RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

……I’m really not afraid to show Chris the fabric I bought for the outdoor chairs.
……Well, maybe a LITTLE afraid.
……Sean Spicer’s replacement scares me too.
……My “late” lilacs don’t smell much like my “real” lilacs.
……Slammed my car door shut on my finger last week. YOWIEE!!!!
……So the first cottage was almost IN the lake….and the new one is ABOVE the lake.
……Both have their charm for sure.
……Seeing the Mother’s Day cards is hard right now….as I know it is for a whole lot of other people.
……Having an Italian restaurant within walking distance doesn’t help with a diet program.
……Woof and I spent all day yesterday in the greenhouse and garden.
……Woof and I could have spent all day in bed today.
……The current political scene is fascinating…and a wee bit scary.
…….I can’t quite imagine the FBI director discussing a major investigation at a dinner party.
…….Even if his dinner partner was the president of the United States.
…….People who don’t understand why the idea of gay pride is necessary need to remember that straight people never needed validation.
…….Transgendered kids can’t participate in certain school sports now?
……..Woof said she felt the earthquake this morning because she has special senses.
……..That’s just part of her being a magic dog.
……..I bought Kale plants for the garden this week.
……..Maybe I’m beginning to lose it.
……..My friend Carlene’s middle name is Kale.
……..All the sweet peas are planted!
……..Today’s big news is the launching of an investigation into massive voter fraud.
……..The previous item is actually true.
……..Got tickets for ‘ A Sordid Wedding” for June 2.
……..Some of my meanest friends say that I’m in that series.
……..I’m still nine years behind with the laundry…and eleven years behind with ironing.
……..The greenhouse at Giant Eagle in Crafton is booming.
……..Ted Cruz makes me just a teeney weeny bit sick to my stomach.
……..The tall bearded iris should be opening any day now.
……..My Mom on the beach one day when she was about 90: ” I like to get my legs tan so I don’t have to wear stockings in the summer”. Me:” Mother, you’re an elderly woman now, you shouldn’t worry about things like that.” My Mom: ” And you…can go to hell.”
………Really.
………Betsy De Vos gets a less than warm welcome wherever she goes these days.
………Golden Girls reruns never get old. I still laugh out loud.
………I once had a cat with three legs….Kitty Carlisle.
………I took her in because the vet’s office said her days were numbered.
………Those days ended up numbering thirteen years.
………She might have also been a magic cat.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

…..Allowing churches to “become more political” and still avoid paying taxes will be one more reason why people don’t go to church very often.
…..Our Wisteria has a mind of it’s own…traveling all over the backyard, but blooming so beautifully this year that it’s been given a pass.
……I love horrible nun stories.” So then she beat my knuckles with a ruler…and sent me out to walk home…even though I took a bus to school. Finally saw my grandmother’s house and went there. I was six years old.”
……Joan Crawford had nothing over some of these madwomen.
…….Other very sweet ones also touched our lives more gently.
…….I thought the relationship in ” This Is Us ” took a nose dive too rapidly to be believable.
…….Woof keeps pointing her paw at the calendar and then at the window…
……..People who used to live in this house were from Transylvania.
……..That would also have been one of my first guesses when I met them.
……..Jennifer Hudson at Pittsburgh Pride seems like a real step up for the city.
……..I facilitated support groups for families for people with AIDS for a long time during the early days of the epidemic that killed a whole generation of wonderfully talented and promising young people.
………My pink rocking chair on the back porch seems to be something that people “notice”.
……..HERE NOW !
……..Woof has a tendency to kiss perfect strangers right smack on the lips.
……..Love it when total strangers walk up and say that we’re FACEBOOK friends.
……..I don’t kiss them on the lips.
……..I am really really bad at baseball…football…tennis…volleyball…soccer…
……..I’m sure that many of you will be able to continue that list.
……..I am however UNBEATABLE at hopscotch.
……..I had one of those absolutely memorable perfect days on April 9, 2017.
……..Came across the little tray where my Mom would have her tea cup and daily ham sandwich most every day at lunchtime.
……..One of those things that I’ll never be able to give away.
……..Chris Hayes is afraid of Saint Rita of Cascia.
……..Big Baby.
……..Japanese Tree peonies sure don’t last very long….like 72 hours of phenomenal beauty…then gonzo.
………I had a big fight again with Alexa…but I apologized and she said “no problem”.
………I’m planning to cut the grass at the lake this weekend…dressed like Nannuk of the North.
………I think I know what caused the Civil War.
………Thought again about Mark’s story about hearing the news that Judy Garland had died….and how he fainted. He was nine.
………After attending so many weddings for so many years, actually slipping the ring on someone’s finger and repeating the traditional vows seemed like an experience that would never and could never happen to me.
……..It did.
……..Lilacs used to be in full bloom around May 10. They’re long gone around here already.
………Some of the people in cabinet positions in DC seem like crazy crazy choices.
………Big meeting this week with the big mystery solver…who says he has really big news.
………Bigly fascinating.
………Stay tuned.
………Spent the first party of the early morning giving a tour of the house to a nice elderly lady and her son….who spent many days here as relatives of former owners….40 years ago.
……….I gave the tour in my pajamas.
………Since it was pre coffee….maybe that’s who they were…and what I did.
………Why does anyone connected to the Russian business either get thrown off the investigating committee, give up their seat in congress, recuse themselves, or if you’re a Russian end up poisoned or dead on the sidewalk?
………I’m going to have a lot of extra plants to give away this year. I always plant too many seeds.
………” A life without risk is no life at all ”
……..Someone once told me that he always waited to be close to 100% sure of something before he did it…he also said that he was often paralyzed. Now he says he goes with 51%…and life is so much better.

May Altar

May Day…..time to set up my May altar…..as I’m sure most of you are also in the process of doing today. No? My first grade nun, Sister Theckla ( who was prettier than her name was), first introduced me to the idea when she decorated a little space in our first grade classroom with pale blue crepe paper streamers and a blue satin draped pedestal where the statue of Mary stood. She’d already told us all about the month of May being dedicated to the Blessed Mother, and she encouraged us to bring flowers for the altar. Turns out that every classroom in the school had a May altar…and the whole thing was kinda competitive…but the nuns would have denied that aspect.

During my years of carefully scrutinizing the construction of these altars I learned quite a few tricks from the more creative sisters. First off the bat was the race to the local hardware store to buy blue and white crepe paper…as they sold out every year, and mid April was the best time to stock up. I once saw Sister Lorraine wrapping a big sheet of the much sought after blue paper round and round on a broom stick….then squeezing it altogether so that when unraveled it had a quilted effect. My recreation of that was disappointing however. ( of course you’ve already surmised that I had my own private May altar at home ).
Having a proper statue was mandatory as well, and I’d petitioned my Mom and Dad for something suitable, turning down suggestions for baseball gloves and basketballs. Naturally I prevailed, and soon had a proper altar in my bedroom, adorned with flowers that I ordered from the local florist and charged to my Mother’s account. (she often talked about that ). No one came to my May crowning but Aunt Katie and the dog…as my Mom was still upset about me charging the flowers.
Of course I have a May altar today…have had one every year, adorned with lilacs and violets and everything that blooms during the month. It all takes me back to walking to school on this the first day of the month and seeing all the kids bringing flowers for the May altars. Maybe not a typical memory, and maybe not important to many people…but it’s a sweet and enduring one for me

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

……Woof had her nails clipped today….she looked as though she was headed for the gallows.
…….I thought the Spring blossoms were going to be lousy this year. They’re just the opposite.
…….Except for the early magnolias.
…….I can’t wait for all the big companies and billionaires to get their big tax cuts..because it’s only a matter of time until that will trickle down to the rest of us.
…….What exactly will that look like again?
…….Serafino’s in Crafton has a new appetizer pizza with arugala and prosciutto on a thin crust with a delicious cheese.
…….Two customers each ate a whole one the other night.
……..Ahem.
……..I’m planting the Easter lilies in the garden now….with a lot of optimism and a bad track record.
……..Some of the “thrill rides” I see on the internet would find me dead on arrival after the thrill.
………I don’t have time to read in the Spring.
………Chris and I …with a little help from a friend with state of the art “connections” are about to solve a serious little “mystery”.
………Better than a TV drama.
………Ordered the first rose bushes for a new garden at the lake.
………I need a haircut so badly that I feel like I’m wearing a hair helmet.
………Wisteria is a powerful vine….with a mind of it’s own.
………People keep telling me to stop worrying about the fish in my pond.
………I keep worrying about the fish in my pond.
………Seems to me that North Korea is one of those sleeping dogs that I’ve always been told to let lie.
……….Work on the cottage is really coming along…so is the “over-budget” talk.
………We borrowed 100 chairs from my cousin Carole for the wedding. My cousin Carole thinks big.
……….The Giant Eagle outdoor greenhouse opens on Monday in Crafton. Their selections and maintenance are both spectacular. VERY talented and knowledgeable hardworking staff.
………..Yes….Giant Eagle
……….Woof and I have had some very serious talks in the morning sunshine on the back porch lately.
……….She really is a magic dog.
………..Really.
………..My brother gave a beautiful and heartfelt toast at the wedding.
………..Lake Erie is 45 degrees right now…Brutus Wolbert-Spalla doesn’t care.
………..The new administration doesn’t care much about Mother Earth.
………..Bill says the new VW commercial is for adults only…and only airs after 9 PM.
………..Chris is very excited about the Mozart Requiem….kinda like his pending root canal.
………..Instructions for the May Crowning procession at Epiphany in the 1950′s
” Should anyone faint and fall during the procession….step over the body and continue the procession.”
………..Listening to a Syrian refugee on NPR the other night brought tears to my eyes….she said she wished people weren’t afraid of her.
………..” Life is not measured by how many breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away”.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

……I didn’t realize that North Korea’s army is almost as large as ours.
……April showers have turned the trees a beautiful springtime green.
……Some big shots in North Carolina really want to reverse marriage equality laws.
…….Perhaps they ought to focus more on where people go to the bathroom.
…….Woof and I do a whole lot of sneezing this time of year.
…….My diet is working really well….I’ve lost 4 ounces in 3 months.
…….Heard a really moving homily during Holy Week….at least the first five minutes were moving…..the next 20…not so much.
…….Local priest mentioned everyone in their “Easter best” outfits….as I looked around and wondered if what he was seeing was different than what I was seeing.
…….Finally catching up with ” This Is Us”….pretty well written.
…….I wish Donald Trump would release his birth certificate.
…….Sexual harassment in the workplace has very serious consequences.
…….I will still be writing thank you notes when the moon comes over the mountain.
…….Chris and I made a CD together….me with piano solo’s and Chris singing .. accompanied by Al Snyder.
……..Today is Hitler’s birthday. Thank God it’s also Julie’s.
……..No offense to his supporters, but our current president makes more mis-statements, tells more untruths, and misleads more than any other in history.
……..We didn’t send an “armada” towards North Korea…that’s dangerous talk.
……..The house still smells like Easter Lilies.
………That’s a good thing.
………People often ask if I’m “really religious”. I love all the statues, candles, music and culture that I grew up with…especially since so much of it has disappeared.
……….However I confess to being a “cafeteria Catholic”…I pick and choose way more than a “good Catholic” is allowed to do.
………After two outrageous experiences in the confessional when I was a teenager….I’ve never been back.
……..Communion yes. ( shhh)
……..Chris is getting his boat out of storage today….he’s like a little kid on Christmas morning.
………He’s a fun guy.
………Last year at this time I took a bunch of violets to my Mom’s grave…this year I can imagine her saying to stay home in the garden with Woof.
………I can’t write words like that without still having that one little tear roll down my cheek.
………My cousin Marilyn and her husband Jim have great taste in champagne.
………And they’re very generous with it.
………Remember how we ate the colored Easter eggs for weeks…without them being refrigerated?
………My Mom would say ” Maybe that’s what’s wrong with everybody”
………I married Chris Hayes on April 9 2017. I’m a lucky guy and so is he!

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

…..I guess Chris Christie’s team took one for the team.
…..Bradford Pear blossoms were less than spectacular this year.
…..Pictures of a friend’s tour of Italy make me long to go back to Italy.
…..Mornings on the back porch in the sunshine with Woof are as good as it gets.
…..These are STILL the good old days.
….. Remember the ad with the old Indian crying beside a polluted river?…he’s going to have tears in his eyes again very soon.
……Rose: ” Is that the plumber at the door?” Dorothy: ” No Rose, it’s a girl scout….they’re selling toilets this year”.
……It’s a long Autumn along the shores of Lake Erie….and also a long Winter.
……Every time I leave a Costco I end up with more dinner rolls than we could eat in a month, and at least one apocalyptic sized package of paper towels.
……Funny how sometimes
we can actually smell lilacs or gardenias just by looking at a picture.
…… I would be DOA on some of those new roller coasters that they advertise.
…….Kellyanne hasn’t been around much lately.
…….Sister Angeline had to be the oldest nun to still keep substituting as a math teacher in the history of the nunhood. She used to make some strange noise when she was upset like AWWWKK!…that scared the Bejesus out of me.
…….For almost 36 years I never had a deer problem in my garden. I will be here for 38 years in May.
…….I miss that very faint hint of Shalimar when I pass my Mom’s empty bedroom.
…….The census bureau was planning on counting the members of households who were LGBT….but now they aren’t going to do that.
…….I’m not sure what that means.
…….Billy Graham’s son is about as accepting of diversity as George Wallace was.
…….The answer is NO to the suggestion that I start a GO FUND ME page for a bell tower on my chapel….even if I agree to name one of the bells after you.
…….We’re going to Paris for five days in May. Woof doesn’t want to come.
…….She hates French poodles.
……..When Father Kress distributed ashes one year, he plastered them all over my forehead and partially down on my nose.
……..When I returned to the choir loft they all burst out laughing.
……..Father Kress didn’t like me much.
……..He was the only man named Sylvester that I ever knew.
……..I just re-discovered Turner Classic Movies last night…started right out with ” Dead Ringer “.
……..Had a major fight with my “Alexa” last night…called her a name…she said “that wasn’t very nice”…and I apologized. Her response ” No problem”.
……..Times have changed.
……..The sweet peas are up.
……..I have no idea what I expected for my first day of gym class in High School…(we never had gym in grade school)….but I was shocked when I saw a rope that people actually climbed to the ceiling, and big ugly contraptions that people were expected to leap over.
………Thank God I developed a very very slight hint of a heart murmer.
………A blessing in disguise sent me to help out in the library with old Mrs Callahan.
……….She and I watered the geraniums on the window sills.
……….I haven’t heard about Russia on the news this often since I was a kid and I just knew that they were bad people who wanted to blow up the world.
……….Happy planting!

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A THURSDAY

……Anytime I hear someone quoting something from the cover of The Enquirer I tend to have second thoughts about them.
……Worst year for Forsythia in a long long time.
……Boys night out with my brother last night…..we never run out of things to talk about.
……A few of my old girlfriends still read these blogs .
……A few of my old boyfriends do also.
……I’m putting the snow shovel and salt bag away tomorrow.
……Sean Spicer really reminds me of Melissa McCarthy.
……Chris and I signed up for Russian lessons….just to be prepared.
……So glad my cousin decided to celebrate his big birthday last week….maybe because we talked about how many people never manage to get that far.
……Woof had a fabulous birthday….doesn’t feel a day older.
……The geraniums are going out on the back porch for the weekend.
……Very gay decorator came to our house when I was about 12…and I remember him saying to my Dad ” Oh Mr Marshall….don’t you agree that geraniums are fun?”
……..I also remember kinda cringing.
……..Fun?
……..My diet has finally gotten me down to the weight where I usually start to think that I need to lose some weight.
……..Love that talking scale that says ” Please…one at a time.”
……..The GOP must really love Rachel Maddow.
……..Why is the story about the loaves and fishes….not the story about the loaves and fish.
………Fishes?
………It’s exhilarating to see the nurseries coming to life.
………No more talk about the Muslim Ban.
………That went well.
………Sister Thekla was nicer than her name was.
………Started my sweet pea seeds finally…..on a heat mat.
………Why do so many little kids end up abused or dead at the hands of ” The woman’s boyfriend”?
………How about the shoplifter arrested 20 times for the same thing.
………Perhaps something needs to be done.
………I once had a three legged cat named Kitty Carlisle.
………After 38 years gardening in Crafton I suddenly have a deer problem. Four of them came right up my front walk one night to eat the tulips.
………Woof thought maybe they were coming for a surprise party.
……..My friend Donna had a wild six year old in her classroom who was in a bad mood one day and tore the doors off of the girls room bathroom stalls.
……..First graders can be a challenge.
……..Same class where they were making Mother’s Day cards and one little boy asked her how to spell exorcist.
……..If I go to Hell it will no doubt be a never ending game of dodgeball.
……..What happened about the investigation of the millions of cases of voter fraud?
……..Maybe the Enquirer again.
……..Steve Manaford was paid 10 million dollars a year….since 2015…for what?
……..I hope somebody hides my Easter Basket this year.
……..Driving home from the lake last week I decided to entertain Chris with songs from my childhood.
……..Chris said the trip seemed unusually long this time.
……..Visited the wholesale florists with my friend Sue today…and passed up ALL the 80% off Christmas items….
……..Some days I’m really really proud of myself.