Things are all screwed up …

You know, you can be operating in full-scale denial mode and still pick up on things pertaining to precisely what you’re ignoring.  For example, I’m noticing a whole subculture in terminology that hadn’t resonated with me until just recently.  Today in the AARP Bulletin {Hey! The smug grin was uncalled for – the rag was in the mail, who can fathom how or why!} this sentence jumped off the page at me – “People think of ‘elderly’ as this gray plane, as if [older people] are all the same and shouldn’t be seen.”  Wow, cold, dude.

So we have da’ yooths, who so far as we know all think and behave alike, and then ya’ got yer generic interchangeable old farts, which why are they even allowed off the grounds on their own?  In the middle we have The World of Everybody Else, a world which neither youth nor old-fartism is expected, nor particularly welcomed, to grasp.  Nothing personal, most likely, in most cases, just a perception – one that’s always existed and probably always will unless future technology gives us ways to read each other’s thoughts and feelings.  People in the know are pretty sure the young and the old are not part of their ranks, a perception that clearly cheats the world to an astounding degree.

I had two remarkable grandmothers who were as different from each other as chalk and cheese, and each of them managed to get across to me the reality that we stay who we are on the inside all our lives while our bodies go to shit around us.  One grandma, forever young, accomplished that by example, the other through stories.  One night in her 80s, that grandma dreamed she was nineteen again and danced all night in a long flowing skirt and a sparkling-white Maidenform bra.  Advertising in the psyche, man, but it was clear how real it all still was in the light of day.  Her disappointment that it was only a dream was palpable even to a self-absorbed cheerleader-head, but the gut-punch was when she said “It was so wonderful – my body was as young as the real ME again!” That one stuck.

You can’t convince some folks that people under 18 are, indeed, people, and you can’t break the idea that after a certain age we’re all disposable. But you can try.




So healthy it makes me sick …

We live, we learn – mostly we live.  So as it turns out, “twice-weekly PT sessions for six weeks” merely covered Phase 1. Six weeks ended Friday morning and now we try another month.  And then we “see.”  Not a problem – once I graduate, there goes 90% of my outside social life, so what would be the rush?

Health, though – such a ginormous issue in every direction.  Do we possess it?  Do we value it?  What value are other people placing on our health?  Do we take it entirely for granted, or do everything we can to maintain it?  Or realistically, somewhere between?  And if we lose it, can we get it back?

The past few months have shown us that my bones are in far better health than we knew.  And I’ve lost some pounds so my numbers are starting to improve — the dread NUMBERS that cause your extremely caring GP to make sad-panda eyes and counsel you to drop even more pounds and take scary-sounding drugs.  I’m just stumbling along for now, thanks, and trying to beat those numbers into submission by means of personal discipline and other words I avoid.

My preoccupation with health at the moment stems from learning that a cousin is going through a hellish experience.  He’s six weeks older than I am and we grew up more like siblings than cousins, our other siblings nicely stair-stepped or matched up in age, which made extended-family vacations oh so simple.  And now the skinny little boy in the photo is all grown up and overrun by adulthood, and he’s ill and in pain.  That hurts my heart. He’s a kind man who’s “been there” for everyone else.  And life couldn’t possibly get away this fast and our bodies metamorphose so quickly into whatever stage this is that feels suspiciously like a cocoon, while our 60’s-addled brains go right on scheming and dreaming and making plans like a boss.  Wow, whiplash!


Here, in their natural habitat, are my cousin Bruce, his big sister Vickie on the left, our Aunt Bonnie, who was probably still a teenager, and wide-eyed me, wondering what it was all about, Alfie.  This was just the other day, I’m pretty sure — I remember the shingles on that house — they were a reddish-brown and felt funny under my fingertips.

Bruce will get well I think, and we’ll all go on.  But the knowledge that he’s dependent for now on a wheelchair and round-the-clock help from an only slightly younger brother brings it all home in kind of an in-your-face way.

I mean, today Patty Duke has left the building.  In recent days it’s been Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Pat Conroy, Garry Shandling, and a litany of others in my generation.  This isn’t going to stop, and I’m not ready for it.  Happen it will, though, that’s how this goes.

We are ALL most definitely playing for time, boys and girls.  Make it count.







An ti ci pa tion …

Kim, browsing my Facebook Saved list for recipes:  You have a lot of stuff in here, like really a lot.  What are your plans for all this?

Me:  My plans are to watch the videos, listen to the music tracks, read the articles, and use some of it as a springboard for my blog.

Kim:  Really?

Me:  Yeah.


Me:  During lulls when there’s nothing else on my mind and Facebook is boring and I’ve already purged all my email files.


Me:  Seriously.  There are down times.

Kim:  So you save stuff every day because you’re in a rush, but you’ll have time later to go back through all of it?

Me:  Well.  Mostly my attention span isn’t that long, and after the first handful of big-ticket posts I start to drift, but I don’t want to lose them.

Kim:  So they stack up.  Doesn’t that bother you?

Me:  Not much, they’re out of sight.  And I’m waiting for Marky to come along and give me folder capabilities for saved stuff so I can sort and find.

Me:  And delayed gratification is my bag.



Poor Kimmers.  Clutter, even the thought of it, offends his OCD worse than any other, and in my morally-lax final third I’m an endless trial to him. He’s out of the house most mornings now, so I’m probably working my way through the For Later list, right?  No, not so’s you can tell yet, because there’s another fact of life at work here — one must be IN THE MOOD.

And guess what, bitches, I got IN THE MOOD to compose and handwrite that belated note to Maddie’s veterinary staff.  Mailed it yesterday. Booyah!  I should have taken a picture for you — work of art and worth the time spent agonizing over it, except not really.  Oh, life, I adore your continuing education classes.

A final Easter Egg for the faithful who read to the end:  The Wurlitzer recital in my head, precipitated by my fall on the ice, ended approximately ten days after we upgraded my hearing assists and added a masking track.  I’ve busted it several times trying to make a comeback, and it slinks back under the bed.   Peace is not overrated.




Just say it!

Queen of Overthinking here, hand in the air, self-admitting for rehab this morning because see, the problem is, I have the uncanny ability to sniff out a plot, a mad-on, a what-did-they-mean-by-that comment; become righteously offended enough for all of us put together; and take myself to the brink of various irreversible reactions quicker than you can whisper “This isn’t about you, cupcake.”  It’s like my brain has a life of its own and gets off on working overtime and then I need an intervention.

When one has spent (long, you wouldn’t believe, bubbie) years UN-becoming a pleaser, one oh so does want to believe that perceived slights, digs, and omissions mean nothing. Nothing at all. Why, then, does one’s tiny “I remember potty training with its attendant shame and failure” brain still have the power to do such a number on one’s heart and psyche?  Well, never mind, I guess — that’s one for Freud and Co.

Fear of rejection!  It’s why we don’t just say what we feel, and mean what we say — give it a rest, Sigmund, I’ve got this.  My years of diligent Facebook application have brought me to this bold moment wherein I ask:  Why don’t we just say what we feel and mean what we say?  Did I not just say that?  And the answer is right here in bold, jeez, are you not paying attention?

Fear of rejection almost tricked me into jeopardizing some irreplaceable friendships just recently. Tiny Brain told me “You’re in the way, back off, give space.”  Turns out space was the last thing my friends needed so it was pretty much looking to them like nobody cared.  Just saying how I felt would have been a smart thing to do.  Note to self:  Tiny Brain is not to be put in charge of anything whatsoever at any time, in any place, as pain will ensue.

I overthink most things, though, not just what I think other people are thinking.  There’s a card here on my desk that we received three weeks ago from Maddie’s veterinary office, not only signed by everyone there, including Seth the pharmacist, but with a personal note from each doctor and staff member that let us know they genuinely saw our little fur-girl and recognized her spirit.  It made both of us cry big tears all over again and I was absolutely going to write a heartfelt reply that evening except that other things intervened and it all cooled down just a bit while I was thinking, but I still want to say exactly the right things because their caring touched us so much, and I’m still looking at the card … here on my desk … unanswered.  An imperfectly worded but genuine response will be written and mailed today, somebody hold me accountable, please and thank you.  Okay, too busy justifying today, so tomorrow for sure.  I’ve started a rough draft …

I read a great article the other day about why we procrastinate, but I immediately forgot what the hook was and I’ve inexplicably been putting off going back to look for it, ha. Queen of Overthinking / Queen of Procrastination / World Domination.





   And life is too short and relationships too valuable not to say what you feel and mean what you say.


Hope is the thing with feathers …

Stream of consciousness in the rain …

Screenshot 2016-03-16 at 09.47.18 AM

That’s cause for hope, chirrun, cause for hope.

And as Harvey Milk said, “Hope will never be silent.”

My heart agrees with Storm Jameson … “Hope is a talent like any other.”  So it can be nurtured, grown, exercised, and utilized.  That’s good to know.

 Anne Frank, not shockingly, is my spirit animal … “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” We PollyAnnes always believe things are somehow going to work out … and somehow they nearly always do.  You know … one way or another.

So on sneaky cold days when the cloud cover never breaks, hope is the thing you want — it’s a gracious friend and will save you from your own miserable, overthought, overwrought, miniscule world if you let it.  And why not?

Hope is good. 

Screenshot 2016-03-17 at 07.31.23 AM

That’s a definite.


Maidin mhaith!


Irish coffee and sunshine here … Happy Day to all!


Naked conversation …

This weekend’s spa soak found us once again solving world problems by means of logic, common sense, and positive thinking in the face of current events.  No, really.

KIM: So if the economy crashes again, we should have a realistic idea what we might do.

ME: Realistically, a van down by the river would be a plan.  No problemo, baby, I’d live under a bridge with you.

KIM: Or how about an Airstream?  We could get a cool antique truck to pull it with.


KIM: What?

ME: You need to focus.




He knows I’m serious about the “whither thou goest” schtick, though, partly because we were in the bathtub when I said it and he always tells me you can’t lie to somebody when you’re naked.

Also, Headline Checker App, I didn’t appreciate my low grade on this one and I’m not sure your management style meshes with our goals at present, so buh-bye.  Who needs that kind of negativity … jeez.




Focus on Spring!


Playing with a headline checker this morning and finding that a passing grade is hard to earn — my words don’t meet the parameters for drama, bite, and maximum grabbiness.  However, since I’m not selling anything I find that level of failure acceptable.  Happy Spring to you, whether it’s early or late in your world!


Has to be spring …

… because they’re telling us it’s time to cut the top off the blanket and sew it onto the bottom, thus allowing DST to wreck us once again.  Found comment I can get behind:  Let’s make Eastern & Central one time zone, and Mountain & Pacific another and be done with it.  

If that sounds like an outstanding plan to you, start a petition or a march or something, please?  I’m going back to bed …




And because it’s apropos in some weird way and made me laugh …

funny clean married couples pictures 12


The rain in Spain …


Sitting out

watching the rain

hearing the trains

theatrical horns chewing scenery

while wheels rhythmically

play understudy.


No sweeter melancholy.

~JSmith, 3/8/2016


The Nickel Tour …

As promised yesterday, a brief reading list from Playing for Time’s archives.  Bets are now open as to how many I can repost without editing …

NOTE:  Each link should open in a new window.

There you go, and I was generous — these are favorites from the past three years and I hope you’ll enjoy one or more.  Actually, I hope you’ll adore every single one of them, but how needy would it sound to say that out loud, jeez.  I reposted them as I found them, and they’re a semi-cross-section of my blog, including humor and tears, longer posts and shorter posts, nostalgia and brashness, and maybe a window or two for peering at the writer in her cage.

If you like poetry there’s some of that sprinkled around, and a few of the creations are my own. It’s a genre I want to spend more time working with because of the way it pulls words and feels out of me.

The last link is one recipe that is tried & true, in case you read yesterday’s post — Kim has made dozens of these, inspiring awe and reverence each time, so you can trust it as well as many other recipes we’ve enjoyed since I posted them.  If you have concerns, of course, just ask.  I recommend asking someone who writes a food blog.







Sit here by me …

Hey, hi, if you’re new to my blog and wondering how you got here, wondering if you want to stay here, wondering what’s for lunch, I’m here to help.  1.) I have a page called ABOUT that you can take a look at and I hope you will because it has its moments, but it tells you mostly about me, which why wouldn’t you want to know?  However, it probably gives you not much clue as to what my BLOG is about, which may have been what you were wondering.  2.) Nor can I personally give you much clue as to what my blog is about because it ends up being about pretty much everything.  3.)  Lunch is not my problem.  I lied about helping.

If you sort of collect food blogs, this isn’t that, even though I go off the rails and post a recipe once in a while because although I haven’t cooked in close to fifteen years it’s like riding a bicycle and it’s always fun to find recipes I know would be fabulous, hand them to Kim, and sit down and eat them.  That shit never gets old.  Hint:  A respectable food blogger would not share recipes, techniques, ingredients he/she hadn’t personally tested.  I have no such scruples, so cook at your own risk.

Do you love book blogs?  Books are precariously near the top of my list of loves, but this isn’t a book blog, I just hold forth sometimes on things I’ve read that end up making my bravo list.  If you’re looking for erudite literary fellowship and enlightenment I’m not your girl, sorry not sorry, there are plenty of those guys and girls out there to call on.  I read what I like and write what I know.  Chances are good that since you found me we share a few of the same tastes and/or philosophies, and that’s always a rush — that ZOT!! of connection.

Playing for Time isn’t a self-improvement blog, but if growth happens for me in the process of writing — BONUS.  And if in some small way my invaluable insights affect you through osmosis and you benefit, I expect a cut.

This is emphatically not a fitness blog, bwahahahaha!!  If you follow me very long you’ll know why that’s funny.

Not a travel blog, either, although I think I’d be darling at it.  Once we settled into our happy place in our happy town, leaving on a jet plane doesn’t sound like as much fun as it used to be.  THAT’S BECAUSE IT ISN’T.  What a Not-Happy Place for man or beast.  So yeah, I’m not jetting around the globe dashing off travel reports to my publisher that are stream of consciousness and sparkling with wit.  Crap.

Not a self-defense blog.  HA!  (See fitness, lack thereof.)

Not a relationship blog, even though that’s up there above books in my stack of good stuff.  I’m still figuring it all out myself … so no … relationship gets talked about quite a bit here, but not on the advice end of things, so no worries.

There are obviously a lot more things my blog isn’t than things it is, so I’m caught lying to you again because I told you that “it ends up being about pretty much everything.”  By which I meant, of course, everything I want to make it about.  Tomorrow I’ll post links to a few of the pieces I’ve written — it can be frustrating trying to find something that interests you.  And maybe these won’t but they’ll be ones I sort of like.

I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll talk to me in comments.






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