Special Delivery

While riding my bike, I saw an envelope in the ditch .  I stopped, picked it up.  It was addressed to Naomi on Brooks Rd.  Because of the dampness it was no longer sealed.  I pulled the letter out and read it.  OMG!  Suicide note written to her from Sam.  Dated today.  Somehow, dropped after pick up and before delivery to post office.  Maybe there is time.  No return address.  I had to get it to Naomi.  I know the road, half mile from here.  Knock at the door.  “Are you Naomi?”  She reads the letter, screams and gets into her car.  I get on my knees and pray she gets there in time.

Writing 101 Day 5

I Will Survive!

I looked forward to going home every summer.  This year we were doing something different.  This year we would be more active while still having fun, a little quirky, to include all ages.  I couldn’t wait to get on that plane and back to Wisconsin.

The ex was from So Cal and after getting out of the Army in 1978, he decided it was where we would live.  We were there long enough to have a baby, get jobs, move to 3 different homes, spend most of our money and move in with Ex’s divorced father and 3 siblings.  All that in 2 years, until we moved to Wisconsin, my home state.

We settled in a wonderful medium sized town, got good jobs and later put our son into a great public school.  We had it made, on the outside, anyway.  Ex started his construction company.  Good money and a lot of stress.  We built a home in an upscale neighborhood.  One of the jobs he took was remodeling a restaurant and lodge. It was a big project and took many months.  He did this on a handshake.  After it was finished, they didn’t have the money to pay it all.  Bankruptcy, moving out of our custom home, and then too much drinking.

Time to move back to California.  That was at the end of 1989.  Ex went back first and found a house and a job.  Our son and I came out shortly after that.  I had to leave a job I loved for 8 years and my family.

Oops, back to the story and fast forward to 2001.  I go back to Wisconsin for a week every summer.  I go by myself.  Ex is never happy about me going and won’t come with me.  After a few years, I don’t care, I just need to go.

I always end up at my parent’s home on the Island and my 7 siblings come, at least for the weekend.  We had done Christmas in July the years prior.  This year (2001), my brother-in-law suggested we do a family “Survivor”.  There were plenty of emails and phone calls to plan the weekend.  We figured we had between 20 and 30 people with sibs, in-laws, nieces, nephews, my grandma, my parents and a couple friends.  The teams ended up with 12 people each, ages 7 to 81.  We had spouses on opposing teams.  Each team had four siblings, mine with 2 sisters, a brother, Dad and assorted others.  The other had 2 brothers, 2 sisters, Mom, Nanny plus 6 more.

Events included food challenges, basketball shooting, how far can you jump, hit a golf ball and sunflower seed spitting.  We picked teams on Friday night and saw the area my bro-in-law chose for the tribal counsel. Games to begin on Sat morn…

Tribal Counsel

Writing 101 Day 4

The Offer

Falling asleep last night, took forever.  Staying asleep, impossible.  Getting up, very difficult as I slept hard from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

There are a few reasons for my insomnia.  Last night one of the reasons was the offer I got on a property I just listed.

My ex and I flew to Wisconsin for my 50th birthday back in 2005.  It was a great week.  All seven of my siblings came up to the Island and roasted me in my parent’s dining room.  It was hilarious. Something I will always remember.

While we were there we looked for a piece of property.  He fell in love with one off the beaten path.  It was all wooded, lots of hard woods, mostly oak.  We bought it.  I was thrilled to own a little bit of a place (born there) I will always love.

Out of the eight properties we owned, it was the only one I wanted when we divorced in 2012.  Fast forward to now.  I will never put a home on that property, I can’t afford it.  I listed it last week assuming I wouldn’t get an offer for years.  It would take someone with the same vision as my ex to consider buying it.  I got a call yesterday from the realtor.  He had an offer, cash, but lower than I wanted to go.  The guy has adjoining property to mine and just wants it.  He has a reputation for being an ass and a hard negotiator.  Do I take the money and run or counter and risk losing the guy?  That is my dilemma.  I make the phone call now.

Oops, twenty minutes is up. Seems short but I was also scanning the signature pages sent by the realtor.

First post for Writing 101 done!

Ring of Fire or My Love of All Things Spicy!!

IMG_1140

I’m not sure when I had my first experience with spicy.  It may have been the weak “taco sauce” Mom used for her Wisconsin tacos.  Or, the fact that my uncle pushed me, or tricked me into trying new foods.  Like the time he gave me a bite of his “sirloin steak”.  We were a family of little money and many children, so sirloin was not on the menu.  I loved the new taste, even when he told me it was actually liver.  With that experience in mind, it may have been Uncle Willy’s trickery that began my journey of fearless food discover, including spicy.

Tabasco is my all-time favorite, with its vinegar taste, a definite plus.  I can’t imagine an egg without it.  It was a requirement when eating in the mess hall.  SOS with tabasco was one of the best parts of being in the Army.

When eating at a Mexican Restaurant, I’ll judge it by the salsa they serve when I first arrive.  It must be tasty, and have a bite.

I keep a huge container of pickled jalapenos in the refrigerator and add them to most things.  There is also a container of horseradish that is used regularly.  I know horseradish is not the same hot as a habanero, but I love its “heat”.

I have even been known to put a touch of cayenne in my brownies.  Just enough to have people wondering if there is something different about them.

I won’t say,” the hotter the better”.  I need to be able to taste it, but I do love spicy

Is This You?

 

My sibs and I in late 70's.

My sibs and I in late 70’s.

Recently I finished reading “The Birth Order” book and found it fascinating.  Do you see yourself here?

Are you:

  • A list maker
  • A problem solver
  • Organized but have a messy desk
  • An advice giver
  • A people person with very few friends
  • Logical
  • A perfectionist
  • Someone who straightens pictures on walls or pillows on couches

If you answered yes to most of these traits, you are probably a first born or only child.  As a firstborn you are scholarly, hard driving, a bit serious and critical and more than likely you don’t like surprises.

Or, are you:

  • Manipulative
  • An attention seeker
  • Class clown or comedian of the family
  • A lover of surprises
  • Affectionate
  • A people person

Yes to these and you take the lastborn or baby position.  You are fun, the life of the party but can also be spoiled, impatient and impetuous.  Often you feel as if you are not taken serious, especially by your family.  Many of you, as Dr. Leman puts it, “have a burning desire to make an important contribution to the world”.

And last but not least, are you:

  •  A mediator
  • Compromising
  • A conflict avoider
  • Loyal to your peers with many friends
  • Secretive
  • Unspoiled

These are the mysterious middle children.  Their personalities are strongly influenced by the sibling directly above them.  They may model them or go in a complete opposite direction.  There have been many articles published and most agree that of all birth order positions, the middle child is the most difficult to define, let alone describe or generalize about.

There are 8 siblings in my family.  I am the oldest and after 50 years I finally understand why I do certain things.  I am also pleased to understand the whys of the rest of my sisters and brothers.  Things just make sense now.  I have no friends, I want no friends and it is okay because I am an oldest.  Now when my brother Pat gets out on the dance floor when the song, “Play that Funky Music White Boy” comes on and dances to it, I understand he is not weird, he is the baby.

This is not an exact science but pretty close.  It doesn’t always go as simply as I stated.  Family situations and circumstances also come in to play.  Oldest child can mean oldest daughter and oldest son.  The gaps in age also make a difference.

After my father died, Mom remarried and they had two girls.  So, actually Pat is not the baby but is the typical baby and the baby of the first six.

I listen and observe at all functions I go to and it is pretty easy to spot an oldest and a baby.  I have fun with it and actually keep a notebook with me to write down what I see and predict the birth order.  People are surprised if they haven’t heard about Dr. Lemans book or the others that are out there.  It is a great discussion to have as they look at their own families.

This is written for Blogging 101, Day 6 – publish a post for your dream reader

I love to read, write, discuss.  This is written for those who also love to read interesting books on fascinating subjects.

What Was I Thinking?

I read a lot of nonfiction.  Any subject from nutrition and fitness to intelligence, birth order, addiction and so much more.  I find these topics fascinating.  Sometimes I find it difficult to “just” read.  I want to share, I want to discuss.

In January of 2013 I made the decision to blog.  My assumption was, I write, people read, discussion follows.  Quickly I realized that I had to put some work in to it if I wanted people to look at my posts.  Within a couple of months, I had over 100 fellow bloggers following me.  The next realization I had was that, like Facebook, people collect people, friends, and followers.  The majority of these people do not comment and I assume do not even read most posts. There is a small percentage who “like” and a handful who comment.

I never considered myself a writer or a photographer but I do both on my blog.  I struggle with the writing more than the photography.  I will continue to post and enjoy that handful of people I interact with as they make it worth it.  Thank you to them!

This is for day 3 of Blogging 101.  Penny for your thoughts.

When you first thought about blogging, you had a post idea; something you wanted to say, a photo to share, a story on the tip of your brain. Maybe you just wanted to cultivate a writing habit — but you probably had an idea for a post, no matter how nascent. Today, you’ll write it.

Why Can’t We Be Friends

Angel Club 1965

Angel Club 1965

Making Friends

I have no problem making friends.  I am warm, witty and humorous. Most people like me.  If you don’t, something is wrong with you and I will continue to be nice to you and win you over.

My Mom, my Dad and my Stepdad are/were nice friendly people and it rubbed off.  All of my siblings have the same personality.

Sounds like I have a lot of friends, doesn’t it?  Nope!  I don’t have them and I don’t want them.  I had friends in high school, had them growing up in the neighborhood.  There were friends in the Army and all throughout my adult life.  I didn’t have best friends who I told everything to.  I was always more comfortable alone.

A long weekend with the girlfriends, a shopping trip with a bunch of women.  No thanks!

My sister recently told me that she always thought there was something strange about me because of my lack of friends.

I found a clue when I read The Birth Order Book.  I am an oldest.  Typical behavior.  Very interesting stuff.  You should read it.

Daily Prompt: Why can’t we be friends?  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/prompt-cant-we-be-friends/

The photo above is of The Angel Club minus our leader, who was older and wiser and made us do whatever she wanted.  These are my childhood friends from the late 50’s, early 60’s and my year younger sister.

 

 

Fifty

DebAlyCL

 

 

BrushHair

This really happened and she never took a breath when she said it.  She touched my hand when she talked about wrinkles and she touched my squishy arms after that.  I looked at her and just rolled on the floor and laughed with her.  I have told this story so many times.  It still cracks me up.

WRITE YOUR FIRST “FIFTY”

No rules. Just stick to the word count — no more, no less than fifty words.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/writing-challenge-fifty/