The Bottle and the Rooftop


The Bottle and The Rooftop

The red wine clung to the sides as she swirled it around in the beautiful tumbler and looked out over the city. White linen table cloths and napkins covered the chrome table that held one single candle. The sun was just starting to set on the horizon and the gold, red and violet hues reflected in the glass she held. Incredible smells wafted on the breeze and she could see the chef as he sautéed the spears of asparagus that would sit on the porcelain plate with the veal piccata. It was not her favorite meal, but she had ordered it and she would enjoy the flavors as they sat on her tongue to mingle with the dryness of the wine. The piccata and a good Pinot noir will always complement one another he had told her.

It had been the last one in her cellar and she removed it with care this morning and put in the wine carrier to bring with her. It was the very last bottle they had purchased together. He had laughed and teased her about purchasing a bottle simply because she liked the label, but it had turned out to be wonderful in spite of her naiveté. Charlotte’s eyes filled with tears as she silently toasted her late husband on what would have been their 40th anniversary.

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Our awesome host Al Forbes-Mixed Bag has one of these every week. If you would like to give it a go, please click on icon below and have fun!


Weddings and Funerals…

It is amazing to me how these two events can bring out the best and the worst in people. We have had way too many funerals in recent years and there are several stories I could share about the assholes who were brought to the surface when these events took place. At the same time, people stepped up and helped one another and the acts of true friendship and family could be found during the hard times. However, some relationships were completely severed and may never be healed as a result.

Emotions run high and people will say and do things that you would never imagine…both good and bad. A kinder part of someone will emerge and we are surprised by the broken heart and can take mercy on that person when we see the real pain that has been pushed down for so long. On the other hand, you have those who are always sweet, reserved and you feel can be relied on… turn into the meanest, most belligerent, unkind folks to walk the earth. Some facades fall and other walls are built. It is unpredictable.

Case in point: Our daughter is getting married next week and we are facing this challenge again. The ones whom we thought for sure would be supportive of this event and come are choosing to be hateful and uncaring of feelings. They will regret their decisions. My child is my mother’s first granddaughter and probably the only one she will live long enough to see get married. Her only other grandchildren are less than 2 years old which will put her somewhere in her 90’s when/if they walk down the aisle. She has chosen not to be at the nuptials in spite of my daughter calling to ask her to please be there. My mother was sent an invitation as well. She is welcome and we were all hoping this event could be a time of healing and joy for this family. I guess she hates me and my husband too much. She claims we have always been mean to her and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how or why she thinks this way. I know she has a skewed version of the truth of some situations but her memory is truly flawed. She has conveniently forgotten all of the things we have done for her over the years and tells everyone how mean we are. Well, those who know us and people who are close to us know the truth.

I am not going to list all of the things she has accused me of or why she believes I am the source of all her pain. It isn’t worth my time or abuse to my psyche to relive the hateful and horrible things she has said.

My mother probably has a true mental problem. I feel sorry for her. But I have learned to stay away knowing her toxicity is not healthy for me or my family. I pray for her, I love her and I have never told my daughter not to see her or have a relationship especially since she is my daughter’s only living grandmother. I have warned her though. And unfortunately my mother has proven me right. I know my mother loves her, but she thinks she is punishing my daughter or the rest of us by not coming to the wedding. She is only punishing herself and I believe she will regret her decision. It only makes her look bad because when people ask…. And they will… we will tell them the truth. Everyone who knows my mother also knows her problems and they will be sad, but will understand. They will also feel sorry for her.

We are not going to allow it to ruin this joyous occasion but I am sad because I am afraid the next time I see my mother… it will be her funeral 😦


Whatcha duin down in that hole??

supported and cared about

Who has earned the trust and the right to hear our story? This is a question I have been pondering since Tuesday. I had the privilege to take a wonderful eCourse with author Brene’ Brown. She has written some incredible books like; I thought it was Just Me, Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly! They are ALL about her research in Shame and how it manifests in our culture today. WOW! Who knew it could be such an intricate part of our psyche and the reasons we react the way we do to people, situations, and life.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.Brene Brown

I recently posted a blog about the kind of friends we all have, but I am going to redefine them just a little more with Brene’s definitions of sympathy and empathy.

Situation: You are in a hole. We will call this a physical hole for the sake of semantics and visualization so you can understand and identify these people in your life. We ALL have them! I was able to immediately recognize people around me based on what I learned.

Friend 1: Looks over edge and says, “Whatcha duin down there? How did you get yourself in that hole? Sorry you’re down there and I hope you get out but I’m not coming down there with ya. Good luck!” They feel FOR you but not WITH you….otherwise known as sympathy. This is NOT helpful!

looking in hole

 Friend 2: Sees you in hole and immediately jumps in with you and says, “What are you doing down here? How did you let this happen? How are you going to get out of here? How are you going to get ME out of here?” This person has over identified with your hole and gotten in there with you but without the skills to help get either one of you out. I usually feel the need to apologize to this person for letting them know I was in the hole in the first place and consoling them for being in the hole with me. This person cannot handle your disclosure of having actually gotten yourself into a hole and asked THEM for help. They need you to be strong for the times THEY are in the hole and need YOU to help them out. Your “weakness” scares them. I find I am the one “in the hole” with them but this relationship is NEVER reciprocated.2 racoons

Friend 3: Sees you in the hole and says, “How could you let this happen? I can’t believe you fell in that hole. Don’t you know better than to go near those things!” They are very judgmental about holes in general and those who allow themselves to get into them. After all, if you just do everything right, you wouldn’t have gotten in that hole in the first place. This person is in a hole of some kind themselves but they do not want anyone to know about it. They usually like to make believe they are NOT in a hole. If I don’t tell anyone about MY hole, then I won’t be judged for it. These people are TOXIC to me!

Friend 4: Looks over the edge and says, “Oh you think THAT is a hole? Let me tell you about the one I was in jut last week!” They have to one-up you and are not going to do anything to help you get out of the hole because it isn’t NEAR as big as theirs. All they do is sit on the side and tell you all about their issues and have no empathy OR sympathy.prancer-looking-down-the-rabbit-hole


*Friend 5: The wonderful empathetic friend who sees you in the hole and says, “Wow, I’m so sorry you are in that hole. I will come down there with you until you are ready to come out.  I have the skills to help because I remember what it was like the last time I was down there.”true friend

These are the ones who have earned the right to hear our story. When we are in a shame spiral and can say, “You are never going to believe what happened to me today.” And THEY say, “I’m so sorry that happened. Tell me about it, I will do what I can to help even if it is just listening.” There is no judgment, blame or shame. There is an open heart ready to listen. And whatever you tell them will not go any further. It will not be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram 5 min after you told them.

Who are these people in your life? Who is on your list? It will be a short one most likely……mine is. But I am grateful for those people in my life~

It’s Willow’s Fault!! :-D

Ok.. this is all amommasview‘s fault!! She wanted me to answer some more questions… so I said I would! Here ya go!! But in reality it all started out as Willow’s Fault!! LOL!!!

  1. Does jet-lag affect you?
    Yes it does, but it’s been a while since I have flown far enough to see how bad it’s going to be this time around. I guess I will find out in a couple of weeks!
  2. Are you afraid to walk alone at night?
    Not really. But I usually not walk around in the night on my own anymore. I try to be as alert as possible if I have to. ( I like this answer so I’m keepin it!) 😉
  3. How did it make you feel the first time you ever held a baby in your arms — yours or someone else’s?
    It was awesome! The first baby I held was my brother! I was 11 years old… he is still awesome!
  4. Do you fold your undergarments and socks?
    I fold my undies, but I turn my sox inside one another.
  5. Is there a specific place where you go to think? where is it and why there?
    Outside in my swing with a cup of coffee..
  6. How many houseplants do you have? How are they faring? 
    I have 11 and they are all doing well. I have a knack for keeping them alive. Several of them are very old… like 20+ years.
  7. Do you have a garden — flower or vegetable? 
    No. I wish I could but I have too much shade and not enough time.
  8. How many hats do you own? Do you wear them all?
    I own about 4 and I never wear any of them. They are all commemorative.
  9. Does your best friend call you their best friend?
    Yes.. I have 2 BFFs and they both consider me one of their BFFs!
  10. Do you struggle to finish a bad book or do you set it aside forever? 
    Can you believe that I almost threw “The Gone Girl” out? (amommasview answer) OMG! Right???? I didn’t read the book but I saw the movie and I HATED IT!!!! *steps off soapbox* Anyhoo… I will not finish a bad book. I will put it down and find something else!
  11. Have you ever been in a food fight?
    Nope.. no fight. I love peace all the way baby!
  12. Have you ever brought a stray animal home?
    Yep, I rescue dogs in my area all the time. Bring them home and find the owner or a good home. I’m a sap that way…
  13. Can a well-written book make you care about their characters enough to cry for them?
    Most definitely yes…
  14. Have you seen Karma at work in your life?
    ALL the time!!! What goes around comes around baby!
  15. How do you deliver bad news?
    Fortunately I haven’t had to do this too many times. But I can. I am kind and soft spoken and I try to make sure there is plenty of tissues and support from others if they nee it.
  16. In general, how do you feel when you come home from a long vacation?
    Happy, full of memories and tired…Again… I agree, so I left this one!
  17. Are book covers important in getting you to read a book?
    Nope… I rarely look at book covers. I mostly listen to audible books anyway, so I pay no attention to them.
  18. How many shoes do you have? Are there any orphan shoes? Why do you keep them?
    I have about 20 pairs of shoes. No orphans..
  19. How would you describe your housekeeping strategy?
    Invite people over when it’s time to clean… then I will make sure it gets done!! LOL!
  20. If you could be a superhero, would you take that chance?
    Probably not… I don’t want the responsibility of any more than I already have!
  21. If you had the wherewithal to invent something, anything, what would it be?
    And see this is it! If I would know what I would invent if I could, I would invent it… I would have done it a long time ago… AMEN SISTER!
  22. If you had to live for a month on what’s in your refrigerator, would you make it?
    No.. there isn’t enough food. I only buy what I need a week at a time.. if that.
  23. Name something that seemed inconsequential but had a huge influence on your life (for example, a commercial, a postcard, or something you might have overheard).
    I overheard my mother tell someone I had an “Unteachable spirit” and that I was so much harder to deal with than anyone else knew…….. she doesn’t know I heard her say that, but I have spent the last 30 years of my life doing everything in my power to prove her wrong 😦
  24. How do you feel about the idea of Artificial Intelligence? Or robots in general?
    I think it can be good for some things, but I would never want it to replace humans.
  25. What “redneck” (unsophisticated) activity do you like to do?
    Nuthin.. I ain’t a redneck! LOL!
  26. What (if anything) do you think is beyond the stars?
    More stars:-). Beautiful, sparkling stars…
  27. What are the most common lies your peer group tells?
    That they are doing okay although they are not feeling well… But it’s kind of a common thing, right. We often say that we are okay although we feel down or have a heavy weight on our shoulders… (Again.. I agree with this statement)
  28. Are there characteristic about yourself that you find annoying in other people?
    Talking too much… I talk too much sometimes and if other people do it, I want to strangle them!
  29. What do you think of when you think of California?
    The city of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge.
  30. Is there a food that is too much work for you to eat?
    To eat??? Hmm… yes! Crab legs! Way too much freaking trouble! It’s cold by the time you get to it!
  31. What highbrow, cultured activity do you like to participate in?
    Museums and the symphony and art galleries and the Ballet..
  32. Is there a historical culture that fascinates you?
    Jewish culture.. I find it fascinating.
  33. What — if any — historical injustice still upsets you?
    What was done to the native Americans and native Australians, the missionaries and of course Holocaust…
  34. Are there habits other people have that you find suspicious?
    When people tell me they are “fine” when you know they aren’t.
  35. What do you think is a good place to travel but you would not want to live there?
    I love traveling to Mexico, but I could never live there.
  36. Is there a scary scene from a movie (or book) you viewed a child that still haunts you?
    The Amityville Horror! I was 16 and slept with my mother that night!
  37. What is the cheapest price you can ever remember paying for gas?
    I remember gas being $.65 a gallon. YEP, I’m old…
  38. How far south have you traveled?
    I have been to Tangiers, Morocco.
  39. When did you realize you’d become an adult?
    When I had to start paying my own bills… so about 20
  40. What jokes did your grandparents tell you as a child that you remember fondly?
    Honestly, I don’t remember any of them really anymore.
  41. Is there a piece of technology that you do not own but would like to?
    There is a really cool new ear piece that translates languages like Star Trek!! It hits the market in May of 2017.
  42. Do you have any secrets for getting better service?
    Always ask your server their name or if they have told you their name, make a point of using it! Ask them how they are… really mean it! Treat them like a human being!
  43. What slang word or phrase do you love to use?
    “No doubt!” And  “Whatever!”
  44. What technology, real or imagined, scares you?
    Cloning… uhm yeah!
  45. Is there a traditional gender role or stereotype that you agree or disagree with?
    I think the man should take out the trash!! LOL! Enough said…
  46. What type of commercials to you find particularly annoying?
    Viagra and Cialis! What the hec is up with the bath tubs? I don’t understand…
  47. What was the first thing you learned to cook?
    That’s hard because I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. Probably cornbread… still do it from scratch! 🙂
  48. What’s the highest above sea level you’ve ever been? How did you get there?
    I don’t know.. I have been 10,000 feet in the air with a parachute? Does that count??
  49. Is there something that you do now, but wouldn’t do if it weren’t for the law (for example carry car insurance or wear your seat belt).
    Hmmm… I would still carry insurance card and I have always worn a seat belt, so I can’t think of anything like that.
  50. Have you ever tried to touch the moon?
  51. When you have out of town guests, what tourist things do you show them?
    Hm.. Well, we always go to Dallas and see stuff. Like to take them to a baseball game if there is one. And we have taken folks to the Aquarium.
  52. Where is the strangest place you have fallen asleep?
    Ok this one is really weird. I was actually sick with mono.. so this is my excuse. But my friend lost her mom and I had to go to the funeral in Michigan. I fell asleep in one of the side rooms waiting for the family to meet with the director.
  53. Would you be willing to live off the grid? (follow link for definition)
    OH HELL NO! I can’t stand being out of touch with everyone. Drives me crazy!
  54. If someone paid you enough money, would you provide them a false alibi?
    If it would be a domestic violence victim yes. In any other case no.. YEP, this is my answer also!
  55. Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars?
    Oh hell no! No, no, no! This planet here is way to beautiful to leave and live on a planet we have no clue of and also with people I will never be able to get away from… nope, nope, nope. Kudos to the ones that are happy to head up there…

Yes.. that’s a good way to end this!  Y’all come back now.. ya hear! 🙂

Embarrassing Questions? Uhm… ok!


1. Boxer shorts or budgee smugglers? Ok, first of all, I had to look up what a budgee smuggler was soooo… Boxers to be sure!
2. What color of underwear are you currently wearing? purple
3. How long have you been wearing them for already? about 5 hours
4. Do you ever use binoculars to watch people? no, I only use them at ballgames or to watch horse racing.
5. Have you ever kicked someone in the groin? Not on purpose…let’s leave it at that!
6. Would you pull a trigger? If my life or the life of someone I loved was in danger, you darn tootin’!
7. If you would meet your favorite celebrity and they would want to make out with you, would you? Uhm.. probably not. I think there are a fair number of hotties out there, but I don’t want to kiss any of them.
8. Have you ever slept in a room and in the same bed with someone you were not in a relationship with (not talking about sex and having a one night stand)? Oh sure! I have had guy friends in the past (before I was married)
9. Have you had one-night-stands? I uhm.. well… I plead the 5th! LOL!
10. Does sex have the same importance to you know compared to when you were younger? It is different than it was when I was younger….
11. Have you ever eaten a worm? Not that I am aware of!
12. What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten? Lebanese food!
13. How long do you spend sitting on the toilet? As little as possible. Otherwise my legs go to sleep! ha ha!
14. What do you do when you sit there (besides the obvious)? Play games on my phone.
15. Have you ever been peed at? Yep.. I have a younger brother! Enough said!
16. What’s the grossest thing you have ever swallowed? A bug when I was a kid riding my bike after dark.
17. What’s the constantly dirtiest place in your home? my kitchen floor.
18. Why don’t you clean it? I DO! But I have puppy dogs… I can’t keep it clean.
19. Do you eat your boogers? Oh ew… gross!
20. Can you describe the one smell that makes you gag? Body odor!! OMG!
21. Have you ever had head lice? No, thank God!

22. Have you ever been utterly disappointed in someone? Oh yeah.. many, MANY times!
23. Have you ever been scared of someone? Yep….. I will not elaborate on that one.
24. What do you do and don’t want anyone to know when you are drunk? I don’t get drunk…. anymore. I didn’t do anything that I’m ashamed of, lol!
25. Have you tried pole dancing? Nope! I would probably break something!
26. Have you been in a strip club? yep.. A LONG LONG time ago!
27. Have you run over an animal? Unfortunately I have, several times. The worst one was a little deer buck. I killed Bambi *sniff*
28. Have you ever peed in snow? No, I can’t say I have!
29. Have you ever made fun of someone and then regret it? This is one thing I can say I have never done. I had people make fun of me when I was young and I swore I would never do anything to hurt someone else that way. If I have poked fun, it was harmless and with the other person’s permission. Kind of a “laugh with you” situation.
30. What’s your favorite kind of question of Cards for Humanity (for those who know the game)? Not familiar with this game… so I will have to pass on this one.
31. If the father of your best friend would hit on you what would you tell him? DUDE! Really? Actually this doesn’t apply because my BFF’s dad has passed away.
32. Would you go out on a date with someone half your age or double your age? Ugh… NEITHER!! The thought of dating someone twice my age is gross! MY DAD is twice my age so NO, just NO! And there is NO WAY I would date anyone half my age, because that would make me old enough to be their momma! HA HA! Again.. JUST NO!
33. Do you clean the sink after brushing your teeth? I have to rinse it really well, does that count??
34. Have you ever spat in someone’s food or drink? NOPE!
35. Have you ever kissed someone only to be grossed out afterwards? I can’t remember because it has been so long since I kissed anyone other than my hubby! 🙂

You bet your ass I jumped!! :-P

Yep! I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and YEP! I loved it and I will do it again! It’s been a long time since I did it the last time, but it is one of those events in one’s life that marks time. It has been 27 years since the last time I went skydiving. My daughter was only 2 at the time and my hubby thought I would do it once and have it out of my system. Nope… I did it 3 times and would have kept doing it but he said he did not want to be the single dad of a toddler and asked me not to jump again, so I didn’t. 🙂

Kim and Marcus 5

I have always talked about it though and recommended it to a lot of people. When I turned 50, I started talking about going again and this time I had full support from hubby! Then a friend sent me a text last week and said she wanted to go! So naturally I made plans and we went!! What a wonderful experience! Better than any ride at Six Flags, Disney World or Universal!

The most common excuse I have heard is “I’m afraid of heights!” Ok, I get that. I’m not, but strange as it may sound, you never feel like you are falling.

Kim and Marcus 6

The hardest part is opening the door and jumping out without passing out. However, if you are strapped to a tandem pilot, you kind of have no choice. But once you are out, the feeling is incredible. Even with the ground 10,000 feet below, you never feel like you are falling. The wind is in your face at about 120 MPH which is the same sensation as being on the back of a motorcycle going 120 MPH until the shute opens.

Kim and Marcus 12

Even then, there is peacefulness as you are coming down. You are floating to the ground and then you just stand up. It really IS that simple!!!

I had no fear! I trusted my pilot and had complete confidence in his ability. My guy.. Marcus has about 7000 jumps under his belt and jumps on average 10 times a day. It is a wonderful feeling and I can’t wait to do it again!

Kim and Marcus 20

I KNOW!! I’m crazy!! But you know what???? This is what I will say at the end of my life!
“I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived!”


The Word

Down near the bottom
of the crossed-out list
of things you have to do today,

between “green thread”
and “broccoli,” you find
that you have penciled “sunlight.”

Resting on the page, the word
is beautiful. It touches you
as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present
he had sent from someplace distant
as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,
among your duties, pleasure
is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.
Do you remember?
that time and light are kinds

of love, and love
is no less practical
than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?
Tomorrow you may be utterly
without a clue,

but today you get a telegram
from the heart in exile,
proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,
the king and queen alive,
still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them
who can find the time
to sit out in the sun and listen.

“The Word” by Tony Hoagland, from Sweet Ruin. ©University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Snagged this from my very awesome blog buddy MamaMick because the words were very close to how I feel today! Thanks Michelle! 😀