Blame whoever you want

Blame whoever you want.

     He who calls the shot –

Should own the repercussions

What happened to being accountable?

What happened to telling the truth?

What happened to a sense of dignity?

If any of us pulled any of these antics in our work places, board rooms, social forums– we’d be terminated. Wallow in it – you become “it”.



© 2019  All rights reserved

you are

You are:

an acolyte torch striking fire and brimstone

a modern day Arrian.

a mystery of many dimensions…..

a kaleidoscope with ever changing brilliant views

validating infinity and who god or “od” is.

shocking honesty and quick to correct!

sharing differences with the same timelines –

tip toeing around the gardenias

so they can hear the Max Richter’s Vivaldi

“I think it’s strange you never knew”

plays in my head because you put it there


a man without a current face

but one in my head

loyal – true

a smokestack over the monongahela

high at the top of the steps

intense descriptions to hold close

to save & scatter upward for superior suspension

quick wit

I “get” you

always an astonishment

which may be wrapped in crinkled newspaper

but oh what wonders


“where is the best place to live anonymously”

You asked me, “where is the best place to live anonymously”Where is the best place to live anonymously

You’re not undistinguished or without a name, which confuses me but

I haven’t seen you in a long time. My watch is lost.

anonymously dabbles dimes into empty light bulbs and only pennies are allowed to trickle between your fingers and now you can’t get your hand out the tiny hole of clustered filaments and headaches

anonymously will not fit into those little squares on the warranty registration forms no matter how small you squeeze the letters – no.2 pencils only – no more spumoni

broken hearts live anonymously – for awhile and a while

I know you are not without pledges, passwords and promises to keep your face in a jar like                                                                                                   Eleanor


Is there a difference between lonely and anonymous? or being afraid?

Maybe you’re just sick and tired of everyone’s shit –

it would only be a dream to flash words onto a yellow legal tablet as eloquently as you


of course with that No.2 yellow pencil

I don’t know you but I do know you. Hide behind your 6 syllable concoctions of fancy word of the day which desperately impresses.I’d hang those words around my neck but some are bigger than I am.

teach me, share with me, show me


Tell me

Tell me more



New habits living alone

My new stage of life has created new habits, procedures and practices. Living alone, after raising a family and being married, for what my heart thought would be forever, has created a lifestyle I was unprepared for. Everyday brings a new adventure.

For well over 22 years, I never woke myself up or had to make coffee. I am totally unfamiliar with how to set the alarm clock. The alarm on my phone is not loud enough, even planted on a docking station. Stumbling over the dog and canine toys on the floor in the morning to make coffee is still a foreign practice. I not only have to make the coffee – it isn’t delivered to me in bed anymore. I’m still shocked when I wake up. The dog has learned to dodge me, especially if I can’t find my glasses.

Getting the trash out to the enormous vessel on wheels is a monumental task. Then, the small bag of trash in the ginormous vessel on wheels needs navigated to the street on a designated day and time. I feel a little guilty from all those years of nagging the kids to get the trash out to the curb. My sons were famous in Covington Woods  for chasing down the garbage truck, dressed in whatever they’d been sleeping in.

Meeting decent dietary requirements is still rocking between “I know better” and “who gives a rat’s ass”. There have been a lot of wasted trips to the grocery store. It seems to be a difficult endeavor to purchase food. Real food – not cookies and bottled water. I wander around the store with no list or menu and leave with 3 bottles of wine. The emotional excuses are stupid but still understandable. I don’t buy in quantities anymore and all portions are too large. I can’t eat a whole pie – even though the challenge is enticing. I don’t want to eat the same thing everyday for a week. My cooking skills are not the best. Frozen dinners are awful. See where I’m going with this – It would be best to move the smoke alarm out to the garage and keep on trying.

I’ve owned ten vehicles in my life. I just changed the registration sticker in one of them for the first time. It sounds like a silly accomplishment but I didn’t know if I’d be able to get the old one off and get the new one on without screwing it up. Per square inch, it is an expensive sticker!

I had never used the riding lawn mower in the garage. Since finding the manual was overwhelming, I went to the internet for spiritual guidance. It gave me the direction needed for all mechanics except the one problem of driving over a ridge or hole in the yard. It took me a few times of bouncing off the seat to realize that is what makes the damn thing stop running.

Simple home repairs are manageable if I wasn’t afraid of breaking the faucet off of the outside of the house. It irks me to have to call the plumber to replace a rubber washer in a faucet because I couldn’t wrench the damn thing apart. I was able to use the fancy, battery operated wine bottle opener when I had a broken arm. Someone needs to invent something like that for faucet repair.

Social anxiety is a weird, new experience. In the past year, I attended a couple of funerals alone. This was an excruciating, lifetime first for me. It didn’t help that the driver side door handle broke on my SUV. There is nothing more horrifying than being crotch up in the windshield, dragging my ass across the center console, getting into the driver’s seat in front of a funeral home. I know Aunt Altie was laughing from heaven xx

A social event at a friend’s home, produced an instance that struck me sideways. Someone asked me out. It was a shudder moment that left my mind racing for a way to handle the situation. I am naive in that I don’t realize one’s intentions. I just thought he was being kind. Another broken heart left in the flying dust of the highway.

The DeWalt drill is now my new friend. My Realtor® signs had always been put together for me. Today, I drilled holes in a post, found the right size screws, washers and bolts. It took 3 HOURS but I think I know how to do it now! The drill scared the bejesus out of me when the drill bit flew out of it. No injuries to report.





















A multiple number of transitions and changes have me focusing on chairs. It appears to be a re-appearing theme in my frazzled brain. Trying times create a need to capture sanity saving modes to fixate upon. This week, it is chairs.

Recently, my brother, Humbucker, and I cleared out the family home to ready it for sale. In Dads new chairthe corner of the Florida room was the Lazy Boy chair he and I purchased for our father. The chair Dad had been sitting in for decades was decaying. Our mother had made covers to camouflage the worn patches. I am sure to make the chair socially acceptable was a consideration. During my last visit, I didn’t know it was my last visit with my Dad, I noticed that when he would push the chair back to recline, it would bounce and almost slip out of gear. I was concerned his head would hit the terrazzo tile floor. Dads favorite chairHumbucker and I thought it would be a glorious idea to surprise Dad with a new chair. After returning to our respective homes, we researched and found a chair which most resembled the one Dad loved so much. Ordered it, had it delivered and put into place. We were naive thinking it would be well received. Our Mau was thrilled and excited about it.

Needless to say, when I called Dad on delivery day, he said the chair didn’t “sit” the same. It was difficult to push it into the recline position for him. He had acute rheumatoid arthritis. Oh, I went into a panic. It was supposed to be an improvement. Mau told me the delivery personnel were kind enough to put the old chair on the curb and someone picked it up within the first hour. My heart sank. Always optimistic, I told Dad he had to break in the new chair for it to work the same as his old one. He graciously thanked us for the chair but our hearts were still broken over the decision of trying to change something so integral to his comfort. Dad passed away 6 weeks later. The chair is now in Humbuckers home. I am sure he thinks about the events woven through it. We always try and hang onto a thread of history.

A small portion of the furniture cleared from the family home in Florida was moved to my home in Texas. The movers were conscientious and efficient. I screwed up and missed a small occasional chair on the check list. I signed off not missing the item during the mini chaos. Mau loved the little chair Maus chairbecause she could easily move it to where it was immediately needed. So did I, especially during the months it took me to wrap up business in Florida. I took a photo of it with my phone because it was where I kept our parent’s photo safe from flying paint,contractors and plaster during the last rush of finishing out the house. It was important to keep track of it. During the furniture delivery in Texas, I was stressed from multi tasking, again. I preach all the time about making sure the plan is carried out and the items are accounted for. So, Sorrenson Mayflower Movers out of Orlando – if you find our chair, please let me know.

Moving a lot of furniture around, to make room for more, generates images from the deep crevices of your mind. The little rocker I grew out of a long time ago has had a lot of little butts sit in it since.My little chair with Joe in it Our children and their children have rocked in it, sang, laughed and cried in it. The little rocker now moves from the extra bedroom to the living room for visiting babies. It still has the X’s I carved into the back of it with a metal nail file when I was about 5 years old. X’s seem to be my sign off trademark to this day.

There’s a cherished chair in my home now. I should have learned from previous lessons, but this chair was joy. It was a lounge chair, bought and delivered, to be in place for Lover when he was sprung from open heart surgery. It was a wonderful surprise for him. He loved it. Lovers chair

I’ve witnessed daughter #2 crawling into it, searching for the comfort of her father. Lover’s cousin walks around it but will not sit in it, even if it is the last available chair in the house. His brother appeared nervous when I offered him a seat in it recently. He declined.  At first it was a shrine, I would stare at. Now, it is important to remember the few but vivid memories of moments shared with Lover as he sat proudly in his new chair. Always appreciative of being thought of, he was thrilled if someone gave him a koozie.

Don McLean wrote a song, Empty Chairs, which encapsulates a loss and pain associated with his chair. It was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. Mr. McLean was wise and  I was young. It will serve a greater purpose to think of the magic in the moments associated with these chairs. The personalities and stages of my life by the side of those walking through with me.

One of the happiest days of my life xx

One of the happiest days of my life xx



Why are you entitled?

As old as I am, it is still a shocker to hear someone verbalize their entitlement. It can be as small as a cosmetic customer asking for a mascara sample because she simply doesn’t want to pay the ticket to purchase the item. Samples are provided for “paying” customers to use a new product. If they like the new product, they return to “purchase” it. Sample whores never want to “pay” for anything. They feel entitled to receive.

One of our teenage daughters brought home a parasite for a date one evening. He was about 8 years younger than I was, at the time. We asked him what his ambition in life was. He stated emphatically that he was waiting for his parents to die so he could inherit their printing business. I asked him what position he presently held and he looked at me as if he’d been shot with a stun gun. He didn’t really do anything there. My husband promptly escorted him to the front door for his “do nothing” exit. Needless to say, the daughter thought we were the nut cases until we informed her of the values of work ethic, responsibility, compassion and you don’t work – you don’t eat.

When Hurricane Ike hit Bolivar Peninsula and Crystal Beach, Texas, an acquaintance, we checked on told us she was waiting for government assistance because she didn’t evacuate when required to and lost her car. Needless to say, she lost her home and her minimum wage, part time job, also. Tragic as this was, she was given a new furnished, two bedroom apartment so her unemployed boyfriend could stay with her. She was also given a check for new clothing and transportation. She told me she was going to take 5 or 6 months off before looking for a job because she had money to live off of. While she was on vacation, our neighbors were fighting with insurance companies for 2 years to settle claims for homes wiped off the face of the earth from a tidal surge. They worked hard to pay for those homes and the expensive insurance. I had to watch them shovel their personal belongings and busted pieces of their homes from their lots as they were piecing their lives back together while the entitled collected checks.

I volunteer at a food pantry. The majority of recipients are extremely appreciative for the help. The ones which irk my ire are the ones with the expensive smart phones, new cars, and smell like dope and cigarettes with their mouths going. They complain about checking in. They want you to hurry up because they have to be somewhere else. They are agitated if they have to wait. The biggest bam is they complain about the food items they are receiving. They want steak and pastries.

You should live your life with the rewards earned. No one owes you anything. You are not entitled to receive something simply because you exist. If you didn’t pay in – there should be no proceeds available for you. The world would work better. I draw the line for the elderly and children. Never condemn the innocent and those needing true assistance. Education is the key to correction.


Yes to Facebook – No to Facebook

There are a lot of folks claiming a “no to Facebook”. The reasons are as diverse as the people. A select few do not have legitimate reasons. I would classify it as an excuse. The degree of pc literacy has a vast bearing. There are millions of toddlers with higher degrees of pc literacy than work acquaintances, relatives and friends I have. If they don’t understand how to send an email, Facebook would be an extreme challenge.

Then, there are the chosen few not wanting to be found by anyone. They purposely stay off the internet in any way or form. Paranoia extends to even entering a contest at the mall or taking a survey. Don’t dare ask any one of this crew for their email address when making a purchase in a retail environment! When a sales person asks me for my email address, I just tell them I don’t have one. When asked for my telephone number, I refuse. The reason I don’t convey the requested contact information is because I was previously employed by a credit repository which sold this specific goody for the big bucks classified as “marketing lists”. Yea, Baby, I need more spam and telephone solicitations! At least I am not afraid of being found by an ex-spouse, lover, parasitic relative, live-in, shack-up, outlaw, or stalker finding me. At least not yet!

“No to Facebook” extends to the group exclaiming big brother watches it, the law is watching it and every collection agency in the world has secret access to every profile. This populace has a few valid points. If you robbed a bank this afternoon, the concern would definitely cross your mind. As for big brother watching – the postings in reference to our niece being the next greatest Taylor Swift Swiftie should be noted as a priority in their documentation.

The next classified “No to Facebook” group are the elite bunch. High upper echelon executives with absolutely no time for such nonsense. They don’t care to see photos of their children making asses of themselves – this applies to children from ages 7 to 60. It doesn’t matter to them that their 14-year-old daughter, who looks like “Barbie” has a profile photo of herself wrapped in nothing but a bath towel. Their spouses are co-mingling with high school crushes. Their mother-in-law has just about pissed everyone off with the Farmville postings. None of this phases this group whatsoever. They are exempt by just saying, “no”.

“Yes to Facebook” firecracker bunch is all obsessed. We are privileged to share photos of baby’s first turd, vivid descriptions of what they ate for dinner with Vinney and tagging every single congregant at the Apple Berry Banana Jack Pancake Breakfast – St. Mattress Pius Orthodox Sacred Every Saint Synagogue Church. There is way too much information flowing when they post multiple times within an hour. When do they pee? Or work? Or sleep? This is an extremely social bunch. It is a priority to tag and post with lots and lots of people. “Here I am at Shop & Rob at 2:37 am with Carol, Robbie, Gopher, Tiffanie, Morgan, Robin, Madison, Jacob, Cross, Box, Mary, Januari, Barbed, Crissie, Wired and Wolf.” (Photo of everyone, cheek to cheek, with a cigarette and sucking on a bottle of stuff)

“Yes to Facebook” participants are now able to cross-post from Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Not only do I get to enjoy photos of my grandchildren but now the grown kids can post Pinterest items in reference to jelly belly bread, pumpkin shaped cupcakes and those cutesy poster type signs which have a million smartass statements.  Important to mention lots of photos of puppies, also. It does cross my mind as to the number of hours invested in sitting in front of the pc versus the investment of teaching my precious 15 month of grandson the elements in the periodic table!

Facebook has certainly left a gouge in the socialization of our new world. Where else would I find out my teenage niece is doing “it” and doing “it” well? Fascination still grasps my soul when I can read the political views of co-workers or the knock down dirties between our neighbors. It did cross my mind to “unfriend” a select few but then I’d miss finding out who they really, truly are.

We have family members from Hawaii to Pennsylvania. Facebook allows us to share instantaneous magic otherwise pawned off to a box in the closet. As a young family, it took us a year to save money for a video camera to cherish the childhood moments of our brood. Our kids can pick up their telephones, snap a photo, capture a video and within minutes share Andrew’s first steps and Hailey being born – on Facebook. They know now to call their mother first!



Debt View

I had a college friend, Joe, when challenged, used the expression, “Ain’t it a bitch being all grow’d up.” It applied to the majority of dramas we encountered as students. The only thing funnier was Joe borrowing my sunglasses to do his imitation of Stevie Wonder.

Tracking your income (incoming) and your debt/expenses (outgoing) is simple math. A large number of consumers seem to have a problem balancing their budgets. Ah, budget is the magical word. When I was wiping noses, driving car pools and working full-time, I could not have told anyone our annual income. I did not know what our annual income was. I knew how much the electric bill was and there were funds in the checking account to cover everything else. Numbers were only important for big-ticket items or I wanted to go to Disney World. One time, I told my husband I wanted to buy a new television. He said, “We can’t afford it.” No one had ever told me this before! We actually sat down, ran the expense numbers and determined if we did buy the new television, there would be no extras. From that day forward, I know all the magical numbers to continue the life journey in the style for which I am accustomed to! I got the tv, but it was 8 or 9 months later – after I had saved the funds to purchase it.

As a previous banker, I always had one or two customers with an extreme obsession with keeping track of their money. One particular gentleman would be in front of my desk, the day after receiving his statement to inform me that he calculated the interest for his savings account and the bank had shorted him $.03. He laboriously would lament as he provided adding machine tapes, calculator printouts and previous statement comparisons. I was not able to open my desk drawer and throw a nickel at him and tell him to go away. I tried numerous times to pawn him off on one of the  accountants but they developed extreme diarrhea if they heard he was in the building. Every time this incident repeated, I would suggest he join an investment group (an opportunity to contradict a different type of audience) or Toastmasters (he certainly enjoyed hearing himself talk). Repeated fixation over a small detail may cause a wall between what is truly important and what may be a time waster.

One of my friends, is the queen of denial when viewing debt, money and budget – a foreign concept to her. She repeatedly tells me she is unable to meet her financial obligations due to a lack of funds. Knowing her annual income and basic expenses, I could save enough to purchase a new car, with cash, if I were her. I was a single parent and financially moved mountains with my bare hands. My children and I witnessed miracles each week at the grocery store check out and racing across town to pay a bill on time before the creditor closed for the day. My friend does not budget. She purchases items with high tickets because she feels entitled. These spending patterns make her feel important. A bottle of extra virgin olive oil with a price tag of $38.00 creates a feeling of superiority. The same can be said for the $1,100.00 shoes and the weekly pedicures. She chooses not to manage and throws billing statements and collection letters into the trash, unopened.

This week, I received a panic call from my friend. She went to use her debit card and it would not work. After contacting her bank, one of her creditors had sued her and a court action had a hold on all of her deposit accounts, including her safe deposit box. When it is every dime you own and your deceased mother’s jewelry at stake – it gets your attention. The original debt was $5,000.00. With legal action fees, compounded interest and the kitchen sink, the total now exceeded $18,000.00. There was a lot of singing and dancing in trying to straighten this mess out. Her paycheck is automatically deposited and there was no time to stop the next check. She didn’t have a dime in her purse or at home. Debt view – non-existent.

The bottom line is – grow up. Yes, it is a bitch, but it is being responsible and mature. Instead of dancing through the mall for entertainment or dining out at restaurants that serve kumquats and es cargo – add your bills up. Pay your bills – on time. Save some money – even if it is $1.00. My mother taught me to never purchase anything on credit that would not exist when the bill arrived. This included candy, pantyhose, hair styles and cosmetics.

It takes sacrifice, ingenuity and time to make ends meet when you are in a tight spot. I have been laid off, divorced, sick and a single parent. It is possible to prepare for emergencies, such as no income! When I was laid off, I was the only unemotional person in the group. I had an emergency fund and read the writing on the wall way before the axe fell. It was the first time in 35 years I didn’t have to answer to “the man”!


New Age vs Old Age Employmemt Challenges

Unemployment is difficult enough. If your previous employment spanned many, many years – the process is similar to getting a divorce after the silver anniversary. The interview process is in the same category as “What do I wear on the post-divorce first date and am I expected to sleep with them?”

Without going into the world viewing youth as intelligence and aging as demented, crazy and invisible, the interview process is arduous, at best. Interviewers are getting younger as you age in the lobby, surrounded by people your kid’s ages. Especially for the first five or six interview outings, you are most likely over dressed and lacking a nose ring. Your wrinkles and graying hair are secondary to the archaic briefcase or portfolio under your arm. Shoes with buckles and shoestrings are passe’. A good pair of flip-flops or any shoes made of rubber and dirty toenails are available for viewing. The employment opportunities for this scenario are not blue-collar. They are actually professional sales, financial and technological positions.

I had been laid off, for the first time in my long-term professional life, after the age of 40. One interviewer, who appeared to have just rolled out of couch, held his Blackberry up in front of me and asked, “Do you know what this is?” Another wiseass asked if I knew how to turn a laptop on. I informed him that I had the capability of not only turning it on, but take it apart, put it back together and re-program the entire thing. I guess he didn’t like my response because “Tiffany Cleavage” in the lobby, got the job. One of my friends, a current employee with this up and coming executive, was seeking new employment but was in desperate financial straits and stuck. She was also ten years younger than I was.

Being a bit outspoken, follow-up to an interview, always yielded jolly propaganda. I always asked what my deficits may have been. The ones who didn’t blow smoke gave me some true insight such as:

  • You look like a banker
  • I couldn’t picture you unloading product from an 18 wheeler – (This was not in the job description or mentioned during the interview!)
  • You would have my job in a day or two and I couldn’t risk hiring you.

One employment opportunity resulted in four interviews. The first three “show and tells”  allowed the escalation of executives a chance to increase expenses by flying into Houston from Boston – otherwise, they would have flown me and/or the other candidates to Boston! The position, up for grabs, was highly compensated and possessed an upper echelon profile. An assessment after Interview #2 yielded that I had an “extreme sense of urgency”! During the process, the company recruiter would telephone me and discuss the previous appointment and inform me of the “going forward” recommendation for yet another go around. A Don Draper, Mad Men type conducted interview #4.  He was the epitome of a well upholstered “suit”. Five minutes into the engagement, he mocked my responses which included one of my hand gestures. Looking back, I wished it had been one of my other hand gestures. He challenged each one of my replies to his questions in a most derogatory and demeaning manner. Fifteen minutes later, as the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I backed my way to the conference room exit while he continued to prattle. I ended the interview.

The recruiter called a few hours later. She asked why I exited the interview early. I gave her the generic response that I was not the right candidate for the position. She informed me that my competition for the job was only one other person. Again, I told her it was not a “good fit”. A few days later, she called me again. She was insistent in knowing why I left the interview. Was it my place to inform her Mr. Suit intuitively appeared a predator, woman-hater, wife beater and general asshole? Yea, Baby, I could just imagine a cross-country travel rendezvous business trip with him as my vice-president! The telephone conversation created the instantaneous response reflex of:

  • Do I assassinate his character and risk a lawsuit?
  • What are the benefits of telling the recruiter something she already knew?
  • Did she really want to hear my conclusions based on life experience, knowing of a bunch of gems like him and intuition?

I made a business quick wit and allowed the recruiter to conclude the outcome with the results of the process. A lot of time, money, travel, and dry cleaning expense to have a qualified candidate turn them down when the horses were coming around the bend and headed for the straight a way. They’re smart people. I think this may have been a déjà vu.

Appropriately, each of us knows when we are qualified and age was a non-hire condition. My personal experience with the hiring process yields the following direction with the interview process:

  •  Do not use Old Spice or Youth-Dew fragrances.
  • Do not be late – Especially a whole day.
  •  Do not have your significant other drive you and wait with the kids in the reception area.
  • Keep the cocktail wear for bar mitzvahs, wedding receptions, glamour shots and family portraits –  Send a photo to the Ellen Show.
  • Stay awake and sober for the interview.
  • Be yourself.
  • Be true to yourself.