nurturing thursdays: a true friend likes who you are…and lets you know it

I’m certain my female readers can relate when I say…at the moment my “plate” is full to overflowing.

It may not seem that way to look at me, but keeping my mind from becoming unhinged is a daily exercise. At times it’s almost as strenuous as the weight resistance class I’ve begun doing 3 times a week. If I lost a few pounds I know it would lessen the load I have to push off the floor, just as I’m positive once my life is decluttered my mind will return to point balance once more.

Easier said than done…both…losing those last 10 pounds and ridding my brain of its overload. At least for the time being.


Just when you need to take the “edge off” the craziness in your life, a few good friends lend a hand…or an ear…or both.

I have three “go-to” girlfriends…Cindy, Mary, and Suzy.

We tend to weave in and out of one another’s lives with very little, if any, fanfare. We never apologize for lapsed time. We just pick up where we left off, even if many months have come and gone since we last got together.

Our friendships are casual. We’ll either email or text synopses of what’s going on at the moment, knowing we’ll expand further over coffee and a bagel, or salad and some pizza.

What I love best about these gals is their love of family, their upbeat attitude, their can-do resolve, and their easy laughter. And with each of them, I feel loved and valued for exactly who I am. 

There’s an unspoken acknowledgement with each of these ladies, that we’re good moms, hardworking wives, contributing citizens, and above all, compassionate people. 

What’s more we’re not inclined to pass judgment on one another. We don’t offer unsolicited advice. Instead, we compliment one another wholeheartedly and without hesitation. 

Good friends not only love one another…they truly like each other.

I like Cindy because she’s extremely humble, speaks thoughtfully, and exudes so little effort when she laughs with abandon.

Mary is a rock. I like that about her. Although the youngest of 7, you’d think she was the eldest the way she manages whatever dilemma befalls her extended family. I’m always amazed at her fortitude and no-nonsense demeanor. She gets things done…and moves on.

My friend Suzy use to be my neighbor before she moved out of the neighborhood. I’d see her mowing her lawn once-in-awhile, but she was up the hill so we never really spoke. And she worked full time, so I’m sure she had better things to do than while away her weekends in idle chatter. When she married a widowed neighbor whom I greatly admired, Suzy and I became fast friends. As retired “snowbirds,” the two go south to California for half the year, but when they’re here she and I fall back in sync so easily. She’s a friend who makes me feel very glad I’m alive.

I make friends easily because I genuinely like people. And I like letting them know how I feel. Most folks respond with grateful hearts. Only a few, like Cindy, Mary, and Suzy, know to cherish what I am offering…

…my heart on my sleeve.



can never have enough moms…

My daughter recently traveled to Germany for a job audition. While she wasn’t hired, the experience was more exciting than she had imagined it would be.IMG_0056

Her first trip alone to Europe came with a little anxiety…on my part, not my daughter’s. She’s crisscrossed this country more times than I can remember during the eleven years she’s lived on her own. Not only does she dance professionally, it seems she’s become a career traveler as well.

As a Valentine’s Day gift I decided to invest in the services of a tour guide for my daughter. Upon the recommendation of travel guru Rick Steves, I emailed Doris Ritter.

Being a mom herself, Doris graciously accommodated me and my endless questions. Most of them to do with whether or not American credit cards were accepted in German ATM machines.

A couple of weeks before my daughter’s trip, my husband suggested we get her traveler’s checks. “Traveler’s checks?” I asked. “Are they still being used?” And “Who sells them these days?” Without batting an eyelid, he replied that, of course, travelers checks were still sold and used. Not easily satisfied with his mater-of-fact response, I continued badgering him about the existence of traveler’s checks. Without any evidence to the contrary, I decided I’d better call in the “big guns”…AAA Travel Services.

Upon calling the local AAA office, the nice, young woman informed me that they’d not been selling traveler’s checks for some time. She went on to say that they substituted a travel card which our daughter could use like a debit card. The benefit of using this and not her bank card was that in the event she lost the travel card, her bank accounts would not be compromised. The thief would only be able to access the money we put on the card. There was a nominal fee of $4 for the first card, and another $1 for a second card. In case she lost the first, our daughter could still withdraw funds after reporting the first one stolen.

You might be asking “What’s the concern with using American credit cards abroad?”

It seems European credit cards no longer have magnetic strips; instead they have chips. Because of that our cards cannot be used in their machines. So if a train station is only equipped with machines, you might not be able to purchase a ticket. And you could only get cash from a bank, not an ATM machine. Our concern was that our daughter would be in a bind if she had an emergency and required more euros than was wise for her to carry on her person.

These are things only mothers worry about. Or is it just me? 

As it turned out, Doris Ritter cared for my daughter as though she were family. Or at the very least, a good girlfriend. Either way, I was delighted they enjoyed one another’s company, in addition to which my daughter got an insider’s view of Nuremberg where she spent a few days. From there she took a train to Augsburg and visited a friend with whom she had danced in the U.S years before.

Doris and I have exchanged emails since my daughter returned home. Having children in common makes moms the world over friends, even sisters. We all have one wish in common…the desire that our children be happy and safe. 

Hugs, Doris…for nurturing my daughter’s love of Germany, and her desire to explore other countries…

…and for putting this mom’s anxieties to rest…

………hugmamma.DSCN0648_Kopie (1)

what are friends for?

I had a couple of nice outings with two girlfriends recently.

Both are open and forthcoming with their lives…the ups…the downs. They’re also quick to offer words of support when necessary, just as I am when they’re in need.

Women connect on the ground-floor level. Together we take the elevator to the penthouse. Along the way…we get off and on…as life directs. A metaphor to be sure, but good girlfriends travel the floors in life’s elevator together…physically…and spiritually.

Molbaks' Orchids

Molbaks’ Orchids (Photo credit: JHall159)

Suzy and I enjoyed an outing to Molbak’s to take advantage of its outdoor sale…buy 1, get one free. Perrenials, annuals, vines, groundcovers, grasses, shrubs, trees…all outdoor plantings were included. In the decade and a-half that I’ve been frequenting this, my favorite nursery, I’d never seen such a sale. And Suzy hadn’t been to Molbak’s in 30 years, so she was thrilled when I invited her to accompany me.

To and from the nursery the conversation was lively. Suzy and I learned we had much in common. My father died when I was one; hers died when she was four. My mom was manipulative in many ways; so is hers. The comparisons continued. We empathized. We laughed.

Once we arrived at our destination we delighted in the sights that surrounded us, and the delicious lunch served in the cafe. After wandering around the indoor gift shop, we wend our way through the plants, selecting several for purchase.  All in all…a pleasurable outing for both of us.

My friend Mary and I stopped for coffee after exercise class yesterday. She needed a little cheering up, so I gladly obliged. She’s done as much for me.

It’s good to have someone with whom to commiserate. Moms have issues not easily understood by husbands and offspring. Try as we might, we can never seem to get our dilemma across to our loved ones. Easier to turn to other moms, not so much for a solution, as for an immediate “I know just what you mean.” That alone opens the floodgates to fluid conversation.

When all is said and done, life continues on…the load…a little lighter. All a woman needs is a sympathetic ear and a few words of support. No judgments. No put-downs. No unsolicited advice.

Mutual admiration, respect, concern, like, and love…loosely tied ribbons that keep friends close.

English: friends like you

English: friends like you (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…i’m blest with a few…good ones…



abc…awesome blog content award

I’m impressed with bloggers who create awards. It takes imagination and technical skill. I’m not certain I could get my act together well enough to pull off such a thing. So I’ll have to content myself with being a humble recipient.

I’ve Marcia Clarke of Marcia Writes at to thank for the Awesome Blog Content Award. In accepting it I’m obliged to present a bio of sorts in the form of the alphabet. So here goes.

I dislike apples.
My body needs reshaping.
Cats rule my life.
My dog wants…out!
If I could only cut out eating.
Fear of heights keeps me grounded.
Ghosts hover…I fear.
Hawaiian…through and through.
I’m forever chasing rainbows…
James, my first crush; Jake, my first
beau, BJV, my everlasting one.
Kehaulani…my morning dew.
I’m in love…with life.
Me, myself and I…practicing self esteem.
I’ve finally learned to say “N-O!” 
Open arms…close arms…and hug!
People watcher… par excellence!
We can all be queens…in our hearts.
Rain, rain go away…and don’t come back!
You are my sunshine…my only sunshine…you make me happy…
I’ve always had a hankering for tall guys.
Ups and downs…that’s life.
V as in Sierra…(sorry…inside joke)
My favorite group of humans…women.
One day I might be signing an “X,” instead of my name. Hope not.
You keep reading…I’ll keep writing.
Zero tolerance for bullying!

Another stipulation to accepting the Awesome Blog Content Award is that I hand it off to another deserving blogger or bloggers. While there are many deserving of the honor, at the moment I’d like to name one… The Laughing Mom at 

Terry writes with tongue-in-cheek humor about life. I’m always smiling when I read her posts…laughing out loud…at times. Moms need to laugh…a lot. If we didn’t, there’d be a torrential downpour of tears…

...the likes of which you’ve never seen before…

………hugmamma.  😉

no mystery, off the court…or on

Well, just as I suspected. I’m sure you did as well. “NO PEANUTS!” ordered my doctor, when I saw him a few hours ago. At least not until my “thick” tongue and abnormal throat symptoms disappear. Prescribing Benadryl should the symptoms return, I laughed knowing he’d give me some good old-fashioned remedy, just as he did for the rash on my right eyelid. For that, he told me to apply a dab of non-prescription 1% hydrocortisone ointment. I like my doc, he’s just a regular guy, nothing “fancy schmanzy” about him.     

After typing the final period on my previous post, I noticed my throat slowly starting to constrict once again. Time for playing doctor was over. I needed an expert’s opinion. Fortunately there was a cancellation, if I could hurry myself over to his office in 20 minutes. I said “You bet! I’ll speed.” To which the receptionist laughingly replied “No! Don’t do that.” I laughed back “No, no. Just kidding. I won’t.” And off I went, driving like a bat outta…

The male nurse ushered me into the examining room with a look of surprise. “Weren’t you just here?” I told him I had been there a couple of days ago for my eye, but now it was my throat. “Old age,” I declared chuckling, “I’m falling apart.” We both laughed in commiseration.

Once we were seated in the room, the nurse began telling me about his ailments, a problem ankle and a hip needing replacement. Now mind you, this young man, and I say young because he must’ve been some 15 years younger than me, got my total attention. Listening to his tale, I felt like I had a superficial cut in need of a band-aid. He was injured during his service in the army. When I asked what had happened, he told me I would laugh as others had done. I said I wouldn’t, and I didn’t, because an injury is no laughing matter, however it occurs. In fact, I told him my husband would totally sympathize with him because he’d been in a similar accident. But unlike my husband who waited a couple of years before the injury was really bad and in need of surgery, the nurse’s leg was immediately placed in a cast. He wasn’t ambulatory for some time.

Basketball is not child’s play when you’re up against a guy weighing 209 pounds, or when you’re “pushing” 40 and going up against a college kid. Moms and wives know these things. Why won’t men ever listen to us?

enough said…hugmamma