Wednesday, January 31, 2018

In your face!

Damn you Mirror!  That's not what I look like in my head! - minion
My mirror never tells falsehoods supposedly, dang it.  No matter what it proclaims, I call it a liar.

This past Christmas my children (ages 42, 39, and 37) were here to celebrate our 45th (that is forty-fifth) anniversary.  My birthday was also at that time and we all were together to honor this matriarch who brought them into this world.

Sixty-six (that is 66) years of living is difficult to comprehend.

I still look kinda like a 35 (that is thirty-five) year old in my own mind.  Here is our community of 55+, we ARE the kids, because we are surrounded by those in their 80s and 90s.  I look young.  More than that, I think young.

Our grand-daughters are 11.5 and 13 years old.  I hang out with them and I love every minute of it.

One girl at a time, we attack the mall and cruise around stores, like Hot Topics and Lunchbox.  We also check out the earrings in Claire's and then the hot shoes in Macy's. There are other places, but their selections are slutty and cheap.  We hold them up and laugh at them.

Our first stop is always at Starbucks, always.  That is the only place where I treat them.  They bring their own money, and are careful in their purchases.

We get photos taken in the kiosk where it now costs $5 (!) for strips of photos.  We are goofy, select crazy themes, giggle at each other, and share the prints.

Then, on another day, the second girl heads there with me, and we head all around.  We may go to the same places, but those hold totally different experiences.

What is the best thing is that they talk with me, tell me stuff, just like I am almost one of them. And I share my own stuff with them.  Tell them stories of my own teen years and family, passing part of me down to them.  Most of the time they listen.

Part of it is that I move just a little closer to their tween world, am allowed to peek into their experiences, learn more about these years of their lives, and have latched onto their language and most of their idioms. Their enthusiasm becomes mine, their youthful mannerisms are reflected in me.

How can the mirror lie so blatantly?  Doesn't it know?

Sunshine (11.5 years), Grandma (66 years), and Bright Eyes (13 years)
Worth every year.

P.S.  Sometimes when the phone rings and I answer it (usually it is the doctor office), the voice at the other end always verifies my age. How old did you say?  Really? Let me check your birthdate. Yes, you are that age.  You sound so young.... This is not true, just a wish of mine. I am a liar. Sigh.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Looking Back, Looking Now, Looking Forward

Grandma Marie and Grandpa Lewis Cardiff

Every now and then, old blog posts need to get visited, at least I believe they do.  I just to want to see if there were any additional comments, mostly. But it is also important me to compare my writing back then to my writing now.

Today I visited my last post at my WIP, /, "Facing Down Demons".  My Grandpa Lewis Cardiff fought in World War 1 and came home with memories of horrors he could not erase from his mind.  His stories were ones I heard in the last year of his life when he was talking with my oldest brother, Don.  I was in eighth grade, Don was a senior in high school. 

Those stories of what he saw planted themselves in my own mind, and I hung onto them.  Don?  What? What stories? Don has Grandpa's rifle and keeps it in good condition, while I keep images pristine.

I am glad I re-visited it.  There was one of the few films of the St. Mehiel offensive, and it was taken down when the provider's YouTube account ceased.  So I went searching and found a site which is astounding with its comprehensive collection of black and white films of WW 1. This is the site,, and you could watch these forever, over 4 thousand of them.

The following is an interview with one of the last veterans:

The ultimate and incredible sadness about war is that war never truly ends.  Twenty years after WW1, the sons of WW1 veterans marched into WW2 and Korea.  Then their own sons found Vietnam.  Next generations moved onto Gulf War, Afghanistan, Syria, and more.

As for me, I will keep scrolling back to my past writing, and always hope that what I write has meaning.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Life is a fast ride.

January is hitting its stride and that makes me realize that this year, 2018, will slide to December 31st too quickly. In fact, old sledding hills have now become ski jumps covered with black ice.

When did this happen? What should I do during 2018 acceleration?

Obviously, nothing can be done to slow time down. It is what it is.

What we all must do is to examine and activate these most necessary requirements: Gratitude, Faithfulness, and Honesty. Why these, you may ask. These three weave through all aspects of living, encompassing our entire existence.

Gratitude may be silent in most lives.  What we have now is not of our own doing at all, because this has been gifted to us by God.  Yes, everyone has had to work for everything, no doubt about that. The difference is that our drive is nailed into our DNA, into our thought processes.  This is part of who we are. And this comes from God.

Be grateful and give thanks.

Be faithful in all things.  When we are faithful to who we are and what we believe, when we are faithful to those we love, and when we are faithful to paths and goals laid out before us, life moves along. Faith gives all the strength needed.

Be faithful and hold onto your faith.

Honesty. This is huge.  It is not just telling the truth to those around us, it is about being honest with ourselves. Admit it, we would like to believe that we will finish the garage cleanup in one afternoon dictated by someone in the family, we know that is pie in the sky.  Be honest. Look at the mirror and see that 50 pounds will not drop off in one year.

Honesty is a personal attribute, to be developed personally. Others wrestling with honesty have nothing to do with the honesty in your own life.

Be honest to yourself and those around you.

Gratitude, Faithfulness, and Honesty are daily goals and always a work in process.  Fasten your skis and grip your poles because life is a fast ride.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

God Bless the Irish

McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal,#McCannsIrishOats
Cannot go wrong with this product.
I am making McCann's Irish steel-cut oatmeal this morning.  Somehow Quaker's variety pack of instant oatmeal just didn't appeal.  The steel-cut oatmeal requires some time, almost an hour at this point.  But the idea of a steaming bowl of authentic oatmeal today was enticing.

Brown sugar, raisins, some butter, blueberries and milk later, we enjoyed this treat on a rainy morning. For years, decades really, our family have purchased and consumed 2% fat milk, thinking that this was good for our waistlines.  Oatmeal with 2% milk was normal for us.

Then in Ireland, I discovered that we were missing out of great oatmeal.  It happened when I was served a steaming bowl of oatmeal swimming in cream. Cream!  Real thick smooth heaven resting  on cooked oatmeal. This is how oatmeal was meant to be, drenched in cream.

We still have 2% milk, but next time we go to shop, cream is on the list.

Skimming cream from milk, Skimming milk, glass pitcher, "I Love Milk", Land O' Lakes pitcher, Milk, Cream,

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I need cash now!

Even Jean Luc Picard struggles with money
People often laugh about the "in-the-brain-song-worms" that simply will not go away.  It doesn't matter what song it is or where it originated. It wanders and sings its way to a form of insanity.

DisneyLand?  It's a Small World attaches to some cortex, popping up now and then.

Barney?  That is a vicious one, having been a frequent babysitter for gr-daughters.  I love you, you love me...just shoot the purple dinosaur already.

Now I wrestle with a commercial series: J.G. Wentworth.  Innocuous?  Maybe. But then again it won't leave, it simply will not go away.

Talent blooms  

Another gem:

Ridden a bus lately?

Yet, another:
Upbeat, balancing in windows

I would love to discuss this with him.

How long can I put these commercials up for your viewing? I looked through YouTube and found over 20 more commercials, and that is a conservative estimate.  Thomas the Train?  Muppets? Bubble Guppies (child cartoons)?  An Octoberfest? On the mound of a baseball game? Boy Bands? Seriously injured and in a hospital bed? Every age and interest group gets their chance of cashing out on long term settlements.

As this sweetie tells you:

Sweet baby

Let's all sing along together!  I have a structured settlement, but I need.....