Friday, December 31, 2004


I have written about my first "Bible" (journal) before. This picture literally fell out a few moments ago. It fits quite nicely considering where my thoughts have been this afternoon. I went up to the attic and recovered my old (old) address book. This is one I have have had in use since highschool. It has quite a few of my highschool chums addressed scribbled in pencil on the pages.

What I am most curious about are the people from Murray I knew so long long ago. I found the few, the ones I would love to contact. I accessed and began to look. I so far, have found one! I think to join will be a fun thing. I'll do it when I return Monday.

I want to reconnect with, find old friends. It is selfish of me, I want a Christmas card list that is at least (be realistic, girl) 60 people!

Oh, the picture. I'm going to save the explanation for a less rushed entry (have to leave in 45 minutes). But, notice Washington Square in the background!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


I go to the box of photo's for inspiration. Life has been in the dullsville as of late. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us it is hard to get excited about much. News Year Eve, Zorro and I shall walk to SOUTHGATE HOUSE in Newport and partake in the celebration going on there. A very easy walk home.

There I was some 40 odd years ago, sitting so pretty on a horse at a birthday party held on Blackburn Court at Shelley's house. No idea who's birthday it could have been! Precious picture of T. (my middle bro) sitting on the house crying! Big Baby! Several years ago I was dating a guy who among other things, framed pictures. He took the three pictures of me, N. & T. and made a beautiful picture frame for Christmas for my Mom...circa 1978. He was also a musician, playing jazz electric bass. I met him through Shirley, the bar manager. Her husband, (who died this past January, what a shame) and J. would come in and wait at the bar for Shirley to finish. J. had beautiful long blonde hair. He was pretty enough to be a girl. I inadvertently broke his heart. He was the nicest person, but it was not meant to be for him and me.

How I went from the Pony To Breaking Hearts...well, I guess that is rambling.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Fruits of My Labor

I really like this photo taken in the kitchen yesterday around 230pm. The light is coming through the window and just bathing the table. I took the picture so that Zorro could see the baskets I have been making for the women on his side of the family.

I slept late this morning, waking up a little before 9am! I am going to load up the sleigh and head towards Cincinnati where they experience a devastating winter storm earlier this week. The only that prohibited Zorro from coming home.

We have missed Christmas together before. I'll be damned if as a married couple you will spend our first separated!

This could be very interesting!

Thursday, December 23, 2004



The entire day yesterday the alarm was out, winter storm coming! I waited all day and all night. When my alarm went off at 430 am, I was greeted with the sound of ice pellets hitting the back of the house. I quickly found out they were bombarding all sides, including the roof! A thick sheet of ice encapsulated everything. As the weak sun appeared and cast down muted was a winter fairy land. So naturally, I called in took a personal day.

I grabbed my camera, bundled up and hit the sidewalks. I began my journey walking down Broadway. As I reached Main Street I realized that I was on the familiar path I took most mornings on my walk to school, because I always missed the bus. The sidewalk led me towards downtown, passing in front of the churches that line the street. First, the abandoned Catholic church (now a catering facility) followed by the large houses that sit back on a hill with large sweeping front yards with the spectacular rock walls. In my graceful youth, I balanced myself from precarious rock top to the next. The Episcopalian Church, the Baptist church, the Presbyterian church and then you were in the center of town.

I took pictures of everything that I fancied. Empty lots where Hobbs once stood, the site of my first attempt at being a criminal...shoplifting. The expansion of the library, the library that was at one time confined to the top floor of the building with the smell of moldy books all bound in that rich earthy maroon tone. My Mom took charge of the archaic excuse for a library and changed it for all time. The site of the old Court House that burnt to the ground in the early 1960's. The Corner Drug Store still there, though very much changed eerily remains much the same.

Through the scary park where I was not allowed to play because of bums living down there. Where did those so called "bums" go?

Ending up at the cemetery. For one brief moment the sun shone through a small break in the granite gray sky. The above picture is the result. Much more dramatic in person than I could ever convey with Photoshop.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


I have hundreds of these photo's. All memory melodies humming their lyrics in my head and I transport them to this medium!

The Gang! Well, about four of us from the gang, myself behind the camera. Our favorite playmate, H. on the bottom. Just one of the girls. Back in those days we never asked ourselves if he was a little different. We just accepted him as one of us. He was the most fun. I have lots of H. stories, but the nicest one of all is that we do keep in touch!

Anyone that can take three girls on top and ride them down a snowy hill is a real man in my book!


I started off calling this Pandora's Box. Then I realized it was not that, but a magic box full of pictures from my High School years and early college. Each picture transforms the box into a music box, the sweet melody of the memories gently nudging my day dreams.

I saw C.F. this past week. There is no other like her never will be a replacement for her, the space she holds in my heart. She is the closest thing I ever had to a sister after my two blood sisters. Circumstance, alcohol, bad marriage, guilt and trauma, maybe post trauma stress syndrome accompanied with death, mental illness, denial, and loosing everything has transformed my best friend into someone I do not know. I will never have C.F. back the way she was before life and alcohol beat her down and rearranged her.

The woman was wearing a camel color car coat length jacket. Around her neck was a long knitted scarf dramatically wrapped, the ends flying like wings on either side of her. Her legs appeared skinny under the long tailored pants, balanced on spiky high heeled shoes. On her head was a gauntly angled cap. Her hands were encased in leather gloves. Extended out for balance as she confidently jay walked across Short Street. A cigarette dangled between the fingers.

I never saw her face, but I know it was her. No one crosses a street with such a style as she always did. No matter the amount of alcohol and regret that ravages her, she can still stop traffic.

Saturday, December 18, 2004



The date on the back of the photo says August 1959. The date means nothing. It is not a I am perplexed. Regardless..... Next to me, I am the one on the left holding Sue Alice's hand, is Shelley. Next to Shelley is Ned, then Tombo showing his tummy for all to see for eternity. Behind us is my Mom holding little Pork Chop Paddy, Jimmy, Mike and finally Tommy.

I received a phone call from Shell about two weeks ago. I run into Sue Alice in the Kroger store, ditto with Tommy. Mike I believe I ran into at the Lex. Co. Club. My brothers are a constant in my life. Jimmy is the only one lost to time and circumstance.

This is the fun part of life and blogging. Finding little puzzle pieces of my life in these photographs and them placing them into the picture. The whole will be the memoir. Fragments with memories being the glue.

I know this is not a very flattering picture of Zorro. I took it while in Dublin earlier this year. We were in a mall type area, with open stalls of shops in the middle, traditional stores on either side. Zorro put these glasses on and goofed around. Stealing the scene from Multiplicity.

Marriage is hard. Him being in Newport is hard. My feelings become hurt. I guess I want him to be nicer to me and sometimes he just isn't. I have a ton of faults. I am trying to squelch the ones I can in regards to the family situation...our blended family. I know I can be more attuned to what is happening, and sometimes I am thick on purpous. I think that some dynamics are in play behind the scenes that I have no control, no knowledge of, just a hint of suspicion. I think B. tells things that are not true in relation to me. I assume she likes to play drama card, gain attention from her Mom...perhaps even the notion of loyalty is factored in. Anyway, I find it awkward that I was not considered part of the solution with her........It is beginning to sound ridiculous even to me.

Zorro left here with me angry at him. Maybe he does not know how he comes across. I just don't know if I trust him up there in Newport alone. I wish he were not so damn mean. I am on his side afterall.

Not making very much sense am I?

Friday, December 17, 2004

NANA circa 1914

Sometime last year my Aunt showed a letter to me she had received from a cousin of ours named Hugh. I was rather shocked that I had cousins I knew nothing about. I realized there was a lot about my Dad's side of the family of which I knew very little. In particular, the multitudes of relatives I have in England, Ireland, and God knows where else.

Hugh and I have been sporadically emailing each other ever since then. Anyone who has ever pried the lid off a Pandora box will understand how overwhelming it can be. Yet thrilling.

My Grandmother was a beautiful woman. I found her on a manifest in 1913 coming to the United States through Ellis Island. She was to join her husband, who I will call R.P., who was already living in NYC.

It is a tale of woe. R.P. was an alcoholic who abandoned his family leaving Nana alone to raise three children. Gerald, who is pictured above, died at an early age. Nana cried and grieved for Gerald to her dying day. Nana's family helped, opening the family home in NYC for Nana to stay and have a home for her three surviving children. When her mother died, the family home was overtaken by the oldest (unmarried) brother and Nana was literally put on the street.

Bad Blood was born. That is why finding all these cousins is such a shock. They were never mentioned before I saw that letter from Hugh looking for us!

I'm writing about this because I am excited. Today I have been contacted by yet another she puts it LONG LOST COUSIN 16,000 TIMES REMOVED. She is English and living in Alabama!

Ain't Life Grand?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004



I have just popped my second hydrocodone of the afternoon because my latest outbreak of shingles is hurting like a mother! I have it in the most uncomfortable area imaginable! Last night I felt the tingling of it beginning to break out, and unsuspecting I thought, "Gads, that smarts ........oh freaking nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!" The only good thing is the supply of hydrocodone, which I do not need after the first 24 hours but save for those special times when I desperately need them. Such as giving to Zorro so he will fly! Bad pun, I mean to enable him to get on a plane.

So I may be a little loopy.

I'm home alone while my sweetie is up North working. I have my Irish music on the stereo, Lunasa, the Kinnitty Sessions. I have spent all afternoon reading the greatest book, POSTCARDS by E. Annie Proulx. I have been practically unable to put it down since I started reading it the other day. Fantastic literature. Best of all, I am on the computer to my hearts content without someone shouting at me from the living room, "What are you doing in there? Blogging AGAIN!!!!!!!" So I should be in heaven, right? All ME time.

I am so over the thrill of being able to do anything I want. I miss my sweetie and I am melancholy...especially being pumped full of hydrocodone. Some of the worst parts are looking for my "lost" stuff and having no one to immediately blame. Having no one to wrestle over the remote control...(why is it that men feel they should be in charge of the remote)? No one to come home to and cook dinner for.

Thinking I lived for the weekends before....?

I had no idea.

Monday, December 13, 2004


The second weekend spent in Newport was not as exciting as the first. We got a later start and the weather was overcast with drizzle. We got out later in the evening when Zorro woke up, just shopping at the knock off Big Lots. It has a name, but it is strange like Mazuks perhaps.

Saturday evening Mom called not feeling well. I could not help. Added to the helplessness was the fact that the phone seemed to be busy for over an hour. I finally got through and spoke to my brother P. who was going to spend the night. I was feeling pretty low that I was not there to aide. It must have taken P. over an hour to get there. Me? I'm five minutes away.

Sunday was another dreary day, but I grabbed my camera and took an hour walk around town. I took numerous pictures along the main Newport Street, Monmouth. Actually, I was trying to capture the names of the various restaurtants and bars for future reference and visitation!

Pepper Pod Restaurant.

Peyton Place Restaurant.

Scotties Place.

Eberts Meats.

I took this shot along side Peyton Place. It was amazing that the geraniums were still in bloom on December 12th. I liked the rusty mailbox and the green awning background. I know it looks kind of busy, but I decided not to crop it too much.

Mom is okay. I still would like .............

Friday, December 10, 2004



The colors are straight from the Caribbean. Pinks, yellows, soft sea blues. Two trees, possible paper mache, dominate the dining area. Reaching to the ceiling with white branches and trunk, as if winter is year round in Lynn's. Hanging from the trees are small miniature disco ball ornaments. The walls above the windows kicking out into the room are the bottom half of mannequins covered in psychedelic color 60's style pants and kooky socks. The tables in the center of the room are a hodge podge of mismatched Formica style art deco treasures found at yard sales, flea markets and Grandma's. The legs made of curved aluminum, are art in themselves. Against the wall, under the windows & dancing legs are bright booths upholstered in red vinyl. On the window sills are handfuls of mixed up Trivial Pursuit cards from the various versions for your challenge. Also a puzzle is available, one that is hand made and requires exquisite dexterity to maneuver the tiny silver ball across and over each bridge to the "win"spot. And the best of all, an army of small dinosaurs to play with and arrange.... ready to devour your meal once it arrives at the table.

Table lamps are everywhere. The type with ceramic bottoms painted with large cabbage roses, and fringed lamp shades. Everywhere you look is a magical and visual delight.

It is a treat to dine at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. I usually try to get in on those days where there is a 45 minute wait. Sometimes I'll just accept it, order a bloody Mary and wait. I was introduced to Lynn's after running my first 10K. It seemed to be the happening place afterwards as the room was filled runners wearing the T-shirts of the first leg of the Triple Crown.

I fell in love.

It was a treat to introduce Bridget and her sweetheart S. to Lynn's today.

They loved it too. (they love when I come to Louisville because we all eat well!)

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I am up at 4am again. Why? Because I am crazy and lazy. Zorro is coming home today and I have to tidy up the house, vacuum, hide stuff...the usual. I went over to Moms to sit with Dad while she attended Mass for the holy day of obligation ( which one I can not remember, but it has something to do with Mary). So, my plans of putting up a tree and baking cookies did not pan out (bad pun).

Naturally I had to get to bed. It is not easy getting up at 4am three days in a row. Geez.

Yesterday I was shopping for several things. First, my ANY SOLDIER package that I want to get in the mail today. I ran across an article in the Cincinnati paper that outlines how to do it, I got on line and found a Marine that would distribute the stuff I send. Off to Sams Club for a bag of candy, a big container of bubble gum and some brand new Skittle chewing gum. Today I will throw in eye drops, baby wipes, and lip balm. I wanted to include home made cookies, but I guess I can do that later.

They also asked for DVD's and VHS's, so I thought I would swing by the Salvation Army Thrift store and check out their selection. And while I was there, I figured I could replace my bathrobe.

This is the story, while in Knoxville I left my beloved Victoria Secret flannel blue and white checkered robe. I have had that robe for years, considering it one of my most fantastic bargains found at this particular Salvation Army for $6.99 several years ago. Could I lose this robe in How about the two cruises we went All the numerous hotels we go How about Dublin Ohio? no. Louisville?

So I wander over towards the sleepwear aisle.

Now I know some of you will be thinning, "Ick!" But I am one cheap lady. How do you think I afford all the great Plum Wine?

I saw a blue robe hanging from the rack. I thought to myself, wouldn't that be great if I could find the same robe.

I'll be damned! There it was, the blue and white checkered Victoria Secret flannel robe! Only this time it is a petite (I cam live with it), it is a little more worn than the one I had and it comes with a belt. And for $4.99

I couldn't be happier and warmer! God works in mysterious ways, and if you try to tell me any different, I'll just patronize you.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Once again I took an envelope of 120 negatives to be processed and got back a handful of fairy dust. Once again transported back to the mid-70's and JVK.

This picture is wonderful and makes me close my eyes and reach out and try to remember what that silky brown hair felt like inbetween my fingers. If only to trace those pouty lips . To have the thrill again of that lightening bolt jolt of lust. Watching him, that cigarette held in such a casual manner from his dramatic mouth, gunning the engine on that motorcycle. Climbing up behind him, sliding my arms around his 23 year old waist and holding on tightly.

Smelling the mixture of nicotine and exhaust.

Taking off into the past.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


It is time for my entry in Photo Friday. REFLECTION. I have waited the appropriate three to five days to ponder how to do it! Quite frankly, most all the people who participate are accomplished with a camera. So, I like to sort of sneak mine in after the rush.

It rained all day yesterday and half of today. Finally, the sun broke out and I jubliantly went to downtown Lexington to shoot one of the tall building with the coolest gold glass! The wind was horrific! I was almost blown down. My purse caught a tremendous updraft and nearly flew away with all my stuff.

I found a very quiet and uninhabited Friendship Garden. I walked around and took numerous pictures, wondering if what I was seeing would translate to the computer. It did.

Happily, I made my way home only to become very caught up in a Clark Howard topic discussion. It seems that it is being argued before the Supreme Court the right to purchase wine over state lines. You can only imagine my interest, as there is this lovely winery just over the Georgia border that has the most divine Plum Wine. (throw back to my BoonesFarm drinking days.) I was hanging on his every word and suddenly I noticed the police lights coming up fast behind me! Damn it all!!!!!!!! He ended up being very nice, since I learned my lesson the last time and did not tell him that I do it all the time .........and ended up with a warning.

When I arrived home I had waiting for me a letter (A REAL LETTER!!) from my cousin in LA!

Sometimes I think I live a charmed life.



It is going to be a long process to find out all there is to know about Newport and the surrounding area. I look forward to it and gushed to Zorro this morning about how I love it! I heard the bitterness in his voice when he acknowledged my statement. He is up there alone, faced with another empty day to fill.

I read somewhere, its not that we see the world the way it is, but we see the world the way we are.

Monday, December 06, 2004



Our first weekend in Newport! So much to do, so much to see, so many places to go! On the trip last weekend I noticed that a "Luminous Lighting & Holiday Walk" was to take place at the Newport Levee. I thought it would be a nice event to attend and take my step daughter B. while Zorro worked. We studied the local event tabloid which promised the following. "The annual City of Newport Santa parade......."

When the time approached, we bundled up and headed towards the Levee. Small white bags lined the street, weighed down with sand and anchored with white candles. We wandered all around, sneaking into the candy shop and buying a bag of carmels and chocolate covered jellies (yuck! I hate them from the box but oh I love them fresh!) and sharing a secret together from Zorro who refers to us as "Chunky Monkeys".

The candles were lit and we shared a good chuckle as one of the bags erupted into flames and burned brightly for several moments. We walked up and down the street.....confused. Where were the crowds that usually accompany a parade? Certainly we were in the right spot! The candles blazing were a dead give away.

We took a seat right on a wall in front of the Levee and waited. And waited. And waited. B. Stood up and squinted into the street that sloped upward before landing infront of us. "I see police cars!" she excitedly exclaimed! And in a few moments, so did I. They roared down the main drag and stopped the traffic in front of us. The parade must be coming!

Wait....What is that? A horse drawn carriage. Clip clop clip clop clip clop. It turned infront of us, the driver wearing a Santa hat and sitting in the seat behind him.....not even waving at the handful of people ..........when we all realized, its SANTA!

We followed him to the bottom of the steps where he twice said thank-you to the driver and then proceeded to give out a few candy canes to the children who were struck dumb by the climatic arrival.

B. and I hurriedly ran back to the street thinking there must be a parade following.........nothing. We hesitantly returned to Santa and waited for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Everybody, all together now. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! Hurray!!!! Oops...Nothing. Then about ten seconds later..The tree lit up!

B. turns to me and in all her nine year old innocence says, "This is the lamest thing I have ever seen."

Ho ho ho.

Thursday, December 02, 2004


I am drinking my first two (because I am on the second one) Eggnogs of the season. They are sooooooooo goooooood!

Went to The Book Cellar and for $8.50 I received the following:

1) Letters Home by Geo. Grant & Karen Grant. Sage advice from Wise
Men &Women of the Ages to Their Friends and Loved ones.

2) Songs in Ordinary Life by Mary McCarry Morris Oprah Book Club

3) The Annie Dillard Reader by Annie herself!

4) Aloha, Mr. Lucky by Carson Nierschfeld........Hawaii, journalist named Star,
and described as his literary ancestors are Leonard and Hiaasen. Sounded
very good!

5) Two Popular Photography magazines July & Sept. 2004

6) Cooking Light magazine Nov/Dec 1994....should have some good holiday

7) THE RED FAIRY BOOK edited by Andrew Lang. A 1960 reprint from
an 1890 publication! In ragged condition, but the book actually called to me
from the rack it was sitting on waiting to be shelved.

$8.50!!! Is it any wonder my attic is bulging from all my treasures?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Photo Friday challenge is PROSPERITY. I had a bit of difficulty coming up with subject matter. Prosperity means something entirely different to me depending on the context. If you are talking about prosperity in general, I immediatley think of all the farm land that is being bulldozed so that larger and larger homes can be built. Ironically, they are then sold to people who love to say they live in horse country.

Today I went to buy a Christmas tree. I realized that I had found my little bit of prosperity on a tree lot. The trees were so beautifully tall androbustly full ...... with hefty price tags. Years ago when I was a single Mom with little money, Bridget and I would wait until a day or two before Christmas Eve to go buy a tree. They were so picked over by that time it was a miracle to find a nice tree. Yet we managed to do just that every year.

I know I can purchase a tree today without having to look at the price tag. I can buy it weeks before Christmas if I want. I walked among the richly scented trees and took pictures.

I decided to wait to buy the tree. I could not find the special one! I did not feel the magic just yet.

( totally playing around in Photoshop!)

Tonight is the first night of the rest of my life......some old saying like that. Actually, it is the beginning of life with Zorro in Newport and me here. And last night was intense. Somewhere it went wrong, don't know what I did. I am always doing something wrong, like eons ago, and I think I handled it okay. I did not call him and demand to know what was eating at him, why he ignored me two times, why he did not come in and say goodnight to me or goodbye. But I didn't. I called him as usual in the morning and things seemed okay. He sounded upset around the edges. B. had written him a letter about him leaving and he was choked up. He mentioned how bigger she seemed since he had last seen her (five days and I mentioned that she was growing very quickly and that he failed to even see she had boobies now! "I have you to always point that out to me." he snarled.

My word. Transference anyone. We talk about the anger his two older children have and how they direct it at me because where else can they find such an easy target. He does not understand that it is genetic and it is from him. I tell myself that he is a little nuts, but then so am I for staying with it.

I love this guy......and I realize I have to live with that. I had accepted the fact that he is far from perfect, has numerous flaws and many that I had to come t terms with to cope. Like B. He loves her, she is the apple of his eye. I can not stand her, but for him I keep that hidden away. I forgave him his indiscretion and beyond. Way beyond. Yet, sometimes I feel that he finds me so lacking in so many ways.

Well, he is no Christmas present. I refuse to go throughout the litany of his past crimes.

I hope that he realizes that he is putting us in a position that if he decides to make Newport his residence and shun our little house, then the only time we will have together will be in the presence of the Satan child?

Drama, people. He has whipped up this life for himself and I am sucked in. Why does this man have nothing? Why does a 51 year old man have approximately 8 more years of hefty child support payments?

I'm pissed off at the ass right now.