Lush Tuesday… page 83

Day 152 – 08/11/2020

The morning air is fresh and cool and my walk felt good. Strolled until that certain sharp poke in the hip made me head for the barn, all the time carried on the waves of a playlist provided by Thumbprint Radio on Pandora, clearly my muse. We’re like Siamese Sisters – I couldn’t have picked a better playlist on my own if I’d worked hard at it. Twelve tracks played full-on in my ears before stalling out on one that wasn’t me, from the opening piano notes of LULLABYE FOR A STORMY NIGHT by Vienna Teng to the sweet melancholy of Jim Chappell’s GONE. In the middle were his STORYTIMETHE MYSTIC’S DREAM, Jim Stubblefield… RIVER by Joni Mitchell… HOME, Michael BublĂ©… Sarah McLachlan’s TRAIN WRECK and FALLEN (LIVE)… two Nora Jones favorites… Eric Clapton with LAYLA (UNPLUGGED)… and finally BALLAD OF THE RUNAWAY HORSE by Jennifer Warnes. Best story song ever. It’s a little sobering how much my friend Pan knows about me but I feel so SEEN, oh wait…

Repairs are underway in the intersection below my windows and I’m watching people operate machinery just like the toys that used to live in my yard… skid-loaders, backhoes, big dump trucks, a little crawler-tractor. Pretty sure some of those guys are living the dream, and it’s a great day for it!

Leaving this here for posterity…

Photo Credit: Kim Smith

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Hope lives… page 81

Day 149 – 08/08/2020

We just celebrated our 16th anniversary, and the partnership being what it is there was a point at which I started having Kim read my blog posts before publication, not for content but for flow. In the months since, he’s caught a plethora of trippy syllable sequences; thus, showing me a swanky new set of subtle wording schematics and style. Observe how successful he’s been – take the challenge and read that last sentence fast six times. 😂

He does, of course, take in the content of what he reads; thus, his comment this morning that some of what I write sounds a little depressing. He’s spot on – 🎯🎯🎯 – it does and it is. My blog is like a diary, intentionally so since the pandemic started, and it’s therapy. I write what’s in me and put it out here in the agora to keep me accountable. If somebody reads it, identifies with some part of it, ends up being encouraged by something I say, that’s the best thing ever, but I write for me. “Me” has been a little blue lately so my journal reflects that… self-healing is herky-jerky and never fun to watch, either from inside or out. I try for the happy every day, though, and always succeed on some level… my full name is pronounced Pawl ly AN a. I’m grateful to *My Michelle* for saying so openly what most everyone is experiencing in these months… a low-grade depression that encompasses… everything. We’ll be okay one of these days as long as we keep loving each other.

Kind of in a mood to jump the fences today, but age and wisdom will no doubt prevail and evening will find us still moored to the dock, here where we like it best, with love holding it all together.

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It’s a good life… page 79

Day 147 – 08/06/2020

Another cool morning, so I wandered around the neighborhood for an hour, racking up a prideful number of steps for that time of day. The GPS map of my route will be fun once I find it in the app!

Discovered lots of big and small changes along Mass Street and points east – it’s interesting to see how Downtown is rising to the occasion and finding creative ways to stay in business while dealing with the reality that is COVID-19. A young street-guy hollered from across Mass Street “I feel like a surgeon!” I said “Because of your mask?” (Which was hanging off one ear.) “Yeah, my mask! I feel like a surgeon!” The surgeon was wearing what looked like a water shoe on one foot, the other was bare, and I saw by his outfit that he was no cowboy. We waved and went on our way, whereupon I heard him loudly proclaim to the next strollers “Hey, I feel like a surgeon!”

I’m glad Downtown and East Lawrence are full of walkers and bike riders so the white-haired short stack with her hiking pole doesn’t stand out, other than to budding surgeons in search of an audience. And now, after a full-service shower, I’m ready for the PickleBall player to come home so we can figure out what the rest of the day holds.

Annnnd… so far there’s been a light garage clean-out and coaxing an ailing car across town to said garage. And lunch. Only about 9 hours to go until bedtime, yay. Daily diversions, take me awaaaaaaay…

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Missing my bestie…

Screenshot 2016-08-08 at 09.22.31 AM

 

My 24/7 buddy, who doesn’t have headaches or backaches or insomnia, and is seldom waylaid by a bug, has been down for two weeks with all of the above plus a cough that won’t give up. Stepped-up inhaler hits and a steroid are improving his color and infusing a skosh of energy, but he isn’t much fun right now, go figure.

And it’s all about moi, of course, you knew that, right? So bless the Rio Olympics!! Two gray days running – making it feel like an early fall here  – and we’re snuggled in with the TV coverage, reading, writing, snacking, talking – whenever The KIMN8R isn’t napping. After two lifetimes of experience with it, we got married to spend all our time together, so it’s good that options exist for making sure that happens. The Big Guy scares me just a little when he turns into a skinny ghost, but his wicked humor is peeking through again and I’m detecting a hint of Guido Mode in his voice. Gonna live – that’s good enough for an overcast Monday in August.

Enjoy yours, boys & girls. ❀

 

 

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So just be real…

I read a story today, shared by a friend whose granddaughter dictated it to her daddy, and was struck by how on the mark this small girl is. You’ll see what I mean:

“We flew on an airplane to Albuquerque to see Ian and Jordan and Ashton and Uncle Doug and Aunt Jill. Will got diarrhea. 

Then we flew to Chicago to see Aunt Beth and Grandma and Uncle Billy and Josiah and his sister and the dad of the baby and those two with a jacket and glasses. Then we flew home. Grandma threw up.”

 

 

Her story illustrates important tenets of writing:

  1. Tell it like it is. If people want us to write kindly about them, they must learn to be behave well.
  2.  Engage your readers by telling them things they would not otherwise learn.
  3.  Illustrate with plenty of pink.

So simple, really, and once again a little child leads us.

 

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Whimsy…who doesn’t need some?

A psych-out when I start feeling weighed down by nonsense is to “brighten the corner where I are.” It’s the equivalent of Spring Cleaning without the lifting, bending, and sundry other exercise I like to refer to as work. My desk and I are good friends, so of course I ignore it and treat it like crap most of the time, but there always comes a day when the windows have to be flung open and the detritus swept away. Today is that day – AGAIN – in my world, and lucky you, I love to (over)share.

We start with our big honkin’ desktop because EYEBALL FEAST EVERY TIME WE SIT DOWN HERE. You can immediately see what a crucial first step this is, besides which everything from this point hinges on it. (Gah, I always hope my readers are note takers.) Nobody else’s desktop will suffice – it must speak to me, personally, in some way, and most tell me “You are freakin’ nuts, lady” which is when I know I’ve found THE ONE.

Today’s springboard, our dominant image:

wallup.net

That’s merely the start, although admittedly an auspicious one. Now that we have an arresting vista in front of us at all times, we must upload that same image as our Facebook cover picture. Done. And, since we use a sweet add-on called Facebook Purity, we get to upload a background image for all of Facebook. Furthermore, since the name of today’s game is *cheer,* we’re using this one:

HD-Plain-Yellow-Background-with-Flowers

Is that not an enjoyable little kick in the shorts over and over? When you spend a lot of time somewhere it’s powerful to make it yours.

Next up is our Facebook blog page, which obviously has to coordinate with the overall theme we’re developing here, and this will do quite nicely as our cover photo:

abstract-digital-art-top-hd-wallpapers-in-widescreen-free-hd-artworks-desktop-images-art-wallpapers-for-mac-1805x1015-736x459

All of our Facebook pages share a background, which is working out swimmingly, as you can see. We are ON A ROLL, boys and girls. Add this same image as the header for our blog page, tweak the background, and violas!! Moving on…

What shall we do next? We have choices:

  1. Two Gmail accounts whose non-coordinating backgrounds are piteously crying “Pick me, pick me!”
  2. The big loud Twitter header, or is that just my monitor? But yeah, there’s that.
  3. And we have to go get a new Chrome Theme.

Oh, haha, I forgot, this is my page, I choose! We’re doing the Twitter header next and there’s an outstanding reason for that – IT’S GONNA BE IMAGE #1 UP THERE AGAIN! See how simple this is? See a pattern here? Give a shit?

So now we’ll tackle the whiny Gmail accounts. Okay, pay attention because this is where this stuff gets tricky.

WE’RE GOING TO USE TWO OF THE SAME BACKGROUNDS WE’VE ALREADY UPLOADED. If I didn’t crack myself up I’d have no fun whatsoever. And I did try to warn you up top via words like whimsy and psych – which is like a twin or something to psycho, right?

And here’s where you get in on the fun – you get to decide which two of the three backgrounds above you want to use for your mail! You know, when you redesign it all according to what speaks to you.

Okay, all we have to do is find a new Chrome Theme and we’re set – there are a million of ’em and it’s fun. This one’s perfect and I’m happy. Cheery, even. For all the reasons.

Screenshot 2016-07-28 at 03.27.00 PM

Hope you are, too.

 

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Summer Love as always…

love-watermelon

 

the hubby of me

saves my life by riveting

the little heart holes

JSmith 6/24/2016

 

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By golly haiku…

pooled our ignorance

and got it done

old not daft

JSmith 6/22/2016

 

Funny-advice-from-a-girl-to-elders

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Re: The Flying Nun

See yesterday’s post…

A sister I didn’t know I had…

 

The_Flying_Nun-1098561706m

 

no earthly sense in

fear of flying

light me up

JSmith 6/13/2016

My ESPN tells me Sally Margaret Field might find this funny.

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A sister I didn’t know I had…

Sally Field, who is approximately my age, struck me as overly adorbs in her Gidgety phase and her Flying Nun embarrassed me – such a dippy premise. She went on, of course, to conquer immensely stronger roles, but I realize now that it was the vulnerability oozing from every pore that made me shy away from her in the beginning – I had plenty of that without reinforcement from someone who was too cute for words.

Now on the cusp of 70, Sally Margaret Field, like so many other women in our generation, has found her voice. For maybe the first time, she is no one’s primary caregiver and doesn’t need help herself. Quoting from Apr/May 2016 AARP, “In so many ways I feel like I’m new to myself. I believe all of us, in every stage of our lives, are coming of age.”

Sally’s most recent character, Doris, one she molded and developed, sounds like someone I’d like. Quoting Field again “Doris {who’s a little eccentric} doesn’t see herself as older,” and she then goes on to laugh at the way she forgets about her own age until she’s brought up short. “You forget because inside you stay the same.” {Been saying.}

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week will bring more pool time in sight of those mortified young kids who are charged with our safety – pretty sure this wasn’t what they signed on for. I can’t be certain whether they’re embarrassed for us, for themselves, or simply disgusted at how stupid life is, but I’m going with all of the above. Speaking of age gaps, the AARP piece ends with Sally talking about playing the love interest opposite men who were one to three decades older, a studio decision that always embarrassed the actors. On the set of Absence of Malice, Paul Newman apologized profusely for having to kiss her – at twenty years older he was extremely uncomfortable.

However, author Taffy Brodesser-Akner says this about what Sally Field has learned lately – “…that the embarrassment is beside the point, maybe. The alternative to growing old is dying young, and she has so much left to do. She beams her Sally Field smile at me, that broad grin, her nose becoming even more of a button, her eyes shiny, and while what she says next is about kissing a younger actor, it’s also her most essential statement on this moment in her life:”

“We’re still alive and upright. Pucker up, honey.” ~Sally Margaret Field

Everyone will be relieved to know that no lifeguard personnel are at risk of being kissed or otherwise disrespected by class members. I mean, gack.

 

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For Patreekia The Birthday Girl

14489625_2

never content with

the long littleness of life

the ladies who lunch

JSmith 6/8/2016

 

d98d99393ae584a169a2e952654d4f04

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Haiku avoidance…

want to make progress

but our days are so laid back

the Zen always wins

JSmith 6/6/2016

 

paper-pile

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modern HAIKU…teachable moments

And by teachable, of course, I mean me. The fabulous one-of-a-kind Janis Ian led me straight down an enticing rabbit hole with her Godzilla haiku, and although I haven’t sent her my own personal homage to the Big Guy yet, I’m having fun with the new toy. Since I’m hoping you’ll add your own quirky lines in Comments (so I can psychoanalyze you), it’s time for me to branch out and experiment with alternate rhythms from yesterday’s teachable moment:

.

want a piece of me

not enough to go around

get in line Sweetness

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

That’s five seven five again. Next challenge…

.

lunch is served

Chef Boy Are We Poor

act not proud

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

Three five three and I like it!

.

Two three two? What are the odds?

.

puffed up

infested

jackass

JSmith 5/25/2016

.

TA-DAA!! That’s the most fun I’ve had since last night and once you screw your brains out into left field and let them freewheel (were you getting worried?), the stanzas jump up and dance. You have to do this, okay? because it’s so much fun and you’ll be so.freaking.proud of yourself. Truth.

.

I’ll just leave this here as the embodiment of inspiration for each of us today:

the-voice-of-the-bagworm

.

Six five four, did you catch that? Just do it.

 

 

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You, too, can haiku…

“A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.” That is hot off the interwebs, kids, so I’m giving it my No Housekeeping Seal of Approval and we’ll roll with it.

Unless we want to consider this generous input from Be Happy Zone:

haiku

See what I’m sayin’?  EVERYBODY CAN DO THIS!  So EVERYBODY DO THIS, OKAY? Here, I’ll get us started…

 

pain is not a friend

taking my chubby lumpkins

to the pool for cure

JSmith 5/24/2016

 

*My internal rhythm is partial to 5 7 5, but I promise to experiment with other patterns next time. SHOW ME WHAT YA’ GOT! (Post in Comments.)

 

 

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Remembering a writing mentor who probably never knew it…

This is wonderful. My friend Ned Hickson wrote it and I stole it to share with you.

 

 

image6

A mentor every writer should’ve been lucky enough to have.

Anyone who follows my weekly Nickel’s Worth on Writing knows Publisher’s Digest and The Master of Horror¼ Stephen King are frequently among those offering accolades touting the value an


Source: Remembering a writing mentor who probably never knew it

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