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All on Mama's Birthday

"Will you be able to get by the vacuum cleaner?" the Husband asked, who hauled the vacuum cleaner upstairs and set it beside the bathroom door, as I pretty please asked (so I hope). "I'm sure you will."

"I have a plan," I said, tippy-tapping on the keyboard, not realizing yet that he had headed down the stairs. "Bathroom, office, and bedroom. I'll vacuum in that order." 

At least, vacuum the bathroom today. Over the next few days, I'll also dust and vacuum downstairs. No party, thanks for asking. (For those who are new to my quirks, I generally do heavy cleaning for an upcoming party.) Sometime soon, we'll be going on a short road trip to Northern California to visit the Husband's family as well as take in a bit of the coast and redwoods. Since Molly the Cat will be roaming indoors for a few days, I thought I'd clean the house. Maybe even give her a dry shampoo.

By the way, the photo above of Missy and the Husband was t…

E as in Europe

1. My last name starts with the letter E. When I spell it to someone, I sometimes say "E as in Europe". I'm not trying to trick the person. That's simply what pops into my head.

2. I figure customer service people can spell Europe. Am I wrong to think that?

3. Mama pronounced the letter E as "A". That's how she learned it as a kid in the Philippines, a U.S. territory (then), which had been a Spanish colony in Mama's grandparents' time. "The old-timers spoke Spanish. They tried to teach me," said Mama. I wonder what Mama was interested in instead.


4. The silliness it was when Mama asked 12-year-old Susie to spell a word that has one or more letter E's. Oh my gosh! Let's suppose, Mama asks, "How do you spell Elephant?"
    "E-," I start.
    "What kind of E?" she asks.
    "E." I say.
    "E as in A. or E as in E."
    "E!"

5. Before I understood that she pronounced

Molly's Missus Lady

Dear Blogging Friends, I appreciate your concern to what Jeanna nicely asks, ". . .where the hells are ya?"

Time flew.

Words stuttered. Thoughts blocked. Fog erased sentences. I shrugged it off by becoming a mad demon downsizing the stuff in the garage and house so that all the stuff that has been in storage for 15 years may get shoved into the garage.  Of course, the decision to make this happen was three weeks before the Husband had his first cataract surgery. Once that happened, he won't be able to lift, carry, and manipulate heavy objects until June. (He has his second cataract surgery in May.)

Success! Everything got moved and fit in the garage.

Success! The Husband was able to read 20/25 on the eye chart with his new left lens less than 24 hours after his procedure. Pretty good from 20/800.


"Keep busy" is the advice some people like to give those who recently lose someone. I didn't understand that when the First Husband died in 1995 nor Mama three y…

Pedal to the Metal

Sewing machines, bicycles, and vehicles are the things that I like to push pedal to the metal. Here are 13 of my favorite ones from today to long ago.

Kenmore portable sewing machine. About a decade ago, good friend BB gave me her 1970s portable sewing machine when I was having a sewing fix and she was in a down-sizing mood. After a thorough tune-up, the machine was good to go. Vrrrroom, vrrrooom.

I'm going through another spurt (and probably last) of sewing. This morning I started sewing curtains for the upstairs hallway. Yup, that's them in "draft mode" in the above photo.

Eliza Do-a-lot. Some of you know about dear 25-year old Eliza.  She's a no-nonsense old lady's white sedan with hardly any blind spots. Eliza was Mama's last car. When Mama broke her hip in 1997, I started driving Eliza back and forth from El Cerrito where the Husband and I lived. By the time Mama felt confident to drive again, she needed to renew her license. She couldn't pass the…

13 Delightful D's for Me

Day's End.  That was how it looked yesterday at sunset. 

Disaster Rose.  What do you think of that for a protagonist's nickname?

David.  I've always liked that name. Solid, cheerful, thoughtful. Dave. Davey.  The Husband's surname means son of David. 


Debonair.  Cary Grant. George Clooney. The Husband. Humor is part of my definition of debonair.

Dig it.  Can you dig it? Hands, please, who said this once upon a time, with a straight face. I do like to dig in the yard, and I do a decent job of digging, I like to think.

Meet John Doe.   Recently the Husband and I watched Meet John Doe, a 1941 Frank Capra film starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck with Walter Brennan. Good trembles into arms of Evil so it may survive, but eventually Good realizes it is not Evil and scrambles back onto the path of light.

The name John Doe doesn't make sense to me. I understand that it refers to a male with an unknown identity. Shouldn't it be John Buck then?


Daisy.  So heart…

13 C's I'm Liking

coffee.  This morning the Husband and I shared a chocolate old-fashioned doughnut to enjoy with our cups of black coffee. Happy smiles all around.

Cable.  I want us to get rid of our cable subscription. The Husband agrees it's too expensive for the few channels we watch. Will we? you ask. We will, I'm sure we will. The bigger question: When will we? Procrastinators are us.

ceramics.  When I was 19, my big dream was to own a bookstore with a ceramics workshop in the back. 

Cute.  The Husband says I'm cute. I tell him it's because he loves me. He says, "It's because you are cute."


chicken.  There are times when I think our representatives at the local, state, or national level of government are too chicken to make a stand one way or the other. Bwak, bwak

cooking.  I do that once a day, at least, most days. I like when it's a some day.

Coast-co.  "We're going to Costco," I would say to Mama.
"Where?" she would respond.
"Costc…

Not a Boy

In Ilocano (the parents' primary language), balasang is the word for a young woman who has reached the marriageable age, which in my parents' day would've been 15 or 16. A balasang presents herself to the world well-groomed, well-dressed, and well-mannered. Graceful and radiant, with no sassy mouth nor a defiant bone in her. Alas, that was not me. 

Mama did her best to polish me up with the stylish, stiff, and sophisticated outfits that she bought for me. I felt uncomfortable, awkward, and fake in them, preferring, and still do, the bohemian style.

In my early 20s, when I worked in the San Francisco Financial District as a clerk typist, I wore a Mama outfit when everything else was in the laundry hamper. To break the monotony of the outfit, I'd wear something silly with it. Once I wore wool knee-high socks and clogs with a pink polyester dress that had an attached two-toned bolero-type jacket.  I looked as atrocious as it sounds. Still, in the early evening, while wa…

Apo Dios

I don't recall whether Apo Dios refers to God or to the sun. Maybe I didn't ever know.

Ilocano was the parents primary language. I understood Ilocano but couldn't wrap my Americanized tongue around Ilocano words to speak it. So, yeah, we were one of those families in which immigrant parents talked to their American-born children in their native language and the children responded in English. Think of interpreters translating in real time.

The term Apo Dios is a combination of two languages. Apo in Ilocano means father or grandfather. So, I've always thought. An online Ilocano-English dictionary says otherwise. It says Apo means God. Dios is a Spanish word that means God. Spain colonized the Philippines for over 300 years so of course Spanish is going to seep into the native languages there. That same Ilocano-English dictionary defines Apo Dios as God.

Usually, my parents addressed Dios when life was going fine, such as "Hi, God, how are you doing? We're doin…

Rambling Away #65,123,982

This morning at the end of breakfast my fingers locked into a Vulcan salute, and I wasn't even trying to make one.  "Look," I said to the Husband who was intently bent over his iPad.

"Wait, I'm watching this video." I constantly interrupt the Husband while he's in the middle of reading or watching a video online. Sorry, Dude.

My fingers weren't moving. Now what? Gah. That got me thinking about what kind of Medicare Advantage plan to get. I think I'm in good health for being a life-time fatty. Poor Mama, the doctor pulled out 21-inches long and over eight pounds me, cesarean style. That must've been awfully scary for her.

Baby Sister (who lived two years) and I were cesareans. Older Brother was a natural birth in a jungle in the Philippines. Just kidding about the jungle, though I would love to claim being born in a jungle. I don't know whether Oldest Girl was a cesarean, too. Valentina, the sister who died on the day she was born, Feb…

First Time Ever!

That tall tree next to the side fence is an avocado tree. It started from a seed the Mama planted. 

Until last year, it was hidden by a red shed, which has me now thinking that Mama planted the seed after the shed was built in 1989, thereabouts. That makes the tree about 29 years old.

Yesterday morning a branch grazed the top of my head, so I got the pruning shears to trim it as it would get in the Husband's way.

Lo and behold! I saw an avocado, the size of my tiny finger, hanging from beneath leaves on that low branch. I looked and looked. Yup, avocados. A whole lot of tiny avocados growing! This is the first time that avocado tree is bearing fruit. Wowza!

Although Mama is physically gone, the Spirit of Mama continues to whisper to her plants.


Eliza Doalot Sparkles Now

The Husband and I cannot recall the last time Eliza Doalot had her last bath. Pouring rain last winter didn't clean her. As of yesterday, Eliza is clean. Inside, too. Ha!

As we were vacuuming and dusting the insides, I thought how Mama would've shown great pleasure to see Eliza sparkle sparkle on the driveway. Mama was always after us to wash the car. Our excuse for not washing the car was "It's a drought. We don't want to waste the water."

Yesterday was Mama's birthday. A shiny Eliza Doalot was the perfect birthday present to honor the memory of Mama.


Sunday means All Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jesh of The Jesh Studio, which is where I'm heading to share my post. Click here to check out Jesh. For the participants list, click here. Thanks, Jesh!

Keep Them Guessing

Today, Mama would've been 97 years old, three years shy from the 100 that she often told people she was.

If I happened to be around, they would ask me, "Is that true? Is she really 100."

"Is that what she said?" I'd reply.

"Yes."


Mama was probably in her mid-80s when people started wanting to know about her age. At first, I'd laugh, and say something like "She's pulling your leg." Only if they asked would I say how old Mama truly was. 

When Mama was in her 90s, I would simply reply, "That's what she said."

Whatever I replied, they'd respond, "She's strong for her age." Or, "She looks good for her age."


Of course. She spent nearly every day of her 29 years of retirement working in her yard, making it pretty with succulents, flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees.

What better way for me to celebrate Mama's birthday than to take cuttings of her red geraniums and citronella geraniums a…