A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love wins today.

Gay Men's Chorus Los Angeles

So happy today for you all.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


SO sorry I didn't get my season this year.  The whole year looked amazing, and this is stunning.  Way to kill it, gentlemen.

Monday, June 22, 2015


How lucky am I, to have been born into this life, on this planet?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Feels.

Where did that come from, anyway?

Guess it doesn't matter.  It fits.

I've been puttering.  Gorgeous day.  My son is trying to help me finish the cleaning out of his dad's room.  I had done quite a bit, but had to wait until school was out for this last bit.  Just sorting out the last few boxes of paper.  Photos I do want, photos I don't want.  Memorabilia of happier - and not so happy - times.  Actually pretty close to being done.

Father's Day is tomorrow - on the solstice - and my birthday the day after.

Makes for an odd combination of emotions.

I celebrate as I sort when I run across something that makes me smile.  The relationship was so awful for so long that I've wondered if I had anything positive left.  I want to.  He was the father of my children, and I'm glad they have positive memories, positive feelings for their father.

The youngest headed out early this morning for Solstice in Santa Barbara.

His brother just posted that his second child - due in early September - will be a boy.

I've been listening to Michael Giacchino's score for Tomorrowland.  It is the music of optimism, and hope.  And love.

And today it makes me lonesome.

For the relationship I did not have.  For the children I dare not smother.  For the big boy not here to tell me stories, and for the infant brother I will not get to smoosh.

Not lonely, but lonesome for sure.

I won't marry again.  Funny story.  One of my young woman friends, who has had a lot of fun with online dating, was urging me to sign up.  In fact, a couple of people suggested one of the sites for older daters.  I declined, so my young friend made up a fake account so she could check it out for me.  Later she checked back in, and said that she didn't think I was ready for online dating.  I laughed and said, "They just want to get laid, right?"  And she grimaced and nodded.  Not looking to get laid, thank you, and no interest in taking care of someone else.  The last man who asked me out (sort of) said, "How 'bout you come to my house and make me dinner?"

Be still my heart.

No, thank you.

But it would be lovely to have someone in my life to share a conversation with that didn't revolve around family issues or work issues.  Maybe a common interest, like writing?  Or gardening?  Or getting the hell out of this county for a while?

Someone asked me what I was planning for my summer break and I said all I wanted was to round up a refrigerator box, plop it on a beach, crawl in and stare at sister sea for a few days.

Oh, well.  It's just a mood.  Probably a confluence of the news of the baby, the sorting of the past, the new moon with Jupiter and Venus last night, this fabulous emotional music and my birthday coming.


Cue the Beatles.

It sounded so old when I was fourteen.  Fifty years gone by, and I don't feel so old at all.

Out of shape, yes.  A torn meniscus makes it rough to walk, and I've been eating myself through this stress-filled year.

I was inspired to engage in my most recent weight-loss project by someone who lost ONLY 32 pounds.  32 pounds that had such an impact on his appearance that I didn't recognize him after not seeing him for that year.  The thought of losing over a hundred pounds was overwhelming, but I knew I could lose 30 pounds in a year.  And that first year lost 42.  And the year after another 30.  And the third year another 10.  82 total.  And I held on as my world crumbled.  And then this last year, with its financial betrayals and physical challenges, has been so difficult that I turned to my drug of choice.  28 pounds back on.  I comfort myself that I am still WAY ahead of the game, but man, this stuff came on fast and I can hardly move.


Get through my birthday, then start my healthy eating (again) and back to the gym (AGAIN).

I felt SO GOOD at that lower weight.  Physical energy, for sure, but the emotional energy was breathtaking. 

Trying to focus on that.

But this mood.  This lonesome, hopeless and helpless mood better hit the road pretty quick.

My soul is an optimist and doesn't let me wallow for long.  She makes me check out the sunset (pink now) and the bright blue sky and the clouds and my yard full of flowers.  I think I need to fill the hummingbird feeders tomorrow.  That will help, too.

For now, help me out, Michael.  Your music is going to get me through this.  ("Pins of a Feather" is my favorite.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Remember my student?

My student with Cerebral Palsy that got such great support from his friends for his Genius Hour presentation?

Well, he did it again!

He has promised himself that at high school graduation he would walk without his walker to pick up his diploma.  He changed his mind.

And surprised everyone by walking at middle school graduation.  His dad was his spotter, but this fighter did the work himself.  The audience burst into applause, of course.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


...to a class act.

Mom and I will join the fans of the Disneyland Band tomorrow to show our love and support to this icon of Disneyland history.  It is being replaced by something "comedic" and "high energy," presumably to entice a younger audience than those of us who have been loyal Disneyland visitors for sixty years.

I've done several posts about our joy from this group in this blog over the years.  They have been one of the few stable artifacts of the original park that Walt built.  It hurts to see them tossed aside.

By stupid management.

Really?  Do you really think a younger audience gives a rip about entertainment?

I teach middle school.  They don't stop to listen to a performance past the age of ten when they are old enough to be on their own in the park and race from one ride queue to the next.  They also don't stop to spend money.

Have you read  your Disneyland history lately, Disney management?  Walt wanted a park that would appeal to ALL AGES.  The Disneyland Band is a show for the very young who love to dance with them and for those of us who got over the whole ride thing years ago.  For the last five years, when I brought first both aging parents and, now that my dad is gone, my mother, we simply follow the music.  Our day used to be the Disneyland Band sets to Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (another huge entertainment mistake) to the ragtime piano.

Mom says her Disneyland days may be over if the band is gone.  Too bad, as she can't get out of the park without dropping at least $200 on food and souvenirs each trip.

And if her days are over, mine may be, too.  The park has become a progressively sadder place for me over the last five years as management makes one entertainment mistake after another.

I wondered what would happen to my beloved Park when there was no longer a Disney to keep watch over the Dream.  Apparently what is happening is a move into cheesy tackiness.  The 60th parade seems to have a theme of Las Vegas meets Mardi Gras and now to lose the Disneyland Band, an icon of high class entertainment.  So sad.  Maybe too sad to overcome.   A lifetime of joyful visits coming to a close.

Heads up, Disneyland.  If you want to attract the young adult audience, you need to start putting some money into Walt's park, starting with the rumored upgrade/update of Tomorrowland.  I don't know why you need to, since the place is constantly packed, but if that's the goal, taking away the entertainment that draws the older audience isn't going to make a bit of difference.

Disgusted with you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


A very strange feeling.

Not scary, like implosion.  And not exactly introversion, which is where I live.


This is a feeling of folding in, accompanied by an overwhelming desire to be totally alone.

Really wishing I knew someone with a sweet little cottage they needed a house sitter for.

On the beach.

For about a month.

This is not unusual.  A couple of years ago I read an article about adults with autism and was very much like Charlie Brown when Lucy hits on his phobia:


I had all the signs.  Two that I really identified with were that it is easier for me to communicate through the written word than to converse.  And I cannot handle conflict.  My brain short-circuits.  Very much like the robot movies where you can see the wiring short-circuit, I can practically see the synapses struggling to make the connections.  One of my colleagues gave a staff meeting presentation on autism and one of the signs was poor core strength and thus poor posture (mentioned occasionally by my immediate family as "the weird way Mom sits.")  I took the online autism survey:


A score of 34 or above suggest someone may be on the spectrum.

My score was 35.

I mentioned it to my colleague and friend who is our SPED teacher, and she nonchalantly said, "Oh, yeah, I've noticed that.  You have a hard time with eye contact."

It was marvelously freeing.

I was a silent child.  It was an era when perfect children were seen and not heard, and my mom is to this day ever so proud of her PERFECT daughter.

So to know that I'm probably on the spectrum is oddly comforting.  No wonder I could never talk myself out of it.

I have absolutely no memories of holding a conversation of any kind until late in high school.  I was everybody's sweetheart good listener.  I could perform in front of hundreds of people, but not come up with a meaningful question or - heaven forbid - engage in an argument.  About anything.

I continue to struggle with what I eventually nicknamed my social retardation, and still have a very difficult time expressing what I want.

Even to myself.

Which is why the infolding, the inversion.  The last year has been one of having the world impose its wishes, needs and desires onto me.  Much of it I cannot avoid.  Some of it has hurt as people I thought knew me demonstrated instead that their priority was what they believed to be best.  For me.

For example, when I came home in September and found my husband dead in his bed, I reacted as usual.  I'm good in a crisis, as long as I can go deep.  I find the steps and work them.  Call 911.  Who wouldn't get off the line until I had someone with me.  The EMT's arrived, followed by the deputy (someone I knew).  All of whom insisted I have someone with me.  I settled on my brother, with whom I had spent many quiet hours growing up.  He was the only one I wanted.  A calm presence to settle me as I took the difficult steps ahead. My mother was in heart failure and I absolutely did not want her to go through this with me.

He showed up with her in tow.  Followed my his wife and my niece.  Who were followed by my sister and my nephew.  Who were shortly followed by my sister's husband and the girl they had taken in a few months prior but who I barely knew.  My SIL decided we needed food.  Food was the last thing I wanted.  I wanted - needed - them all gone so that I could go deep and deal with calling my sons - one in Tennessee and one in Japan - to tell them their father had died.  That was on Tuesday.  I got through my calls and the next day of grief with my boys.  Thursday was when I had to start digging through paperwork and shifted from grief to rage when I started to realize what a financial mess the man had left for me.  By Friday all I wanted was the quiet dinner my Mom and I had shared every Friday night since my dad died in 2010.  Instead she informed me that she had decided she needed the family there.  Somewhat shell-shocked, I could at least let them know the date of the memorial service.  My SIL asked incredulously if I was going to attend and my sister informed me that her son's high school band had a fundraiser that night.  I made it through the dinner and then, when home with my Mom, had a breakdown when I asked if she would please come to the service for my kids' sake.

More recently I had the marvelous, once-in-a-career special teaching experience that I wrote about here previously.  At lunch I was telling my colleagues about it.  Subbing that day was someone I consider a good friend, a BFF status friend.  Mid-way through the story, in the middle of a sentence, she blurted out something about my fingernails.  It was like being hit on the side of the head with a baseball bat.  Really?  My fingernails?  My students showed ultimate kindness and support to one of the class, and she is distracted by my fingernails.

Normally by today I would be giddy.  I said goodbye to that class.  My school year is almost over.  Two more days.  Graduation tomorrow, packing the classroom Friday and I am done.  By now I usually have happy lists with smiley faces and hearts as codes for all the fun projects I am looking forward to.

And I got nothing.

Just this desire to crawl into a box on the beach somewhere.