It's personal

 People interest me. Their thoughts, their feelings, their motivations. What makes them, made them, them

It’s not what people say but what they don’t say; the words between the words. The expression on their faces that often contradicts what they speak. The tone and cadence of their speech. All say more than the words and raises questions that are never asked because there is no space, no ground upon which you can stand, with them.

I always want to ask those questions. The embarrassing ones; the ones that are none of my business. The ones that are none of anyone’s business. Because there are some parts of us – thoughts, experiences, emotions, reactions, beliefs both rational and irrational, that we keep only for ourselves, and sometimes not even that. We bury some of ourselves within ourselves and we exhume them for no one, not even ourselves. Nor for our most loved, or even our therapists. 

Sometimes I can sense there is more, that some of what I sense is dark and painful and even sometimes that it is light or confusing. Sometimes I can even see, or feel, the unsaid, the barely acknowledged, the buried. It is diaphanous, there are no hard edges to define and contain it; it is the ghostly ectoplasm of their of their inner self. 

I want to wander around their inner rooms, like a nosey neighbor, not to judge the decor but to be delighted by their whimsy or share their despair, to reassure that they are not the only ones who have draped the mirrors so as not to see. 

I would not offer any of myself in this way. Yet I want this of others. Perhaps in knowing someone else you can know yourself. But it is not mine to know – either of another or me. They are not secrets, these answers I want to ask, but rather truths. Truths that have no basis in facts but rather feelings. The why of a person, even, perhaps most especially, when a ‘why’ does not exist. 

Oh the facts are good too. But they only lead to the doors of the inner rooms where a person really is, where they really live, or lived. I want to brush past the facts, gently elbow them out of the way, to get to the rooms of why. 

I haven’t toured my own inner rooms, yet I want access to others. I am not so curious about me as I am about you. Perhaps I think that in knowing you I can know myself? Without having to open my own doors, contemplate my own inner decor, I can whip off that drape on my mirrors and Ta Da! see the real me. The why of me. 

Draped mirrors – now an image in my conscious mind I can’t quite shake. The word ‘draped’ – dancing in my mind. Rustling in the breeze of curiosity, and yes, trepidation. But the image stops with me, hand on the cloth, the curtain, covering my mirror, about to tug it off…there the image stops. 

I want to see you but I’m not so sure I want to see me.

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Well there you go then

I finally got in touch with Sunset Pet Services today and due to a bunch of unforeseen events Frankie’s ashes had only just arrived back at the facility? office? The phone call id was Greenlawn Cemetery in Hagerstown, MD.  

The vet had actually driven to Alexandria on Thursday night to drop Frankie off – that was a hike from wherever he had ended his day and then a hike back to either Falls Church or Burke – wherever his main office is.  (Don’t ask – these are geographic locations more or less ‘local’ to me. Local if you have a car and don’t mind driving all around Northern Virginia.) 

The gentleman who finally called me back was so calm and soft spoken and apologetic – the way one thinks funeral directors should sound. 

I’ve never had to deal with a funeral director or funeral arrangements of any kind. When my father died the entire family walked on over to Stutzmann’s Funeral Home and I guess my mother filled out whatever paperwork had to be filled and then we were all shown into a room with all the sample caskets to make a selection.

Now this part is funny – 

We’re walking around examining coffins and my elder male sibling stops in front of this one caskets that is, for starters, lined in pink satin with a whole bunch of tacky fru-fru rosettes and other assorted decorative doo-dads. I blurt out “Daddy wouldn’t be caught dead in a thing like that.” and then there was a moment of silence, and then we all burst out in laughter and then the funeral director guy comes in looking aghast. We didn’t even try to explain. 

Anyway, they will be mailing Frankie’s ashes to me today so I’d better head on over to Etsy and see about an appropriate memorial.

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It's Monday

 There’s a meme or prompt or whatever they call it on the WordPress blogs I read that is called “The Monday Peeve”. I’m not sure why Monday should be reserved for peeves since I am peeved about something or other every single day of the week but today I actually have a list – 

1. Why do linen manufacturers think everyone on the planet has super gigantic mattresses? My mattress is only 11 inches deep. Sheets are now made with deep pockets to fit mattresses up to 16 inches – 16! Guess what – they don’t fit my mattress. A king size mattress is 76 inches wide and 80 inches long. These damn deep pocket sheets don’t fit neatly on my mattress no matter how you put them on – I can put the long way wide, or the wide way long and it still is a disaster, there is still too much fabric every which way. And the top sheet? Holy carp – they are so long that almost half of the length has to be tucked under the mattress. What a mess. I like my sheets tight and smooth – never gonna happen unless I buy a gigantic mattress – which is not happening any time soon. 

2. It is a grey and dreary day, cold for around here and we are expecting a wintery mix starting late this afternoon. Not nice, not nice at all. 

3. Frankie passed away Jan 14th. The vet made the arrangements for her body to be cremated and her ashes to be mailed to me (we live too far away from the pet services place for a cab ride to be affordable.) I paid the vet for the service and he said I should hear from them in about 5 or 6 days. I called the pet services company this morning to find out the status of Frankie’s remains and was disconnected and then I re-dialed and got voicemail. I left a message. I want an answer and Frankie’s ashes.

4. I’m confused as all hell about getting our taxes done this year. My H&R Block advisor sent me an email stating I could upload all of our documents to my account on their website and she would do our taxes but we would still have to go into the office to review and sign them OR we could drop the documents off at the office, and we would still have to go in to sign them. 

I’m not terribly happy about uploading our documents – the H&R Block site, while supposedly secure and encrypted and all that la-di-dah would be a hackers dream to access. Once I get all the forms in (W-2’s blah blah bah) I guess I’ll just email Jordana and ask her advice. *sigh* Paranoia is a terrible thing. 

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I, on the other hand,

 Ann, crafter extraordinaire. showcased on her blog some wall plaques she made from pizza pans, placemats, and other crafty bit and bobs. One of them was a “Home Sweet Home” plaque 

Would it surprise you to know that I have a plaque over my front door with a similar sentiment?

Made by some nameless crafter, this has hung over my front door for over 25 years. Obviously the person who made this doesn’t share Ann’s cheery outlook

But it oh so reflects mine…

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That's a tiny bit of an improvement.

 With all of Frankie’s colorful blankets gone I thought the living room was kinda drab looking – 

Those little pillows are covered in a shiny grey fabric with an iridescent loopy-circle pattern. When I bought those covers I had a loveseat with bright orange cushions and it looked very bright and fun. Then when I bought this loveseat a few months ago the pillows just blended right in since they are almost the same color as the leather. But it didn’t matter because I had crocheted a blanket for Frankie that was orange, yellow, green, red ombre. Truly bright.
Because orange is my new yellow, or purple, I replaced those pillow covers with orange – same fabric and pattern just – orange.

Now isn’t that a bit better?

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What impresses me

about Joe Biden is his religious faith. I am not a Christian and of all the codified, organized religions in this world the Catholic Church is my very least favorite (oh, SO my very least favorite). 

But Biden’s faith is personal. He truly believes. Quietly but obviously. But he doesn’t push his faith on others, even as a political gambit. Over the years his stand on women’s health and LGBT rights has evolved – contrary to the rules of his church – because as an elected representative he represents EVERYONE. 

Commentators on his inauguration felt there was a religious atmosphere to the entire event – Biden’s speech, Amanda Gorman’s poem (and please someone tell that young woman to keep her hands in her pockets before her next public reading). I have no doubt that when he quoted St. Augustine (“St, Augustine, a saint of my church”) he did so from memory. I have no doubt he really believes and lives his beliefs. 

The Christian right should be thrilled to pieces about Joe Biden, that is if they really believe in the Christian message, if they really believe in a universal God, not just their god. 

I admire Biden’s faith in his Faith. I think it is a very good thing and it makes him a very good man.

Blessed Be.

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Let's see if we can get something cheery posted

Daughter loaded up our shared Google drive with lots of pictures, some from Christmas and some from just daily living. Also lots of little videos. There was a totally hilarious one that must have been taken right after the girl’s bath because they are both naked, running around in circles in the living room dragging their towels and the oldest one yelling “Naked baby run” So funny, so nothing I would share. 

I got my new toaster on Sunday, worked well but mostly it is so pretty on the counter – the color is ‘peach orange’, really a soft pastel peach color and it is ‘medium’ sized – so a bit on the compact side which is okay with me, I don’t need jigunda appliances – getting the color right was a bit difficult but this is pretty close but a bit too orange – 

I do love the retro look, had I the cause and the money I would so do my kitchen with retro look appliances, the only dilemma being what color to choose – different companies have different selections – do I get butter yellow or mint green or orange? My husband always chooses red but I don’t do red.  

I do love lots of bright colors, I don’t wear them anymore but our apartment is rather a riot of color with nothing matching at all. Orange and purple and yellow and green? Yeah, why not!

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