Now, Where Did I Put Those Clowns?

CJ is a blogger I started following after I saw her posts at YSAC. This particular post made me grin and feel melancholy at the same time. Enjoy!


If, like me, you are old enough to remember these wonderful people then this will make you laugh/cry.

If you are too young to remember, watch and learn well.

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New Dawn


I rise before dawn every weekday; I’ve been doing that for umpteen years.  However, today’s prompt brought back memories of when we lived on the farm.  My commute then was via ferry and certain times of the year we’d be crossing the Sound at sunrise.  What an awesome sight that was!

It’s not so customary for me to rise before dawn on the weekends or holidays.  But one Thanksgiving in particular while we were on the farm I rose before dawn to start the preparations because everyone was coming to our house that year.

While getting the turkey in the oven I watched through kitchen windows as the sun rose over the trees in the pasture.  Pitch black lightened slowly until the trees were silhouetted against clouds limned in peach and rose while the sun glowed gold from just beyond the flagpole.  In the still dark shadows were hints of the buildings and vehicles but not a telephone pole or electrical line in sight – it was like traveling back in time for a brief moment.

Grabbing the camera (this was before my cell phone had a decent camera!) I stepped out on our back deck and snapped this:

Thanksgiving sunset - 2

What a lovely beginning to the day and an even sweeter memory.


Note:  The photo here was taken with my current cell phone of the print I have hanging in my cubicle at work.  



One tired gramma

We finally got the RV out for its first trip this year!  Hey, it’s only August, it could have been much worse!

My favorite daughter and her guy climbed up on the monster and worked some magic on the leaky skylights so now JD won’t be quite so depressed when it rains.  Then Thursday I used a vacation day to clean out all the tools and other assorted crap that had accumulated while the RV was dormant.  That was so much fun!  (Don’t you think sarcasm should have its own font?)  Following the crap removal, we started packing actual vacation stuff!  While that was genuinely fun it was also a lot of work.  I lost count of how many trips I made from the house to the RV, up the steps, find a safe place for said stuff and retrace my steps back to the house for more.

Friday we slept in a bit and then hit the road for the grand kids.  My middle daughter’s two children have been living with their paternal grandparents about an hour away from us (give or take a half hour depending on traffic).  When we learned this earlier in the summer I was angry at first that my daughter hadn’t told me (forgive me for not being on Facebook but any of your sisters could have gotten a message to me).  Then I liked the idea that we could see them more often.

We picked up R & A and drove to the RV park where we’d been able to get a last minute reservation.  It didn’t have a lot going on (interpretation: no swimming pool), it’s more of a stopping place for tourists who want to see the area nearby (i.e., Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula) but we were lucky enough to get a site very close to the community campfire pit and forest trails.  The kids and I hiked some; we played Uno; watched a video on Grandpa JD’s hand-built media computer; and dug in the sand at the beach.  Typical of a Doe family outing:  the bathroom sink leaked causing a small flood; the aforementioned tide was out so no one could actually swim; and I made entirely too much food for dinner Saturday.

Overall it was a blast!  I now hurt in places I didn’t know I had and I’m so tired I could sleep standing up, at least until gravity worked and I hit the floor!  Taking Monday off too was brilliant even though I’m still doing laundry!  Yesterday I let myself off the hook and did only the bare necessities.  Today when I opened work email and saw 111 in the inbox I had a moment of panic, but I caught up more quickly than I expected.

Aside from the Drama Queen’s tears all the way from the RV park to their house, I’d say the weekend went well.

Now to see if I can steal them away for Thanksgiving!


I may have squealed a bit

Yesterday on the train home, I was plugged in to my tunes and playing Solitaire City trying to stay awake when the phone in my hand rang.  I mention it specifically because it’s not all that usual for someone to call me on the train.  It does happen occasionally, but often it’s someone who doesn’t know my schedule like our oldest daughter or my brother.  There are dead areas on the route home so it’s better to text me as JD and our youngest daughter do.

So when the phone rang it was a little startling.  Seeing the area code, I thought perhaps it was one of the in-the-middle daughters so I answered, and got another surprise.

Remember this post ?  Well, if you haven’t read it go on and do that, I’ll wait.  Or not, whatever works for you.

[musical interlude]

Back?  Cool.

Remember that aunt and uncle I thought might still be living?  Well it was actually two aunts and they are both still alive and kicking!  Doing so well in fact that they are on a road trip and they traveled to my neck of the woods because Aunt A’s grandson lives with his family in a nearby neighborhood!  It was Aunt M on the phone yesterday wondering whether I would like to meet with them while they are up here!  Boy would I!

Prior to yesterday’s call I’d spoken with Aunt M twice by phone and she wrote me a letter in response to the note I sent her.  In her letter she mentioned that she and her sister were going on a road trip for about two weeks and asked me to stay in touch.  During our first conversation she’d remembered my mother, and after that call she searched the genealogy book she got from her father.  In her letter and a subsequent call, she said when she returned from the trip she’d make me a copy of a photo she found of my mom, dad and I when I was a baby!  I had been hoping there would be a photo of my father since I never knew him, but I never imagined there might be one of all of us!  I can’t wait to see it!

So tomorrow after work I’m going to meet my aunts for the very first time!  I may have to squeal again.


Part 3

It’s come to my attention that I never finished this saga.  No, no one inquired about it, I was just browsing my earlier posts to confirm whether I’d mentioned something in one and realized during my review that I left this incomplete.  Sigh.

This happened some time ago and if you were around here back then you may know that not long after we lost our ancient Lab-mix, Roscoe.  I imagine that’s part of what kept me from revisiting this.  In any event, these are the highlights of the rest of that night.

I did make the last train out of town with time to spare – hallelujah!  It isn’t that I don’t like the bus, it just takes longer and it was already late enough I was whining silently about not being able to change out of work clothes into something more comfortable.  When I arrived home the rep from BathFitter was with JD in the master bath checking it out.  He greeted me pleasantly enough and proceeded to take some measurements before launching to his spiel.

He spread across our coffee table a book with photographs of different shower/bath styles and pulled out a sample of the material they use.  After we perused the selection and noted which choices we liked, he had us watch a video on his laptop while he worked up the estimate.  Are you sitting down?  Take into consideration that we’re conservative by nature.  We didn’t opt for the priciest anything!  Simplicity all the way!  The new shower was going to cost us over six grand!  Even this long afterward I’m feeling a touch lightheaded at that amount.

Granted, their manufacturing methods and lifetime warranty are very attractive.  The easy to clean aspect was right up my alley.  But we’re talking only the freakin’ shower people!  Only. The. Shower.  No bathtub.  No new toilet or vanity or floor.  Just! The! Shower!


By the time he left we were starving, it was long past the dinner hour.  We said screw it and went to our favorite haunt where I may have had an alcoholic beverage (or three).  At work the next day I’m certain I resembled a zombie but it was totally worth it.  So ended the day from hell.

At least now it won’t be bugging me that I never finished this.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Sort of all about me

Kate over at Flippyzipflop, posted a list of questions yesterday and asked her readers to answer them so she could get to know us.  She wanted us to post our answers in the comments but I knew once I got started that this was probably more than she bargained for and decided to just post it here.  Here you go Kate!

1. How long have you been blogging and what possessed you to start?

I’m going on a few years now, I think.  I started this as therapy; a place to vent, rant, and rave about my frustrations with family, my job, life in general.  By letting it out, I knew I would be able to let it go and move on.  The original blog was supposed to be anonymous but that evolved and it wouldn’t have been difficult for family members to identify themselves in some of my posts.  While they drive me crazy at times, I do love them and wouldn’t hurt them intentionally for the world.  In addition, because I worried someone would find out about it and want to read it, I wasn’t always completely honest with myself or on the blog about family issues; so much for its therapeutic value.

The new blog is completely and utterly anonymous.  There are only 2 people who know who Janey is and they’re both online friends who have no contact with my family; not that they would rat me out in any case.  It’s safe to go crazy here, but with only a couple of exceptions I really haven’t felt like ranting and raving.  Things change though and I imagine one day my readers will peruse a post, and scratching their heads ask, “Who are you and what did you do with Janey?”  In other words, I’m not always as positive as I’d like to be.  But then, who is?

2. What do you like to blog about?

I don’t give it a lot of deep thought.  If a prompt sparks something I go with it.  If a blogger I follow asks interesting questions and I have time, I may answer.  If I’m having a craptastic day at work, I dump it here.  This Dear Reader, is what you might call a “theme-less” blog.

3. What types of bloggers do you follow?

Sort of like what I blog about, there is no theme.  As Janey, I started following some of the people in Blogging 101 and also when I review The Daily Prompt I’ll check out some of the responses.  Many of the people I now follow I found through their response to the Daily Prompt.  If I laugh out loud at your blog I may well start following you.  I like to laugh.

4. What country are you from. If from the US, what state?

I now live in the Pacific Northwest but I was born in California.  I’ve lived in Nevada, Oregon and Indiana too (though I was only 5 or 6 in Indiana and I don’t remember it well).

5. Have you ever been published?

My high school poetry magazine published one of my poems decades ago.  And in 1984, a local throwaway paper published another.  I’d like to think I can write poetry, but Tom Balistreri over at From Balderdash to Epiphany has me beat hands down.

6. Are you a writer or a photographer?

I let my fingers do the walking – right over the keyboard.  That can be loosely construed as writing, right?

7. Tell me one thing (or several) that makes you unique.

How about a bunch of things that confirm I am NOT unique?  I’m a daughter, a mom, a sister, a wife, a grandma…those are things that a LOT of other people are.  I’m a Scorpio, but so is my husband.  I have a birthmark which I considered unique until one of my children told me they saw someone with a virtually identical one – in the same frackin’ place!  I did wind up pregnant after having my tubes tied, does that count?  (Winces.)  TMI?  Sorry about that.

8. Name one positive attribute you have that helps in making this world a better place.

I strive to be optimistic even when I want to wallow in self-pity.  How does that make the world a better place you ask?  It may not contribute to the world-at-large but it lets me separate myself from those around me who have nothing positive to say.  I try really, really hard not to be a whiner.  I’m not always successful but I am improving.

9. Do you have any children? If so, how many and what ages?

Have I got children!  Six at last count and nine grand-babies!  Okay, the oldest is in high school, I guess I can’t refer to him as a baby any more.  And I thought having nine grand-babies (before I was 56 thank you very much) made me somewhat unique.  Then I saw another blogger recently who goes by the handle “granonine” (I think it remembered that correctly).

10. What would you like to see more of on my blog?

I like what you do already, just keep hanging tough and writing what you write.  😀

So there you have it; sort of all about me.  And here’s a bonus which you should already know from my avatar: I am in no way, shape or form – normal.  Normal is a setting on the clothes dryer y’all.  So if you’re looking for normal you’re in the wrong place.  Stick around, it’ll be fun!

Matters of Taste

The Daily Prompt today wanted to know if there was a movie, book or television show that didn’t live up the reviews or recommendations of friends or critics.

I read some of the other responses to this prompt; it amused and pleased me to see some literal lists of titles.  One blogger mentioned Doctor Who which disappointed me.  As a devoted Whovian, I want everyone to love the Doctor.  But as a realist?  I know he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  When my husband first introduced me to the Doctor via his video collection of the original series I wasn’t immediately hooked, but I was fascinated by the idea of the Doctor.  What a clever way to extend the life of a series!  When one actor no longer works or must leave the show for some reason, have the character regenerate and a fresh new face can take over!  I’ve grown to love the Doctor over the years, some regenerations more than others.  (David Tennant, I’m looking at you!)

Personally, I avoid jumping on the bandwagon when something NEW and EXCITING is trending.  I’m not on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram.  I don’t often hear about new movies or television or books except from my family, other bloggers and elsewhere online.

That said, I guess I was predisposed to loathe Twilight because the first I heard of it was through a review by a blogger I respect and admire.  Suffice it to say, she hated it.  The more I heard about the books, both the good and the bad, the less inclined I was to read them.  I have to say, I’ve never been tempted to test that.

I work full time and commute almost 2 hours each way.  While some of that is spent on a train and I have a little time to read, I am reluctant to waste that time on sludge.  A book has to grab me pretty quickly and keep me interested.  I have to care about the characters.  For example, the first time I tried to read Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, I had trouble getting into it.  Timing may have been an issue, who knows.  However, recently I noted another blogger I follow was reading it and raved about it.  I thought it might be time to try it again and I’m well-involved now and enjoying it immensely.

Another book I will never, ever read is 50 Shades of Grey.  NEVER. EVER.  There is no internal debate and no waffling on this.

I never go to the movie theater so all the movies I see are based on either a trailer I’ve seen or someone’s recommendation or both.  I can’t think of any recent flicks I’ve seen that were disappointing.  And now, I’ve probably jinxed myself.

We don’t use cable or Dish, or whatever else people pay for to view television in real time.  Everything we watch we get online.  That helps us cut out a lot of the crap TV.  I used to like sitcoms but lately I find a lot of them tiresome.  I recently saw a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother.  WTF?  Why was that popular?  A new TV show has a limited opportunity for me – I’ll watch 2 episodes, possibly a third before I make a final decision.  I am proud to admit I’ve never once watched the Kardashians, The Bachelor, Long Island Medium, et cetera.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some reality shows I watch (Face Off for instance).  I don’t have a lot of time in the evenings and why on earth would I want to waste that time watching people I have absolutely no interest in?  I’d rather watch the Carol Burnett reunion show or an old episode of Night Court.

I don’t automatically tune in a show because a friend or a family member says it’s great.  There are a few I’ve checked out for that reason, but usually I just go my own way.  Now if only the TV execs would quit canceling the shows I love.  Sigh.


Apologies if I have dissed a show or book beloved by any of my readers.  To each her own, right? 






The world is a little colder

So many people will be gearing up to write about Robin Williams’ passing; many have in fact already posted; I’ve read several this morning.  Celebrities will comment.  News people will speculate.  Professional therapists will discuss the relationship between addiction and depression.

I don’t have anything earth-shattering to add.  I wouldn’t presume to understand what finally became so difficult to bear that he chose to end his pain.  And I do not blame him.  However, I have been where he was twice, so while I don’t know his particular pain, I do understand the desire to end it even if my own attempts failed.  On the bright side, I’m in a better place (mostly) and I have beautiful children and grandchildren who never would have come to be if I had succeeded.

My heart is with his family.  I hope and pray they find some peace in the coming weeks.

Robin, I hope you too have found peace.  You will be missed.