coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I remember when my hair was brown

I looked in the mirror this morning when I woke up, and suddenly remembered when my hair was brown. It is gray now, of course. I like the gray, the lightness of it, the way it softens my aging face, and especially how little maintenance it requires.  But the brown hair used to deliver a bit of contrast and drama to my looks.  

Those brown haired days are over. I can compensate for the loss of drama, certainly. Being dramatic is my superpower, when I can tamp it down and not scare people away. Contrast, however, is another story.  Lipstick might work, but sheesh. Why would I bother unless I'm going out? My husband might be amused, IF he noticed. Blush? Nah. Too Miss Havisham like.  

Although...  With my gray hair being so long, I could definitely dress up like Miss Havisham next Halloween. I would just have to locate a cheap and shabby wedding dress. Ah, but she's such a downer. Surely there's a better gray haired, drama queen role model?  Know of any?

Martitia Hunt as Miss Havisham

Saturday, November 27, 2021

A quiet time

Tom and I went away for a week. We rented a beach house on Crescent Beach, which is on Anastasia Island just south of St. Augustine. It was cool, overcast, and quiet. Exactly my cup of tea for a fall vacation. Our daughter and grandson came for an overnight, but most of the time we were alone (as per usual). I love this quiet life in retirement.  

Yes, we took Murray the cat on vacation with us

The place we stayed, a funky little bungalow

the walk way from house to beach

The end of the walkway

Crescent Beach

a natural pattern in the sand

St. Augustine

Christmas decorations at a martini bar


Pirate photo opp in St. Augustine

"Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida 
and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos 
National Monument preserves the oldest masonry 
fortification in the continental United States"

Old Town, St. Augustine



Crescent Beach

my footprint

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday musings from one who is limited in her understanding

Below is a rendition of my favorite sacred music. As a young girl going to mass in pre-Vatican II South Bend, Indiana, when the choir in the loft behind the congregation sang this, I was sure it was the angels sharing the essence of God with us. The fact that it was in Latin made it even more numinous. I'm agnostic now, but if there is a God, I'm convinced S/He is always present when we experience the beautiful. And artists, musicians, actors, writers, and singers are Her/His angels.

"Numinous is a term derived from the Latin numen, meaning "arousing spiritual or religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring." The term was given its present sense by the German theologian and philosopher Rudolf Otto in his influential 1917 German book The Idea of the Holy. Wikipedia"
Agnostic: "a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Random Photos


A peony a number of years ago in my
New York State garden

My grandson's 2021 Christmas list

I made Kouign Amann, y'all!

Rocks in a stream, Finger Lakes
Region of NYS
A fortune telling machine
in St. Augustine

Dead banana leaves

The only good thing about daylight savings time

Bird of Paradise plant Florida

Friday, November 5, 2021

Weather Geek

I woke up this morning to 66 degree (Fahrenheit) weather, dark and gloomy overcast skies, and rain. It's going to rain all day. I love moody, cool, stay-at-home weather. I'm so happy. 

I lived south of Seattle for a few years in the early 1960's.  I was enchanted by the misty rain and dark skies. From 9 - 12 years old I jumped at the chance to grab an umbrella and go for a a walk in the rain. Especially through the street light illuminated neighborhood at night. Magical! Seattle only averages 152 sunny days each year.

The Orlando area gets 233 sunny days per year.  During the other months it is sunny in the morning, and then rains in the afternoon. But during the summer it is too hot and humid to enjoy the rain.

I like living in Florida, but I still get happy when it is a relatively cool, rainy day during the dry season. A whole day, not just an afternoon. Our dry season lasts from mid-October through May.  

As long as I'm geeking out, I thought I'd share these with you.  They are from

Sunday, October 31, 2021


I'm trying to remember what Halloween seemed like as a child. I am having trouble rousing any vivid memories. I do know that in the mid to late 1950s, I was usually a gypsy, a pirate, or a tramp. I have a vague memory of people in the neighborhood opening their doors to me, and I know I said "Trick or Treat!" as loudly as I could. I also know I'd empty my bag on the floor and organize my candy by type when I came home. My grandkids still do the same.  

Are there any memories or favorite costumes you want to share?

Here are some random photos from Halloweens gone by:

Meatloaf feet made by Sharon M

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Family really is everything

In my last post I told you how I hate to travel. Today I will confess that I love to be other places once I get there. 

While up north last week, our extended family surprised us with a 50th anniversary party. We have never been honored like that before, nor have we ever been surprised. Tom and I felt loved by and grateful for our large, crazy family. As my sister-in-law, Vacation Sue, says: #familyiseverything.  

Not everyone was there, of course. My family lives from sea to shining sea, north to south. So far, my parents have 36 direct descendants: 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. My parents and two of my brothers have died, and I won't include divorced former in-laws, but adding in spouses and significant others, there are currently 51 family members. I say currently, because at least one more great-grandchild is due to arrive next year.  

There were 24 family members at my brother's house that beautiful night. Plus 5 special friends, two of whom were friends of ours from high school days. For two retirees who spend most of their time alone with each other and a large, ginger cat, it was super darn fun. Glorious, really.

And now I promise I won't write about our 50th anniversary again.  I've managed to squeeze 3 posts out this past year. I'm really pushin' it.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Travel, how I hate it.

Tomorrow we fly north to see our extended family. I have a million things to do. 

Tom threw his back out overnight!  He's getting cold, heat, ibuprofen, rest - whatever it takes to get him back in fighting form. I haven't been "home" in 3 years. There are 4 toddlers I have never met, and a grand niece and nephew I've only seen once. I miss my family like crazy. 

I went online to check us in (24 hours in advance) and also changed our baggage choices from carry-on to checked so he doesn't feel compelled to lift heavy bags up high when we board the plane.  

I accidentally knocked a full glass of water off the kitchen counter.  It shattered all over the floor.   

I did laundry, and packed our bags on and off all day. It's so hard to make decisions. I'm making lists so I don't forget anything.  

I drove to the bank to get cash. There was only one bank clerk. The man in front of me was trying to do something shady. The bank clerk wouldn't let him. He was argumentative. It took forever.  Grrrr!

I went to the store to buy magazines and snacks. Then I stopped at a gas station to fill up the car's tank. The outside card reader wouldn't take my credit card. I had to go inside to pay (horrors). My card worked fine inside.  

But while I was driving home a red light on the dashboard started flashing at me. Apparently there's something wrong with the brakes. I guess we'll take Tom's car instead of mine.  I wonder if his car has a reasonably full gas tank?

When I got home I accidentally knocked another glass full of water off the exact same place on the kitchen counter. It shattered, too.  

As I was writing this, I got a call from my doctor's office telling me my lab results. Apparently I'm pre-diabetic, for crying out loud.  

I did a little housecleaning. The house is still a mess. Who cares?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Playing the roles

People become defined by the roles they play. When I retired and moved away, I was stunned by the difference in how I was perceived. When I worked outside the home, I was someone who was noticed by others. People knew what I was capable of. I was liked, admired, feared by some, disliked and disapproved of by others. It was fun for many years. Then it wasn't. I wanted a change.  I retired.

When I moved, I had no personal accomplishments to define me. I knew no one, except the people who called me wife, mother, and grandmother. I was still thinking in terms of roles, and those seemed like the only ones I had. 

It took me a couple years to get my bearings.   

Now I realize retirement is a transformation. Instead of looking outward for approval, I have learned to define myself. Big change.

I'm actually a lot more like I was at 18. Carefree, creatively involved, interested, and curious. I do what I want. I think what I will. It has been a relief to step back and let the world carry on without me. 

Change is freakin' hard.  But it is the nature of life, so there you go.

"JOSEPH CAMPBELL: If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time."

Change #3,427, Now I take pictures of alligators. 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Our cat is a goofball

That new cat we have, Murray, is a total goofball. Perhaps even a knucklehead. We are really enjoying him. Except in the middle of the night when he sneaks up the middle of the bed to sleep right next to our faces, and then scratches my toes and feet in revenge for moving him down to the foot of the bed. Actually, I think he assumes I'm playing with him when I move my feet.  

Can cats be trained?