New Years Eve 2013...it's my second New Years Eve since Wingman died and I did something crazy. I went to New York City to see the ball drop in Times Square.
Probably not one of my more sane ideas. Still, I also have this other insane idea that when I die, instead if a dash between my birth and death year on my tombstone, I want there to be dotted lines and a few question marks to indicate the "WHAT WAS SHE THINKING???" moments. Like this one. It was the coldest New Year's Eve in…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 8:20am — No Comments
So the hoopla of Christmas is more or less over. As usual, it took a lot less time to open all the gifts than it took to buy and wrap them. And by the look of what they gave me, I would say that my family know me quite well: they were caffeine related from son #3 and wine related from #2. I got to speak through Skype with son #1 a couple of times this week. I saw granddaughter #1 from across the globe and held #2...even better gifts.
This wasn't my first Christmas without Wingman, but…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 8:19am — No Comments
"Good fences make good neighbors" wrote Robert Frost. Well, what do you do if you don't have a fence, and all the bushes on the perimeter have died because of the salt water? And what do you do if your bad next door neighbor happens to have children who are heroin addicts and are either dealing or buying from their house?
You get a puppy. One that will grow up to be a B-I-G dog.
I didn't start out with the intention of getting a watchdog. I just wanted a dog...any dog. A few…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:50am — No Comments
Although I've only been writing this blog for about five months, I sent out Christmas letters with my cards for more than 15 years. It began when I would talk to myself as I read the letters I would get from my more-accomplished-than-me family and friends. They recounted tales of their talented spouses who could build family rooms out of recycled toilet paper rolls, their children who volunteered tutoring orphans in advanced calculus while scoring perfect 1600's on their SAT's, and their…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:49am — No Comments
Two years ago, while working two jobs, I put up 14 Christmas Trees, two Christmas villages with over 40 houses, baked many dozens of cookies for friends, hosted a wedding reception for 80 guests eight days before Christmas and cooked a Christmas Day dinner for 30.
Last year, my only tree (next to my growing-up-twin-bed in the bedroom I occupied at my parent's home because of that "She Who Must Not Be Named" storm) was a Charlie Brown tree sitting on a shelf. No villages, no weddings,…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:47am — No Comments
There are few things that clearly define Thanksgiving for me.
There's football-particularly high school football. From the time I was young, there was always some cousin, brother or son playing somewhere. Games played on crisp autumn mornings with moms and cheerleaders wearing big pompom chrysanthemum corsages while turkeys roasted at home. The most popular members of the senior class being elected Homecoming King, Queen and their royal court. In the blink of an eye, I went from…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:42am — No Comments
So next week starts my favorite time of the year. Even though Thanksgiving isn't "my holiday" meaning I'm not hosting, cooking or decorating, it is the prelim for Christmas and all that is good about the shortest, coldest days of the year. Family. Friends. Carols. Cooking and Baking. Gifts for those I love. I've already got the new replacement decorations lined up for changing from the brown and orange fall decor to greens, silvers and golds. Let the fun begin.
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:39am — No Comments
I have a love/hate relationship with my phones. I admit it. And, of course, by "phones," I mean that one of them is a device that allows me to speak to and text friends and family, read and send emails instantly, and search the web for answers to any question that might pop into my mind. I don’t ever have to wait to get back to someone, while I check my Facebook and Pinterest pages or my blog stats on Blogspot. It’s all very convenient. Very efficient. Very cool. The other one just lets me…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:36am — No Comments
I am no different than every mother I know in what I've done-normal and not so normal-for my kids. Let's pass over the stomach stretch marks that look like the road map of Cleveland I got in three pregnancies, especially from son #2 who weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds, 12 ounces at birth. Forget the sagging breasts obtained nursing them. Disregard the facial wrinkles and gray hair from worrying over every illness from jaundice at birth, bronchitis, scarlet fever, allergies and pneumonia,…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:33am — No Comments
Last Saturday night, I held my first "dinner party" since Wingman died. I only invited a few relatives, friends and neighbors. The majority of my guest list was contractors, carpenters, painters and plumbers. Any and all of the people that helped put my house back together after Sandy. It was exactly one year ago that we started deconstructing the house, so it only seemed fitting that Saturday should be the day to celebrate the end.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about my storm…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:31am — No Comments
This certainly has been an eye-opening way to spend my birthday. While the celebration is over here in Asia where everyone in the house is sound asleep, according to my watch it's only 4:21 in the afternoon, still my birthday in New Jersey. I like this 37 hour day.
For the first time I'm having a difficult time finding a funny story to tell. Sure I can recount yesterday's bathroom adventure at the sheep farm (couldn't do the squatting over a hole in the floor-gimme a toilet…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:29am — No Comments
I think I need to get my eyes checked. Then again, my eyes may be fine-I've been known to be a bit clumsy all my life. But the fact remains that three times in the past year I've taken some real nasty spills tripping on cracks in the sidewalk or missing curbs.
The first happened at lunchtime in the company of my financial advisor. He brought me a new life insurance policy to sign so that my kids will be sure to say they love me when I die.
We were leaving the pizza place in the…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:19am — No Comments
Last week, there was a grand opening of a big-box shoe store the next town over, where a bankrupt book store once stood. You might expect someone with over 50 pairs of shoes, boots and sneakers to be clapping her hands and jumping up and down. Instead, I got tears in my eyes when I stood looking out to the highway at their new front door.
The store is on the same spot as the home I grew up in. The front door is dead-on with where the kitchen window use to be.
My house sat on a…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:17am — No Comments
You could say I'm a bad person because I never liked old people. My Italian grandparents died when I was young, and my Irish grandparents moved to Florida around the same time, so I never had that bonding experience helping them cross streets or whatever. When I had my catering business, they tried my patience in the wholesale food store by asking the cashier to do stupid things like weigh their oranges separately to see which ones were the heaviest. I swore every time one gray-haired old…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:14am — No Comments
To the nice uber-famous rock star I waited on last week who makes more money in 20 minutes than I do in a year, and who brought the jeans that he didn't want (size 32 x 32 neatly folded) out of the fitting room: THANK YOU.
To the women occupying the two rooms next to him with their obnoxious teenage sons, and who left no less than 27 button down shirts PLUS sweaters, tee shirts and pants (all unbuttoned and inside out) for the common shop girls to take care of for you: A POX ON YOU…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:12am — No Comments
Laura Linney is my favorite actress. Has been for years. When I was cast in a reading of "Love Letters" years ago, I was thrilled when someone said that I was just as good as she was in the role. If I could ever be an actress, I would use her as a role model.
And this week, I used her performance in "The Big C" for just that.
Last Thursday, I had my annual mammogram. Only thing was, I hadn't been in four years. I knew that in 2011 I put it off because I lost my job, had two…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:10am — No Comments
Last week, I out to dinner with an old friend and we discovered that we both know a short, roly-poly balding guy who is certainly no Tatum Channing in the looks department. My friend had worked with him, and Wingman had coached with him. Her observation about him was "That pig." He should rot in hell for the way he behaves." (He hit on her while being married to a nice, roly-poly woman.)
Funny thing is that I had the same experience with that guy and had wished for the same outcome…Continue
Added by barbstar54 on January 11, 2014 at 7:06am — No Comments
Little Anna Kay is 3 now. We see so much of Sharon Kay in here.
Two weeks ago I was at her house and she took my hand, insisting I come to her room.
She leapt up on her dresser and pointed to this picture,…Continue
A year ago when I was at the end of my first year of widowhood and on the threshold of my second I wrote the following words: “I acknowledge, now, that the second year of widowhood is not going to be sunny stroll on other side of a tunnel door that I had imagined. It’s not going to be a tar pit, either, holding me in place. It’s going to be a step by step climb as I rebuild my life and find me again---the woman who is sometimes wise, sometimes silly but…Continue