally able to remove his stitches and she gave him the green light to return to the fun stuff of summer. Wednesday he started volunteering at the pool with Savanna, helping with swimming lessons. The main reason is to help an autistic boy who is taking lessons, but he stays all morning helping with all of the classes and he’s really enjoying it. I think we have another lifeguard in the making.

wpid-20140722_195726.jpgOn Tuesday night, Sadie, Glenn, ZuZu and I went to the Kathleen Gorey-McSorley concert in Officer’s Square. I love her style of folksy celtic and musical story telling. She’s a talented young woman. There were three little girls, maybe three or four years old, dancing and running back and forth in front of the stage. They were half the show. ZuZu loves being around so many people. She kept creeping behind our chairs to get belly rubs from the women sitting behind us. Then, the baby who was sitting with his mother in front of us started crying and ZuZu pulled on her leash to get a closer look and managed to distract the baby from his crying, so Glenn took her to meet the baby. Is there anything cuter than babies and dogs together?

Iwpid-20140723_141427.jpgt was so hot outside on Wednesday! I spent some time outside in the morning with my book, but once it got very hot I retreated inside, into the air conditioning. The highlight of my day was the hour I spent with my book in the tub. I rarely use the whirlpool tub in our master bath and for that reason I think it was not a good idea to have it put in. However, when I do actually allow myself to take that luxurious time to use it, I love it.

wpid-20140723_210022.jpgWe had mom and dad over for supper on Wednesday night and mom brought me some of her homemade soft molasses cookies. How could I not share one with ZuZu when she gives me this look? You know what happened.

I have no photo evidence that the last two days even happened. But that’s okay, right? We were too busy living to document life. Sadie went to the Senior’s center on Thursday for crafts and again today for a lunch time potluck. My mom is in Augusta for a few days with her quilting buddies on a shopping/Quilting Show trip, so dad came over for pizza tonight. Between trips to the pool, driving Seldon to his friends houses, taking Sadie to hair appointments and the senior’s center, I’m reading every chance I get, sneaking a chapter in here and there. Because after all, that’s what summer’s all about.

 

 

 

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