Monthly Archives: February 2013

Six Odd Things

Cover of "Far From Normal"
Cover of Far From Normal

Daily Prompt:  Far From Normal  Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

These things I’m going to mention about myself are not unique or exciting, so I guess that just leaves odd.  I can probably do odd.

1.  I hate surprises.  I like to be warned and advised well in advance of things happening whenever possible.  Anticipation is more than half the fun for me.  I need time to prepare.  And brace myself.  And think up some good excuses as to why I can’t do whatever it is you want me to do or go where you want me to go or meet who you want me to meet.  I am the exact opposite of spontaneous.  Premeditated would be the only kind of murder I’d be capable of committing.

2.  I do not mind being alone.   For five or six months of the year I rattle around in this house all by myself while W is off wandering around on his island.  I don’t know why every married couple doesn’t try this, at least once.  Time apart makes the heart grow fonder.  Or makes you forget what exactly you needed that person hanging around for all the time in the first place.  Many people have wondered out loud how I can handle being on my own so much, but the truth is, if I couldn’t handle it, I wouldn’t do it.  I don’t think people need to be joined at the hip to someone else in order to be happy.

3.  Almost every day I consume blueberries and spinach AT THE SAME TIME.  Both of them are smooshed up in a blender with other stuff and unrecognizable, but this daily concoction still manages to make W question my taste buds, gag reflex and sanity.  Since he refuses to drink these things with me I’ve decided I’m going to live longer, just to make a point.

4.  I will go out of my way to avoid confrontation of any kind.  My parents never really fought long and hard about anything, but it always upset me when they had an argument or even a discussion about things on which they could not agree.  Maybe that’s part of the reason why it’s usually easy for me to see both sides of a story, and hard for me to take a stand on either one.  We had to participate in ‘debates’ at school and I never wanted to hurt anyones feelings by telling them they were wrong, and I always took rebuttals much too personally.  I couldn’t stand to hear my own kids fight about stupid things.  I often hear myself saying “I don’t want to argue with you” even when I know the other person is dead wrong.  I’ll give you my opinion if I have one, but I’m not prepared to defend it to the death.  There’s too much fighting in this world.  I am not a fighter.

5.  I have received several blog awards in the last little while and I will probably never get around to accepting them properly.    This doesn’t mean I’m not grateful, thankful and appreciative of the honor and the attention.  It simply means I am lazier than dirt when it comes to recognizing these things.  I’m sorry.  Even the thought of blog tag makes me crave a long nap.  Please look to your right at the long list of blogs I love to follow.  The list gets longer every day so keep checking back (and stop rolling your eyes about that last bit.)  There are so many amazing writers and thinkers and beautiful souls out there that it would probably kill me to pick and choose who to mention.  And I’m not yet ready to die.  So click on anybody on my list and then click on their lists and so on and so on and I’ll probably never see you again.

Sell, Sell, Sell
Sell, Sell, Sell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6.  I don’t think I should be doing the job I’m doing.  I am not a very good salesperson.  I prefer to think of myself as a health professional first, but I’m in a retail setting where I am expected to sell stuff.  More often than not I find myself talking people out of spending their money on things they really don’t need.  I am supposed to up-sell, but I tend to undersell instead.  I’m so fed up with having a job that dwells on money and numbers and percentages and increases.  I am sick and tired of the greed.  How many millions are sufficient millions?  Can no one ever get to the point where something is ENOUGH?  Of course, due to my passive nature, I never bring this up in job evaluations.  I just lie a lot about my goals and pretend I’ll try harder.  What I really want to do is retire and sit around doing non-strenuous, non-confrontational, non-aggressive things like drinking coffee and breathing.

Even my odd things have turned out to be boringly normal.  Next time I promise I’ll try to come up with something unique and exciting instead.  You know, sort of in the same way that these things happen following my yearly evaluation.  So try to contain your enthusiasm for that.

Pink Shoelaces

Pink Shoelaces
Pink Shoelaces (Photo credit: CraigSnedeker)

This morning I “Liked” a page on Facebook called Groovy Reflections.  “Peace, Love Grooviness. Groovy Reflections™ is dedicated to the celebration of life and song. Our greatest wish is that everyone can find peace in their lives and in their hearts.” 

Well, how in the world could I NOT like that?

Next thing I know there’s a link on my news feed for this video by Dodie Stevens who celebrates her 67th birthday today.  Happy Birthday Dodie!  If you don’t know who Dodie Stevens is, you are about to find out.  I don’t remember ever hearing her name before (although I’m sure I must have) but I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO THIS SONG!  Isn’t the memory a strange and wonderful thing.

Now I’ve got a guy and his name is Dooley He’s my guy and I love him truly He’s not good lookin’, heaven knows But I’m wild about his crazy clothes

He wears tan shoes with pink shoelaces A polka dot vest and man, oh, man Tan shoes with pink shoelaces And a big Panama with a purple hat band

He takes me deep-sea fishing in a submarine We go to drive-in movies in a limousine He’s got a whirly-birdy and a 12-foot yacht Ah, but that’s not all he’s got

He’s got tan shoes with pink shoelaces A polka dot vest and man, oh, man Tan shoes with pink shoelaces And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Now Dooley had a feelin’ we were goin’ to war So he went out and enlisted in a fightin’ corps But he landed in the brig for raisin’ such a storm When they tried to put him in a uniform

He wanted tan shoes with pink shoelaces A polka dot vest and man, oh, man He wanted tan shoes with pink shoelaces And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Now one day Dooley started feelin’ sick And he decided that he better make his will out quick He said “Just before the angels come to carry me I want it down in writin’ how to bury me.”

Wearin’ tan shoes with pink shoelaces A polka dot vest and man, oh, man Give me tan shoes with pink shoelaces And a big Panama with a purple hat band

My musical tastes are so stuck in the 60’s and 70’s it’s kind of scary.  But how amazingly delightful is this, to see Dodie Stevens some 40 years later, still looking and sounding great.

Obviously I’m enjoying a wonderful, peaceful, lazy, do-nothing kind of Sunday afternoon.  Hope you are too.

When WAS the Last Time??

Daily Prompt:  When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?

"Am I proud" - NARA - 513787
“Am I proud” – NARA – 513787 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have given this one a tremendous amount of thought, and here are my ten possible answers.

1.  Never?

2.  I can’t remember exactly, but I think it had something to do with potty training.

3.  Stop it.  Pride is a sin.

4.  Hey, I’m the one who should be proud, not you.  Why do you get to feel proud?

5.  Shut up.

6.  Is there a wine that goes with that?

7.  I don’t normally do exceptional things inspiring proudness.  Laughter I can provoke.  Or crying.  Or both at the same time.   But no one has ever said they’re proud of me for that.  Although it could be only a matter of time before it happens because you never know, right?

8.  Pride cometh before a fall.

9.  I think my mother and father were proud of me but they wanted me to be humble so they never mentioned it.

10.  Did you know pretentious, jazzy and la-di-da are all related words?  Huh. Too bad this question didn’t involve a couple of those.  THEN you would have seen a great answer.

I asked W this question and right away he told me when it was said, by whom, and for what reason.  Gawd, sometimes he annoys the hell out of me.

Hyperbole Could Be the Most Fun You’ll Have in This Lifetime.

Trifextra Challenge:  For this weekend’s challenge we’re asking you to include some hyperbole in
your piece.  It doesn’t have to be the whole piece, but it needs to be in there,
and we’re looking for 33 words, as usual.

More hyperbole
More hyperbole (Photo credit: soukup)

“It takes forever to get home by cab and costs a fortune.  I live on the other side of the universe.”

“We’ve asked you a bazillion times, please stop exaggerating.  You’re killing us.”

trifecta button

Authors Note:  The hardest part of this challenge was, for yours truly – the ultimate supreme hyperbole queen to infinity and beyond – having to stop myself at 33 words.  Whew.  But don’t cry me any rivers, I’m okay.  I refrained from setting myself on fire in frustration.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and lie down for a couple of days.

For Flavia de Luce Fans

And if you’re not yet a Flavia de Luce fan, here’s how to become one.  It starts with this book.

flavia 1It continues on with these:

flavia 234
Then just when you think you know all there is to know about Flavia, out comes another great mystery by Alan Bradley in this excellent series.

flavia 5

On GoodreadsFrom award-winning author Alan Bradley comes the next cozy British mystery starring intrepid young sleuth Flavia de Luce, hailed by USA Today as “one of the most remarkable creations in recent literature.”

Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such a thing as an open-and-shut case.

It’s a mystery to  me why these mysteries are so appealing to a non mystery lover such as I have always been.  Although I suppose when I consider how much I’ve grown to love Flavia, it’s not such a great mystery after all.  I read this latest addition to the series yesterday, and it was like sitting down to have a long friendly chat with an old friend.  Except that Flavia is barely twelve at this point.

The last line in this book (an eye rolling, teasing groaner of a sentence if there ever was one) has to be a promise that there is more Flavia to come.  So while we’re waiting for that, there’s time for you to read this delightful series (or re-read it, it’s that good) and get ready for the rest of the story.

Why Breathing Space?

Jazzy and the Pussycats
Jazzy and the Pussycats (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daily Prompt:  All About Me

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

Breathing Space  Life on the Sidewalk….where every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again.

1.  It all started seven years ago and was inspired by the site called “myspace” and reading about other people and their adventures on their own “space”.  So I wanted a space too.  Being spacey and all.

2.  My fear of water and drowning and not being able to breathe, plus my love of being left alone to think, plus my inability to come up with anything even remotely unique, prompted the Breathing Space name.  You can find “Breathing Space” on Wikipedia, but it has nothing at all to do with me and everything to do with a band by the same name.

3.  Life in the fast lane is an expression I like, but have never EVER lived.  Life in the slow lane would be slightly more accurate, but life on the sidewalk is even better.  Because here I am, strolling along, watching the rest of the world zip on by.  Where the hell are they all going, anyway?  I’d hitch a ride if I really cared.

4.  Somebody said I should have more of a tag line or something to better explain what this blog is all about so that’s where all the deep breath new beginning stuff came from.  I keep thinking I should change that to something better.  You know, the whole starting over thing.  One day it might just go missing altogether.

5.  I am a grandma to five kids, ages 7 to 12.   W has always called me Lin, as if saying my whole name would wear him right out.  So those two things combined end up being grandmalin.  However, if you are French you might read it as grand malin which very loosely interpreted means big shrewd/cunning/crafty or clever person.  Voila.  It can also mean malicious or malignant, but I try really hard not to be either one of those things.

Il faut être malin pour réussir – You have to be shrewd in order to succeed.

Il m’a donné un sourire malin – He gave me a knowing smile.

There’s your French lesson for the day.  There is some French on my father-in-law’s side of the family but that’s my closest claim to being French myself.

6.  The name of my alter ego Jazzy is nothing but wishful thinking.  I’d like to be jazzy.  I like jazz.  I was reading a book in which there was a minor character named Jazzy.  This one kept showing up in random doodles.  Thus Jazzy was born.  She will die when she runs out of stuff to say.

7.  In the beginning my site was all about the history of my family and preserving the pictures and the memories for future generations.  After several years of that I got bored and branched off in a multitude of different directions so that now I have no idea what any of this is really about.  It’s a work in progress.  It’s a walk on the sidewalk.

Some days it’s just a long sit down rest on the curb.

Dwell on This

Smoking and drinking during pregnancy
Smoking and drinking during pregnancy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a beautiful fall day in 1973, sunshine pouring through the campus medical office window where Lara sits with her back straight, hands folded primly in her lap, waiting for her examination results.

“You are definitely pregnant”, the doctor tells her.  “Four or five weeks along.  Do you know what you want to do about this?”

Do?  Lara tries to clear her head and imagine what exactly people are expected to do in this kind of situation.  Cry?  Throw a party?  Why does the doctor care what she’s going to do?

“Was this pregnancy planned?  Is your husband going to be okay with it?”

No, not planned, Lara tells her.  Not discussed, not anticipated.  Big surprise, really.  So much for the diaphragm as birth control.  Throwing that out now I guess.  Stupid thing.  They stare at each other for a moment in silence.

“If you decide to terminate this pregnancy, it’s best to do it now.  You will need to let me know as soon as possible so we can make the arrangements”

Lara’s heart thuds and she moves her clasped hands up across her belly.  An abortion, that’s the option Lara is supposed to be considering, and immediately she knows that for her it isn’t an option at all.

“Oh God, no, I’m really happy about this!”  She supposes the doctor can be forgiven for not figuring out that her shell-shocked expression is an indication of joy.  And if Stan isn’t thrilled with the news that he’s going to be a parent before his university semester is over, oh well.  Lara decides she won’t dwell on that.

Because it doesn’t matter.  She is going to have this baby.  The doctor gives her a huge smile, as if to say she’s made the right decision, and tells her to come back and see her in a month.

When Stan picks her up ten minutes later he doesn’t even ask.  Laras beaming face tells him everything he needs to know.

(This is in response to this weeks Trifecta Challenge)

trifecta button