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13 Things on My Desk That I Like

I've a lot of stuff on my desk. Who hasn't, right? Here are 13 things on my desk that I double like, no, make that triple,  quadruple like.

1. Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl action figure. She was a gift from the Husband, along with Woody and his horse one Christmas or birthday.

2. My tarnished sterling silver baby cup. I put paper clips and whatever else in it.

3. A coffee mug from Calavera Coffee. That's the specialty coffee shop in town owned and run by a kind-hearted and determined young man. He recently moved into his own store front. May he have the success he wants and more.

4. The Kanger survival multi-tool. The size of a credit card, this stainless steel thing has a knife, a sharpening tool, scissors, and a magnifying glass. It also has the ability to file fingernails, fasten flathead screws, measure things, and open cans and bottles. I think the Husband gave it to me to carry in my purse, but I could be wrong.

5. A solar calculator from the early 1980s. This was Mama&#…

Sunday Stealing: From Upstream Life

This week Sunday Stealing, hosted by Bev Sykes, has participants musing over questions taken from Upstream Life.

1. Name 5 people you admire and why.
• Daddy. Family was important for him. He took his responsibilities seriously. He made sure his children got the opportunities for a good life.
• Mama was resolute, stoical, full of love and cheeriness, but oh so sad. Also full of spirit, spit, and vinegar, Mama didn't let her misery keep her down. She had more than her share, including living through war and losing two children. 
• The Husband. My gosh. I'm not an easy person to live with.
• Winifred, my mentor, my writing partner, my friend. She took a chance on me (#6). Winifred was an amazing, gifted, and giving person who taught me how to develop and create educational materials that respect and teach the learners.
• Kathy, a friend from grammar school days. I love her humor, her wit, her intelligence. For years, she went back and forth, several times a year to visit her pare…

The Day I Was Born

1. In December is when I was born. "The doctor said you will be born on this day. And you were." The Mama told me, now and then, not necessarily on my birthday.

2. I was born on the Roman Catholic Church's feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The mother of Jesus was said to appear to a peasant named Juan Diego four times at Tepeyac, Mexico in the 16th century.

3. The same day Catholics were honoring Mary, Major Charles Yeager flew the fastest speed ever back then—about 1,650 miles per hour, a mere Mach 2.44. Shazam!


4. I was born nearly three years after Older Sister died on the same day that she was born. 

5. Mama was 32 years old when she gave birth to me. Daddy was 48 years old, and Older Brother was five years old.

6. On the day I was born, Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson celebrated their birthday. So did Bob Barker, Connie Francis, and Dionne Warwick. Bill Nighy turned four on the day I came out of the womb.


7. I'm…

Musing x 13

1. Next month the U.S. Post Office will be selling forever stamps that celebrate Hip Hop. According to the USPS website, the sheet of stamps features rapping, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti art. I don't know what floors me more -- Hip Hop commemorative stamps or that the first kids into hip hop are now in their 40s and 50s?

2. Our local library has been closed since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This month, the librarians decided that we, patrons, can check out books online for pick up. The pick-up process today was easy-peasy, even though I forgot to bring my library card. Nine new books to entertain me. Yippieeee!


3. A few weeks ago, the Husband painted this headboard, full of delight and whimsy, perfect for the Banana Room, once known as the Shady Room. The banana plants look to be coming back, and the bamboo, gardenia, and wongo-wongo plants seem to relish their move there. I also replanted a camelia shrub by the headboard. Does that all sound subtr…

Digging It

I've been digging. Here a little dig. There a big dig. All over the yard, both front and back.

The last several days I've focused on finding shady spots for potted succulents in the backyard. Those parched guys looked so happy and relaxed after a few hours in the shade absorbing a long drink of water.  I've also been digging beds for the extra bean, tomato, and pepper seedlings that sprouted. I can't bring myself to throw them out.  They deserve a chance to produce fruit, too.

The Husband built a trellis for the beans to climb. Pretty cool, huh. Mama would've given him a giggle, grin, and an extra nod of well done.


This morning I dug the biggest bed for the tomato and pepper seedlings. Double dig, work in soil amendment, turn soil one more time, and let rest for tomorrow's planting. Daddy would've been proud, by golly, by gee that I paid attention to how he prepared the land for his vegetable garden. That's a story for another day.

Digging, shovels, ir…

A (Temporary) Junkyard of My Own

"Do you think someone might report our backyard as a nuisance?"
"Nobody can see back there." answered the Husband. 
"Snoops can," I said, thinking about that drone we saw one afternoon turning around above our house. I wondered if it had followed us home. The bastard. As Mama liked to say after I said something weird, but quite entertaining to her, "You have too much imagination."
"It's nobody's business how our backyard looks," the Husband said.  I imagined him word-sparring with a snoop. The Husband, my hero. 
At this particular point in time, the backyard looks like a colorful junkyard in the Spring. I find its look comforting. It's familiar to a time past. It gives me strength to keep on keeping on. I wonder if that's how Mama felt when she played out there, growing her vegetables and tending to her flowers. 
It's my turn now to transform the backyard into a fantasy of my making. I have my whole life to figure …

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…