daily prompt: perspective (and…happiness)

I can’t think of anything that drives me absolutely crazy at the moment.

Age and experience seem to temper craziness.

You think?

I hope. 

Of course there are a whole host of things that drive me up the wall now and then…like

dishes in the sink that could just as easily find their way into the dishwasher…pronto!

being told “I can’t find it”…when it’s right in front of (ahem) his nose

not removing (ahem) his dark-colored work socks before walking around in a house layered in pet hair…and then jumping into bed with said socks still intact

when papers, papers, and more papers lay on the home office floor…for days and sometimes weeks

putting the kettle on to boil water for tea…and then leaving to walk the dog

But then when I think of the things that make me love (ahem) him…like

when he says…”because you’re my precious”

when he calls to ask if he can stop to get anything on his way home from work…every day, rain or shine

when he tells me to stay in bed, rather than get up to fix him breakfast…at 5:30 a.m.

when he lets me sleep in on the weekend…as long as I like

when the dog begs him to walk her…and he does


Forty three years married to the same guy…through sunny skies and turbulent storms…through job moves and house sales/purchases…through ballerina aspirations and dreams come true…through youthful, glowing selves and deteriorating has-beens.

When I survey all that our lives have been together from a perspective of happiness, what “drives me up the wall”…

…doesn’t amount to a hill of beans…

………hugmamma. IMG_4247

Other Daily Prompts on Perspective at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/daily-prompt-perspective-3/

weekly photo challenge: eerie

Visiting the Roman Coliseum where gladiators, wild beasts, and religious martyrs faced death before throngs of cheering spectators was…eerie. How strange it was to stand amid the ruins where the spirit of death continued to hang over all. There but for the grace of God…I thought.Imported Photos 00442Walking the roads of the ancient city of Pompeii, decimated by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius was…eerie. It felt as though we were walking upon the dead.Imported Photos 00388Imported Photos 00386Imported Photos 00396

daily prompt: michelangelo’s you

My personal sculpture would be one that’s been in the carving process the last 27 years.

Even now tweaks are made,

updating the piece,

bringing it ever nearer to perfection,

realizing that may never be accomplished,

and being fine with that.

A mom…

…giving without question,

…expecting little in return,

…loving the shared moments,

…of laughter, sadness, doubts, fulfillment.

Upon my headstone…

…she was the best she could be…




daily prompt: mid-season replacement

I’m sitting in the midst of a mess, because my daughter’s bedroom underwent a remodel. 

Meanwhile, outside the skies grow darker earlier, and remain that way until later the next morning.

I’ve started turning up the heat to stave off the chill indoors. And when walking the dog…I’m all bundled up.

I don’t think I’d want to go backwards to the sunny days of summer. 

That’d only delay the onset of winter…and beyond…the sweetness of spring.

I might have felt differently had this mess not occurred. 

Now that the remodel is done…I’m excited…

…to have friends over for the holidays!…



daily prompt challenge: the clothes (may) make the (wo)man

Clothes horses

I must admit to having been a “clothes horse” during my college years. Since I was on a couple of small scholarships and had to fund the rest of my tuition by working at the university bookstore, I had pittance left over for a wardrobe. Somehow I managed, although exactly how, I can’t remember. After all…that was over 4 decades ago.

When I got married, soon after graduating, I dabbled a bit in sewing my own clothes. I confess I was more of a seamstress in middle school and high school. I’d learned to sew while I was in elementary school, carrying my prized, portable sewing machine to and from the home of my Japanese teacher.

As a married lady with a heftier income, a combination of mine and my hubby’s, I began shopping for clothes at Liberty House. No longer around, it use to be THE place to purchase the latest fashions. Needless to say, they were pricey.

Liberty House and JM San Jose

But hey! We have to look fabulous to keep our men, don’t we? Or is it that we have to outshine our peers? Or is it a reflection of our insecurities about ourselves? Or perhaps it’s a combination of all three. Will we ever know for sure?

Does it really matter…in the grand scheme of things?

Throughout my career outside the home, I obsessed over clothes. I’m sure I was no different than most working women. Although I might have gone overboard because I’d grown up using hand-me-downs, and rejects from the orphanage where my mom worked. Not an excuse, mind you, just an explanation for my laser-like focus on buying new things to wear.

Gaining weight can be a deterrent to buying clothes, or it can be the impetus to go out and buy clothes that fit…until we can squeeze back into our smaller-sized duds once again. Been there; done that. Now in my 60s…I’ve donated most of what use to fit to Good Will.

English: Photo of Chico's in Hudson, Ohio

Chico’s has my patronage now that I fit into a size 2…1 1/2…and 1, depending on the piece. Did I forget to mention that Chico’s is very astute at marketing to more mature women. In other words, they’ve tricked us chubbier women into thinking we’re really smaller than the rest of the world thinks we are. The retailer has taken the standard sizes…4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18…and morphed them into 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3. Pretty clever, huh? And women like me fell for the scam…hook, line, and sinker.

But you know what? Chico’s nudged me out of my comfort zone with blacks, browns, greys, and blues…catapulting me into all the colors of the rainbow, and some. 

I didn’t only eat sherbert, I was wearing sherbert…colors.

As I’ve aged, I’ve toned my choices down a tad. No more teals and tangerines for me. However I have picked up some bling. I’m not over-the-top with it, just enough to turn a few heads, whether in admiration…or shock. Oh, well…

…vanity…thy name is (wo)man…


(p.s….did i mention i’m to blame for my daughter’s now being a “clothes horse?”…and needing more closet space?)

...dressing to the 9's...once-in-awhile is ok...

…dressing to the 9’s…once-in-awhile is ok…

weekly photo challenge: close

This poor soul got up close and personal………….with Pompeii.                                                                                             

…guess there was no time to hop the first boat out…


daily post challenge #200: what is it that i would like to have 200 more?

At first I thought this topic was frivolous…not for me. I don’t need more stuff; I’m trying to downsize. But it dawned on me that one thing I would love to have, I think, is more time. I’d divide 200 years amongst loved ones so that I’d have more time to be with them, and more time to experience life in my wizened, older age.

Like most young people, I probably blew through my early years not paying attention to what I was doing. I wasted precious time fretting over…what? I could’ve been taking full advantage of life’s offerings, learning French,Two Spot re-learning to swim so I could snorkel, studying voice so I might’ve become a singer, moving to NYC so I might’ve hoofed it on Broadway, been less fearful so I might’ve traveled Europe as a teen.

Now into my 60s, I’m at peace with what I haven’t done. I know and accept my physical, mental and emotional limitations. But if I had more time, I could squeeze a few more things in before my expiration date comes due. Just a few more, like playing the piano or the guitar, and reading all the books in my ever-growing collection. And, of course, more time with my husband by my side and our grandchildren settling into our laps for bedtime stories…or just a cuddle. But most of all, more time…

to see my daughter’s hair………go gray………hugmamma.

daily post challenge #196: are we becoming too dependent upon technology?

I think the question is centuries upon centuries upon centuries too late to debate. When the wheel was invented, mankind never looked back. When Leonardo da Vinci put wings on a human being, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when. When Alexander Graham Bell tinkered with two cans and a piece of string, the IPhone was inevitable. Change, progress and capitalism are triplets in an ongoing enterprise.

The status quo is no longer static, if it ever was. Regression is impossible given mankind’s penchant for the next best thing. And capitalism…how can you even ask? Isn’t everyone aspiring to be Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or someone of lesser means, like the millionaires? Don’t we all wish we’d played the powerball lottery when the lucky winners are announced. I always query my husband afterwards as to why we didn’t buy a ticket. Then I’ll go out and buy $5 worth, lose, and forget all about the lottery until the next one makes millionaires out of middle-class folk like us.

If I were truly a hobbit in a cave, as I often say I am, perhaps then technology would have no bearing upon my life. And maybe there are those who live in isolation from the rest of society, like undiscovered tribes in South America. Unfortunately for these rare souls, technology will come knocking one of these days. They will be the unlucky recipients of the havoc technology has wreaked upon the earth.

Bulldozers are leveling rainforests. Man’s inventions are flooding the atmosphere with toxic gases. And in our race to stockpile more stuff, the internet and all its affiliated paraphernalia are making it easy to do from the comfort of our chairs and keyboards. We no longer need to expend the time or energy to get the stuff ourselves. It’ll be shipped in 7 to 14 business days.

So there’s no question that we are all affected, if not dependent upon technology and its benefits. And yet we seem to have a system of checks and balances. Having brains that obsess about everything, bodies which age without our consent, and Mother Nature prohibiting us from over-reaching, mankind is saved from the brink of total annihilation…so far.

Technology is a force with which to be reckoned, and we seem to be squeezing the life-juice out of it. Rather than dicker over our dependence, we should maintain constant vigil over its use for the common good of all people, and all species. But I’m not so sure we’re all on board in that regard.

…can we make the best of…pandora’s box…now that it’s wide open? …hugmamma.    

daily post challenge #195: top 10 or 5 lists

LaVon Hardison - Choices

Image via Wikipedia

The question presented is what’s my opinion about top ten or top five lists? Am I pro, con, or indifferent. I guess I don’t personally pay heed to someone else telling me what their top choices are; I’m going to decide what they are for myself…if I’m interested. And I guess I’m only interested if it pertains to my life, as I’m sure is true for everyone else. 

The younger crowd are probably interested in the top 10 hit songs, or the top 10 celebrities, or the top 5 night spots in a major city. Parents of babies and toddlers are probably searching for the top 5 pediatricians, or day care centers, or babysitters. Those of teens are looking for the best in colleges. Law school grads are searching for the tops in employers. And my generation of baby-boomers are definitely poring through magazines, news articles and travel guides for the top 10 places to retire. 

We are all constantly searching for top vacation spots, no matter our status in life. Getting away from the drone of eking out a living makes the search for the perfect diversion, top priority.

So I guess my answer to the question of top lists being relevant is that they become so when the need to know arises. Otherwise, I don’t think many of us are going around contemplating “What’s tops today?”

…i for one…have a lot of…other fish to fry…hugmamma.  

How Much Is the Fish?

Image via Wikipedia

daily post challenge #193: how many friends can a person have?

Just saw a Toyota commercial which answered this very question.

A woman typing on a laptop

Image via Wikipedia

A teen is seated at the dining table, laptop computer in front of her. Smiling she says something like “Old people are such sticks-in-the mud. They don’t like to do anything new. ” She goes on to say she got her parents to join Facebook.

Peel away… to her parents driving a Toyota SUV heading out on the open road.

Back to the teen who informs us that her parents have 19 friends on Facebook.

the lone bicycle rider

Image by onkel_wart (offline, most of the time) via Flickr

Joining her parents once again…they’re out of the car, dressed in cycling wear, dark glasses and helmets in place. They pull their bikes from racks on top of the car, and turn to join friends. All ride off, the wind at their backs.

We rejoin the teen who gleefully announces “I have 743 friends!!!” In the remaining seconds of the commercial, her voice trails off “Cute bunny…aaawww…”

…get the picture?…quality vs. quantity?…hugmamma.

(note: blogger friend pocket perspectives was kind enough to place the youtube video of the commercial in her comment below. didn’t nail all the specifics…like the teen referring to her parents as anti-social, her facebook friends numbering less than 700, and there being a picture of a puppy, not a bunny, on the laptop screen. truth be told…i was just checking to see if you’d seen the commercial…and if you’d catch the mistakes…it was a test…you see. did you pass?  😉 

daily post challenge: my preferred mode of getting around…cars, trains, or planes?

First flight of the Wright Flyer I, December 1...

Image via Wikipedia

In recent years I’ve traveled to visit my daughter pretty regularly…by plane. Hence I’m eternally grateful to Leonardo da Vinci for thinking man could mimic the bird, and fly. And I appreciate that the Wright brothers advanced the cause by crafting the first flying machine that actually flew. But apart from allowing me to be here in the morning, and with my daughter that same evening, spending 5 hours or more compressed into an uncomfortable seat pains me no end, especially where my sacrum and ilium meet.


Southwest Airlines

Image by kevindooley via Flickr

While I could walk the length of the plane to stretch my legs, it’s not without its minuses. Squeezing past another passenger walking in the opposite direction is doable, but awkward. Getting past the flight attendant while she’s offering snacks out of a box is a game of “wait-and-see.” Waiting to see who moves first, her or me. And then there’s the inevitable warning from the pilot to sit down and fasten my seat belt. That means “Hie me back to my seat pronto; strap myself in toot suit; and stay put until I’m told otherwise…or else.”

I can deal pretty well with a 2 or 3 hour flight. Four hours makes me antsy; at 5, I’m maxed out. An 8 hour trip to Europe has me looking at the nearest exit, wondering “Excuse me. Can I possibly get off and walk the rest of the way? I’ve changed my mind.”

As I’ve gotten older, adhering to the same ritual, more or less, has helped pass the time on a plane. After settling into my seat, I glance through the shopping guide provided all passengers. There’s always some gadget that compels me to think it’s something I might need. So I squirrel away the magazine in my carry-on. Then I might read a few pages from a book I brought, while munching on a snack purchased before leaving. All told, I probably used up 30 minutes of the several hours I must stay put. So I sleep, or try to sleep. When all else fails, I will myself to sleep.

I never, well almost never, look at my watch. Doing so, I feel, will only make the time pass ever more slowly. I prefer to be surprised when the pilot finally announces that our destination is a mere 30 minutes away. Yippee!!! Let me out of here! I’ve got to go to the bathroom…now!

Southwest Airline Boeing 737 N926WN

Image by tomfs via Flickr

That’s the final downer about traveling on a plane. Trying to get to the bathroom. The anxiety begins with trying to get the aisle seat, not the middle seat, not the window seat. If my husband is with me, I let him have the aisle seat, and I occupy the middle seat. He’s more comfortable, and I can inconvenience him when I get the urge. No longer wanting to bother a stranger to make a trip to the restroom, our family opts to fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible. I always get to choose an aisle seat, or a middle seat with my husband sitting on the aisle.

When we were younger, and more inclined to do long road trips, my husband would determine “pit stops” according to how many miles we’d driven, and how much longer it was to our destination. In older age, he’s been more conciliatory, taking the cue from me…“I gotta go…now!”

As far as trains go, I spent enough years traveling on the Long Island Railroad, to and from Penn Station on NYC’s west side, and then on the New Haven Line from Connecticut to Grand Central Station on NYC’s east side, to know that unless it’s the Orient Express, train travel is…okay. Of course I’ve not been on many scenic, cross-country carriers to decide if I’d make it a habit. Maybe when hubby retires, we can do a leisurely trip.

…only trouble is…the toilet “shakes, rattles and rolls”…on a train…hugmamma.



us…and them…

Bender, Rupert Murdoch and Thurgood Stubbs as ...

Image via Wikipedia

As a housewife who has had to listen to the news media hold court over the years, telling me what I’m thinking as part of a package deal, “and the American people think,” I must confess to a little, no a lot, of satisfaction that Rupert Murdoch is squirming in his billions. I’m for compassion toward others, but not when they’ve been self-serving of their own interests at the expense of the little people. Being one of the Liliputians, I have a very difficult time siding with Goliaths like the media mogul.

It seems our lives are dominated by just a small group who dictate their course, the media (obviously), the politicians (our votes), the financiers (bailed out with our tax $$$), the athletes (our $$$), and the celebrities (again our $$$). Maybe the religious are in there somewhere, especially for the Catholics, the Mormons, the Jewish, the Muslims and other faith-abiding people. Because of our busy lives, all of us trying to figure what that is, we’re led around like sheep, for the most part. Only when something registers with us personally, do we become involved, by choice or coercion.

There are the “movers and shakers,” and then there’s us. I think we all try to be the “movers and shakers” in our own microcosms, our own realities. But breaking through the glass ceiling of the big-time players is almost impossible. It takes mega bucks to wield power and influence. It seems Murdoch was probably trying to rise to the level of…God? So now, he’ll have to settle for “emperor of the world.”

…….not a bad tradeoff…….i think……………hugmamma.


It felt really good not to be blogging while I was in the throes of ridding my daughter’s apartment of bedbugs. Well, let’s just say hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul was the furthest thing from my mind. Uppermost, of course, were the bed bugs followed by the dive-bombing cicadas, the mid-90 degree temps, food poisoning, and the walk-in doc thinking I was having a stroke. So you see, I was really preoccupied.

But even after I returned to my empty nest and settled back into my same old routine, I stayed away from my laptop. I eventually mosied up to it just to check emails. But it was even some time before I did that. I knew there might be WordPress messages telling me that viewers had left comments or “likes.” Then you know, the inevitable happens…I just have to take a peek. Then a peek becomes one posting, then another, then another…and before you know it, I’m in it again 24/7.

Well here I am. Going at it night and day. I barely get ready to start the day. I’m still in my nightgown now. Haven’t had my first cup of tea…let alone breakfast. Mocha’s going to begin pacing any minute now. The kitties are going to start moving toward my hovel for their rationing of attention. Eventually, and I mean eventually, I get going. But my brain is still in writing mode, wanting to drag me back or it threatens to explode.

When I crawled under the covers last night, or rather at 2 a.m. this morning, I said a short prayer, and then I repeated “I’m not going to blog tomorrow. I’m not going to blog tomorrow.” And I wasn’t. Scout’s honor! But as I was applying mascara to the lashes on my second eyelid, I bolted for my laptop, turning it on, then ran back to finish fixing my face. The idea for this post just couldn’t wait another second.

So here I am, giving into my A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N. According to my friend Webster, addict…,v.t. 1. to cause to become physiologically dependent on a drug. 2. to abandon (oneself) to something compulsively or obsessively. … 

I guess my drug of choice is writing…blogging. It use to be shopping, but after the bedbug incident I’m cured of stuff. We all have habits that are hard to kick. My hubby falls asleep, snoring in front of the TV nearly every night. Most of his siblings do, I think. I know it was a nightly ritual for their parents. My brother Ben is a radio-talk-show-a-holic. Always has been; always will be. Don’t get him started on politics, religion, or anythingelse you hold sacred. My brother Ed is a tech-a-holic, stopping by once-in-awhile to impress me with his high-faluting geek speak. None of us are exempt from habits, good and bad. I’ve just got to balance the scales a little.

Now that I’ve gotten this out of my system, I’m off to work on nurturing my good habits, things I’m not addicted to doing, like housework, long, long walks with my best buddy, Mocha, and fraternizing with the weeds and mosquitoes. I will not be back here today…except maybe to visit other blogs…

you think?…wanna place any bets?…i’m not going to blog today…i’m not going to…hugmamma.