May 30, 2009

the first day of the rest of my life. again.

yesterday was my birthday. another year older.
i am 47 years old.

lemme say it again, in case you missed it. f-o-r-t-y-s-e-v-e-n.


again, if i had known i was gonna live this long, i'd taken better care of myself.
but i didn't, so i might as well start now right?? right???

oh well.


i realize it's not that old in the scheme of things and most days, i don't feel that old. some days, however, i feel much, MUCH older.

like now.

you see, not only did i have a birthday yesterday, i had the distinct honor of being sick

actually, all week. the Husband has had typhoid/yellow fever/creeping crud for almost a week, and i was feeling pretty dang proud of myself that i had avoided it. that was until Wednesday morning came and i was calling the police, trying to report a hit & run on my bum.

and i proceeded to sleep the majority of the time. Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday. well, scratch that...not last night so much.

like a dumbass, i over medicated myself with cough medicine and Mucenix and could NOT get to sleep until about 2:30 this morning...whereupon i immediately woke up at 6:30 with the cheerful May Gray streaming in my face.

stupid sun. there ought to be a law.

and there ought to be a law against being sick on your birthday.

it s-u-u-u-u-u-cks.

did it effect my appetite? unfortunately not, except for the fact that the Husband's tummy did not like him, so therefore i had no appetite.

oh well. soup and grilled cheese is still good.

47. three years away from 50. eight years away from AARP membership.

and i'm still standing. over medicated, but standing.

May 25, 2009

memorial day.

salute the standing.
remember the fallen.
and remember it's not all about bbqs, the beach and beer.

on the savannah.

yesterday, i had the opportunity to be a wildlife photographer. photographing birds and wild cats.

in the wilds of Long Beach, at my mother's, who is the Crazy Cat Lady of the neighborhood and somehow got two rather feral cats from the same litter, who got themselves pregnant at about the same time.
did i mention they're both sisters from the same litter? and pregnant at the same time??
good grief.

now, my mom & step-pop has three cats they would claim as their own, and about four others they say aren't, but i say when you feed 'em, then you've got 'em.
and that makes them ripe photo ops for me.

apparently, momma no like her picture being taken.

i think she's praying for the milk bar to close soon.

here's her four. there's another three, a little bigger, but smarter. they won't get near me. this gray one in front is especially sassy, and hisses a tiny hiss like there's no tomorrow. not being easily intimidated, i just laugh, pick 'er up and hold next to my heart. immediately they calm down and almost purr.


and they play a lot of tag.

then there was this birdie.

not sure what kind this was, helping itself to the free buffet at the birdfeeder, but it was pretty. if you know, will you tell me? (i say a robin, but apparently we don't get robins in Mostly Smoggy Southern California.)

i don't know what it is, but it is pretty.

now all i have to do is wait for National Geographic to call.

May 23, 2009

the happiest place on earth.

so after the last post, i believe it's time for something a little happier. don't you?
so here it goes.

after Vegas with Kristie & her family, my sister-in-law, her husband and the Cutest Kids in Reno, came down for a visit. my brother in law had training classes all week, and since they were close, hey! let's go to Disneyland all week.

thus began what i called the DDM. Disneyland Death March.

and who better to go on a march with than people i love? and did i mention i love taking pictures? and did i also mention i love taking pictures of way super-cute kids at Disneyland?

just as good as seeing Donny & Marie.

oh yeah.

the Cutest Kids in Reno with the Cutest Mom in Reno. and the Cutest Husband in Buena Park. (you KNOW i HAD to put that one in)

i always heard about the Golden Hour: an hour before sunrise, the hour after sunset, where the sun casts a golden glow around. but i had never experienced it in any photos i ever took. i'm a believer now.
the Girl was quite excited about meeting the Mouse. the Boy, however, at 8 3/4, is a little too grown up to get his picture taken with them.

i'm cool with that.

they went on every ride we could. the scary ones? not a problem - well...except for the Tower of Terror and the roller coaster California Screamin'. the Girl 'did NOT like that ride.'

and proceeded to tell everyone she met about them. however, she LOVED Space Mountain.

and again, proceeded to tell everyone she met.
this is what it looks like when Auntie buys you a Slurpee.
oh yeah. this does my heart good, seeing the young'un taking pictures. even if it is pictures of funny signs & trash cans.

i love photo rich environments.
and photo rich targets, too.
thanks Maureen, for letting me share in your kids', and your life.

May 21, 2009

times a-wasting.

*WARNING: the following post could cause crying, tightening of the chest and uncontrollable urges to go hug like there's no tomorrow your kids, your significant other and, quite possibly, your dog. or cat. i'm easy.*

the letter started out easily enough.

"dear mom & dad, every 15 minutes, someone dies as a result of an alcohol-related accident."

then it turned. badly.

"today, i died."

the letter is a part of this program. a woman i work with has two boys in high school and one of them was 'chosen' to be killed in a crash and had to write this letter.

the program selects some kids to be 'killed'. some were driving the car drunk that killed their friends. the 'killed' ones wore black all day and could not speak to any of their friends during the day.

then, right before lunch (ed. note: never EVER plan any gut-wrenching assembly right before lunch. it's just wrong.), the school had an assembly where they read obituaries on each of the 'dead' kids.

and the moms cried.

hell, i cried, just thinking about the pain that parents DO feel when their kids, their friends, their loved ones are killed as a result of drunk/buzzed/no-really-i'm-OK-to-drive driving.

every 15 minutes.

i'm lucky. no one i knew or cared about was ever hurt or killed in a drunk driving accident, or as a result of one. well...wait. that's not exactly true.

my mom & i were.

i had turned 20, we were on our way home, less than 1/2 a mile from our home in fact, and making a left turn on to our street.

the only thing i remember is my mom saying 'oh shiiii...' the next thing we were spinning like a completely psycho Tea Cup from Disneyland.

when i realized what had happened, there was a huge face at my window, banging on the glass, asking me if i was OK.

and all i could think was 'lady, i'd be a lot better if you'd stop yelling and banging. you're making my headache worse.'

we were lucky. no. blessed. the Hand of God was truly on us that day, because the idiot that hit us was doing at least 60MPH coming down the hill as he hit us. he t-boned us just past the right passenger door.

a few inches more and my mom might not have been here. the cops said that i definitely would not be here, because the force of the impact would have probably flung me out of the car.

oh, and did i mention we didn't wear seatbelts? didn't have to then. we did after that.

nothing serious in the way of after-effects. broken nose (me), bruised ribs (both), a huge dent in my mother's leg where she was jammed into the steering wheel.

who cares about a dent or bruising. we're both still alive.

so, while the idea of 'every 15 minutes' seems shocking at first, and the realization of every parents nightmare, i agree with their philosophy: if it saves just one life, it was so worth it.

go now. hug someone (or several someones) you love. because today is short and tomorrow's never EVER a guarantee.

and you never know what the next 15 minutes may bring.

May 18, 2009

Vegas, Baby.

the Friday before Mother's Day, the Husband & i joined my best friend, her kids & mom for a trip to Vegas.

Vegas. the hot bed of heat, buffets, shows and the Loosest Slots on the Strip!!

well at least that's what most of the casinos say. i can't figure out how every casino can be sooo huge and still have the most money give-aways.

we stayed at the same place we did last year - South Point, which, ironically, is at the south point of the Strip on Las Vegas Blvd.

for Friday night and most of Saturday, it was a girls' trip. Brendan stayed behind with Kristie's son for a Scouting event on Saturday. and the girls made the most of it.

and, where Vegas is, shows will be also. there's a lot of them out there and it seems like dang near every casino has a Cirque du Soleil show.
but the Tropicana has this.

(and it's really fun for me to bounce up & down in the car every time we passed the Trop, especially with the HUGE banner on the side of the building with their faces on it. )
and i went.


in our hotel, there was a mini travel agency that also sold half price Vegas tickets. the problem was trying to decide what show we should see that we could without making the boys upset that they missed that show.

and believe me, missing Donny & Marie would not bother the Husband one bit.

so while Kristie and her mom went to see this, the 16 YO said, sure, i'll go with you to see Donny & Marie.


so off we went.

so what if we had balcony seats? well, i ended up caring when Donny started walking across the tables at the stage level.


it was a killer show. they danced - seriously danced with lots of sweat. there was lots of their typical bro/sis ribbing and yes, the 16YO really loved the much so that yes, she wants to borrow auntie's cd/dvds...much to her mother's chagrin.

at one point, Donny made a rather sexified move and she whooped, at which point i felt it necessary to remind her that she just whooped at a 51 YO grampa.
yep. THAT freaked her out.

i love him.

i really, really love him. Brendan knows. he's used to it.

so while Brendan & i won no money, Kristie's mom did. she ended up coming home with some nice change, courtesy of video poker.

dang - i need to get better at that.

i might be able to get better seats next time i go to Donny & Marie.

May 17, 2009

alive. well. not living in Peru.

in the beginning - there was a blog. and it was updated regularly.

and it was good.

then cameth writers block and it verily sucketh.

then cameth a trip to Vegas, tickets to see Donny and Marie and a visit from my sister in law with her two kids. and a death march for three days across Disneyland.

and it was good, too. yea, verily.

but behold - i am still aliveth and will posteth more on the morrow.

and pictures shall follow.