Monday, March 13, 2023

Can You Go Home Again?

In 1977 and 1978, my first husband and I lived in a 560 square foot cottage in a picture perfect beach town in California.  It was a great little cottage, but built for summer use only with no insulation whatsoever.  We left it when I went off to college in Santa Cruz.

I came across our wedding invitation while sorting old paperwork, and there was the address for RSVPs. I looked it up and there it was!  Cleaned up, inside and out.  My mind immediately began trippin' on renting it again for a vacation home.  Nostalgia? A longing for my old life?  A practical solution to my desire to return to the area for parts of the year?  Yes, all.  What would it be like to live there and spend time in the area as my senior self instead of my twenty year old self?  It's still listed as a rental, not for sale.  

The concept of time is a very strange one.  Emotionally, I can be back in 1977 in the blink of an eye.  Naive, frightened of adult life, clinging to a husband who was not a very good match.  I had delusions of grandeur that were never fulfilled.  I could also feel suicidal.  I think I'd like to go back now because I feel stable, and okay, and would like to envelope my old self with compassion and a new appreciation of life.

My last therapy session was about self-compassion, and then I spent several days in a funk.  So much for intentions.  Today, at last, I feel I am coming out of it, ready to join the world again.  

It may be unrealistic to expect this cottage to be available, but I would like it if it were.  I'd like to spend the better part of a year there and seeing it with new eyes.  It might be good therapy.  Old homes can have such poignant memories, and this one does for me.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Drugs, Secret Crushes and a New Career

After my last drug assisted therapy session, my doctor advised me to go home and journal. I took a long nap, par for the course after one of these treatments. I woke up and a stand-up skit was running through my brain. I recorded it so I wouldn't lose it. So here it is, I'm going to 'workshop' it here with you now.
So, my secret crush (don't tell anyone) is comedian Marc Maron. It's more than a crush, really. He should be my life partner, but we don't run in the same circles, so, that's a little tough. I could stalk him but tht could get a little, uh, well, it could mean jail time and I'm too old for jail. Unless of course I ran out all my money. Then, sure, let the state take care of me. I might even get a little sex out of it. But think about it, who wants sex at my age? I mean, god, the last time I saw my libido it was walking out the front door, turned and yelled, "I'm going for some smokes!" You know the drill. It's always milk, or bread, or cigarettes. They never came back. That was that. End of story. /> But recently I signed up for a match making service, which is kind of odd since I don't really want to fuck anybody. But sure, it would be nice to have that special someone to... fight with over how to load a dishwasher or about how much sex we are or are not having, or why he leaves his underwear on the floor or why I want so much 'alone time.' But pillow talk, yeah, pillow talk, now that would be nice. Then we'd go to sleep and I'd drive him out of the room. I snore like Mt. Visuvias. I have what they call 'sleep apenea.' They say it really messes with your heart and could lead to stroke. I have, however, other things going on that are likely to lead to stroke (and have done so) so I'm not that worried. 

So far all the men have been annoying. I might switch back to women if this whole 'man thing' doesn't work out. Women are, and I'm just being honest here, are just as difficult as men. I've been married four times: twice to men and twice to women. I'm an equal opportunity serial monogomist. My paternal grandmother was married FIVE TIMES, so I'm on my way to tying, or even beating (God willing) her record. I'm not there yet, but I'm giving it my best shot. "Hey grandma, I'm trying my best! Thank you for giving me something to aspire to!"

So, back to Marc. Since I don't want to creep him out by stalking him, I figured I'd take the MUCH EASIER WAY and become a stand-up comedian. Right? So, if I'm on the circut, I stand a much better chance of running into him, or having him hear about my bit. He'd want to check me out then, right? Doesn't matter that I've never ever wanted this career path, EVER. 

 I'll do it for Marc. That's how deep my love goes. ---End scene.---

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

What A Long Strange Trip it's Been

I just caught up with the season premire of "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver. Much to my surprise, his main story was about psychadelic assisted therapy. If you have not seen Michael Polan's series on the same subject, "How to Change Your Mind," I highly recommend it. Humans have lived with, and benefitted from, mind alerting substance since...well, time began. When the U.S. government put the brakes on LSD and Mushroom therapy in the 1970s (FU Richard Nixon) , all the reseach was halted. Now, many veterans of war are benifitting from this therapy in order to cure their PTSD symptoms. Last election cycle in Colorado, we voted to end the criminalization of these substances and the therapudic community is now using various kinds of drugs to assist in therapy for PTSD, depression, alcohoism and the like. I've been participating this assisted therapy for a few sessions now. Each session is very different from the other, and each time there are new insights and surprises. I trust my doctor very much, which is essential when you are this vulnerable. And vulneraable you are during these 'trips.' I used pyschadelics as an older teen, and used them in a conscious way to explore my mind and spirit, to great effect. That's one of the reasons I feel comfortable revisiting this kind of experience. I can't imagine doing this without my prior experiece. What do you do when you find yourself floating in the blackness of space? You go with it, and it leads you to a different space; maybe a tunnel or a series of shapes and colors. Most times I don't know if I'm upside down or still in the reclining chair in my doc's office. It's a true out of body experience. Much more powerful than any LSD I ever took. I'm hoping these sessions will help me shake my persistant depression, which has become much worse in the Covid world, and after the deaths of loved ones. Time will tell I suppose.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Of Children and Parents

I love David Sedaris.  I've seen him read three times, and have read most of his books.  There's a good interview with him in Tricycle.  His father died in 2021.  Mine in 2022.  David and I are six months apart in age.  We both had fathers who were assholes, and devotees of Fox so-called News.  The programming on that channel taped into and amplified their natural tendency to rage against the world.  When David's father became ill with Alzheimers, he didn't watch t.v. anymore.  He also became a sweet, chipper old dude.  Alzheimers can really change a person's personality (either good or bad).  My mother had Parkinson's dementia, which changed her into a very sweet and demonstrative person.  She had never been that way to her children before.  I know she was with various friends, but never with us.

David's father wrote him out of his will.  What a rotten thing to do.  My grandparents wrote my mother out of their will and left her a small token amount so that the will could not be contested.  She never cashed the check.  She signed it over to my sister and asked that it be donated to charity.  Not one of her four siblings stepped forward to make it right.  God knows David needs no additional money; he's plenty rich.  But I hope his siblings made things right.  

My parents were generous and even-handed in their will.  Split three ways between their three children.  Easy peasy.  Those of us who had loans with my parents had the balance deducted from our share.  My mother was a genius at penny pinching, saving money and investments.  Left to his own devices, my father would have bought a new sports car every year.  Thank you, mom.  You left your children well taken care of.  Financially.

I wonder if the hurts we held onto during their lives will ever leave us?  Dad's narcissism  and mom's coldness.  None of us felt the love and support that we craved.  We had food in our bellies and shoes o our feet, and always a nice home to live in.  Never, however, parental involvement in the things we did and wanted to do.  Self-involved, they were.  There are worse things, of course.  But these were the deficits we lived with and still sometimes grapple with.

With the interment of their ashes last month, we completed the circle of their lives and of our duty to them.  Now it's onward to figure out how we want the rest of our years to be.  I find this whole business of living to be very strange.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Not My Cup of Tea


I must be a crazy old lady to have signed up for an on-line dating site.  Two of them: Silver Singles and Zoosk.   It has been an enlightening experience, shall we say....

I don't know what got hold of my mind, as I've been quite content being single.  As I began to come out of the doldrums of the pandemic lockdowns and my own, unrelated, near death experience, I saw the world anew, full of possibility.  "Why not?" I asked.  So I did.

There are plenty of con men on-line, and both my sites have already notified  me that they pulled a member because of suspicious activity.  Yikes.  There are also warnings about not giving people money and/or bank account information.  Who would do that?!

I have a brunch date tomorrow with a man I've talked to on the phone multiple times.  We never run out of topics and we have many common interests.  However,  I am approaching this with extreme caution.  Neutral location, no last names, yada yada.  I'm also clear that whomever I meet I want to take it very slowly.  I'm looking for a friend who might end up being a partner.  I'm also clear I don't want to marry, and I really enjoy living alone, so they'd have to be okay with that.

Yesterday I canceled one of the sites because I just wasn't see any good candidates. I may do the same with the other.  What I did do was contact a match making service.   A friend of mine recently had very good luck with a service, and so I have taken the plunge.  The advantages are 1,) screening and background checks 2.) a deep dive into each person in order to find a good match 3.) no need to scroll through websites every few days on a search.

This whole process may lead me to understand that I am, indeed, happy to be on my own.  If that is the case, so be it.  I read an article in the NYT this week that said, statistically, people who have lots of friends, or a few really good friends, have fewer risks of stroke, heart attack and other maladies.  I've read similar studies before.  Even more than romantic attachment, friendships are the stuff of a good and happy life.  In that regard, I am wealthy beyond measure.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


I watched this beautiful film today.  I love Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth, so this 2020 film was a natural for me.  It deals with some pretty rough topics and I had strong reactions to the characters motivations.  It's a complex story about love, living with memory loss (dementia and or Alzheimers), what it means to be human and in control of your destiny.  The couple are adorable, and obviously have been together for a long time.  Excellent acting, here.  Each represents a realistic view of what they want to have happen as one of them declines.  And they are different.  Much like Steve and me, the man in decline makes key decisions that will mean the end of their relationship, and the other man fights back at this, imploring his husband to let him be there for him, come thick and thin, to the end.  It was, for me, a very familiar conundrum. A painful one.

When Steve asked me to leave and let him die alone, I was mostly very PISSED OFF.  How dare he make this decision for the both of us.? I wasn't able to find my compassion until the very end, spending his last week with him in nursing care.  It was only then I really understood what he wanted to shield me from.  Still didn't like it, but I understood and forgave.  So, yes, this movie really affected me (triggered, as the young folks say).  Carthartic for me to see this film.

Next month will be three years since Steve left us.  It seems like just yesterday and it also seems an eternity.  I am more able now to remember the good times and what fun we had together.  That's a blessing.

So, if you're up for a really good film that gets emotionally tough but has resolution, Supernova is for you.  If you have film favorites you'd like to share, please do!

Friday, November 11, 2022


I'm sure I am not the only one that is happy that the midterm elections are over.  Of course I'm gratified there was not a red wave, but I'm really relieved that my mail box and email are not flooded with political advertising and requests for donations.  I just toss them in the trash and delete them, wholesale, from my email inbox.  What a bother.

I voted early in Colorado.  It's such a great system: I study the issues at home and while sitting at the kitchen table, mark my ballot.  So sensible.  I'm past the point in my life where I want to stand in line.  I enjoy voting in the comfort of my home.  Especially while the chicken roasts in the oven, infusing the house with the scent of Herbs de Provence.  Lucy enjoys the organ meats, sautéed in a bit of Irish butter.  I tried a bit of the liver.  Yuck.  I've made pate with chicken livers, but of course there's a ton of butter and a bit of cognac in there as well.

My antique sideboard arrived from Illinois today. I took a bit of a risk buying on line, but the seller has many excellent reviews.  I like the way it looks with my parents' grandfather clock.  It sits below the rug I acquired in Morocco.  My decor is a bit eclectic, mixing modern with antique, art made by friends and new additions from my parents' collection.  I just mix and match as I come into possession of something,  There's never a grand plan.  (Kind of like my wardrobe.)
That large light colored donut thing is Lucy's bed, which she adores.  Most pampered chihuahua on the planet, she is.

The temperature has dropped considerably.  It was 39 F when I went to pick up groceries at 3 p.m. I hadn't dressed appropriately and completely forgot gloves, so I was one chilly popsicle.  When I returned home, I unloaded and then turned on the gas fireplace.  I huddled next to it. Lesson learned. The weather is completely bizarro across the globe, and while I would normally be prepared in November in Colorado, so many friends have been reporting high temps that I completely forgot.  Someday I think I will find warm places to go between January and March.  I did the opposite of snowbirding when I moved to snow country three years ago.  It's the power and the pull of grand children, don't you know?

I hope that you, too, are relieved that the elections are (mostly) over.  We may breath again.  For awhile.

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Circle Game

I continue to sort through boxes from my parents' house.  Slowly, I am making headway.  A large box, full of binders, has travel mementos from their trips abroad, including Australia, Hungry, France and the South Seas.  They had a very good traveling life that lasted for a couple of decades.  Very few personal photos in these binders, but I look through all of them so I don't miss any gems.  Then they go in the trash.  I doubt that even my parents looked at these binders over the last 30 years.  The receipts for hotel rooms or cups of tea mean nothing to me.  Occasionally there will be a photo of them together, and I save those.

I found this photo of me when I was sixteen.  My dad took it at our house in Carmel.  The sea shell necklace was made by a boyfriend, who dropped me at the end of a summer romance because I wouldn't 'sleep' with me.  I didn't feel ready and I stuck to my guns.  He didn't want to wait.  Oh, hormones.

This photo is my mother in 1960, when she was twenty-five.  They already had three children by then.  We were living on Rio Road, just down the street from the Carmel Mission. 

I forget how beautiful she was.  The last twenty years of life were hard on her.  Parkinson's is a terribly cruel disease.  She had beautiful handwriting which deteriorated significantly. She loved to read books, making regular trips to the library all throughout my childhood.  Her eyesight failed her for her last decade and that delightful past time was lost to her.  It helps me to remember that she once was young and strong and led an interesting life.  She had smarts, and talent, and being a young mother in the 1960s was restrictive.  She took the traditional role of wife and mother, and wasn't always very happy about it.  They played bridge with friends, took us kids on a lot of field trips, and did a fine job overall even though they were excessively young.  

Going through all these old photos makes my mind reel a bit. Have all those years really flown by so quickly?  Still many boxes to go, and who knows what other gems I will find.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Somebody Feed ME

Yesterday it was raining leaves all over my street.  Bright yellow leaves catching the sun as they dropped to the ground.  A neighbor and I sat on her patio and watched the show.  I tried, but did not get, a good video.  Today I watched as another neighbor's grandkids raked a huge pile of the things.  I waited for the gleeful shouts of kids as the dove into that pile, but no, the pile still remains.  What's wrong with those kids?! Turns out, nothing.  I watched them later, along with their grandparents as they dove into the pile and then raked again.

Today, a big wind blew most of the leaves off most of the trees.  Leaves are piled high on my front patio, and I wonder when the landscape company will come to clear them up.  I cleared a path for Lucy, who dislikes leaves almost as much as she dislikes snow.

We've had a few days in the high seventies, but rumor has it we're in for a cold night and lower temps for the next few days.  I'm watching the national weather, and some people are getting snowed on while others bake.  I watched a news story about how low the mighty Mississippi is now.  It's disrupting cargo ships from getting through at certain points.  This is happening to rivers all over the world.  So much for a river cruise.

I continue to feel better and better; getting out into the world and enjoying it immensely.  I went to a taco joint that my son in law recommended, and had lovely carnitas and pork belly tacos with a delicious margarita.  Very nice staff, all very young, and I sat at the counter and enjoyed their company.  Those tacos were perfectly succulent and satisfying.  I will be going back.  The Netflix show, "Somebody Feed Phil" has got me excited about Mexican, Tex-Mex and BBQ foods again.  My appetite is back!  I bought his book and it arrived today.  I doubt I will cook from it because I'm not cooking much anymore, but maybe someday I'll get my mojo back.  How great of a job does Phil have?  Traveling and eating great food!  It's a true 'feel good' program, and if you like food and feeling good, this is the show for you.

Off to Boulder tomorrow to meet up with friends and have a lunch at their country club.  The club has a great view, and perhaps some lingering fall color.  Cross yer fingers.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Turning the Corner

Whoeee, boys and girls, I do believe I've turned a corner.  About 10 days ago I had a really really good day full of energy and a zest for living.  I thought, "I'm feeling like the old me again!"  Then it happened the next day, and the next.  I had a few days in there where energy disappeared again, but it came back.  

The week was busy with getting my new flooring installed in the living room.  Wednesday the movers came to move the furniture into the garage.  Thursday the carpet was removed and new flooring put in.  Friday the movers came back and did the job in reverse.  Saturday another mover showed up to deliver things from my parents' house, including a grandfather clock.  I didn't plan it that way, I just knew I wanted to get the flooring in before the clock arrived.  The universe provided the impeccable timing.  I'm extremely happy with the flooring, as that poor rug just kept greeting me with new stains from gawd knows where.  Some were created by Lucy, but others were a complete mystery.  My only complaint about the job was the tile dust that spread throughout the house when the tile was being cut into and removed.  No sheeting was put up between the living room and the kitchen/eating area and so everything was covered with fine, almost volcanic, dust.

Friday night I went to see a favorite comedian of mine, Marc Maron.  I love his east coast, sometimes dark, very honest, Jewishness and the lens he sees the world with.  He brought his A game and I laughed so much I almost lost my breath.  I had a dynamite seat, stage left, about 5 rows back.  I would love to meet him and become friends.  I don't imagine that will ever happen, but I'd love it if it did.

The next day I packed up the car and my little Lucy, and headed down to Boulder to have dinner and an overnight with friends.  It was a great evening, and B pulled out all the stops on his dinner menu.  Much wine was consumed for a change, and then we watched the new Elvis biopic on HBOmax.  Well done movie and the acting was superb.  Never a fan of Elvis, but this movie was compelling and made me care.

I went to brunch with my friends this morning at a little inn in the mountains.  I drive by it when I come to Boulder, and have always wondered what it was like.  Now I know.  Built in the late 1800s when the area had a gold rush, it has been many things, and now finally, a restaurant and event center.

I arrived home around 3:00 this afternoon, and after unloading the car, took a nap and slept deeply.  I was so tired I didn't want to get up to have some dinner.  But, as many diabetics know, it's important to eat on schedule to maintain blood sugars, so I forced myself up and had mushroom risotto with some green beans.  Yum.

I'm hitting the sack at 9:00 pm and hope to wake up tomorrow with some energy.  I have a lot of boxes to unpack.  I'll have to figure out where I have room for things (or not).  It's a little odd to see my parents clock in my living room.  They got it in 1975, and it's been a feature in their living room ever since.  I'm glad to have it as it brings back good memories.

So, this return of energy?  I know it was a process, but when it really kicked into high gear, if felt as if a switch had been flipped.  I looked at the world anew.  I still am looking at everything with fresh eyes.  It's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Self Acceptance

A certain amount of life-review is going on with me. Suppose it is the culmination of the events of the past three years and my recent near death debacle. When I think about when I was most happy over the last decade, it was when Steve and I bought our house and, days later, married. I felt settled, content and satisfied that my life had come to this. My parents liked my husband -- a new experience for me! Husband number one - nope. Wife number one - definitely nope.

Finally, here I was with a spouse that I could take to my parents' home; we socialized together, drank martinis and became silly together.  And Steve adored my mother.  I loved my new home and the lovely park like lot it sat on.  I had a hammock out front -- my "Happy Place," I called it.

When Steve's Parkinson's became worse, it was clear that we needed to move to a place where he could be cared for as his disease progressed.  We sold our much loved house only a few years after we moved in.  It was the move from hell.  Steve was no help at all, and that was only partially due to PD.  I carried the load on this one.  And it pissed me off.  Then I felt guilty for my anger towards him.  After all, he was ill.  

The next couple of years were a blur for many reasons, both his and mine.  I think about what I could have done differently and feel bad about the times I did not rise to the occasion.

I carry 'guilt' not only for those times, but previous relationships as well.  I am hard on myself.  I am working on this.  This quote came across my Facebook feed today and really spoke to me.

From Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. "A quality of mature spirituality is self-acceptance, rather than guilt, blame, or shame for the ignorant acts we've committed or the fears that still remain within us. It understands that inner opening requires the warm sun of loving-kindness. In deep self-acceptance grows a compassionate understanding. We are asked to touch with mercy the parts of ourself that we have denied, cut off, or isolated. Mature spirituality is a reflection of our deep gratitude and capacity for forgiveness.

Excerpt: "Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are"

My stumblings were born out of my ignorance, or out of my human shortcomings. I endeavor to pluck the memories of good deeds and good things that have also (abundantly) populated my life. It is a never ending exercise.

Can You Go Home Again?

In 1977 and 1978, my first husband and I lived in a 560 square foot cottage in a picture perfect beach town in California.  It was a great l...