Pondering, Damn It All

Really!

Today has not been bad. It’s been … meh. preceded by much of the same. What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

The “experts” say the happiest people in this world are grateful, no matter what their circumstances. Cool. God knows I’m grateful. Just haven’t reached the “no matter what the circumstances” zone. Definitely something to aspire to.

i am going to start saying this!!

I get this way sometimes. Good grief, at this stage of the game, you’d think I’d have this life stuff all tied up in a bow. Maybe it’s dull routine, maybe it’s a long weekend stretching ahead.

Lethal

In the olden days, my “escape plan” from these feelings was not well thought out, but a plan nonetheless. Just get on I-10 and head west and eventually I would end up in California. Like I said, not much of a plan.

truth.

Painful but oh so true. And it’s pretty much self-inflicted as “others” have no concept of my expectations and that’s not fair to them.

So true

Note to self: No Instagram or Facebook until further notice.

Weight Loss Motivation How To Find It And Keep It

I like that idea. Lighten up and move on down the alphabet.

dance...

PERFECT!! My favorite thing to do. So I think I will dance and eat a bunch of chocolate.

Lord, listen through my heart.

That would sum it up.

Off to dance, eat chocolate, and pray.

Later.

Iz

I Remember (Grand)Mama

My Grandmother, in a piece from her trousseau

“Don’t frown; it will cause wrinkles!”

If my Grandmother said this to me once, she said it a million times. I miss her. While it has been years since she passed away, she took flight over Memorial Day weekend.

Grandmother was elegant, charming, and always a lady. She was also an extraordinary flirt, which is a win-win for a gorgeous woman, which she was.

She was the only child of prosperous parents. Her aunt made every piece of her wardrobe (including everything from the lace to the buttons of her trousseau).

Grandmother had three husbands, three children, and seven grandchildren. People still come up to me and say that she and my Grandfather looked like a movie star couple.

I don’t think she felt like much of a movie star during WWII. My Grandfather was in the Cavalry and she lived on an army base in San Antonio with three children under five. There were lots of Hispanic children on the base, which, for some unknown reason, inspired my five-year-old Mother to become a humanitarian. She took my Grandmother’s jewelry box, which was filled with some serious bling, and passed the contents out to all her young friends. My Mom still remembers the spanking she got and none of the jewelry was ever recovered. Whoops. Completely overwhelmed with kiddos and trying to live on a very small budget, she finally threw in the towel, called my Great-Grandmother and pleaded for help. My Great-Grandmother thought over her darling daughter’s plight – no money, three ankle biters, and army base life. She did what any mother would do. She sent her a full-length mink coat. No wonder my Grandmother’s hair turned white at 26.

Flash forward to my appearance on the scene. Grandmother was all of 40 when I was born. She adored me because she didn’t have to birth me, I was her first grandchild, and I went home with my parents. She also loved me like her own child, which I could have been. My sister and cousins will tell you I was the female equivalent to “Baby Jesus” according to my Grandmother. They were loved as well, but sort of had “shepherd status”. Happens.

Four Generations

Mom, me, and Grandmother

I spent lots of time with my Grandparents. And it was all good.

The Three Amigo(a)s

Flash forward to the last years. She called my Mom, “Sis”; they lunched together every Friday. While “mothering” might not have been her best gig, she gave it what she could. Grandmother never said a bad word about anyone but I’m sure she thought of some zingers. And she had very nice manners. When my Dad’s father, Andy, came to town, she invited him for dinner. Andy was born and raised in the very rural deep South. And he thought Grandmother was “hubba hubba” material. After dinner, he gave my Grandmother a big compliment. He said, “Beautiful Lady, them squashes was delicious!”. Her reply, “Oh Andy, you do go on so.”

She was a steel magnolia. Her southern accent got deeper when she sipped on her favorite adult beverage, a scotch mist. The only time we got sideways was when McPaddie was born.  We decided to call McPaddie by a nickname; Grandmother said she absolutely would not call the new baby anything but her formal name. I said that was fine, the entire world minus her, would be using the nickname. She caved, and dearly loved both of my daughters. When she passed away, we ordered a blanket of fresh magnolias for her coffin. When I went to check on the situation, all the magnolias looked like they’d barely survived a southern tsunami. I marched myself into the funeral director’s office and said, “SHE MAY BE DEAD BUT THE FLOWERS SHOULDN’T BE, MR. MAN!”. Winner, winner, scotch mist for dinner!

I miss her.

The Steel Magnolia in her early 20's

My Grandmother at 78

And she was right, you know. If you frown, you will get wrinkles.

And One To Grow On…

366 Wishes Candle Set/Red Envelope

Happy New Year! The photo above is part of a candle set I wanted for Christmas. Yes, I do have a new candle company and no, I didn’t make up this idea but I love it anyway. When youngest daughter asked for my Christmas wish list, this was on it. So I taped a picture of it to her forehead, sue me. There is an inspirational word on each of the 366 candles. Burn one a day. LOVE. Anyway, yesterday being last year and all, I chose to burn my “extra” to start the new year off just right. I randomly chose “Laughter“.

Laughter, is there anything better? (Yes, I am well aware of other better things, but let’s just stick with laughter here, ok?).  And that was the perfect word for the last evening of the year. A casual dinner with close friends at home and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. And good food, lots of champagne, and dancing all through the house and out into the backyard. My kind of fun. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent many a New Year’s Eve with these same friends and was reminded of an especially eventful one two decades before.

I was 17 months pregnant with baby #2. Nevertheless, I donned a cocktail tent and high heels and we left all the birthed babies with one  babysitter. When we returned to our friends’ home to fetch baby #1, the sight of the poor woman trying to juggle three very miserable babies (mine was literally tied to her back with a dustrag), made me lose control of myself. We started laughing so hysterically and I was so ridiculously pregnant, well … I had a wee accident. It would have been no biggie but Mick kept shooing me off their Oriental rug like I was a bad poodle. Which made me laugh so hard I channeled a racehorse. Not my most dignified moment nor was the rug ever the same. But it was funny. 

I did mind my manners last night. Or not. But no rug accidents. And I’m not pregnant. Or if I am, it IS a miracle AND the Second Coming. Not to change the subject but my contribution to the dinner was Spinach Gratin, recipe by the Barefoot Contessa.  It is a great recipe and I highly recommend it, but you really must love onions – 4 cups of chopped onions in a recipe that says it serves 8? Good grief … my house still smells like Coney Island.

Sorry I am all over the map as I write this. Main thing is – laugh! I thought of a good way to make myself laugh when I am not feeling it. Watch those crazy laughing baby videos on YouTube. Hilarious!

Dying to know what today’s candle is? Imagination. I don’t know what to think. Have to go light my way and see what pops up.

Later.

*It might seem that I was callous toward the feelings of the babysitter in the incident mentioned above. I was. But she was paid handsomely. And it was a long time ago … just sayin’…

View from My Sleigh

 

 After multiple years of forcing my children to deliver Christmas presents, this year I did it myself. Because they disappeared just about the time they heard the empty tape dispenser hit the garbage can. And … because I wanted to. First time for everything. I’m not the door-knocking, visiting sort. Just a overage elf, sneaking up to the front door and leaving the goods. Made a few observations while tearing about town.

  • Say everyone living in your house at this moment (i.e. home from college, rehab, prison) has a driver’s license and a car. If there are more than two of you, the outside of your home looks like a garage. The mechanic kind – where you take cars to be fixed. Gives sort of South Bronx veneer to the very nicest of  neighborhoods.
  • Am convinced the recession skipped this area. (Not me, but everyone else). I have not seen as many mansions – serious housing – under construction, ever. I find this very confusing. Maybe some “numbers” type can straighten me out. Wow. Double Wow.
  • I LOVE those giant Christmas bulbs hanging everywhere – makes me feel like I’m on the set of BIG. Happy fun.
  • I noticed some homes that had been decorated to the hilt in prior years are void of any gay apparel. The homeowners are elderly now and I guess it’s too much to for them to festivate. Sniff, sniff. I would have helped them. There’s always next year, I guess.
  • It is unsafe on the streets during the day. Have almost been slaughtered too many times to count. By people who have no business behind the wheel. Some would say that would be me. But some can stick it up their nose. <meant in nicest way>

Better get back to the paper-tape-bow situation. More deliveries to make tomorrow. Please, please, PLEASE have a wonderful holiday. Really. Eat a bunch of food. Drink gallons of …whatever you please. Laugh as hard as possible. Remember the lonely and unloved. Enjoy the best way you can.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! MAY PERFECT PEACE DWELL INSIDE YOUR HEART AND OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR.

XO IZ

*p.s. Don’t be getting the notion I’ve gone all sappy here. Just bought The Snark Handbook and The Snark Handbook, Insult Edition. Brushing up for the new year, I am. *

Later.