Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Scarcity of Happiness

Rojo had a great day today. First of all, a friend of his needed a ride to school, and he needed it early. The earlier the better in Rojo's book, so he threw open the door at 6:40 AM and eagerly greeted his guest. He gobbled down his breakfast, happy to have a new audience member. (5 pieces of bacon, two pieces of toast with both garlic salt AND cinnamon sugar, a few rainbow-colored Goldfish, and a couple pineapple-flavored licorice. Just like at your house, right?)

By 6:50 we were out the door and headed to a Peer Mentor meeting, in which Rojo informed me he was "hosting," thus the need to be there at 7:00, and not at 7:15 when the meeting was technically scheduled to start.

On the way, in the car, he tells his friend, "This is such a great day, you need a ride, I am hosting Peer Mentors, we are going to play Christmas charades, and there is pizza for lunch! Ahhh... the happiness of the day never ends!"

As if that weren't enough, Nancy and I picked him up from school, took him for yogurt, AND to Costco so he could shop. I'm not even a member of Costco, but Rojo has developed "needs," so we drag poor Nancy there, too, in addition to all the other places we drag her. He told Nancy, "When I get to Costco we are going to look for pineapple-flavored licorice. Kate (at his usual yogurt shop) gave me some to take home yesterday, but I want to buy a big bag. We will find them at Costco."

Nancy told Rojo in all her many trips to Costco, she's only seen flavored--licorice once, and it was a special event, with its own portable display, etc. Rojo assured her there would be no problem. Entering Costo he instructed her to head for the candy section, despite her warnings that they didn't have it there, and if they'd have it at all, they'd have to go to a different part of the store. Not discouraged, he walked her straight to what? Oh, yea, pineapple-flavored licorice.

We are two 1.5 lb. bags of pineapple-flavored licorice richer.

The happiness of the day never ends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Okay, so I gave my proof to a friend that I didn't even know (but should have guessed) was a good proof reader, I actually gave her the book for a whole different reason (to pre-read it before it launches, so when we have our big party, she can bail me out when I get all tongue-tied talking about it, if you must know). But, alas, she is not only a GOOD proof reader, she is, the best. She found things in the manuscript that the umpteen people before her have failed to find. "Little" words totally omitted (to, of, etc.) Words that had an "s" but didn't need one, words that didn't have an "s" at the end, and did need one. Misplaced quotation marks, commas where periods should be, spacing errors, wrong word choices, a "who" that should have been a "whom," and vice-versa. 70% of the dog-eared pages are because there was some weird inconsistency with the quotation marks, as in, the actual mark. It shows up looking two different ways, with no rhyme nor reason. We think it's because of cutting and pasting, and I was using a Mac, and my editor was using a PC, and the two got their wires crossed.

Anyway. I have spent the better part of two days making each and every correction, LORD, HEAR MY PRAYER! If not, so be it. It's as good as I can get it. If you read it and find something wrong, I beg you, do not tell me. Do not even insinuate!

I am finally able to find some humor in all of it, and to see that this was not a waste of time, or exercise in futility. I learned a lot about myself, things I wanted and needed to know, and things I didn't want to know. Last night I was watching one of Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" shows I'd recorded, it had Jean Houston on it, and she was talking about "The Wizard of Oz," and how we all have our tornadoes, things that pick us up, twist us around, and we have to go crawling back to where we think we want to go, which we had within us all the time. ("You're always wearing your ruby slippers.") I would say this book-writing process has been a tornado for me. One could easily say I ended up right where I began, and that would be true, but the journey has been life-changing.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Where to start? Let's start with the fact that Mercury goes direct today, and this particular turn in retrograde kicked my *&% like none other. Small things, like two different people trying to text me, and instead, texting STM. Weirdly, neither had his number in their contacts, and obviously were not intending to text him. So why did he get them? Then how about me trying to print address labels for Christmas cards, and the printer printing only the top half of each page? EACH page! But the biggest show of Mercury's strength came in the form of my printed proof of my book. A small disaster, to say the least. One million (slight exaggeration, really more like a thousand) typos, omissions and just outright errors. The book has been proofed, edited, proofed, edited, proofed, edited, over and over and over again. I almost didn't even proof it this "last" time, but "fortunately," did.

I honestly don't know what the Universe is trying to tell me about the book, but one thing seems to be clear: slow down. I was all about getting it out in 2012. I was all about getting it out before I turn 50. I was, let's just be honest here, ALL ABOUT GETTING IT OUT. PERIOD. I feel like I've been pregnant with this "baby" for years and years and am so sick of waddling around with it, I just want it OUT.

Apparently, its gestational time is not yet up.

And I'm forced to ask myself the bigger question, is this a brick to the head? Is it simply, not meant to be "out?" As my cousin pointed out, it was important to write, but maybe it's not important to publish. I puff up my ego thinking the book will be of benefit to others, but really? And at what cost?

And so I sit with the question while I go ahead and tediously correct the errors in the Word doc., before deciding if I really want to upload it one more time and have it out. Maybe, being pregnant was and is the point. Maybe, birth is not.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog About It

Rojo's fetish for "flavored" hand soap continues. After church yesterday we bee lined for Bi-Mart to carefully peruse and make our selections. Technically, we were there shopping for the St. Vincent de Paul drive coming up, where they are asking for toiletries. As I picked out toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc., Rojo weighed his hand soap options very carefully.

Finally, after about 20 minutes of this, I asked if he needed help. He wanted me to unscrew the lids off a few so he could "taste." I grabbed one, obliging, "Oh, my God," he exclaimed, "that smells like a toilet!" Then he laughed at his own joke so hard he nearly wet his pants.

All the way home in the car he repeated his joke, "Care! That soap smelled like a TOILET!!!" sending himself into gales of laughter again and again. Shortly after that we picked Kathleen up to go to yogurt. Right away he told her his "toilet joke." "Care, you gotta blog about that, promise me you'll blog about it, don't forget to blog about the soap smelling like a toilet!

This morning, up at 5:45, he was after me immediately. "Care, did you blog about the soap smelling like a toilet, yet? You gotta blog about the soap smelling like a toilet! You gotta tell Kathleen and Nancy they need to get blogs, and they both need to blog about the soap smelling like a toilet."

Because he is standing over my shoulder now and won't get dressed for school until I blog about the soap smelling like a toilet, I am.

Not a mark on him!

Monday, November 12, 2012

I See How This is Going to Go Down

As everyone knows that reads my blog (thank you!), my dad has spent the last 16 years taking things from our home and putting them back later (sometimes after many months). As a child he'd have me go in search of something, and inevitably, I'd come up short. "Carrie, you're not bad looking, but you're a bad looker," he'd say. I'm convinced that his teasing from the other side is to remind me that he's there, and that I'm still a bad looker - what I need is right in front of me, I just can't see it.

STM's dad could fix anything, anything at all, but we were forever taking broken lamps to him, and other electrical things. Since he died we've had a slew of things break or go out: the doorbell, six light bulbs (6!) and three smoke alarm batteries (3!). You can't tell me that's an accident. He's on the other side now, too, but right there. Apparently we need frequent reminders.

Today, as I replaced the batteries and bulbs, I was able to offer up a prayer of gratitude that our loved ones never leave us, they just transform.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Best Medicine

Not a lot to laugh about over here lately, although, my mother-in-law and I were able to have a few giggles sitting in the hospital day after day, reminiscing. There's nothing like the death of a loved one to help you pull your head out of your *&% and have crystal clear (however temporary) insight into what really matters, and what, simply, doesn't.

I got my Christmas present early this year, and it was a biggie. I've had an varicose vein that I wanted removed, but it was "asymptomatic." I guess the psychological distress it caused me was not a "symptom." Anyway, because it wasn't causing horrible pain, we got to pay out-of-pocket, I told STM it could be my Christmas present, 50th birthday present, on and on and on. Just get that thing off my leg. Finally, on Wednesday, I got this sucker fished out. You don't even want to know more than that. Trust me.

By the way - see the cute pajama bottoms on my "good leg?" Those came to me from my friend, Amy, all wrapped in a Victoria's Secret box, complete with darling top, shortly after my blog post depicting the state of my sleepwear. Note to self: picture more things on blog, in a state of disrepair.

The day after my minimally invasive surgery, I had lunch with my friend liz, and her daughter, Andrea, aka, A Farmer in the Dell. Super fun with lots of laughs (and of course, yummy food.) Then, for dinner, I went out with three friends I met over 20 years ago. We used to all teach together, before I had Woohoo. We've been doing birthdays, Christmas and just-because dinners ever since. This time the occasion was Marti's recent marriage. For years we've been pushing Marti to marry her long-time boyfriend, whom we all adore (and so does she). Not sure if it was because we threatened offered to be bridesmaids, or what, but Marti up and got married by a justice of the peace without so much as how do you do.

Naturally, we took the proper actions. She had denied us the opportunity to be bridesmaids, but she wasn't going to deny us the opportunity to dress up and have some laughs.

A special thanks to my sister-in-law for providing three of the perfect dresses for the occasion. A special thanks to everyone that makes me laugh. A special thanks to all my good friends.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Love Story

I don't know about you, but it's a good thing this election is today, because I don't think I could survive one more day. So much hate. So much negativity. So much division. Please vote your heart today, then let us join hands and move forward.

Let me tell you a little love story. This is what 60 years of a happy marriage looks like. These two went on their very first date in 1950. A Halloween party. A blind date, I believe. A year-and-a-half later they married. The day they brought their first child home from the hospital, Don lost his job. The day they moved into their brand new home that they had just built, with their now three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son, Don lost his replacement job. The only two times he was ever unemployed, couldn't have come at a better time, in his mind. Time opened up for him to be with his new family. Time to paint the house and help Doreen get it all situated. Time to be useful and helpful and all-hands-on-deck for his family. Money was tight, but his family was tighter. Family always came first.

The next several decades brought all kinds of changes to the world, but very few to them. Simple was the name of the game. The never did "get all carried away." Each Sunday Don would read the obituaries, and scroll through the long list of accomplishments. "I don't understand how they had any time left for the family doing all those things." He was not impressed. He never felt less than. He always felt grateful that his family was happy and healthy and had what they needed: love.

Last Monday Don lay in bed with Hospice care. Doreen came to sit beside him and tell him the story of their lives together. She started with their first date, 62 years ago to the day, and worked her way through the highlights since. Moments later he died.

I've never known a more successful man.

I don't believe I ever will.

Sorry Not Sorry

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