Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Toast to Love and Wedded Bliss

Last Friday, my husband’s 96-year-old grandmother eloped with her 99-year-old boyfriend.

Friday. October 3, 2014. My husband’s 96-year-old grandmother married her 99-year-old boyfriend.

They wanted to keep their marriage on the down-low. Technically, I’m breaking a family trust by telling this story, but I can’t help it. So the names and locations are omitted to keep confidence.

Their marriage, whether they believe so or not, is a celebration of hope and acceptance. Due to their ages, they are probably more aware of their finite future together than any other newly-married couple in America. And they took the plunge anyway.

When one encounters beauty in this world, the kind of beauty that shakes one at the core and brings one to one’s knees, one cannot keep it bottled up. I cannot keep this bottled up. I have to share.

Because love this beautiful is too powerful to keep on the-down-low.

I have only been in Grandma’s life a little over ten years. But during those years, I never once felt like I didn't belong in her family. She accepted me straight-up with open arms and a welcome home.

And what I have learned from her in those ten years cannot be quantified. She’s the most amazing person that I am privileged to know.

Grandma is fond of military men – her first marriage was to an Army man, the second to a Navy pilot who survived Pearl Harbor -- and her new husband is no exception. Her now-husband was a Rear-Admiral in World War II and for a time during his military career, he worked at the Pentagon. His dry sense of humor is still quick and sharp, and he still enjoys a finger or two of a fine whiskey neat.

I want it known that I admire Grandma beyond measure. I know of the tragedies that have painted her life with devastating sorrow, the kind of sorrows that most would never recover from and no one would blame them for it. Yet, she is the phoenix that rises from the ashes, more radiant and glorious than ever.

And her husband I am equally in awe of. Again, open-hearted and accepting, from the first moment I met him. A man who knows the price of sacrifice, a man who made the call again and again, knowing that his decisions impacted the lives of his men in the Pacific Theater and the lives their loved-ones back home.

They don’t make men like him anymore.  His breed is so rare that I wonder how I could possibly be so fortunate to have met him. And I get to call him Grandpa now.

My heart is so full: I’m having difficulty finding the words I want to say, or even the words I should be saying. I only know that words must be said.

A toast to the happy couple, who represent hope and heroism in their truest, purest form, an inspiration to all; May God continue to bless and keep you, and give you a thousand years of happiness each and every day.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Something Different: A Poem

And I break radio silence to bring you this poem. Weird for me, I know, but it's been one of those weeks.

My Broken Calendar 

I woke this morning and noticed the hour 
And it was then I realized with a mood most sour
That somehow my calendar had skipped a few days
And huge blocks of time have been completely erased

It was only yesterday, you see, that winter begun
But today there is rising a late summer sun
So where, oh where did the missing time go?
On holiday perhaps, or maybe a show?

Or perhaps the days simply weren't included
In the calendar when its publishing concluded
Maybe for April or May I was supposed to pay more
or to avoid interruption, pay a full season before

Or maybe inflation has levied the summer
And shortened the season with no hope to recover
My springs are shrinking as well as my falls
And as for my winters, there's no hope at all

Someone is stealing the time from my clocks
Perhaps in league with the gremlins who steal all my socks
From the dryer. If so, forgive me for being crude
But if they are in cahoots then I'm royally screwed

For I have yet to find a single stitch of heel or toe 
Of any of the socks that a-missing go
So if these same gremlins are stealing my days
I must put an end to their thieving craze

But how is the question I find I now ask.
How does one take sneaky gremlins to task?
How does one stop these thieves so subtle in crime
When to hunt where they hide takes a great deal of time?

Time I don't have for September is waning
And so I guess I should cease my bitter complaining
But I urge you, dear reader, when a new calender you seek
Please make sure it is not missing a single week

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Spambox Sunday: Something Enlightening to Read

Okay, it's that time. Please keep you hands and arms inside the train at all times. Hang on to those hats and glasses, and check that your seat-belts remain securely fastened. All aboard? Here we go again!


whoah this weblog is great i really like studying your posts.
Keep up the great work! You realize, a lot of people are searching around for this info, you can help them greatly.

Thanks! I'm always happy to help.


What i do not understood is in reality how you are now not actually much more well-favored than you might be now.
You're so intelligent. You realize thus significantly in the case of this topic, produced me personally imagine 
it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be fascinated except 
it's one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga!
Your individual stuffs nice. At all times maintain it up!

Ah, you've been here before. This is your second visit. I'm starting to think you doth protest too much about Lady gaga fascination.


Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video 
to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste 
your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening 
to read?

You know, I hate to break this to you but this isn't YouTube. I haven't posted a single video here. And I'm not particularly inclined to do so either.

But don't worry, people make this mistake all the time. Cheers!


I'm really loving the theme/design of your web site.
Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues?
A number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
Do you have any advice to help fix this issue?

You've been here before, too. I think this is maybe the third time? You really need to get someone to look at your Explorer. Maybe drive it to your local Ford dealership and get a Ford certified mechanic to look on it before you take it out on your next Safari? Otherwise, I got nothing

Okay folks, thanks for joining me for this edition of Spambox Sunday. I hope you enjoyed your stay, and you'll tune in next time for some more gems of wisdom from the spambox.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spambox Sunday: At All Times, Handle It Up!

Some more gems from the Spambox ready for your entertainment.


I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here 
and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create 
your theme? Fantastic work! My site: boston celebrity style

Nope, this is your basic plug-n-play Blogger set-up. I'm technically-challenged like that.


What i do not understood is if truth be told how you are not actually a lot more neatly-appreciated 

than you might be now. You are very intelligent.
You understand thus significantly in the case of this 
subject, made me personally imagine it from a lot 
of various angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated unless it's one thing to do with Lady gaga!Your own stuffs great. At all times handle it up! my weblog

I pledge this to you now, faithful readers: At all times, I will handle it up, despite the fact that I'm not Lady Gaga!


Despite the fact that addiction to pc video games doesn't (yet) 
qualifies to the Diagnostic and Record Manual of Psychological Disorders (DSM), extreme gaming is something which is something which has begun to obtain widespread attention and there's a raging 
discussion on its dangerous side effects.
You are able to customize the body that enables you to change or take away components 
based on your personal preference. Of course, it doesn't demand you to become a 
pro gamer to beat your enemy.

My weblog 

Phew! It's good to know that I don't have to be a pro gamer to beat my enemy. Like any respectable author, I'll settle for having my revenge by writing my enemy into a book. *Insert evil laugh here* 


I seldom comment, but i did a few searching and wound up here 
"Travel Tuesday: The Vista south of San Onofre".
And I do have a few questions for you if you usually do not mind.
Is it just me or does it look as if like a few of the comments look like coming 
from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing on other 
online social sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post.
Would you list of all of all your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed,
or linkedin profile?My webpage

Now, hang on a minute. The spambox has several wonderful hacker-type people and scammer-like people and phishing-like people and spambot-like people. You just don't know them the way I do. My suggestion? Lurk some more and get to know them before you call them brain dead. If you insist on this foolishness, you won't make the next Spambox Sunday report. So there. *sticks tongue out and blows raspberry*

So that's it for this installment folks. Tune in next time for more gems from my spambox!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Ordinarily on this day, I would post something profoundly patriotic, an acknowledgment of those who have sacrificed so that I can sit on my duff and blog without fear.

And I would like to post such a thing, especially as the adverts for Memorial Day Sales flood my inbox with deals I can't afford to pass up, and I really can't afford to buy to begin with.

Any drop of blood sacrificed for our sins should be counted and revered. And those gone are not lost from us forever if we honor them and keep them close to our hearts.

This Memorial Day is overshadowed by a tragedy that borders on the peculiar. A man spurned rampaged against those he felt responsible for his loneliness. And the public appears now obsessed with a handful of individuals Tweeting misogynistic dribble in support of this man they feel kinship with at the hashtag YesAllWomen.

The tragedy is three-fold. A broken man. The deaths of the innocent. The martyrdom of one who cannot possibly deserve it by those who should know better.

At first I was loathe to comment, for this sort of circus leaves me uneasy. Participating in blame games at the expense of those burdened with loss and despair is counter-grain to the core of my beliefs. People need their space to grieve and heal and they shouldn't have to see their grief used to fuel any agenda. It's sick and immoral. 

Still, here I am, on this of all days, and I feel compelled to call Humans out on their bullshit..

See, Humans, if nothing else, are predictable in their anti-social behaviors. Individuals said some pretty vile things in the public arena because they're seeking attention. By discussing it, even to point out how viciously flawed their outlook is, we are unintentionally lending them a credible platform for their justification and fueling their frenzy. Negative attention is still attention..

At the heart of this, a deeply troubled man felt justified in taking lives, and while we don't have to condone any aspect of what he did, we can at least agree that his very nature is pitiable, regardless of his motivation. Mental illness takes on many, many forms and any small event can trigger an episode that impacts on a epic scale.

Unresolved frustration leads to anger. 
Unresolved anger will twist broken souls until there is nothing decent left. 

Victims of his violence are to be mourned and given respect, and their families should be afforded what sympathy and support we can provide. Witnesses too, for shock and stress can haunt those ill-equipped to deal with horrors beyond their control or comprehension. Each one of them could have easily been one of us, our siblings or parents, our children or loved ones. 

In short Humans, the lesson we need to learn isn't the lesson anyone else seems to be discussing. We can't move forward as a species until we learn to love each other more, comfort those who despair, heal those who are wounded, and protect those who cannot fend for themselves. And stand our ground against those that insist on perpetuating unconscionable evil. 

Take this time to reflect on the souls we miss. 
Take care of their legacy. 
We are the only ones left who can.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Come the Storm (WoE week 21)

Write at the Merge challenge this week is themed with Abandonment.

First the quote:

"Go off to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path." Ralph Waldo Emerson

and now the photo:

photo by Liam Andrew Cura courtesy Unsplash

Now, this scene is going to be weird. I wrote a short scene some time ago for a WoE prompt (week 20 of 2013) starring new characters: Sofie and Tiko. That scene to me felt like something post-apocalyptic but I didn't give it much thought until this prompt. I promise you, there is a ton of backstory for this scene, but it won't fit in 500 words. Well, to be honest, I'm a tad over that because I didn't want to chop anything out.

If I haven't completely befuddled you yet, read on. But. Since I've only written about Sofie and Tiko once before, and since it doesn't explain anything, I'll give you the Cliff Notes version.

Sofie and Tiko are on their way to Amarillo. (previous installment) Sofie's father, at some point in the past, released something horrible into the world and he died. (not included in previous installment)

I offer the following in response: Come the Storm

Turbulent clouds choked the sickly-green sky. Sofie shivered despite the heat, remembering how the sirens echoed through her hometown under such a canopy. The hairs on her arms and neck stretched in the charged air acknowledging the power in the brewing storm. She stepped up the pace in her hunt for shelter, moving through the derelict businesses of Downtown McCormick.

Each building was branded with the FEMA search and rescue code, though the orange paint was starting to fade after…had it really been fifteen years? Sofie paused to read the symbols on a condominium complex: 13/5/76, TX, 25 DOA, NE. Every possible entrance, windows included, was boarded up.

“Find one?” Sofie barely heard Tiko over the wind.

“No,” she shouted back and wiped a tear from her cheek. “Dead-on-arrival. No entry.”


Sofie drew her finger across her throat – her own perverted sign language – and moved on to the next building, and then the next, and the next, trailing orange x-boxes and DOAs in her wake.


She turned. Tiko formed a W with his fingers and tapped his chin before pointing to a crumbling cement structure on his side of the street. Sofie ran best she could through the driving wind, light-headed with joy as she read the symbol for herself: 13/5/76, TX, 0-0, F/W. The Texas Home Guard finally identified an unoccupied building with both food and water.

Sofie giggled. Even if after 15 years, the food and water was gone, it was still a building unscarred by death. It meant shelter for the night and with any luck, a functioning storm-cellar. Tiko helped her navigate through the hole in the chain-link fence and over the rubble of the building’s crumbling exterior. With a little effort, they pried the boards off a window cavity and climbed inside.

Tiko turned his flashlight on. “Office building, maybe? Condemned long before the plague hit, I think.”

Sofie crossed through the amber light and peered through the blackened solar window at the other end of the hall. “There’s a courtyard. And there’s ivy or moss or something climbing up the sides.”

“Woot! Green means water source. Now we can weather the storm.”

They found the lobby. Exposed concrete floors told the story of missing carpet, but Sofie sighed with relief. She preferred cold seeping through her sleeping bag to bugs infesting her slumber. As she unrolled her pack,  Tiko pulled out his salvage bag and began preparations for a salad of dandelions and wild onions, the fruits of their many stops along the abandoned roadway.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done without you, Tiko, honestly.” She averted her gaze from shame. “People try to avoid me, or hurt me, because of what my father did.”

“People are jackasses. You are not your father. You don’t know a virus from a volleyball.” Tiko selected a fungus from their salvage salad and chucked it across the room. “Or a mushroom from a toadstool, apparently.”

“They’ll never forgive him, will they.” The words tasted bitter across her tongue. For all his sins against mankind, Dmitri Kerov was still her father.

“No.” Tiko shook his head. “They never will. But I hope I can. Someday. When I can exchange my anger for peace.”

Some of the WoE crowd mentioned during the assessment that they aren't always sure when it's okay to leave criticism. I'll try to remember to be a better citizen and put a note at the end of my responses to the prompt, but if I don't, comments and constructive critiques are ALWAYS welcome here. Okay? Okay. so, let me have it. Give me what you've got. I can take it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Travel Tuesday: The Vista south of San Onofre

My husband and I recently took a drive along the coast of California to attend an event in Oceanside. We made this drive several times before as a couple, and hundreds of times during our courtship when we lived 109 miles from one another.

Our shadows

This time though, we left earlier than we needed to, armed with our cameras, so that we could take a few minutes to enjoy the vista turn off south of San Onofre, the nuclear power station. We couldn't have asked for better weather and we got some remarkable pics between the two of us.

San Onofre Power Station
Traffic looking southbound from the vista

Not entirely sure what purpose this was for, so I took a picture. I'm goofy like that.
Wildflowers common to California
a surprise in the sun

At some point, a couple of tourists decided to open a bag of potato chips and started feeding the ground squirrels. The creatures surrounded us in tens and twenties and were so stinking cute. My husband and I stayed longer to snap nearly 200 pictures of ground squirrels doing ground squirrel things.

A word to the wise however: no matter how cute critters are, there is a reason wild animals live in the wild. They are not defenseless, nor are they harmless. Ground squirrels may not be carnivorous, but their teeth are strong enough to crack the toughest nuts and can easily break stray fingers. Tiny fingers of children are exceptionally vulnerable to having a bad day. So please, don't feed any wildlife anywhere. There are dangers and diseases waiting in a single bite or a simple scratch, never mind the danger it poses to the animals. So again, word to the wise, don't feed the wildlife. They're fine on their own, trust me.