Veni,vidi,ego de…8/21/22

I came across this quote the other day and thought it was good:

Do not doubt him who tells you he is afraid, but be afraid of him who tells you he has no doubts.

Erich Fried

On a different note- I was very lax at reading blogs this week- between bringing my daughter back to school, getting some household stuff in order, and my internet issues. Hoping to get back on track and catch up if possible!

Gratitude and Mindfulness: 8/20/22

My daughter went back to college last weekend to start her senior year. We drove down, got the stuff from the storage locker and moved her in. I am grateful that everything went well, and move in went better than expected. I am grateful for her nice on-campus apartment that is in pretty good shape, her great roommates and her university. May the fun and studying begin.

My word for the week is renewal/renew. Here’s how it was found in the books that I’m reading:

  1. Ken and Annette were extremely lucky to remain totally in love from the moment they met. Ken said it was the easiest thing he ever had to do.’ When I read those lines, at first I thought they contradicted a lot of what I’d learnt about love being something that requires constant work and renewal. Now that I realize that what these answers point to is that, although you have to work at a relationship, you shouldn’t have to work at convincing someone to love you. Natasha Lunn
  2. But there seemed to be something profoundly different about hitting the middle aged mark- a sense of accomplishment, an emotional reckoning, and a feeling of renewed possibility about the future. Caroline Kennedy
  3. The dropping of leaves by deciduous trees is called abscission. It occurs on the cusp between autumn and winter, as part of an arc of growth, maturity, and renewal. Katherine May
  4. The beginning of the school year reinforced how it felt to be young and renewed– clear walls and clean erasers, year after year. Kristin van Ogtrop
  5. I’d become a distraction at the school, and my contract wasn’t being renewed. Mary Kay Andrews

What I’m going to think about RENEW/RENEWAL/RENEWED

  1. Renew in all its forms was not found in most of the books I read. Is this because it’s a hard word to use, or because we don’t think about things getting a new life?
  2. Why does September still feel like a beginning to me?
  3. As we age, should we think about ways to renew ourselves? Isn’t renewal natural?

Cosmetics Do No Good- Steve Kowit

Cosmetics do no good:
no shadow, rouge, mascara, lipstick—
nothing helps.
However artfully I comb my hair,
embellishing my throat & wrists with jewels,
it is no use—there is no
semblance of the beautiful young girl
I was
& long for still.
My loveliness is past.
& no one could be more aware than I am
that coquettishness at this age
only renders me ridiculous.
I know it. Nonetheless,
I primp myself before the glass
like an infatuated schoolgirl
fussing over every detail,
practicing whatever subtlety
may please him.
I cannot help myself.
The God of Passion has his will of me
& I am tossed about
between humiliation & desire,
rectitude & lust,
disintegration & renewal,
ruin & salvation.

after Vidyapati

Anything Can Happen Friday: The Internet- Out

It’s Wednesday, 11:31 am. I’m presently sitting in Starbucks, English Breakfast tea with milk and a lot of sugar at my side. My computer is hooked up to the free wifi.

Why did I choose to work at Starbucks today? Simply put- there is a Spectrum outage in my area, and I am unable to get onto the internet at home.

What’s the takeaway?

I can’t function without the internet.

Here’s how my morning looked:

  1. I normally check the weather and the news when I wake up. Big fat can’t do when there is no internet.
  2. Wordle. WORDLE! How did I ever exist without wordle!
  3. Email? No can do.
  4. Blog? Can’t read comments. Can’t read blogs. Can’t write blog.
  5. Amazon? Can’t download return code for thing I need to return.
  6. Address? Can’t google the address of my daughter’s new dorm, and she’s unreachable because she’s in orientation advisor training
  7. Writing? Can’t get on to Googledocs, because I never did what I needed to do to be able to use it offline
  8. Petsmart? Can’t make grooming appointment for my dog.
  9. Nook? Can’t buy new book
  10. Goodreads? Can’t update the book I finished last night.
  11. Hotels? Can’t book reservations for the two parents weekends at my daughters school
  12. EZPass– I was supposed to figure out how to return my Father’s expired ezpass….have to pass for now

So basically- my to do list sits here, undone.

If you’d asked me a day ago, if I was a slave to the internet, I would have told you NO. But here I sit, my glasses on the scarred brown table, my tote bag on my lap, sipping tea through the little whole at the top of the cup, and pissed off because I can’t get stuff done.

True, for some things I could be at home, using my Verizon 5G- but we don’t have unlimited wireless on our phones. I don’t want to extend into overages if I don’t have to. None of these things are emergencies: they’re just inconveniences. And I really grasp that I don’t like to be inconvenienced…

But now the blog is done. I’m going to answer comments. Then I’m going to tackle the internet related issues of my to do list. And then I’m going to run home and grab an umbrella because it looks like rain…


"Do you trust him?"
She hesitates. "Yes and no."
"That means no. Trust is all or nothing."

Jennifer Egan The Candy House

I think about my own experiences- I tend to be a distrustful person with people that I don’t know… I assume the email is SPAM, I assume that the deal is too good to be true, I don’t think the check is in the mail, I know that I’ve already blocked the Prince of Nigeria…

You get the idea…

I operate in a world where I don’t normally trust.


I do give my friends and family the benefit of the doubt. I trust them until they show/prove that they can’t be trusted. I’ve had a few people in my life do me wrong- I admit that I cut most of them from my life- not so much because I couldn’t trust them, but because of the drama that they bring. I think I can forgive- but I don’t like things that add stress to my life. There’s already enough stress just living day to day- why add more?

There are some people in my life that I don’t trust at all- but you can’t always cut those people out. What I’ve learned is that I take everything they say with a grain of salt- I assume that they’re lying, and behave/act accordingly. If I give them money I assume that it’s not coming back to me…when people believe their own lies there is really nothing that you can do. I have NO TRUST in certain people.

Last week my word for the week was TRUST, and I had a lot of great comments from people about the word, the idea and the topic. Though I know the answers of many of you, I will ask the simple question:

Is trust all or nothing?

What are we doing?

I wonder if it’s shyness- whether Sasha and I should be asking him more about what he’s doing. But Mile’s history makes those questions feel loaded, or patronizing, and anyway, we’re in our fifties- do people even ask what we’re “doing” anymore? Hasn’t that already been decided?

Jennifer Egan Candy House

For my friends who are in their 50’s or beyond: Do we know what we are doing?

Ok- loaded question. But do we tend to write-off people who are older, and assume they have nothing going on in their lives? Or that everything is same old, same old?

While I admit I don’t lead the most exciting life, I like to think that I have a life– that I do things, that I try new things, that I still have lots of innings left in the ball game. I hope that people want to ask what I am “doing” because I hope that I am still “doing”.

But do we stop trying as we get older?

Do we stick to the same patterns and routines?

Do you not ask your friends and acquaintances what they are doing because you already know the answer?


When It Doesn’t Work

I always make my new dentist appointment when I’m checking out of the present appointment, which means I made my new appointment six months ago. The problem with that is that sometimes you have an unavoidable conflict when the appointment rolls around.

Case in point- I had no idea that the day that I booked my appointment would be the day that my daughter was moving into her dorm room.

When I realized this was the case, I called the dentist office and left a message that I had to reschedule.

They didn’t call back.

Then I got a text that said “To confirm, type CONFIRM. To cancel type CANCEL. I typed cancel, assumed that I was done, and tried to log into the system to make a new appointment.

When I went on their website, I dutifully entered all the info that they asked for, but really, the things they needed… I gave up when I couldn’t find the six digit code behind the Holy Grail…

And I called again and left a message.

Next, I got an email asking me to confirm my appointment. Of course, there was only one option: CONFIRM. There was no option to cancel. But there was a phone number, different than the one I’d previously called- so I left another message.

No one called me back.

The next day, I got another text- but this text there was no option to cancel either- just a CONFIRM button. I ignored the text, but I did call again…

No one called me back.

To keep you up to date: I called FOUR times to TWO different phone numbers belonging to my dentist office. I received two texts and a email- which did not work properly.

About five business days before the scheduled appointment, I got a phone call (from a third different number if you’re counting) but it came up MEDICAL- so I answered it assuming it was either my Doctor or my parents (my parents had an appointment that day so I knew there was a possibility)

The scheduler said:

I’m confirming your dental appointment for next Monday

And I just said- “Ah…No.” I explained to him in excruciatingly slow and vivid detail how I have been trying to cancel and rebook for the better part of two weeks… I asked him if they listened to the voicemail messages. He skirted the answer but said they did most things through the online system. I told him there was no option for the type of dental insurance that I have- the sub sub group that the form was asking for, even though they have all my insurance info, including a copy of the card, on file. He stammered just a little bit and I could feel the beads of sweat seeping through the phone…

But I did finally rebook my appointment…

So with all the online and the automation and that whatever…is anything really better? Or did I need to rely on a phone call to fix my issue?

Sometimes new and improved really isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Love love love etc

Do we overuse the word love?

A few months ago, love was my word of the week. In the books I was reading that week, each book used the word LOVE at least fifteen times. Fifteen. And most of these books weren’t romances- they were often just books about anything but love. Yet…the word kept cropping up…

Do you know how many things we “love” on a daily basis? Food, clothes, smells, the word love…

Can we come up with alternate words to use instead of love, because can we really love all the things on the same level? If we keep using a word to explain everything, doesn’t the word lose its power? Should we be using the same word that we use to describe McDonald’s fries to describe how much we want to be with someone?

I love you and want to marry you.

I love french fries.

Though I know that I have said that I love fries…and I really feel that I mean that I LOVE fries…and maybe, just maybe, I want to marry the fries…should I be using the same word to describe how I feel about my Husband?

Admittedly, sometimes I really do love french fries more than my Husband…but still…

Shouldn’t I be using a different word?

What are some other words that we can substitute for LOVE?

Synonyms for love (per our friends at

Words Related to love

I delight in fries.

I adore the smell of the lemon essential oil diffuser on my desk.

I cherish my favorite little black dress.

Doesn’t mixing up the words we use make life just a tiny bit juicier?

What are examples of things you say that you LOVE, and what are other words that you can substitute in?

You may begin…


This is the last gallery in the section Art of the Arab lands, Turley, Iran and Central Asia and Later South Asia. This has been a beautiful area of the museum, and one I was glad to look at more closely.
The Mets would go on to win this game.

Gratitude and Mindfulness: 8/13/22

Someone commented the other day that I had a lot of grief in my life.

No kidding.

But life is filled with good and bad, elation and frustration. Life is messy and uncontrollable- no matter how much we try to control it. And that’s OK. Because the messy bits are often the ones we laugh about years later- what was frustrating in the moment end up being cherished memories.

On our vacation, our hotel was on a plaza. The street behind it was small and underused. When our tour bus was going to pick us up in the morning, we weren’t quite sure where the bus would be- so I stayed by the small street, and my husband ran to the major street where our concierge said many of the busses did the pickup. So we had to look for the van and keep an eye on one another. The van actually drove through the plaza and picked us up at the hotel, and I was waving frantically to my husband who was on about 100 feet away. It was messy and silly but we chose to laugh about me screaming and jumping up and down to get my husbands attention…

I am grateful for the messy bits, the grief, the never exactly knowing what is going to happen. I am grateful for all the things that get thrown at me because it’s all part of living a full life.

My word for the week was TRUST. Here’s how it was used in the books that I’m reading:

  1. It was heart shattering to see children in these situations, to feel their arms around you when they were afraid, and equally when they learned to trust you. Christy Lefteri (fiction)
  2. He could not trust them, but he had no alternative. Sarah Rose (non fiction)
  3. That’s the other thing that forgiveness does: it allows you to trust yourself. Natasha Lunn (non fiction)
  4. If dozens of people let you down, all people become untrustworthy. Stephanie Foo (non fiction)
  5. It’s a temple to a certain kind of faith, the residual trust that there is a higher authority who knows the answers, who can save us. Katherine May (non fiction)
  6. Charleston’s Blue Bicycle Books is named after the trusty steed that owner Jonathan Sanchez rides to work, with books stacked high over the rear wheel. Jane Mount (non fiction)
  7. I wanted to take her in my arms and kiss her and ask her to trust me again. Daniel Black (fiction)
  8. When an addict first got clean or sober, they had to work hard to win back the trust of the people they loved- but when they got it, it was beautiful. Marian Keyes (fiction)
  9. As the Art Assignment host Sarah Urist Green observed, it also spoke to personal relationships: “Who do you trust to hold the other half of your tuba?” Rob Walker (non fiction)
  10. For almost forty years, Ronnie wore her thorns and wrote in private, and believed herself safe, trusting that what she’d done would stay, forever, between her and God. Jennifer Weiner (fiction)

Here’s how I’m thinking about TRUST

  1. How often do people say “Trust me”- do you trust someone that says trust me?
  2. If someone says “Trust me”, does that mean they are lying the rest of the time?
  3. If you’ve lost trust, do you ever really get it back?

I Do Not Love Thee
Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton - 1808-1877

I do not love thee!—no! I do not love thee!
And yet when thou art absent I am sad;
   And envy even the bright blue sky above thee,
Whose quiet stars may see thee and be glad.

I do not love thee!—yet, I know not why,
Whate’er thou dost seems still well done, to me:
   And often in my solitude I sigh
That those I do love are not more like thee!

I do not love thee!—yet, when thou art gone,
I hate the sound (though those who speak be dear)
   Which breaks the lingering echo of the tone
Thy voice of music leaves upon my ear.

I do not love thee!—yet thy speaking eyes,
With their deep, bright, and most expressive blue,
   Between me and the midnight heaven arise,
Oftener than any eyes I ever knew.

I know I do not love thee! yet, alas!
Others will scarcely trust my candid heart;
   And oft I catch them smiling as they pass,
Because they see me gazing where thou art.

Public domain-

Anything Can Happen Friday: Makeup

I wear eye shadow- part of my daily routine is sitting at my vanity and applying my makeup. This is fun for me.

My favorite eye shadow palette is the one pictured: Naked 2- Urban Decay Basics.

What I appreciate about this compact is that the colors are matte, go on somewhat smoothly, and the colors are muted and natural. The only problem I have is that I am always left with the very dark contour shade…

I know that I need a new palette, but I hate that I am wasting that whole color. I know that I can’t save it because makeup really does go bad- and you should be very careful as to what you put near your eyes. But the frugal part of me…

So many eye shadows only come in sets- this is the new order of makeup. And for my aging dry skin and eyelids, finding shadow that goes on reasonably well is important…but I sort of wish I could go back to the days of single color packaging- where I only need to replace one color at a time.