Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things That Go Bump in the Night

I reminisce about the sleep of my childhood. Those nights that began with such difficulty not wanting to end an adventurous action packed day. Tossing and turning punching the pillow creating day dreams that would ease into sleep, my boyfriend would be Sugarfoot or Dr. Kildare. They would be older but would see the potential blossom of sultriness that lay ahead.

Then the sleep of the dead.

I can't buy a night of uninterrupted sleep. Well, maybe I could, maybe I should.

Awake at 2am and then the worrying begins....

My parents

My daughter


Job situation



My husbands job situation ...........

Sleep returns in time but is once again interrupted around 4am and the worries and anxieties begin again.

Where are those "day dreams" that transfer to night dreams? I can't conjure up a one.

Where is Sugarfoot when you need him?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You Wanna Ramble

Ahhhh, another photo from the past. This is the brood (sans Omega, she must have been an infant at the time). What I have found the most interesting about these photo's is how I remember all these dresses! This was a white number, lace overlay, with scalloped edges and had tiny blue ribbons around the neck line. I loved it and at the time of this wearing, I was growing out of it! Look at those shoes, I loved them too. I was not allowed high heels and these flats were so cute. I believe I tried to die them pink and ruined them.

We were on vaca and were visiting relatives in NYC and area. This is taken in front of Grandma's house in the Bronx. It was a small house and I marvel that my Mom shared a room with her two sisters. They slept in the same bed. My Aunt M. says my Mom's feet were always in her face! When we spent the night we were allowed to "camp out" on the screened front porch. I remember vividly watching a black and white movie about a Mummy and being scared to death all night long.

Sweet memories.

We are on vaca for the next eight days. We are going to Cincinnati for a few days, catch a Red's game, visit the Aquarium, revisit all the old haunts on the Kentucky Side.

That is if I go. I have been spending a lot of time at Mom's house helping out, spending the night. This all has been brought on by my Aunt who lives very close by, falling and fracturing her pelvic bone. Mom is trying to take care of Dad and Auntie M. It is too much for her and us kids are trying to relieve some of the stress.

Bridget and I have taken her wedding dress to a consignment shop and they have given it the place of honor in the display window. I drove by the other day and the sun was causing the tiny jewels in the tulle skirt to sparkle. I teared up.

I have started to look for a job and had an interview the other day. He was a professional head hunter for this company. Wow. I was not prepared and as usual, was way too honest. But, practice will make perfect or at least help me realize that I have to get better at putting a spin on the truth.

I'm really thinking that I may not pursue another stressful job, but seek something totally different. Go in a different direction.

I died my hair ....again.... this time a less dramatic shade of dark brown. It looks great, (thank you Gayle). I was early for the interview and spent a few minutes in Barnes and Noble. Before heading off I stopped in the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror I thought, " look great!" Nice feeling.

Bought my first Moleskine journal. I went to several of the larger bookstores but they were not to be found! I finally located on at a small independent book store on Bardstown Road. It is now tucked in my purse and at ready.

My yard is a wreck. My house is a wreck. I borrowed my brothers car over the week-end and upon returning it my nephew took me home. I invited him in for the tour and as I was leading him around I saw the house through his eyes. My God!! I need to mow the lawn, even though we have had little rain, it has an unkempt look. But, the roses are in bloom and look stunning.

As I said, just a ramble.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Across the Milky Way..."

Sitting at Omega's kitchen table Sunday morning, a cup of java at near and a donut in the other hand leisurely reading the Lexington Herald Leader (love that paper) and coming across the printing of the top ten books of all time, submitted by us! the readers.

I shuddered at some of the books on the list. Yuck. But one mans Yuck is another favorite.

So here is my Yuck list.... (after number one, in no particular order)

1) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have read this book over and over and never tire of it. Wonderful read, wonderful story, wonderful characters and a life lesson that all on the face of the earth need to be reminded of every so often.

2) Prodigal Summer, Barbara Kingsolver. Made me want to return to school and study biology even though I was terrible at it the first two times...(sort of). Three stories intertwined in the same area of the Appalachian mountains.

3) The Magic Bus: An American Odyssey - Douglas Brinkley. Made me want to go out and discover America on a literary tour and write about it. Darn, already been done.

4) Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand. When I read this in High School I realized I had a brain if I could understand and enjoy a book of this scope and magnitude. It made me seek out thick books. The thicker the better.

5) Any Human Heart - Wm Boyd. This book was suggested to me by a friend I met at AOL-J-Land (who has since disappeared ) because it was a study in one mans life. Wonderful wonderful wonderful. I cried at the end for a long time.

6) The Story of Live Dolls - My all time favorite book as a child that I would check out of the library over and over and dream and wish and pray that my dolls would come to life.

7) Into the West - Berly Markham. A companion to Out of Africa only in the sense that both were written by women in Africa at the same time, seemingly in love with the same man, and knew each other. A absolutely stunning book. Prose at its best.

8) Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes. This book opened my eyes to the wonder genre of travel writing. I read it a long time ago, way before the movie. I looked forward to watching to movie on DVD and when I finally got my hands on it I could not go beyond the first 20 minutes as it was such a detour from the book. Anyway, I loved the book and it set me off on an insatiable quest to read all nonfiction travelogue books about Italy. Thank you Frances.

9) The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron. 500 pages that I could not put down! A sheer delight of a story, plot, characters, and story telling. I did not want this book to end even though I rushed through the final chapters to the conclusion of one of the best stories I have ever read!

10) Travels with Fortune - Christina Dodwell - This book began my love affair with all books African thus kicking open the door about a zillion African books. This lady, (English)when she was a tender 20 something (late 60's early 70's), went to Africa and boated down the Congo with another English girl. When her traveling buddy decided to return home and get married..Christina forged ahead on a horse named Fortune! She was alone with a tent and a horse! Unbelievable and wonderful.

I could never have a top ten list and not include Gone with the Wind, which I did. I love that book too, but have included most books I have recently read or totally impacted my reading habits.

Any one else got a top ten best book list?

P.S. - Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand -

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm not a Very Good Blogger Anymore

In preparing for the family reunion the other weekend I put together many photo albums bursting with pictures that spanned 10 decades. I ran across many snap shots that I had never seen before like the one above. It was one of a group of three shots. As I examined it searching for some hint of who the heck it could be the realization that it was my Dad's mother caused me to gasp out loud. She is the demure long haired nymph with the cap on the left. I flipped the photo over and sure enough, "Molly, 1920".

She is so lovely.

I've written about "Nana" before.

It seems I've written about everything "before". I am running out of stuff and my life is so boring right now there is nothing worth documenting on these pages.

I get up in the morning and every day seems like a Saturday. This whole summer seems like a Saturday that never ends! At first it was very cool and a lot of fun. Now I am in total alarm at how I have wiled away the summer and still, still have unpacked boxes in the garage.

I realize with a reluctant flash of self awareness, (because the Irish are impervious to analysis)(which always reminds me of the time a therapist told me I was one of the most totally "un-aware of self" personalities she had ever encountered...?), that I need to find a job so that my life resumes a type of sorely needed rhythm.

So, until I emerge from this fog, all I got are pictures of the past.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Circa 1970

I really shouldn't title this post "circa" because I know exactly it is July 1970. My two brothers are on their way to NYC (this use to be they way you boarded a plane!!) to meet up with my Auntie M. and then on their way to Europe for two weeks. One week in Paris, the second in London.

I was to go. I was invited.

I said, "No thanks, I'd rather spend this summer with my friends."

Do I remember a thing from my summer of 1970? Actually I do. It is the summer I went hog wild and ran with Susie. I spent the summer riding around in her black Bug, neither of us with a license. (hence my header, because I loved that Black Beetle and the adventures that went with it).....

Yet, I think I made a big mistake. Looking at this picture I envy those two kids who hold those memories of theatre in London and standing in front of the masterpieces of the Louvre. I wonder if my life would have been changed. I wonder if I would have developed a different perspective of the world. Would I have realized, that summer, that I lived in a small fish bowl and the world was a large ocean with possibilities that boggle my small town mind.

Instead, I insulated myself in the dramas of a 17 year old readying herself to be a senior in High School.

I missed out on the chance of a life time.

I traded it for a handful of memories and experiences that molded my life. It could have been a different set of experiences.

If I had to do it all over again (knowing what I know today) I would be in that picture with my brothers getting ready to board that plane. I would have been the one in a dress...a very short dress.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dial "M" for Mom

Last night my phone rang around 830pm. It was my daughter B. just wanting to talk. I knew this phone call would come sooner or later on Sunday, as the rent is due. And...blah blah blah, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

And it was in the middle of Big Brother. Now, I don't know if I love or hate Evil Dick. I think I love him. And I know that I think Eric is kind of squirrely but I guess you would have to be to go along with the crazy twist CBS thought up for this season to keep us watching. With all that being said, I use to hate Jen but now I feel like everyone in the house has a bee up their bonnet for her just because she is different. And kind of ....dare I say it...real.

Anyway, I am in the middle of BB and I tell Bridget I will call her back. The aggravation can wait.

I honestly thought she would call me back (as usual).

But she didn't.

Around 945pm the phone rings, I glance at caller ID, it's her.

"Hello" I say in the most drone voice I can muster, and immediately I felt bad knowing the kid is having a hard time and it's hard for her to ask me to help her out and answering the phone in that tone of voice would hurt her feelings.

There was a long hesitation on the other end and finally, "Hello...." A male voice...."I know this is going to sound crazy, but I am at the Magnolia Bar at 2nd and Magnolia, I went outside to smoke a cigarette and saw this phone in the middle of the road."

"It's my daughter's phone! I bet it flew off the top of her car!"

"So, I thought I would call and try and get it returned."

I said something like, "That is so kind of you."

He said, "I guess I could mail it to her, or someone could ...."

"Where are you again, 4th and Magnolia?"

"Second and Magnolia, at the Mag Bar."

"Would it be safe to leave it at the bar until I can get it tomorrow?"

He yells, "Hey Mike, can I leave this phone behind the bar until tomorrow?....he says sure, it will be okay."

"What is your name?"


"Ben, you are an angel. I don't know how to thank you enough."

"You're welcome. I was stationed in the Navy in San Diego and lost my phone. Some person found it and called my Mom in Louisville and mailed it to her. So, I saw this phone in the the road and thought....hell, it's time to pay it forward."

Like a dummy, I did not ask him for his last name nor phone number so Bridget could thank him.

She is going to go talk to Mike and see if she can connect with him that way.

And by the way......yes she did need to talk to me about an advance for her rent....I KNEW IT!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dear Anonymous

What happened to my veil of anonymity?

Isn't the Internet suppose to be so huge that you can be virtually lost forever in here?

One of my friends (hi Gayle!) told me that he husband thought I was taking big risks by revealing so much about myself on this blog.

I draw the line at totally blurting out my real name!!

MM, you are going to have to send me your e-mail address. Mine is in the "about me" section.

I remember you but I'm trying to remember who your close friends were (besides Doug), but I know that we attended the same parties hosted by Don Fawn (did I spell that right?) at Wildcat Bay during those endless summers of the mid-70's. (didn't every body?).

Friday, August 03, 2007


This is the week-end we have been anticipating for months. The big Family Reuion to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday (a month early, but who cares)(She calls it her Un-Birthday Party).

I have been pouring over family photographs to put together a montage for the event tomorrow. I think they came out fairly well. There were literally thousands and thousands of photo's to choose from. In addition to the two picture boards, we have assembled several photo albums.

A beautiful life expressed in pictures.

But, this gathering of relatives from far and wide is not without its share of difficulties.

My Aunt arrived a week early to "help out". It has been ..... there is not way to say anything delicate about the upheaval in my Mom's home since her arrival. Thank God, my brother from NYC also is in my parents home, so perhaps it is not as bad as it first appears.

Yet, there is plenty of drama. My Aunt is at the age where she holds nothing back when she has an opinion.

And she is very prone to throwing people under the bus.

Yesterday it was my turn, and when I arrived at the homestead to continue with the various odds and ends associated with getting a 2000 sq. foot house in order to receive 50+ relatives and friends, an eerie silence greeted me.

The Angel (Dad's care taker) was hanging laundry on the clothes line in the back yard. Immediately I knew something was afoot because she always will run to greet me. I entered the house from the garage and my Mother was sitting at the kitchen table in a trance like posture, going through "papers".

"Aunt M. is in the bedroom, she has been ill all night. Go see if she is alright."

"Okay, as soon as I haul in all this stuff."

"M. landed into "The Angel" this morning about the bathroom. She said that you said she should be cleaning it daily." (Ooooppppps, yes I did and I had purchased a very easy, light sponge mop that would make swabbing the deck several times a day simple and efficient....). "She was vicious in her attack on "The Angel". She said that with her nursing back ground, she should know how to clean a bathroom. "The Angel" has been crying all morning. She loves Aunt M. and has taken this very hard."


The day before I had about been asphyxiated throwing Clorox on the bathroom floor trying to rid the small area of the smell that accompanies my fathers infirmity. I thought I was going to die. My eyes were watering and I was breathing the fumes as I furiously scrubbed the tiles. I thought I was harming my lungs and worried about it rest of the day. (my family has a tremendously long history of horror stories involving lung mishaps). Then Joe reminded me of the time in Cancun after the hurricane when he dumped a bucket of bleach on his head thinking it was water. He assured me that if he could survive that I would survive my small (in comparison)brush with danger.

I hugged The Angel and just mumbled that I heard her heart had been broken. "She's old" is all she said as she entered the house.

Anyway, things shifted yesterday for The Angel. More about her at another time.

When she left for the day, Aunt M emerged from the bed room feeling much better and she and I began to go through the multitude of photographs and she seemed happy. She tried to engage me in conversation about The Angel and what had transpired that morning.....I just blew it off. I will have to mend the bridges with The Angel next week.

But, the truth is the truth. That bathroom needs to be cleaned several times a day!

Today is Bridget's birthday and I have offered to buy her a new outfit for the party tomorrow. So far, she has not called me yet to commence shopping. How unlike her!!

Family arriving to the Louisville airport all day long!

Party Alert Tonight.