Sunday, November 29, 2020


I am...

Reading:  A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine.  Still.  And Marketing textbooks.  Uggg.  And blog posts.  And the Washington Post (I read that every day).

Listening to:  the fan from the bedroom.  The tick of the clock.  The tinnitus in my head.  Otherwise silence, lol.

Loving:  having my Mom 15 minutes down the road.  We went over there and provided tech support yesterday, along with a homemade pizza.  Her apartment is coming along—pictures being hung, etc.  She took several years worth of photographs that had hung in the old house and made a scrapbook that I love! 

Thinking:  about how sick I am of school.  Why I took on another master’s degree is beyond me (at least that’s the way I feel this minute).  I’m just burned out on the whole process.

Feeling:  blah and antsy all at once.  My mood is all over the place today.

Celebrating:  Got phase III of outside Christmas done.  Hubs had an exam and wasn't in the mood so I got the ladder out and did the lights on the tree in our front yard all by myself.  It was lovely being out in the sun.  I can't wait until night falls and I can see the whole thing alight!

Grateful for:  EVERYTHING

Weather:  a gorgeous, sunny day today, high of 48.  I sat in the sun, with my sun hat on, and worked on the dreaded Marketing awhile.  In a t-shirt and sweats.  In November.  I love New Mexico in the Fall. 

Enjoying:  The Spanish Princess on Starz.  The story of Katherine of Aragon’s early years with Henry VIII.  It's wildly melodramatic and historically inaccurate, but fun, nonetheless.

A quote I want to share:   

Dare to be yourself.  –Andre Gide

Sunday Stealing--Weight

I'm not participating this week.  I started to, but most of that meme was super-triggery for me and I bailed after the 3rd question.  I'm not being critical of the choice of questions--it's me and my stuff that's the problem.   Have a great Sunday, ya'll.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Saturday 9--Black

Play here.

Saturday 9: Black (2016)  

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping?

Unlike previous years, I have.  I sent my brother and his wife a selection of goodies from Santa Fe Soap Ranch.  He got a shave brush, mug, and soap and she got lotion, lip balm, and scrub.  I’ve picked out a gift for my Mom as well.  Hubs and I are supposed to be filling our Amazon wish lists.  I need to work on that…..

2)  Was there an adult beverage served with your Thanksgiving feast?

No—we ate early so Mom didn’t have to drive in the dark. 

3) Did any pets enjoy scraps from your Thanksgiving table?

We don’t feed our pets scraps.  We did that with Ginger and swore we wouldn’t do it to Maddie.  Maddie isn’t even allowed in the kitchen or dining room.

4) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now?

I’m having leftover stuffing for breakfast right now.  There’s some cranberry sauce, and a little bit of green bean casserole.  Hubs was VERY conservative on portion sizes this year which was awesome.  Our first Thanksgiving together he cooked enough for the entire neighborhood, I swear. 

5) Football is a popular Thanksgiving weekend pastime. Will you be watching any games over the next few days? If yes, which team(s) are you rooting for?

Nope.  Not into sports.

6) This week's song is by Dierks Bentley. He wrote it for his wife, Cassidy Black, who appears in the video. They met in eighth grade, dated on and off, and then eloped when they were in their late 20s. Has anyone ever surprised you by going off and suddenly getting married?

Not that I can think of. 

7) 2016 was a good year for Bentley. This song was one of three hits he had that year, he co-hosted the CMAs and was nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year. As 2020 winds to an end, do you feel it's been a successful year?

Personally successful, yes.  House got remodeled, work became permanently remote, Mom moved here.  It’s a real weird thing, because all of this came about because of COVID.  Which is still killing thousands of people a day.  I actually feel guilty that I’ve had good things happen to me because of COVID.  

8) In 2016, David Bowie died. Do you have a favorite Bowie song?

Not a Bowie fan.

9) Also in 2016, CBS telecast reran How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the 50th time. What's your favorite Dr. Seuss story?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas…definitely.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Saturday 9--Walking on Broken Glass


Saturday 9: Walking on Broken Glass (1992)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Wanna play?  Go here.

1) Annie sings that she feels she's walking on broken glass. What's the most recent item you broke?

A phone charging cord.  The end got bent, and it would only trickle charge after that.  Fortunately, they are now dirt cheap. 

2) She sings about being cut until she bleeds. Tell us about a time you needed stitches.

Our house in third grade had a 4-foot-high wall on one side of the carport.  We used to play Olympics and use it like a balance beam.  I feel off and smacked my forehead on it on the way down.  Off to the emergency room we went.  The scar, fortunately, is hidden in my hairline.  My brother did the same thing another day, and has virtually the same scar. 

3) This week's featured artist, Annie Lennox, was born on Christmas Day. Do you know anyone whose birthday falls on a holiday?

Mine, every 7 years.  I was born 2 days after Thanksgiving, 1962.   My next Thanksgiving birthday will be in 2022.

4) When Annie met Dave Stewart, with whom she'd form the duo The Eurthmyics, she was living in Australia and staying in a tiny apartment called a bedsit. The occupant has his/her own combination bedroom/livingroom with cooking facilities, but must share a bathroom. Tell us about one of your early apartments.

The first apartment I had was a one bedroom in an ancient complex near the shipyard in Newport News, Virginia.  It was a shite neighborhood, and our place got broken into once.  We had nothing of value, lol, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

5) After the Eurythmics broke up, Annie went out on her own. Would you rather work independently, or as part of a group?

Independently.  I hate group projects.  Hate them with a passion. 

6) Among her many honors, Annie Lennox was named chancellor of Scotland's Glasgow Calledonia University. What's the last college campus you visited? What brought you there?

University of New Mexico.  We had to walk through a portion to get to a restaurant we wanted to go to.

7) In 1992, the year this song was recorded, compact discs outsold cassette tapes for the first time. Back in the day, did you enjoy making your own mix tapes? 

Not particularly.  Too much effort.

8) Also in 1992, Johnny Carson made his last appearance as host of The Tonight Show.  The catchphrase, "Here's Johnny!" was associated with the show. Can you think of another popular TV catchphrase?

Nanu-Nanu—Robin Williams as Mork from Mork and Mindy.

9) Random question: Think of your past week. Now look ahead to the coming week. Would you like it to be more, or less, exciting?

Less exciting.  It’s my first week back to work after 3 weeks off, so I’m highly doubting it’s going to be less anything.  It will be grueling.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ten Things Tuesday--The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Edition

The Good:

1.  I've really been enjoying blogging again.  I hope I have the energy to continue after I go back to work and get back to working on school.   

2.  Mom and I are in the process of going through 15 YEARS of pictures on her computer.  My father was a prolific photographer of everything.  He literally took photos of 1000s of cars at car shows all over the place.  Mom wants to clean all that out--she's like "what do I need with pictures of some random hot rod owned by a person I don't even know".  We made it to 2011 yesterday.  More to come today.  The awesome thing about this project is that I'm getting to see hundreds of photos of my family that I've never seen.  Lots of pictures of me and hubs from early in our marriage that I somehow lost along the way.  Pictures of my daughter that her dad sent to my parents, but didn't share with me.  It's a fun, if tiring project.

3.  Mom, Maddie, and Lily.  The pets adore her (especially Maddie and Lily).

4.  Mom's move is coming along.  Her stuff should be here later this week.  Her cat, Smokey, is living at the apartment.  We go over twice a day and hang out with her.  The move has thoroughly freaked her out and she is hiding here and there.  All will be well by Thanksgiving, I think.

5.  It was so gorgeous yesterday--we sat out in the back yard and soaked up the sun (Maddie too).

6.  Hammock in the sun.  Heaven! I really needed a vacation from work, and I'm finally starting to destress.

The Bad:  

7.  We are back in lockdown for two weeks for a reset.  I understand why she (our governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham) did it, cases are up, hospitals are full, people are dying.  I have a feeling two weeks won't be enough, and we're pretty much shutting the barn door after the horse has gotten out.  I am so grateful for a remote job, but I worry about the fragile economy we have, and the folks who can't work.  I worry that this is going to go on past the two weeks.  Let's be straight....I just worry.  It's like my hobby or something.

8.  Let's be clear.  I wear a mask, wash the skin off my hands, use hand sanitizer after I touch anything, and socially distance.  Mom and I got tested before we laid eyes on each other in SC, and we got tested again before we laid eyes on hubs.  So now we're a "pod" of 3 and mask wearing etc etc is the rule.  It took a bit of convincing to get my Mom on board with this, because she has different political views than I do.  Why, oh why, have we/they politicized a public health crisis??!!  It screwed us from the get.

The Ugly:

9.  Here it is, two weeks after an election like no other, and the current administration is follow the marching orders of their own personal dictator and blocking the transition of power to the president that WE THE PEOPLE elected.  It infuriates me.  I'm not surprised that the orange troll is kicking and screaming and pounding his little feet like a toddler, considering his ass is going to be in a world of legal trouble once he leaves office, but it's pretty disgusting just how weak much of the GOP really is.  

10.  In a way, I feel sorry for Biden.  Unless we get democratic senators in Georgia, McConnell and his cronies are going to continue to roadblock everything sane.  Cleaning up the scorched earth of the last 4 years will take decades.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Stealing--Something Different

Join us here.

1. Something held together with ribbon, string, or rope.

Love this Christmas ornament  I bought for hubs way back when.  I like that the hanger is simple piece of twine.

2. Something related to travel.

I have so many pictures related to travel, lol.  But I thought this said something different, about another kind of travel.

3. Someplace people gather

 Balloon Fiesta here in Albuquerque, this was 2014.  "Gather" is an understatement of the highest order.

4. Something cold/frozen

February 4, 2014.  Took this from our then-backyard, looking out over the Rio Grande valley, across to the Sandia Mountains.  I hated that house, but the view was the best....

5. Something with a hole in it.

One of the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument.  The ladder is a replica, but the dwelling itself has been there for a very, very long time.  Check out more about Bandelier here.

6. Something striped

 Great picture of our girl Maddie, with a striped shawl over the back the of loveseat.  I love that shawl--got it on a "run away from home" mini-cay in Santa Fe.  

7. An animal.

 Our sweet Ginger, gone but never forgotten.  

8. Something cute.

 What's cuter than a teeny little white cat named Lily :)

9. A food.

 I absolutely love this stuff.  Pimento cheese spread is just the tastiest stuff, and is iconic Southern thing.  I was over the moon when I actually found some here in New Mexico.  

10. Something warm

 A New Mexico sunset...shot from my backyard.  

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Saturday 9 -- All of Me

Join us here.

Saturday 9: All of Me (2013)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) John Legend sings he loves his woman's "perfect imperfections." Tell us something quirky or imperfect about a loved one that you would not change. 

My brother believes in Sasquatches, Orbs, and other oddball phenomena.  Or at least I think he does--I'm still not sure if he's just having me on or what, but I think it’s utter hooey.  But it’s totally him, and is sweet and endearing.   We had this big long discussion earlier this week when I was home--apparently he and a friend were going to run away from home when they were 7 or 8.  They were sitting at the end of the driveway, contemplating their plan, when a triangular shaped device with three "glowing orbs" appeared above them, hovered around, and then zoomed off.  He swears this happened--it freaked them out so bad that they scrambled under a nearby car.  So my brother may have had an alien encounter?  Or something.  He's stuck to that story all these years.  Stranger things....

2) John wrote this love song to his wife, Chrissy Teigen. The couple recently lost their baby after pregnancy complications. To whom did you most recently send a sympathy (or "thinking of you") card or message?

My Mom, a month or so ago.  Not a sympathy card, but a ‘thinking of you’ care package of little odds and ends I thought would make her smile.  A little pack of coasters that were watermelon on one side and lemon on the other.  Wool dryer balls.  Some red chile' chocolate.  A nice smelling hand lotion that I like.

3) While adventurous in his creative career choices, John admits his taste in food leans toward the tried and true. His favorites are chicken (rotisserie or fried), macaroni and cheese, and steamed vegetables. What's on your weekend menu?

Wild Alaskan salmon tonight.  We bought a good sized fillet, and I’ll likely bake it with lemon and herbs, maybe some capers, and serve with asparagus and some buttered rice.  Yum.

4) When he was growing up, John's mother, Phyllis, helped support the family as a seamstress. Are you any good with a needle and thread?

Not a bit.  Sewing a button back on is the limit of my skills.  My mother tried to teach me.  She’s an amazing seamstress—made all our clothes as kids, right on up into high school.  And I was proud to wear the beautiful shirts she made me with my jeans.  Home Ec (remember that?) tried to teach me too, but I just don’t have the patience.

5) As a child, he was such a big fan of Andy Griffith and Matlock that he wanted to be a lawyer. If you grew up to have the same occupation as the TV character you liked best as a kid, what would you be doing?

 I’d be a drafted doctor in a war zone – I loved Alan Alda as Hawkeye Pierce in M.A.S.H.


Image Credit

Ran across this article while hunting for an was pretty interesting.  Speaking of M.A.S.H., I ran across this video on Facebook by Frank Vaccariello.  Enjoy!

6) John is a judge on The Voice. Do you watch that show? Or America's Got Talent, or American Idol?

I never missed America’s Got Talent before the pandemic.  I started watching it as things were ramping up this year, and when the audience went away it totally fell flat for me.  It felt fake, and forced, and the performances seemed lackluster—it must be hard to go out and perform for an empty auditorium….

7) In 2013, the year this song was popular, twin baby pandas were born at Zoo Atlanta. Their panda parents had been given to the US as a gift from the Chinese, with the understanding that any offspring would be given to China. So, in 2016, the panda cubs were flown to a Chinese conservation center. They had a hard time adjusting at first, confused by jet lag, unresponsive when spoken to in Chinese, unimpressed by their new diet. Have you ever found yourself similarly overwhelmed when you traveled far from home? (BTW, the pandas are doing just fine now in their permanent Chinese home.)

Um, yeah.  All last week, right up to as I type this.  Going home to SC, packing the house, tying up those loose ends, etc.  Poor Mom was even more overwhelmed than I.  Then a 4 day trek across the country from SC to NM.  And now we’re back on lockdown starting Monday, so that sucks.  The move must go on though—Mom needs to be in HER apartment, not in my office/bedroom.  She needs HER stuff, not to be living out of a suitcase.  We all need out lives to get back to normal. 

8) Also in 2013, The Pope posted his first tweet. What social media platforms do you regularly use?

Facebook, Instagram, and good old Blogger.  I never could get into the tweeting thing, and Pinterest is just too overwhelming.

9) Random question: Have you ever a) written something on a public wall or b) carved anything into a tree of bench?

I signed my name to a wall at Rhinehart’s, an "dive" oyster bar we always went to near my brother’s place.  The walls (pretty much every surface) are covered—it’s a “thing”.   It's a hole in the wall, but man, everything is tasty.  I always get a dozen on the half shell, and he goes for a pound of spicy boiled shrimp.  We always went there every time I flew back home.  

Happy Saturday, ya'll.  And a big shout out to "Crazy Sam" for all the great questions you put out every week.  I can really see the hard work that goes into them.  


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Three on Thursday


Play here.


German numerals in honor of Mom today.  We are on day 4 of our trip from South Carolina to New Mexico.  Last night we arrived in Gainesville, Texas, which is the home of my Uncle (Mom's older brother).  We are visiting he and my Aunt today--it's been quite a long time since Mom has seen her brother, even longer since she's seen her niece.  My cousin is visiting up from the Dallas area today, we haven't seen each other since 2017, so I'm pretty excited.  It will be quite a family reunion.


Today has really got me thinking about family, and how, in the grand scheme of things, small ours is.  My father was the only child of two only children.  He's gone now, as are his parents.  So, it's my Mom's side--her parents are gone.  There's my Mom, her brother, and her sister.  Her brother had a daughter.  The sister never had children.  So, MY generation is just me, my brother, and my cousin.  Collectively, we've had 5 children.  We've had some challenges--my brother only has a relationship with 1 of his 2 daughters.  While I have a relationship of sorts with my only child, I haven't seen her in 20 years, and my cousin only has a relationship with her son.  It's sad, and someday, I hope all our relationships will get worked out for the best.  The three of us have 4 grandchildren.   Somehow, I doubt there will ever be a "family reunion", but today will be great fun I hope, and will have to do.


Smokey the cat is tolerating the traveling relatively well, but man she does not like being shut up in the bathroom at night alone, and has been keeping us up.  She's a terrible sneak, and can hide in the most out of the way, tiniest places, so we are loathe to let her loose in a hotel room, because she's near impossible to find and get back in the carrier.  So I could use some more sleep.  Home on Friday.  We will ALL be glad to get settled.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Stealing--More Random Questions


Play here.

1. What’s something no one wants to hear but everyone should?

How they sound, like on a recording.  This was an eye opener for me when I was in Junior High.  We moved to Connecticut (which I despised), and I was bullied for my Mississippi accent (which of course, I didn’t think I HAD).  Once I heard myself (or rather how other people heard me), I worked to tone it down.  Which is sad, but at that time in my life, was a matter of survival (or at least it felt like that).  I still use ya’ll and other Southern-isms, but I’ve left “ain’t” behind, among other things.

2. What’s the most annoying animal you’ve ever encountered?

Lily, our formerly feral.  I love her, and would never think of rehoming or any of that, but let me tell you, formerly feral kitties are a challenge.  I dream of a world without cat pee in it.  Just sayin.

3. How much does language affect our thinking? 

I have no idea what this question is asking.  Maybe I’m overthinking it.

4. Do you prefer to watch movies in the theater or in the comfort of your home?

In the time of COVID, in the comfort of my home, for sure.  We used to enjoy going to the movies, but I don’t see that being a thing for the foreseeable future. 

5. What topic could you spend hours talking about?

Right now, old times.  It’s been nice to reminisce with my family about our lives.

6. If you could run away from it all and start fresh somewhere new, would you?

I don’t think so.  Been there, done that.  I’m done starting over, I like my job, my community, my home.

7. What’s the most polarizing question you could ask a group of friends?

Ha.  Who did you vote for would be prettttty polarizing.  I have work friends on both sides of the aisle, but only one I talk politics with.  She’s as blue as I am.  The other one I really enjoy, but wouldn’t dream of bringing up politics, because I know her views are very Trumpian.

8. Do movies have the same power as books to change the world?

I think so.

9. What would you rate 10/10?

Lot’s of things.  But my favorite Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich made on French bread, stuffed with various meats, cucumber, carrot, radish, cilantro, and fresh jalapeƱo with a sriracha mayo).  This place gets my vote today.  Coda Bakery….10/10!

10. What are you really good at, but kind of embarrassed that you are good at it?

I kill at Trivial Pursuit.

11. Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?

Everyone pretty much.  Manners make the world go round.

12. What problems will technology solve in the next 5 years? What problems will it create?

This is way too big a question for me this morning. 

13. What from the present will withstand the test of time?

Cell phones

14. What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?

I’m not a huge musical fan, so I’d have to say …. Nada.

15. What is something common from your childhood that will seem strange to future generations?

It already seems strange.  It was common to let kids just run around the neighborhood without adult supervision, even little kids.  We all just sort of explored, ran as a pack, and generally had a good time.  Mom would say “go outside and find something to do, come back when it’s dinner time”   I don’t think parents do that these days.  Mom was telling me yesterday that she said this to my 3 year old brother one time, and he got on his tricycle and road about a mile.  A nice lady brought him back.  They didn't call social services on my Mom, lol.  I think today would have been very different.  

Saturday 9--For All We Know

Saturday 9: For All We Know (1971)

Play here.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about newlyweds looking ahead to a happy life together. What are you looking forward to today?

Seeing my brother and his wife.  They are coming over tonight to help Mom and I pack the TV in its special box.   We’ll have a dinner of all the odds and ends left in the fridge in preparation for leaving tomorrow.  It should be fun.

2) They look forward to getting to know one another better. Tell us about someone who knows you well. Is it the person who has known you the longest?

The person who has known me the longest is my Mom.  Does she know me well?  I think so.

3) The song lyrics are credited to "Robb Wilson" and "Arthur James," but those aren't their real names. Robb Royer and Jimmy Griffin were founding members of the 70s soft-rock group Bread. Are you familiar with that band? If so, do you have a favorite Bread song? (Find their greatest hits here.) 

I loved them when I was a melancholy 14 year old.  I remember playing their album over and over.

4) Richard Carpenter discovered this song on his afternoon off when he and sister Karen were on tour. He took a few hours to unwind at the movies, heard this song in the film Lovers and Other Strangers, and decided it would make a perfect Carpenters record. How do you like to unwind?

I love my giant garden bathtub.  If I’m feeling especially stressed, I fill it and float.  I’m short, so I fit perfectly without touching the edges.  It’s definitely unwinding.

5) Karen Carpenter drank unsweetened iced tea, every day, all year long. Do you prefer your tea hot or cold?

I’m not much of a tea drinker, except in the summer.  I like iced tea, sweetened with 1 splenda, with lemon.

6) Elvis was a fan of Karen's and, according to the recollection of singer Petula Clark, hit on her when she and Clark visited him backstage in Vegas. Pet recalled Karen was very innocent and said, "I felt responsible for her so I got her out of there." Tell us about a time when you looked out for a friend.

We let a friend live with us while they got their life together after a bad breakup. 

7) President Richard Nixon was a Carpenters fan, too, and invited the duo to perform at the White House at an official dinner for West German Chancellor Willy Brandt. If you could hear anyone perform live in an intimate setting, like a dinner party, who would you choose?

I’d love to have a private concert from someone like Yo-Yo Ma, or Itzak Perlman.  How thrilling would THAT be?!

8) Today Richard collects classic automobiles. He has a 1964 Ford Thunderbird, like the one Beach Boys sang about in the song "Fun, Fun, Fun." Can you think of another song that mentions a car?

Pink Cadillac—Natalie Cole


9) Random question: Do you tend to feel more content at the beginning of the day, or at the end?

Definitely the end. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Three on Thursday

 Led there by Kwiz, and you can play here.

Uno.  Took a break from decisions about what comes to New Mexico and what stays and spent the afternoon walking around Hopeland Gardens.  I feel bad for Mom, she's like.... this is an awful lot of decisions.  Yep.  Fortunately, she's made a ton of those decisions already, and we're down to the last few.  

Dos.  Tomorrow Mom closes on the house, and we spend the evening with my brother and his wife celebrating!

Tres.  I miss hubs, and my animal kids.  Mom's cat finally came out and said hi to me today, which is quite an accomplishment, since I've only been here two days.  Mom and I are both dreading getting Smokey into the carrier for her cross-country trip...she's a wiley one, that cat.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Ten on Tuesday (Ok, it started out as Ten, but then the One just took over)

1.  So here I am, flying back to SC for what will likely be the last time.  I’m on my way to Mom’s house.  She’s sold the house (in less than 48 hours, holy crap, and for more than asking), downsized, and packed up most of what’s left.  It’s a weird feeling,this.  My parents moved around for my Dad’s job all my life—hither and thither, one coast to the other, and wherever they were, I called home.  Home is a powerful word.  Maybe the MOST powerful.  The one that gets you in the gut.  The one that brings up allllll the emotions.  All my life, wherever my Mom was……was home.  Dad might be at sea.  Or on a contract in Iran … or some other equally distant country or state or place he couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about.  He’s gone now, and home is where Mom is.

After Dad died, I knew she wouldn’t make any decisions for at least a year (she’s smart that way), but I also made a case for her to move to NM.  I missed her and worried so much…kinda selfish, but I had my reasons.  She got so skinny after Dad died, I nearly moved home just to feed her.  About a year and half after Dad passed, and after I’d been home two or three more times, she informed me that it was time for her to move to New Mexico.

WHAT?!  Whoa.  I was thrilled, but dang, that was…unexpected.  I figured, being an hour from my brother, she’d just stay nearby, but I secretly hoped...otherwise.  The changes in the real estate market (thank you Pandemic)…..well, she sold her house—the acre and a half of green lushness, birds, flowers, landscaping.  I went madly about the Albuquerque Metro Area checking out 55+ apartments (but NOT assisted livings—that was a hard stop) and found a fantastic building only 15 minutes away).  And now, I’m on a jet plane, somewhere over …. Mississippi (oh, home of my childhood), headed to Mom’s house to finish the packing and accompany her (and her cat, Smokey), cross-country to her new home in New Mexico.

To be fair, it’s not totally NEW (that might be too much of a shock, it ain’t exactly “lush” here.  Green we got, but it’s … different).  Dad’s last two consulting gigs were out here (one at Los Alamos and one at WIPP in Carlsbad), and to be fair, she’s seen the best (Northern New Mexico) and the worst (Eastern New Mexico) of the Land of Enchantment.  Hell, she’s seen more than me.  I never did get down past Roswell….

She’s hella brave…my Mom.  To recap.  She escapes from Poland on foot the age of 4, just ahead of the Russian army, lives as a refugee in Germany until 11, when the family comes to American as displaced persons in 1952.  Speaks little English, goes to high school, marries the bad-boy high-school football star (who never graduated and had his own demons), has a couple of kids, travels the country, succeeds in a career in medicine, gets a business degree, get cancer, survives cancer, and retires happily.  She and Dad travel; do the car show thing, and just enjoy life (I think).  Then Dad passes, she grieves, and finally sells the house, sells half her stuff, packs up a lifetime…. And moves.  One more time.  My Mom is 79.  I have no doubt she’ll die in the Land of Enchantment, but I hope we’ll have many more adventures before that day!

I missed a lot of time, living my own life across the country, always far away from wherever she was.  I hope to make new memories and be there for her in a way that I always hoped I could.   I hope to get my brother to finally, after all my travels, come visit me in the place that “I” live.  I hope.  Regardless…I’m a happy person on this plane, even with the mask and the election (did I tell you it was Election Day?)

It should be interesting, to say the least.

And … on a totally different topic…. I pray to all the Gods, both great and small, and to Karma, be she kind, that things change in this country today, because ….

Well just because.  I don’t need to tell you.

(even if Mom doesn’t agree….we’ve agreed to disagree)


Night, ya’ll. 


It’s been an interesting day.


Monday, November 2, 2020


I am...

Reading:  A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine.  This won the 2020 Hugo for best novel.  I'm very slowly getting through it--not a fault of the novel, which is really, really good, but because I am still climbing out of the pit of despair and still having trouble concentrating on more than one thing at a time.  

Listening to:  faint snoring from our cat Randall on the loveseat, and delicate lapping of water by Lucy, one of the other cats.  Otherwise silence.  It's 6:11 in the morning, and I love the silence of the house, except for these little sounds of animals.

Loving:  pictures of my grandbaby on FB and IG, and the occasional text from his mom.  I'm grateful to my daughter for allowing me to remain in her life in this peripheral way.  I'm loving that I finally feel at peace with our nano-relationship.  I still have massive regrets, but they don't seem to hurt or consume me so much.  It only took 21 years.  

Thinking:  about my upcoming pre-travel COVID test later today, and my trip home (for the last time!) tomorrow.  I couldn't live with myself if I brought COVID to my mom, hence the test.  I leave tomorrow, flying first class (yay!), and will be home in SC by 8pm.  We leave on the 9th, and will be back here in NM on the 13th.  I'm so excited and anxious I can barely breathe sometimes.

Feeling:  OK today, which is a super nice change from the pit of despair feelings.  

Celebrating:  Mom moving here!  Having 3 whole weeks off--HUZZAH!  I really needed a vacation, I was starting to feel a little crispy around the edges at work.

Grateful for:  Pretty much everything.  In these times, how can you not be?

Weather: a typical gorgeous fall day in NM--68 and sunny.  I think we'll go have a picnic somewhere for my last day at home for 10 days.  

Enjoying:  a new lotion I got on our mini-vacay to Santa Fe.  It's Lemongrass Sage Silk Lotion from Santa Fe Soap Ranch.  Smells so good, and feels wonderful.  They have such neat products...we bought a kitchen soap for Mom, and a neat shave kit for hubs.  And Maddie got "No More Stinky Dog" spray that smells like vanilla and brown sugar.  She hates it, lol.  It was more of fun thing, because she never stinks.

A quote I want to share: 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Sunday Stealing--Random Questions

Play here.

1. What has been your favorite part of the year so far. 

The part before the pandemic.  Remember restaurants?  I miss going to restaurants.  In early February, we went out for our anniversary.  We ate inside, had a waitress, the whole shebang.  That was the last time.  I’m glad we had a great meal at a cool place.  I don’t know when I’ll feel comfortable eating inside again.

2. Have you started Christmas shopping?  

No, I’ve been awfully distracted with the whole moving Mom to NM thing.  I’ve got some ideas though.

3. Do you like your handwriting?  It’s fine.  Nothing special.  Sort of a printing/cursive mashup.

4. Song you could hear over and over and over again.   

House of Stone, by Mandolin Orange

5. A favorite quote.

“You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability.  Stop whining and find something to do.”  --Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey.

6. Last dream you remember.  

I don’t remember them beyond a few minutes after waking up. 

7. Most expensive object you want to buy right now.   

New kitchen cabinets, countertop, and backsplash.  I'd settle for refinishing the ones I've got and the backsplash.  Someday....

8. Describe your eldest family member.  

My uncle.  He’s in his mid 80s and has a beautiful smile, and speaks in this German-accented Texas drawl.   Here he is with his new dog, Daphne.

9. What has your weather been like?  

Bizarre.  Last week it snowed.  In October.   I think the low was like 14.  That NEVER happens.  Today it will be sunny and 70. 

10. Do you enjoy your job?  

I do, a lot.  I love that I get to work from home.  Thank you, pandemic (although going remote was in the works before the pandemic, to be fair).

11. What is your favorite everyday item?  

My phone.  Hubs says “you have access to all the knowledge of the world in your pocket”.  How cool is that?

12. Are you currently obsessed with any TV show?  

The Queen’s Gambit, on Netflix.  Outstanding in every way.

13. Book you’d like to read before the year ends.  

I would just like to finish a damn book.  Any book.  This has been the worst year for reading ever.  I’m currently reading A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine, winner of the 2020 Hugo for Best Novel.

14. Describe Kindness.  

Putting others before oneself.

15. Describe your favorite candy in great detail.  

Bit-o-honey.  Chewy like taffy.  Tastes like …. Bit-o-honey.