Posted in 1950s, Baby boomers

Black Shoes

Nice post from a new blogger. My “black shoes” was a vinyl lunch box that mom made me carry to junior high every day, even though it was totally out of fashion. Most kids bought their lunch at the cafeteria (something we were too poor to do) or at least carried a sack lunch – but no *cringe* vinyl lunch box!

Myra Jean

I never considered myself a popular kid in school. I blame this on the black shoes. They were boys shoes, clunky and black.  I was diagnosed with flat feet. In the 50’s that would keep you out of the military as a man and as a woman, it would make it hard on me to carry all the weight of pregnancy. It wshoesas considered a pretty serious problem.  My mother hauled me off to the podiatrist, who recommended exercises and orthotics. I faithfully did my exercises everyday – 20 toe raises and 20 foot curls. Looking down afterwards I would notice that they were still flat.
My mother wanted me to have sturdy shoes. I played hard and she wanted these shoes to last. I wanted the black & white oxfords. She headed for the boys shoes. “These,” she said, and pointed at the black boys shoes. No matter…

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Posted in humor

They left Jim bleeding on the floor …

… two years ago and I just discovered him two nights ago.

I’m a junkie, no denying it. I will eat every M&M in the bowl, every ice cream bar in the fridge, and every peach on the tree, if left to my own will. I’ve recently discovered I can binge on TV, as well.

Continue reading “They left Jim bleeding on the floor …”

Posted in this&that

Watch me bleed and bang my head against the wall

Here I am, with all the ugly parts and all the funny parts combined. I’ve managed to (sloppily) merge all three of my blogs and realize they should all have been one to begin with. My health, the move to Italy, and the silliness are all parts of me, so why shouldn’t they all be in one blog?

That said, I’ll be bleeding about diabetes, depression, my A1C, and my efforts to get it all under control so I can leave for Italy taking no meds, or at least many fewer. I hesitated to discuss my depression on this blog, because I thought everyone expected me to just be funny. And, I am. Just not all the time.

I’m clinically depressed and struggle with it every day. Now it’s here and out in the open and will likely rear its ugly head again on these pages. I’m also going to be bleeding about my efforts to get in better shape…I think I hear the gym calling me.

The move to Italy is exciting, scary and will cause me to bang my head against the wall. The paperwork involved in getting my citizenship is a nightmare. I’m also busy disposing of everything we own so we can move with just two suitcases and passports in hand.

All this by July to October of 2015. I’m a planner by nature and (formerly) by profession, but this has me completely freaked out!

*breathe* *breathe*

Posted in this&that

Starting again: “veggies, laces, sugar and blues” joins “In other words”

I’ve been trying to figure out how to merge my three blogs into one because it’s too much to keep up with trying to handle all three. I’m old. I can barely count to three! Alas, I’m not having much success, so I’ve decided to try some old fashioned cut and paste. Much easier, if a little awkward.

So, here’s the paste from a blog I started some time ago to track getting back into shape. Kind of a long “post,” but since I’m the only one likely to care that it’s here, I’ll leave it just as is.

Next, to incorporate my newest blog, which never really got off the ground – all about my impending move to Italy.

Posted in humor, Italy

La sua testa era completamente calva.*

We’ve been taking Italian lessons over the past couple of years, with the intent to throw some of it against the wall when we arrive in Italy and hope that it sticks. As part of that fantasy, I receive a daily “Italian flashcard” via email, which kindly gives me a useful Italian sentence, its pronunciation and meaning. I don’t always find time to learn a new sentence each day, but I keep them all knowing that someday my free time will catch up to me and I can study them all. Continue reading “La sua testa era completamente calva.*”

Posted in life, observations

20 life lessons from a 65-year-old

Eat your broccoli.

Don’t bother to stop and smell the supermarket roses.

Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor what you think.

Give your cat anything he wants because he’ll just pester you until he gets it anyway.

Start Kegels and sit-ups when you’re ten and keep doing them until you die.

Marry someone who makes you laugh.

Read, then read more.

When times get tough, dance furiously.

Don’t listen to what people say about you.

Merry-go-rounds are for grownups. Swings, too.

Wear sunscreen even when you’re not at the beach.

Liver tastes gross for a reason.

Be generous.

Sleep as much as you want. Play even more.

Build a fort.

Fort or castle. Blankets or boards. Don't let anyone tell you what it should look like. (This one is from Apartment
Fort or castle. Blankets or boards. Don’t let anyone tell you what it should look like. This cool fort is from Apartment

Good people sometimes die young for no good reason.

Some things are more important than having a boyfriend.

Not everyone likes bossy people.

Even mosquitos and spiders are here for a reason.

Make your life plans flexible.

Posted in humor, life, musings

Me and the cuke

Let me disclose this first thing: I don’t like cucumbers; they don’t like me.

Two nights ago my doorbell rang – at a reasonable hour, but we hardly ever have anyone ring our doorbell or even come onto our porch. The doorbell rang a second time and after exchanging surprised looks with my husband, I answered it. I expected door-to-door Bible thumpers who wanted to convert me, or at least a couple of guys farmed out by their company (always a cable/internet provider) to drum up business on the block. These are the only people who come to our door. But, people like this ring the doorbell and stay politely behind the closed screen door.

Check out Judy T's cool blog, "My Freezer is Full - An Iowa farm girl getting back to the farm," home to this sad little cucumber
Check out Judy T’s cool blog, “My Freezer is Full – An Iowa farm girl getting back to the farm,” home to this sad little cucumber.

Imagine my shock when I opened the door and a very nice woman, holding the screen door open, shoved a huge cucumber in my face and asked, “Do you want a cucumber?” I hesitated only slightly, said “sure” and took the cucumber. She smiled and quickly left the porch.I closed the door and held the cucumber up for my husband to see. “You don’t even like cucumbers,” was all he said before returning to his book, leaving the cuke and me alone. I held the big ugly thing for several minutes, wondering what had just happened. I tend to be the kind of person who questions most everything, and so it was that I found myself staring at it, trying to wrap my head around this mystery gift.

I’ve spent odd moments since wondering if there was a message for me in that cucumber (which, by the way, left the house the next morning for a new home on the “take it” table in my husband’s office kitchen). Was it telling me I should be more accepting of gifts from others? Or, that cucumbers can be gifts, too? That the cucumber-bearer just had the wrong house? Or, maybe, never to answer my doorbell? To lighten up a bit and stop looking for ulterior motives and meaning in everything, especially cucumbers? Or, was it a sign that aliens now lurk outside my windows, under the Buddleia and lilac?

And, after all this stewing, here I sit. I still don’t know. Maybe it was just a sign that I should let my husband answer the door from now on.

Posted in family, humor

Lemon cucumbers, squirrels and water guns

Looks like my sister arrived at her remote destination in Wyoming . . .

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 7:58 PM, Mary to me:

Hey, wanted to let you know that I have internet access from this place, but  not cell coverage.  I’ll check it a couple of times a day and when I’m out and about, check my cell phone just in case you need me!

Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 10:53 AM, me to Mary:

You may have internet access but it is waaaaaaaaaaaay slow getting out of there. I just got this. I tried your cell phone this morning . . . where is the dust pan? Laundry detergent? I’m about to go buy them.

Lemon cucumbers. Good for target practice. Look pretty in a basket. That’s about it. Image from

Everything here is fine. Tahlia follows me everywhere and sleeps with me. I brush her daily and she says to tell you she doesn’t miss you. Don either. Carmine is like Max. He talks to me and flops over until I pet him. Then he gets up, moves and waits until I go to him and pet him some more. Then he moves and waits for me to go to him again. I’ve seen every square inch of your house. The Zack is a bit more stand-offish but is being really good about his medicine. By the way, they both say they don’t miss you and that you shouldn’t bother to come home. They like all the extra treats I give them and Zackie especially likes the fresh ahi I buy him every day!

The garden is doing well. I am using the cucumbers as targets for the water gun. I have cut down the lavender and the crepe myrtle. (Did I tell you I hate crepe myrtle, too? Why does everyone in the Sacramento Valley plant crepe myrtle??) I’m making friends with the squirrels. They let me know their feeders are empty by banging the wooden lids at 5 am. So cute. Not. I am going to use the back fence they run along as an arcade. You know, “run, run, run, duck!” I am filling the water gun now and will be ready at 5 tomorrow morning.

Precious little buggers! They are an institution in Sacramento. Lots of trees equal lots of cute squirrels. Image from animalcontrolsacramento

I am not laying by the pool. I am not reading. I am not sleeping. I am not watching TV. I am not having fun. And, I am not seeing my friends. There is too much work to be done. I can’t find anything. I don’t miss my husband think I will go home.*

Please have fun. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be here watering, feeding cats, taking out trash, looking for cotton balls, breaking fingernails, calling you names, singing camp songs to the walls, deleting programs from your computer, drinking all your wine, draining the pool (since I don’t have time to use it), driving your car to a mall and leaving it with the doors open and a sign on it that says “strip me, please” (by, the way, what’s the worst section of town these days?), and selling all your stuff on eBay for $.99.

Your sister

Bring it! Image from

PS. Send chocolate

*The last person who house sat for my sister for two weeks called her about three days in and said she missed her husband too much and was going home. Personally, I think the unreasonable work load and the cucumbers drove her away.

Posted in people

Olivia and Lucy on their way to see the Queen

Fast forward through this until she gets to the stage, and then enjoy! She’s apparently auditioning for the opportunity to perform for the Queen of England. What a hoooooot! I say, “Go Olivia!”

Posted in friends, humor, people

Fourth of July and crazy friends, mostly about crazy friends

Image from

First of all, let me do a little flag waving for the Fourth of July! It’s a holiday to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the British. According to Wikipedia “Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.” What they failed to mention over-consumption of beer, an increase in drunk driving and domestic violence, and shooting guns into the air without regard as to where the bullets land. Ah, independence! And, forgive the snarkiness, it’s just that the older I get the less tolerance I have for stupid people! That said, Happy 4th of July, fellow Americans! (We do have some rockin’ good fireworks!)

Secondly, let me share with you an email I received this morning from a friend you’ve heard about here before: Ginah, the Coach princess. I will be spending about three weeks house sitting for my sister in Sacramento, this summer. She’s the tomato witch, and also has three great cats and a pool, which I’ll need given Sacramento’s intensely hot summers.

Did someone say coach? Image from

Anyway, my former employer, where I worked with Ginah and my other diva friend, Janna the shoe princess, asked me to write a procedures manual for a client while I’m down there this summer. I’m thrilled because they love me, they still really love me! That, and I’ll earn a few bucks while hanging out at the pool, and writing while getting paid is always very cool! Also, Ginah will “supervise” the project which I take to mean she’ll be hanging around the pool with me.

For some peculiar reason they have to hire me as an instructor so I turned in my instructor application and will now have a phone interview with someone down there, someone I don’t know. So, here’s where Ginah comes in. She emailed me the following this morning.

So it looks like Robin has everything she needs.  She is going to schedule an interview per our policy but it will be via phone or Skype if you can do that.  Of course I cannot interview you but I did want to pass the interview questions on to you — even though I am not supposed to — so you can prepare.  Here they are:

1. Which is smarter, the cat or the dog? (And if you answer cat, you are wrong.)

2. Rank these luxury handbags in order of most expensive to least expensive:  Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Hermes Birkin. (I can provide a visual sample if you need it.)

3. Name all Kardashian children in order from oldest to youngest.  (Hint: they all start with a “K” except for the boy.)

“A Kardashian Khristmas” (no kidding) image from

4. Since the project is writing a procedures manual, are you capable of writing a Cliffs Notes version of what you write … and a Cliffs Notes of the Cliffs Notes … perhaps a wallet size cheat sheet?  Some people don’t like to read.

 Good luck.  I am looking forward to bossing you around on this project. 

My response:

Well. I see that you finally got out of bed. Unfortunately, you seem to have left your brains behind.

Image from Psychology Today but don’t bother to read the article. Its conclusions are incorrect.

Dog? Really?? Everyone except you and your spoiled dog knows cats are smarter. Everyone, but everyone, also knows the Kardashian kids’ names (easy peasy, you can’t escape them). With you as a friend, of course I know which purse is “better” but I will have to will assume that you buy only the most expensive of anything and go with Coach. We will address your anathema of reading when I see you. (How can I possibly have a friend who doesn’t like to read??)

Thank you so much for the questions in advance. I promise to tell everyone I know that you shared them! (At least I’m going to post them on my blog. I have only about a hundred followers — low by WP standards — in five countries, so that shouldn’t spread too fast.)

PS. I will be the most obnoxious, lazy, whiny, cat-loving, obtuse employee you ever had. I promise to make your life hell.

We’re going to have a good time with this, I can tell!