Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘family’

Dear John

Clear Creek Trail

Restroom on Clear Creek Trail

Dear John ,

You are ‘privy’ to wearing one of my favorite doors. I don’t give you nearly enough accolades for the times I’ve been delighted to see your door.


Friday Cuppa Joe

April Tangle 2015

If we were meeting for coffee, I’d tell you how  tangled tickled I’ve been to read the daily posts from each of you A to Z Challenge participants. From veterans to newbies, you all have such humorous, thoughtful, educational – and varied – topics, and you write with such exuberance and confidence.

A tip of my mug, and Hearty Congratulations to all of you!

Hang in there; you’re nearly at the finish line.

I’m looking forward to your Reflections post at the end of the Challenge because that’s when I find out what this year’s Challenge meant to you. You all seem to be sailing through with nary an unsettling wave, but sometimes it’s totally chaotic behind your sails and we don’t find out until you ‘Reflect.’

spring 2015

Has this happened to you? You’re reading a news event about an ‘elderly’ person and, when the age is mentioned you think, “WTF?!? Elderly??  That’s MY age!”

I’ve been trying for ten years to decide what to call myself. I’m not middle-aged (not planning to live to130), yet I’m certainly NOT elderly. Dad and Mom are just shy of 90 and still relatively healthy and active. They might be elderly.

I am not.

So how do we label those of us past our mid’s but not yet arrived at our eld’s?

Good news!

Researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria have decided old age “should be measured not by age, but by how long people have left to live.”

And we are living a lot longer.

Statisticians say today’s average 65-year-old should live another 24 years. That’s 50% longer than the average for our parents’ generation. (I must congratulate my parents for being WAY above average!)

Those Viennese researchers suggest that Old Age should be defined as having less than 15 years to live.

Good news, indeed. I have a decade until I reach statistical Old Age. In the meantime, what do I call myself since I’m way past middle age?

Since Living Longer is the variable that turned researchers from ‘age-focused’ to ‘years-to-live’ focused, I think that’s what we should call ourselves … The Living Longers.

And I’ve heard that a second cup of coffee goes a long way to ensuring that outcome.

Loving Living Longer

Loving Living Longer

Getting Creative With Creative Blogger Award

I’m woefully behind in acknowledging a few awards I’ve received. I truly appreciate the purpose of these awards and the generous support from my fellow bloggers.

As I’ve written, I have mixed emotions about accepting awards because the work can be quite time-consuming, and sometimes the thought of answering certain questions causes me discomfort. I’m responding to a fun one today while not officially following its rules.


Joey at Joeyfullystated nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you, Joey!

This was certainly an apt award for Joey to receive herself. I think of Joey as my RR&R blogging buddy (surprise, Joey). She Rants, Raves and Reveals – I never know what I’ll be reading when Joey scrolls into view, but I’m always entertained, educated and excited by her writing.

Ever think so much could be written about doors? Just see what Joey has to say.

According to the rules, I’m supposed to tell you five things about myself. I decided to focus on five creative things …

Hear the sound of that screeching halt?

I rarely think of myself as creative. Capricorns plod; we don’t create.

But here goes:

I was a child prodigy as a contemporary artist. Remember those springtime wriggly worms that so fascinated me? Mom tells me  when I was about three and she’d send me out to play, she’d look up and find me breaking off pieces of fresh earthworm and ‘painting’ on our front window. When a piece would dry, I’d just break off another and continue my masterpiece.

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I'm not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

Look at that HUGE earthworm. I’m not gonna touch it. YOU touch it!

When I was a kid, Dad taught me to ‘laugh’ like a loon. I was good at it. Every time we passed a lake or a pond, my siblings would turn to me in the car and say, “C’mon Sammy. Laugh like a loon.”

Loon Laugher on the Right

Loon Laugher on the Right

When I was in the fourth grade, I won the $10 first prize at the American Legion Halloween costume contest dressed as a little old lady. Now I am a little old lady.

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

Not my Halloween costume, but OLD clothing!

I owned and operated an Irish Pub with my first husband. Our pub offered Guinness Stout on tap and a menu of authentic Irish fare. Saint Patty’s Day – as you can imagine – was wild! As is so often the case, our restaurant venture was more successful than our marriage. I wonder how the Irish say “C’est la vie.”

Irish saying

Authentic Irish Patrons!

Authentic Irish Patrons!

I took my first dance class (jazz) at age 31 and performed onstage.


To a recording of Elvis singing Jailhouse Rock.

Hub proposed to me anyway.

In subsequent years, I took classes in ballet, African, modern and – most recently at age 62 – tap. I like jazz best and in my next life I will be performing in Cats during its Broadway run. When that happens, you’ll see a photo.

I’m pleased to pass this award to four bloggers whose creations I look forward to every week – rich offerings that enhance my life.

I do hope you’ll take a peek at their Creativity.

Katie is in the midst of art journaling for International Fake Journal Month, and she has chosen to travel to Italy. Her daily posts are so whimsical and delicious, I’m tempted to try this challenge next year.

Elen is participating in the A-to-Z Challenge for her first time, and her F made me laugh out loud

Raye’s paintings make me green with envy (even when I mistake her figs for eggplant). As if that skill wasn’t enough, her writing stops me in my tracks.

I discovered Sand, Salt, Moon a few weeks ago. She’s picked up a long-lost watercolor practice … paint me green with envy. Again.

Remember, there’s NO pressure with these awards. In case you like rules, here they are:

 The Rules

  • Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
  • Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules on to them

Hub Says the Darndest Things

This was our conversation last weekend on Hub’s birthday:

Me: “Honey, We are so fortunate we’ve been able to share so many birthdays together.”

Hub: “We are.”

Me: “I hope we both stay healthy enough that we can enjoy many more together.”

Hub: “Me, too.”

Me: “But I know how lonely you would be if anything happened to me. If I die first, I want you to find a companion who can share golf with you because we have such fun when we play.”

Hub: “OK”

Me: “In fact, you should let her use my clubs.”

Hub: “No, I would never do that.”

Me: “Why not? They are really good clubs, and I don’t mind.”

Hub: “No, I can’t.”

Me: “Why not?”

Hub: “Because she’s left-handed.”

April Fools

Ha ha ha – April Fool’s Joke!

THAT conversation never happened.

But the following conversation actually occurred a few years ago …

If we don’t spend Thanksgiving Day with friends or family, we like to go for a long walk after dinner. One of our traditional walks meanders through a local cemetery where our talk often turns to our own lives, our remaining years, and whether we want to be buried, cremated, have a tombstone – more in a reflective than maudlin way.

That particular year, I was feeling thankful for all the spectacular vacations we’d taken, especially to some quaint locales before development changed their character and made them over-populated tourist meccas.

Honey,” I said, “when I die, I want you to cremate me and take my ashes back to all the places we’ve traveled together and have such fond memories. Sprinkle a little of me each place you go, and enjoy being there again yourself.”

Like where?” he asked.

Oh, you know, like Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands, Young Island, Maui, Mackinac Island, the Lake Superior shore, San Francisco, Paris, Carmel, Telluride, Santorini  the Maine coast. What do you think? Would you like to do that?

Hub … thinking … pausing … grinning … “Would I have to go alone?”

Flying into Turks & Caicos 1987

Flying into Turks & Caicos 1987

Spring, Bling and Hurt-ing

If we were having coffee, I am and half of you aren’t!

I’d tell all of you that it feels like I’ve been waiting a month while you’re standing in line for your special tea or coffee-with-this-much-cream, or chai orders and I’m nestled here in our cozy corner booth sipping low-maintenance hot, black coffee.

But I know you’d laughingly scoff me out the door.

Instead I’ll tell you the truth. I’ve missed all of you, and I’m sorry I’ve been absent from blogging and somewhat absent from commenting on your blogs. P-A-I-N has been a lifelong, albeit unwelcome, companion. It comes; it goes; it has never achieved diagnosis (other than occasional hypochondria) and no remedy seems to be the magic bullet. After 12-14 months of triage treatment for injuries from my bike accident, I thought I was on the mend. But over the last three months, what was my typical before-accident daily pain progressed to full-bore, everywhere-in-my-body-but-especially-in-my-upper-spine P-A-I-N.

The kind of pain that:

  • Makes a grown woman cry
  • Makes me curl up on the couch all day
  • Makes me say to Hub, “Aieee, don’t touch my head; your gentle touch feels like a hundred-pound hammer.”
  • Makes me so cranky, I snap at Hub with nastiness when he so much as tells me he loves me

After years of the mysterious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and undiagnosed pain, it becomes harder and harder to advocate for myself, especially when symptoms hurt the worst. Fortunately I had my annual physical in mid-March where I promptly broke down in tears and said simply, “I hurt everywhere, all the time.”

My new-ish doctor is the first practitioner to utter the “F” word.


The IBS-digestive equivalent for inexplicable neurological pain.

Along with a referral to a spine specialist, she suggested I switch anti-depressants to Cymbalta because it contains an ingredient that blocks nerve pain. After seven days of Cymbalta, I hesitate to say this (because I’m so afraid it’s the placebo effect), but I feel So Much Better. The past two days I spent the entire time in activities, including sitting at a table in a restaurant, which I haven’t been able to do in months.

My visit to my spine specialist was nothing but positive and hopeful news. My spinal fracture healed properly; I have no disc damage; but I have soft tissue injuries that were never addressed after my accident. He said it’s not too late to address those problems with treatments like ultrasound and dry needling, as well as working on exercises that will strengthen and realign my spine in order to support the weight of my head (no doubt all that brain power is a heavy load).

My fingers will be crossed as I go through the next six weeks of twice-weekly therapy sessions and pray the Cymbalta (or possibly another fibromyalgia medication) gets me back to significantly more ‘good’ days than ‘bad’. I know many of you suffer from a variety of life-altering chronic ailments, too. We’ve all lived with them long enough to know that’s the cycle – good to bad and back to good. But it’s best – even if it takes desperate tears – to ask/beg for help when the bad days outweigh the good for a measurable period of time.

Spring, oh spring, oh spring. Our most capricious season here in Colorado. I love that word ‘capricious”. I first read that word in an essay about springtime when I moved to Colorado and experienced a mid-May snowstorm. Yesterday and today we enjoyed spring – 70 degree weather with a light breeze; full sun in a blue sky as far as you could see; and bright green popping out in such rapid succession, you could almost hear those buds bursting.

That might be all the spring we get. Sometimes we get snow or rain right up until June. Other years April and May are so hot and dry we search the skyline daily for the dreaded wildfires, or the wind blows so fiercely our bikes and golf clubs gather dust in the garage..

But in the years when we have a true spring – when the redbud and magnolia blooms make me think I’m still in Michigan; when the lilac scent lasts for three blissful weeks – those are the years worth waiting for.




And Bling-o was his name-oh.

Oh, sorry … wrong song.

Yesterday was Hub’s birthday and we celebrated with the kiddos at Patsy’s, a local Italian restaurant where the garlic bread melts in your mouth without a chew. Raqi – bless her heart – always dresses up for our birthdays. Like so many who haven’t (yet, but someday I hope) learned the difference between comfort and bling, her closet floor is strewn with sparkly sandals and fashion-forward boots. How she walks in them, I don’t know. But that’s not my battle to fight.

About halfway down the block from our parked car to the restaurant door, she bent down to adjust her sandal, saying “this is rubbing me“. By the time we got to the door, she’d done it two more times.

On the way back to the car, she stopped suddenly saying, ‘Ouch!” and showing me the red spot on her foot.

When she commented on it again in the car, rubbing her sore spot, I suggested that it’s a fashion choice she’s going to be making the rest of her life. Comfortable walking shoes and bling-y high fashion shoes aren’t a matched pair I’ve found in my 64 years.

I clued her in that the runway models and singers and dancers – all those women that she so desperately wants to be RIGHT NOW – ditch their sparkly shoes the minute they are off camera. I insist that she wear safe, closed-toe shoes for biking and climbing on apparatus at the park.

But she’ll learn her own lessons and make her own decisions about B-L-I-N-G-O.

At least she listened with interest to what I had to say.


Never underestimate the power of a question

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Finding peace in life's garden

besottment by paper relics

Musings and Amusings

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A window into my world

Alphabet Salad eclectic assortment of rants and ramblings

stories, tea and drippy paint

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A Resource Linking Land and Community

The Off Key Of Life

Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

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remember what made you smile

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"True wit is Nature to advantage dress'd, What oft was thought but ne'er so well express'd"--Alexander Pope ("Essay on Criticism").

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A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

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Welcome to middle grade and young adult author Linda Covella's website!

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The latest news on and the WordPress community.

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