Tuesday, November 02, 2010

O Happy Day!!!

Above is the apartment and Cuervo looks out the window. See all the tall buildings?
Much has happened since the last time I posted. I have been living in Washington, D.C. for over a year and a half now. And to all of those people who say that where you live is not what makes you happy, or that if you are unhappy somewhere, moving won't make you happy - YOU ARE WRONG!!!!!!!!!
I am in a state of continual bliss whether I am fatigued or hurting or annoyed (although I am seldom annoyed by anything). I live in a wonderful place on the sixth floor with a bookstore that I can see from my bedroom window as well as many other shops (I basically live above a chic shopping center!) I adore it here and can't wait for my husband to move up full time and to buy a permanent place to live here.
I go to museums; I have no trouble with my vegetarian diet as even steakhouses here will have a vegetarian option; I eat almost all locally grown or organic food. My car may stay in the garage for as long as 8 days at a time, and I have a bicycle (and helmet) that I can ride to the post office, the grocery store, the drug store (all of which are within 4 blocks of where I live) or on any of the many bicycle trails here in Washington/Arlington. No one stares at me either, this 59 year old woman wearing a helmet and riding a bike - because I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE! And even if I were, it wouldn't matter. Here it's pretty much live and let live.
The best news and what actually got me up here earlier than my original 2010 date was the birth of my grand-daughter in April 2009. I got to spend almost every day of my life with her until they had to move to Africa (my son's work) this summer (I'll see them at Christmas).
If you are living in a place that stifles your soul, your creativity, your heart, then MOVE before you get any older. I should have done this a long time ago!
Ahhhhh, blisssssss...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Are We There Yet?

I am a baby boomer, born in 1951, a child of the 'sixties who wanted to be a hippie in a Cadillac, and who loved the night life of the '70's. (I still love nightlife; I just can't find anyone around my age group who'll dance with me - and I don't mean the waltz or that '50's stuff that older people do).
I'm going to be 56 next month, (I took the picture above about 5 minutes ago - I don't think it's to bad for 55) but I'm still about 28 years old in my head (and I mean that in a good I-like-to-have-fun-way) which makes me younger than my son - who is the point of this entry.
We met my son and daughter-in-law in Philadelphia this last weekend, and at one point before they were about to leave to go back to D.C., my son interrupted my love affair with a nice Pinot Grigio to say, "Mom, promise me that you'll exercise."
Uh, oh.
I've always wanted to be the best mother ever because my own was so rotten, and because I understand and always understood that children were the most important thing. I read, used common sense when I could and attempted to be the most rational person in the world where my son was concerned.
My own behavior was affected profoundly. Anytime I wasn't sure about an something, I would always ask myself, "Would I think it was okay if my son did this at my age?"
I t was the best moral code ever for someone who believed that children are precious - even when they're grown.
My son is a good person with an equally good and lovely wife. He is moral, hard-working, intelligent, interesting, fun to be with. I care more about his good opinion than anyone's I know.
I got him through a good private college, helped him through graduate school (another private college), gave him moral support, hid my anxiety from him when it would have been selfish of me to have shared it, and tried to be available and helpful whenever he needed me.
I'm glad to say I'm not finished.
I have something else to do.
My son pointed out that the people he worked with who were my age and a bit younger were happy or miserable he thought depending on the health and activity level of their aging parents. The ones who had parents who did not exercise, take care of themselves (he was not talking about health crises people cannot help), eat well, enjoy life were wallowing in worry and misery. The other offspring were enjoying life as were their parents presumably.
I can do something else for my son that I wouldn't do as well for myself. I can take care of myself.
I've already begun.
We often travel together in foreign countries; I don't want to miss that. I want to climb where he climbs, do (within reason) what he does. After all, he got a big part of that sense of adventure from me.
And you do not know how happy it makes me that I can help him with this one thing that will benefit all of us.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Are YOU Shortchanging Your Babies?

If you don't have a bathroom with 2 sinks, you need to seriously consider remodeling. Even if you have only one cat, he/she should have a sink to lie in and a sink to drink from. Summer is coming and these sinks are cool! I recommend the oval sink as the best shape for your feline children. (If you can't get your spouse to remodel your bathroom, surely this will be the argument that pushes him/her over the edge).

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Little Paranoid

I'm worrying about the Big One. The big earthquake that is supposed to hit middle America sometime soon (of course, it was supposed to have hit every year for about the last 20 years - which is even scarier because it means it's overdue, right?). I live right on the New Madrid Fault in southeastern Missouri/northeastern Arkansas - right at ground zero so to speak and only 3 miles from the Mississippi River which will most certainly flood (maybe with a tsunami effect?) if we don't drown in the quicksand that our ground is supposed to turn into since our water table is so high (this is reclaimed swampland) and because it is of a consistency called "gumbo."
So I continue to live here worrying about when it will strike, and now with new cats, I worry about them. At least my son is safely away. Folks, I am really paranoid. But the Fault is really there. There's no way my husband is going to move.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

School Loans: The New Debt for our Children

When I taught college English, I had a friend who ran the financial aid department. I went to him for advice when I decided I would cosign my niece's school loans for the expensive ($30.000.00 per anum) college I had urged her to go to since she was in the eighth grade. He said that for the next generation, their greatest payment that they spent time trying to pay off would not be their house payments, but their school loans. I think he may be right.
When said niece went to start paying her school loans, to her shock, the monthly payment was going to be $1400.00. She had gotten a good job, the very one she wanted, in her field, and the pay for a beginner wasn't bad either. But with rent in Washington, D.C., even with a roommate, she quickly learned that she wasn't going to be able to make that payment. She was going to have to consolidate her school loans.
Now my niece did get some financial aid, and she also got several scholarships, but there was no way in the world that she was going to be able to pay those school loans without consolidation, and even when she did consolidate the loans, they were still going to be a heavy burden. But what to do? Her education was very worthwhile, and I know for a fact that she not only wouldn't have gotten the knowledge and experience at a state school that she got at this private college, she also benefited from some great connections that resulted in her getting her rather desirable job.
So what are students to do? As a teacher, I know that the cost of an education is not out of line with what it takes to run a college - in fact, without contributions from alumni, the colleges would go broke! What is the answer? If you have one that is better than school loan consolidation, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Argh! (As Snoopy would say). I'm busy, busy, and tomorrow, I must go to the bank and wire my nephew at University his allowance for this month (yes, it's late, and yes, it's my fault! :-( ) I just hope he hasn't starved to death (or run out of beer).

I think that having my studio in my husband's office is going to be okay once everything gets worked out okay. My wireless internet is finally set up (hurrah). He disconnected the Sirius or whatever music that is piped in to all the rooms (I can't stand to listen to other people's music all day without relief; I need some silence), and I am going to call and get the cable for the tv run to my office so that I can have Law and Order on in the background. If they would run Law and Order all day, I could work until I dropped. I don't know why, but it is comforting (and probably blocks out other people's noise).
Any show will not do. Some of the A&E programs will work - but not the really stupid ones that they have now...like "Dog: The Bounty Hunter" - who watches that shit anyway? At one time, A&E was truly the Arts and Entertainment (the entertainment being mainly musical performances) and now it's just more crapola. "Growing Up Gotti" or better entitled: "Eavesdropping on Self-Important Morally Bankrupt Conspicuous Consumers Who Think That Their Lives Are Worth Something" (okay, everyone's life is worth something, life is precious, but you know what I mean). Who watches this? Who has that much time to waste?

Grrrrrrrr..... C'mon now, say it with me...you know you want to!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Reason Not to Live Here

A week ago last Sunday DH decided that he couldn't wait for the gardener to cut the althea that was on the roof, so he got a step ladder and started to do it himself. (We are getting a new roof). He fell and hit the back of his head on the brick windowsill, sprained his wrist dreadfully (had to wear a splint for a week) and got a hairline crack in his skull as well as 9 stiches. He wasn't going to go to the hospital; he just wanted to stop the bleeding.
I got him to the ER at 8:00; we didn't get home until after midnight; it took that long to see a doctor. And that brings me to the reason for the post - medical care. It stinks here. As we get older, if we have any kind of traumatic accident or heart attack, etc. we are probably not going to survive. Three years ago my father had an aneurysm in his abdomen. He was rushed to the hospital (in Hot Springs - not here) and in a very tricky operation was saved! We don't even have a doctor in this town that could do that particular procedure/operation. If my father had lived here, he would have died that morning without ever getting on an operating table.
Yeah, life in a small town. It just seems long.