Monday, September 22, 2008

A giveaway not to be missed

There's a wonderful giveaway with prizes at Marie's A Year From Oak Cottage. Marie is a dedicated blogger who always has something inspiring and thought-provoking to say. And to top it off, she's an excellent chef.

Check it out and maybe you will even win the giveaway!


Sunday, September 21, 2008


from Shoeboxblog

Worst Lipstick Color Names

* Cheese-Curl-Fingers Orange
* Hockey Mom.
* First Response Pink
* Rose McGowen.
* Mid Level Whore
* Guacamole
* Two-Shades-Lighter-Than-The-Liner Pink
* Spinster
* Old-Lady-Scalp Pink
* Stubborn Bloodstain
* Naughty Grandma Red
* Preparation L
* Uptight Sweater-Set Pink
* There’s Something On Your Lip
* Mystery-Carpet-Stain Brown

Have one to add?

Friday, September 19, 2008

so you don't have to live in the mire with me completely

heh heh

good old Shoeboxblog


Did I tell you we got two kitties? They are both black, one the mama (Judy) and the other, her son (O'Reilly). Both are quite young and they are v sweet. They both have terrible cabin fever today though. Their spay/neutering was on Monday and they are supposed to be resting, but instead, they are running wildly all over the house, batting things off the tables, swinging at feet that pass by, thinking of terrorizing the dog, and generally, going nuts. They are big-time stir crazy. But the vet says 5 more days before they can go outside and burn this energy off. So it should be a loooooong weekend. ;)

Am going to lunch with Laurel today, to celebrate my birthday. I am finally up for a brief outing. This grief is so weird. I had no idea how many things it could affect - like my energy level and desire to socialize, to name a few. And it goes up and down rapidly - one moment I am ready to talk, make calls, see friends, and the next moment, the mere thought of answering the phone is overwhelming. So if you've called lately, please understand if I don't call you back for a while.

I did manage to use yesterday's energy to get a few job applications out. And to deal with some of Dad's estate paperwork. And to bring my plants in so they didn't freeze in the season's first frost.

It is fall here, and that makes me happy. Yesterday my birthday was a cool, slightly blustery fall day, like the day Rebecca and Molly and Lisa and I went down to the river to celebrate my birthday with a picnic, a million years ago. Coming into my favorite season will help me with the grief. I am both looking forward to and dreading the holidays. Should be hard, but also comforting in some strange way.

Remind me to tell you about the banquet we went to the other night to receive an award for Dad.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Well, the last few days have been really hard for us. Mom is now gone to Mexico and I have been feeling very alone. It is amazing how alone you can feel when a beloved parent disappears off the horizon. I really don't know how to chart the waters without Dad. Scott had an especially hard day today, with every moment full of Dad memories and a longing for his presence.

Today was also a special blessing because Lauren's baby, Caleb Benjamin, has arrived - and both are alive and healthy! I was in a blind panic - the kind you get suddenly whenever someone close to you has just died - waiting for news. I don't know what I would have done if something happened to Lauren. Thank you God.

I am not ready to talk about my father in past tense - I may never be. So here are a few things you might like to know about him. These are some of my favorites, today, to celebrate him two days before the horrid one month mark, and on 9/11 (now and forevermore to be known as The Day of New Life).

***Dad likes birds. Of course he is obsessively in love with loons. But he also likes other birds, large and small. He is always on the lookout for an eagle or an eagle's nest. He can name different hawks, knows the difference between a hawk and a buzzard, and knows the calls and natures of the Chickadee, Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, Cormorant, Red-Winged Blackbird, and Common Grackle, among others. Woodpeckers seem to always appear for him, especially at Bass Lake. Dad spots animals in the field as you drive along the highway - wild turkeys, deer, a fox, and the ever elusive moose. He is always looking for the infamous New Hampshire moose (and don't even bother arguing this, Hampsters - they barely exist).

Dad likes beer in cans: Coors Light, Miller Light, or Miller Genuine Draft. He loves salted mixed nuts, but likes sugar-coated walnuts or pecans even more. He has a wicked sweet tooth, and the older he gets, the more he is seen sneaking chocolate or cinnamon-sticky goodies into the house. He likes sandwich cookies, and always takes six, carrying them in a perfect stack in one hand. Oreos are a big hit.

Dad whistles in the car. He also has been known to break into song at the top of his lungs (particularly with the song "Maria" from West Side Story), with arms held out wide. "Blue Moon" seemed to be the soundtrack through my childhood, and he would change the words as he liked on the particular day...usually starting with, "Big Al, I saw you standing alone." He and mom often sit in the car in the garage if a good song is playing when they arrive home, to listen to the end. He had the big-time hots for Wonder Woman (a "You Go Girl" shout out to Linda Carter). He also thought Angelina was hot, but please, what guy didn't? (I never agreed with that one.)

Dad likes to give motivational speeches, and advice a-plenty. He likes to teach - God forbid you ask him about something he really knows (like insurance, marketing, motivation, positive thinking, fishing, loons, nature, history, science, et al). You are in for a long sit and you might as well settle in with a cold drink. When he smoked (which he did for over 50 years), he would sit on the back porch and drink his coffee, smoke, and watch the birds in the morning. He might take a tablet and pen and write some thoughts to organize his day. Lauren reminded me he used to put inspirational phrases to himself on his screen saver, like, "Just write one chapter this week, Larry - the book is pretty good!"

Though he is a major motivator, encourager, and mentor (apparently, to many, as the sympathy cards and emails attest), he could be seriously grumpy and cranky and depressed. Years of his life were cloaked in depression, until he finally, FINALLY tried some anti-depressants. And then he/we recovered his lovely inner self. He liked to go to The Pub at this time and tell the crotchety old fishermen and underemployed construction workers to try anti-depressants. "It'll change your life; it did mine," he would say. Quite humorous really.

He is a big-time fisherman and is quite good at it. For no reason I can uncover, the rest of us never learned to drive the damn boat, and so now it will probably be sold. Mom says we don't know how to drive it because Dad never let anyone drive it. Ahem. He also never let me mow the lawn (what?) and now I don't know how. Ridiculous. Well, once he let me try the riding lawnmower in Pennsylvania, but I near ran it into the shed because I didn't know how to stop or turn it. Dear god. So that was the end of that.

Dad is a very good writer and has completed one book of fishing/life memoirs and one book on loon species and his love of loons (that's what Scott says it's about b/c he laid out the book, spending countless hours with it). Dad has a 100% article submission-to-publication rate, which he is very proud of. (To us writers, that's an incredible statistic.) He has written many articles for newspapers, magazines, online publications, and countless insurance newsletters. He never minded ghost writing for Presidents and Vice-Presidents of his insurance companies. But he also went on to publish many things under his own name.***

Dad is woven through me in so many ways. We have a practically matching personality, same level of inner angst, unfortunate temperamental digestive system, ability to sympathize and empathize, desire to help others in need (particularly in the local community - Dad always said, "Charity starts at home and goes outward from there"), mushy sentimentality and propensity for getting choked up to tears at family events, and the same crazed, impulsive energy, to be shortly followed by a desire for blob-like inactivity. We both like to read, to learn continually, to share holidays with as much family as possible, to hide at times, to keep things in, and to let things out by writing them.

I miss him terribly. He is and was a good, good man. He has always been a perfect father. He constantly yelled, "Who's the greatest Dad you ever had?!?" You are. Love you Daddy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Does this make sense to you?

UPS driver Brent Boyd poses with his truck on Friday, Aug. 29, 2008 in Palestine, Texas. Brent Boyd on Thursday surpassed one million miles on his UPS delivery van, the same vehicle he's driven for 22 years with the company. (AP Photo/Palestine Herald, Cheril Vernon)


...'cause it doesn't make sense to me. But then, I have been very slow on the uptake recently.

Thursday night

It strikes me as very odd that I have been crying for 23 days in a row. I can't imagine I've ever cried so much in my life. And several times a day, for a variety of reasons. A bird flew overhead while I was driving, the people at the car loan company wouldn't help me (or even talk to me about my Dad's account), the flowers are dropping, I found a letter Dad wrote to me over ten years ago that was so funny, I am too tired to make the bed, mom and I found ourselves in a huge yelling match for no reason, the To Do list on sorting the estate is too fucking long, I still don't have a job, I can't imagine having the energy to get a job, I have perpetually puffy eyelids, Anna and Emma sent cards to Tip - the dying dog, the dog woke up another get the idea. Any old reason will do.

I have brief glimmers of needing the people to surround me - the people who are not here and available to surround me. Then the window closes up and when they return my calls, I am sorely irritated. I need casseroles. Then hate my fat reflection in the mirror. I want hugs. Then can't stand to be touched and find my legs twitching or everything aching all over.

Oh, this is good times.

I'm sorry I don't have the strength to read your blogs tonight or even ask how you are (but how are you?)...I am tired down to the insides of my bones. My Dad would say, "Don't print that on your blog or the employers will never hire you." Guess what Dad, you can't give me advice anymore b/c you are dead. [as if that will stop him]

Anyway, I do care how you are. So if you feel the energy in your life, put a Comment on this blog and tell me a little something about you. I promise when I have the strength to ask you again, I will.


p.s. Mom and I went to see "Mamma Mia" tonight - that helped.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I say to the Universe, and whoever may be listening's really unfair that my dog is dying amidst (and as an indirect result of) my father's death. Really freaking unfair.