Ever since I was a child, I have sought out the silence. I’m sure this ties into being an introvert; we tend to shy away from the bright, the busy, and the chaotic. However, the older I get, I realize that those times when I am surrounded by dark and quiet are some of the most important moments of my day.Continue reading “The Sound of Silence”
A friend of mine recently started a blog and one of his recent posts reminded me of a story from years ago. I have not met many celebrities over the course of my life and tend to clam up around anyone who has made a name for themselves, so my stories are few and far between. But this one time, many years ago, I lived an ’80s dream.
Born in the ’70s, growing up in the ’80s, I was a child of ’80s music. Sometimes a song will come over the radio that catapults me back into the days of wearing Madonna-esque clothing (although I was a tomboy and really just wore the same jeans and T-shirts until middle school). Night Ranger songs tend to have this effect. Isn’t it strange how a song can help you remember things that you thought had faded from memory? Smells have that same effect; I keep a perfume that I used to wear in high school simply so every once in a while I can take a whiff and remember how it felt to be 16 with no mortgage to pay and a back that didn’t hurt all the time. It’s a strange effect, really. I can no longer wear most “real” perfumes because they give me an instant headache. However, I do like the nostalgia they evoke. Anyway, back to Night Ranger.
It was the summer of 1996. I was newly graduated from college and living with my sister in a very small town (think a couple hundred people) in southwest Minnesota. The town had one bar, but the place seemed to draw some pretty big names due to some fantastic networking by the bar’s owner. That summer, we found out that he had somehow convinced Night Ranger to play at the bar, and that is where the adventure begins.Continue reading “A Night with Night Ranger”
I’ll admit that I am more than a little weary of the new talking points of this time period, including the one I used in the title of this post. New normal, social distancing, and whatever adjective ad execs and politicians want to use in front of the word “times” – challenging times, unprecedented times, difficult times, extraordinary times, uncertain, etc. I am mildly annoyed that I have to sit through commercials that now talk about COVID and social distancing. Good lord, enough already.
At my house, however, nature knows no social distancing rules. The toads have invaded my pond and they are NOT 6-feet apart.
I know my pond has been the subject of this blog before, but for those who may not be familiar with the backstory, let me digress for a moment.Continue reading “Um, toads? Don’t you know about the “new normal”?”
Last week, my husband and I were sitting on the back patio by the pond. We had just spent the past two days going around buying flowers at different greenhouses – mostly perennials, as I am trying to make landscaping as maintenance-free as possible. The area that was just to the left of the pond is full of colorful perennials, and I love going to the backyard when everything is in full bloom and just marveling at the beauty of it all. My backyard is my little haven, but it needs a couple of things: some privacy (I have two houses that angle toward my backyard and nothing to shield them) and even more color.
I turned to my husband and said, “What if we put yet another perrennial garden to the right of the pond, leaving a little walkway in between? Then in the middle of summer this whole area would be full of flowers.
In typical “me” fashion, I grabbed a can of spraypaint right then (leaving my coffee to get cold) and outlined what I had in mind. My husband liked the idea, so we changed into work clothes and started digging out the grass.Continue reading “The Power of an Idea”
So, the quarantine days drag on. I think if I lived in a larger town, the stifling feeling of all of this wouldn’t be so bad, but as it is, we have few options for shopping. We have a grocery store. We have a Dollar General. Truthfully, that’s about it. We had one of the last K Marts in the country, but that closed down this past winter. It’s just four people in a too-small house in a too-small town.Continue reading “The paranoia is thick!”
Well, this “stay at home” stuff is an introvert’s dream, but even introverts hit a wall, and I think I’m getting there. I mean, it would be one thing if the weather was consistently nice and I could get outside of this small house to get some exercise. I did – for a few days. I got all the remaining leaves out of my yard and burned them. I got my pond up and running, which is probably the earliest I’ve ever had it cleaned out and functional. But then Mother Nature decided to play a little joke on us for Easter Sunday, and this is what the pond looks like today.Continue reading “An Easter to remember”
Like many people in the United States, I have suddenly become a homebody. I realized that my “Gee, I have no time to blog” excuse no longer applies, so here I am. Blogging. Thinking. Cleaning. Playing games with my family. Cleaning some more. Sneaking peeks at the CDC website to see what the newest bad news contains. Telling my kids that no, they cannot go hang with friends, although some days I am so tempted to just tell them to go wherever they want. I mean, MUST video games and movies be SO DANG LOUD? Repeat, repeat, repeat.Continue reading “I quarantine; therefore, I write”
Yes, I know it’s been a while. It took me a couple minutes to remember how to log back into WordPress. THAT is how long it’s been. I had to enter my password three times before I got it right. Wordpress seemed to give me the stink eye when I successfully logged in, as if to say, “Oh, and NOW you want to see what’s been happening after all this time?”
Although I certainly didn’t just sit on my duff all summer long, for I took lots of trips and was able to take care of a lot of house clutter, the pace of life has certainly picked up in the last week alone. School started. I got the stomach flu (which I’m currently still “enjoying”). My grandpa died.
Out of all those things, it’s the last one that has me reeling. I can handle hectic weeks. I can handle the stomach flu. But I always dreaded the time I’d have to say goodbye to my sweet grandfather. He was a good man who lived live with vigor. He beat colon cancer but suffered through countless intestinal issues from the mid-90’s until he died. Even through it all, he made sure to let those around him know how much he loved them, admired them, and he made sure to thank anyone who helped him.
Writing is definitely cathartic, and I sat down a day after my grandfather’s passing to write a tribute to him. I wrote it for myself, but I shared it on Facebook so that those who knew my grandfather could enjoy it as well. Now I’m sharing it with all of you. Even though you didn’t know him, we can all learn from the gracious way he lived his life.
A year ago I made the decision to “de-clutter” my house by selling some tablecloths that had been sitting in my basement for years. They were a gift from my sister, who purchased them at auctions and estate sales, and many of them were in great condition. The only problem was that few of the cloths actually fit my table, and several were not colors that complimented my kitchen. So they sat there and collected dust until I decided to allow someone else to enjoy them. I kept a few of them that I really loved and put the rest up for sale on Etsy.