Posted in Musings and Mutterings


I’m not quite sure why this is, but maybe I’ll figure it out by the time I’m finished writing this.
Why am I the kingpin for activities?? Or am I imagining this?
My siblings, 2 sisters and 1 brother, have never been the close knit group my mother would have liked for us to be. In all fairness, we’ve helped each other out during times of crisis, but it seems like it has to be a tragedy to get us to act. For example, moving my sister out of her home during her divorce, or storing my brothers goods while he was divorcing. While my parents were alive and our children were young, the siblings would each have family parties and invite everyone. It was usually stiff. Our whole family is /was stiff. I don’t think I can even remember seeing my Dad hug my Mom. My oldest sister and I had parties that would hopefully engage everyone- she with her hula deck parties and me with silly off the wall things like a ‘President’s’ party. (ok, side note, one of my sons was born on President’s day, so we had a birthday party with presidentially themed games – (pin the cherry on the tree (Washington), peanut race (Carter), suitcase race (Madison’s flight from the White House) balloon race (Roosevelt- you don’t want to know) and so on..) Everyone played but it never seemed as though anyone ever connected.
Now that my parents are gone, it’s as if the pretense for getting together is gone as well and we don’t seek each others company often, if at all. Most families bond after the death of loved ones, mine just blew apart. The only surviving sibling of my parents is my Aunt, and she has gone to great lengths to try and get us together, but I think that even though we may actually enjoy the event once we are there, we tend to look at a gathering as a responsibility instead of a fun thing to do, and thus do not want to have to plan to get together again. If you never plan, you never have to feel responsible.
What does this have to do with BINGO you might ask? I’m getting there.
I’m number 3 of the 4 siblings. During childhood I wasn’t really part of the group. I got along best (only one on one) with my older sister, but she and my brother were a team in many things and the youngest sister was 4 years behind me and definitely the baby. Plus, my family thought I was too emotional ( I was probably pretty normal, just placed in a family of stoic Germans [Vee vill laugh for .2 seconds, zen ve vill cry for .1 Now vee are done vith emotions for zee rest of zee year]). So why then, has it been left to me to contact and/or organize any kind of get together our family has? Does this seem odd to any of you? Let’s ask the one that no one really bonded with, or got along with, to call everyone in the family and invite them somewhere! Duh! Don’t you think the sibling that everyone seemed to like should be the one to plan and call and put these kinds of things together?? When my Aunt tried to organize a family reunion over the summer, who was her contact for this side of the family? And when she mentioned how it would be nice to play Bingo together over the holidays, wink wink, nudge nudge, who had to consult the almighty calendar, make the phone calls and announce that THEY were going to play Bingo on Saturday night, would anyone like to attend?
I’m not really complaining, even tho it may look like it, I’m just kind of stymied by why this has come to pass? Ok, so I didn’t figure it out and I’m just about done writing.. I guess this will be one of the great mysteries of my life.
With all that having been said, I’m going to play Bingo on Saturday night, anyone want to attend??

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Christmas Fun

One of the best things about the holidays is that I always feel compelled to create at least one handmade something. And even though things get crazy and life becomes hectic, I’m not really satisfied with my Christmas unless I do this. Usually, it’s the perfect way to have “forced play” which most people forgo when they are caught up in the day to day of work and holiday prep. Admittedly, I begin to dread some of the process… the “what will I do this year” part mostly, and then the “when will I find the time” part secondly. I will normally just decide that some quiet Christmas music and a few nights that are slightly later than usual will do the trick and soon I’m happily crafting away at whatever I’ve chosen to do. I used to bake like a madwoman, but then everyone started baking and it was just too much. The fun part about baking was that we would always try to find a new container that started with the letter B. Frank and I went through baskets, bowls, buckets, bags and barrels before we decided to alter our tactics. That’s when I found polymer clay. I began making ornaments, nativities and jewelry and I was hooked. One year, I was working on holiday ornaments for my sisters while my daughter was at rehearsals for the Baltimore Opera Company’s production of Hansel and Gretel and when the other mom’s saw what I was doing, I found myself overwhelmed with orders for ornaments. I practically paid for Christmas gifts that year! I even had the lead performer (Theodora Henslowe) send her assistant down to order gingerbread men pins to commemorate her performance in the Opera. I was flattered! I’ve made other kinds of items, but my heart keeps bringing me back to polymer clay. I find it calming and stimulating all at the same time and I have to hope I won’t ever lose my enthusiasm to create my little friends.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Dreaming of Daddy

I dreamed that I was in a city (I recently was in NYC) and I saw my father (who has passed on) standing up against a wall. We started talking and he told me that the Second Coming was going to be very soon, but that Jesus had to go check out the conditions at Stone Henge first. I mentioned to him how today was some important day in religious history and he told me “No, that day was yesterday.” I said, “oh yeah, that’s right.” Then I heard a sound of trumpets and singing and the sound was not of a fixed origin but all around me. I saw my dad look up to the tall building across the street and when I looked up I saw a beige colored building bathed in yellow-gold sunlight (like a sunrise) and saw the shadow of an angel blowing a trumpet move across the top of the building. I looked back at Daddy and he smiled and then walked away from the building he was leaning on. Where he had been standing, were about 5 people huddled together to fit behind him. I then heard my daughter, Liberty, from down the hallway (because somehow I was in my house yet in this city) and she was talking to my son, Frank Jr., saying that it was just the Liberty Mutual Angel. (For those of you who can’t place that, it’s an insurance company and their logo is the Statue of Liberty, not an angel.) I woke up at this point and decided to catch the news (sometimes dreams like this have let me know what’s going on in the world before I wake up) but the FIRST thing I saw was a religious ad on Fox TV channel 5 that talked about redemption and how to be redeemed.

Notification? Imagination? Holidays frying my little brain? Not sure about it, but it was nice to see my Dad, no matter what. I like the friendly chats we have in my dreams, goodness knows there weren’t enough with him while he was alive.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Sharon and the Very Blustery Day

I have a very nice light display in my front yard… wait, I USED to have a very nice light display in my yard.  I’ll have to see what’s left since it’s been a bit breezy today.

In my front yard are 4 faux trees with white lights. Three of these trees are brown, to mock trees in winter and look like they ‘belong’ there during the day. One is white, but sits near to the house, so it doesn’t look too awful.  These trees are about 6 feet tall and come with a stand and these ridiculous excuses for stakes that look more like heavy duty paper clips. What is *supposed* to happen, is you put these stakes through the holes in the four legs of the stand and this will anchor your tree into the ground. Unless, of course, you live in Maryland and it’s December 1 and it’s more than a bit breezy outside. 

I was working in my office when I glanced outside to see two of my trees had fallen over, taking the cheapie, yet glass, balls I had hung on them to the ground. Most survived, but a few had to be carted off to the glass ball graveyard.  I also saw my plastic Santa, who sits like a little gnome on my front porch, taking a ride down the street on the wind. Yikes!! He could cause an accident on my busy road!! So, I got up and went outside to fix my holiday decorating disaster.

First thing, my shirt flew up past my bra, giving everyone a fright (I don’t think anyone would have been thrilled). Ok, tuck that into place. Next I went to take care of the farthest tree. Looking around, I noticed that the other two were leaning precariously as well. After clearing the dead glass ball debris, I began assessing my situation. The tree had pulled up all the earth around the stakes and the rocks that I had were obviously insufficient.

We have a rock pile behind the shed. We also have a dog who likes to poo everywhere. To get to the rock pile, you need to traverse the “mine field”.  (Frank will be advised that he’s a minesweeper this weekend.) This rockpile has some old long grass growing up and around it. Since we have had Maryland Copperheads in our backyard, I thought that a stick might be a good idea to poke around with first.  Good, no snakes or brown recluse spiders… I find a few bricks and think that I might be able to use those to help prop my tree. I go back to my tree and begin to extricate the twisted metal from the earth so that I may *replant* my tree.  Did I mention that these trees have metal branches and mini lights? Did I mention that each of these metal branches ends in a curl of metal that resembles an unfinished circle and that said curls of metal just LOVE long blond hair blowing in the wind?  Now I’m not so silly as to go out with my hair loose and try to work in the wind, but I did have it up in a bun, which makes this all the worse, because as each branch proceeded to catch in  my hair, I could not just pull the strand through… I had to UNHOOK each branch from my head! Here I am, holding the tree in gale force winds with no other anchor for 6 feet of wind resistance than my lovely locks.  My shirt has come untucked and is also fluttering around my midsection and beginning to catch in the tree. I felt like that kid from Poltergeist.

This whole tableau might not be so bad if my tree repair had worked. The bricks helped some but as I mentioned before, there were other trees that were leaning and needed help as well. So back to the rockpile to find some more rocks. When I came back with a few mini boulders, my tree had fallen again. @O($&#$) Ok, I bolstered the two leaning trees and retrieved their blown balls from the ground and went to get another mini boulder from the back yard.

Again, I fought with this silly tree, killing more balls and ripping out more hanks of hair. (I’d like to think that instead of losing hair, I added natural tinsel to the tree.) This time, I think my boulder will hold that tree in place.

Santa was retreived and pinned behind a metal milk can on my front porch. He’s had his flying license revoked for a bit.

The white tree by the house was also a fallen victim. This tree is a bit different and brand new. While tryng to right this one,  the three sections came apart, along with the even more pitiful excuses for stakes and I’m standing in my garden, trying not to crush plants with three sections of tree whipping around on wires. At this point, I started to laugh. I could just imagine my neighbor, who works from home as well, sitting in her office and clutching her sides while watching me try to fix my front yard. It had to be hilarious. I finally got the white tree set back up, a bit closer to the house this time so the house acts as a wind break, but all I could think of was that I certainly could have been someones funniest home video today.