Friday, January 29, 2010

It's here.

The ice arrived around 6:15am....actually it arrived earlier in the night....but I knew it was here when our home phone rung.

My hub works for the state and when they shut down departments/agencies/offices....a robo caller phones us to say basically....wake up so I can tell you to go back to sleep because you have the day off because of bad weather.

That's what happened this morning.... except I left the portable phone somewhere down the hall ....which meant hub heard the phone out of bed and starting wandering around and muttering things....probably about me not putting the phone back in the cradle. The robo caller is not very patient and within another minute his cell starting ringing. He got back in bed....but then the cell phone rang again and again and different employees wanted to clarify how to proceed. By the 5th call....I just groaned to him..."Do you want to make coffee or should I?"

As we sipped our coffee, the next problem confronted us. I knew this storm was coming and like any good Southerner....I went to the store to stock up on milk and bread.

Stocking up on milk and bread is a Southern tradition and I give the routine a Midwestern spin by including cookie dough and cereal.

God forbid we should run out of Raisin Bran cause if there is one thing you do have time to do on an ice storm's poop.

But obviously I had forgotten something......I tried to ignore her....but that wasn't going to work.

Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow.

Oh there was dry cat food......but we were all out of canned cat food....and the obligatory life-sustaining lump of salmon pate did not arrive in kitty's bowl this morning.

Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow.

I read the newspaper on line, I opened the mail, but as soon as kitty saw me.....she let me have it.

Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow.

Finally at noon, when the sleet stopped ( the pellets of ice made a sizzling bacon frying in pan), I declared I would drive to grocery store a couple miles away and get some cat food.

In one second, the men folks were all lined up and ready to leave too. Wait...Wait...I'm just going for cat food....I protested.

But the men folks declared they had been cooped up all day ( which means about 4 hours) and needed air.

So we all drove down to the store....where I bought 14 cans of canned cat food and decided I was dangerously low on chocolate.

After a warm cozy lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.....the men folks retreated to various nooks in the house while I became glued to the season's ending of Storm Chasers on the Weather Channel. Will the tornado chasers have an "intervention" with a tornado allowing them to film the funnel cloud as they pass through it...or will they have to wait for another season?

Oh the drama .....and I couldn't turn away.....2 hours later.....the answer was clear. They sort of got what they needed....but not enough..... so by golly they will have to film another series next year.

All this ambivalent goal achievement allowed me to wander off.....without purpose. I did a little of this and a little of that.....and time flew by and I'm not sure what I really accomplished....outside of giving the Raisin Bran a quiet day to work in my intestines.

Tomorrow though... will bring new challenges ... ...

it's snowing now....and an ice and snow combo will cause most of us Southerners to feel so faint ....only an intravenous infusion of milk and bread could revive us.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Lamp. Sofa. Two pink towels hung nicely over the towel bar. Decorative potted daisy.

That's all that's left.

I'm in my parent's house in Chicago completing the final clean up.
Tomorrow the appraiser will come and we'll know if the price is set
right for the sale of the house to proceed.

I can't believe that a year ago my parent's were alive and
their house was full of their things.

Two weeks from now my father would have a massive stroke and my mother would slip into heart failure.

In two months they would be dead and ultimately their only child would be left sitting on an old sofa in an almost empty house a year later.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crunch time

I'm sitting here being crunchy.

My parent's house which I am selling in Chicago is supposed to close next Friday.

Supposed to....

I know the real estate crunchy too....we've all read at least 1085 stories about the problems of the market...but I was kinda hoping my process would go smoothly.

I'm supposed to leave Saturday to empty the house...but when I emailed the agent yesterday and asked her if the appraisal has come in (if it doesn't match the selling price ...the deal/contract is mostly like doomed)....she didn't return my email till midnight. Each hour that passed by made me more and more certain something was wrong.

Ah....and so at 12:25 am (why is my agent answering my 8:30am email at this hour?) I discover the appraisal has not been done on the house.

Unless there's some magic in the universe....I'm thinking there's no way the house can close next week and now I'm uncertain if we even have a deal since the sellers seem very slow/apathetic/disorganized for a group of people who wanted to move into the house in 7 days.

I mean....shouldn't they be on pins and needles too...hoping this document clears the way for the loan to go through??? Shouldn't they have been bugging their agent about the process?

I am just minutes away from becoming a raving raging BITCH....I've got to calm down....if I tear into the agent when she returns my call ...(and she better call soon)....all I'm going to do is make the situation sticky with my anger.

I've been trying to think least neutral...... I 've pulled up my secret Jiminy Cricket this always makes you feel better song.......I listen.........I smile.....I recieve 10 minutes of positive vibes and then like the tide...I feel the grrrrrrrrrrrrr just rising in me.

I know eventually things will work out...but I want this specific eventually to happen next Friday or possibly the next Friday.

That's when I want my eventually.....unfortunately I've got to wait and listen to when the Universe wants that eventually to arrive....

Universe....could we do some negogiating?????

In case anyone else feels CRUNCHY.....I proffer my Jiminy Cricket to you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lost Pictures from my Iphone: Road pictures

The Angry Truck

I drove behind this truck for a couple of hours on the interstate....just cringing. This guy is hauling one unhappy load.

Interesting Memorial

Stuck on the interstate in Illinois due to construction, I eventually rolled up to this car. It's certainly a unique way to claim your grief.
Mullets still rule....

Winner of the 2000 Iowa Truck Driving still proud of his reward...and he should be....but I''m thinking maybe it's time to lose the mullet.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lost pictures from my Iphone: Remembering my Dad

It's raining outside and very quiet in my house.

I've been sitting at the kitchen table for the last couple of hours sorting through a bag of bills and papers I found in my parent's house. The receipts will allow me to complete, as best I can, their final tax returns.

I can see the changes in my mother's handwriting over the last two years when I scan the bills. Her notations and ledgers move from shaky to almost illegible. My dad remains my dad....he wrote little notes to himself on the and check on this and talk to Bob about this bill.

I recovered a few pics on my IPhone from a night when my dad was taken by ambulance from the nursing home to the ER with pneumonia. I can still remember the quietness and the emptiness of that ER holding room.

With the exception of the hissing sound from the oxygen mask my dad was wearing....there was a surreal stillness in the room. It was 3am and my dad had finally fallen asleep under some warm blankets I swiped from the nursing station. I sat in an uncomfortable plastic chair....tired but on guard...waiting for the doctor.

The room felt like a sleeping dragon....capable of rising up and bringing great disaster....but there was also a sticky kind of sadness in the room seemed tired and weary but oddly vigilant.

My pics from that night:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lost pictures from my Iphone: Interesting signs

Forget those tall skinny least this hotel in Iowa, where I was staying, was happy to welcome not only round people, but round dancers.

Perfect drug ad sign in Mexico.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lost pictures off my Iphone: NYC

I took this picture at the Main Library. Was just a chance shot but I've always liked it. The silhouette of the cameraman....the bride and groom in the alcove posing.

I have no idea....why these white-faced lantern jockeys were adorning these steps. Each was unique and they led to an apartment on the Upper East Side. Notice all their lanterns were removed.

"Taste it once, Love it Forever"...a classic pick-up line?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lost pictures off my Iphone: The Scary doll set

What's more scary?

How many dolls they have to sell?... OR ...The price on the Hillary doll?

And what could they be made of??....if they can make them in China ....transport them here....and still make a profit on the 3 buck price tag?????

The truck was parked in an alley in downtown Chicago.
I walked past it...and actually yelped. She was evil.
A doll whose face had been blackened....tied to a truck....with "help me" written in ink on her arm.
And yes....there's a straw coming out of her forehead.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I killed my iphone

I left my iPhone in my car for a day and a half.

The temp dipped to single digits at night and barely crawled to 20 during the day.

My phone's battery did a swan dive.

The thin red line indicating no power will not budge despite a day of charging.

Of course, my extended warranty contract ended two weeks ago.

Of course.

Looks like I'm headed to the store to purchase a new iPhone.

Prepping for the new phone , I transferred all my pics to my PC and discovered some lost pictures.

Decided for the next few days, I'll just post pictures and a bit o' commentary.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

A wedding.

My daughter is engaged and I'm not even hyperventilating ....yet.

She called us up and told us the news and I threw her some offers... grandmother's dress? her diamonds? destination wedding? home wedding?

But then I stopped suggesting.

My formal wedding was completely mom-planned. She didn't want my input and since we were flying in long distance from California...there wasn't much I could do about it. Hub and I showed up on the appointed day and hour and played our parts.

I decided the first gift I would give my daughter was to keep quiet and just be supportive.

It's their big day....whether they want a small wedding...big wedding...exotic wedding or a wedding in Vegas with Elvis's their choice.

Tomorrow I'll call her and check-on things.

Let them have fun..planning and deciding. The checkbook will be ready when they are.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

In just a day.....

I felt like a kid....smiling ear to ear...eager and ready to jump out of the car and onto the little strange piece of Long Island ....where the waves makes me happy.

It is not a logical thing...and I know it.

I pushed the car seat back....and prepared myself for the cold encounter. Zip up vest, wrap scarf around neck and face, tug hat down over ears and pull on leather gloves. There ....I was ready.

But where was my beach??? the sprawling beach of lot #5???????? Where did it go?

There was so little sand and so much water....It must be some type of winter tide effect because in the summer...not only are hundreds of people sunning themselves but there's a natural walkway next to the ocean where folks stroll up and down getting their toes kissed by the longest reach of the waves. Where did it go?

Well my glorious little haven was just that......little....but it was still beautiful...and even though I told myself not to bring back more shells...more pockets soon bulged with booty.

And then I noticed my cheeks felt like fire and my fingertips were numb even with gloves on........there must be something I can do.....I couldn't leave this soon........and then I had an idea.

I would sit down and curl up under one of the hollowed out sand dunes...the ones shaped like gentle c's and see if snuggling down in half a sand igloo would protect me. I found a perfect dune.....and immediately I was out of the wind and warmed by the fact...the winter sun was shining at such a perfect angle to the dune... the sand radiated heat....and I found myself toasty.

I sat and just listened to the waves...I realized there was a distinct pattern to the sound.....a deep rumbling sound as the waves crashed on the sand bar about 30 feet from the beach and then a gentle splish spash as the lesser waves hit the beach.

Whoosh- splash-whoosh-splash...whoosh-splash....what pattern was this?

I laughed...of was like the LUB-dub....LUB-dub....the classic sound of a heartbeat.

The lub thunderous ....the dub softer.

Maybe it's the heartbeat I recognize on this shore....maybe it's this rhythm which pulls me each time I'm near Long Island to find this stretch of sand.....maybe my own heart revels in finding a pattern it knows....just as people revel to find their soul mates.

But this was enough analysis....and in a few minutes I became sleepy and relaxed deeper into the sand. I watched seagulls drift on the current.....and little killdeer run on the sand.....and occasionally...lovers...companions....walk briskly hand and hand on the thin strip of beach.

Eventually the angle of the sun changed.....and I knew I had to leave....I had a few errands to run....things to pack....things to ready so I could fly home today.

I stood up and reluctantly brushed the sand from every crevice in my jeans and jacket and hood.

Such craziness to lose your heart to a spot on a congested island.

I stood for a few more minutes.....and said goodbye to my beach.....and visualized how it would look in summer.....and that is the image I took home with me.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Headed for the beach.....

Well I'm on Long Island...the sun is shining....and my little patch of beach is calling....Robert Moses....Lot #5.

It's not exactly swimming weather.....I believe its 27 degrees...LOL>>>>but hey the sand is still there.....and I wonder if that sweet section of beach sings the same wonderful song even in the winter.

Guess I'll find out soon.....

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sunday night

It is already Sunday night....and I'm far from New York....near Boston preparing for a religious ceremony tomorrow.

It was a hard drive here from New York....snow blowing across the road.....several cars had spun out on patches of ice......and some major roads were slow going because of slushy snow. By the time I arrived at the nerves should have been stored in a jar of bourbon for the I was tense and restless and anxious.

I'm worried I have become a southern driver.....we only tackle this sort of thing for 24-72 hours each the long drive filled my quota and beyond. Worse my friend Krista texted me that there was bad weather up in Syracuse and when I roused my laptop.... I could see via radar things didn't look good. I texted my hub and talked to some friends over dinner.....everyone encouraging me not to take a chance....especially in the tin bucket of a rental car I'm driving.

Reluctantly....I agreed....and so tomorrow....I'll turn south....get on a ferry and head into Long Island. Hopefully Southwest Airlines will be good to me and let me change the date of my flight so I can go home without making my credit card sigh.

My last days in NYC were both fun and day the weather was so pleasant hub and I strolled through Central Park and sat on a bench for a hour......people and dog watching.
In NYC, the dogs are just as interesting as Great Danes to small scruffy "Toto" type dogs saunter by in an array of hats and wraps and jaunty walks.

But as weather friendly as the 1st of January was...the next day... was icy and cold with a wind that made you understand all those weather "bitter cold"...."the wind went right through me"......"the cold felt like a knife." I could barely walk to dinner ....which was only about 4 blocks away .......without moaning and gasping when each blast of wind hit me.

This morning my hub headed home....and I headed out happy and optimistic till I hit the middle of Connecticut and the roads disappeared under waves of snow blown across the road.

But I am warm and safe and very tired and will be up at dawn to meditate and think.

For the first time I will use a mikveh....a pool of water....from a natural immerse in. This will complete my conversion and I will also use the waters to symbolically release myself from hurts I carry ...such as the death of my parents.

But now time to catch a few winks.....