Tag Archives: humor

Mothers day


Today we celebrate Mothers Day.  This will be the first time celebrating this since my mom passed two months ago.    I’ve been thinking about how I could honor her, how I can transform the emptiness in my heart that I feel for her.  My world will never be the same, and that is okay.  Death is part of life, I have learned this and have had plenty of opportunity to practice it’s presence.

My mom was the strongest person I know.   A friend said to me the other day “I remember your mom’s stance, that alone told me how strong she was”.    I nodded, and spent some time pondering this.    Without a doubt her stance was tough.   She was unafraid to address anyone or anything, and that was pretty amazing.  Sadly it was because she had been through a lot in her life, she knew pain intimately, and at 80 she didn’t mince words.   At 80 years old her demeanor, her stance could easily be interpreted with these famous words “Go ahead, make my day!”

I have a cousin who was born with cleft pallet.    Medically the professionals were ready to insert a feeding tube (60’s small town care).    My mom stayed up for two nights designing a bottle that would work for her.    She succeeded.  I did not know about this until after she had died.   I wasn’t surprised to hear this.  My mom was a very intelligent woman who read constantly, chose books and reflection over television.    She could’ve been so much more than just our mom, or somebody’s wife.  In fact, she was so much more than that.

She was a voice for those who didn’t have one, or who were too weak or afraid to talk.  She was a pillar of strength and determination when it came to solving difficult problems, and a force to be reckoned with when it came to her family.    She instilled in us the importance of family.    She was benevolent when it came to her skills.  She loved to bake for others, surprise them with pies, and she made a kick ass crust!    She would do “whatever it took” to get things done, and help her children with whatever they were dealing with and in a way that she would inevitably take over, which today I can think about and smile, at various times in my life I sometimes wanted to smack her!   (I am a passive person, trust me, if I hit someone it was because they deserved it, but I never hit my mother).

Spring was her favorite time of year.  She had a green thumb, loved the outdoors and nature, and would come in to tell me every Spring which plants survived the New England winter, with a childlike wonder that always brought a smile to my face, she was joyful when gardening, grooming the yard.  Once a year, when the budget allowed, I would take her to her favorite nursery for Mother’s Day and she would run around with a cart and choose whatever she wanted.   She LOVED this.  These times were wonderful, though the dogs would be bored waiting in the car, and then highly annoyed with how little room they had to maneuver in after we loaded all the plants!     Then there was the planning of where to plant all that we bought.  She would ask my opinion, and then do whatever she wanted anyways.   Again, today I can laugh at this, but there were times we had words, and I would ask why she wanted my opinion when she never considered it?    It’s amazing to me how humorous I find this today.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I often would  pick her up for appointments or visit her with a Dunkin Donuts coffee and two old fashioned donuts, her favorite.   She would eat one and feed the dog the other.    The other day my side kick and I went to Dunkin’s and they informed us when we ordered an old fashioned donut that they were no longer making them!     For me this was a sign that my moms time to die was right on schedule!   I say this lightly, honestly.   I know an average person would shrug it off, not me!

In my early 20’s I was going for a job promotion and was feeling nervous about mathematical testing for such.  My mom met me in a bank parking lot, with pad of paper and pencil, and taught me (retaught me) about fractures.    I aced the test!

She loved her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchild.  But her first loyalty was always to her children.   It would upset her if she saw inequities or any of us being taken for granted by their children, or mistreated by them.     I was childless, so the focus was on the spouse or partner, and believe me, after 3 long term relationships with alcoholics, there was plenty there for her to decipher or dislike!

If there was only one thing (which is not the case) she taught me, it was every day you get up and dig in, get busy and do what is in front of you.   I think about this everyday, particularly when I’m trying to talk myself out of bed!

She swore like a sailor, and one time my sister and I were counting how many times she said “the f word”, she asked what we were counting… “26, 27, 28, 29….”, the usage quickly added us as we exited the house!

I am my mothers daughter.    She taught me by example so many things, a few that I’m going to pass on sharing, but for the most part today I will think of my mom and smile, welcome the tears that will fall, and are falling, as I face this first “mother’s day” without her.

Happy Mothers Day, to all you mom’s out there.  Hope your children do something kind for you, and if they aren’t able to for whatever reason, I hope you can find joy in their memories, or the love that being a mom taught you!    I”m a mom only to four legged critters, and I am a good mom, at that!



Enough snow!


Well, a couple feet of snow fell on my lawn today.   I haven’t gone out, tomorrow.  I just opened the door, looked, and slammed it.  It is still snowing.   Yup!   Tomorrow it will be fun shoveling the car out of it.

Spent the day working on my first pet portrait.  By the time I went to bed last night I had the eyes, and that was enough to make me feel good.   I’ve never tried doing this before.  I have rarely, if ever, painted real animals.   Painting from a photograph that the details get blurred when you zoom it.

At least I can tell it’s a Corgi, and I think I’ve captured his big personality.  But fur?  That’s for another day.   I am learning from last weeks painting over tantrum to just leave it and relook at it in the morning.

I really don’t mind all the snow, as long as I don’t have to go out in it.  Thursday morning, I do.    That will depend on how they are doing tomorrow with snow removal.   There’s a shitload of snow to find a place for!

Had a very relaxing day, was one with myself, painting.  It was nice not to have to fight off the itty bitty shitty committee that resides in my head.  Well, a little.  But not totality.  That’s progress.

On this 14th day of March, I’m excited to think that winter is almost over.  It’s much easier to say that looking at the date then out the window.

Hope you had a great day!   Blessings!


There’s another storm a


Dragged my butt out of bed this morning because my cat was persistent.  I was dizzy, my head felt separate from my body, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to even get down the stairs.

An unproductive day bothers me.  I feel the need to accomplish.   But carrying around severe clinical depression in a knapsack on my back, some days I have to give myself a break.  Sometimes getting out of bed is the one and only accomplishment I’ll get done.   I have friends, friends who understand the talons of this disease, and encourage me to do the basics.

So when I was able to make it to town to get milk and a few groceries (We are in between storms here in Vermont, and I should’ve shopped LAST week!), I was thrilled with myself.  Managed to get the garbage out, and then took a three hour nap.  Cold medicine helped me lift my head from my favorite couch pillow, and I felt well enough to paint.   Happy!

The market where I went to get milk, bread, basics, there was a woman my age who was working.  She was friendly, pretty.   We spoke briefly on the impending storm, and she mentioned she had to shovel her drive and walkways.   I comically shared with her that Winter, three-four years ago I had a plow bill of about $450, and I figured I’d have to sleep with my plower to get the bill paid off.   She did a huge belly roll, surprised that I said that.  “I have no one to plow, my husband died in July”.   “I’m sorry, I said”.

Normally here, I would offer a brief  pause in my day to listen, if she wanted to share.  I wasn’t feeling well enough to stand there much longer, so I wished her a good day and drove my ass home.     All the way home I was thinking about her.  Man, she’s still green with her loss, that is a hard hard trek.   But she was working, was very friendly, KIND, and I said a prayer for her.   So many friends are experiencing loss right now, or serious serious illnesses, life threatening.   It’s hard here in New England in Winter.  I can go all winter without seeing my next door neighbors.  It’s just the way Winter is.

As I was painting tonight, (working on farm animals, not my forte, but I want to get good at painting them!), I thought again about her friendliness, her kindness, and somehow, some way, I will do something kind for her without her knowing it.   She so deserves that.  Facing such pain and changes in life, for her to be MORE than civil, is, in my book, awesome.

Now I’m going to go finish this Rooster, and then head to bed.   I’m finding that I don’t want to go to bed.  I love my bed, I truly do, and my bedroom is pretty.  But I’m finding it harder and harder to get up.   Need to boost up my D3 intake, and get outside, in fresh air, no matter the weather.   But today?  Today I think I did very good, given how crappy I was feeling.

Kindness is so contagious, and in her circumstances I dare say “courageous”.




Another Christmas over, a new year quickly approaching.  Early December I celebrate my birthday, and while most of my life I haven’t liked being “a December baby”, I like that it is just a couple weeks before ringing in a new year, and assists me divinely in reviewing and renewing my year.

This has been a great year for me.   In January I went on an amazing cruise with my best girlfriend.  Spent time in Old San Juan, visited St. Croix, Barbados, and more.   It was great.  I came home to new windows, thus a new home, and new outlook.  This summer I spent time in Maine (Love New England, perhaps that’s why I’ve always lived here?) and got to spend a week with my siblings this summer, and visited my dad.

I travel taught, and in my home studio a few classes, and rang in another year cancer free.  (The Lucky 7!).  My mother and brother survived another cancer (both their third), and all in all, I’m really in touch with what is important to me.  Have been doing some soul searching as to what direction I would like to go in 2017, of course, all dependent on what my maker has planned for me.   But I have some really nice thoughts and plan to focus on the positive, and I have a lot of positive in my life.

I’ve come to realize (finally) that my life, my purpose isn’t any greater than anothers.  Ego baby, ego!  And while I know not if I have purpose now, for the most part, I’m happy with who I am, where I am, and in what direction I want to head.

I appreciate the little things in life, some that unless you’ve struggled financially, or with some things that I’ve gone through, you may not appreciate.   Likewise, in reverse.   I met a financial goal this year that was two years in the making.   It was not easy, but I succeeded, and I’m pretty pleased with myself.  Still, humbled in life, and feeling very grateful for my abilities, for all that I have (and have worked hard for).  I know that I’m blessed with much.  Gratitude.

I redid 75% of the inside of my house, with my moms help.   It’s looking great!

I’ve also been looking at how I am planning for my own future.  I question whether I’ve become complacent in my relationship status of single.   I don’t think anyone sets out to be single for 11-12 years, but during this time I’ve grown so much.  A friend told me how much I’ve matured.  Hey, it’s overrated!   But seriously, I do not look to another, and certainly a partner to make my life better, I look to myself.   It’s like looking to someone else to make me happy, content.   I have made myself happy.  I’ve had pain, but it doesn’t define me.  I have grown to understand its existence, and I live a pretty happy life!

For the most part, I live a pretty peaceful existence.   While many tell me I spend far to much time alone, I shrug my shoulders.  It is within the time that I have spent alone that I have been able to define myself.  When involved I tend to become a caregiver, and lose my identity.  But I’ve also been involved with men who really haven’t been able to provide stability, I’m very aware of that, and these men were men that I chose, and would not again.

Yeah, I’m pretty happy with myself.  I need to lose weight, I need to get working on the book I promised myself I would do before I die, and I chuckle at how I think if I don’t write it, I’ll live longer!  But most of us know it doesn’t work that way!  If I died tomorrow, my six -seven years of blogging will have to account for the book I never finished.

Each time I see my dad, and I see how much he’s aging, and failing, I cry when we part ways because I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again.  While that’s not a great way to think, it’s practical, he’s in his 80s.  He has lived longer than either parent.   I don’t think I will live as long as my parents, my mother who is three years younger than my dad.  I don’t dwell on death, but I also don’t fear it.    Grateful for that.

And I think that 2017 is going to bring another one of my favorite things…. to be knocked out for surgery. I absolutely LOVE this.  I do.  99, 98, 97…

Hope you had a great holiday and wishing you a Happy 2017, if I don’t write before  then!  Shine!  Let yourself shine, even if you’re being dished crap.   Because it’s all over so quickly.

Love to you!

Animal House


So, I am an insomniac.    Have been since I was forced into menopause after testing positive for BRCA2 gene mutation, and had my ovaries out.   It’s NOT enjoyable.   I go through periods that I can get a couple weeks of regular sleep, but haven’t been in that mode for probably three weeks now.      My point, after this long sorted tail of woe?   I am all over the place.   After the third day of no sleep, I am very forgetful, I end up with bruises that I don’t even remember how I got.     Last Friday I went to pick up my dog at a friends house, and before leaving I shut all the windows EXCEPT the kitchen window which the screen was out.  (To add further example of my bounciness, today my new kitchen window is getting installed).  But I digress. I should’ve stopped at “I am an insomniac”.   Oyyy

I didn’t leave the house intending to leave the window open, I had only intended to have it open for a few minutes while I was cleaning  (which is a miracle within itself). Ohhhh, but let me tell you why I had the windows open on that chilly day… I accidentally dumped half a bottle of ammonia in my laundry nook.  I thought I was going to die, I couldn’t breath!    Accident prone?   Ask my family!    But I digress…again!

So, I remembered this as I drove into my friends driveway.  Now 30 minutes unattended.   I tried getting in touch with a neighbor to see if she could run down and close it, that didn’t pan out.   So I cut my visit short and came home an hour later.

Over the course of the last few days I’ve heard something ruffling, shuffling, whatever.   I looked to see if it was one of my cats that I heard upstairs… NOPE, They were being their geriatric selves, sleeping and sunning themselves in the living room.    I walked upstairs, it was quiet.   Strange.     But I know you are getting a visual here, yes?

Yesterday I was working upstairs, repairing plaster, prepping the front room for paint.  When I took a break I heard something scurry across the floor above me.   Oh joy!

I have had problems with squirrels in past and most recently in my shed.   Upon inspection, again, nothing.   I crawl into bed about 1am to watch tv because I know sleep isn’t happening, at 330 I shut it off in hopes it might spark some z’s.   At 4:00am I am resting (not sleeping) quietly, allowing my body to just relax and stretch out when I heard scurrying and a thump ABOUT FOUR FEET from where I was laying.  As quick as lightning I was up with the light on.  In my closet (that at the moment, does not have doors but is packed with clothes and things in preparation for the renovation/repairs, a large and very heavy ginger jar lamp was on it’s side.   Whatever critter I have been hearing is now sleeping in my bedroom.   I should spice it up by saying “I had an animal in my bedroom last night!”

So, my mother is on her way over with traps…  Sorry animal lovers.  I am one too, but I’m done with these red squirrels.   They are nuisances.   I’m thinking it popped in when I accidentally left my window wide open.    At least I hope it’s a red squirrel and not a rat!  Oh how the imagination can get going when alone and unattended in the dark!

Now, the other thing that happened over the course of these few days is I blocked off the hole I had made in the cellar door for the cats to go down and use the kitty litter.  I’ve had flooding for over a week, so this critter may very well have been going up and down the stairs, all levels, but is now cornered on the second floor.

Wish me luck.  Animal House, to be continued.   Home ownership can be such a blast!




I’m a big girl now -Dylan


Today I drove to China Town, Boston to become a patient at Tufts Dental School.   My last trip down was a fiasco, forgot my wallet, etc., but this trip?  Pretty good!  As I walked around the markets, restaurants I thought of this Bob Dylan song from “Blood on the Tracks”.   http://spotify:track:4ukHl5HFRNARRnIWc4Oj83  Well, It’s “You’re a big girl now!”

Make no mistake, I’m a country girl.   I love the mountains, back roads, wild life, nature, but for today?     China Town Boston proved to be fun.   It will never make me want to live in a city…. EVER!    I feel most comfortable, safest nestled between and surrounded by mountains.   I think I always will.

On the trip home I had my front windows down and rock playing.   It was great.   I do not know where I would be without art, without music…. one in the same.     It was one of those rides where what bothered me in past, today was acknowledged, accepted.    A sense of acceptance for who I am, where I am.  A desire to just be.    Happy!  I would like to share that while on Beacon Street a convertible whizzed by me (opposite direction) and they were listening to…. ready?   Are you REALLY ready?   “The Archie’s!”.     I laughed, remembering a scene from a Sigourney Weaver movie where a serial killer left “The Archie’s” playing in a vw bug with one of their victims.  Hey,  If The Archie’s does it for them?  Good on you!  Have fun!   Sing to your hearts desire, and enjoy this beautiful day.  When I reached Vermont, like clockwork for me, I pulled over, admired the view and said to myself “My God, I live here!”    New England is beautiful.  Just beautiful.

I was thinking about my life today.  The journeys that I found myself on.   Certainly not all roses (which I’m allergic to) and whipped crème (which I love!).   It is the most difficult treks that have brought the most growth in me.    And thinking back on my career, going through breast cancer, traveling days after a surgery (or four), I did what I had to do to pay my bills, keep my house, and get through some pretty shitty times.    A phone call with a girlfriend from Newfoundland, Canada said to me “Those were the days.  I would pick up a Paintworks’ magazine looking for your latest design(s).   I sat in awe of that statement, and at the same time, shocked.    Could it be that the hardest time of my life, the time that I poured into my career, mostly out of need, could it be that these were my shining hours?   And then I smiled and reflected back on my accomplishments, milestones.    It was nice to be reminded of who I was, and perhaps still am, perhaps not.  Who knows?   And more importantly, who really cares?   It is who I am becoming that interests me most.

Great day.   Hope yours was too!      Hugz!

A day in the life of Donna…..


My morning started out really well.  First of all, I slept for 6 hours last night.  This is BIG.  Thank you God, Thank you God… I jump in the shower, walk the dog, feed the animals.   Sort of nervous, sort of excited, today was going to be an adventure into a new part of Boston…Chinatown!    I’m going to become a patient at Tufts Dental School, doctorate program.   Fees are half the price of normal dentists and I need enough work that it will be worth my while.   It had been months since I’ve driven solo anywhere, especially Boston, but I had my iphone, the flyer then sent me, and I was ready.

A fairly uneventful trip down until I hit the MA Turnpike a couple miles out of Boston.  Where is my wallet?   Breathe, breathe, breathe…   Where is my wallet?    BREATH BREATH BREATH…..     “WHERE IS MY *&#&#*# WALLET?”    Why, it’s back home, where would you think it would be?   Oh no!   My phone rings, it’s my mother who has a hard time hearing me on my cell…I love my mother but trying to have a chat with her on the cell phone while driving in Boston is not on top of my To Do List.  Tunnel mom…..  Call you later.

I get to Copley Square… now what?  If I park I can’t pay for parking.   I had enough change to cover the first $1.25 toll, the second?  Do you know what happens if you don’t have money for a toll?  Well, they don’t drag you off to prison, they give you a ticket that you have to mail in.  How do I know this?  Experience AND not enough change for the second toll.     I call Tufts, explain that I am here, (Hey, made it an hour and a half early)…but I have no id, no money, and I have no money to park.   If you could help me with the parking (trust me, every medical facility in Boston has access to this), I will catch that up next visit, and I’m sure that I could call either one of my two best friends who would pay for the appointment over the phone, and I could paypal them the amount later…..   Well, they couldn’t help with parking.  The girl who did this left and no one knows how to get or use free parking token.   MGH is very good about validating your parking if your appointment was postponed, etc.    Now what?   I rescheduled for next Tuesday.   One strike out of two.  If you cancel earlier than 24 hours twice, you cannot be a patient.   I’m not even going to go there with you.    Too much involved in this.

Now what?  My friend Robyne is in Stoughton, Anne is in Marlborough, Wayne is in Westboro…  Okay, I’ll drive down to my friends in Attleboro to pick up samples and make the most of this day.     How do I get out of here?  I pick up my iphone and serenade Siri, and for some reason, maps was not working.   Of course not! It worked find on the way down.  I was so frustrated I swore at her.  She said “Donna, I don’t think that’s appropriate”.     Look for boulevards you know…  A half an hour later I find one, and kept praying for help.   Storrow Drive!  YES!   I know that!   That is where I left the front bumper of my jetta trying to get down to Dana Farber to see my sister!     I know how to get to the Govt center and hospital district, more important, I know how to get OUT….. but wait!   There’s a detour.   Of course there is!

I made it to my friends in Attleboro, visited for a bit, and they lent me money to get home.  Good god!   Thank God for friends.  I had enough gas, but they wanted me to have something in case I had to stop… VERY KIND PEOPLE.

The trip home was crazy, 4-5pm traffic outside Boston is always a blast… I know, I’m going to get off in Bolton and drive that stretch of road that happens to me one of, if not THE favorite of mine in New England.   I think that exit is coming up….   Why yup!  There it is!   There it GOES………………………………………………   Ugh.

My mother calls in the middle of this, she has my dog, hasn’t heard from me since this morning.   I yi yi.   I’m not really good at multitasking to begin with.    A  couple hours later I’m home.  Thank God.   Emotionally and physically exhausted, I cannot wait to get inside, throw off my shoes, clothes, sit in the air conditioning and relax.  Well, the air conditioner wasn’t on, but Lilly apparently was upset with me when I left her this morning.  The minute I opened the door the smell of poop hit me in the face.  Yup, right there, in my studio.

Now, the poop is gone, the paint brushes are out, and I’m sitting amongst piles of stuff that I had promised to put away before I dive into painting again…. it ain’t happening!    I am DONE FOR THE DAY!   This perdue has popped.   I sit down to write a blog, and there is an error message on my computer screen.  Why of course there is!    I had to walk through the troubleshooting several times, and after a half an hour it’s going again, but not without having to also walk through the mines of passwords which were lost in the “fix”.   OMG…    What a day!   I think it erred out from the smell of Lilly Poop it wallowed in all day without a/c.

But you know what?  As difficult as today was, I did it.  I survived it.   And I’m STILL having a better day than that Joyce Mitchell women in NY whose life (and sadly her families) is falling apart for all to see.  The woman who is accused of assisting the two convicted murderers with escape from prison, and today’s tid bit, an apparent plot to kill her husband and move on with her new felon friends.

What a world…  I have all I can do to walk through a day in my own life.  But I have to tell you, sometimes hearing all the crap that is going on in the world makes me feel pretty darn good about being me.  Ditzy, forgetful, chaotic me!  When I travel taught I would call my mother upon my arrival (a must do so she wouldn’t worry).  Every trip she would say “And what did you forget this time?”  It was always something.  One time my brushes, another my suitcase… Well, this time?  My wallet, mom!    Who needs one, anyway? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go remind myself why Bose makes me happy…. perhaps the neighbors, too!

Let me catch ya up!


This morning I posted on my facebook that I was ironing my sofa….   I really was!     Why?  Oh, it all begins so very long ago when I was conceived…. but I digress.     Bear with me as I bring you up to speed with the coming and goings of my life!

A couple of weeks ago my best girlfriend came from Omaha, NE to visit and help me with several projects, first and foremost winterizing an 70+ year old house in need of new windows, siding…. I’ll stop there as i don’t need to depress myself.

With 3 down days where I’m not confidant if we ever got out of our pj’s, the rest of the 7 days was spent working.    The list included but in no way completed:  plastic on the windows, winterizing air conditioners, putting away summer outdoor furniture and garden props, painting my kitchen cabinets, installing a cabinet in my living room to cover a hole in the wall that was necessary to get a stackable washer and dryer in, shifting of furniture, toting a very heavy old mantle upstairs and installing it in my bedroom with a small but very quaint space heater insert that makes me smile….  just a few of the many things that we accomplished.

Of course not much time can pass or projects started without my somehow hurting myself.    I’m smiling as I’m sitting here thinking about my girlfriend shaking her head on numerous occasions and saying “You make your life so difficult!”

The week before she came I ripped up carpet in my bedroom and the stairway.    I will never put in wall to wall carpet again.  Thought for 15 years it did serve both me and a barrage of animals well but it was time to go.     It took me all day to remove the tack strips on the stairs, so I ripped up the bedroom another day.    I hadn’t gotten to getting up the tack strips that are around the baseboard, nor the occasional staple here and there (well, more than occasional) which are safely covered in pieces of carpet padding.   There was one stair left untacked… the top stair and it was only the back of the step.

Who knows what we were working on one night when I went upstairs, barefoot of course, to grab something and in doing so “forgot” that I needed to step sideways on the top stair so as to avoid the tack stripe.  Well, it wasn’t pretty.    As soon as I felt it I felt the warmth of blood dripping down my foot.       I made it to the kitchen and grabbed a towel, “How bad did I do?”   Well, one would say I did very well.  An overachiever, I have an inch long gash from the down motion, and a fairly large puncture wound alongside this.    It hurt to put any pressure on it, but we had no time for injuries.      My girlfriend, who seems to roll her eyes at me often said “When was your last tetenus shot?”  Oh, a few decades ago.  “Aren’t you going to clean it out?”   “Yah, when I get to it”.    We found bandages at Walmart that had antibiotic creme built in, and added some padding.    For days I would find other dried spots of blood.

Now let’s move ahead to installing a cabinet that my talented neighbor built from various scrap pieces.  There has been a hole in my wall for two years.  “The door hasn’t come in” was my response to visitors comments.   So now I have my beloved jig saw out, I’m cutting pieces of trim and molding, shims.     Somehow I managed to lose 3 pencils in 10 minutes and ALSO wasn’t thinking and got the tip of my left index finger with the blade.  Oh it wasn’t bad, it didn’t need stitches but it did need to be cleaned out, pressure applied and a bandage for a few days.    Thankful I did not hurt myself on what potentially could have been MUCH more serious, I now sported bandages on my left foot, finger.    At least I kept to one side!

We installed indoor shutters on a few windows and somehow, when we did the kitchen window, I stood up and banged my head on a cabinet.   My girlfriend is at this point chatty cathy, (and bossy like my sister, Karla).  She didn’t “see” my latest blunder.    Well, I sported an egg on my head that could only come from seeing the galaxy of stars that I did.

Let’s move ahead two days after she leaves.    The majority of the time she was here I was very tired.  Well, yeah… when you get bossed around a lot and have a to do list as long as an 8 year old’s list for Santa.    I didn’t feel well, but hey…  the start of winter chill had settled in, and that typically plays havoc with my pain levels (fibromyalgia).  So I just figured that is what was going on.    I had a rash on my leg in a small area that I didn’t pay much attention to, but come time to tackle my list solo, I was hurting.    I don’t know how to explain the pain, the burning that settled in on my upper leg.   I don’t even want to think about it, as today is the first day that I’m starting to feel better in about a week.    SHINGLES!     As above, I’m not going to talk too much about this, but if you have had shingles you know, it just ain’t fun!

Yesterday we had our first major snow storm of the season here in New England.   A foot or so of heavy, wet snow blanketed earth, and took out power for hours.    I wasn’t concerned with heat as I have a gas fireplace which works nicely as backup to oil.     Well, I gathered candles and had them lit on the table beside my favorite seat in the living room.   It was relaxing, but I had to crochet.  Rarely can I sit with my hands idle.  Trust me, if I don’t take my ADD medication it ain’t pretty.      It was evident that the power wasn’t coming on any time soon so using my iphone flashlight, like Mrs. MacGyver, I got out and took my night time meds, went to put out the candles and there was one pillar that I had licked my two fingers to “snuff out” and realized…  Um, Donna?   Is that smart?  Is that making my life harder?  Take the added step and blow out the candle.  So I picked up the candle, not thinking about the pool of hot wax residing in it’s “belly”.  When I blew out the wick, an inch of wet hot wax spattered on my face, my hands, and I think on my couch, but it was too dark to see.       Sleep did not come so I decided to pick the now dried wax off my face and arm.   It was a very long sleepless night.   The quiet of the snow covered grounds was accentuated with snapping and sounds of branches in distress.   Several times I just sat up and looked out at the winter wonderland that appeared overnight.

Upon rising this morning I saw that the screen to both my cell phone and ipad TOO had a varietal of shapes, sizes of wax spatter.   Oh yeah, I forgot.    Well, I made my way over to the couch, to the spot of incident and saw that there was wax all over the place.    Oh a cowl that I had been crocheting, largely on the arm rest of the sofa, and other things not worthy of mentioning.  In short, it was a mess.    So after googling for help, I learned to take paper towel, put it down and put a hot iron on it.  The wax made its way into the paper towel.   So yes, I was essentially ironing my sofa.  It took a good hour to clean up the mess.  Just when I thought I was done I looked down at the hardwood floor.  Oh man!   We’re talking some major wax on that.   In my efforts to make my life easier I, as usual, made my life harder.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.    Tonight I’m grateful I have no candles to blow out, but I do still have to make it to my bed around the staples and tack strips that still reside two weeks later… wish me luck!     Hey…. why haven’t I taken care of it yet?   Have you had shingles?    Oh, and as I took out my morning meds I saw this bright oval shaped pill tucked underneath a bowl on my island.  Well, um, it was last nights AMBIEN!

For the most part, I have felt like I would always live in Vermont.  I love New England, I really do.  But the older I get, the older winters get.  Predictions are we are in for one hell of a winter and based on last nights storm setting precedence of losing power… Southern living is looking better and better.    I’m too old and klutzy for this shit!

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!  🙂

My Walmart Story -All I wanted was service!


This blog is “back by popular demand!”

Jim & I had stopped into Walmart in Keene, NH for our normal supplies.   Being only weeks since losing my kid sister to cancer, I was deep into grief, no where near “myself”…   I headed for the fabric department to pick up some batting for a project I was starting and Jim took the cart as he kindly offered to gather all the household/animal/food stuff we had on our list.  Upon arriving in the department I noticed a woman my age and her daughter waiting for service.  “Have you asked for help?” I asked in a kind tone.  “Yes, 10 minutes ago” the woman replied rather grumpily.   I walked up to the Customer Service Desk, requested help.. they paged someone as I was walking back to the department.

About 5 minutes later we were still waiting for help.  I thought to myself, hmmm I wonder if I could figure out how to page!  (Now mind you, if you have ever walked the difficult road of grief you know you are not in your right mind!).  I walked behind the counter and found a sign beside the phone “To Page press #1”, which I did.  “Customer Service in Fabrics Please, Thank you!”.   As I walked back to the front of the counter I saw the grumpy woman shake her head in disgust and her young daughters jaw hit her chest as she smiled at me. 

10 minutes later, still no help.  I went behind the counter again, picked up the red phone and started to page… as I was doing this Jim came around the corner with a full cart.  One thing I loved and miss about Jim was when he saw me he always smiled brightly, I felt like the most important person in the world.  Now as a beautiful redhead he would turn red from head to toe at times too….  As he came around the corner pushing the cart he smiles that big old welcoming smile, then his face turns to confusion as he sees the red phone up against my ear, and me BEHIND the counter, then his face flips over to pure horror as he connects the voice he is hearing over the intercom to his fiancee that he is looking at… “There have been customers waiting in fabrics for over 15 minutes now, could we get some help here please???” 

Now red from head to toe, and actually picking up speed, he whizzes by me with the cart and utters “You need a wheel barrel for the set of balls you are carrying girl!” and kept on going up front where he quickly paid for product and left the store, not wanting anyone to know he was with me… (I’m laughing as I’m writing this).  I in the meantime went back to the front of the counter waiting for service.  This girl, probably 17 or 18 shows up, I pointed to the woman beside me “She was here first”.  She was chopping her fabric to shreds, literally.  I was thinking about saying something but thought, nah, this woman needs to learn to speak up for herself, but if she does this to mine, that’s another story.  Then she looks at me with the look that can only be described as “Carrie” and said “Did you do that?”  I looked innocently at her and said “Did I do WHAT?”  “Did you Page?”  I said “Why yes, I did!”.  “You AREN’T supposed to do that!” she said in a rather harsh and scolding tone.   Without hesitation I said “Who are you going to call, the Paging Police?”.

With that the sweetest Southern Belle came down and apologized for my having to wait for service, measured out 3 extra yards of batting for me, and I was on my merry way.  When I got out into the car Jim was fit to be tied.  He said “Donna, I can’t believe you did that!”  We had been together for 7.5 years, this made me laugh… to the point where I was laughing so hard I was in a belly roll, now at risk of wetting my pants.  This was the first time in weeks that I had laughed, and the first time IN MY LIFE that I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought of my actions.   It was so healing.  I was laughing so hard I was crying, in a scary insane manner lol.  The more I thought about what I did, the disgusted look on the face of the clerk, and how I DID NOT CARE…. I would laugh harder.  It was so FREEING!   Have you ever experienced this?  That freedom?

We had to stop at my brothers house on the way home because I needed to use his bathroom…as I ran into the bathroom I could hear Jim telling my brother “You will not believe what your sister did!”… My brother was disgusted with me too.  He said “If you were my wife I would have hit you!”… That made me laugh all the more….  (My brother is a very passive person).

So for days I laughed over this incident and for months Jim refused to go into Walmart with me, but the thing was… All I wanted was service!

Variety, the spice of work!


Whether my mood has been affected by the gloomy weather we’re having or this is depression trying to lay it’s lead blanket on me, my attitude and thoughts are aligned with the weather.  I’m doing my best to ward off this feeling of defeat.

I needed to replace my Aveeda body lotion, so when I was at Walmart I did so, only after grumbling that the price was now over $1 more.  My nighttime ritual is to plaster my body with lotion just before I crawl into bed.  Excited that Aveeda had changed the cover from a pump to a squirt, I proceeded to rub it in.   What the heck did they do, change the formula too?  The consistency was totally different.  I had taken Benadryl and quickly fell to sleep.   This morning I woke up with my face stuck to the pillow case and my body to the sheets.  What the heck?  Well, I had purchased BODY WASH.   My morning shower required no further soap!    There were suds everywhere, including bubbles in the air!  This incident is worse than the bleach in the refrigerator and the milk on the floor in the bathroom from a few weeks ago.   Sometimes the things I do scare me!

My work consists of several venues.   I design in decorative painting industry, needlecraft industry and recently started in beading.    I try to go with the flow of creativity, though sometimes deadlines dictate my work schedule and medium.   The past few days I have felt a shift coming.  This mornings actions confirmed this when I found myself putting away the beads even before I was reminded of a magazine deadline.  It’s time to reacquaint myself with my paintbrushes.   I’m looking forward to this but of course cleaning off my paint table will be a chore in itself.  May the force be with me!

It’s nice to have a variety of mediums to work with.   I find that I am gentler on myself, not beating myself up if my skills in one area seem to travel South.  For instance, when I find myself, not purposely, having brushes fly out of my hands, it’s time to move to something else.   When the yarn gets bunched and knotted and I’ve spent an hour untangling it, it’s time to move to something else.   After I’ve lost 3 needles and found myself bleeding from pokes, it’s time to throw the broach I’m working on across the room!   Okay, I didn’t, but I thought about it.

I’m recalling a time when Cabbage Patch dolls were the in thing.  Acquiring them for Christmas was next to impossible.  A friend of mine asked me if I’d make one for her great niece.  Okay, I can do that, as they sold the patterns and the cabbage patch doll heads at the local textile mill.    The doll was coming along nicely.  It was time to put the head on.    I had a full strength needle that was about 4″ long and was using this to sew the head on the doll.    This meant working it through the plastic.   I had stabbed myself so many times with the needle that my anger got the best of me and I threw it across the room against a wall.  Coincidently my then boyfriend and his friend walked in just as the doll slammed against the wall and fell to the floor.   He picks it up, brushes her off and said “I guess we’re not ready for kids yet?”

My mom was once a seamstress, making prom and wedding gowns for pay.   She would sew on our kitchen table which was in front of a sliding glass door to our back yard.   One day, while working with chiffon, our Black Lab, Cinder Poo (Pooey) saw something out back, he plowed through the area she was working right through the screen, taking along with it the sewing machine and gown.   That day my siblings and I stayed scarce!

Sometimes I remind myself when I’m having a hard day, or something happens, like yesterday that makes me feel defeated, that one day I will be able to look back at it and laugh, or impress myself with the strength I had to get through it.   Don’t you find this to be true?   I also find that as the course of life naturally happens, the gift of perspective comes to play.   Most of the stuff I used to fret about I wouldn’t today.   Unimportant!

Hope you have a great weekend!  Hope the sun comes out here, and I hope that my smile returns to my face!

Bob Dylan Unplugged….in the bose…. yup….This will surely turn me around!