Happy Grandfather’s Day!

Grandpa Teddy


When my husband, Teddy, sent me an email from Oklahoma with a photo of a handwritten note, I thought, ‘here we go, he has been pretending to be Sean Connery again’. The lovely server had asked him about his rings. He has a large silver and turquoise ring and a Celtic gold one. No doubt he had a few refreshments by then but showed her my photograph, explained that I was part native and that we were married for 35 years.

The silver ring was just a lucky gift when we were browsing a shop selling Native American goods in Rice Village, Houston. Some very rich guy had ordered a custom made silver and turquoise for his larger than average fingers. After trying it one, he decided he wanted something even more ostentatious. The original ring was being sold cheap until another werewolf popped in. Teddy’s has big hands but also large knuckles from arthritis that started in his 30’s. (Rather suspiciously he is growing werewolf hair on his shoulders…)

The gold ring was his 40th birthday present from me. By that stage he had two wedding rings because of the increasing knuckle size. I took those plus some of his granny’s rings to a goldsmith and chose a Celtic interwoven pattern from a book of sketches. He loved it! As time went by the knuckles became more inflamed and it didn’t fit again. About two years ago we took a chance with a local jeweler who increased it by expanding the pattern with more gold. It was fantastic!

We were not fortunate enough to spawn although we always wondered about creating some crazy mutant werewolf…🐺 He is still in Oklahoma for Father’s Day but there was a card in his suitcase signed by Toffee, our cat, Katniss and her new kitten (that’s another story), the armadillos, the possums, the skunks, the raccoons and cicadas. Teddy has been a fabulous Daddy to all our pussycats and clearly he would have made a lovely grandfather…

Love Nana Bunny

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

Teddy’s looking younger!

Teddy and Bunny

Teddy and I took an olde worlde selfie last week with the timer on a camera. My girlfriends in Scotland had met up last weekend and had sent photos of them enjoying themselves. There were a few ‘refreshments’ imbibed… With my recent ill health I had been reluctant to take selfies. My body dysmorphia has been worse of late and when I look in the mirror I see the older version of Charlize Theron in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman.

Teddy is also unable to see what an attractive man he is – who does not look like he has just turned 59 years old (I will be 57 in a few months). We met when I was 21 and I was astonished that he had not dated half of Glasgow. Even his aunt thought he was gay! Had I not predated him, I doubt we would be married for 35 years. I thought he was cool and uninterested but he thought he had met the girl of his dreams. We were engaged within 3 months and married after 11 months leading to family theories of pregnancy. I have still to whelp…🐕🐶🐕

He is definitely looking younger of late however and I have a theory about that. From our mid 50s we have been having a wonderful time, both relaxed at work and travelling the world together. Then the oil slump came and life changed dramatically. We both have new jobs that can be stressful with horrible commutes. We are working in more challenging environments using different skillsets, with new colleagues. As difficult as that has been, the silver lining is that we both look a little younger than our real ages. We try to make life at home as stress free as possible and rarely socialize with other people. Time is too precious to spend with anyone else but each other.

The icing on the cake is that Teddy won an award at the Offshore Technology Conference (Oil) for his part in writing a paper whilst working at the company that laid him off. Isn’t life ironic? More fool them. I get stressed when I am working events but funny moments make it all worthwhile. When waiting for some guests the other day, I was sitting with a lovely young colleague chatting. A Ukrainian limo driver was really staring at me and eventually he said, “I know you”. I responded that he probably knew me from the airport. No, he insisted that I looked really like someone from the old country. He moved the other side but kept staring at ‘those eyes’. I burst out laughing and said, “Would you like a photograph?” Later that day a Lebanese silver fox told me that he and his wife were like sister and brother. Uh oh – time to stop flirting!!

The night the photograph was taken we went out for an ‘early bird supper’ and I was concerned that last year’s dress from Ross was too short. You can see how it rides up in the photograph. We popped into Walgreens on the way back and both of the beauty assistants told me how lovely I looked. It was the perfect end to a lovely evening out with my honey.

Happy Birthday Teddy!

He had a six pack…

My lovely husband is 59 39 today…  The handsome blondish guy above is a photo of him in Norway when he was really younger than 39.  What a looker!  He deserves to be spoiled on his birthday for so many reasons but #1 is that he loved his nutty mother in law.  We came as a package, as I was her long distance caretaker.  Her mental illness made her behave very strangely at times.  She would beg us to visit but then be overwhelmed by day 2 or 3.  To illustrate this she would take all the sofa cushions off, leaving us to sit on the hard base.  It drove my aunt and me to distraction but Teddy just put them back on the sofa and pretended nothing had happened.  When she was well, she was absolutely hilarious, full of fun and laughing at both ends.  I have inherited that charming and yet unique trait, along with her looks, her mental illness and a good sense of humor (just as well, really…)

I love Teddy for the following reasons –

  • He loves me (Bunny) despite the mental illness, dodgy hoo-ha and lack of estrogen
  • He makes me laugh; really laugh. We were a great double act at the bank last weekend.  Teddy has a stronger Scottish accent than me and the teller was having some difficulty with the glass and his lack of enunciation so I kept translating.  I told the bank teller that I was a translator for the mentally disabled.  She fell about laughing.
  • He goes to work to provide for me (mostly healthcare but I like to eat sometimes) and he always has. At least I am a skinflint…
  • He smells amazing. Teddy has a penchant for expensive scent and our current favorite is Luna Rossa.  His natural body smell is lovely too and the late Mrs. Stripe used to suck his used underwear (like a Tom Jones fan).  I don’t go quite that far but I do like a whiff of male sweat.
  • There is always some lady with a crush on him but he seems to prefer blonde with a touch of crazy.
  • He loves cats (perhaps that should have been #1). Our feral cat, Katniss, has decided that she will wait for ‘Dad’ to come home to feed her.  Ungrateful little slut!
  • He cries when he watches soppy movies like Despicable Me and insists that we buy the first soft toy that we handled in case it feels neglected (WTF?). He bought my mum teddies from all over the world including the cutest little Harrods teddy with an Aran sweater.  I still have the damn things in the attic because she made me swear never to get rid of them.  In case you are reading this, Mum, they are all happy together with enough room to breathe…
  • When he is drunk, he writes me beautiful little love notes that I keep in my lingerie drawer. The term ‘lingerie’ is pushing it.
  • He loves me despite my unsexy, holey knickers…
  • He thinks I have a great figure but his eyesight isn’t so good.

A tip for older single ladies – date the silver foxes.  They will see you through an elderly, rose tinted mist.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEDDY!

Teddy and Bunny in Fredericksburg a few years ago

A perfect white palette

White Ginger Blossom

White Ginger Blossom

This is the last in my series of Mercer Arboretum. Although all the flowers are white, they are not really the same. Some have a greenish tinge, others pink. When I shopped for my wedding dress over 30 years ago, I realized that there were many shades of white that somebody with a yellow undertone can’t wear. In the end I wore ivory and it was so much more flattering.

Three white trumpets

Three white trumpets

White Hibiscus

White Hibiscus

This exquisite hibiscus is the epitome of beauty in color (or the absence of it). It’s delicate pink stamen peeps out provocatively. The little yellow centred white flowers below, look like they are laughing.

yellow centers

sunny centered white flowers

Wouldn’t this border would be lovely for a bride and groom to stand next to?

Virginal White Border

Virginal White Border

Are there any brides out there who are virgins when they marry? It was quite common in my Irish Catholic community, 30 years ago but my ivory dress was apropos…not quite pure! Isn’t it odd that the majority of us, these days, think there is no great advantage in being a virgin before marriage and those that extol it seem a bit weird. Each to their own, but I think I would at least like a look and a free trial. 💓 LOL!

White Lilies

White Lilies

On a similar note, people of my age usually hate the smell of cut lilies because we had our dead relatives lying in state (the bedroom) with lilies to overcome the faint scent of decomposition. Fortunately, we lived in Scotland and most old people die in the winter so they are more likely to freeze than decompose… 👻 I have a healthy disrespect for the basics of life – we live, we die and hopefully, in between, have some sex.

Good news, at last.

Teddy and Bunny Old Tampa Bay

Teddy and Bunny
Old Tampa Bay

This is Teddy and I celebrating his new job which he started this week. It has been a long six months, with illness, bereavement and stress. Thank you to all my followers for your support, especially during some dark days. As many of you know, Teddy set up Gattageo LLC during his unemployment whilst applying for endless jobs. I always knew that he would have to look for a staff job, for health care amongst other reasons but supported him as much as I was able. In the end, it was a former employer, who knew Teddy’s worth, who approached him to join a small geological consultancy as a senior sedimentologist. There is a conflict of interest with Gattageo LLC so it has been temporarily put aside but none of the work will be wasted as he will use it in his new role or in the future.

When we received the contract, I immediately booked a little trip to Tampa in the few days he had left before starting (more of that later). It was a lovely feeling to both escape the biblically wet weather in Houston and just breathe a sigh of relief. The night before he started his new job, I laid out his outfit and he packed his pencils. He was anxious but excited and I felt like a mom whose child was starting kindergarten! We are onto day 3 and so far, so good. He is straight into work and loving that. My meet and greet job is on a hiatus during the hot summer, although I was head-hunted by a cruise line. I think I just need some time to heal and relax.

The first day on my own was delicious but strange. I slept until noon and then returned some shoes. I went crazy and spent that $20 on two tops in Old Navy (modeling blog later). The house is already cleaner that it has been in months and our water bill will increase again… I am still in thrift mode, however, and I doubt it will ever go especially as we are approaching retirement. It has been excellent practice for the strangeness of retirement when you are both stuck together in the house. Now we know that Teddy needs to volunteer or work part-time and Bunny needs the house to herself for days at a time.

I have learned that my chronic mental illness has the capacity to get dramatically worse in times of stress and I need to seek help ASAP (which I did). The medications are already reduced and I feel as normal as I ever do – i.e. a permanent state of slight anxiety with low levels of depression. This is well managed with sleep, medication and plenty of time alone. It struck me that although everyone assumes I am a social butterfly, I really spend two thirds of my time alone or sleeping. If I have a busy day volunteering (4 hours), I might have to go to bed the following day to unwind.

We learned a lot about our marriage and love. The hard work of 34 years of marriage was not wasted. We tried so hard to boost each other up and say we loved each other. It taught us some new skills that we will need for the future. I thought we were already frugal but we could be self-indulgent at times, especially with meals out and luxury items. It is so important to have access to health-care and we did but it was very expensive. If you don’t have good health then life has little pleasure. We will continue to be kind to people on the way up as we have truly appreciated the support that we have received, from strangers to good friends and neighbors. Thank you!

The final crush?

What's sexier than a man who loves cats?

What’s sexier than a man who loves cats?

Following the theme of the last two posts, I had a huge spark and crush on my husband when I met him. I was 21 and he took me by surprise. Given my previous experience of geologists, I was expecting a woolly sweater geek. He does have woolly sweaters and is a geek but has an amazingly sharp sense of humor and is good looking, too. Our romance was very speedy, causing anxious relatives to think that it was a shotgun wedding. (No, we still have no spawn apart from ungrateful Egyptian cats.) We met in August 1981 and married in July 1982. We worked in different countries during this period so only really were together for about four months. At various point in our courtship and marriage, I have thought that I made a mistake and I am sure that he has too.

I had a crush on another librarian in my late twenties, at least eight years after I was married and since Teddy still refers to him, this one made him anxious. I was going through a really difficult period in my life. My father had died in his 50s and my mother had a heart attack leading onto a heart bypass operation. We lived in a rurally isolated village and the most excitement I got was when the mobile library came to us, every two weeks. The librarian was about my age, handsome and he had books. Even better, he could choose books for me from my likes and dislikes. He was remarkably good at that so the crush was inevitable.

My husband was currently having a crush on someone at work, so I guess mine was a revenge crush. Again it was just innocent fun but the librarian thought that I was losing weight to please him but I was just worried about an early death like my parents. He told me a little too much about his personal life and that was enough to dissipate the crush. Once my husband’s crush saw the new slim Kerry, I was satisfied.

We have been married for 33 years so our love and desire for each other has waxed and waned. I remember a wonderful vacation to the east coast of the United States in the late 90s when we were totally in synch. Lovemaking in Pennsylvania to the sound of cicadas will always stay with me. Teddy looked particularly handsome then and I remember thinking how handsome he looked tall, slim with a tan.

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s - married 20 years then

Teddy and Bunny in their 40s – married 20 years then

I am fascinated by our memories being different. We both remember that night in Pennsylvania but then I will remember Madrid and he, Lisbon. We have always loved each other but had some significant ups and downs until recently. We have traveled the world together over the last few years and have been embarrassingly noisy in hotel rooms, particularly Istanbul.

We went to Palm Springs during Christmas break a couple of years ago. I had my usual itinerary of National Parks to visit, restaurants to eat at but suddenly became ill. I told him to go to Joshua National Park without me and then realized that I was ‘ER ill’. I got a taxi to take me to ER for breathing problems, was nebulized after some hours and given antibiotics. I tried to contact him but he was out with cell phone reach. By the time he came to ER he was in such a panic. Despite all that, after a day on strong antibiotics, I was in the mood and since we were staying the Hard Rock Hotel we had the most amazing night together. The whole room was mirrored, our room was named after the Grateful Dead (which seemed particularly appropriate), and we had a sex kit in our bedroom full of toys and condoms. My vulnerability and the mirrors turned Teddy into a sex god. I taught him a few acrobatic positions that night.

I am assuming Teddy will be the final real crush but am too pragmatic to create a Hollywood ending. Nobody can tell what’s in the future and if he died suddenly, I think I would marry again because it was such a wonderful experience. He feels the opposite – no one could compare to his Bunny. In the meantime, I will keep having crushes on movie stars, doctors and anyone else I meet in life. He will too, and I am optimistic that we will live happily ever after until the next time he drives too fast, doesn’t empty the trash or snores. On a final funny note, he queried why I was all dressed up the other day and I told him I was going to see one of my doctors (i.e. crush). In bed that night, after a bottle of wine or so, he snuggled up to me, grabbed my boobs and said, “You have the most beautiful breasts”. I waited with anticipation but the next sound was very loud snoring. I slept in the front room…

Making kittens…

piper, prue, phoebe

Piper, Prue and Phoebe, Mrs. Stripe’s last kittens

We have been married a long time eons and we have had some droughts in our intimacy. As you know, my hormonal status has been making life more interesting over the last few years. Our cats were getting used to Mum and Dad having separate bedrooms and then suddenly they were together in the same bed, MAKING KITTENS! At first, Mrs. Stripe (who had myriad kittens in Egypt) used to stand on Dad, whining at him to stop hurting Mum. Why else would she be making those funny noises? Then they seemed to catch on that we were ‘making kittens’ and that wasn’t much better because three cats is more than enough!

They have learned to be discreet or they are locked out of the bedroom because Dad’s performance suffers with an audience who looks at him with distaste. (Imagine your teenage children finding you making kittens…) This morning, after what I thought was a romantic tryst, Mrs. Stripe came straight up the bed and washed my armpits. Well, it had been a boisterous session and we live in the subtropics. Teddy looked at Bunny with disdain, saying, “Why do you let her do that, it’s disgusting!” My retort was, “Well you did something disgusting to me last night that involved bodily fluids”.

His response was that he was compelled to make kittens with me – clearly it was not within his control. Either my attractive smell or visage made him behave in this way. I cracked up laughing, as did he. Maybe there was a compliment in there but I am sure he could have come up with something better such as, “I desired you so much, you are intoxicating or you are the love of my life”. 🙂

Let’s see what happens the next time Teddy wants to make kittens with Bunny…