A Month of Gratefulness

This is the last day of September 2011.

Thus ends the "Simple Pleasures" Blog.

I'm sure some of you give a hearty sigh of relief to not be "pelted" or "swamped" by my daily missive.
You know what? You can always just hit "delete."
Or tell me you don't want to be on the fucking mailer anymore. Or don't click this link.

On the other hand....
Some of you have told me how "much the daily reminder of the blog sets their mind on their own gratitude for things" in their life..... and that makes me glad.

At one point early in the beginning of this month, I told Lynnie I was bailing from this project because of a couple reasons.

One was that I didn't think that anyone wanted to read my daily blather, and that it was self presumptuous and self involved to write it.
Also that I felt it might take away from some of my other writing ideas. 

Well, I have learned a thing or two in this month's project.

One is that the more you are grateful for things, the more things come to you to be grateful for. (or at least I observe them in such a light). Granted, there were a couple of days that I really had to stretch myself to find something to be thankful for on a shite day. But that was a good exercise too. To find something good in a hard day. Some days are like that. Momma said. :)

And while it did take away from some of my other writing projects and ideas, it was very good to change my daily focus too. For what I realized,  is that my life is, over all, a very good life.

Yes, Harry's torn up all the work I've done from this last spring's blog notations on "Dumpster Days.
Yes, the garden shed is full now of his stuff, the mud room, the deck and the back yard is horrid. AGAIN. Yes, He "promises me" that it will get better once Screamers Hollow gets up and running.
And Yes, I am trying not to stress.

Instead, I save money for another fecking dumpster and hope for the best and for the Gods to give me some more strength and fortitude to be able to hold up and not only survive with a man like this,...
but to THRIVE.

Life IS Good, dammit.

Don't let the politicians and the government and the media tell you it's not.

They LIE for their own agendas.

Life is about friends, and doggies, and kitties, and birdsong, and sunshine, and music and laughter and enjoying your bed (even if you are hormonal and only sleep for about 2 hours a shot all night)....
you are ALIVE.

Life is about enjoying a beautiful sunset or even better...a sunRISE.

It's about forgetting to bring a casserole to a party because you and your lover had a lovely romp and he fucked your brains out and while you were halfway to your destination,  you realized you forgot to bring the casserole. :) My dear....there are WORSE things to happen :)

Life is about puppy kisses, and helping your disabled daughter clean her room, and loaning your other daughter money to buy college books (that's a wondrous great thing to support).

It's about weighing yourself after taking a shit and finding you lost a pound. Or TWO :).

It's about having dishes to do because you had a kick-ass party and cooked some great food and everyone got their bellies filled.

And leftovers. So you won't have to cook for another couple of days.

Life is about making your bills, and maybe having enough leftover to do something fun.

It's about enjoying food for the pleasure of it, and sometimes not counting the calories.

Life is also sometimes about spending money you don't have to buy a Steam punk jacket, just cuz you wanted it, goddamit.

It's about the dragonfly that came and settled next to you while you read a book on the porch, and you checked him out and he was amazing.

Life is about being tangled in sheets with your lover and just enjoying the feel of him wrapped all around you like a pretzel and not wanting to get up, and him telling you, you can't get up because he'll miss you.

It's about writing a blog, mentioning a song, and a reader read the blog and at the very same moment, while he was reading your blog, the very same song was on HIS radio playing. It's about the magic of synchronicity.

It's about acknowledgement of others in life, in giving or receiving their gifts, in profile pics, in emails, in a spontaneous text of love, in stupid fucking blogs, that people love or hate but you know you must write the stories.

Life is about deciding to have a wonderful piece of whole grain bread with real butter or a warm biscuit from the oven when you haven't been eating carbs...and you ADORED it for the treat it was.

Life is about these little simple pleasure stories.

Thanks for listening this month . :)

Simple Pleasures 28

I am grateful this day for:

1) My beautiful, twining, luscious blue Morning Glories!

2) Helping Shawna sort out her room, her clothes and I am so proud of her being independant. (even when she wore her egg & olive sandwich at lunch :)

3) People in Shawna's life as her caretakers. Barb Gregg in particular. What a wonderful person she is :)

4) Leftovers in the fridge, so that I don't have to really cook tonight!

5) The warm breezes this morning on my walk, and the delicious cooler breezes with rain sweetly falling tonight.

6) Shawna home for the evening and choosing to be with us, here, instead of going bowling with her friends. :)

7) Feeling loved with texts from my honey.

I hope your day was wonderful and filled with joy!

Simple Pleasures 27

Always look on the bright side of life.......(whistle..)

Today I am thankful for the good news part of the good news/bad news scenarios.

1) Dentists who give you a fair shake.
Went to go get started on getting my royal "crown" started today. There was a hair line fracture in the tooth that I just had the root canal on which is the one we were treating for the crown. After the temporary filling was removed, the decay ground out from under the old filling, and when it was ready to have it's "core buildup" I got some bad news. The tooth was too fragile to save with a crown. The dentist was straight up with me, and said that I could go ahead and cap it, but it probably wouldn't last and I would loose the tooth anyway....maybe a couple of years. Best to just reconstruct it, fix it with a filling, see how long I could go and go from there. Bad news is a bridge is 3x the cost of a crown. So I saved $1100 today. But should start saving for a bridge over trouble choppers. The dentist could've raked me for a crown too, but chose to help me with good advice. I like that. I will be gentle with myself and cross that "bridge" when I get there.

2) Harry had a total stranger pull up next to him at a traffic light and tell him he was missing his license plate.
Damned if he was! He thought it must've rusted and fell off. NO. Someone had stolen the plate and PUT THE SCREWS BACK IN. He called the cops to report it. The last time this happened, the plate was stolen off his van at the mechanics shop (it wasn't running at the time), vandals stole the plate....then stole a car to put the plate on it...then robbed a BANK. So, YAH....we reported the plate as stolen right away....
So he'll be getting different plates soon. Clean ones. AGAIN.

3) I am thankful for friends who hold my hand, let me put my head on their shoulder and drool on them when my mouth was frozen with novacaine :)

It's all good if you look at it so.


Simple Pleasures 26

Hey Ho :)

Today's wee pleasures and loveliness include:

1) A potato cake made from yesterday's Colcannon for breakfast! :)

2) Sorting out a stack of music, to learn, to file in music books, for different shows....it occurs to me how grateful I am to be able to learn and remember such great tunes, silly, beautiful, randy, sad, happy or otherwise.

3) Lunch out at Chinese restaurant. It was nice, but I soooo enjoyed my pot of tea!

4) A crisp Empire apple as a gift from Debbie at my desk. Sweet, good for me and crunchy and full of the flavor of Fall!

5) Coming home tonight, fixing some dinner and watching a couple of episodes of "Big Bang Theory" by myself and with feet up.....just so relaxing and calm. I love my house.

6) A lovely snuggle with my love. Safe. Happy. Together. :)

Hope your day was great too :)

Simple Pleasures 25

Today was a fabulous day :)

Harry & I had our first day off together since about the middle of May! We puttered on our projects, me working on cleaning up the house, and Harry working on all of his props and projects for Screamer's Hollow.

We also had company over today, Lorie and Chris, Talon and Nick, for dinner, drinks and movies (Princess Bride/Thor/Priest) and a great visit all together.

Here are the things I am so happy and grateful for:

1) Getting my house prettified again, in a timely fashion before company.

2) Cooking. I just love to cook for company. I made roasted chickens, veggies, colcannon and "apple crack" :) It was totally a joy to cook and to share our food with our good friends.

3) Sitting on my porch, before anyone got here, enjoying a drink, reading my book, on a delightful late summer day.

4) Friends are my loved ones :) Loved ones are my friends. :)

5) Rest. Relaxation. Conversation.

6) A comfy couch and a puppy pile of loved ones, happy, calm, and safe.

7) Lorie brushed my hair! mmmm...so nice and so sweet and so calming. A very lovely experience. Thank you for offering. (my brush is always handy at a moment's notice  :)

8)  Pine candles.

89) My laptop....even if it does have sticky keys ever since I tripped on the cord and it fell off the end table (oh what a lovely ass over teakettle trip i made) .... and is now slower than molasses....it helps me keep in touch...with YOU.


hugs and hope your day was great too! :)

Simple Pleasures 24

A very good day :)

Goodly things I am thankful for:

1) Presenting a 15 minute slot of music for a show "Tunes along the Towpath" at a showcase for teachers. Happy to do it, meet folks and hobnob and schmooze with other artists, musicians and performers. It was like a Greek meeting of the minds being at SOTA (School of the Arts) with like minds all being together for the celebration and progression of music, art and language in one place of education.

2) A beautiful day for a long drive home.

3) A NAP afterwards, for 2 solid hours with Harry & Monty.

4) Harry took me out to Dominick's in Syracuse. I had Broiled Butter Crumb Haddock. mmmmmm!

5) playing "ball game" with Monty Joe. He's so happy.

6) just vegged after a hot bath in jammies and Harry & I watched the movie "The Beaver" (Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson). Great movie.

Hope your day was fabulous too!

Simple Pleasures 23

These are some of the amazing and fun things I am celebrating today on this, the first day of FALL!

1) Went out to lunch and had an amazing antipasto salad and lovely visit with Talon.

2) He took me to a store, let me pick out something I've been wishing for, and bought it for me.
It made my day :)

3) Hearing "Alright Now" by Mitch Ryder and Detroit (one of my all time favorite songs) while I was driving  and cranking it and singing full bore. :)

4) STRONG Sphincter muscles.
There are good things about being on a good eating plan. One is that you become a "regular" kind of gal..
(I know....this is probably TMI.....:)
you know the old saying, "Never pass up the opportunity to privy"?
Well, I did. (Read: "I didn't want to poop in Wegman's Rest Room..... I mean......who does?  :)
Thought I could "hold it" till I got home.... (Read: 20 minute drive :)
Bad call.
On the drive home, my stomach started to give me dangerous warning signs, gurgling noises, harsh cramping, followed by me being driven by my intestines to go WAY FASTER in the car....
Only to be thwarted by a driver in front of me going.... THE FUCKING SPEED LIMIT
(Damn him)
Thank the GODS I know Lamaze breathing from childbirth class way back when.
I can't believe I made it.
Got home. Jumped out of the car, RAN into the house, blew past Monty....
As I saw my most beautiful and handsome waiting potty at home, all I could think of was....
"A shit in time saves.............well.............EVERYTHING".
This was truly a Simple pleasure worth celebrating :)

5) Laughter. It's a good thing to be able to laugh at one's self  :)

Hope your day wasn't shitty either :)

Simple Pleasures 22

I am thankful for:

1) Listening to a new song and Harry & I figured it out in about 10 minutes this morning ;)

2) I bought myself a new set of sweats/jammies tonight and took a  hot bath and got in them to relax.

3) Dinner that was good for me when I was hungry.

4) The hope of fun events in the future....dinner parties, bonfires, gigs....

5) Chai tea this afternoon for a mid day treat :)

6) Watching Shawna nod off to sleep at 9am on the couch while waiting for her transport to come pick her up. She had on the cutest face :)

I hope you had a day and could find something wonderfully simple to be thankful for too :)


Simple Pleasures 21

Keeping up with Lynn Barbato (who started me on this monthly mission of blogging for Sept. on our simple daily joys :)

I am grateful to the Universe today for the following:

1) Being able to DRIVE. I love to drive. I love my car. I love a fall day to drive my car. It rocks.

2) Picking up my baby girl Shawna (23) from her residence and having her spend the day with her mommy. She is STILL my baby (as is Miss Jesse -25) and I will always soak them up. (Granted I now LOVE my empty nest....) BUT I adore their visits with all my heart.

3) Sent Shawna out to "Pick all the RED tomatoes in the garden." (last time she picked red and green and left a bunch.... Shawna has Down's but it doesn't stop her from being the sweetest person alive). She came into the living room with a full bowl. "Here Mom" said she. I said, "Kewl, would you feel like washing them too?" She said, "Me DID." What a good girl. :)

4) I enjoyed picking up a wonderful pen and writing with it today. What a lovely simple pleasure to have a good PEN. :)

5) Made sauce from all those tomatoes. With garlic and cooked them down. Can't wait to have it tomorrow with meatballs!

6) Went to Open Mic tonight. Listened to some great music. Played some fun music and concocted a theme of "Garden/Flowers' music tonight on the fly in honor of Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) on this coming Friday. Soon there will be cider and apple jack and woodsmoke and sweaters and apple crisp and roasting chickens with friends chummy around my table!

7) Went to the "after party" after open mic. There was nothing to snack on but carbs (which I am not really eating). Popcorn, bread, chips, tortilla chips...all with yummy dip...but no veggies or anything. Also no wine. Just beer or diet soda. I was really proud of myself. I just visited happily with everyone and instead, declined the mindless eating in favor of coming home and having a glass of Cabernet. MMMMM. Much better!! :)

8) Forgot this one from yesterday. I went and got my hair washed, SUPER conditioned, and "microscopically" trimmed. Basically I just paid to have my hair played with. It feels SO soft today! LOVE IT!

9) Oh YAH. I lost another pound :) HUZZAH!

Hope you had a great day....


I Love you too.

Thanks for reading!

Simple Pleasures 20

Is your glass 1/2 empty?
Or is it 1/2 full?

It's really a matter of perspective I was thinking.

It's been a really hard year for me, if I look at it realistically and pessimistically.

My dog got ran over and he had to have extensive surgery. ($4000)
I had lens replacement surgery to correct eyesight and remove cataracts ($5000)
Monty had a dangerous lump removed ($400)
Head gasket on the Suburu ($1500)
Brakes, muffler and catalytic converter (+$2000)
Abscess/root canal/crown (+$2300)
School taxes went up.(UGH)
all with No insurance, living self employed and working thru it all.
I feel like I've been "hemorraging" money.


If I look at these things again, in a different light, a more positive light, I can see them from a different Perspective.

*My dog had a great couple of doctors and home care and he LIVED and is WELL now!
*I can SEE without glasses!
*Monty's lump was benign, and removed w/o complications.
*My car is fixed, running great and is a good car.
*I am hopeful to be able to keep my eye tooth, have a nice smile and have found a couple of great dentists in the area.
*I have a cute home and it is a safe, cozy haven for my family and friends.

I suppose, there is always a way to see things one way or the other.

Have you lost a lover?
Well, you enjoyed it while it lasted.
You LIVED and LOVED and are probably better off for it.

Have you been sick?
Well, you appreciate health now much more than you did.

If you see the glass as 1/2 empty, you are a Pessimist.
If you see the glass as 1/2 full, you are an Optimist.
If you see the glass full of MILK, you are a Baptist. :)

Find something good in your life to celebrate. I know you can if you try.

love and hugs,
From Merlyn of the Land of Empty Pockets....

but then again....

Prosperity Thinking says:
It's only money, and there's lots more where that comes from, so those empty pockets could easily FILL with money too....
because the Universe cannot abide a VOID.

Simple Pleasures 19

A productive day....but an odd one.

I am thankful for today:

Coffee in the morning.

Food in the fridge.

My husband snuggled and snoring next to me.

Honest friends.

A warm and loving doggy.

A freshly washed and vacuumed car that I love to drive.

I hope you are finding good things to be thankful for.....even on odd days when some things don't make sense or seem fair to you.


Simple Pleasures 18

A day of Scottish pleasures!

This was a FABULOUS day. A long drive with Harry, (3 hours each way) but very much worth the trip.

Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival.

I am thankful for these things....and granted, brace yerself, there's a lot of gratitude for FOOD.

1) A delicious Scotch egg for breakfast. Mmmmm.  (a hardboiled egg, wrapped in sausage, and rolled in bread crumbs, and den? Deep fried. :)

2) HAGGIS. We tried both the beef and the lamb again. I prefer the beef. Harry preferred the lamb. I YUMMED mine up. Such a treat!

3) I washed the haggis down with? A black and tan. Perfect.

4) Being out in the fresh air, by Lake Ontario, in the sunshine, with the wind and mild white caps....

5) surrounded by Mischievites and singing our favorite Celtic songs.

5) Coming home and having a HOT bath. I ached all over. Up early (5am) followed by a 3 hour drive, then 10:30am-noon show then 2:30-3:30 show, and den another 3 hour drive.....The HOT water was like a balm.

6) and this last one, that I've been meaning to say a special "thank you" to the Gods for ....
 and never remember till last at night after I've already posted ....
my BED.
Nightly when I crawl in, I am so thankful for my bed. Safe, warm, dry, good sheets, perfect firmness with the addition of perfect fluffy nature, my best and just right pillow, our comfy room, familiar surroundings, warm,  protected...with the bonus of being loved by my bed mate. It IS a good thing. I am a very lucky woman. :)

I hope your day was filled with small and simply wonderful pleasures :)

Simple Pleasures 17

A lovely sunny fall harvest day!

Things I am thankful for this day~

1) Having the opportunity to read cards again at the Jordan Fall Fest. It's my 16th year here :) I felt that my readings were helpful, hopeful and attracted good to each person I did them for.

2) Scotch Pine candles. I bought THREE :) They smell wondrous!!

3) Working with my mates. Harry helped me as front man for my booth as usual...Talon read for a couple of hours to cover the booth for me, and also Anne who we worked with on the booth and the festival. Great mates all. Fun, intelligent and hard working, diligent and sensitive readers and people for the public.

4) Chicken BBQ from the Fire Dept. mmmmm.......1/2 chicken with salt potatoes, coleslaw and applesauce.
I gave Monty my roll, and I opted for a bottle of water, instead of the soda it came with :)

5) A dram of "Pyrat Rum"....a special bottle that Talon bought for us all, it because it said on the label, "Dedicated to the patron saint of Fortune Tellers, Bartenders & Pirates". Of course he had to get it after we all worked reading cards today. It was delicious, with almost a licorice finish. :)

6) A movie, with us all enjoying a chilly evening....and Joe too :) We watched "Unknown" with Liam Niesum. Excellant.

I hope your day was a grand one as well! :)

Simple Pleasures 16

Well, this month is 1/2 over already!!!

Wee small lovely things I'm thankful for today are:

1) Meeting up with Anne & Mike Dougherty and setting up the booth for the cards weekend. It was fun and enjoyable working together, hanging tapestries and making our "house" for the weekend. The booth looks awesome!!

2) Getting all ready for my evening, and then stealing a half hour for a stretch out relax on the couch to rest and collect my spirits before another busy spell.

3) Enjoying my cards, the helpful, kind way that they healed people this night. Every reading was spot on and encouraging and optimistic. It's because I say this prayer for each person in my heart while they shuffle the cards and think of their question, "God, Goddess, please let me help this person for their greatest and highest good." And they DO. :) Bliss. It just feels so wonderful to connect heartily with people and feel you really helped them on their path.

4) A glass of Cabernet, my slippers, jammies and Lorie's afghan to snuggle with after I was chilled in the crisp wonderful fall night air.

5) I feel the change of the season in the nip of the wind and seeing my breath this night. It is lovely to feel the crispness of the world.

I hope your day was helpful, hopeful and fabulous too!

Simple Pleasures 15

Hey Ho~

Today's wee simple things that I am happy about are:

1) Delicious romantic snuggles, relaxing and safe and wonderful. I am loved. Deeply and honestly.

2) I had to take a "personality" test at work, along with my other co-workers (Read: Boss's wild hair idea) and was pretty pleased to see these as my documented traits: (don't laugh :) :It said I was "Stable, gregarious and socially adept and that I rarely antagonize others "intentionally" :) Also that I am "Amiable, alert, eager, rebellious, persuasive, deliberate and enthusiastic" :) My immediate supervisor said that "indeed I was a stress reliever for the office, a positive optimistic influence on it and also that I provide many contacts and am very good with people with my "entertainer's personality". This made me feel very sweet. :)
3) I took Mr. Monty Joe to the store with his new "Quiet face" mask on. He was happy to go and get into it, and his leash. And BONUS: I got out of the car and he didn't bark AT ALL when I went into the store for 5 minutes!! (usually he would've started barking the minute I got out, till the minute I got back in the car....amazing. I bought him new "cookies" for being such a good boy :)
4) Steamed dumplings. I had 5 for dinner with some wine. 
5) Starting with the 1st season of "Big Bang Theory", Harry and I are re-watching this smart, funny, irreverant show :) Just for FUN.
6) YOU. Thank YOU for reading, listening and being there for me to write to. You ROCK.
It occurs to me that this Simple Pleasures blog is a working example of the "Law of Attraction" in motion.  
The more you appreciate...the more it comes to you.
"Ask and you will receive. Knock and the door will be open unto you."
Be thankful and you will have much to give thanks for :)
Hope your day was a good one  :)

Silence is a new muzzle....

You know, I never "harnessed" or "leashed" my kids. I always thought it was either cruel or abdicating some power on actual discipline and teaching the child. Of course, some parents think it's necessary.

Recently, when I was at Redbeard's Pirate Festival, I saw a man walking his well-behaved dog. The dog had a muzzle on it. I asked the man, "Does he bite?" He said, "No, it's for incessant barking."

I was intriqued. "Tell me more."

"The dog can breathe, pant and drink thru the muzzle, it just makes it an effort for him when he barks. So eventually he does it less and less"

I thought of my Monty at home. We love him to pieces, but he is a talker. He has LOTS to say. About the cars and pedestrians, about the squirrels, about the leaves that are falling outside....
Mostly he barks the most is when anyone comes to the door (he's a wondrous doorbell) and when we are in the car (he LOVES to ride) but unfortunately, his sharp barking can cut your eardrums like a hot knife through butter. It hurts.

Some dogs are so good. They hardly bark at all. The owners think it is their wondrous training. But sometimes it's just THE DOG and his or her personality. I'm starting to think things differently now. Maybe some kids are just too wild and unpredictable and run into the road like stupid shits. Maybe their mommies want to have less grey hair too and know that their leashed toddler is safe. I never thought I'd think that way. But I'm starting to appreciate other perspectives....

So today......

I bought a "Quick Fit Muzzle" for Monty and thought we'd try it. What the hell.
He's pretty used to his chin lead when we go for walks and it fits the same way. He was quieter with it on and I'll admit, the ride home was a bit nicer. The muzzle came off when his leash did when we walked through the door and he got a treat. I don't want him to fear it, nor think it's punishment. It's not. It's a tool. Just like his leash and chin lead are.

So I thought I'd try it again last night for when we had company coming.
You know....a REAL TEST. People coming thru the door!
I figured I would have him wear it for when friends were arriving (that's when he's the most animated) and then as soon as everyone was here we'd take it off of him.

The first thing I noticed is people's reaction....(like mine when I saw the dog at the pirate festival,) they were concerned for themselves and also the dog. "What's THAT?" "Does he bite?" "Why is he wearing it?"
So I explained what I was doing, quickly, and said, "love him up like always" and they did. It looks like a cruel thing, but he even managed to bark some while in it!

How'ere, he didn't bark "as much". It was a bit quieter and more pleasant for us. We loved him up while he was wearing it, and told him he was handsome in it.

As soon as everyone was there, Monty came up to me in the kitchen and I nonchalantly slipped it off of him and kissed him and gave him several pieces of cheese. He went and played with everyone as usual.

I think this wee deterrent could work for him to stop some of his non-stop barking. I hope so.
I mean we've tried shaking cans of pennies, squirting water bottles, telling him no, doing the animal communication thing of us making a "slack jaw", shutting him in the bathroom away from everyone when people come in....to no avail.

He's 7. He's isn't going to change at this late date and stop barking..... nor do I want him to.
He's a good boy. But he's LOUD and an asshole sometimes it almost gets you to the point of yelling "shut the fuck up!" I don't want to be mad at him for being a chatty dog.

I mean, afterall, I'm not getting Harry a muzzle for being chatty :)

I mean, talking and communication is where it's at.
But good god....please! Not so LOUD! And not so often and for nothing but the leaf that falls outside!

So, I'm just trying to get over the "mean mommy" syndrome here, and saying maybe some things work for some, and some other things work for others.

The muzzle isn't on for very long, and while it looks like a torture device, it really doesn't hurt him, it only makes it harder to do the work of barking. It just may train him to be a little more discerning for when to bark and when not to. Who knows? I'll have him try it for awhile and let you know.

I might actually be able to start taking him to some outdoor events, which I think he'd like. He's very social. I usually don't take him because he's just too much noise. But maybe now we could...

But he has to don his "plague mask" for the ball.

And I never thought I'd be that mommy with the "leashed" toddler.

But here am I.

Simple Pleasures 14

Loveliness of this day included:

1) Lots of errands run with my little wee mate, Miss Shawna Rose aka "Da Poodgie" :) I enjoyed her company today immensely.

2) Friends!! Open Mic fucking ROCKED tonight!!

3) Great music!

4) Laughter!

5) Vodka and Tonic and Lime....sipped, savored, with laughter, friendship, a HOUSEFUL of fun company!

6) Getting some aggravating chores DONE.

7) A productive, busy, active, fall into place day!

I love you all!

Thanks for listening....

Party still going on here..."night all!"

Simple Pleasures 13

Today's lovely pleasures include:

A delicious homemade protein shake for breakfast.

Eating some of the leftover "evil dip" from Christine's addition to the feast last night...which made the veggies even more wondrous.

Wearing turquoise blue today. I look and feel great in that color :)

A glass....and a 2nd of Reisling.

Reading a short story about a werewolf defending itself from a demon in a mosh pit :) The werewolf was the "good guy" :)

I hope you are also enjoying these and finding joys of your own to celebrate.

A Monster Evening

 "So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." ~ Quote from Dr. Frankenstein- in "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

And so much did WE achieve last night at StoryBook Club, our monthly get together of other like minded Storycologists!

We, who share the love of reading, intelligent, open minded,  bawdy conversations, cooking, socializing and comraderie.

It was the evening of a most harrowingly beautiful FULL MOON.
A harvest moon to delight our senses as we gathered to honor the creation of Mary Shelley.
 Mary was a Victorian lady with quite an interesting life. She wrote Frankenstein starting when she was 18 and finished it at 21. An incredible feat for one of the very first horror stories to be created and by someone so young!

We, at StoryBook, brought our ingredients for the evening: Food, Anecdotes, History tales and a sense of wonder.

The surgical table was set for the feast, complete with surgical tools and body parts.

Those gather-ed brought likely donations to be sewn together for a dinner:
There was a delicious dish called "Fingers" (melted mozzerella in Fyllo dough), "Parts" (pasta-less lasagna), Warm homemade bread (The staff of Life), German Saurkraut and German Chocolate cake (for the Germanic "Frankenstein"), Normal and "abnormal" brain food (with dip :), Velvet cakes, Green Guacamole and Blue Chips, Green garlic stuffed olives (eyes), Kippers, and of course NUTS :)

I am so enamored of this Club of our own making. This gathering of particular StoryBook enthusiasts can discuss damn near anything, with eloquence, panache and all with a bit of randy humor!

We finished off the evening with a showing of the parody "Young Frankenstein" and all agreed that it was brilliant fun while keeping the elements of the original story intact or enhanced with a reason.

We learned that the story "Frankenstein" is SO much more than a horror story.
It is a story of humankind, hope, loss, creativity, womanhood, love, mechanized industrialization, science run amok, moral conviction, Victorian sensibilities and contraries, prejudice and ultimately its' persecution.
It is the study of Nature VS. Nurture in a nutshell.

We talked about current scientific breakthroughs and the religious moral dilemas that we face the same way that mechanical industrialization and medical advances were feared then.

Biogenetics, splitting atoms, genes and super brain computers of today are equally as terrifying to us, as Frankenstein was to the readers of 1818.
We agreed "that just because you CAN do a thing....doesn't mean you SHOULD do a thing."

But the cost is sometimes worth the effort as well.

Because of scientists such as Leonardo DaVinci, Galvani, Dipple and others, we have advancements in medicine and science today. There would be no CPR, electroshock therapies, coroner autopsies or galvanization if not for them.

Did you know that at one point in time, electroshock therapy even made it's way into "spa treatments" like "taking the waters" or having a massage? (Of course, at one time in history you could also get "cupped" for a spa treatment as well...)

Those Victorians knew how to party and relax, eh?  :)

But for good or for ill.....all those weird Frankenstein-type doctors....well.....they were cutting edge.

The creature was never really named, but was for the most part, called "The Creature" or "The Monster"
Sometimes our fears have no name.
They only have a presence.

And a young woman Mary Shelley,
wrote about it all, her contacts, her upbringing, her fears, her loss of babies, her Victorian decadence, her radical thinking and belief in her successful writer mother's idea of "Free Love",  her loyal yet heartbreaking love with her husband and his many women....

All these individual elements....
were sewn together in this monster of a story.

Mary Shelley, you were so much more than a one story wonder!

She wrote many other books, biographies and stories.
But she was and always will be remembered for this....
HER creation.

Next month StoryBook Club devotees will turn to take a seasonal look at a New Yorker and his fall time story...."The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving.


Icabod, watch out and keep a watchful eye......

We are coming for you fast and furious like the Headless Horseman.

Simple Pleasures 12

Today's simple pleasures consisted of:

1) Getting ready for a party and having the house, food and plans come together.

2) Making a fun table and creative centerpiece for our dinner party tonight.

3) Sitting down and enjoying a cold seltzer in my comfy chair as a treat after chores were accomplished.

4) Getting a silly "Frankenstein" phone call from a friend, in honor of my themed dinner party for Storybook. (he only grunted and made mono-syllabic moans for the first few seconds, then I heard "Food Good' ....thankfully I understand Frankenstein-ease" :)

5) Friends. Good friends. Good food. Good conversations. Smart fun.

6) Garlic stuffed olives. Debbie's saurkraut. Betsy's bread. Christine's dip.Everyone's company and their treats.

7) Storybook Club!! :)

I hope your day was creative too!!

Simple Pleasures 11

This was a work day for Harry...he had to do a 9/11 anniversary gig and run the sound/tech for it. But he didn't have to get going till a bit later in the day....thank the Gods, cause of the busy Irish Fest weekend and load out last night. We were how'ere, able to spend some time together on a restful morning before things cranked up again today. I, how'ere....had a day OFF. It was much needed! I've had no time to rest since the root canal last Wednesday. It followed with work that day and the next, and then  2- 12 hour work days back to back as stage manager/MC for the Irish Fest on the Traditional stage crew. To say I feel run over by a truck would be putting it nicely.

My simple pleasures this day consisted of:

1) NO TV. This is one day in particular that I am glad we don't watch TV. We haven't had an antennae since the microburst storm of 1998. We CHOSE NOT to fix it. And we enjoy not having it blather on and on. We choose what we want to watch instead of having it spoon fed to us.  I don't need nor want all the stress and hype...and especially today. Instead,  I am thinking good thoughts and have enjoyed my day immensely.

2) Enjoying FOOD. I allowed myself a CHEAT DAY. A day to rest, cook and eat.
I made Eggs Benedict for me and Harry for breakfast. Oh yum! I have this fabulous recipe for "Mock Hollandaise" and I now prefer it to regular hollandaise sauce. It's easier, and YUMMY.
I savored every delicious bite.

3) Talon came over to visit and we cooked together, which we always enjoy doing. We made meatloaf and roasted veggies and I raised a couple loaves of frozen bread dough. I had a piece of warm bread with butter! I know....NOT on my Atkins....but it's the first bread I've had in months. Nothing like warm bread and real butter. :)

4) 2 glasses of Cabernet. My first alcohol in 2 weeks. And yes, it was delicious and worth waiting for. I figured I'd been VERY good. (Actually, I'm tired of being SO good.) So I had the wine while we were watching 2 movies he rented and brought over: The "X-Men-First Class" and a second feature of "Red".
Good stuff and nice to have a down day.

5) He also brushed my hair for me. I totally LOVE this and will corral my children, husband, friends and damn near anyone to do it for me.

6) A quiet house now. Will go stretch out, feet up... with my book.


I truly hope your day was blessed and good to you as well. I am thankful for so many things.
It's good to pause this month and take a moment daily to appreciate the little things.

Simple Pleasures 10

A beautiful sunny summer day and a grand festival day!
The pleasures that I simply enjoyed this day were:

1)  I got up early with Harry....but then....after he left to start his day.....I went back to bed and slept a wee bit more....just because I COULD. And Monty agreed we should. I think we both sacked out for another decadent hour....and drooled on the pillow...so tired were we..:)

 2) Then a morning walk with my doggy in the sunshine.

3) Watching wee Irish dancers "play" with each other backstage waiting to go onstage. They are children, remember....talented and organized and precision....yet it was lovely to see them being so playful making up a "super secret friend clapping handshake"....while waiting their turn.

4) Looking up and politely asking the Gods in the heavens to provide the owner of the car that parked me in...(blocked my much wanted exit out of the festival after a long weekend of work)  I asked the Gods to have the owner present themselves...and then almost instantly....within 10 seconds after I asked this question...out comes Harry with the mysterious owner...found at a packed festival...and her keys to move it :)

Hope your day had some special wonderful miracle moments in it too :)

Simple Pleasures 9

A wild day of fun work, hosting the Traditional music stage at the Irish fest and playing too.

A bit of loveliness this day?

1) Some of the best corned beef I've ee'er eaten. It was FANTABULOUS.

2) Listening to some great music

3) Playing some fun music

4) Friends and Family who came to see us and listen. Love you LOTS :)

5) Dancing Mischievites

6) Getting home and the love of a wiggly puppykins

7) Lories afghan and my FEET UP. (SOOOO HARD to be walking on pavement all day. Good god my legs and feet hurt. But OH JOY to have them up and snuggly!!!!

Hope your day was a good one. It's good to give thanks.

Simple Pleasures 8

A lot of residual pain and lack of energy today...but even so, I managed to get errands done and go to work.

Simple pleasures I'm thankful for:

1) Getting an email from a friend earlier in the week that said, "Don't underestimate the healing power of orgasms and ice cream.
I didn't have any ice cream :) It's not on my diet....
HOW"ERE.... I thank the Gods for good sex ;)

2) Stress relief (see #1 :)

3) Chinese food for lunch and Wonton broth and hot tea shared with my best buddy.

4) Tonic Water and a quarter of lime sure tastes like a "drink" even when you can't have one. (gods bless the antibiotics, but really.....soon...)

5) HOT baths.

6) Early bed with a good book. Reading Mary Stewart. AGAIN :)

All for now.

Hope you are enjoying a simple pleasure or two.

Simple Pleasures 7

It's good to give thanks even on a day that sucked a rat's ass.

I am up at an ungodly hour. For pain meds.

Today I am thankful for:

1) Advil

2) Bravery and Fortitude of my own Spirit

3) I picked up Shawna today after work to come home with me. I told her about the oral surgery today. She held my hand, spontaneously, as I drove and she said outloud, "God, make mom's toof all better. Amen."

4) I turned down her bed for her and am heartwarmed to see that she still sleeps with Barney. But my big girl has an addition of also sleeping with a Night sleep shade for her eyes. Yah. Cool, huh? Barney and a nightshade. :)

5) I am grateful for antibiotics and a great doggy, Monty Joe to take a short nap with before I went to work today.

Nervy Bitch

I am happy that medical times have changed and we've progressed.

No longer is my dentist, my barber, nor is my barber my dentist.
Thank GOD.

I had my first root canal done today. I guess when looking back, I've always had a problem with this bicuspid. You know, your "fang tooth", your "werewolf fang' or your pointy Count Dracula one. Upper left.

Had an abscess when I was a child in that tooth too, and luckily, it was a baby tooth, so when it fell out I thought my problem was done. Evidently not.

You heard the story that I was suffering last weekend of Sterling Faire and throughout the following wedding anniversary weekend with a toothache. It was difficult to get through.

Evidently, a deep filling last year, aggravated the nerve and it never "settled down"...it abscessed.

The nervy thing.

So I "bit the bullet' as it were. I opted, against my original will to never have a root canal, and decided to have the procedure done. When you hear so many horror stories about them, it's easy to get spooked.

I tried not to get too afraid, regardless of stories. I prayed about it, told myself I was in the Gods' hands, and would turn myself over to very skilled hands....and drove myself to the doctor and walked in. (of course I had to piss like a race horse all morning, being nervous...)

I mused that our language and slang doesn't help with the psyching out of the whole thing:

I mean check out the following common phrases:
"Nerved Up", "Nervous wreck", "She's "Nervy", "He's got a lot of nerve" ..."Getting to the Root of the problem" "Yank it by the Roots".

The Endodontist Doctor (they go to school for an extra 2 YEARS just to do root canals...and that's ALL they do....) & the kind Dental Hygienist were really very calming, It went easier than I thought it would be.
There were 5 digital x-rays that they took along the way, to check progress as it went.

The weirdest thing was the "mouth mask" or "face dam" that they use to isolate the tooth and to keep the area clean while drilling. It's like wearing a balloon on your face that you can breathe and swallow through.

Now, it's recovery for me, being gentle with myself, continuing the antibiotics (someday soon GOD, please, let me have a drink of alcohol) and scheduling appointments for the crown and ultimately increasing the credit line for the whole thing. Just an FYI, if you need one....the root canal was $915 this morning. Crown work will be almost another $1200. Which is another reason why I want a drink. Good God.
(fer fuck's sake....I nearly just paid off my cataract surgeries!)  Ah well...it's only money.

I will go ahead and get the crown done...I guess, for, without a crown, there is a risk to losing the tooth in the end. A crown is sort of like a "tooth slipcover". Which will make the tooth stronger now that it is weak and fragile without a nerve/root. Oh the things you learn on a Merlyn blog, eh?

I really don't have any other issues with my teeth except for this one thing, and I want to keep my pretty smile.

With ALL my teeth. Especially my pointy ones.

My maternal Grandma, Grandma James, lost her first tooth when she was 85 years old.
Damn. That's AWESOME!

So, because I am still one "Nervy bitch"....even if I have been "unnerved"....

I will need to flex my fangs and vampire bite in the future.


Simple Pleasures 6

Today I am thankful for these simple pleasures:

1) Bringing a healthy snack to my desk at work, because I tend to "stress eat" ....and when the phone at college rings off the hook...crunchy celery rocks!

2) I wore something low cut and stylish and well,....I"m feeling pretty today

3)I  made breakfast and a lunch for Shawna. She stayed overnight last night with us, and it was nice to have her home again.

4) I can chew that yummy celery on my left side again. Abscess is down.  Root canal tomorrow. While I am not looking forward to getting it done tomorrow morning...I AM looking forward to having it behind me.... Tomorrow afternoon.

5) I am thankful that I am an inventive good cook! I really wanted lasagna...but I'm currently not eating carbs (bread/pasta/cookies/pie/rice/oatmeal sort of starches)..SO....I made a lasagna with sauteed sweet sausage and portabella mushrooms, covered it with ricotta/cottage cheese, green peppers, onions, mozzerella and sauce. It was FABULOUS. And still on my Atkins eating plan :)

It's been a good day.

Simple Pleasures 5

Today's Gifts included:

1) Going back to bed. I've been whipping a dead horse...been doing too much. I think I'm just too blasted exhausted. Crawling back in with Harry was wonderful. I slept for 3 more hours and got up at 10:30. Awesome.

2) Started reading an old favorite book. Didn't get much time at it, but it was lovely while it lasted.

3) Hearing the rain.

4) Having company.

5) Making up with a loved one. Sharing food together as a family.

6) Eating what's good for me.

7) Feeling validated.

All good things. Hope you can find some things to feel thankful for today.

Simple Pleasures 4

After a roughish night, dawn broke with the promise of a new day ....with no mistakes in it....



This day I am thankful for the following:

1) FRIENDS. Friends who responded to me this day when I was down. Who wrote and told me that they feel the same way, for me to keep writing, no matter what. That they RELATE. That they exist. That they too, breathe the same breath sometimes. It became apparent to me, with the heartfelt notes I read from them, that the feelings of being disjointed, or alienated, or seperate, or directionless....is a human universal feeling from time to time. We all need to feel connected...that we have a purpose....and that sometimes we don't feel like we do. A reminder that sometimes we need to empty out our psyches and our tear ducts. To dump out so that we may refill. the universe does not like a vacuum. It will fill an empty space. My heart has a large empty space. It will be refilled with something or someone new....in time.
I give thanks and praise to those brave enough to say their deepest feelings, those who understand me & didn't take the opportunity  lay me lower on a bad day. I love you so much.Thank you.

2) I am thankful for Mischievites! Those fans who sang and danced and signed and laughed and waited so patiently for us to play again. They who appreciate our silly brand of humor laced with harmonies, and who are so loyal. Even for pirates :)

3) For Chocolate Iced Coffee. Which is NOT on my diet. (sugar)  But I didn't drink any alcohol at a pirate fest and this was as decadent as I let myself be :) I mean, what the hell. It made me happy to drink it with my friends.

4) I am especially thankful for my husband, Wayne, whom I followed his van home in my car, on an hour and a half drive, and who texted me along the way, love notes on an otherwise silent brooding drive home and made a quiet cell phone ring with sweetness.

Even on a bad day, there are things to be thankful for.

Friends come and go.

Sometimes tears need to be spilled.

But true friends will hold your hand when you are sad and tell you everything is going to be ok....tomorrow.

The meaning of life....is.....elusive

I seem to be in some sort of crisis.

A crisis of the soul, my life, my heart, my direction.

While I try to write positively for others, I find myself critical of myself, crying and without direction. While I've led Church services and brought a positive sensitivity to others hearts, I find it hypocrytical to say I've led them anywhere. For who am I?

I've done the things I've wanted to do in my life. I've married whom I've loved and I've had my babies. I have my house. I have friends. I have my music. I've traveled some. I've made things with my ideas and my hands.

And now.....


So I write.
Blather mostly.
I try to write and give thanks, or make people think, or show them other ideas, venues, avenues, fantasies.....and yet sometimes it all just seems so hollow, so self involved, so internal, and yet I feel the need to share it with others... this journey.
What is the good in that, but it only makes me look needy and confused and wrapped up in self.

Maybe I'm trying to see if they are going thru the same thing?

My life has been a series of projects and events of my own whipping.
Like a dead horse.
And now my dreams sheet is empty except for more to-do list chores.

I have been trying to take care of my health, as you know, to live a good long life.
But then I wonder, what's the good in that?

What am I for?

What is my purpose now?

My children are grown, there are people in my life who I wish were closer in heart, body & spirit...
but you can't go back. Life goes on. Things should go forward. Children grow older not younger.
People do not need me like they did before. Love moves on.

I've done my duty. Home, Church, Community, Politically, Socially.

I've done my share of Spiritual work too....looking within, praying, meditating, devotion.

I now feel hollow and empty and joyless this day.

Fer fuck's sake....

Maybe I just need hormones.

Simple Pleasures 3

Simple pleasures this day consisted of:

1) Walking Monty on a beautiful summer mornning (it turned out to be a 1 poop/10 piss walk for him :)

2) Playing at Pirate Fest, I stayed on my eating plan and savored a dozen steamed clams IN butter...and I had coleslaw. I was able to easily and politely refuse flasks and offers of pints due to "antibiotics" and everyone understood.

3) My comfy chair after a VERY HOT day at the lake, in garb and a 1 1/2 hour ride home, where my joints have seemingly seized up. This chair with the fan, and chicken in the oven is a beautiful thing.

4) Just being HOME.

Hope your day was good.

Cherish the little things....

It is what makes up LIFE.

Simple Pleasures 2

Being aware of daily gifts, I will share with thee my gifts this day:

1) A nap. In the middle of the day,  with my doggy, and the fan....on a cotton quilt.
Simply....just Rest...when needed. A decadent delight....and one not utilized nearly enough.

2) Tomatoes and basil, picked fresh out of my garden. Mixed with slices of mozzerella and drizzled with balsalmic vinegar and a bit of olive oil. I ate the whole thing. It was scrumptious.

3) I am on antibiotics, so I am not drinking alcohol for a week. (I know...a huge temptation with Pirates weekend this weekend...but I will prevail) So this Orange Seltzer on ice is quite a nice substitute. Refreshing and a treat.

4) After a busy week, a stimulating morning/afternoon at the NYS fair playing a gig....an evening at home, with Harry and a movie, feet up. Watching "Lady in the Water: A bedtime story".

Look within. There are daily gifts that we all have, and need to appreciate....

Enjoy your life :)

Simple Pleasures Challenge

My blogging friend, Lynn, has made a challenge out here in the land of ether, for this month of September, is
to take stock every day of simple pleasures and to appreciate them.

I like this idea. It doth have merit. :)

It's good to support each other and to be appreciative of such things.

My entry for today:

1) I have been trying daily for the last few days, to do a bit every day on my desk, it's projects, piles and needs. Today I sorted out receipts into my accordian file, and while it doesn't sound exciting, it's DONE :) And over the last few days I found my desk top and appreciate the beauty of the wood.

This has in turn, inspired Harry to do a little every day on his desk. (well, that and the fact that he went to go use his credit card today and it had "expired" and he had lost his new ones somewhere in the pile of his desk. He has since moved a mountain of paper, found his new able credit card and also some desk space!)

2) I enjoyed the sunshine today and being with my friend Debbi and Nick for a movie tonight.

3) I also am very happy the antibiotics have kicked in on my abscess and I am getting some relief before my root canal next week. Less pain IS a simple pleasure and I am soooo grateful.

4) I am also grateful for a new doctor that called me and chatted with me for 20 minutes today and really listened.

5) I also saw my nutritionist and he was very attentive and supportive.

6) Harry has been extra sweet and endearing today and yesterday. I feel very loved.

7) I met Talon out for lunch and had a wonderful quick visit before work and got caught up. It's good to have kindred mates :)