Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Would YOU Do?

"Everyone lock your doors and turn on your outside lights.  Now!"

The other eve, DH and I were sitting, staring at our respective gadgets when I happened on that alert from our community's NextDoor electronic 'bulletin board.'

Shortly thereafter, we heard the unmistakable 
whup-whup-whup of a police chopper overhead, its searchlights casting crazy, erratic beams across our yard.

Turns out, there was a home invasion just a few streets away.  One in custody, two at large.

(At the time, I didn't realize - not that far away, little more than a week before - two elderly women were brutally murdered as they sat at the breakfast table enjoying coffee and the morning newspaper.) 

DH and I simply exchanged looks.  Without being prompted, I went to the bedroom to retrieve my petite revolver ... then sat with it my lap, trying to contain my imagination.

This sort of stuff isn't supposed to happen in our neighborhood: Decidedly middle class ...  50 shades of brown, sprung up from barren cotton fields little more than a decade ago.  

I had to ask myself -- were someone to force entry, would I have the wherewithal to pull the trigger?  

You see, years ago ... in a fugue state of insanity (lol) ... I co-habitated with a retired member of the NYPD.   One eve we were goofing off and he challenged my reflexes.  
Foolishly, I replied, "You're on!"
Well, before I knew it, the handgun I'd been wielding was in HIS hands, aimed squarely at my chest.
I'm embarrassed to admit, it's been more than a decade since I've actually fired my gun.  At the time, I thought it prudent to be legal and signed up for Tampa P.D.'s concealed weapons class ... which, somewhat surprisingly, placed an enormous emphasis on the psychological ramifications of discharging a weapon.  

Friend Diana recently asked, "You don't really think you'd shoot someone now, would you?"
...  I had to bite my tongue.
I may not know much, but I believe no-one has any business owning a hand-gun if they're not prepared to use it. 

Except, I'm not sure of my own ability anymore.  
Perhaps a can of wasp spray is better suited? 
... or a magenta-colored taser, like one of my favorite authors carries?

For the better part of my childhood, I saw my father carry a sidearm.  It was merely a tool; something to be respected.  There was no mystery to my friends and me ... no particular attraction.

Today?  Where did we, as a society, go wrong?
I've no answers, but God help us, I hope someone comes forward with a viable solution for all concerned.

Have a great week ... and keep safe, OK?

Hugs from Phoenix,

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Random Hodgepodge-ery!

So, Joyce asks ... and we respond.  How easy is thaaaat?!
Won't you join the party?

February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day.  It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related.  Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell me about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th?  Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

Does accidentally over-tipping count?
(No, I didn't think so.)

Personally, I like discovering reasons to extend an unexpected, sincere compliment.

While I love the idea -- and I hope it gains momentum -- I don't plan to do anything special one day out of 365 366.

What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now?  You may have to dig deep for this one.

I don't have to dig any deeper than my computer monitor!
Y'all have set the bar pretty high with your positivity, your empathy and encouragement.

(Bet-cha thought I was going to say something about Making America Great Again, didn't you?  Ha!)

Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreos ... your favorite food the color of night?  Your least favorite on the list?

Yea for black olives! 
I used to filch them right out of the can when my parents' backs were turned!

Black grapes?  
No thanks ... I'll wait until they grow up and become Cabernet.

A while back I read a list of twelve things you should do before you turn 50:
Travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, spend time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arrives.

What do you think of the list?  What would you add or remove, and why?  If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all?

Who makes up these lists anyway? :)

Overall, I think most of his/her suggestions are sound ... but I've issues with a couple:

Worrying doesn't solve anything.  I agree.  BUT, I don't believe it's something you can turn on/off like a kitchen faucet.

Stop caring what others think about you?
Call me old fashioned, but I think there's lots of folks who could benefit from seeing themselves through the eyes of others.  You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression.

If you're over 50, have you done all 12?

Obviously, it's too late to begin taking better care of my skin.  Still, there's a couple items on this list I enjoyed ... with abandon.

What's on the list that you haven't done, but would like to do?

I'm doing my darnedest to work less!

Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

The Other Side of the Mountain
... talk about a terrific story of overcoming!

When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it?

Unless you're a drama queen, is there any worse feeling in the world?

When DH first grew ill, I didn't know which way to turn.
There was little TO do, but pray.

Share a favorite proverb.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3.5

Insert your own random thought here.

See this innocent face?

Imagine for a moment ...
 It's 4:15. Except for my early-morning get-ready routine, our home is eerily silent.

Then I hear, "Click.  Click."
Run down the hall to the kitchen.  Nada.

"Click, click"
...comes from the bedroom, where hubby lays sound asleep.

There's sweet little Grace nestled against DH's feet, happily gnawing on a bone.

Except, when I went to take it away, I felt an unusual texture ... and I discovered I was holding his bottom plate!

Later, he asks, "Where did you find my dentures?"
Me: "Do you really want to know?"

All I can say is, thank God she's not a German Shepherd!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hangers and hankies

Hi friends!

Not to be nosy (*smile*) ... 
but what's the oldest thing in your closet?   

Having recently rid ourselves of a ridiculous number of out-grown and out-loved articles of clothing, my wardrobe's become lean and (ahem) purposeful.  Nooo sentiment, no-siree!  

Except ...

Right there in front of my nose -- like so many sturdy sentinels -- there's a collection of hangers from days gone by.   Curiously, I've grown quite fond of a few. 

Why, do you suppose, hotel and clothiers ceased branding their stuff?   

I can't help but wonder why my father felt so inclined to hang onto these ... as well as this faded rose stitched by his own mother, gosh knows how may years ago?
Can you imagine anyone taking time to do that today ... on purpose?
For reasons I'm reluctant to explore, this grand dame now supports my favorite robe.

Speaking of grand dames ...
How many of you still carry a hankie?

I'm deeply ashamed to admit, the handkerchief tucked inside my birthday card each year from momma's mother wasn't exactly received with joyful abandon.  Now, I suspect it was all the poor woman could afford.  
By the time this 'tom boy' morphed into a girl, I suspect the idea of carrying a hankie was met with an exaggerated eye-roll.

Fast-forward ...
Only a few years after mother's death, I thought to try on her beloved London Fog trench coat.  Plunging my hands deep inside its pockets, I discovered an oddly-familiar scrap of cloth.
Instinctively, I lifted it to my face and believed - yes, I did! - I could sense a familiar aroma.

Today, momma's hankie lays comfortably in a crevice in my own handbag.  'Sort of my own, "don't leave home without it." ... a talisman, if you will.

Before saying 'bye', I wanted to show you a favorite familial relic.

When I first spotted this delicate bit of cloth I literally shook my head in wonder at my mother's patience ... her careful embroidery: "EM" = Evelyn Myra.

Now, "LE" on the opposite fold?  For the life of me, I can't figure who he(she) may have been.   I'm pretty sure it's not a relative.  A best friend ... or former beau, perhaps?  My imagination's in overdrive!

Curious and comforting, that which remains.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Hugs from Phoenix,



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hodgepodge Wednesday

Hello Friends ... how are y'all?

I'm thinking it's time I quit lurking in the shadows and join in the fun at Wednesday's hodgepodge!
Thanks for these great queries, Joyce!

* * *

Create an acrostic using the word LOVE:

Looking back, across culverts ... chasms, too;
Oceans - both real and immortal - 
vie for remembrance.

Does love really conquer all?  Why or why not?

No, I don't think so.
If that were the case, hearts wouldn't break -- and life-limiting diseases wouldn't stand a snowball's chance!

Tell us about a time recently where you really put your heart into something.

This is a tough one!  
I've become awfully stingy with my heartstrings.

The last time I set my heart on something was almost 3 years ago when I quit my 40+ year cigarette addiction.

What's your favorite love story?

Bridges of Madison County

Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?

My heart sits right there on my sleeve.
Unfortunately, I've always been overly sensitive.

What food says love to you?  Why?

What I wouldn't give for a slice of mother's egg custard pie!
She was never fond of sweets, but took real pleasure in making my father's favorite deserts.

When were you last 'tickled pink' over something?  Explain.

Just last Saturday, Mr. Sweet had my hair looking all shiny and  bouncy ... something I can't recall ever happening!
I seriously wanted to sleep with my head suspended out over the edge of the mattress!  

Insert your own random thought here.

Have I told y'all?  Dr. Choi's practically patting himself on the back over the results of Tom's last scan.  I won't pretend to understand its verbiage, but the lab's report said the remaining spots are "too small to categorize."  Yea!!!

Unfortunately, those of you who follow Joey and Rory know, theirs is a much graver situation.   
I was late discovering their story, but Rory's blog  humbles me like nothing has in a very long time.  Maybe you, too, might take something from one man's lifeIlive

Be well, be happy ...OK?
Hugs from an 86-degree day in the desert!