Friday, December 31, 2004


"Tell the world which photo is your very best from 2004.  It can be one already published on your site, and it's perfectly alright if it's one you've already submitted to Photo Friday in a previous Challenge."

I was blown away when I saw this sunrise in October.  Everytime I see the picture it takes me back to that breathtaking morning!


Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Time once again to look back on another year winding down.  I look over the resolutions I wrote last December and it makes me laugh.  I think it would be better to make a list of things I dream about doing. Compile a wish list of outrageous wild and crazy stuff. I think I will enjoy that rather than an overly optimistic old list that makes me feel guilty in time.

On the other hand, a multitude of wonderful things occurred in 2004.  I got married to my sweetie of close to seven years (of getting to know each other).  My daughter moved away and began a life as a responsible adult.  (I never thought that was going to happen!)   My Mom had successful open heart surgery and is better than ever, fit as a fiddle. I realized one of my BIG dreams to go to Ireland.  It happened and could happen again.

I reconnected with a first cousin in LA.  I found a friend whom I worked with some 20 years ago, still living where she had always lived.  I have spoken on the phone to my very first childhood friend, who lived down the street until the day we shot off to college.   2004 was definitely about realizing how important friends and family are to me.

2004 was a stellar year.  So, what outrageous things would I like to do in 2005?  I'm toying with career change.  Just rolling it around in my head, getting a feel for it.

2005 is going to be very interesting.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Very Merry Christmas

KITTY AND ZORRO Dublin, Ireland MAY 2004

Sitting here this morning reading journal entries I realized I had not posted a MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE shout out!  How unthoughtful of me!

Actually, this has been the most screwed up Christmas ever due to the weather in the Cincinnati area where Zorro is stuck. He missed his families celebration Christmas Eve.  I went with his three children.  We spent most the evening realizing the life of the party was missing!

Bridget and her boyfriend Scott came over and received their gift  (B's father and I went in together and got them a Dell computer!!!!).  Then left to have Christmas eve with his family.

Christmas Day I woke up, packed up and headed North.  It is true! Love leaps over any barriers! 

I hauled his butt home this morning and he is sleeping on the couch right now. We go to my Mom's in about an hour for the celebration for my side of the family. 

I think I try and play it off, that I am so tough and so together that I can handle him being anyway for extended periods.  I am feeling so at peace right now, with him asleep on the sofa with the remote control clutched in his fist.  It is a wonderful Christmas with him home.

Kitty, my Aunt we visited in Ireland, sent a Christmas card...she is expecting us girls (me and my two sisters) this early spring!  Can you imagine!  A trip with three of "us"! 


Thursday, December 23, 2004



All day yesterday the alarm was out, winter storm coming! I was disappointed as it seemed the storm was passing us by. When my alarm went off at 430 am, I was greeted with the sound of ice pellets hitting the back of the house. I quickly found out they were bombarding all sides, including the roof! A thick sheet of ice encapsulated everything. As the weak sun appeared and cast down muted was a winter fairy land. So naturally, I called in took a personal day.

I grabbed my camera, bundled up and hit the sidewalks. I began my journey walking down Broadway. As I reached Main Street I realized that I was on a very familiar path. One that I took most mornings on my way to grammar school because I always missed the bus. The sidewalk led me to downtown, passing in front of the churches that line the street. First, the abandoned Catholic church (now a catering facility) followed by the large houses that sit back atop a hill with expansive front yards ending with the spectacular rock walls. In my graceful youth, I balanced myself from one worn round rock top to the next precarious rock. The Episcopalian Church, the Baptist church, the Presbyterian church and then you were in the center of town.

I took pictures of everything that I fancied. The empty lot where Hobbs once stood, the site of my first attempt at being a criminal...shoplifting.  Now a hole in the ground that will be the expansion of the library.  The library was at one time confined to the top floor of the adjacent building. The smell of moldy books all bound in that rich earthy maroon tone are my childhood memories of The Logan Helm Library. My Mom took charge of the archaic excuse for a library and changed it for all time. The new Court House built on the site of the old Court House that burnt to the ground in the early 1960's. The Corner Drug Store still there, on the corner, changed  though eerily remains much the same.

Through the scary park, behind the Methodist Church behind the town center, where I was not allowed to play because of bums living down there. Where did those so called "bums" go?

I ended up at the cemetery. For one brief moment the sun shone through a small break in the granite gray sky. The above picture is the result. Much more dramatic in person than I could ever convey with Photoshop

Sunday, December 19, 2004



I started off calling this Pandora's Box. Then I realized it was not that, but a magic box full of pictures from my High School years and early college. Each picture transforms the box into a music box, the sweet melody of the memories gently nudging my day dreams.

I saw C.F. this past week. There is no other like her. There never will be a replacement for her, the space she holds in my heart. She is the closest thing I ever had to a sister after my two blood sisters. Circumstance, alcohol, bad marriage, guilt and trauma, maybe post trauma stress syndrome accompanied with death, mental illness, denial, and loosing everything has transformed my best friend into someone I do not know. I will never have C.F. back the way she was before life and alcohol beat her down and rearranged her.

The woman was wearing a camel color car coat length jacket tightly belted at the waist. Around her neck was a long knitted scarf dramatically wrapped, the ends flying like wings on either side of her. Her legs appeared skinny under the long tailored pants, balanced on spiky high heeled shoes. On her head was a jauntily angled cap. Her hands were encased in leather gloves. Extended out for balance as she confidently jay walked across Short Street. A cigarette dangled between the fingers.

I never saw her face, but I know it was her. No one crosses a street with such astyle as she. No matter the amount of alcohol and regret that ravages her, she can still stop traffic.

Friday, December 17, 2004


NANA circa 1914

Sometime last year my Aunt surprised me with a letter from a cousin named Hugh. I was rather shocked that I had cousins I knew nothing about. It was then I realized there was a lot about my Dad's side of the family of which I knew very little. In particular, the multitudes of relatives I have in England, Ireland, and God knows where else.

Hugh and I have been sporadically emailing each other ever since then. Anyone who has ever pried the lid off a Pandora box will understand how overwhelming it can be. Yet thrilling.

My Grandmother was a beautiful woman. I found her listed on a manifest in 1913 coming to the United States through Ellis Island. She was to join her husband, who I will call R.P., who was already living in NYC.

It is a tale of woe. R.P. was an alcoholic who abandoned his family leaving Nana  to raise three children alone. Gerald, who is pictured above, died at an early age. Nana cried and grieved for Gerald to her dying day. Nana's family helped, opening the family house in NYC for Nana to stay and have a home for her three surviving children. When her mother died, the family home was overtaken by the oldest (unmarried) brother and Nana was literally put on the street.

Bad Blood was born.  They were never mentioned before I saw the letter from Hugh looking for us! That is why finding all these cousins is such a shock.

I'm writing about this because I am excited. Today I have been contacted by yet another she puts it LONG LOST COUSIN 16,000 TIMES REMOVED. She is English and living in Alabama!

Ain't Life Grand?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I have just popped my second hydrocodone of the afternoon because my latest outbreak of shingles is hurting like a mother! I have it in a most uncomfortable area! (Someday I may write about my first outbreak.) Last night I felt the tingling of the beginning, "Gads, that smarts ........oh freaking nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!" The only good thing is the supply of hydrocodone, which I do not need after the first 24 hours but save for those special times when I desperately need them. Such as giving to Zorro so he will fly! Bad pun, I mean to enable him to get on a plane.

So I may be a little loopy.

I'm home alone while my sweetie is up North working. I have my Irish music on the stereo, Lunasa, at full blast. I have spent all afternoon reading the greatest book, POSTCARDS by E. Annie Proulx. I have been practically unable to put it down since I started reading it the other day. Fantastic literature. Best of all, I am on the computer to my hearts content without someone shouting at me from the living room, "What are you doing in there? Blogging AGAIN!!!!!!!" So I should be in heaven, right?

I am so over the thrill of being able to do anything I want. I miss my sweetheart and I am melancholy...especially  so being so pumped full of hydrocodone. Some of the worst parts are looking for my "lost" stuff and having no one to immediately blame. Having no one to wrestle over the remote control...(why is it that men feel they should be in charge of the remote)? No one to come home to and cook dinner for.

Thinking I lived for the weekends before....?

I had no idea.

Friday, December 10, 2004




The colors are straight from the Caribbean. Pinks, yellows, soft sea blues. Two trees, possible paper mache, dominate the dining area. Reaching to the ceiling with white branches and trunk, as if winter is year round in Lynn's. Hanging from the trees are small miniature disco ball ornaments. The walls above the windows kicking out into the room are the bottom half of mannequins covered in psychedelic color 60's style pants and kooky socks. The tables in the center of the room are a hodge podge of mismatched Formica style art deco treasures found at yard sales, flea markets and Grandma's. The legs made of curved aluminum, are art in themselves. Against the wall, under the windows & dancing legs are bright booths upholstered in red vinyl. On the window sills are handfuls of mixed up Trivial Pursuit cards from the various versions for your challenge. Also a puzzle is available, one that is hand made and requires exquisite dexterity to maneuver the tiny silver ball across and over each bridge to the "win"spot. And the best of all, an army of small dinosaurs to play with and arrange.... ready to devour your meal once it arrives at the table.

Table lamps are everywhere. The type with ceramic bottoms painted with large cabbage roses, and fringed lamp shades. Everywhere you look is a magical and visual delight.

It is a treat to dine at Lynn's Paradise Cafe. I usually try to get in on those days where there is a 45 minute wait. Sometimes I'll just accept it, order a bloody Mary and wait. I was introduced to Lynn's after running my first 10K. It seemed to be the happening place afterwards as the room was filled runners wearing the T-shirts of the first leg of the Triple Crown.

I fell in love.

It was a treat to introduce Bridget and her sweetheart S. to Lynn's today.

They loved it too. (they love when I come to Louisville because we all eat well!)


Tuesday, December 7, 2004



It is time for my entry in Photo Friday. REFLECTIONS. I have waited the appropriate three to five days  pondering how to do it! Quite frankly, all the people who participate are very accomplished with a camera.  I like to sneak mine in after the rush.

It rained all day yesterday and half of today. Finally, the sun broke out and I jubliantly went to downtown Lexington to shoot one of the tall building with the coolest gold glass! The wind was horrific! I was almost blown down. My purse caught a tremendous updraft and nearly flew away with all my stuff.

I found a very quiet and uninhabited Friendship Garden. I walked around and took numerous pictures, wondering if what I was seeing would translate to the computer. It did. The above picture is the result.

Happily, I made my way home only to become very caught up in a Clark Howard topic discussion. It seems that it is being argued before the Supreme Court the right to purchase wine and have it mailed over state lines. You can only imagine my interest, as there is this lovely winery just over the Georgia border that has the most divine Plum Wine. (throw back to my BoonesFarm drinking days.) I was hanging on his every word and suddenly I noticed the police lights coming up fast behind me! Damn it all!!!!!!!! Caught speeding.  He was very nice, since I learned my lesson the last time and did not tell him that I do it all the time .........and I ended up with a warning.

When I arrived home I had waiting for me a letter (A REAL LETTER!!) from my cousin in LA!

Now if only I would win the lottery.

Monday, December 6, 2004


Our first weekend in Newport! So much to do, so much to see, so many places to go! On the trip last weekend I noticed that a "Luminous Lighting & Holiday Walk" was to take place at the Newport Levee. I thought it would be a nice event to attend and take my step daughter B. while Zorro worked. We studied the local event tabloid which promised the following. "The annual City of Newport Santa parade......."

When the time approached, we bundled up and headed towards the Levee. Small white bags lined the street, weighed down with sand and anchored with white candles. We wandered all around, sneaking into the candy shop and buying a bag of carmels and chocolate covered jellies (yuck! I hate them from the box but oh I love them fresh!) and sharing a secret together from Zorro who refers to us as "Chunky Monkeys".

The candles were lit and we shared a good chuckle as one of the bags erupted into flames and burned brightly for several moments. We walked up and down the street.....confused. Where were the crowds that usually accompany a parade? Certainly we were in the right spot! The candles blazing were a dead give away.

We took a seat right on a wall in front of the Levee and waited. And waited. And waited. B. Stood up and squinted into the street that sloped upward before landing infront of us. "I see police cars!" she excitedly exclaimed! And in a few moments, so did I. They roared down the main drag and stopped the traffic in front of us. The parade must be coming!

Wait....What is that? A horse drawn carriage. Clip clop clip clop clip clop. It turned infront of us, the driver wearing a Santa hat and sitting in the seat behind him.....not even waving at the handful of people .......... its SANTA!

We followed him to the bottom of the steps where he twice said thank-you to the driver and then proceeded to give out a few candy canes to the children who were struck dumb by the climatic arrival.

B. and I hurriedly ran back to the street thinking there must be a parade following.........nothing. We hesitantly returned to Santa and waited for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Everybody, all together now. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! Hurray!!!! Oops...Nothing. Then about ten seconds later..The tree lit up!

B. turns to me and in all her nine year old innocence says, "This is the lamest thing I have ever seen."

Ho ho ho.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004



Photo Friday challenge is PROSPERITY. I had a bit of difficulty coming up with subject matter. Prosperity means something entirely different to me depending on the context. If you are talking about prosperity in general, I immediately think of all the farm land that is being bulldozed so that larger and larger homes can be built. Ironically, they are then sold to people who love to say they live in horse country.

Today I went to buy a Christmas tree. I realized that I had found my little bit of prosperity on a tree lot. The trees were so beautifully tall and robustly full ...... with hefty price tags. Years ago when I was a single Mom with little money, Bridget and I would wait until a day or two before Christmas Eve to go buy a tree. They were so picked over by that time it was a miracle to find a nice tree. Yet we managed to do just that every year.

I know I can purchase a tree today without having to look at the price tag. I can buy it weeks before Christmas if I want. I walked among the richly scented trees and took pictures.

I decided to wait to buy the tree. I could not find the special one! I did not feel the magic just yet.

( totally playing around in Photoshop!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


 I attended a luncheon today with one of my coworkers. We are the major sponsor of a Steeplechase held at the Horse Park in the spring. If anyone knows something about horses then you know it ain't cheap! Horse racing is not called the Sport of Kings for no good reason.

The luncheon was held at the University of Kentucky's private country club. We lunched in the library. A cavernous room with a domed ceiling crossed from North to South, East to West with carved wooden beams. A gigantic chandelier cascaded light on us. The four walls were floor to ceiling glowing polished wood bookcases filled fashionably with first editions Hemmingways and Fitzgeralds. Four windows graced the outer walls with the top quarter covered with a carved lattice of intricate wood design. A fireplace stood unlit but demanding attention, drawing your eye to the  looming eight foot portrait of the former landowner, certainly long gone, in a casual standing poise that will last for eternity.

Something about the surroundings made me feel I was somehow transported into Bizarro World. I went through the motions of being nice, attentive and a very good listener. The rich are so different from us.....from me. The conversations naturally were about horses, racing, buying horses, traveling for the horse industry, and all that jazz. Fasinating. The former gentry. Or perhaps current.

My favorite anecdote. A man wanted to buy a horse and asked this particular person for some advice regarding how much to spend. This particular person suggested they take a drive. As they were driving he instructed the  potential horse owner to roll the window down and toss out a $100 bill. "Did that hurt?" he asked.


"Good, now toss out $50,000..........did that hurt!"

"Hell yes!"

"Now you know how to gauge how much to spend".

As I said, fasinating.

Sunday, November 28, 2004



Krissy asked for Thanksgiving pictures.  I had to wait until today as it is our custom to celebrate together as a family after Thanksgiving Day.  That way, no one has to choose between families etc.    I can not believe that I left out my Mom!!!! I went throught all the photos and she was only in one, which was too blurry to use!  And one of my brothers and his wife are also missing!  Horrors!  I thought I caught everyone on digital.  

Bridget and S. were unable to be with us, so they are included from Friday night outing in Louisville we attended called Light Up Louisville.  Another brother is in NYC.  He will be home for Christmas. And my step daughter is with her mother in another state.  We miss her.   Otherwise, there we are!  My fathers sister, all my brother(s) and sisters, SIL and BIL's....nephews and two nieces and Zorro.  One nephew took a spill on the ice learning how to skate. (really, someone should turn my sister in, lol).  

This is what I am most thankful for.  Everyone I love in one room, eating way too much and laughing at my mother inviting over the parish priest then offering him dessert....""Father, would you like a slice of 'Better than sex' cake?" 


And my father having another Thanksgiving among us. That alone is what I am most thankful for.    

This is Krissy's link......I still can not figure out how to link without the entire line (sigh) .

Friday, November 26, 2004



I got up around 330am yesterday morning in anticipation of the rush to Louisville to make the race at 815am. Actually I misread my clock (old over the hill eyeballs).

I was up, I had a pot of coffee in me,  got Zorro going and off we went. It was very chilly so I had four layers on top and two on the bottom. I had my trusty small point and shoot digital that fits snugly in my pocket, hence the great picture of  Zorro and my brother N. and   my other sister "Kitsiboo".  The run was uneventful, meaning I was at the back of the pack...Curses to all you runners who practice before a 10K...WHAT'S UP WITH THAT!  It was cold with a few snow flakes.  Yet  I stripped my upper two layers pretty quickly. Zorro ran with me the entire way, even though I was slow and at times walking definitely  could have been faster than my laborious running, we finished in about 1hr 10 minutes.

This will become our Thanksgiving Day Tradition. It was great to run, if not literally, with my siblings. Zorro and I came home, laid around the living room watching American Choppers (love those nutty men) and Dinner for Five all afternoon.

Hot Brown for dinner and by the time Survivor rolled around, I could not keep my eyes open!  I awoke just in time to see the guy dodge the bullet.   

Thursday, November 25, 2004


It's not Atlanta, it's not Chicago, it's..............Cincinnati! The past fortnight, since returning from Knoxville, has been a whirlwind of hurling objects, heated conversations, clashing cultures, tears, resolution and preparation. It has been decided that we find a cheap apartment around the Cincinnati area for Zorro and take six months for the dust to settle. As luck would have it, the very first apartment he looked at was on the Levy on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, within a rocks throw of the Aquarium! As you can see from the photograph, we can watch the Bengals on the left and the Reds on the right......with a very good pair of binoculars.

I think that if you just have faith in things working out for the best they usually do. You have a choice to be upset or to ride the wave with a smile. You land at the same spot.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2004



I know there is a difference between the two, but I can not for the life of me explain it.  There is a stretch of road that runs between Lexington and Paris.  Several years ago the community was talked into changing the road from a treacherous and deadly two lane into a four lane country highway.  Some of the most beautiful horse farms in Kentucky are on that road. A lot of care was taken in saving the integrity of  the area when progress rolled through.  Lots of small details, like putting back up the rock fences.  Though they are no longer rock fences...but stone walls.

A Rock Fence is a thing of beauty, pieced together by an artist. A simple but intricate pattern of beauty.

(Jeez I can't spell!  I've had to edit this five times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Saturday, November 20, 2004


The theme for this weeks scavenger hunt is ABANDONED.  The stairs of this now deserted stadium lead up to the press box of yesteryear, when the field was the home for the  very successful 1960's High School teams.  As you can see, it needs some tender loving care. 

I have taken a lot of photos of so many other cities and ignored the little sleepy town I live in.  I am going to change all that starting today!  To paraphrase Dorothy from the movie THE WIZARD OF OZ..."I went searching for happiness and all the time it was in my own back yard!"


The engine is not actually abandoned, just immobile..static.  Several years ago we had an ice storm and I risked life and limb to shoot a few pictures of the ice covered beast.  I wish I had those photo's.  I wish I had remembered to put film in the camera!

Thursday, November 18, 2004


I found myself turning onto the twisting, curvy, narrow country road that leads to Reed Valley Orchard. Nestled two miles off the main highway then down a lane of gravel and pot holes for another half mile or so you come upon this captivating oasis of pumpkins and apples.

I shouldn't be here, having  a peck of apples sitting at home already waiting to be turned into apple pies and caramel apples...........Wait!! What am I saying !!! I am on a diet! And while I tell you that, toss in that jar of pumpkin butter in the bag. Resist temptation? HA! Throw in another peck of those delicious apples I got the last time....What are they called? Oh who cares! They are delicious! What's this? Pepper jelly! On Cream Cheese with those special crackers. Yummy! Peach salsa? You better believe it! Apple cider...YES YES YES.

As I was leaving, she rushed out the door to make sure I took one of the radiant pumpkins with me.....Pumpkin Pie..mmmmmmmmmmm.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

KNOXVILLE: Where the Devil is among Friends. Part II

I began the morning by finding my way downtown. I traveled along the River and landed on the outskirts where the University of Tennessee begins. A little further on I cruised through downtown and found my way to a parking lot where I felt safe enough to leave the vehicle unattended and unpaid for. The Art Museum was directly across the street, but alas, did not open until noon. It was a little past nine.

I began walking. I immediately walked into The Worlds Fair Park and stood under the Sunsphere that shines its golden reflection sun splash on the city. The city itself was totally void of any one walking! I found my way to the River and a marina walk way. I only encountered one lady pushing a baby carriage and a long gray bearded man peddling a bicycle on the pathway. The woman was dressed in a fur lined suede coat. That made me smile, as it was in the high 40's at least! Southerners!

There was a huge slab of rock resting behind the statue of the Knoxville founding fathers.  Chiseled on that smooth surface was a first hand account of a traveler who stumbled into Knoxville on Court Day in the late 1700's.  He was shocked at the depravity displayed by the frontier inhabitants of the River town.  They were drinking whiskey and peach brandy, they were dancing on Sunday!  He wrote that the devil grew weary of traveling and upon finding Knoxville decided to settle down among friends.

I came up out of the River walk, climbed a steep hill and found the fort that James White first built on a bluff overlooking the valley below, now a crisscross of intestates, and to the East, the River. The fort itself was so old and weathered, a beautiful antique on display at the outskirts of the city.  The wood harvested from surrounding forests in 1786. The top portion of the trees sharpened to alarming points to discourage the Indians. I reached out and touched the old gray wood wondering how many other hands, long gone, had touched this fortress.

I enjoyed the venture into downtown, past the courthouse and into some sort of Mall area. It was being decorated for Christmas. A small sampling of the local inhabitants were milling and venturing outdoors now that the sun was higher in the sky and the day was warming to a sultry 50+.

I found myself taking photograph after photograph and thoroughly enjoying the day away from work, away from cares, away from Lexington.

Saturday, November 13, 2004



We headed towards Gatlinburg Wednesday afternoon. It is about 45 minutes from Knoxville. It was a joy to travel on a  bright sunny day heading  towards the Smoky Mountains. We had been in Gatlinburg in 2001 and had a wonderful time. One of the places we visited was a bar that was tucked  behind the main drag of stores. We were intrigued by the bartender, a randy looking dude, a dead ringer for George Carlin. His charm was  based in his crustiness and surly manner. There was the air about him.  He treated us with playful disdain. We drank a beer, Zorro discovering the value of a bach beer...ShinerBach to be exact.

We left the bar and wandered around Gatlinburg. Have I mentioned that it is the biggest tourist trap in the South? Unbelievable, but fun. I love the salt water taffy and the Mountain Winery. Zorro loves the outlet shopping and the Smoky Mountain Brewery!

Not finding another bar (since anyone who reads this journal knows that Zorro and I always do the pub tour!) we headed back into the small hidden bar. Walking through the door into the dark comfort of the pub the bartender greeted us with a "Oh no!!  Not you two again!" We loved it! We knew we were accepted!

So this trip to Gatlinburg we searched for the hidden away pub, not remembering the name but looking forward to being insulted by George Carlin. I saw  a beer sign glowing sending the alluring temptation to come inside. Thinking we had found it, I poked my head in.

"Come on in!" A gentleman coaxed me.

"I'm looking for a bar."

"This is a bar."

I looked around the restaurant, which was empty save for the couple in a booth against the wall, and a young long haired kid reading a magazine behind them, the small grouping of tables in the middle of the room, every inch of the walls covered by artwork and I replied.

"This place had a bartender."

"I have a bartender." He said waving his hand towards the gentleman reading the magazine who then looked up, becoming interested in the conversation.

"This place was called Smilies or something like that."

"My bartender can smile." At this point the "bartender" stood up and began to smile. I was one upped on that retort and the bartender was very cute. Zorro began to push me inside the dark and comfortable hole in the wall.

The couple in the booth began to add to theconversation. "You are talking about Cactus Petes, he closed several years ago." Oh heck!

Duffy was entertaining enough and talked nonstop the entire time we were in there. When I go to a bar, I want a bar to lean up against, I want liquor bottles to reflected my mood, I want to feel like I have entered the hallowed halls of booze. Duffy's was not this. It is something else entirely. After I finished pouting about the demise of Cactus Petes, I enjoyed myself.

But, I would rather be insulted. Such is life, nothing ever waits for you, does it?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Veterans Day Tribute

Picture from Hometown


From Last Year ( Can't believe I have been pounding this out for over a year!!!)

My Dad served in WWII.  He  celebrated his 85th birthday earlier this month.  The veterans of this war are dying, some 400 per day.  I heard this statistic when Tom Hanks  presented his tribute to the veterans of WWII with the "Band of Brothers"  mini series broadcast on HBO.

My Dad  weighed four pounds when  he was born. The odds for his survival in 1919 were slim. The odds were against him when he enlisted.  He had to trick the doctor during his physical to pass and be inducted into the Army.

I wish I had paid closer attention to my Dad's war stories. The stories are now trapped in his brain, held captive by dementia associated with the aging process. So my memories of the incidents may be sketchy.

While in basic training, the Air Force claimed my father to spearhead a special secret project. He had scored extremely high on the admitting IQ test, and subsequently was needed to put together and coordinate the truck operation for the Normandy Invasion.

Upon completion of the project he stayed with the 101st Airborne Division.  He flew into battle with them. When it was time to line up to parachute out, he took his place in line.  He heard his name called, and ordered to fall out.  Because he was Army, and not Air Force, the Army  had ordered for him to stay behind.

Not one of the men who made the jump that day returned.

This is one of the many stories my father had to tell of his experiences in the War.  The horror, artocities, bravery and heroism were just as prevalent to the men who served in WWII as those wars and/or "police actions"   that followed.

 This generation of men defined bravery.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2004


Thought I would give an update on all that is going on around here. The new Alzheimer's medication my Dad is taking is working a small miracle. Saturday night the whole family was celebrating his 85th birthday, standing around the table, with the birthday cake in front of him singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of our out of tune lungs. He looked around at us and on the last line sang "Happy Birthday to ME!" I almost began crying. Despite the hearing problem, he now will communicate with you in a strong voice rather than the vague facial expressions of late. It is remarkable the strides they are making in treating dementia.

Zorro and I are going to Knoxville this afternoon for two days to enable him to take the required tests for placement in several positions that may be open to him. I think Atlanta is out, but several other options have presented themselves. Chicago being one of them. I am taking a wait and see position, as I have no idea where we will end up! It is like being on an out of control bus careening down a mountainside! Zorro seems to forget that I have to adjust my career and life too, but (sigh)..........

Finally!!!!!!!! At the birthday party my two sisters, Omega and Mid-Sis made semi-commitments to go to IRELAND in March! We have causally been taking about this for several months. I'm there. I am thrilled!

Zorro and I began running again, hoping to be able to run in the Turkey Trot in Louisville on Thanksgiving Day. 10K. I am laughing hysterically. I know I can do it, but it won't be pretty.

Sunday, November 7, 2004



I have been looking high and low for a radiant bride, a radiant smile, a radiant rainbow, a radiant sun set.  Suddenly today, the sun was beginning its slow descent in the western sky and there it was.... radiant pumpkins!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Slither is Dead....Long live the Slither!!!


It is with sorrow that I write these words, tonight the very last Slither is being held and I am not taking part in the historic event. For over 20 years the Slither has been as much a part of Halloween as carved pumpkins. It began with a handful of ingenious and serious revelers intent on having a night to remember. We take to the streets of an area of Louisville called Germantown which boasts of having a bar on every corner and then some! As the years progressed the numbers who joined the ranks swelled. We Slither twice a year, on the eve of the Kentucky Derby and the Halloween weekend.

The streets of Germantown are generally quiet, being a blue collar area. On Halloween when the masses take to the streets, it becomes a noisy phenomenon of fifty to seventy unruly dressed up frolicking idiots. The theme changes from year to year.

All good things must come to an end...Or at least that is what they tell us. The organizers of the annual event, one of which is my BIL, have concluded it is time to pass the torch to a younger generation. As of today, there were no takers. Such a sad ending to a spectacular and highly anticipated event.

I think there is time......When the Derby draws near and reality knocks, someone will step up and take charge. Something as precious as the origin of the Mother of all hangovers has got to live on!

(The picture is from a few years ago when the theme was your favorite character from a 60's or 70's tv program.  From left to right, I am Ginger from Gilligans Island, Omega is Hot Lips from MASH, My BIL (not Omega's husband but Mid-Sis) is Jethro (he almost took out  several people with that frying pan, including himself) and Zorro is ...... we could never quite figure out who he was!!!!)

Friday, October 29, 2004


Photo Friday Challenge so I submit one from the archives.  I was at the Fayette Seed early in spring, April Fool's Day.  I loved the way the boxes were stacked against the rock.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Dad was released from the hospital today. I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers and well wishes. They worked. All the tests are inconclusive. He was prescribed an additional Alzheimer's medication, new on the market in January. Hopefully it will slow down the rampant decline of the past week. He is home and I will sleep peacefully this night as our Angel Genie is spending the night with Mom to help out.


Zorro (this is the name I have decided on for my husband. If Debbie C., my long time pal, is reading this, I could not resist!) had had enough of the squirrels getting into the attic part of the house through the aging air ducts on the roof. He decides they need to be replaced. Seemed easy enough, a trip to Home Depot and a ladder. Mission accomplished! The squirrels were even impressed with his Handyman work.

It rained this weekend. I was in the back of the kitchen when I noticed the ceiling looking ....well, like it was sagging a little. What the heck? Zorro was looking at it with me and he tentatively poked at it with his finger and a chunk of it fell on us, followed by a stream of water.

Being the good wife I am (I have learned quickly a thing or two....I liked being a smart ass girl friend, but I love being a wife more) so I kept my mouth shut. Upon examination of the roof, directly above the disaster, was the new air duct! Biting my tongue, I sigh.

Then I get a great idea, "Why don't we call the Monkey Brothers!!!!"

I'll be darned if they did not show up this morning while I was at work! Dang! MB # 1 did all the work while MB # 2 played with the dog in the neighbors back yard . MB # 1 borrowed our ladder back from our next door neighbor (drumming up another job no doubt)! MB # 2 sounded like Boomhauser from KING OF THE HILL. Zorro did not understand one thing he said except the tail end of the estimate..." MMMM....garble garble garble, BBADDDDD, garble garble garble......MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm, aaahhhhhhhh.... $200"

Two hours later, MD #1 had the roof fixed. They will be back to give us an estimate for the ceiling inside. I'm going to kill Zorro if he does not call me!

Monday, October 25, 2004



And it has a name, dementia. It is like holding on to my father by the fingertips as he dangles over a cliff. The grip is slipping little by little until he lets go.

He is back in the hospital. Almost two days at home, from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. My sister and SIL were visiting from Louisville doing yard work etc. When 4pm rolled around, they could not wake him up. The angels always are protecting my family. The traveling nurse was making her visit. She called our family doctor who instructed us to call 911.

His heart rate was so low. This morning it was 47.

And he is hallucinating...or has entirely lost his grip. Last week it was okay, he recognized my Aunt, his sister. "Tell me something about myself", she demanded of him. "You're loony!" he threw back (much to the amusement of my mother).  

 Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Photo Friday

Tip of the hat to the Red Sox.

While touring Fenway Park in the summer of 2002 I thought this sign said it all.

Photo Fridays challenge is STATEMENT.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004



Isn't it disconcerting that life can seem to be almost perfect, everything falling into place, the very rhythm's of daily life become predictable, reassuring and safe. Suddenly, out of nowhere the monstrous bird of change swoops down and hands you a special delivery announcement!

This has happened to Joe and me. Several things compounded last week to make it a week that we won't ever forget. Joes job is being eliminated. The end of November is the last day the office will be open, then it will be run from a Central location.

We do have some options. Actually, I do not think we have discovered all the options as of yet. The most sparkly and enticing is to follow his job and move to Atlanta. I have yet to sit down and make a list of the pro's and con's for this. I am excited at the prospect of new adventures, a new set of surroundings, new opportunities, escape from doldrums of existence in central Kentucky. On the other hand, my family is here. Bridget would die without me! My Mom and Dad! Joes children! Then again.....Atlanta!

Of course there are other options. I'm scared. Then I'm exhilarated! Then I'm scared again. I have always been the type of person who can accept things and make the best of them. The biggest problem here will be those we have to leave behind.

The other options are not so invigorating!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Theme Thursday


Thanks to Shelly over at Cyber Chocolate,  I found this incredible Web Site ( (I missed the class on how to hyper-link). 

I took a short excursion to the Pisgah Church yesterday and tried to capture the beautiful gate that seems permanently open.  I like this picture, even thought I had trouble with the gives it a surreal feel to the horse fields in the background.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I got up very early this morning due to a 6am meeting (yes, I was in shock for a long time regarding the barbaric hour that go along with this job). The meeting was postponed  to next week, so I took the opportunity for an early morning visit to Keeneland Race track to watch the horses in their morning work outs.

A stunning sunrise. I am tempted to gush on about it, but I will just let the picture tell the story. As I watched transfixed, I thought there is not an artist living or dead who could come close to this masterpiece.

Of course not. This one has God's signature on it.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Perryville Battlefield


Of the many reasons that the South is a wonderful place to live, the Civil War Reenactments has got to have a place close to the top. Now I know that the rest of the world think that those of us who live south of the Mason Dixon marry our cousins then settle down to raise our little Frank and Jesse's. Then we build our fortunes growing marijuana, brewing moonshine and raising thoroughbred horses. Sometimes we go crazy and become land developers and chop up great grand pappy's farm and sell it out as five acre tracks. When we want to relax, we hop into our trucks and go to the horse track for some gambling. We smoke a lot of cigarettes. We eat a lot of fried foods.  We go to church. We vote Republican.

Well, some of that is true.............But the stereotype I like the best is the one where we don't concede that we lost the Civil War. Every county that had a battle fought during the war reenact that battle every year. The Rebels usually win. It is a huge thriving business, this Civil War stuff.

And great fun. Where else can you sit on the side lines and watch men fight each other with swords on horseback? Or see a canon shoot out a huge smoke O ring? Or see and hear living history? Reach out and touch personal things that belonged to someone long ago forgotten? Or are they?

The Battle of Perryville, which was reenacted today, was fought in 1862. History recorded that over 60,000 Union and Confederate soldiers met in the Perryville area both seeking water at the Chaplin River. The bloodiest battle fought in the South ensued upon their meeting. Over 7500 casualties resulted. The ground was saturated with blood. The most mind boggling fact about all this is that 300 homes around this area were used as hospitals to treat the injured and dying.

Today the weather was spectacular. I wonder if the day was as beautiful in 1862?


Friday, October 8, 2004

Scary Octoberfest

(The picture has nothing to do with anything...I just like it!) (Sorry...something amiss with my scanner quality on this!!)


I have always been the designated driver. I am always the appointed chauffeur. It is assumed and taken for granted that I do the driving in this family. In Ireland when he had to assume the role, it was a major problem. Hence, the extra gray hairs, the new swear words and the kissing of the ground at the Return Car Rental Area. This entry is about Louisville Friday night.

The Octoberfest at one time was a great event in Louisville. When I lived there in the 1980's it was held in a section of Louisville known as Butchertown. An empty lot was fenced in and the vendors set up booths, a stage was built for the center piece and a tent was erected for Chicken dancing and other polka dances. Back in the '80's I could go and actually run into people I knew. But that was a long time ago before the world changed.

Now it is being held on Fourth Street downtown. It seemed like a fun place to check out, so Joe and I went down there. I expected to stay a couple of hours eating, watching Joe throw back a few beers, Chicken dancing all that great Octoberfest activities. The festival was spread out over the block between Broadway and Chestnut with the stage at the far end. The closeness that the fenced area demanded and the resulting camaraderie was missing at Fourth Street. The enchanting quality was gone. I threw back my one beer and settled in for people watching. Joe wanted to leave.

So we left.

I am the designated driver for several reasons. The most important is that Joe drinks much faster than I do. The result of that is that he has to go to the bathroom about five times as many times as I do. I think he was tiny tanks. I know every bathroom pit stop from Boston to Miami. And from Galway to Dublin in Ireland! It begins with Joe saying "You better start looking for a stop." Friday night I quipped back, "Is it an orange alert?" He replied, "It feels more like a yellow."

A minute later "IT'S RED, IT'S RED !!!!"  Hearing the frantic tone I knew it was serious.  I quickly made a right turn and pulled into a side road that runs alongside the Waterworks. I darted into the main drive way. To both sides of us was a large concrete retaining wall with huge columns at the entrance, Joe ducked behind one of them.

He must have really had to go, because he was back there for a long time.....and then the police officer pulled up next to me. I panicked.....Flashback to the 1970's......My heart was pounding and I was ineffectively trying to roll down my window, which is electronic! I could only think about the beer I had drank 15 minutes ago. My professional life was passing before my eyes. I finally wrenched open the car door and almost fell out, "Are you okay?" he asked.

All I could think of was, "Peeing in public is a crime," so I said the first thing that popped into my mind, "I pulled over to use my cell phone!", he nodded and drove through the iron gate that opened for him. Joe hops into the car, "That was a close one," he says.

It took five minutes for my heart to stop pounding. The '70's made me a crazy woman.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004



The first weekend of October finally arrives! I look forward to it like a child looking forward to Christmas morning. It is the weekend of the St. James Court Art Show held in a section of the city known as old Louisville. 700 artists come from all over the United States to show off their art. It is a visual kaleidoscope of mind blowing proportions. I spent way too much money and had an absolute blast doing it.

My favorite was an artist from Micanopy, Florida, Sandra L. Russell, who had the most unusual photo's on display. She uses an old style Polaroid that takes several minutes to develop the picture. While it is setting up, she uses a hooked needle to manipulate the colors! The effect is very Van Gogh-esque. Then I fell in love with the art work of a women who works with textures combining photos, fabric, knickknacks, whatnots into collages and shadow boxes. Very interesting.

I spoke at some length with Ms. Russell about her photography, computer programs etc. I have the Photoshop program which I installed some three months ago. I have not taken the time to experiment with it. To tell the truth, it seems very difficult to learn. She encouraged me to launch into it and discover the delight of photo manipulation! The above collage is my first try. As you can see, we spent the day eating and drinking......a lot.

The weekend passed so quickly!


Monday, October 4, 2004



I had the greatest weekend! So many things happened that I am going to get at least three entries out of it! I TOLD Joe that I was going to blog about our Friday night escapade and he did not I took that as a consent!

I spent a lot of time with my lovely daughter Bridget. We went to Impellizzeri's Pizza on Bardstown Rd in Louisville. We were a long time waiting on our dinner and a pizza to go ( the price you pay for going to a 15 table five star pizza joint).  I found out my daughter has a pen fetish!

Take a look at all the pens she pulled out of her purse! I kid you not! Half of the space in her purse was taken up with her obsession! The family at the table next to ours could not get over it either!

Aren't her teeth beautiful! ($5,000 dollars spent well! )

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Cemetery Tale

Bridget and I lived in Louisville during her earliest years. Money was very tight. As in nonexistent. It was necessary to be creative when it came to taking Bridget on outings around the Derby City. We lived in an area called The Highlands. Among many things, the Highlands is noted for its abundance of and varied parks. Bridget loved nothing better than to be strapped into her baby stroller and off we would go!

On the edge of The Highlands is the most magnificent cemetery imaginable, Cave Hill. In the center is the famous duck pond complete with a Fleur-de-lis fountain. These ducks are among the best fed ducks in the world. It is not unusual to see 25 people standing along the banks trying to lure the indifferent ducks and swans to swim to the edge! Trying to enticed them with the best crackers and freshest bread on the bank!

One winter day when Bridget was around two, I bundled her up in her thick snow pants, heavy duty sweat shirt, mittens, boots and winter coat and knitted fuzzy ball hat and headed to the duck pond. I parked on the other side of the pond than usual. I took Bridget out of the back seat, handed her a mitten full of crackers and then turned to close the car door.

Bridget began to walk down the soft incline towards the ducks when her little snow pant clad legs began to pick up speed. I turned just in time to realize she was out of control! I took off after her! Horror of horrors! As in slow motion I still see it in my mind! Me running down the hill, Bridget with her little hand out outstretched to the ducks with the crackers held tight.  Right over the lip of the pond and straight into the duck lake! I panicked thinking she would go in over her head!

Only a big SPLASH! I will never forget Bridget's little surprised face as she landed in murky green duck water up to her waist! Yuck! I yanked her out and we waddled back up the hill to the car. I was laughing hysterically, one of those giddy moments Mothers sometimes have.

She claims she still remembers that day. Maybe she does! All I know is that it did not dampen our affection for the ducks, the pond and the most beautiful cemetery in Kentucky.   I love cemeteries.  The peace and the beauty.  I could not wait for the leaves to change to a more dramatic display in the Lexington Cemetery....the sun was so beautifulyesterday.  She does look lost, doesn't she?


Saturday, September 25, 2004

What's old is new again

I woke up late. That was the first indication that this was going to be a great day! Usually my internal alarm clock has me stirring around....well, way too early. I had many plans for today. I decided to blow them all off!

I began by going to an art exhibit at the Lexington Cemetery. Absolutely delightful. When the leaves begin their dramatic picturesque change, I will return to the cemetery and dazzle you all with the beauty of the arboretum.

I then meandered downtown and strolled around the streets with my camera. The downtown area was the heart of this city and in some respects, it still is. Today I pretended I was a stranger to Lexington. I tried to look at the familiar with a foreign eye. It was fun. I felt like a tourist! And I imagine I looked like one snapping pictures of anything and everything.

The trees that lined Main Street have been removed. I have no idea why this happened. The beauty of the area has been marred. It is as if a beautiful woman has been stripped of her petticoats! I know that seems an archaic expression, but description of this atrocity is beyond words.

The only good thing that has occurred from this abomination is that the architecture of the old building has been revealed! When something so outrageous as this occurs, I have to look for the good.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

That's what I'm talking about!



Yesterday I lost $11. Don't know how....could be in a variety of places. Either left in the money return slot at Walmart, or maybe just dropped on the way to the customer service counter. Heck, I could have even left it at my Mom's. Anyway, it's gone. I hate to loose money. I'd rather give it away than have it blow away.

Which leds me to this...Joe and loosing money. Should I write about it? Should I use some of the crazy stories of the situations that he finds himself in? I would love to and I always have great fun when I write about them to my girlfriend, Deb. He does not like it! And if the shoe were on the other foot, maybe I would feel the same way.

If I were to share some of these zany stories, I'm sure everybody would love it! I do not want to exploit him. (dang it!!!) I do not want to follow him around with a camera and a notebook. I already do with a camera (document for future use). I just don't think he could handle it, the notoriety or celebrity. You all have no idea the amount of material that he hands over to me freely every day...Just being Joe.

Darn my integrity!


Monday, September 20, 2004

Beautiful and Deadly


While traveling around the beautiful country side last week I noticed the breathtaking golden yellow of the burley tobacco fields. This crop is gorgeous when it is ready for harvest.  Postage stamp acres of vivid colors along side the roads.

I come from a rural community where school could not start until after the season. If you tried to get the kids into class any earlier, you were wasting your time. They were needed at home to cut and house the tobacco, which is accomplished typically end of August till mid-September. When I was young, the kids from the farms all participated in the growing and selling of tobacco...(pronounced tobacca)...and the profits! I was astonished to hear that so and so had made a thousand dollars! He was all of 14! It is hard, back breaking, dirty work any age.

Tobacco is not profitable anymore. The government pays the farmers not to grow it! Those postage stamp fields that dot the countryside are smaller and smaller and more spread out. Efforts have been made to introduce replacement crops such as fruits and more vegetables. Wineries have become very vogue in central Kentucky. Can you think of anything better than your own personal winery?

When I see these tobacco fields my thought wander back to those days and those times that included the farm boys of my youth. The old Ford trucks they drove with the rusted out beds and dented sides. Pitch fork and brooms proudly displayed behind the cab in those little holes. White t-shirts and brown skin. The smell of sweat, bourbon and cigarette smoke.

To this day, when I smell bourbon  I find it terribly erotic.


Friday, September 17, 2004

Autumn and Apples in Kentucky



I came home for the emergency!  I had to get on the computer and set up his Pay Pal account for transfer of funds!

Wake Up Call

When I married I assumed that I would be receiving some fairly significant perks. Perks? What perks? I am experiencing cultural shock. The culture of being a WOMAN in a marriage. Not only am I poorer and broke  several days before payday, but I have transformed into a maid!

Take today, the first thing I did was to go to the Post Office and mail a box for him. He has made his first sale on E-Bay. Thanks to me setting up the account for him, inserting the picture after I scanned the document for him, set up pay pal for I am mailing the sold item for him! Hell,   I am such a silly because I will not receive one red cent of the profit! As a matter of fact, it cost me money to sell his stuff! Agggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I should have seen this coming. But, I was blinded by love and my desire to be married. After all, this is my first time and I had no idea what I was missing. I was like a kid with my face pressed up against the glass candy counter. I only saw the good stuff. I knew bad stuff existed, I knew that sacrifice existed, but I ignored it in pursuit of my happiness.

I am now the Cook, the Maid, the Financial Officer, the Travel Agent, the Entertainment Committee, the Chauffeur, the Gardner, (than God I am not the Grounds Keeper), in charge of all Shopping, and the Miscellaneous Gopher.

How did this happen!!!!!

I love Joe and I love being married. I just wish I had gotten a Wife too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Anatomy of a 5K

I have been plagued as of late with a list of excuses as to why I have trouble finding time to run. "I'm too tired", "It's too hot!", "My foot hurts", and so on and so on. When I found the weather to be better suited for running and I had begun the vitamin regiment, I began to run again. I, who had never suffered anything more severe than falling down and scrapping my knee, suddenly was overtaken by a series of injuries! First,   hurting my hip showing off for Joe, pretending that I still was the School Yard  Jump Rope champion! The the horrible blisters on the back of my heels from wearing low riding socks, and last the slightly sprained ankle! That knocked me out for about 10 days.

Saturday morning was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I had entered Joe any myself quite some time ago. Joe was unable to run! I could not allow the entry fee to go unused, so I think to myself, "What the heck, I've competed in a triathlon without training for it, how hard can a 5K be?"

This is how it went.

No gun sounded at the beginning of the race. Just a gentle push forward of the 1,000+ participants towards the starting line. Followed by a sudden surge and we're off! It is almost, but not quite a stampede. Walkers blend in with the runners and it is necessary to pick your way around them on the crowded street. That is the beginning. Then you have to be wary of the Yuppie Runners who are there and they can not find a baby sitter for their children. And so they have them in the strollers especially made for racing! LOOK OUT! They are usually serious runners and therefore ruthless! Do not ever allow yourself to become tripped up by one of those contraptions! It is very painful to be run over by a 50 pound five year old, who gives you the thumbs up while his parent gives the stroller a Herculean push over your knocked down body!

This race was very unusual in the fact that the miles were not marked. Therefore, no one was stationed with a stop watch barking out time splits. Actually, this was okay with me. The only thing more humiliating than being overtaken by the Gray Panther Team In Training group is having someone yell out in an incredulous voice at mile marker two, "TWENTY TWO FORTY SIX????????!!!!!!!!!!!!" At least that is what it sounds like through the blood pounding through your head. That is right before the sinus cavities collapse and then it sounds like your running underwater.

Having no idea where I was in termsof distance, I ran feeling strong. The psychological compromise that generally begins to take place around mile two did not occur. The compromise goes like this, "You have run two miles, now you should be able to walk for just a few moments! Just a few moments. Just a few moments." It's tough to overcome.   You do not want to give in because if you do it feels like quitting.

When Main Street began the curve towards Vine Street I knew the finish line was several blocks ahead. I could not believe it! I still felt strong and moving pretty steadily in a forward motion! Then I saw it finally, MILER MARKER THREE!!! Hurray! One tenth of a mile left!

I mentally prepared myself for the surge. I am really good with the surge towards the finish line. Once I see it, I can sprint towards it! Well, sprint is a subjective term. I run faster. And then it happened, the ankle began to pull.

So that was me, hopping, skipping and jumping the last little bit. I was saying, "Ouch, Dang it, Ouch" as I hobbled down Vine just in case anyone was watching me, I did not want them to think that is the way I usually run! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Despite it all, I finished in 32 minutes and seven seconds. I am totally blown away. I told Joe I thought it was a mistake, he said, "You always say that". "Yes, but that's when they say its 36 minutes, this is 32 minutes!"

And so, I hope to run in the Race for the Cure in Louisville next month. We get to run over the Second St Bridge that spans the Ohio River. It is really exhilarating!

I'm shooting for under 30 minutes.......Now if I just train.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Photo Nazi

Let it become public knowledge that I can become cantankerous and confrontational. It has been known to happen. I did survive raising a teenage girl, so I have earned the right!

This happened at Walmart this past weekend. I was minding my own business at the photo center, using their scanner to copy my Mother's High School graduation picture. I thought it would be a nice Christmas present for all my brothers and sisters.

I had never used the contraption before. I had no idea it took so long to print a photo, especially if it is a large one. So I innocently asked the lady behind the counter  when and where to expect the pictures. At that time, she was tight lipped but nice, as if she had to be (we all know the type) (I may have done it a time or two myself) and indicated the tray at the bottom of the stand. I looked and sure enough, there it was! I pulled it out to admire the copy and I was smiling and feeling victorious when she suddenly said, "Let me see that!" She grabbed it out of my hand!

For about two minutes, in a packed Saturday afternoon crowd, she and I had a tango! "This is a professional picture and has a copyright. You are not allowed to make any copies of this!"

"Well, it is my Mother and she is going to be 77 years old, I doubt she remembers who the photographer was at that time".

"I'm sorry" (she was not the least bit sorry, I saw the glint in her eye) "But it is not allowed."

I began to reach for the picture and I swear to God she backed up with it above her head! "What if I tell you I took that picture!" I pleaded.

"I'd say you were a liar!" she retorted. I could not believe this was happening!

"For the love of God, the picture is 60 years old, the photographer must be deceased by now."

I had visions of her ripping my mothers pictures to shreds right before my eyes. This is insane, and absurb! She just glared at me. I turned on my heel and stomped off, I did not trust myself as I was beginning to see RED. "Have a nice day" she called out to my retreating back.

I could have turned around and slapped the tar out of her, but instead I went to Walgreens and explained the situation to their Photo Angels and received a dispensation.

I am really ticked off at Walmart.

Friday, September 3, 2004



This is my favorite picture of all the thousands I have. When I first read the Blogfathers assignment  three photo's came to mind.  Yet, it was no contest.

My Uncle Johnny took this photo. I had a small 110 camera and my photos of Bridget were, for lack of a better word, pathetic! He took pity on me and this photo is the result. Bridget was the apple of Johnny's eye. We lived with my Aunt and Uncle for the first six months of Bridget's life, then moved to Louisville from Houston.

This picture was taken at the waterfront in Houston. We were visiting the battleship they have docked there, can not remember the name. I have displayed this picture of her for over 2o years, where ever I go, where ever I live, it is displayed prominently.

Uncle Johnny died when Bridget was just two years old. They had just moved to Florida and he was in the garage sharpening knives, building a bookcase, doing whatever it is engineers do upon retirement in their Aunt sensed something was wrong and ran to check. He died in her arms of a heart attack.

I cherish this picture for many reasons.

Thursday, September 2, 2004


Yesterday Joe says to me, "I ordered a present for you!" Since he can not keep a secret I knew it would be only moments before he would tell me......"It's a helmet!"

I smiled while his words sunk into my brain and this thought rose from the depths of my consciousness, "Oh my God, he is planning to make me take motorcycle riding lessons....aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He has been hinting about this since he purchased the bigger bike and kept the smaller one. Just this past weekend he told me how he had spotted a couple on he and she bikes and how it touched his heart.

He has not come out and said it in certain terms yet, but I feel it is going to happen. My thoughts reel back into history, when I was 12 or 13 years old. The gang of us were up at the back of the factory that was located very near our neighborhood. Due to an expansion to the plant, they were laying a new parking lot. We were all kids once. It is a well known fact that we can not keep kids away from an unattended construction site! There we all were riding our bikes around the mountains of large gravel.

"WATCH ME!" I'm sure I yelled out as I flew up the side of one mountain to jump over the top Evil Kieneivl style.......and lost control! Wiped out! I fell and the bike came down on my FACE! (Naturally). I had received this bike as a Christmas present when I was six years old. It was rather large for a first grader, but I would grow into it. It was the only bike I had until college. The hand grips were all but worn off. The exposed metal of the handle bar slammed into my face, sliced the skin under my bottom lip and went right through it as if it were butter and chipped my bottom teeth!

As I picture myself on a motorcycle, I only see myself with my hands strapped across the engines. To actually be shifting gears and oh my God, changing lanes..... I know I will have to put all my fears aside and do it for LOVE.

P.S. Mom ame home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  She will have one of those colon tests on Wednesday, Sept 8th...Her Birthday!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful

Mom is in the hospital again. Sunday she called me and asked me to come over because she was feeling faint and was worried about Dad. Not herself, natch. My father has a type of dementia and he will be 85 in November, he is a trifle unsteady on his legs!

I felt it necessary to call her family physician, she was in such pain that I could not bear to stand by and just wring my hands. The Doc told me to call an ambulance and he would meet her at the emergency room. Mom lives on a very well established dead end street. I heard the ambulance heading in our direction...I knew she was going to be very angry with me, but hey, I can handle that. All the neighbors came into their front yards and watched in concerned silence. As soon as they saw it was my Mom and not Dad, they began to head towards our house. I had to announce what was going on from the front porch while my Dad stood behind me watching in his mute helplessness.

They are running tests and I believe they will let her go home today and schedule further tests as an out patient. I hope she just had a virus attack her and knock her flat.

I want to tell you all about Genie. She is a miracle woman. She has been helping my Mom care and tend for my Dad since June. To make a long story short, Omega cried to me one night several months ago, before Genie, that I had to go tell Mom to let Dad go to heaven. That he was in too much pain and he was praying for the Lord to take him and if Mom gave her permission, he would pass on. Omega is the youngest and taking Dad's decline the hardest. My thoughts are this, Dad will go to heaven when God calls him, not a moment before. And I would never never never ask that of my Mom.....Heavens!!! Yet, I understand Omega.

Then Genie came into their lives and my Dad is a new person. She has worked in health care with the elderly since she has been 16 years old. She is a country girl, kind, generous with her love, and the most wonderful companion for Dad every day. He is not ashamed when she tends to him.....She calls him Mr. Wonderful.

Mr. Wonderful can be a handful. Several years ago Mom felt faint and passed out cracking her head open. They kept her in the hospital for observation for several days. I was staying with Dad and went home to change clothes. When I went back, he was GONE!!!!!!!

SO WAS THE CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was PANICKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He had found the keys, driven himself the 10 plus miles into Lexington and parked at the hospital and found her room! All by himself! He was sitting in a chair like the cat who ate the canary! He only forgot his jacket. It was the first time he had driven in years.

You can never give up on anyone. There is no limits to the human spirit.


Saturday, August 28, 2004

Lost in Transition

This morning I was running around the little town I live in racking my brain for something to write about. I hate to think I am experiencing writers block...again! Running has a way of turning into a sort of mantra experience. When I was experiencing a "clean slate" this thought surfaced....people who truly meant something to me and are no longer a part of my life.

It was triggered as I jogged past his parents house. My childhood friend R. His car is backed into their drive way, as if he may jump into it any moment and drive back to Washington State, where he had escaped to many years before. The last time I heard from him was almost three years ago. His name popped up on my caller ID. He did not leave a message, I did not return his call.

He returned home to his parents, a laid off aeronautic engineer. He took a settlement, cashed in his 401-K and headed home after 20 years. He was an alcoholic. He is an alcoholic. He hooked up with another childhood friend of mine, G. And before I knew it I was entertaining the two of them most every night! One crazy absurd night R. turned to me and said, "If G. will not marry you then I will."  I looked from one nut case to the other..."These are my choices? I pass." Neither one has ever forgiven me.

R. was in his parents house, climbed out on the second story roof in a sleeping bag and promptly fell asleep, He rolled off the roof, fell to the ground and broke his back. They said he would never walk again, but he did. In 1997 he walked, with canes, into a funeral of yet another childhood friend of ours who dropped dead from a heart attack at 42.

And G.!!! I have written about G. before. He is a bad influence on me. I'll say no more. He is always there for me when I need him. If I ever need him again, he will be angry with me for awhile, then once again, be my best friend. I miss him the most...but he is the furthest away.

And F. One of my best friends. Lost everything in her life, her family, her home, her mind. Another alcoholic. I've written about her before too. I opened my home to her when she lost hers. The seduction and allure of alcohol and comfort of self medication has all but erased my friend. I see her occasionaly around Lexington.....I quickly run the other way.

C. in Louisville. When I was a young mother with an infant she and I shared apartments all over the Highland Area! We had a major  falling out when I said something.... I would give anything in the world to take it back. Bridget considered her the Wicked Step Mother...We always laughed about that. For many years Bridget had two very strong female influences on her development. I met C. in Murray when we first went to college in the early 70's. She was a good dear friend for many years.

Then there is S. And E. Two people I worked with at a company in Louisville for approximately 10 years! How do we lose touch like this. I loved them. I can not find them now.

People come and go. Leave an  indelible impression on your life and then leave. I miss every one of them. I dare not reach out to the dueling beau's......too complicated now that I am married! (also married a childhood can be so odd).  But the others, the girls, the women, the sisters.....? Why do we allow something so precious and rare as friendship to become so lost.



Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Post Card from Hell

This past weekend we went to Louisville for the State Fair. Contrary to all my other thousands of entries about my adventures, this one was a little off the bullseye.

It started off with us stuck in traffic for 40 minutes trying to enter the fair grounds. It was a three block trek, for the love of God! It seems all the traffic control people they hired were trained...wait! they were not trained. It was all I could do not to put the car in park and rush out into the intersection and take over for those poor women. Yes, they were women! Hired purposely for this event. I was not a very good citizen and made my way into a turning lane I CREATED.....Thankfully, many followed behind me!

The fair was fun. Spent most our time in the event arena checking out the cow shows, the bunnies and all of the exhibits. There was the most fantastic amateur photography display. I'm thinking of submitting one next year. Black and white.

We stayed at a motel in another area of town. Joe and his daughter spent the late afternoon in the pool while I finished the book The Lovely Bones. It was a terrific read. It is so wonderful to read in a hotel room. No dishes in the sink calling out to you, no tomato bushes that need to be staked, no nagging guilt that you have not driven across town to visit your parents. Wonderful.

Then to a restaurant, which I have decided not to name, but I would love to! We were told the wait for a table would be a half hour and were given a small disc that lit up when your table was ready. We were there for a long time...Longer than a half hour. We sent Joe's daughter to investigate while I sent Joe to the bar. She came back with the message that we were next. Well, we weren't! Now at least I had a glass of wine to keep me occupied. When it was gone, and we were still sitting, I went over and asked. Seems that we had already been seated! I was ticked off! It appears that our pager number was erroneously given to others and we were overlooked. How long would we have to sit there waiting until they noticed? I am in the people pleasing business and this is not the way to treat your customers. We left.

McDonalds......I'll say no more.

When we returned to the hotel room the bathroom was flooded! Not really really bad, but it was in the wall coming from upstairs and puddling the entire bathroom floor. The maintenance man was there in minutes, assessed the situation and asked us if we wanted to move. That would have been too much effort, so we stayed in the room. He brought us plenty of towles to soak it up!

I was awakened at 6am by Joe head butting me. He said I laid there with both my hands covering my forehead, moaning for five minutes. I hate double beds....they are too small.

Other than all was a good week-end.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004


This past week I was on the computer (like always) and there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar guy was standing on the other side as I cautiously opened the door and said, "Yes...?" and he pointed towards our tree in the front yard, "We're in the neighborhood, from Frankfort, just finished a job in town here and noticed that there tree is dead...About to tear down that wire! We'll take it down for you. We give estimates."

We walked out to under the tree and gazed up at it. "It is pretty dead. My husband has been talking about taking it down. How much"

"Oh, about $250. Shouldn't take us an hour, hour and a half. Do you want us to haul off the wood?"

"I have to wait until my husband comes home and see what he wants to do?'

"When will he be home"

"Any minute now."

"Why don't you just surprise him!"

Three of this brothers climbed out of the parked truck on the road to look at the tree, realizing they had a good possibility on their hands, and were sizing up the situation. We yammered on for awhile and the leader, who sat in the truck the entire time, half in and half out of the window banged on the side and ordered them back in.

"That's our old man".

"He couldn't possibly be your Dad!"

"Nah...He's our cousin."

They left me a card and drove off.

I liked them. I can not tell you why. They were young, proably in their 20's except for the cousin, who was early 40's late 30's maybe. Hard to tell because they were country people, lived hard lives on farms and looked weathered and leathered...At least old Dad did. The brothers were all nice looking in a rough way. Good Lord, the way I like them. Nice on the outside with a hint of danger just under the surface. Reminds me of all my highschool boyfriends.

When Joe arrived home, he thought the price was terrific and that the tree needed to come down and the sooner the better. I called them, and they arrived on the scene in less than 15 minutes.

Joseph slapped on his spikes and safety harness, a belt with the gas powered saw hanging down his side by a rope. He threw the rope around the tree, attached it to his belt/harness and began his journey up the tree. Hence, The Monkey!

The tree began to come down immediately. I stationed myself on the porch and watched the spectacle......As I've said, I'm easily amused. They worked fast, efficient and together. That tree came down quickly limb by limb. He then scrambled down, and began to cut the base of the tree.....TIMBER! Joe was inside and would not look, he just made one comment, "I hope they know what they are doing!"

To my eye it looked like the trunk was going to take down the cable lines....To the house next door. Great drama!!!! I was wrong, the tree fell in slow motion, in a beautiful fluid graceful swoon and landed perfectly on the ground escaping the wires easily.

The four of them descended on the tree and large branches and began to saw them into easy managable pieces.....Most of them, some of the trunk was enormous and remained so.

Philip (frontman/salesman) came to me while I was sitting on the porch. My entire assignment in the whole drama was to bring out bottles of water and minute maid juice blends. I did not want any of them to pass out in the heat with all that exeretion! He sat next to me and asked, or what I thought I head was this, "You got any weed?"   My mouth dropped open in astonishment! "That's a bold request!" I responded wondering if I still sported the look of the counter culture!

"Don't your husband have a weed eater? They usually have gas if they do."

"Oh...weed eater!"

I laughed at my mistake and Philip replied when he caught wind of what I had thought,"Now we don't drink much none  but we do toke up a little."

Joe rounded up some gas for the electric buzz saws and the tree was cut up and stacked in the front yard in readiness for transportation to my parents and their fireplace.

As I said, I'm easily amused and the Monkey Brothers were great entertainment on a hot summer evening.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Things that go Thump in the Night

It makes life interesting to have something to look forward to. Did I say interesting? I mean tolerable! Now that the summer is winding down and fall is upon us, my thoughts turn towards spring and my birthday! Can you believe it? Joe has been on the computer looking up rates for a stay in Key West!!

This is going to be a calm weekend. Nowhere to go, no events have been planned that need to be explored, no parties to attend, no races to run, no bands to chase around, no road trip to Louisville. Sigh. Guess I will have to tackle that pesky attic that has been calling me for about 10 months to clean up. Cripes!

Now next week end is a different story. Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson are having a concert on Friday night (I hope its Friday!!), the Woodland Arts and Crafts Show is all week end, the State Fair is on in Louisville, and we are having a family Birthday celebration on Sunday! All in one week end! It is always like that. Feast or famine. I plan to attend them all!

On a lighter note, I think this house may be haunted. It is not that old, maybe 60 years, but I am not familiar with its history. Maybe something happened here, I don't know. Several months ago I awoke early in the morning (around 430am) to the sound of something in the bed room. In my groggy state, half sleep and half dream, I thought it might be one of the mice that enter our home every once in a while. As I came to a little more, I sensed it above me, making noise on the ceiling. Flying mice! I must have turned on the bed side lamp and HORRORS!!!! a bird was flying around the ceiling in concert with the hanging fan! I leaped out of bed and drew the bed cover over my head as I ran out in panic. A BIRD!! The thing flew towards the window and that was the last I saw as I slammed the door shut behind me. Well, as slammed shut as a 60 year old door can get.

When I calmed down enough to make coffee and think about did that bird get in the house? Maybe its a bat? (we have found a bat in here before) I crept back to the room and opened the door with broom in hand to defend myself.....and nothing....nothing.

I have thought about this for several months. Where did it go? Was I dreaming?

Then last night, right as I was falling asleep, in that once again half sleep half dream state, I felt the presence of someone....hovering over me. I felt the pressure of someone, and once again in my dream state thought it was Bridget climbing in bed with me.

Then came to and realized Bridget is now 24, not 4.

Creepy. But not enough to really scare me. Or frighten me. Just make me aware that there is a lot of things I can not explain away.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Much Better Photo


Found this on a web site!  Must have been taken by a professional who did not have a pint sloshing around in the other hand!


The Saw Doctors


This is not the concert I attended, but it sure looks like it.  The Roadie is in the strips and no hair on left.  Omega and I think the one on the right (his back to us) who just stood on a little platform and danced and played the tambourine and sang back up, was their un-employable cousin from Tuam. The family begged them to take him on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004



My sister Omega and I drove the four hours to a suburb in Columbus Ohio known as Dublin. They have the second largest Irish Festival in the country. It is massive! We purchased the three day pass Friday evening and began to explore the village. We had to park and be shuttled to the event. Parking near to the park was impossible, so the bus was a nice treat.

The Dublin Irish Festival is Music, Food, and Beer. Their are four major stages with various styles of music and dance. The Traditional Irish Music tent at the North entrance was the largest of the four. I think because it appealed to the broadest audience. The food courts were situated everywhere so no one ever went hungry or thirsty!

Omega did not sleep well Friday night and dropped me off early in the morning. I wandered around by myself till mid afternoon. I had a wonderful time. I even found a small musician tent that was so reminiscent of the Music festival in Ennis (Ireland). The musicians were all jamming together. Violins, bodhran, Irish whistles, mandolins playing the traditional Irish music......transported me back to those wonderful pubs Joe and I stumbled into in late May.

The Celtic Rock tent was tucked back in the far end of the park. I had located it on the map of the festival and was determined to find it well before the Saw Doctors took the stage at 10pm that evening.

So, I was there scouting it out at 1:30pm. Low and behold, the band known as TEMPEST was playing. Has anyone in the West Coast heard of this band? They absolutely rocked the tent down. Advertised as Folk music.... I have never heard folk music performed quite that way before . They had the best stage presence I have seen in some time. And the instrumental driving rock defies description.....they were so good, I purchased an album!

When Omega finally arrived, I had staked out an area left of the stage on the grass situated right in front of thearrival area of the musicians. One guy came over the fence and was heading into the crowd, he had a Saw Doctor pass around his neck. I caught his eye and asked  him if any of the Saw Doctors were there yet.....he said, "No, they go on at 10pm"

Guess what, he was a Saw Doctor...I felt like a FOOL!

Omega was put out with him and wanted to shake her fist at him all day Sunday and yell at him "I'll 10 o'clock you!!!".  She thought he was a roadie. HA.


Monday, August 9, 2004



Words fail me. I knew that I love the music and  that the band is famous for its exhilarating shows. I was prepared to have a rollicking wonderful time, but I was totally blown away at just how dynamic, exuberent, tight, how much fun this band was live! I knew it, I felt it. I was not disappointed and then some, and then some and then some.

Omega and I saw them Saturday night at 10pm, the final act on the stage, and then again Sunday afternoon. Both shows were spectacular. Each different due to the diversity of the two crowds. Saturday night being the drinkers and late night rockers. The singing along with the band was more pronounced Saturday, but Sunday there was more energy in the crowd which included a lot of kids. Dancing and singing and just the most wonderful group experience I have had in a long time. Seeing the Saw Doctors is a Happening!

The die hard fans were up front to dance and sing along with the band. Yet, when it was time everyone under the tent was able to sing along with HAY WRAP! How hard is yelling, HAY!! HAY!! The song is delivered in machine gun rapid fire intensity with the Irish accent. But Omega and I both knew when to scream...I mean sing.... "GET THAT WASP OFF MY SANDWICH!" 

I truly wish I could have taken you all with me. Maybe next year.

Its been a while since I have had so much fun.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Missing A Midsummer Night Run

I'm going to miss the 20th annual running of A Midsummer Night Run.  Isn't that a wonderful name for a 5K race?  As it sometimes occurs, too many things happening on the same weekend.  

I have been running in the Midsummer since 2000.  It was the first race Joe and I ever ran.  I cannot begin to tell you all how it feels to cross finish line the first time.  Euphoric is a good word.  Even thought I feel bad about missing it, I am not ready at all to run  three miles!  I did begin to train again but incurred an injury about a week ago.  I was watching TV and this fitness guru came on and told us how jumping rope burned the same amount of calories in 10 to 15 minutes as running did in a half hour.  Being the big show off that I am, I got out Joe's jump rope and proceeded to show him how I earned the title of  Jump Rope Chmapion in grammar school!  The next morning, getting out of the car.....Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What have I done to my HIP!!!!!!  My pesky right hip was on the disabled list ..... again.  Not the first time I have injured the hip.  As a matter of fact, I thought I had arthritis in that hip and endured years of pain!  Actually it was just a simple joint inflammation cured with ibuprofen!!!   

What I will miss the most will be the little kids vying for the title of Fastest Kid in Lexington.  They have hundreds of kids in various age groups all running the 100 yard dash in heats.  It is so much fun to watch them.  I was positioned close to the street taking pictures when one group, they must have been the five years olds, took off running.  They really have not mastered the concept of competition just yet. They have a tendency to look at each other, wave at the crowd, stop dead in their tracks, or just quit right before the finish line.  Good entertainment.  

One small kid tripped right in front of me!  Fell flat on his face!  He laid there in the prone position with his little face kissing the asphalt.  I believe he was thinking, "If I don't move no one will see me."  Me and the gentlemen next to me went under the crowd restraint  to rush to him.  We rolled him over and he still do not move.  He appeared dazed and humiliated and in "statue" mode.  His father was there in amatter of seconds and picked him up.  That little man was a real trooper, and shed not one tear.   

I'm going to really miss all that.  

I'm going to be in Dublin, Ohio at the Irish Festival!  

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Amusement Park

Hot hot hot.  Why is it that when I go to an amusement park it is so HOT!   I imagine it is all the concrete and so little green foliage to absorb the heat.  This was my first trip to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.  When I realized this, it surprised me because the park has been around for a long time, since the late 80's.  It always seemed the second destination point after Kings Island, which is only another 45 minutes away from where I live.  

I rode one ride, the giant Ferris Wheel.  It was thrilling to be so high and look out over the park and get my bearings on where everything is situated.  Other than that, we rode nothing.  Not one singe roller coaster, not one single water ride, not one single yell till you think you are going to pass out ride!  The Slingshot looked like the Mother of all rides too.  Two people are strapped into a huge open ball and then virtually snapped up into the air much like a slingshot.  Bungee Jumping in Reverse.

We hung out at the Wave Pool and beat the heat that way.  My buddy from work, Ted, lost his Panama hat on the Ferris Wheel.  It flew into the Wave Pool area.  They were leaving the park as we were headed into the pool area.  We volunteered to retrieve the hat.  And we actually located the hat, upside down under a lawn chair.  When I presented it to Ted yesterday he says, "That's not my hat!"....Oooooppppppsssssssssss!!!!  

The amusement park is aptly named.  Not only in reference to the rides and attractions, but for the people watching. What a slice of Americana parading around in 90 degree weather.  It is fascinating and akin to gawking at a car accident.  Children crying, children carrying on and acting up, frustrated parents, arguments erupting between overheated couples, lovers smooching, teenagers trying to maintain the appearance of coolness on the jerking, jarring rides.  For me, that was the amusement. 

That's when you know, that's when it smacks you in the head..."Oh my God!!! I'm over the Hill!!!" Also, I lost my 35mm.  My small canon point and shoot.  That totally bummed me out.

Sunday, August 1, 2004

The Birthday Story

Today we are once again going to Louisville.  It is Family Day for my company at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Amusement Parks!  Also, I hope Bridget will come along with us, since she loved amusement parks with a passion for many many years.  It is her birthday this Tuesday, she will be 24.  I cannot believe it, but it is true, I was there when it happened.  All these years, this is the first one she is not living a stones throw from me.  And when she was younger, she would wake me up in the middle of the night and want to hear her Birthday story....

Bridget is a true Houstonian, born in Houston.  When I lived there, everyone was from somewhere else, no one could claim Houston as their birth place that I knew.  I was living there because I was unmarried and my Mother sent me there to live with my Aunt.  As it happened, my Aunt and Uncle went to Pennsylvania for the summer leaving me to house sit.  I was a week away from my due date, working at the Holiday Inn Astro Village as a night clerk, and my parents were driving down from Kentucky to be with me for the duration of the birth.  

I woke up on the afternoon of August 2nd with gas!  Not too bad, but bad enough that I called into work.  Then it got worse so I called my Doctor's office and reported my condition.  "Get to the Hospital" they told me, "Have it checked out."   I went next door to the neighbors to let them know I was leaving for the hospital, my parents were due in that day and I wanted them to be on the look out.  They went nuts! She ran around like a crazy woman telling me there was no way I was driving myself to the hospital in LABOR.  LABOR!!!!! I was just having stomach gas.  

So we went, I let them drop me off and I was looked at and Jesus, Mary and Joseph! I was admitted, I was dilating.  It was 10pm, I was hooked up to monitors and the tv was turned on.  Saturday Night Live, Grateful Dead was the band that night.  Then the pain came!  I would see if coming on the monitor they had attached to me.  Waves crashing!  You could see them building up before feeling them!  "Please give me a wash cloth!"  I would place it in my mouth and bear down on it like Tartan in the movies bearing down on tree bark...funny the things that run through your mind at the time, and you remember them 24 years later.  

The Doctor was not working that weekend, it was his turn to be off.  My Doctor had yet to arrive, being this was my first baby, and I had just been admitted.  I had a young nurse from North Carolina with me the entire time, since I was alone with no family.  She was wonderful and commented to me that there were only three of us in labor that night, which was very unusual for the hospital.  That enabled her to never leave my side.  Thank you God, and I really do mean that.  

My pain was such that it was not even registering on the chart! It was shooting off into space.  "Puff puff puff, like you are blowing out a candle. Push, Push, Push." I did and North Carolina requested the Nurse in Charge check me in the absence of the Doctor being anywhere!  She checked me and threw down the sheet, "Don't push anymore!  Call the Doctor, get her into Delivery!"  

I had gone from just barely in labor to ready to deliver in three hours!  I had missed the window of opportunity for an epideral and delivered Bridget as natural as you can get. A doctor I had never seen before delivered me.  He had red bushy hair that resembled Bozo the clown under the surgery cap.  At 2:02 am (central daylight savings) I finally found out that they baby I had been carrying for nine months was a 21 inch girl!  I was so certain she was going to be a boy, that I astonished!  

She was so alert from the very beginning.  The highest APGAR the pediatrician ever registered (so he said).  Mom and Dad came in the next morning, Mom was crying! From that day forward to today, she still thinks Bridget was born on the 2nd!

"What are you going to name her?" Mom asked me, "Nicole."...."Oh no no no no no no no...."she murmured with Bridget in her arms, 'This is Bridget, after my grandmother, there has not been a Bridget since."  

And so, that is the story on how Bridget came to be and of how she came to be called Bridget.