Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Highlights

This week the papers were full of lists. What is in, what is out; the good things of the year and the bad; and there were even lists of things they hope will go away in 2009.

My list is simple. It is the highlights of the year for me. Some are good, some are bad. The list doesn't amount to much in the scheme of life, but it is important to me.

In no particular order:
  • Regular dinners and plays with Erik and Jennifer
  • A cancer scare that wasn't
  • The support of friends during the scare
  • A new friend, Kirsten
  • Developing a deeper friendship with Janet R
  • Turning 65 with good friends and "little brother" Henry and his wife Ann
  • Performing the first same sex marriage in Alameda County
  • The election that took the right of marriage away from same sex couples
  • Marrying Hank and Thom
  • Marrying Sean and Rojan
  • Richard's and Luis' wonderful friendship and gift of the "guest house"
  • Seeing Karl and Debby after 2 1/2 years
  • Family(Lee and Phil, Karen, Keith and Kaus) coming for Christmas
  • The economy destroying our retirement funds
  • Friends
  • My wonderful husband, Marty

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday = Marrying

Yesterday I went in to marry couples. I wasn't there last week because of the house guests. I saw Angelina taking a couple up to marry as I walked in. I told her I would put my purse and coat up and I would do the wedding. Then I found out my badge no longer worked to open secure doors. Had I been laid off because I took off Christmas week? No, all badges had been changed and I was given a new one.

I got upstairs and and the clerk who had covered for me last week and had done the weddings yesterday was estactic I was there. She grabbed me, hugged me, and then did her Happy Dance. Last Monday she had done 21 weddings. Yesterday she was building to that. I took over and started marrying. I did one and then nothing for an hour. And then they started coming in. The lobby was packed and I didn't see daylight for the next 3 1/2 hours. I performed 10 more weddings. And not couple felt rushed out of the room.

One wedding was just lovely. The bride in long white chiffon, her hair in a French twist, and a rose bouquet. He had a black suit on and they had attendants dressed up. There were maybe 20 guests. I checked the license and her date of birth looked wrong, 1990. She looked 25, but it was correct. And a mature 18, she was running the show.

I married an older couple, he was 70 and she was in her 50's. The bride had on slacks and a nice top. Also she had a chenille boa and a tiara that said Bride with a veil. They had been married by a priest and now were doing a civil marriage with a license. The only request she had was that I would say, "You may now kiss your Bride." She had been very disappointed the priest left that out. I thought that was sweet.

And I had a military wedding. He was in the Navy, very, very polite. Yes Ma'am, no Ma'am. Very stiff and military. She was in white with flowers and they had friends with them. All through the ceremony he was serious and quiet. She was very happy and smiley. After I said you may kiss your Bride, he dipped her to the floor and kissed her big time. They looked like the picture from the end of WWII in Times Square, the sailor and the young woman dipped to the street. They made my day.

There were others: An older couple who said their vows privately in Spanish. The couple from India who wouldn't kiss in front of their families. The terrified bride who said, " Oh it will be Ok, she has on apple earrings and her name is Appel." It seems she collects apples and felt I was good luck for her.

All and all a lovely busy day. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. They told me sometimes it is as busy as Valentine's Day. That could be interesting.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family and airplanes, and we are now alone. . .

Friday did not go as planned. We were at the Academy of Sciences by 10:30. Traffic was awful in the park. We parked several blocks away and hoofed it to the museum. LINES, LINES, LINES. Since we had done the line in September we could tell it was at least 2 hours to get in. Even our members' line was an hour. We went to the Conservatory of Flowers instead. It was wonderful as always. While there we heard (around noon) that the A of S had closed basically, no one else would be allowed in line. Too many people. Then we went to the Cliff House area. Lots of trails to walk and then into the Cliff House for drinks.

Saturday to SFO in the morning, stop at Costco for fixings for the family dinner, stop at the flower mart just because, and then home. We have sent two home to Texas and two were to join us for dinner. Erik called and said they were too sick to come, they caught something in Portland and didn't think we would want them to share. So nephew Lee didn't get to see Erik and Jennifer at all this trip.

We dropped Marty's sister at the Oakland airport this morning at 6:00. And we were home and back in the bed by 6:30. Lee and Phil left this morning for San Francisco and will fly out Tuesday. But we won't see them anymore this trip.

This Christmas was one of the best. I only had a minor meltdown. We kept it simpler and had the luxury of the "guest" house to use. That reduced the stress of being the perfect hostess. Lee and his partner wanted family history and info about Lee's mother. Marty and his sister and brother talked about their parents and family. We continued to tell tales. We continued to laugh until the drop off at the airport. Then we cried a little.

Marty and I are alone again. Except for the piles of towels and sheets to wash.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas is almost over by the calendar. But the fun will continue. Today was wonderful. Food was on the table by 10:00 and new items continued until 7:00 tonight. This morning we opened stockings and laughed like idiots. We had nice gifts, silly gifts, candy, and Texas scratch offs. Most of us could not even figure out how to scratch off the cards. Mine is a Bingo card. I read the directions and decided I needed either more caffeine or a drink. Still haven't scratched it off.

Then we opened the presents. Lots and lots of presents. There were gifts for 9 people. Lots of presents. Fun gifts, silly gifts, incredibly lovely gifts. My nephew Lee always gets ceramic chickens, the uglier the better from his sister Lisa's family. Lisa and family laugh and laugh when he opens them. He doesn't know why they give them, nor why they laugh. I do and shared with all the house guests. Lee got lots of chickens this year. And we laughed and laughed. We won't tell him why we laughed.

Today good friends came by and had drinks and snacks with us. More laughter. After they left I put out the supper food for the "family". As we ate we talked about our families. We are one family, but we are partners, close buddies, husband, wife, sister, brothers, nephew, lots of sides to this one family. We told about family history from the 1700's, family members that are not liked very much, family members no longer with us, tales of our childhoods, family heirlooms that went to the wrong person in the family. Not that I am bitter. Then there was the fishing trip, wet pants, and Vaseline for a rash.

Today, Friday, we will go to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park and to the Conservatory of Flowers. We will continue the orgy of food and laughter.

May you laugh, may you be happy. Again Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Family and Airplanes part 2

Erik sent a test message to us last night. They are in Portland for Christmas. I was hoping the flight would be canceled and they would be with us. Now will they be home in time for the family dinner on Saturday?

Nephew Lee is the luckiest man in America. His planes were not late and he made our late crab feed dinner last night. The only planes this week that were on time.

Today we are rethinking our annual Christmas Eve walk in the city. We look at store windows with puppies and kittens , we have lunch, and then to the trains and gingerbread houses. And between looking and eating we stop for Bloody Marys and other Yuletide drinks. As long as you are walking you can hit a lot of bars. Problem today. Major rain and wind today. We will do some of it but it depends on the weather. We will have fun, two cars to the city, and then back home for Christmas Eve dinner.

I wish you a Merry Christmas. Tell someone you love them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family and airplanes

WARNING, spellcheck is not working tonight. I am a poor speller so bear with me.

Yesterday we spent the day waiting on planes. Rain and fog here, snow in the rest of the country. Marty's sister's plane was three hours late as was his brother's. Thank goodness for flight trackers on the net. They are here and safe. Today we did nothing but eat, wrap gifts and talk. Family is good. Tomorrow my nephew arrives, hopefully on time. Our son and his wife are to fly to her parents' tomorrow in Portland. For two days there have been not any flights there. Snow big time in Portland. So they may be here spending Christmas with us this year.

Tonight we had a big family dinner, prime rib for the meat eaters and sauteed portabellos for the vegetarians. Homemade cookies and lots of fine wine. We had the family prayer, the toast to family together, and took lots of pictures. For the first time in years our son pinned ornaments on the Advent tree. That almost made me cry. When he was little he picked what to pin on every night for 25 nights. Tonight was a lovely evening we laughed and told tall tales. We trashed people not there and talked of parents long gone.

It is Christmas and the family is together. We are laughing and having fun. It is Christmas. May you be as happy as we are. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Did you ever read a Mystery?

I bet everyone has read one mystery. We all read Poe in high school. As children we read Nancy Drew, Trixie Bell, The Hardy Boys, and even the oh so hard to believe Bobbsey (spell check hates this word, so I hope I am close to right) Twins. Mysteries are fun, they make killer movies and TV series, pun intended. Think of Dexter, Monk, The Bond movies, Die Hard, The Usual Suspects, Speed, The Bourne Identity. Most of these came from wonderful books, all fun and exciting. Some the books came later. But mysteries fun, scary, disturbing. Gotta love um.

I have a friend, Janet Rudolph, who makes her living from mysteries. And for fun she moderates our weekly mystery book group. You must read her recent blog and then read the interview she gives a link to. It is the December 20, 2008 posting.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lights and Memories of Lights

Tonight I really got the Christmas feeling. We had gone to dinner with friends in San Leandro, a lovely town 15 minutes from our house. As we were taking them back to their house we saw a house all lit up. The house was on a corner and was outlined in white lights on all four sides. The lights were perfectly placed, windows, gables, doors, every tree and bush with reindeer in the yard. Beautiful. Marty pulled over so we could look and look. And then he started driving up and down the side streets following the lights. Every house was better than the last one. We had a great time just looking. It was such a feel good time.

This experience made me remember my parents driving us around to look at lights. We would go all over the little town we lived in. The town water tower had a huge star that was lit up all of December. It was on the highest hill and could be seen for miles. (During WWII they didn't light it just in case the Axis powers used it as a navigational aid.) Then one night we would drive to the next town, 15 miles away on a two lane mountain road to see the Kern's Bakery nativity scene. It wasn't Christmas until we made that drive. And as a plus you could smell the bread baking.

The lights are usually beautiful and they brighten our lives. They sometimes make us smile and laugh. Some of the houses are so awful white trash looking that we love them. There is a house in Concord, CA that we checked out every year for 15 years. It was so awful and we loved it. There were things on the roof, yard, trees, driveway, eaves, everywhere. They moved, blinked, and there were tracer lights. You had Santa and Baby Jesus next to each other. The colors were bad and the lights were a little sloppy. It was our favorite house.

One Christmas we drove home from Maryland to Kentucky. As we left it began to snow, not a nice drive. But the landscape was great. We would see lights in the distance and then we would see it. A barn trimmed in lights, and the fence, and the huge satellite dish outlined. We laughed all the way home.

I love the lights. They are beautiful and the memories are so good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

At the Marriage Factory

This week I was sort of busy marrying couples. Monday I married 6 couples and Wednesday 5 couples. Steady but not too busy.

Monday the head marriage desk clerk told me an awful story. A woman ( let's call her Sue ) called her from New Mexico to find out if her husband had married someone else. Another woman ( we will call her Betty) had called Sue and said she was married to Sue's husband. She said he had declared Sue missing for X number of years and gotten a divorce 5 years ago in CA. But he is still living with Sue in New Mexico. She checked the names and dates and yes he had married a second wife, Betty, while still married to Sue in New Mexico. Bigamy. Sue thought he traveled for business and that was why he was gone so often. Betty knew about Sue all along, and could no longer put up with the situation. There are children and grandchildren with Sue.

I am thinking this man must make a hell of a lot of money to run two households in this economy.

The marriage desk does not have to report this to the police, which I find strange. It is up to the wives. I am waiting for the nightly news to report an ax murder in New Mexico this weekend when he gets home. This one I would really like to know the ending.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


How much pain and trouble do you allow your friends to give you? How much do you forgive? How much pain and trouble do you give out?

Friendship is so very important. You need friends to make life worth living. It takes both sides for it to work. It is like a marriage, except you don't have those fights at midnight and stay up all night until things are settled. With friendship fights you worry about being as rude as the one who hurt your feelings. So you say little. Friendship errors you forgive, but it is hard to forget. If you love the person, you will work on forgetting.

Friendship is vital to life. You love your friends in spite of what happens. You hope they will love you in spite of what you do. I am so thankful that we have friends who can understand and love us for what we are.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Christmas, so much to do. So much stress. Not enought sleep, we are tired. So much to do. Decorate the house. Parties and more parties. They conflict, which one to go to? Some we want to go to and some we only go to because we like the host. There are gifts to wrap,( see the blog 12-11-08 on wrapping). Meals to plan, vegetarian, vegan, no beef, only want rare beef, traditional meal or not. Then you have multiple trips to the airports. Yes, airports, the family is coming in on different days and at different airports. And we work Saturdays and Sundays during the four weekends of Open Studios in Berkeley. How will it all get done?

Well, you who read this regularly know about the decorating and gift wrapping. The meals will happen, we will decide sometime before the guests arrive, we always do. And the airport trips? I pulled the Mother card and our son Erik is making one run while we are working Sunday. Bless you Erik. One guest is getting a rental car with GPS and will bring himself. Santa will remember that. And the others will get picked up when we get there.

But what about the fun? What about the family celebrating being together again? What about laughing, telling tall tales, drinking, family traditions of yelling Christmas gift every phone call. How does that happen if all of the above work has to be done? How does it happen?

Well, it happens, always. Some years better than others. Every one jumps in. They cook, help clean, shop, calm me down during my annual meltdown. I want everything perfect, never gonna happen.

Last year one of the most fun family thing we did was grocery shopping. Really. One afternoon we planned our dinner for the next night. It was a long list, and I didn't want to spend an hour or more at the grocery. I made a plan. There were five of us. Every one was given a portion of the list and X number of minutes to shop, and then we were to meet at the checkout stand. We hit the doors on the run, everyone took off with their lists and scattered. We would pass each other in the aisles and yell where is . . . found it . . . and I've still got . . . We were in and out in 10 minutes. And it was a fun family project.

Tis the Season for happiness. Kiss someone and tell them you love them. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Sadistic First Grade Teacher

I help in a first grade class room every Monday morning. I am very fond of the teacher, Ms. H. This woman is a wonderful teacher, very warm, organized and just a little sadistic. I am convinced she and her family spend weekends thinking up craft projects. I do not do craft projects. I have no eye hand coordination, no patience, and no skills. When I do a craft project, it looks like a first grader did it. But she is sure I can do them and can help the children.

Last week I worked with paint, washable paint. ( only from your skin, doesn't really come out of clothing even after bleaching. ) I painted their hands blue and they pressed them down on mittens cut from construction paper. That wasn't too bad, until a little girl grabbed my sleeve/arm, blue on white. Still a little blue on the shirt. But I don't wear good clothes to work with first graders. So a minor deal.

Today the project was to show how uncrafty I am. She is sadistic. Stockings of felt. Two red pieces and two white pieces with holes punched along the side;, a long, long piece of white yarn; glue; and glitter. I saw a nervous breakdown coming on. The three adults started the stocking: made sure the red lined up with red and the white lined up with red and white; we taped the end of the yarn to make it firm, we knotted the yarn into the first hole of white felt, and then we gave them to the children. They were to push through the holes up and down and all the way around the stocking, sewing it shut on the side. Some finished in a flash, others sewed sideways or skipped holes or knotted the yarn. After the sewing we wrote their names on the white with glue and they put glitter on the name. And if they wanted they could draw a picture with glue and glitter that.

We worked with them and some got it. Some we took out the yarn and started them over, and then repeated. The motor skills just aren't there yet for some of the children. Two little girls finished quickly and saw their tables mates in trouble. They jumped right in and started fixing the problems. They were much better at this than I am.

And then there was Becky. I took hers apart 6 times. She would sew about three stitches and them start going sideways instead of straight up and down. She started to cry and I felt awful for her. That was me in first grade. I hated art projects. Coloring OK, anything else pure torture. After so many errors I couldn't let her be that upset and feel a failure. So I pulled up a chair and sat with her and we did every stitch together. We still had to take out a couple of stitches and restart. We got it done though. And Becky finished up happy. Her name and the girl she drew in glue were glittered within an inch of Liberace land. Glitter she can do.

Ms. H now has two weeks of Christmas vacation to think of projects for me to do. She is sadistic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Saturday night our old neighborhood had their annual Christmas progressive dinner. We are so pleased that they still include us. There were about 30 people this year. The guests list varies each year. The organizers stay the same, but each year there are new neighbors. We are the only ones who live elsewhere.

We start at the appetizer house. We wander around from person to person to talk. There are lots of hugs and laughing. Champagne, wine, and a variety of great foods are brought. The table is full of deviled eggs, crab, cheeses, veggies and dips, nuts, and lots of other stuff I never got to. Our neighborhood does a party well.

The second house was the entrée course. Tables are set up for a sit down dinner. Fine china, linens, crystal, and silver are used. Candles all over provide a festive look to the setting. It is an incredibly beautiful setting. We had ham, turkey loaf, beef tenderloin, salad, mixed veggies, and a mushroom potato dish. And again champagne and wine were poured.

The third house was dessert and wines. Again we wander and eat and talk. We had cakes, pies, cookies, torts. Wonderful sweets were there. People stand around the piano and sing Christmas carols. And as at each house there were the neighbors to visit with.

Some of these old neighbors we see through the year and some this party is the only time we see them. It is so good to be with friends during the holidays. We laughed and gossiped, and talked serious stuff. It was a lovely evening. Except for . . .

One of the neighbors is a very famous actress who sometimes attends neighborhood parties. She and her husband wander in and wander out. You aren’t sure which course they will show up for, if at all. God forbid you should sit where someone has decided she might sit. And they say children are cruel.

We had a wonderful evening. We met new interesting people, renewed old friendships, and laughed and laughed. Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update 2 on blender jar

The blender jar and blades arrived yesterday. It is not a perfect fit, but works. We are good for another forty years.


There are traditions for Christmas and there are rules of marriage that make them work.

The house and tree must be decorated, both our jobs.
Gifts must be bought, my job.
Gifts must be wrapped, Marty's job.
Stocking stuffers must be bought and separated into bags for everyone in the house, my job.
The Christmas letter must be written, my job to write. Marty's job to tweak, format, and print.
Gifts must be mailed, both our jobs.
Meals must be cooked, both our jobs.
The ice maker must die. The gremlins' job.

I HATE wrapping presents. I am known for giving gifts in brown grocery bags. When gift bags were invented I was so happy. But everything will not fit in those bags. So I still must wrap some things. I don't do a very neat job wrapping, I can't judge how much paper is needed. I hate it, hate it, hate it. Marty wraps the gifts and they are beautiful. Usually he wraps, not this year.

The ice maker died. No ice, no attempt to make ice. It knew we have 5 house guests coming in a week, and 2 dinner guests tomorrow. It quit. We have had many brands of refrigerators over 41 years . They and or their ice makers all die before a party or overnight guests arrive. And always they die during the Christmas holidays, always. Today when he should have been wrapping presents while I cleaned house and did laundry, Marty worked on the ice maker. I wrapped presents all day long. Lots of them in gift bags which still takes time and effort. But many had to have paper and ribbon. And Marty was on the net trying to find out what was wrong with the ice maker. He would come back into the kitchen and punch and pull, and pry, and turn it off, then back on. Nothing. He got back on the net, ready to give up and call a $125 an hour repairman. When we heard it, that lovely sound of ice dropping into the bucket. It was working!!!!

Marty isn't real sure how he fixed it, but we don't care, it is fixed. He thinks a cube jammed and shut everything down. Doesn't matter, it works.

I wrapped everything except two gifts. I will let Marty do those tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sleeping together, no not "sleeping" together, sleeping together. We sleep with our sisters, brothers, parents, friends, lovers, partners, spouses. We sleep but sometimes things don't work out.
When my sister and I shared a room, we marked off the bed, a line down the middle. If you crossed over all hell broke I made up only my side, an art form to do this. By doing this Mother knew I was the good child.

There are rules of the bed. Don't take the covers, don't steal pillows, don't get on the other side. And if someone gets up in the night, don't get in the middle and spread out. This is a common fault. You go to the bathroom, come back, and there is no way you can get back in the bed. A body is spread out in the middle and taking up the whole bed.

Ray Romona has a routine about picking your side of the bed. He says he blew it and forever is not on the side he wants. Women pick the side away from the door. That way the burglar gets your husband first and you can escape.

Young women usually are cold at night. They want to snuggle next to the person in bed with them. They put their icy feet on that poor soul and try to get warm. As women age they get warmer, and aging men get colder. The men want to snuggle close to their partner and get warm. Older women no longer want to snuggle for long. The hot touch of someone else is awful. More body heat, we can't handle more heat. We are in a lather at night. Can you say menopause?

Pillows are mobile. Sometimes your bed mate will take them. Sometimes the bed mate takes your side of the bed and throws the pillow over your head. Pillows are all on one side of the bed, or they end up in the floor. How do they travel?

And then there are the snorers. I know a couple who for 35 years dealt with bad, really bad snoring. She went to bed an hour a head of him so she would be asleep when he started snoring. But he woke her up, he sounds like a buzz saw. I have heard him. We had adjoining rooms in a motel. Our room vibrated from his snoring next door. He now has a C PAC machine. Many couple sleep in separate rooms because of snoring.

Sleeping together is hard. You want to sleep and get some rest. Maybe you will, maybe you won't.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


For background go to a couple of my blogs: November 9, 2008 First Major Purchase and November 24, 2008 Distance saved her life. These are about replacing our broken blender jar.

We still don't have the replacement jar. It was to have shipped Thanksgiving week. Last Friday I called again to see when it would be shipped. I got a machine telling me they closed at noon on Fridays. What kind of business doesn't work Friday afternoons? And one that deals with the West Coast? It was just noon here on the West Coast, so I was hours late calling. Monday I called at 8:00 a.m. PST, no answer, just ringing, and ringing. I kept trying and finally graduated to a busy tone. I had to leave and wouldn't be back until 6:00 that night. I asked Marty to please keep trying through the day. Success! we hope. He got a person, not sure if it was the nasty Yankee Lady, and they gave him a shipping number. Now it hasn't been shipped yet, but we have a number. Maybe it really will be shipped this time. They say third time charm.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

Today was marrying afternoon, and work with the first graders morning.

Let's talk about marriages. It was a busy afternoon, I got there around 1:30 and left at a little after 5:00. I did seven weddings in that time. Plus some spying for the second floor staff on the fourth floor Christmas decorations. There is a contest and there is some serious decorating going on. But to the weddings.

One wedding was just lovely. The bride in red satin, black heels with red straps, and a bouquet of red and pink roses. The groom and his attendants were in black. The matron of honor was in a patterned satin dress. Lots of family there, lots of love. It was a good feeling all around. Most of the weddings today were good, some dressed up, some not. And then there was the last wedding of the day.

The information clerk came in around 4:05 and asked if I could stay and do one more wedding. (A couple must be in the system by 4:00 to be married that day by a county commissioner.) I told her it wasn't up to me, the clerks made the call. If they said OK, I would stay. She said they already agreed to do the paper work. When I got the license, I took them upstairs, holding my breath the whole way. The bride had bathed in cheap perfume. Awful! The witnesses did not understand why they had to come up also. I explained they couldn't sign they witnessed the wedding if they didn't see it. One witness I am sure had dementia. She wandered through the wedding, the bride yelled at her to sit down during the ceremony, the grandson kept saying,"Grandma, sit down." After the ceremony I signed and had the witnesses sign. (Remember the couple had put in the information on the license, ID had been checked for witnesses, and the couple read the license before signing it.) As I was handing the license to the clerk to record, the bride said her son's name was wrong. We asked for his ID, and she said he has lost it. She wrote out his name and we started the reprinting process. ID isn't a legal requirement for the witness. So we could just take their word for it. Then everyone had to sign again. End of story right? No.

I talked to the clerks and they had not agreed to stay and do the paper work. The info clerk had told them I wanted them to stay and I had already agreed to do the wedding. We were worked just like kids work parents. Then I found out the clerk had copied the Id for the son from HIS ID. We had the name right. I guess mama didn't like the first husband's name on her wedding license and just made up a name for the son. That quick last minute wedding took almost an hour. As I said no good deed goes unpunished.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I blog and I can write pretty much anything I want. I try not to hurt feelings. But I can write about the government, my neighbor, taxes, stupid Yankees clerks. I can write, and no one will bother me. I am an American. We Americans are free, we don't fear writing our thoughts. We are so damn lucky to live here. Thank your lucky stars.

Please read today's post from our friend Hoang. It is titled Test for Vietnam government: free speech bloggers.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Ghost Took a Shower

Today was weird. It was one of my domestic days. I needed to be up and at um early today. But I didn't sleep well last night, I was restless, and up and down all night. The house felt strange. I gave up about 6:00 and got up. I checked email, brought the papers in, and decided to go back to bed. Since I was restless and didn't want to wake Marty, I got on the couch and went to sleep. I woke up a couple of times. I heard Marty come down stairs, he came into the living room once to check on me, just looked at me, and once time he patted me on the hip. I thought.

Now to fast forward. I finally got up and started cleaning. I was cleaning the bath room after Marty took his shower. As I was cleaning the tub I saw a long, very long black hair on the bottom of the tub. Marty has short blondish white hair, I have longish, LAYERED burgundy and white hair. This hair was at least 15 inches long, and really black. Neither of us has ever had black hair. Or hair that long. Any time the shower drain has been clogged up in the last 5 years, black hair has been pulled out. Whose hair is it? No one came in during the 15 minutes after Marty's shower and my cleaning spree.

Now to a flashback. I told Marty about the hair. Then I asked him if he patted me on the hip. NO, he didn't. He came in the living room and then went back to bed. I know when the hip patting happened, it wasn't he. Some one stood behind the couch and reached over and patted me. The couch almost touches the wall. There is no room for someone to stand there.

The house is 70 years old. Lots of people have lived here. Who pats sleeping me? I have heard voices since we moved in: talking, sometimes singing. Back in the days when I used the treadmill, "someone" was on the treadmill with me. Marty was dressing upstairs. This spirit, person, whatever is friendly. I knew ghosts/spirits looked after the living. But who knew ghosts took showers.


Marty and I are better, nearly all calmed down. We will make it through this hiccup in our life because we have friends who get mad with us. And we have friends who cover us with love.

I haven't killed or maimed the jerk yet. But have several people who will give me an alibi if needed. I have decided the jerk isn't worth killing and me going to Hell. So he will live to upset others.

I guess I am not really calmed down yet. I do tend to hold a grudge.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Today was a crappy day. It was awful in oh so many ways. I'm not saying what happened, just want you to know Marty and I did not like today. I called my brother in law and asked him to call tonight. And if anyone asked, I was on the speaker phone with him. I might need an alibi and he was it. He called, I wasn't there, but I let a jerk live. Trust me, you do not want to upset me by being crappy to my Marty.

I was really upset by events today. I met with friends for dinner and lost it and ended up crying. They listened to me vent and calmed me down. They also bought me a margarita which always helps. Then they were willing to let me hash over and over my bad day. Thank you Janet and Kirsten.

The day became much better about 9:30pm. Tonight there was a surprise when I got home after dinner with my friends.

We received an early Christmas present, two Vietnamese cookbooks. They are from Hoang. This is a young man in Vietnam who has become Marty's friend. They met through the wonders of the Internet and talk on line regularly. Marty helps Hoang with his English. Hoang connected Marty with a wonderful artist who did portraits of Marty and me. Hoang sent me a sun hat that I love, wide brimed but a loose weave so it is cool. Hoang also is a follower of this blog. If you click on his picture you can find the link to his blog. He posts pictures of things happening in Vietnam. Some are of floods, tortured children, whatever is happening that he cares about. So check out Hoang's blog. Most is in English for those of us who only speak one language.

Hoang, thank you for making an awful day better. I think Marty will be cooking Goi Guon and Pho Bo soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today was slow, at first. I married 2 couples from 1:00 to 2:45. Then the 3:00 rush happened. I married 5 couples from 3:00 to 4:45. Some I don't remember, and some I do.

I had a couple who were from India. He had a name, she didn't. That is right, this woman had only a last name. No first or middle name, only a last name. The clerk had to call legal to see how to fill out the license. When I married them it was if I said Joe, do you take Smith as your wife? It was just strange. They were cute and obviously in love. She spoke little English, understood some. He and the witnesses translated for her. They were dressed in jeans, not very traditional Indian. Except she had the wedding bracelets almost to her elbows.

I started one wedding ceremony, (I had talked to the couple about vows, rings etc ). They were Mexican and after a couple of minutes I realized the groom didn't speak much English. They forgot to tell me. We started over and the mother of the bride translated the ceremony, as she took pictures of the wedding. They were sweet.

There were others, but not stand out couples, except for one. This is the couple who broke the stereotype of tough looking young black men and their women. He was in typical fall off your hips baggy pants, and she was huge breasted and frankly a little trashy looking. They were polite to me and fun. I asked if they wanted traditional vows or if they had their own. She said traditional and he said I have my own. She looked stunned, no idea he would say that. I began, we came to the vows and he said wonderful things to her: "I love you " over and over. He told her how important she was to him and then he said, "you may think this is the best our life can be, but this is only the beginning for you and me." " I love you." The witnesses are crying, I am just holding it together. I continued and then pronounced them married. The groom then asked if he could speak again, I told him of course, it is his wedding. He said," I have nearly been here several times, I am so glad I never got here until I was here with you. I love you." OK at this point I am crying also. I had goose bumps all through this wedding. This couple had such a deep love. I keep telling people you CAN feel the love. I just wanted to hug them both, so did, and take them home. I didn't.

After two days of Open Studios, volunteering at school, and then the marrying, I am tired. Tuesday Marty is taking a vacation day, YEAH. No alarm, we can sleep in. We haven't decided what we are going to do. We may go to a movie or we may finish the Christmas decorations. I will just be glad to sleep late. Please may no one call us early tomorrow.