Mature Conversation

Teddy asked, “What’s the difference between Queer and Gay?” Kerry scoffed, “Gosh, you really are old, aren’t you?”  She then Googles it because she doesn’t know the difference either.  Later she explained the difference to Teddy who said, “What does the plus stand for in LBGTQ+?” “I have no idea” she responded. “I don’t think we need to know at our age…”

“Good morning, Kathleen” said Teddy referencing that Kerry looked like her mother while staring vacantly into the middle distance in her beloved lilac dressing gown.  “Feck off” responded Kerry.

“She’s nae bonny, is she?” said Teddy to Kerry while they were watching a dreadful reality show.  The girl was a tad plain. “Do you remember your mum and that poor girl’s prom dress?” responded Kerry who was referencing an incident back in the 1970s when Nessie, a skilled seamstress, persuaded a girl, quite overweight, not to choose a white fabric.  “What was the expression she used”, asked Kerry. “She would have looked like a galleon in full sail”  And that was her trying to be kind.

“Would you like a savory snack, Sir?” asked Kerry, with her best impression of a British Airways flight attendant with a London accent.  “Yes please, Miss!” responded Teddy in a high-pitched dweeby London accent.

Teddy grabbed his wife’s delectable ass while passing her in the kitchen.  Kerry laughingly responded with the expression she has been using for 40 years, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford!”  This evoked a play chase around the house with Kerry screaming for her husband not to touch her.  Over the years, the chasing has become a bit more sedate and they both collapse on the bed with no further action.  Sometimes Kerry begs, “Don’t squeeze me – something awful might happen!”  Teddy responds, “We don’t have to bring up your family’s bowel and bladder problems…”  Hysterical laughing followed by a rushed trip to the bathroom.

Teddy starts a monologue, “I need…blah…Amazon…blah…cable…blah.” Ad infinitum.  After he finishes, Kerry says, “You have just wasted another five minutes of my rapidly diminishing life cycle.  Do whatever the Feck you want.”

“Can you get me the industrial vinegar from the garage, Ted?” asked Kerry.  Some time passes with clattering in the garage.  Kerry shouts “If I have to come in and find it, you are in so much trouble!” “It’s not here!” he exclaims.  Kerry walks into the garage, opens the first cupboard and it is right in front of them.  Teddy is futtering about in the second cupboard – every shelf is labelled.  Kerry sighs in exasperation.

Teddy and Kerry are watching a French movie on Netlix. “Ecoutez!” booms the French actor “…et répétez!” shouted Teddy and Kerry in unison.  Their shared experience of the Scottish education system sets off some familiar phrases.  “Ma tante ouvre la fenêtre!” says Kerry.  Teddy responds, “Mon oncle trouve la plume!”  They lose track of the movie.

With no segue, Kerry states “I haven’t found a foolproof way to kill you since they put bittering agent in anti-freeze”.  Teddy gives her a withering stare and she cackles.

Kerry is doing something in the bedroom when a hulking creature appears at the doorway.  She screams, “Stop creeping about the bloody house!” “I live here, too” he responds sadly.

“I think we need to cut down the wine” said either Kerry or Teddy.  A few hours later, “Are you still not drinking or would you like a glass of wine?”  “Yes, please!”

Kerry is reading while on the toilet, against her gastroenterologist’s advice.  Teddy walks in and says, “There you are! I have been looking for you everywhere.  The back door was unlocked but the front door is still locked and I was worried”.  Kerry shouts, “I miss my privacy since you retired.  GET OUT!”

Teddy, “ I love you to Pluto and back!”

Kerry, “I love you to Alpha Centauri and back!”

Outstanding Blogger!

My friend Ruth, aka rkontheroad, nominated me for Outstanding Blogger Award.  I am always honored to be nominated for an award and this one was new to me. Ruth’s blog Musings from the Mountains is full of the most fantastic photography.  She has had an amazing life, living around the globe and now settled in Colorado.  Our lives have segued in some ways with our love of travel, writing and volunteering.  Thank you for the nomination, Ruth!

Ruth’s questions for the nominees

1 Why do you blog?

At first, I created the blog to provide a conduit to my book, Memoirs from Cairo on Kindle.  Once I started to connect with other bloggers, I shared travel posts and eventually very personal posts about my mental illness.  One friend advised me not to share so much but I felt it was therapeutic not just to me but to my readers who felt less alone with a stigmatized illness.


2. What themes do you blog about?

Generally I blog about travel (fond memories), mental illness, fairy stories, fashion and my ancestry.  There is no real rhyme or reason, just following the strange patterns in my head.  I enjoy vlogging too, especially during this Pandemic.  After a while it feels like other bloggers you connect with are real friends – and they are.  We find each other through shared interests, passions or beliefs.


3. What do you like to read?

My favorite genre is fantasy/science fiction.  When I was younger, I read most of the books in our local library, even other genres.  I have belonged to book clubs over the years and I like that it introduces you to books you would never have chosen.  I feel it is my personal mission to introduce people to really good science fiction and fantasy.  My choice one year was The Martian and everybody loved it!   My illness or perhaps my medication for (OCD, depression and anxiety) sometimes affects my ability to concentrate and read a whole book.  It is a real loss in my life but I read other blog posts or article of interest on my laptop make up for that.  That’s why I am on/off with blogging – I have to have the muse.


4. Who or what is a person or event that has influenced your life?

I had to think long and hard about that question.  In truth, it was my mum.  My mum also had a mental illness and a bad relationship with alcohol.  Although she has been dead for 18 years, she still affects my every step.  I loved her and she loved me but we both resented each other at times.  I admired that she had immigrated alone to the States in her early 20s, traveled from east to west.  When she returned to Scotland, alone with me, she worked as a private detective for an agency that got taken over by the famous Pinkerton agency.  Life was much harder after her major breakdown and it has probably molded me into a caretaking person.  She was a beautiful, smart and kind woman whose illness/alcohol use made her narcissistic and critical at times.  That contrasted hugely with the funny loving mummy that I lost.


5. What’s one thing that’s important to you in your non-blogging life?

This was easier – my husband.  We have been married for over 38 years and had our ups and downs.  For the most part we are a very good match and really make each other laugh.  He is incredibly supportive of me and I know he always has my back.  I always wanted to marry someone who was genius smart, good looking and incredibly funny.  He still makes me laugh so much that my body farts without control which makes me laugh louder.  Despite that he still thinks I am his baby bunny…albeit with digestive problems.

Teddy on a fjord in Norway in the 90s

6. If you could go back and choose a different career, what would you do?

Speech Therapy.  I longed to do something in the para-medical field.  My family were very insistent that I spoke clearly with a neutral accent.  No slang dialect was allowed in our house.  At high school I joined drama and debating clubs and realized the pleasure in making your voice heard.  I was rather shy as a young teenager and the whole school was asked to write an essay for a Glasgow wide competition.  I chose to write about social equity, corruption in the Catholic church and other ambitious topics.  My teacher asked me to read it aloud in class and I blushed red.  At the end the whole class applauded – it was overwhelming and eye opening.  I came second in the school competition to someone who wrote about Scottish Nationalism, a very popular subject at the time.  The English principal whispered to me that I should have won.  The topic cost me dearly as one of the rigidly Catholic assistant Headteachers refused to give me a referral to college.  Our bank manager gave me one. This is why it would have been a joy to help people use their voices to the best of their ability.


7. What would you rather be doing right now, instead of writing your answers to these questions?

Despite the pandemic, there is nothing I would like to do other than answer the questions.  Scots are like the Dutch – they don’t do anything they don’t want to do! I have kindly demurred many awards, mostly because I have already been nominated for them.  This was a new category and I was delighted that Ruth asked me.  To be honest, the pandemic has stopped me talking to so many people.  I chat briefly at the grocery store but my Scottish accent sounds like Klingon behind a mask.  This post has given me the opportunity for a wee gabfest, as they say in the old country.  On a final funny note, I phoned one of my neighbors, during our deep freeze in Texas, to ask if I could take out her wheelie bin.  In her New York accent, she queried, “What now?” and I had to go through all the alternatives – big green thing for the rubbish, yellow recycling, trash can, garbage.  It was hilarious – and that was without a mask…

In turn I would like to nominate

Bonjour from Brittany

Tanja Britton

Mabel Kwong

Pit’s Fritztown News

Our Crossings

The rules for this award:                       

  1. Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate up to 10 bloggers.
  5. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination.
  6. Now let’s continue to support and cheer each other throughout 2021 for the Outstanding Blogger Award!

My questions are these –

1 What continent are you from and how does that influence your blog?

2. What is your least favorite place in the world?

3. What do you enjoy most about your blog?

4. How is the pandemic affecting your writing, if at all?

5. What other species would you like to be (including alien)?

6. Are you a geek or non-geek?

7. What would you like to happen in 2022?

Please feel free to demur this nomination or not!

New Wings

Part 4 of the Fairy Blight Saga

Kiera opened her eyes and couldn’t believe the vista in front of her.  She was lying on a sumptuous canopied bed covered in golden silks looking at an oasis.  She sat up and saw some wild camels drinking at the pool.  Suddenly there was a shimmer and Shula El Masri appeared.  He smiled broadly at her and Kiera realized that she was unclothed.  With a blush and laugh, Kiera pulled the golden silk up to hide her modesty. “It is a bit late for that, isn’t it”, chuckled Shula.  She met his twinkling green eyes and smiled as broadly as he had.  “Is this a mirage, Shula?” asked Kiera. “No, this is my home in the Sahara.  I whisked you here before you woke up.”

Kiera clapped her little hands with joy – the wonders of a Djinn suitor!  Lovemaking with a Djinn was a sublime experience.  She felt that they were both transformed into the four elements – fire, water, air and earth.  “What do you see in me, Shula?” asked Kiera very aware that she was an older fairy. “I love your essence, Habibti (darling).  Your kindness, your laugh, your warmth and those blue eyes”.  Shula explained to Kiera, that as a Djinn who was able to shapeshift into any creature, his perception or vision was different from hers.  It was though he could see her every molecule and loved her entirety. “Ana uHibbuka (I love you) Shula” responded Kiera with happy tears in her eyes.

Shula had prepared a light breakfast of dates, hummus and bread.  Kiera ate with relish; her evening had been more energetic than it had been for years.  She was content and warm but aware that they had to get back to the Texas School of Fairies.  It was time to get back to work.  No one seemed to have noticed their disappearance but they both emanated a subtle golden glow.  Shula’s copper treatment for the blight combined with some old potions was working for most patients so there was some reason to celebrate.  The survivors of the Fairy Blight, however, were faced with long term problems.  The worst was wing drop – their wings desiccated and fell off.  This left the fairies unable to live a normal life and they had to rely on others for their care.  The Fairy Crafters had been working on prosthetic wings.  They had used plant fibers, spider silk and balsa wood but it was as impossible as recreating a dragonfly’s wing.

Fairy Blight

As soothsayer, Kiera was again struggling with the feeling of despair in the school and the entire fairy world – the contentment in her personal life contrasted starkly.  Shula noticed how bad she was feeling and asked her to join him in his suite again that evening. “I might have some good news…”  Kiera shook herself out of her gloom and later knocked gently at his door.  The suite was still transformed into an Egyptian scene but this time it resembled a blacksmith’s forge.  Shula’s greatest skill was with metal so she was curious about what he had been working on.  She gasped when she saw that he had constructed a fairy wing out of titanium, the lightest of metals.  Titanium turns into a rainbow of different colors depending on what level of heat is applied to it.  Shula held out prosthetic wing that was colored deep blue.  “Stand back, Kiera dearest”.  He blew a fiery breath on the wing and it changed color to fuchsia pink.

Kiera looked at Shula with astonishment – what skills this alchemist had. “I think this might work because it is light and flexible yet indestructible”, said Shula.  They spent the rest of the night working on ways to attach the prosthetic wings.  By morning they were bleary eyed but excited.  They flew down to the infirmary to try the titanium wings one of the invalided children.  It was attached by a brace around the chest area made of beetle silk, strong but soft.  The first little fairy to try it was a Tumbleweed fairy with a mop of white fluffy hair.  Her name was Teasle and like all Tumbleweed fairies was pragmatic and straightforward.  Her first attempt was a little clumsy but after a few times she was flying around the patio outside the infirmary. “Don’t go too far,” pleaded Kiera.  Teasle gently dropped to the ground her face gleaming with joy, then she ran to Shula and hugged him.  “Do you like them?” asked the caring Djinn, while gently caressing her fluffy hair. “I love them but could they be a different color, please?” – everyone started laughing and crying.  These prototype wings were a deep pink color but Tumbleweed fairies are unusually neutral in color.  “How about a nice copper or golden color to match your outfit?” said Shula with a chuckle. Teasle grinned, her amber eyes sparkling; she was wearing mule hide suede pants with a matching fawn cotton sweater.

As the weeks flew past, lucky little fairies were attached with prosthetic wings of their color choice.  Kiera’s old friend, Niloufar, a Persian Peri fairy, had brought her granddaughter to the Texas School of Fairies.  Little Fariba had lost both her wings to the Fairy Blight.  It was with the greatest of pleasure that Kiera fitted her with delicate bright green titanium wings; perfect for a Waterlily Fairy.  As Fariba took her first faltering flight, Niloufar burst into delighted tears hugging Kiera and then Shula.  Once the excitement was over, Niloufar and Kiera, spent the evening together.  It had been years since they had met but chattered happily as though it was yesterday. “So, tell me all about this handsome Djinn, Kiera”, asked Niloufar.  Kiera laughingly said, “I wondered when you would ask about Shula El Masri!”  Neither of them knew any other Djinn and Fairy unions so Niloufar was fascinated by the details of the courtship. “I think Shula is my soulmate”, sighed Kiera knowing that this might be a fleeting affair.  Niloufar’s beautiful emerald eyes looked sadly at Kiera and she reached across to hug her.

Fariba, the little Peri fairy, and all the others with new wings stayed at the infirmary for a few weeks to make sure that they had truly convalesced.  The day came when Niloufar and Fariba had to leave for their home in Persia; Kiera tearfully waved them off.  Shula spotted Kiera sitting thoughtfully by the fountain. “Would you like to go to the Oasis, tonight, dearest Kiera?” “Yes, please Habibi.” Shula fashioned a golden shimmer around them and in an instant they were at Oasis dipping their toes into the cool water. “Kiera, said Shula, “I need to talk to you about the future.”  Kiera’s big blue eyes looked at him with dismay but she understood without words that his time at the Texas School of Fairies was coming to an end.  The Fairy Blight was a worldwide pandemic and his skills were needed elsewhere. Tears dripped down her cheeks and he kissed her on the forehead. “Would you come with me?” he asked.  She looked at Shula with a tremulous joy.  “We could spend years traveling the globe helping our species” said Shula. Kiera whispered “Yes, Yes…”

Even fairies like a happy ending.

Part 1 – The Fairy Blight

Part 2 – the Visiting Djinn

Part 3 – Magical Healers

Part 4 – New Wings

It’s the little things…

Can you see me?

This year has been one where we have had to be introspective and appreciate the little things.  It’s a small silver lining given the tragedy of Covid-19 but perhaps it will give us new coping skills for the future.  Teddy and I used to go out to lunch at least once a week.  We knew all the wait staff and enjoyed the banter along with the food.  It was my only reason to get dressed up as I wore a uniform, of sorts, at work.  Like most of us I have cleared out the closets but the pretty dresses flutter sadly in the closet.  Recently I bought two new nightdresses because that’s what I wear most.  On the plus side, I found nightdresses with pockets – wow!

Teddy was pushed to his limit last week when Hurricane Laura blew through.  It missed the large centers of population but it tore down large parts of our electricity grid to our east.  The next day the power went out unexpectedly for about 8 hours.  That seems perfectly reasonable to me but it was 100 degrees outside and 84 degrees in the house.  Teddy had to stop work and paced the house like a tiger.  He tested the generator (it works), he hunted for batteries and torches (which are all in the hurricane box which Kerry packs each year) and generally drove me crazy.  After many hours, I shouted at him, gave him a beer and told him to sit his ass down.  To his horror I said, “Look at the flowers” which is a line from Walking Dead before one of the characters was dispatched.  I reassured him that it was a Freudian slip…  Then nature sent us a little precious moment to calm him down.  Two little squirrel siblings who had been running crazy along the fences and trees, suddenly stopped and started grooming each other.  They snuggled and licked each other and our hearts melted.

I’m coming down for the snacks. Muchas Gracias, Senora!!

Like everyone else, our vacation plans have disappeared.  We had planned something special for my 60th birthday/38th anniversary in July but instead I made Teddy his favorite meal.  He loves potato gratin – so simple but I rarely make it.  For dessert I made him something he had been hankering over for 30+ years.  Many years ago I made a very decadent Pashka (Russian Easter cake) for a dinner party that we were hosting.  I searched the internet for a slightly lighter version of my original recipe and then altered it a little.  The main ingredients are butter, sugar, toasted almonds, crystallized ginger and vanilla.  Teddy was so excited!!!  I think it might have been the nicest anniversary meal we have ever had.  Our expectations were low and I was not stressed.

Potato Gratin

Pashka

Then there are the lizards.  As you know, we have been without pets for over a year now.  We rarely sat out in our back yard because Toffee was sadly sitting inside but now we can happily sit in our rockers looking at nature.  We noticed that spotted Anoles would come running when we came out.  Perhaps it was coincidence but now we have them named. Lorenzo has a regrown tail and Leo likes to sit on the prow of the deck.  When we call them, they run out from under the deck and start displaying in front of us.  Sometimes it is little handstands or head nods but if we are lucky they show us their red dewlap.  They let us go within an inch of them to admire their chameleon coloring.  We have one sweet little green Anole, Gerry, who is a native Texan.  The spotted Anoles are invasive from Cuba and they are feisty.  I Googled “snacks for lizards’ and they like live crickets and meal worms. They will have to eat what’s in the backyard…

velvet ant

Covid-19 has made me less obsessive about the usual bugs and germs.  Teddy dispatched a giant tree roach in the house and I didn’t bat an eyelid or get out the bleach.  We are in semi-drought here so insects are coming in, looking for water.  In the middle of the night, I went sleepily to the bathroom.  Through drowsy eyes, I saw what looked like a scorpion walking in while I was trapped on the toilet.  It was big, brown and not a cockroach.  Ruthlessly, I took a magazine and squashed it.  Later, I discovered that it was a mole cricket and I have been grieving ever since.  It was a harmless wee thing and I wish I had taken it out to the garden.

Mole Cricket with a curious pup, courtesy of Pixabay

Another day the lizards were agitated and when we investigated, they were chasing a velvet ant away from their babies – beautiful creature but with a deadly sting.  Red throated hummingbirds have visited the Mexican Fire Bush en route back to Latin America.  Finally, there are the babies. We have two nests of red tailed hawks behind our house. The baby hawks screech, “Mom, I need a mouse!”, then the Blue Jays start squawking and lastly the squirrels bark.  What a racket!

Just before this capture of a blue jay, he had been screeching that the water was dirty… Just as well they are beautiful.

I think this is a mixed marriage…like Teddy and I.

The eyes are the windows to your soul

cutting-cake.jpg

In my last post, I mentioned that I thought I had mislaid my parents wedding photographs.  Once I found them, and breathed a sigh of relief, I sat and looked at them.  I never really knew my father – he was a creature of legend both good and bad.  When I was young, my Mum tried her best to paint a balanced picture of Dad despite the unpleasant comments from family members.  These photographs were never displayed but I had seen them many times.  I was fascinated by the glamour of a professional shot and thought they were both attractive.  As a youngster I really looked much more like my father with our dark Mexican roots.

As I gazed at the shots, I realized that neither my Mum nor Dad looked happy.  They married after a couple of months of meeting but they were in their late 20’s, more than capable of making a sensible decision.  My theory is that they were pregnant with me and I know that my dad asked my mum to have an illegal abortion.  I had admired these photos for years, longing to have similarly glamorous wedding shots, but had never noticed the lack of happiness in their eyes.  The social mores of two Catholics not marrying after a pregnancy were overwhelming.  My mum told me that a distant relative offered to adopt me so the circumstances must have been dire.  Eventually my mum divorced my dad in 1976 on the grounds of mental cruelty.  He had already remarried in the States.

KathleenAndBeau

Then I found a photograph of my mum with a previous American boyfriend above.  If anyone recognizes him, you might have been my sibling!

My mum had mentioned that he was a really nice guy, Italian American, but that she hadn’t fallen for him.  Maybe she wasn’t ready but my mum looked truly happy in this simple photograph.   How I longed for a normal father like him when I was young.  As the years have passed I have come to terms with my Dad probably having some mental health and addiction issues (as did my Mum).  I have so enjoyed meeting members of my Dad’s family – seeing distinct resemblances both in appearance and also personality.  My mum’s bridesmaid, who has stayed close to me, told me many times that my Dad had a fascinating charismatic side that I had inherited.  To the right is a photograph of Teddy and I signing the register 38 years ago – now that’s a real smile.

We had not a single professional wedding shot…❤️

Covid Art

I am not sure who started painting rocks and leaving them on our walking trails but it was a lovely idea for young and old.  Children must be so bored staying at home – so much so that I saw my neighbor’s toddler swimming the breast stroke in the street puddle (where the sprinkler water gathers)!

 

JOY AND LOVE TO EVERYONE

 

 

Easter 2020

It’s hard to wish anyone a Happy Easter this year but I hope you are able to find small moments of joy.  Teddy took this photograph of me on Good Friday while we walked around the containment pond.  On route we chatted to some new neighbors across the fence, we met a fisherman who caught a foot long bass fish out of the pond!  Whoo Hoo!  We high fived from 10 foot distance – I have only ever seen heron sized minnow snack.  Then we moved aside while a community minded neighbor mowed the walking path with her son so we could walk more easily through the long grass.

I think you can see from the look on my face above that I am struggling to keep being vibrant although the little Zen cairn made my heart happy.  Just like all the vapid celebrities, I have no makeup on and a baseball cap to hide my hair…  As we sat down last night to watch yet more Netflix or Prime, I commented to Teddy that this is probably my worst Easter ever.  Immediately I felt guilty for comparing my luxurious life to anyone else’s this year.  How awful to be in a refugee camp or to be any of our first responders.  As I mused, I remembered my real worst Easter which was in 1970.

We lived in prefabricated metal public housing that was unbearably cold in a Scottish winter.  In the autumn of the previous year, I started getting chest infections consecutively.  My health and lungs had been compromised from babyhood in part from my mum having tuberculosis during her pregnancy with me.   In our community there was no choice of family doctor and ours had many complaints about his incompetence.  My mum pleaded with him to refer me to a pediatrician but he blankly stated that she was neurotic and continued to prescribe antibiotics.  By midwinter my Nana and mum had created a little bed for me in the nook of the fireplace of the living room which was the warmest place in the house.  I woke up every morning with dried mucus covering my whole face like a veil of illness.  My breathing was terrible and I missed months of schooling.

In desperation my uncles gave my mum £40 (a fortune for us) to visit a pediatrician privately.  He also worked for the National Health Service, as do most private surgeons, and I was in hospital the next day.  By this time 6 months had passed and it was almost Easter.  There was no room in the children’s ward so I and 3 other little girls were placed at the end of a Victorian long ward full of ladies with cancer.  I was terrified by the older ladies barely holding onto life and the strangeness of the situation.  The two little girls opposite me were sisters and had been flown in from one of the outer Western Islands.  Was it a twofer or were they both genuinely needing their tonsils out?  It would have been very expensive back then to fly in from Barra.  They were relentlessly cheerful and kind to me in their soft accents from speaking Gaelic.

My mum tried to visit every night after her very long work day and I think I sobbed every visit.  When I was wheeled to surgery, alone, I asked the surgeons if I was going to die.  They removed my adenoids and tonsils – a complaint was made about our family doctor who we still had to see because of no options available.  In those days they made you eat scratchy toast to heal up your throat – ow!  All the food was awful and worst of all – it was EASTER!  Family and neighbors rallied around with an array of chocolate eggs that I could not eat.  All except a little egg box full of Cadbury’s Cream Eggs with a sixpence underneath each from my aunt Cathie and uncle Donal.  I was able to suck the cream out of the eggs even though I couldn’t eat the chocolate.

Eventually I went back to school although I had some home tuition.  I had no voice for weeks and I struggled to catch up.  But I did, and life moved on.  It was so stressful for my poor mum that she had a major mental breakdown after this and never worked again.  I am so grateful for the all the kindness given to us at that time.  One of the greatest sacrifices was from my mum’s colleague’s son who donated his extensive collection of rare American comics to this sick little girl.  Richie Rich and his friends made me so happy.  I still love the gift of a magazine – it feels like a treat.  The taste of artificial cherry that disguised childhood penicillin makes me feel sick, as does the smell of a hot toddy.

Kerry’s egg shaped cyst behind her lungs

In retrospect, I realized that my peculiar egg shaped cyst behind my lungs may have made me sicker than I would normally have been.  It looks like a portent of doom, doesn’t it, but the cyst has shrunk back to the size of a raisin.  There is always light at the end of darkness.  Hollywood endings are rare but we will overcome our current sickness and learn how to make our lives safer.  I had the Catholic Last Rites when I was less than a year old but so far, so good.  Keep faith in humanity.

I send springtime wishes to all of you, whatever your faith or lack of.  Be well.

The Grinch won’t leave!

What is it about the holidays?  My mental health is better than it has been in months but still the festive season pushes all my buttons.  I think I used to enjoy Christmas but at some point it just became stressful.  It was better when there was very little money in our lives.  Presents were much needed and usually a delight – despite a white and brown polyester dressing gown that I had to wear for years…  In later years my late crazy mother got her knickers in a twist about the varieties of Christmas puddings and drove her daughter nuts trying to find the PERFECT one.  Remember when there was only one or you made your own?

As my mental health was improving during fall, I got very busy creating postcards from Teddy’s beautiful images.  Then I started on my handmade soaps and enjoyed the process.  I wrapped them prettily and gifted them to everyone.  It backfired somewhat as I made some friends feel that they had to reciprocate.  The true joy is in giving with no expectations.

Then Teddy got some unanticipated leave from his new job and we went to Fredericksburg for Christmas, possibly the most famous German town in central Texas Hill Country.  It was really beautifully decorated and the weather was fantastic – photos to follow.  Despite enjoying my environment, historic buildings and endless wineries, I couldn’t stop being irritated.

  • There were too many tourists yet we were two of them…
  • The other cars were driving like crazy Grinches – especially through Austin, the most traffic-congested city in Texas.
  • Our luxurious room wasn’t quite clean enough (it really wasn’t).
  • I was bored and tired.
  • The road from Medina to Kerrville was ridiculous – hairpin bends and really steep gradients. I guess I missed the point about visiting the hill country.
  • Teddy sleeps like an owl and I am like a bear. Maybe I should hibernate through winter??
  • Other guests. That’s a standalone but they were talking outside in broad daylight, beeping their cars locked and worse still, talking in their room at 7 pm.  They ate all the breakfast.

I know what you are thinking – poor Teddy.  It’s true that he put up with a Grinch wife but we still had wonderful meals and laughed all the time.  I am hoping that made up for the time, after driving for hours in silence, I turned on the CD to keep myself focused AND THEN he started talking.  I told him to Shut the F*** Up and gave him the finger.  Thirty seven years and counting – I love you Teddy!!!!

 

Sporty Spicy Valentine

I haven’t posted anything on fashion for a while and this is a poor offering… This outfit has adorned my ‘sporty’ body for two days, thus the ‘spicy’ description. Yesterday Teddy came home, admired the leggings and felt my bum. Rather than change the routine for 36 years, I remarked, “Don’t touch what you can’t afford”. Hilarity ensued.

I am having some motion problems with fingers and toes, so clumsily opened a packet of orange Metamucil drink which I spilled all over the blue top. Coming from a generation that still had weekly baths, I just shook it off and wore it this morning. For a moment I wondered if I should change before going to the mall but couldn’t be arsed, in the Irish vernacular. While browsing in a very high end boutique, not one but two of the store assistants asked me where I got my leggings.

I could have muttered something about Lululemon but chose to tell the truth. They were snagged at the local supermarket for a few dollars, the sweater was also a few dollars in Old Navy’s super sale. The expensive Nike’s came from the outlet store. I walked from the store with my head held high, vaguely wafting the citrus scent of Metamucil.

Stopping at Nordstrom’s for my usual coffee, my eye was caught by two businessmen speaking an unfamiliar Spanish dialect. I asked them where they were from – Chile! They were asking the barista the origin of the expresso they ordered – no self-respecting Texan would ever do that… We only drink expresso in Houston to keep us awake on long shifts.

My dining table is covered in an array of lovely pink wrapped gifts from girlfriends. Valentine’s Day has become a Hallmark occasion but isn’t it lovely to celebrate the love of friendship with a handmade gift or card?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!

Katniss has gone…

…and that is one of the reasons for my absence from WordPress. How many times do our hearts break when we lose a beloved pet? We had been feeding Katniss for a few years and I think she was about 4 years old. This year we bought her a little house and she finally figured out that she could use it on inclement days. A few weeks ago she suddenly disappeared and I quickly realized she was dead. After a couple of days there was a smell of death on the air and all the other little critters disappeared from our garden.

She was hale and hearty before she disappeared so I suspect she was run over by a car or succumbed after an encounter with another animal. The armadillos have created a warren of burrows under our deck and into the reserve so I will never find her. Possums and raccoons have started to visit again. For weeks we looked out of the window to no avail, as did Toffee, our elderly inside cat. My grief is tarnished with relief. We have spent almost 40 years looking after difficult, feral cats and would like a break. I was so worried about Katniss’s future and potential illness but fate has taken care of that.

This is the last photograph of Katniss enjoying her little house. It now sits empty like the Taj Mahal.

Feral cats have a short lifespan compared to domesticated cats so she had a lovely few years being spoiled with ‘pasta and trout’, her very own house and loving servants. Her little house sits empty but I have seen squirrels hop in and out. The fat raccoon could only squeeze her head in… We will leave it out as our Taj Mahal to Katniss. Perhaps it will give one of our many critter visitors a warm shelter?

I am going to take a little break from blogging and following but thank you to all my visitors. I look forward to catching up with everyone in the New Year. May you enjoy a marvelous festive season. Merry Christmas!