Today’s my B-Day

I’m sure by the time I get this posted, my 53rd birthday will be past, in this  time zone, but I’d thought I share a few thoughts anyway.

I went to the grocery store today and had only a few items, but all started with “b”,  strange that.

  • Butcher paper – or freezer paper (there’s a story there)
  • Butter
  • Benadryll (for myself to sleep and my husband who seems to have developed an allergy to grass or cutting grass)
  • Blue Bunny ice cream (not Blue Bell, unfortunately)
  • Bath salts (also known as epsom salts)

I don’t make much ado about my birthday anymore, being 53 this  year.  It’s kind of odd, but I look at it mostly as any other day.  I started a book a couple days ago, and all I really wanted to do was finish reading that, not go out to eat (hubby works late anyway), no cake (gluten free sucks sometimes),  and when my daughter asks what I want for my birthday a few days before, I (as usual) have no real answer.  Not that I don’t want things, just that, basic everyday items are always at the top of my list and in our budget anyway, and things that I really “want” are usually way above that price range.

This year, what I really “want” is a new job (not that mine is bad, just boring and not really much fun at all), to be able to take care of my newborn granddaughter for a few months before she is forced into daycare.

I finished the book, btw, and now looking at August 29, when my grandson turns 2 years old.

I’m going to start in earnest looking for another job, resume updates, applications, and interviews – all that kind of sucks, but I’m really ready for something new.

I don’t know if this post rings true of the Happy Birthday sentiment. I did post the other day, my first in a few weeks, so I’m still a bit rusty after a good run. I apologize for the brevity and discontinuity.

Suzy has to get her blogging groove back, that is for sure, yes?


Absentee – Newborn snuggles

I’ve been gone missing for a while.  I’ll bet you might wonder why?  Well, as it turns out, even though my 17 year old daughter demands quite a bit of attention which I swear is distracting and counter-productive, while she was gone visiting her sister about to give birth, I had a difficult time writing.

After she returned, I went to visit my daughter and newborn granddaughter, thought I would find time to write new and wonderful pithy posts, but, alas, yes, I like using this ridiculous word, alas, I just couldn’t find the time between taking it easy and holding, cuddling, snuggling my newborn granddaughter, who, by the way, seemed to love sleeping on someone in the am after breakfast feeding.

So, here I am now, two days after leaving this blissful status – playing with almost 2 year old grandson, helping out my daughter in what little ways I could, or holding my newborn granddaughter – typing this pathetic post to make up for my two or three week absence.  A feeble attempt at that.

I may revisit the daily prompts, but after holding little Joanna almost every morning after breakfast for a couple hours of Grandma snuggles, it may take me a while to get back to my normal posting self.  Sorry, but I have been scarred, or should I say revitalized, by newborn baby snuggles.  Seriously, is there anything in the world better, more rejuvenating, more refreshing or important than loving on a newborn babe?

That’s all I got to say about that.




Sounds Write

Sounds Right

This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

I found out there is an actual word for this, uh, phenomenon.  Auto-antonym.

So, I found out this was a word, and then found it was a thing in Samuel Beckett’s Stirring Stills.

Which I then to linked to “As the Story Was Told“, and then found

As the Story was Told, Uncollected and Late Prose by Samuel Beckett.  The hardcover was done September 1992.

Now, I don’t know squat about this author, but I do know that anyone by the name of Samuel Beckett, being as I am a Quantum Leap fan, well, I’m so checking this out.  That this “As the Story was Told, Uncollected and Late Prose” on Amazon has absolutely NO review even interests me more.

I’m going to check this out and get back with you.


Time to Reflect

Writer’s Block Party

When was the last time you experienced writer’s block? What do you think brought it about — and how did you dig your way out of it?

I experience this often, being a fairly new writer.

I don’t know if I look for a way out of it or if I realize there are times when I just can’t or don’t want to or won’t write. I believe sometimes, I need time to reflect on things before I can write about them.

Yet, sometimes, the Daily Prompts help, and sometimes, they just leave me drawing blanks.  Other times, I find myself having my own ideas, and then I can write freely, with no blocks.

My goal for this blog was one post a week. I know I have surpassed that.  Sometimes, I waiver between blogging or quilting.  At those times, I do what I feel.  If that means I go a week without quilting because I feel like writing, I deal with it.  If that means I go a week or two without quilting because I feel like writing, so be it.

That’s where I stand after about six months of this combination artistic outlet.  I can’t say, at this point, that I want to do without one or the other.  I like both.

Quilting can be cerebral , but basically, even though some people may not realize this, it’s more math, pragmatics, color coordination and labor (cutting, sewing, quilting).

Writing, on the other hand, is mostly cerebral (imaginative), with the only  “work” per se is typing, editing and proof-reading.

I’m a pretty cerebral person.  Sometimes, I wish it wasn’t so, but I have learned to accept it.

I recall dating in my teens, and knowing that the party animal wasn’t my soulmate.  I need that “mental connection”. You know what I mean?

So, back to the topic – what brought writer’s block?  Usually, I’m too busy with other things that I don’t have time to think of what to write, or I’m kind of depressed, or just busy with other stuff.

How do I find my way out of it?  If I have a good topic and a reason to write, I have no problem being able to. I’m too old to give writer’s block much credence.  I know if I want to write, I will.  If I don’t, I won’t.  Kind of like when you were in school – if you have a topic that tickles your fancy, you have no problem coming up with something.  If it’s doesn’t thrill you, you figure it out due to the deadline.  If I’m busy with other things at the time, it will pass.  I just don’t sweat it.

Do you?

Bologna and jelly

Unlikely Pairing

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

The first time the other night, I was watching Frankenfood. It made me think about a sandwich I made a lot when I was in high school.  I don’t remember all the details, but I think I remember it mostly.

My sandwich had bologna (which my mom bought a lot), mayonnaise (usually Miracle Whip), mustard, jelly – and sometimes, a leaf of lettuce, butter pickles, or a slice of American cheese.

I don’t know why, but this was sort of my signature sandwich until my friend turned me onto toast with mayo and tomatoes.  I didn’t know about BLT’s at the time, so I guess this could have been a poor man’s BLT.

I am gluten free these days, and most gluten free breads that I have found fairly suck. I found one I thought was okay, but when I went back to the store I thought I bought it from, they no longer carried it.

As a result, I don’t eat a lot of sandwiches these days.  I rarely cheat on the gluten free (not that I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac but because of my hypothyroid – so gluten interferes with that), but I’ve found lately, it’s probably not worth it.  At the time my doctor suggested it, I was having an occasional asthma attack, something that popped up after a bad cold and would come on with no warning, for no apparent reason.

Once I went gluten free, the asthma subsided to the point where I haven’t used the one inhaler I had prescribed to me in over two years or more.  And, the only time I have had to use it was usually when I had pizza the day before.  Okay, I’ll admit, I do miss pizza probably the most.

Gluten free pretzels, pasta,  pancakes, cereal, cookies, and brownies are okay even good, and some cake, but pizza crust, bread (even though I hate white bread), and graham crackers (most crackers) don’t compare.

Still, I’m doing okay with it mostly.  Sometimes I miss things, and I cheat a bit, having a bite – but I’m finding more and more, as I wake up with a stuffy nose the day after having a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s probably what I need to do.

I grew up in a family of farmers.  Even though wheat wasn’t the only crop, it usually was planted in one field of three or four.  My brother works at a flour mill.  This whole gluten free thing really rages against family moors, but what can I do about that?  It just works for me, and I don’t like it, and I wish it wasn’t so, but it is what it is.

So bologna, jelly, mayo and mustard sandwiches – I haven’t had one of those in many, many years, and especially now, not as appealing.

Do you have a weird combination that works for you?





What to do, Sequels?

Missing Seqeuls

If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?

First of all, I wanted to point out that the title at the Daily Prompt was spelled wrong.  See it.  I copied that over from the prompt site.  I didn’t type that. That’s the title, people!

Secondly, I’d like to say, I haven’t been in the blogging habit lately.  I don’t know what’s going on.  I seem to be out of routine.  I’ve started a few posts, put in the Daily Prompt, clearly having some idea, got sidetracked or interrupted, saved draft, gone back the next day to stare at the page and wonder, “What was going to write?”  only to draw a few blanks.

Maybe part of my writer’s block, and even lately quilter’s block, stems from it being summer and wanting really to go and do only to come home wishing I had someplace to go and do or someone to go and do with.  Hubby works late, usually not getting home till after 7 or 8.  Not exactly the time to be going and doing for those of us over 50. Or is it?

I guess part of it is because my daughter is at her sister’s, at first Auntie was to watch sissy’s little one when she went to the hospital, but now she is helping out with her first niece.  Even though she is 17 and pretty self-sufficient, I have noticed that I drive home now, knowing the house is empty and realizing how much I looked forward to seeing her when I came home, even if it was to hand her the keys to my car and see her leave. I realize now, I may not like that empty nest thing, and perhaps it’s a good thing she was the “ours” baby, 9 years after my youngest.  Yes, I could have been potentially, a “free” woman/mom 8 years ago, which I always looked forward to and relished the thought, and now, I’m wondering.

Still, I suppose, once she really is gone, I’ll reclaim her room for quilting, get better organized, and be able to do something when I get home after work each night.  Right now, unless I have a project going, I kind of stumble around with ideas, and since all my quilting tools, fabric, sewing machine, etc. are not in the same room, I get apathetic or distracted.  Still, I’m working on coming up with a “system” so I always have a quilt in some stage going on, something to do each night.

Oh, and yes, I’m a Grandma again.  Maybe that’s what has me distracted.  I did drive up and back yesterday to get a peek at my baby’s baby.  She’s so little!  And, so far, she was so good, not crying too much, just sleeping most of the time we were there, which was several hours.

Of course, she wasn’t put down much.  I remember her older brother didn’t like to be put down.  We had to take shifts for sleeping, or sleep with him while sitting up on the sofa.  Unfortunately, my daughter didn’t and doesn’t have a recliner. Not that I mind holding infants, but if someone wasn’t holding him those first few weeks, he would wake up after 10 minutes and start fussing.

This sweet girl slept away in Mommy’s, Daddy’s, Grandpa’s, Auntie’s and my arms, barely making a peep.  But, I feel that if we had laid her down, she would have kept right on sleeping.

Of course, I told my daughter, I think a lot of her calmness has to do with her parent’s calmness.  Second babies are easier because you don’t have all those “this is my first kid, what’s going on, why is he doing that” stress from every little thing, which I think the baby picks up on, thereby causing a circle of stress for everyone.

As far as this daily prompt goes – I looked up a few lists other people suggested.  Some were movies I hadn’t even seen.  Some were movies that had sequels, just not #3, 4 or 5.  Really?  Some, I didn’t think needed a sequel.

But, from the several lists of 10, 20 and even 40 movies some suggested, I didn’t see one that jumped out at me as “I wish they had made that!”

There are, however, a couple of TV series that ended that I think might make a good made for TV movie or theatrical release sequel, maybe, maybe not, but I’d probably want to see them, if only on DVD or tv.  In no particular order, here they are (spoiler alerts!!!!!):

  • Frasier – Remember the end?  He’s on a plane supposedly for his new job in San  Francisco, but it’s really Chicago.  Wouldn’t you like to know how that turned out?  Or is it better off left unsaid?
  • How I Met Your Mother – If you watched it, it ended just a couple months ago.  Some were disappointed by the ending, some not.  My daughter was.  At first, I wasn’t, but then, I kind of was.  Course, the series was told to Ted’s kids, in like 2030 or something, so it’s already the future – maybe in 2030, they’ll tell us how it turned out with him and Robyn.
  • Dexter – Now, I didn’t watch the last season, but was waiting for it to come out on DVD, which it has, and my daughter, who got me into the series in the first place finally said, “Don’t bother. Most disappointing series finale ever.”  Basically, I’m the kind of person who can hear all the spoilers and still enjoy watching, even knowing the ending, and it doesn’t really spoil it for me.  I used to, if a book was really good, go back and read the last couple paragraphs, once I was into the book enough to know I’d finish it, to see what happened.     Even so, I’d still read the book and enjoy it! So, I wonder if someday, probably in a few years, a Dexter movie would satisfy everyone – and give a proper ending to the series.
  • One of my very favorites of all time – Quantum Leap – Many a fan are dissatisfied with the series ending.  I don’t know if I am one of them, as I was particularly partial to the Al/Beth episode M.I.A. – and cried every time I saw it, every time!  So, this series finale wrapped that up for me in a semi-tight and satisfactory ribbon – so I can’t say I was TOTALLY disappointed with the finale.  Still, I wonder, did he really never return?  What happened to him, Al, Beth, his wife?  Did he have a child?  What happened to the Quantum Leap project? So many questions!

And that’s all I can think of right now?  Do you agree with an want to see any of them?  Of course, Friends, was a thought, but I kind of feel that series ended on a high note.



Christmas Leave, Ft. Lewis, Germany, Back Home

More on the talk with my dad.

After his 2nd 8 weeks of basic, he got leave from about Dec. 10 or 15 to Jan. 7 or 8.  He flew from Ft. Lewis to Chicago, and took a train down from there.  He got off the train in Litchfield, where Mom was working that day as a bank teller.

But, before I get to that, I forgot to mention that sometime on their honeymoon, cause Dad was gone for 10 weeks before and left 7 days after the wedding thereabouts – yes, step-Grandma Louisa, John wasn’t “a bit early” – Mom got pregnant.  How did Dad find out about his – by a letter, a letter!  Can you imagine finding out you are going to be a father by a letter!? Well, that’s how it was back in the 50’s.

So, Dad took the train from Chicago to Litchfield, got off the train, and was walking to the bank where Mom worked, when a guy he used to work for or with, Earl Plume from Monkey (or is that Monkee) Brothers (Bros?) saw him and gave him a ride from the train station to the bank. Now. I don’t know if you know about small town, but I know where this train station and bank are now and they are less than a mile away from each other, a mere  15-20 minute walk if even.

Still, it was December, so it may have been cold, Dad accepted the ride.  When he got to the bank, I think they were about to close, and he walked in, and someone told him, “She’s in the back counting her drawer.” and he went to the back to surprise her. Yes, she knew he was coming in, but didn’t know he would come to see her.

He reported back for duty January 7 or 8 of 1957, took a train to Chicago and a plane to Ft. Lewis, Washington.

From there, the battalion was supposed to go to Korea, even though the truce was signed when Dad was 19 and had his first physical (at this time, he was almost 23 [Jan 15]) .  They were to be a police unit.  Instead, after a few days, they got their orders to report to Germany.

So 720 troops boarded a train to New York City, New York so they could catch a ship to Germany. He told me the trip took 4 days.  Why you say?  Because it should have taken about 48 hours or less by today’s standards.   Well, because the Army did not have right of way of the tracks, so they had to keep pulling off and sitting and waiting for commercial trains to pass.  Four days from the state of Washington to New York.

He remembers leaving from New York Harbor and passing the Statue of Liberty and that they landed in Bremerhaven, Germany.  From there, they proceeded to Erlangen, Germany – about a 6 hour drive.

After 10 months, because their expertise was with one form of the Howitzer, which became obsolete and no longer serviceable in 1957, the unit was disbanded.

Then, Dad went to Giessen, Germany, about 2 1/2 hours from Erlangen.  He served 16 months total in Germany, 2 years in the Army, minus 10 days.  He arrived home on June 27, 1958 and my brother John was already a year old.

He told me that John was not like most babies.  He wasn’t afraid of Dad and went right to him, walking already.

For about a year, he stayed at the farm, Mom’s parent’s farm, in the house.  He work for Grandpa for, I think he said $40 a month.  After about a year, and with my brother Mark on the way, he told Grandpa that he wanted a raise or he’d have to get another job.  Grandpa told him he couldn’t pay more, so Dad got a job at the local paper plant.  I’m not sure when he took this job, and I forgot to get more detail on this, because I know that when his mom got killed, and his brother, Marvin, hit by a train, Dad was in the hospital for a hernia operation, and Mom was pregnant with Mark.  I think Grandma and Uncle Marvin died sometime in February, 1959 and I know Dad told me before that he hernia operation was all because of digging fence posts holes, though I can’t remember which fence post holes they were.  The ones by the house, someplace else on the farm, I don’t know.

Dad work at the paper plant for 13 years, and then went to full time farming, in or around 1971 or 1972.

Mom and Dad moved into town, into a duplex right by the post office.  After they had me, they bought the house that Dad lives in today.  I think I was about nine months old when they moved to that house, so Dad has been there for 52 years now.  Wow. I’ve been in my house for coming up this month on 10 years.  I can’t imagine being here when I’m 95!  Course, Dad wasn’t 40 something when  he moved in there, more like 28, and he’s 80 now, so Wow, is all I can say to that.

So, that’s the story from last weekend from Dad.  I found out a bit more about his Dad’s farm, but that’s for another post.  And, I still want to find out more about that Shivaree!