Saturday, December 31, 2005

Year in review

2005 was a year full of change. It was a year that flew by in a flash. It can't possibly be New Year's Eve! Just yesterday Joe and I were getting ready to attend the New Year's Eve bash at Southgate House in Newport! It can not have been 365 days ago. No way.

January: Joe is in Newport, Ky and I am living in our home in central Kentucky. It is difficult being apart as he is taking a temporary position in Cinti until he finds something else. Got DSL and wondered how I ever lived without it! Spend weekends in Newport and take lots and lots of pictures of the Ohio River area. Very inspiring

February: Decide to give up liquor for lent. Fall down in front of on-coming traffic crossing street infront of the Levee....sober! Joe learns that he is being promoted and transferred to Ft. Wayne! Join to try and reach Cathy. She ignores me or misunderstands.

March: Another Birthday. Move Joe from Newport to Ft. Wayne. "You're a Hoosier Now" was shouted at our departure from Mad Anthony's! I run the first leg of the Louisville Triple Crown of running...the 5K.

April: See Tempest in Dayton with Joe. Put our house on the market and begin to "remodel". End up in emergency room with dry wall dust (felt like rocks) stuck in my eye! Give my notice at work. Interviewed for a position with the same company in a totally different area I am accustomed to. Hope to God I am not offered the job, because it is in the middle of nowhere.

May: Offered the job and I take it. For the first time in many years we did have the annual pre-Derby Slither in Louisville. A rowdy evening of drinking and pub crawling through all the pubs located in the Germantown section. Begin to pack up the house and prepare to move. I am to report to my new job the first week in June. Joe and I celebrate our 1st anniversary. We close on a house the same day in New Haven. We are given an offer on our home in Ky. We have huge yard sale.

June: Begin new job and hate it. All I do is work work work and drive drive drive. I am particularly taken with the Amish who are everywhere in this area. I try to sneak photographs of them from my moving vehicle. I have one friend at work, Deep Throat.

July: Finally have a day off! Rip to Kentucky to see my family after three weeks!! The job is altering my personality.

August:Attend the Irish Festival in Dublin Ohio!. After one incredibly awful day I realize it is not going to change. That I am miserable at this job and accept my failure and turn in my resignation effective immediately. It take days to decompress. Get to the Woodland Park Art Festival and run in the Midsummer Night Run in the same week-end. Joe and I go to Indianapolis for a job interview for me and to Detroit for his job! I am offered a job. I decline. I read many many books and work in my garden. I am growing too comfortable not working. I am walking/running everyday.

September: Attend the Auburn Car Show and see my good
friend from Kentucky who is working the event. Meet Coach Z. at the local High School track and he cracks my neck and fixes my bum knee! Attend the Indianapolis Irish Festival and have a great time. I interview with a cellular company and I am offered a job! Then, out of the blue my old company calls and would like me to interview for a position in Ft. Wayne. The position is the same thing I did in Kentucky. I am excited, but not allow myself to become too convinced they will offer it to me.

October: Go to Louisville for the St. James Court Art Festival with my sisters. I am offered the job!! I accept. Joe and I go to Cancun for a vacation. Hurricane Wilma hits. We are stuck for a week. So much for our all inclusive vacation. I will never eat tuna again. ( unless there is another hurricane). I am on TV! I start work again.

November: Joined a fitness center. Received the VIVI award for best travel journal. Am totally blown away. Love my job...but there is another alpha-female there. Joe becomes a Grandpa! I blab about having this second journal when most of my journal pals leave AOL because of the banners. Thanksgiving is wonderful spent with family in Kentucky. Tried again to contact Cathy and by-Golly this time it worked!!

December: Put tree up first week-end. Tree manages to fall over three times before I finally get it balanced correctly! First huge snowfall. Eight inches in one evening. I am expected at work as if nothing unusual happened! WTF!! I am 1/2 hour late. Spend Christmas with my family in Kentucky. Find out the Saw Doctors are going to be in Cleveland on St. Patrick's tickets and room reservation. Had wonderful Christmas in Ft. Wayne with my honey.

I realize 2005 would have been the most boring year of my life if it had been for the Hurricane and all the wonderful people met. It was my Odyssey. I think you are very lucky if you have one in your lifetime. I had mine.

I am looking forward to 2006. I truly am. I have such great fantastic dreams for 2006.

Gathering Dreams

It has become a tradition for me at the end of each year to write the mandatory list of New year Resolutions. This year I am changing to something much more satisfying and adventurous! I'm going to collect my abandoned dreams. Seek them out like wild flowers lost in the green meadows of my fertile mind! Gather them into a beautiful colorful fragrant bouquet of hopes and desires.

Isn't that much more interesting than laboring over a list of resolutions that I will forget in a weeks time? That I will carry around the guilt of not trying harder to achieve, of being a quitter, not being committed enough?

The more outrageous that better!!!!!

I want to go to Cuba! I know that it is almost impossible and that Americans suffer great fines if they are flushed out. Yet, I think of Cuba as a lush forgotten island full of beauty and music and wonderful people. I truly think that Castro will be gone in the next 10 years and that the portal to that country will be opened up. I want to be first in line.

I need to return to Ireland. I felt like I had returned home when I first visited. When that strong emotional bond is just so fierce it can only mean one thing! I belong there.

I want to own a "house car" as my young step daughter would call it. A home on wheels that Joe and I can travel around this country to anywhere and everywhere. Our hearts desire. Watch the sun go down over the beautiful deserts of the American West. That's what I want.

I want to go to Italy. I want to go this year! I'm not certain I can talk Joe into it, but who knows. If not this year, then soon.

I want to write short stories. I know I have a book in me, maybe several. I think the short story is the first baby step for me. Not that this blog has not been the major step for overcoming my shyness in having my words read! It truly has. I have just become too addicted to this format and the wonderful feed back I receive from the community. The real world is not so forgiving, not so caring.

I want to write travel articles for a living!! The adventures of Joe and Mary on the road. Nothing can be as lively and entertaining with my soul mate by my side giving me the best material imaginable.

I dream that I will bite the bullet and just buy that expensive DSLR camera I want so badly but cringe in horror at the price. I am too much of my mother. If I would just do it!!! Do it do it do it. Never look back.

I dream of completing a half marathon. I have done it before and I can do it again! I love to run and have left it behind for some reason.

And that is a small collection of the dreams I have found among all the weeds of trying to lead a responsible and mature life.

Friday, December 30, 2005


This is one of my favorite pictures of 2005. This beautiful child was visiting us at the second shelter we were shuttled to in Cancun during the hurricane in late october, Hurricane Wilma.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good golly! I just read an entry totally bashing Classmates! And then about 45 comments mostly agreeing with her!

You know what I saw over and over? "Who wants to see them or hear from them anyway. They did not like me then, they probably will not like me now."

"There is a reason I have not tried to contact anyone in 20 years."....and that is?

I found it amusing that people had such a terrible time in High School. Mine was not that great. I had to travel to another city to attend. Geez. That was a buzz kill. And calling anyone was out of the question since it was long distance way back know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

High School was pretty bad and then high school was pretty good. Maybe I need to do a series on my experiences. What ever it was, I gained a lot from it. Gained a great education (Catholic, don't you know), have many good friends still (no one lives in the area much anymore) and I actually had the best of two worlds because I went to school with one set of kids in Lexington, and lived in another town with another set of kids!

I led two distinct lives!

Following your Dreams

The last entry took on a life of its own as I wrote it. At first I was focusing on the dreams I had as a child and how they vanished as I became an adult. I can barely recall them. And only a handful.

How do they fade? And why? Is it because as we age we tend to accept the hand dealt to us? Do we tend to cope with the disappointments that accompanies leaving childhood behind as we enter adulthood? The crushing expectations of others thrust upon us, responsibilities and obligations....are these the things that squeeze our hopes from our souls?

I always have had a vivid imagination. I wanted to grow up and be a writer. I remember taking a creative wiritng class my Junior year in High School. At the end of the quarter we handed in our stories. After she graded them, without telling us who wrote them, she began to read selected ones aloud to us. She picked up the last one telling us it was the best. Imagine my shock as she began to read my paper! I was so embarrassed. I can still feel how flushed and hot my face became. I distinctly remember sliding down in my desk and trying to disappear. Bonnie was sitting next to me and at the end of my story I looked over at her and was astonished to see her wiping tears from her face. I could move someone to tears?? It was a very poignant story told from a childs point of view about the death of his older brother.

It was then that I realized how tricky writing actually can be. To offer up a part of yourself in the written work for others to read and criticize, love or hate, ridicule or admire. It is just very scary stuff.

Where did that dream go? Is there a heaven for discarded dreams?

I started college in the early 1970's as an English major. That ended in disaster! I actually majored in Having Fun. I got A's in that, and failed pretty much everything else. When I returned to school in the 1980's, I no longer had those dreams of writing and being a journalist. I wanted to be in business. Yuck!! What was I thinking????!!!!!

If only I had followed that dream......

It would be interesting to know whatpaths I would have walked down rather than the ones I stumbled upon.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where do discarded dreams go?

I have a journal in my Bloglines that I rarely access. I allow it to fill up to overflowing!! 137 posts! A journalist, no less. I clicked on her blog yesterday and then linked to another blog that has had me thinking for two days!

The fascinating entry is here.

"........All those moments when they finally did that thing they've always wanted to do and how it made them feel."

I immediately began to run the film titled, "Mary's 2005" looking for that dream I fulfilled. Certainly I did a lot of things this year. I moved from my small home town to a city 300 miles away. I survived a category 4 hurricane. I quit a job, got offered several jobs, then basically got my old job back. I failed. I adjusted. I endured. I stretched myself. And I amazed myself!

The most significant undertaking that I have yearned to do for over 20 years, was to reconnect with my college friend, no my closest college friend who marched into middle age with me (if you call 30 years old middle age) then we had a terrible falling out and had not spoken for 20 years.

I thought about her often. Usually around her birthday, which is close to the first day of Spring. I always think about her at Christmas time, taking the ornaments out of boxes and hanging all her ornaments that I inherited. (We shared apartments for years and years.) I think about her whenever I reminisce about Murray State University, get dreamy about all the years I lived in Louisville, or watch a Louisville game, or go to Louisville. Whenever it is Derby time or Octoberfest, I think about her. When I go to the Chow Wagon or the Cherokee Triangle Art Show, drive by Phoenix Hill, drive down Bardstown Road I see her ghost among all the people.

I tried to find her, track her down many different ways over the years. All led to dead ends.

Then I tried about a year ago! And there she was!!! I signed up for the Gold Membership with great hope. It seemed such a perfect plan! I was so psyched and so excited and practically giddy with anticipation.

And it bombed. Nothing.

I felt maybe that she had not forgiven me after all these years. The evil words that I had spoken were still a great wall between us. The things that best friends put each other through at times were too monumental for her to allow to flow under the bridge.

Yet, I decided to give it another try after having several nights of vivid dreams about Murray. Around Thanksgiving I gave it another shot. So what if I get my feelings hurt again! Damn it, I'll just try again later!

This time she answered.

How did it make me feel? I cried for joy. I have never actually cried from joy before. The feeling was like fireworks going off. Fireworks of exultation!

When you love someone you carry them around forever in your heart.

The cracks in my heart, and there are many, one of them is healing now.

And that is the thing I have wished for. For 20 years.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Don't Hate Me Because I Love Walmart

I must admit, I'm glad the shopping part of the Christmas holiday is behind me. I do not enjoy being in large crowds with short tempered, impatient customers and overworked, underpaid and overwhelmed clerks.

I did all my shopping in a matter of days thanks to phenomenal planning and being able to get to the stores at an extraordinarily early hour!! Beat the crowds!! It works every time!!

And a hardy thanks goes out to Walmart for just being there all the time 24 hours a day. Except for the eggnog incident, it would be the perfect store. And it will continue to be the perfect store as long as it stays out of my home town in Kentucky. I, for one, do not mind driving the 20 minutes to either Lexington or Frankfort.

While having a conversation with one of my customers we were discussing the long underwear fad. I remarked that I would not go to Victoria Secret to purchase them when Walmart carried a perfectly good brand called Hanes. She remarked that she found her daughter's at Value City.

Value City?? I remember that name from when I lived in Louisville! I traipsed myself into the store (which I pass practically everyday!!) and that was the end of my shopping spree!! They had everything I wanted!! For me!! I found the cutest little pair of fur trimmed boots....a must in the white tundra waste land....., designer pants, wonderful marked down racks! I was in heaven! My shopping was completed.

I promise that next year (I make this solemn pledge every year at this time) I will start earlier, keep better records of what I think people would like, and use the Internet. Joe did not even have to leave the house!

But...just the fact of being there, of tapping into some cosmic affiliation with all the last minute grabbers, I mean shoppers. It is almost magical, if not hysterical.

I know I would miss it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I am agitated!!!!!!!

I'm not sure where it came from. It may have started when I was standing in Walmart and realized they did not have anymore Southern Comfort Vanilla Spice Eggnog! I looked in every possible nook and cranty trying to find one bottle, please just one bottle. The I just dragged myself to the spice row and purchased pure vanilla extract to add to the 1/2 gallon run of the mill ho-hum eggnog.

But wait, it started before that. It may have started because I was sitting in my vehicle at 8am getting ready to fill the gas tank for a jaunt into Ohio when my cell phone rang and it was Bridget. When ever she calls this early, it is not good. Her car won't start.

From 300 miles away I call my brother, get the phone number of the mechanic he uses and I use to use when I lived in Louisville during the 1980's. I called Bridget back and told her to be sure to let Dick know that she was that little girl got such a thrill riding in his tow truck so many years ago!!

Maybe it was even before then, when Dave was making Kentucky jokes Tuesday afternoon. I usually just tune it out. I don't quite understand why they make such fun of Kentuckians up here. He asked me who the people in Kentucky made fun of, I said "IFI'S"

"What's that?" he asked as he fell into my trap.

"Idiots From Indiana." I responded.

Or maybe it happened when I had to have a cup of coffee and I was closest to a bakery. I am so weak. That cherry fritter looked so good. I'm on weight watchers for Goodness Sakes!!! Well, I will be after my eggnog supply runs out.

On the way home I even began to doubt the stories about the Angel. The Angel being the woman who helps my Mom take care of Dad...everyday. The latest bit of trouble she has been in is as always, unbelievable! This time, she totaled her cousins car while trying to make it to a bank in Nicholasville with $600 cash so that they would not take her house away from her. Every week it is something else. She is totally reliable, she shows genuine affection for my Mom and Dad, she is practically one of the family after all these months. If all this was not the case, I would think she was a con artist of the highest quality.

The day was one that had a lot of irritants flying around.

Then I come to the computer and I find an email from one of the people we went through all the shelters and the Hurricane with.

(Dave and Joe)

Suddenly, everything is okay again. Tomorrow is another day.

And St Paddy's Day is only 86 days away!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why I love Christmas

There is so much I love that I hardly know where to begin. I love the anticipation on the drive home, and how it builds the closer I get. I know that the moment I open that mail box I will find Christmas Cards from my friends and family. I get such a thrill from that. I find that my spirits lift sky high when I see the red envelopes or the handwritten address. Nothing like that sensation of delight attached to handling them, opening them and reading them.

I wish I could trade cards all year long. But it is not that easy. I should be happy and content that I hear from long lost friends at least once a year.

I love the smell of the Christmas tree. It begins to fade in short time, so a candle from Walmart has been exceptionable wonderful. I went back to purchase a few more and they were gone!!

I love egg nog. I think I love egg nog too much. Thank God it is only during the holidays! The Southern Comfort vanilla spice was a pleasant surprise! It has quickly been urshered in as a Christmas staple.

I love buying things for other people. I do not like shopping in crowded stores, and I have put off doing this for way too long. I will find myself once again among the procrastinators and panicked stricken in the last few shopping days. But.....I know exactly what I want, so it shouldn't be to awful.

I love all the cookies that are offered to everyone at work! It is as if everyone tries to chip in and bring an assortment. It has been wonderful at this new facility! And I just realized that everyone is probably wondering when my contribution to the expanding waist line will appear. Guess I know what I will be doing tomorrow night!

I love Christmas Lights. I love getting into the car and driving slowly around in the neighborhoods and oooohhhhing and aaaahhhing.

I love the feeling that comes over me, knowing that I have a wonderful family and a wonderful husband, and a wonderful job, and a wonderful life.

A wonderful life. I love knowing that I realize that.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Saint Patrick's Day is 89 Day's Away

Guess who is playing the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland on St. Paddy's Day?

One Guess?

Its THE SAW DOCTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!

About a month ago the date was posted and my sister Omega and I decided we had to go once it became a definite date. She even got a hotel room for us.

They went on sale December 2nd! I was not paying attention! I am so thrilled. I had hoped to see them once a year for the rest of my life or their performing career, which ever ends first.

Saint Patrick's Day! Am I insane!!!!

This is going to be some party.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


This is when this journal is so useful. I would never post this harsh post on my AOL blog. Never. I could not imagine the response I would get!! Ha!!!

I can not understand why some people go private and do not invite me to read their journal!! Me!! Sweet little of me who never hurt anyone or anything. ("I swear officer I didn't know that 45 was loaded).

Last year, one journal I read and faithfully commented (because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to) went private and locked me out. I sent and email asking "what's up" (paraphrasing) and was told that they thought I would not be interested in reading the journal. WTF?

She admitted me, and nothing was the same after that. Then she became public again, then private again and once again I was locked out, so I just figured she did not welcome me.

I see it happening all over AOL-J land. It is understandable with the Ad's and all the ruckus that followed that. The exodus, the migration to Blogger, Expatriate Land. Yet, most gave some warning. Some farewell, adieu, cheerio, auf wiedersehen, arrivederci, gesundheit.

It feels like a slammed door. With Bloglines you can read the final posts, even if that door is closed. At least some, "Exclusive Club" statement.

I sent an email and it was DELETED! Not even read. I guess I am hurt. And confused. I never should have written that Bad Bunnie post! No telling how many people I offended! Actually, I must have offended her long before that. What is also so astonishing is that I care! And I want an explanation. I would even accept that she feels I am not interested in her journal.

Several times in this wonderful online connection to the lives of others I have felt that we are acting like High School children. I am guilty of this also. I can't tell you how much I wanted to shoot off another email to this woman and use that unloaded 45....instead, I am here. I am about to move up to Junior Standing from the sophomoric detention class.

But not yet. Just let me have one punch!! Please!!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Where is my Paper?

Ever since moving up here to the Cold, White, Frozen Tundra of the North (new horror today,treacherous blowing snow) I made double certain that our little old local weekly paper would follow us. It arrives in our mail box around Tuesday, four days behind the issue date of the previous Thursday. (but, you can purchase it Wednesday evening after 7pm at Krogers..if I were still there).

I really look forward to it.

It is a cornucopia of vital information for those of us living away from our beloved small town and hungry for news of home. On the second page,known as the editorial page, under the letters to the Editor is a step back in time with the "From Our Files" section. Terse news clips from 10 years ago, 25 years ago and my new favorite, 40 years ago. I can now relive who attended the 12th birthday party of Tabby D. or who attended cotillion during holidays, which family is on a trip to Florida to visit an Aunt, who made deans list this fall semester at Transy U., and who is most recently admitted to the Elks Lodge. All this happened in 1965.

I love it.

I usually just get right to the meat of the matter and start at the back of the issue and find the police report. This is where all the action is to be found. Who was speeding, who was drinking and driving, who was threatening someone, who did not pay their child support and who was smoking pot driving through town. It is so delicious!!! So small town!

Just as interesting as who is doing what and getting caught is the crime report! The criminality usually revolves around throwing rocks at cars, and egging them, purses stolen out of cars at the Kroger parking lot, tractors stolen from barns and ditched, theft of fishing rods, passing funny money, and leaving the gas pump without paying.

A long list of who is suing who, who is divorcing who, who is marrying who, who is buying, who is selling and, how much they paid for it, and who is turning 50. The 50 information is usually accompanied with a photo of the birthday boy or gal as a young child and some sentimental poem....

Life is Iffy
Mike sure is Spiffy
By, Golly he is turning fifty!!

Love, Lorraine, Mama and Papa, Bubba and Irene,
Bufford and Little Bufford.

I realize it is very corny. And I am realizing it is Friday and I have not received my copy of last weeks "Woof-it Sun". Dang it!!

This is the issue with all the 2005 Christmas babies in it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Memories of Snow Falls Past

Weather report.

We are bracing ourselves for THE BIG ONE. If this is the Big One what was that last week? A pre-tuner? Larger than eight inches? Now I thoroughly understand the meaning of White Death.

Snow surrounds me. Everywhere I look there is the dullish blue white carpet of snow. It continues to fall occasionally in a lazy manner, like a drunken ballerina. Gentle flurries. If I did not have to drive in it, I would be smitten with its dazzling beauty.

The angelic beauty of the newly fallen snow takes me back to those of years long ago when I was in grammar school in the 1960's. It seemed to snow more back in those childhood memories. At the bedtime prayer we would bow our heads. We would pray fervently and with great passion for a severe snow storm. We would rise earlier than usual and sit at the breakfast table, ears glued and focused on the early morning radio talk show...Artie Kay... and continue with our prayers with fingers crossed. He would read off the list of school closings. Our county, which begins with the letter "W" was always at the end. The list would be agonizingly long and cause us to lose hope...then finally, when it seemed nature had turned her back on us, it would be announced, "No School"! We would run up the stairs and tumble back into bed and give thanks that God answered our prayers! I was always especially thankful, because I was known to not complete homework on the gamble of ice and snow.

A snow day was akin to an unexpected holiday. The whole neighborhood would come out dressed in their snow clothes. Make shift snow suits of double pants, mittens pinned to the coat, double layered sweaters and sweat shirts, knitted scarfs and hats, black rubber boots that had heavy buckles up the front.

We all had sleds back in those days! We would head towards the hill on Kilmer Drive which had a steep incline that extended a good block and landed you at the bottom where it connected with the busy cross street of Douglas Ave. The more bodies you piled on a sled, the faster you plummeted down the slope. We would sit behind each other and lock together. The last person would push until they got a good speed going then fling themselves on the back. The person up front had to steer not only with the ropes attached to the cross bar, but also with their feet!

Down the hill we would plunge, gaining speed at a reckless and break neck intensity, screaming and laughing as we hung on for dear life. The cross street, Douglas, would appear all too soon adding the element of danger to the excitement. It was necessary for the driver to maneuver towards one of the side yards to break the downward charge. If not, it was certain death and destruction to shoot out into the traffic of Douglas Ave.

It was not uncommon to dismount as the sled was moving at 60 mph (at least!!!) by flinging oneself off the out of control sled! Many a time the empty sled would shoot into traffic. My youngest brother Patrick, who was probably around four then, would not give it up and hung on as it crossed the street and plowed into the front porch of the house on the other side of Douglas! I vividly remember being alarmed thinking he could have been creamed and worse (!) what trouble the rest of us would be in. We more than likely beat him up a little for being so fool hardy. Hard to hurt a kid who has ten inches of clothes layered on them.

Those memories come back to me on days like today, with the snow beginning to fall and thoughts of slick hazardous roads play in my head. The above photo is from my High School Days. Nothing changed much from grammar school till then. I still prayed, I still did not complete my homework and I still ran to the nearest hillside with a sled. We still piled on and careened down snowy slopes!

Finding this picture, I thought it would be so much fun to gather the participants and see if we could still all fit on the sled? I, for one, know that if I were to jump on top of the pile (on Gayle), Howie (on bottom) would meet with instant death, not by treacherous cross street, but by the menacing memories of middle age.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


There was an accident this morning. The Christmas Tree fell over. It was awful! I thought I had done such a good job putting it up by myself. I noticed it was leaning a little toward the left, so I strung it up! Not good enough.

Seabiscuit was injured. I am going to have to put him down. It is so sad in so many ways! First, he was a great champion. A champion among champions! Second, I can not located a store in Ft. Wayne that has thoroughbred ornaments!

So I went to E-bay. I found what I was looking for and so much more! I went over the edge and bid on several Triple Crown winners. I will be happy if I win even one. I just hit the "buy now" button on the Seabiscuit replacement.

I could so easily become an E-Bay junkie. I love that web site. I have located the most obscure stuff there. For example, the Animal Orgy coffee cups. Long ago, in a far away land known as My Younger Self I had a bear cup from (then) Shillito's. I marveled that such a vulgar item would be available at a classy store! That only added to the charm. I always thought it amusing. I envisioned unsuspecting shoppers purchasing these cups and sitting at their middle class breakfast tables sipping coffee out of a cup painted with fornicating bears!

"Honey, I think these bears are....OH MY GOD!!!"

That was around 1980. I had that cup for a long time until one day, it was in an accident and the handle broke off. After that, I used it as a small planter for tiny Irish Shamrocks (aka, friendship plant).

One day, I realized it was gone. I have no idea if I tossed it out or it was just forgotten and left behind on one of my many kitchen window sills.

Every time I entered a flea market for 20 years, I looked for them. I poked through many highly dangerous and dusty booths of china, pottery and glass searching for those naughty bears.

E-Bay. One day this autumn, I thought I'd take a look! Next ting I know, I have four of those mugs from 1979! Not only the bears, but bunnies and elephants! I was ecstatic!

I also love STEALITBACK. I have discovered the jewelry. God Help Me. You would not believe the beautiful stuff they have and how cheap you can get it! Maybe I should not be telling you all about it.

Forget it, it does not exist!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tell me again why I stopped drinking coffee?


About a year ago, out of the blue I stopped consuming caffeine in the form of coffee and soda. There actually was not a reason, I just stopped. While in Mexico, I had to have something, so I had a cup here and there. It was delicious. Like liquid heaven.

There is something about coffee that is hard to communicate. It is one of those drugs that affects each individual in a different way. Making some nervous and for others it provides the zip needed to open the eyes in the morning and keep them open through out the day.There is something so comforting about wrapping your hands around a hot cup of java with the aroma tickling your nose making you sigh with anticipation. I have found myself at the counter of Panera two times this week ordering a medium coffee....and a cinnamon Crunch.

I have used the time sipping coffee to write out my Christmas Cards. I am not one to just sign my name (and Joe's) oh no, I must add several paragraphs about this and that, usually how much I miss them and hope to see them in the coming year. With the Java Juice flowing through my veins, I become very energetic which has added a very definate literary florish to many of the cards.

As I sat there I had an onslaught of turbo charged thoughts about possible journal topics. The tables at Panera were filled with people sharing coffee and companionship. Murmuring and muffled laughter. So low key. What was missing? Missing and Journal Topics. I hit upon my two favorites subject in one!

I miss Lexington so much. How many more times can I say that? I miss the familiar places. Have I mentioned that before? I had this one coffee shop on Broadway that I loved. I would sit in one of the window spots and endure the draft that always accompanied that particular table int he winter . What seperates this place from others (maybe not Starbucks, but I rarely go in there.....) is the intoxicating Classical Music that engulfs and wraps itself around the people, the coffee, the expereince.

I think my coffee abstinence is over.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I got a lot done today. All my Christmas cards are addressed. I made a pot of Beef soup. I had the kids next door scrape the five inches of snow off the drive way for a nominal fee. I bought the worlds easiest and best Christmas tree stand. And I bought a Christmas tree.

Now I suppose there are two types of people in this world. Those who prefer artificial trees and those who go for the much more adventurous Real Live Evergreen. We are masochists at heart.

As I tried to load the tree into the stand and was poked in the eye by one of the needles the fact about masochism was rammed home! It is quite the task to put one of those trees up by yourself. I was up for the challenge and thanks to the wonderful tree stand, it was a piece of cake once I got the tree centered on the "spike".

My tree runneth over with Christmas ornaments. I must limit myself to only one or two a year. As you get older, the amount of glass, plastic, painted wood, horses and angels becomes unbelievable. I love antique ornaments and find them easily in Goodwill and Salvation Army stores during the season. One of my favorites, old English Christmas painted ornaments, I found in a Flea Market for $3.00. Twelve of them in a beautiful box.

I live for those moments.

I recently began collecting horse racing ornaments. They are so beautiful. My MO is to wait until the day after Christmas and hit the Keeneland Gift shop and the Gift Shop at the Horse Park. Half price. I also purchase next years Christmas Cards at that time too.

I'm not certain how I am going to pull it off this year.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I was reading Unhinged (and trying to comment! I have been trying to comment without success to anyone on Blogger! Guess my eyes are very, very bad if I can't make out those stupid letters). She was telling us she hated LA. And I guess the rest of the that is how much she misses home.

I am only four hours from home, yet I know what she means. Here it is Christmas time and I can't shop! I really can't shop. I know where to go, there is a Mall and there is one of those new fangled outdoor type malls, with all the right stores. As a matter of fact, some of my favorite stores are represented there. Such as ULTA. Gosh, I love that place. Get to play with all the make-up before buying. Wish it were discounted, but you can't have it all. Barnes and Noble. Old Navy. What did we do before Old Navy?

But I had that all at home and so much more. I just knew where to go to get what I wanted. Its different here, I really have to hunt and search. I found this candy shop in town and went in to purchase a small box of chocolates for my best buddy Debbie in Florida. It's her birthday and I get tremendous pleasure from sending her a box of goodies each year! I go into this store and once inside I realize it is not what I thought it was. Yes, they did have boxes of chocolates, but you had to ask them to put a box together if you wanted their stuff. WTF. I commented to the lady how stange that seemed. I said that I frequented quite a few candy stores in Kentucky and how odd it seemed to have to ask for a box of their private brand. She said, "You haven't been here very long have you?" WTF. The she proceeds to tell me she knows the stores in Kentucky and they do not make their own. WTF. I have been in their kitchens!!!!!!! I have eaten enough bourbon balls to wind up in the bourbon ball hall of fame. I started to name names, Rebecca-Ruth, Old Kentucky Chocolates, Ruth Hunt, (to die for Blue Monday candy bar) and Schneiders (opera creams) in Newport. She did not say anything more to me other than, "$23.28"...I also got 1/4 pound of those luscious licorice assorts. (I love candy).

How many people will I offend it I say I hate this place. I hate it because it is not home. I know how unreasonable that is, how unreasonalbe I am being. But that is how I feel.

Today, I am behind a car driving the speed limit. Everyone here drives the speed limit! It drives me insane. While I was in Hell City I was told not to speed on the deserted desolate country roads, "they are everywhere" I was told. To hell with that. This is the flattest land outside of the desert and I am going to book it. It is like people are born with this innate gene that makes them drive slow....I mean the speed limit. It drives me crazy.

NASCAR was created in the South. We all have attended events at the drag strip. Hell, we all have taken a crack at the drag strip! We amuse ourselves on self made drag strips. I guess it is innate in Southerns to drive fast. For a variety of reasons. To outrun the cops, make it home before our parents, to arrive at the bootleggers before they close, to be at work on time.

Another thing that bugs the hell out of me, while I am on it, is how entire families go shopping together here. It's not like everyone is Amish and it is an event! I just got home from Walmart and it was a mad house. Families of five, six hell even families of eight were all shopping together and having a great time. I would never deny anyone a good time mind you. But at Walmart?

For God's Sake.