Sunday, February 28, 2016

Gotta stop watching weird TV

Yes, I love all those UFO, ancient alien, historic ghost stories on television. When the H2 channel goes down, I will be most upset, but hopefully, one of the other channels will put on some NASA film clips of weird shit happening in outer space and soldiers gunning down strange beings on military bases, at least enough to keep my mind wandering.
But, perhaps, it goes too far.

I sort of want to see a UFO. I'm scared I might, but that doesn't keep me from looking up.

The other night, I was just about ready to head upstairs, but a steady light in the night sky drew my attention out the back door. Moving slowly, so slowly and soundlessly, what appeared to be a large black triangular shaped object floated across the sky directly over the back yard.
No noise.
Steady lights, not blinking like those on a plane or helicopter. Steady bright lights going north and west.

I watched it for five minutes, the time it took this thing to get perhaps half a mile or less away from me.

Okay. We get helicopters going north all the time. You can hear their clippity clippity motor/rotor sound as it echoes around the houses. Lights flashing red and white. There is a small airport somewhere in that direction that I know about...and I believe the Medivac chopper used to have to land there. But you can hear a chopper. It makes lots of noise, especially flying low.
This thing was floating a bit higher than a chopper usually flies around here.

What did I see? 11:55pm on Thursday 25 FEB 16?

This is the absolute wrongest thing for someone with a vivid imagination to behold.

Why was it so soundless? And so slow?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Eat it

Commercials that show extremely thin, lovely models eating s'mores with the marshmallow and chocolate dripping over their fingers disgust me. That skinny woman who savors the tiniest tip of a Ghirardelli square so this itty bitty drop of caramel squeezes out...also makes me angry. The bitch taking a bite, A BITE, out of one of those Brookside candies with her eyes closed because it is so bloody sends her floating over the nearest desert.
I hate them.
I feel my hands fisting at my sides when these ads come on television.
Because a fat person can't even think of indulging in candy without somebody tsking or saying something about your weight, or overabundance of weight, if they see you enjoying candy. Or ice cream, cake, pie or pizza.
Fat people are supposed to suck down lettuce and enjoy it. It will make them skinny. It will enable them within seconds to be one of those thin models who enjoy chocolate.
I've got news, skinny commercial makers and models.
It doesn't work like that.
And, yes, there is great guilt associated with overeating or eating highly caloric food. If I don't eat candy or pizza or spaghetti and only eat salad, I'll be thin.
Chemotherapy will also make you thin. Wasting diseases will do it quicker than Marie Osmond can say Nutrisystem.
Genetics. Oh, well.
And if one more person says "carmel" instead of "caramel",  I will punch the television screen. I swear, I will.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Back to the past

It used to be something I hardly ever did. I didn't care to relive things from my past, unless they were stellar anything related to the Jersey shore, having my babies, meeting my husband.
Those kind of things...good things.
Then, there were bad know, those things you did or saw or thought that were far less than stellar. These are the things you wish to forget. Funerals. Diseases. Losses of most kinds. Lies you may have believed and even told. Those are easy to sweep under the mental rug.
And then there are these little things that creep into your brain that you sort of remember but can't quite remember all the way. These are the things that drift through your mind and anger you or shame you or make you smile.
Several weeks ago, I remembered a story I had read almost sixty years ago and wished I could read again.
Problem. While the library where I first found this book has probably tossed it because it is OLD, the library still exists. My fond memories of the building remain, but it doesn't even smell the same. I was there a few years ago and that sweet musty book smell has been replaced by the air cleaning system. It only smells like a public building, not the place to dwell on stories of one's youth.
But I kept thinking about two books. One, Copper's Chance, was a preteen love story with horses. I found that on is available. Eh. I read adult love stories all the time and while this book was probably my first ever romance--with horses--I didn't want to shell out big bucks to get it.
Then I wanted to search for this second book, only I didn't know the author and didn't know the title. I couldn't even remember the main character's name. All I remembered was that she was a fat little girl that people made fun of, she had a best friend who was her foil because she wasn't smart and she went looking for an "old salt", whatever that was.
I put my quest out on FB...did anybody remember this story?
No. Several ideas where to look, but nobody remembered this story in particular.
Miracles do sometimes happen.
While in my reading room, a name popped into my head, drawn from the depths of my 9 year old memory. Was it the title? Was it the character?
Off to Amazon.
There is was. Rowena Carey. The name that I'd remembered, the title of the book.
I ordered it.
It arrived a couple of days ago and last night I read a chapter.
Just as sweet and powerful and wonderful as I remembered.
It's odd being a nine year old girl in a sixty seven year old body, but, well, it was great!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sweet Home Ghana

Ghana is a country on the western side of the continent of Africa.
I've never met anyone from that part of the world, though I did go to a prom with some guy from South Africa, but he was kinda jerky and it was a favor for a friend. I met a lovely lady from Ghana in the physical therapist's waiting room.

Naturally, I spoke with her because, well, the magazines are terrible and I had forgotten my book, which was also pretty terrible, but it was in the other car.

She had a great, different accent...not from the Islands, but unique. I asked her where she was from.
Enough of this, I gotta tell you her story!

She came here in 2002, after the WTC disaster. She left her four kids behind, hoping to bring them all here eventually.
I asked her how old her kids were: she said "44, 42, 39 and 22".

I commented that that was a pretty big distance between the last two, she told me that the youngest is adopted, from her sister's daughter.
Story time.

The young woman found she was pregnant just as she was getting ready to leave for the UK. (Ghana was a British colony until 62 years ago.) She wanted to abort the baby...inconvenient, couldn't take care of it, didn't want it. This lady, her name was something like Josephine but not exactly, said, "Don't abort the baby. I will take it and raise it as my own."  You'd think that was enough of the story, but it isn't.

The niece's mother went to a psychic. The psychic told her that if her daughter had the baby, the young woman would die.

Despite this, the pregnant woman did have the baby, I guess convinced that her aunt would take good care of the child.
A few hours after giving birth, the mother died. She had been given too much anesthesia in the hospital and never woke up.

My heart went out to the dead woman, her mother and Josephine, who has raised this baby, this young person for 22 unselfish years.

All her children are educated and doing well. Only one is currently in the US, probably the youngest one, but she's bringing the other three over soon.

I didn't want to go to the PT with husband today, but if I hadn't, I never would have heard this incredible story.

I wish Josephine the best in this world and all her children, too.
This makes up for all the bad stuff from the past two weeks.

(I warned Josephine not to bring her kids over in winter...they know nothing about cold weather. Yes, it is supposed to snow again this week!!!)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The brain vs. the mind

Is there a difference?
Your brain seems to hold your mind...but what is the mind?  It's the place in the brain where your memories are, where your instincts reside, where your emotions are contained (or not). So, my brain hasn't been working all that well recently, not since menopause topped off with eight rounds of intense chemotherapy.
So...I haven't been trusting my mind or my brain to the extent where I knew I could rely on it to do the right thing, say the right thing, use the right words...find things I've put down somewhere and can no longer find.
I used to have a great mind.
I thought I'd lost it, or at least most of it after the second illness because things got worse. I used wrong words. Math, never my best subject, got very shaky. People's names, forget it! I started calling people "honey" and "sweetie" to their faces because their names just weren't there until somebody else said them. Then, luckily, the names came back to match the faces. But still. The instant recall was pretty much shot.
However. Something strange happened to me today.
I had been trying without success to remember a favorite book I'd read when I was about nine years old. It was terrific. I loved it. I think I took it out of the Bound Brook Library a dozen times to read over and over. This was when one did not buy books, one took them out of the library and had two weeks to read them.
I remembered this book because the heroine was chubby. She had a skinny friend. She was often alone because her friend had other stuff to do that did not include her. Boy, that was the story of my nine year old life.
But I could not remember the title of the book.
I asked around, I put up a plea on FaceBook for anybody to help me. Several people tried without success.
So I took to Amazon, looking in kids' books. Girls' books from the 50s. Buying books from the 50s. Went through the collections offered. Went through the suggestions from my FB friends. No luck.
Back to this mind thing. I have mentioned several times that I get some great ideas in the shower. For my own stories, for friends' stories, for life in general. Good ideas that are sometimes forgotten by the time I am through washing up. This morning...still thinking about this book...nothing. I despaired.
I came out of the shower, dripping wet, dried off, thought some more...used the computer again in vain. Went back into my thinking room and a name popped into my head out of nowhere.
Dashed out, went back to Amazon, typed that name in and...oh, wow. There she was, in her faded, tattered glory, my Rowena. My friend. My buddy.
Whatever happened, how that came to me, I do not know. It's been nearly 60 years since I read that book, but deep in the back part of my mind, she lurked quietly. My friend.
Here she is. I did not ever see the paper cover. The book I read was hardcover and dark blue. But she's just the way I pictured her and, Rowena, I never forgot you!