Posted by Kathy on Oct 27, 2016 in Thoughts from ME
Every once in a while, I pass a lawn sign that truly horrifies me. I am not talking about the political signs spread far and near, though it’ll be years before we get through our collective PTSD from this election season.
No, I’m referring to a piece of signage I saw that gave a blaze-lit-up, sparkly countdown-of-days ’til Christmas. Talk about your pre-holiday stress. Nothing like getting in the mood for spiritual contemplation by having something that reminds you daily, in neon, to get the heck to the store and buy, buy, buy.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I have begun my shopping. I’m trying to buy local, trying to support the little guy, trying to keep things meaningful and modest, trying to avoid the large conglomerates, blah, blah, blah. So, I thought I might make some gifts this year.
Trip #1 to a craft store netted me a bunch of T-shirts to start my project, reminiscent of the good old days when I sewed dolls, pillows, dinner…and I had to take Trip #2 back to the store because the fabric paint I had at home had dried up. I guess that happens after a decade passes. Go figure.
I thought about giving baked goods, like a very organized friend of mine does each year. I figured that to properly do so, I’d need to buy a bunch of those little mini bread pans. I’d have to find recipes for various breads, with choices that don’t involve something I like to eat, because that never ends well. Definitely no chocolate chip-anything. With that in mind, what’s worth baking?!?
There are 30-something, maybe 20-something days ’til Christmas as I write this… essentially about a month…that’s only four weeks…and during that time? Thanksgiving. TV ads. Meals to eat. Appointments, work, and showering. You know what? In real time, Christmas is basically tomorrow.
There’s no time to make stuff.
Happy Holidays, friends.
If you need me, I’ll be at the mall.
Posted by Kathy on May 31, 2016 in Thoughts from ME
I do not have a green thumb. But due to circumstances beyond my control, I am left in charge of my plants, gardens, and a big piece of land. I have help, but because I have inherited my dad’s sense of, uh, economy (aka I’m cheap), I try to do some of it, in pieces, for myself. Mathematics would predict that taking care of it this way just doesn’t work.
I have two pots of purple flowers out front, one of which has turned into something of a crunchy breakfast cereal. I’m waiting for the day I see someone pouring milk on it. The other pot of flowers is closer to my door, so occasionally I notice it and water it. The rest of my yard is flourishing, and by that I mean that in less than two weeks, it has grown up like a tropical forest. It’s my personal “Little Shop of Horrors.” A stage set for Tarzan and Jane. Jack and his beanstalk have nothing on me. Particularly disturbing is a large once-vegetable garden that now is a combination of grass, weeds, and assorted vegetation. Last year, there were a couple of big, plump pumpkins in it by summer’s end.
Why not chop some of it down, you might wonder. Why indeed.
Well, I would, except I have no tools left. See, last summer I put my house on the market. It took a while to get everything tidied up and ready. I remember the day I started really getting into the idea of downsizing and decluttering. Get rid of the clutter, everyone said. You’ll feel so FREE!!!!! And I remember the day, soon after, when I thought it best to take it of the market for the colder months.
Here’s some advice: Think. Think twice, before you turn to your lovely grown child, who lives in another town in his own little home, and say, “You know what? Take all the tools, honey. Take the yard equipment. I won’t need any of it.” Oh – and also think twice before you pay to have someone load it, including all the large items, on a big truck to make it possible to deliver it to said grown child. sigh…
Um, yeah. That was when I thought the house would sell right away.
Weed whacker, anyone?
Posted by Kathy on Dec 31, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
When we were teenagers in New York, active in music and theater programs, my mom used to warn us about feeling let-down when a show came to a close. Ice cream helped a lot. That, and getting into another production.
This Christmas season, just over a year after my husband Ted’s death, I was surprised at how everything felt quite a bit easier than the previous year, when the pain of losing him had been so acute. Yes, I still miss him plenty. But this year, when my daughter Sally came up from Brooklyn several days before Christmas, the fun began immediately. Ted once remarked that he never heard me laugh so much as when I was with Sally. To be fair, there are a few others who can get me going to the point of wondering if I will, in fact, need to call 911. (Can someone actually die laughing?)
We buzzed through the hectic, wonderful week in good form, connecting with other family members and friends. I felt peaceful, even with tears. We sang carols at Ted’s grave in the dark on Christmas Eve, and I wondered if we’d be kicked out of the cemetery by some lurking security guard of my imagination. At home, we played a fast-paced trivia-type game Sally bought for me that left me with the question “Where did my brain go?”, which would be an apt title for it. We went to the movies, shopped, and took field trips to the refrigerator with complete “live for today” abandon. I do regret that part, just a bit, as I face the new year and all that resolution junk. Oh, well. Whatever.
I felt so good about this year’s experience that I wrote a long email to my former grief counselor. A model of hope and growth, I detailed how I got through the holidays in reasonable shape (other than the fit of my clothing…)
Then Tuesday morning came. We got up at what some people call early morning (aka the middle of the night, for me), and I drove her to the airport. I knew I would miss her company. But it didn’t hit me until later that day: the feeling of life in slow-motion, my head prodding me to physically move, to put dishes away, to unclench my jaw. The next morning brought that forgotten, familiar desire to stay in bed. I had to force-feed intentions to call friends, to make plans, to say yes instead of no.
The waves of loss and aloneness that have risen up have captured my attention – this unexpected piece of life that catches me when I’m not looking and threatens to overtake me.
The trick is to feel it…to let it be there…and still, somehow, keep the motion going.
If only it were as easy as signing up for another show.
Posted by Kathy on Dec 14, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
For unto us a shopping list is born…hope you are all enjoying whatever holidays you wish to celebrate! May this be a time of great peace and joy for all. THANK YOU to all my many readers who have enjoyed Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess this year since its publication in May. I am grateful – and also getting ready for my first chocolate fix of the day.
It’s not to late to pick up a copy at your local bookstore or online! It’s fast and easy! Click on the book cover to the right, which will bring you (eventually…remember, it’s the season to feel peaceful and also pray for that prime parking spot at the mall) to ways to get your copy – for you, or for that special friend or family member who really needs a good laugh. Good news: There is absolutely nothing to learn from this novel. It’s just FUN!!!!
Love and hugs to you all! Make peace, laugh, and share chocolate.
Posted by Kathy on Nov 4, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
I’m not going to tell you how many days there are until Christmas. Or Chanukah. Kwanza. Or even my birthday. (Relax, it isn’t until April. I could use a new outfit.) But I am aware that since Halloween has passed, there is a scientific phenomenon that goes like this:
(Trust me, I made this up.)
Take the average length of a day, and if it is anytime after November 1st, divide it in half and that is how soon Thanksgiving will be here. The day after Thanksgiving is that big ol’ retail day they call “That Big ‘Ol Retail Day” or something like that. And the very next day? Christmas. Really. That’s how it works.
(Trust me. I made this up.)
But not to panic! Look at the right side of this blog. There is a picture of “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess” – a funny, wild piece of fiction – a full-length novel – perfect for nearly every over-18 female on your gift list (there is the occasional use of a bad word…um, moving the f— along now.) Even some males would enjoy it – but just the evolved ones, I think. For the rest, just get them some boring boy thing. So – click on the book picture and it will lead you to excerpts and ordering information. A few clicks and your list is half done!
Thank you for supporting your small businessperson. I work out of my home, the local coffee shop, or anywhere else where they don’t kick me out for causing my usual disturbance.
Posted by Kathy on Jul 12, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
What an awesome experience to be on the radio this morning. Instead of nervous, I felt excited. In other words, breakfast and coffee – possibly not enough of the latter – stayed in its place (grammar police, please note lack of apostrophe!) and I didn’t even come close to thinking that I might pass out, die, or never see the shimmer of a dark chocolate candy bar wrapper again.
However, I made a tiny radio error which, of course, cannot be altered, withdrawn, or otherwise removed from the psyche of anyone who was actually awake between 9:30 and 10:00 on Sunday morning. Apparently I was not fully. Awake, that is.
So here is the official notice of the Beyond The Sea book festival 2015 in Lincolnville, Maine. Lots of authors will be there on July 24, 25, & 26, but my spot is in the early afternoon on Saturday, July 25, to sign copies of “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess” and ply you with chocolate.
And all you have to do is look to the right – that cute picture of the novel in question – and all will be revealed about book details including upcoming events. Go ahead. Click. I’m waiting…sigh…
Posted by Kathy on Jul 2, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
Peeps! I’m coming to the end of a road trip to a conference in a land far away. I took some scenic (as in “Trucks: 20 MPH”) back roads. Destination: Indiana. Made lots of visits on the way (haven’t had to make a bed or wash a dish in two weeks – woohoo!) and studied a plethora of public restrooms. Yup. The stall doors that push inward, with roughly four inches to squeeze through to get inside…sucking in the belly (and not even for a photo!), clinging like a monkey to the door as it swings inward, hoping, hoping, hoping that I don’t land in the bowl which by now is self-flushing like a freaking geyser…yeah – I have to stop at these places ’cause I keep hydrating myself. Don’t want to get dehydrated. Don’t want to break the health rules that are shoved down our parched throats. Ugh. Rant complete.
Hey – look over there – to the right. That picture. Something about chocolate. Hmm. Click there, peeps. Big stuff going on. Even more exciting than bathrooms.
Posted by Kathy on Jun 12, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
Hi, there, peeps! This morning I made myself coffee for breakfast, thought about eating, sensed my belly fat (I know, I’m like Kreskin)…nobody called me to put me on TV (sorry my friend on FB, just kidding), and it’s almost 11am and I’m still in my old-lady nightgown. I did, however, get out the binoculars because I thought I might be seeing those 2 escapees from the NY prison across the street. Yeah, I watched them for a while, thinking about what I’d do with the $100,000 reward. They were just sitting there, looking extremely suspicious, dressed as city workers and yet – not working… I watched them, wondering when they’d make their next move, phone at the ready to call 911. Then a big work truck pulled up. Street cleaning. ~So Disappointed in Westbrook, Maine
Oh, wait, peeps! Look at that! Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess! Click on the book cover at the right to learn more about how you can read a book, laugh a lot, and learn absolutely nothing!
Posted by Kathy on May 26, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
Ah…the weekly staff meeting.
At one place where I worked – and I can’t say where because “you never know when you’ll need a reference”- a letter was sent to our homes, telling us there might sometime, possibly, potentially, maybe, perhaps be some fiscal changes that would affect us. And that we would be hearing more about this soon. What followed was a series of meetings about the sometime, possibly, potentially, maybe, perhaps changes. We never did hear what those changes might sometime, possibly, potentially, maybe, perhaps be. But it was good for a lot of special meetings. At the 5th or 8th or 20th of these meetings, one brave soul raised a hand. (OK, it was me.)
“Could someone sometime, possibly, potentially, maybe, perhaps tell us why we’re having these meetings?”
The supervisor smiled and nodded his head in affirmation of the question. There was a great deal of forehead scratching, accompanied by the other administrators in the room also solemnly nodding their heads. Then he finally answered.
“We want you to be fully informed of what we don’t know.”
Hey there, peeps! Click on that cute picture of “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess” to see about upcoming book events (hint: next one is at GoBerry Portand this Friday, May 29th from 4 to 6pm) and to get ordering info. Just look to the right. The right. Up a little. Or maybe down a little. Over there. See? There ya go.
Posted by Kathy on May 24, 2015 in Thoughts from ME
Peeps! Ted would have been observing a BIG birthday today – Sunday. This year, it will be a Heavenly celebration. Hope people party up there. There better be cake.
In honor of the unique human being he was, I encourage you to make this day – or any day – a “Ted Day.”
1) In the midst of any social gathering, slink away to another room, find a sofa, and lie down for a nap. After exactly 18 minutes, get up, wander back in, and rejoin without missing a beat. You’ll have missed nothing. Option to nap: Pick up a book – any book – to read.
2) Get yourself a gooey, yummy latte and the crumbliest pastry you can find. Sit in someone else’s car to eat it, freely dropping crumbs without noticing. Enjoy. Ignore car owner’s barking about the crumbs, those which will soon be joining crumbs of the past in impossible-to-clean upholstery. Have a second pastry. If questioned by spouse/partner, simply say, “There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s perfectly good food,” and indulge, guilt-free.
3) No matter what your accomplishments in life, dress to please yourself. Shredded-from-wear T-shirts are a must. Go to a high class restaurant dressed down. Shaving optional. For either gender.
4) Teach a young child about life by telling stories of when you were a child back in the olden days: the 2-room schoolhouse, pranks played on classmates in prep school, and stories from your hippie days. Embellish as needed.
5) When walking through your own or anyone’s home, pick up random musical instruments to play. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never played them before. Play them now.
I love you, Ted!! This one’s for you, sweetie. xox Always and forever.
ps – Oh – what’s that? To the right? Why, it’s a link to “Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess!” How’d that get there?? Click to learn more. And have some pastry with it.