Sunday Musings

I went with my friend, B, the singer to see our good friend sing Frank Sinatra songs in a fundraiser for his church last night. It was called “Frankie and Johnny”. Our friend was Frankie, and another guy did Johnny Cash. I didn’t realize it would be set up like a lounge show, with tables for 8, and a small buffet, and a bar, and a dance floor. Neither B nor I wanted to drink, we just had bottles of water. It was really Karaoke, but both men were very good. The man who did Johnny Cash was in country bands most of his life and recorded many songs. Our friend P….he just has this awesome velvety baritone voice that is so perfect for the types of old crooner songs he sings.

He was all dressed up in a tux, he looked so handsome! His family had a table, and he invited us over to meet them all. He paid us a lot of attention when he was not singing. At the end, we were leaving and his whole family was trying to take a selfie, like 10 of them. I stopped and offered to take their picture for them, and they got P to join them.

It was a different kind of evening out, but was fun.

This afternoon my bunch of girlfriends is coming over for a first meeting of our loosely formed writers group. We’re just going to eat and drink wine and talk about what we want to accomplish with this group, since we all like to write.  And, like my friend B said last night, “I know what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna drink wine and gossip.”  LOL.   I know I’d like to be able to read some of my work, and have these close friends hear it and critique it. I know my good friend D, the actress-teacher-sculptor-writer already has an idea for a play. She called me yesterday and asked me if she railroaded me into having this, because she said she feels like every time she sees me she’s asking if we can do it again. lol.  I told her no, of course.  We’ve been talking about doing this for awhile, and I wanted to do it before my son came because after that is Easter, etc, and it would get pushed way back probably into May. They love to come here for some reason. I think my deck lends itself to the group, with my Buddha face on the tree and all, lol. It’s a small deck but it works. I have to go put another bug bomb under it though. With the rain we had the other day, I’m afraid the mosquitos have been breeding.

I’m going to try making homemade guacamole for them. I got my sister’s recipe, and I’ve watched her make it a few times. These girls are big guac fans, lol. And I’m going to make some “Glorious Morning” muffins. I’m really making those for my son’s arrival tomorrow, but the recipe makes way too many for just him and I, so I can give some to the group today. They are my son’s favorite. They’re kind of a carrot cake muffin, with carrots, grated apple, walnuts, raisins, and you can add crushed pineapple and coconut if you want. I don’t have any crushed pineapple or coconut, but they’re good without them.

Can’t wait for my son to get here. I’ll need to nap tomorrow, to be picking him up at 10:40 at night, but that’s ok. It was really the only choice he had. He seems excited too! I hope the weather holds for him. It’s been such lovely weather, except for the t-storms we had the other morning, it’s been typical FL, sunny and warm.

Feeling blessed this morning, to have so much good stuff in my life. Love and light, all.

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On Not Having to Explain Myself

The other day, when I was at my sisters, she said, again, lol, how she didn’t realize how much it would mean to her to have me so close by. I think for me, it’s been different than for her. I KNEW how much it would mean to me, hell, I wouldn’t have moved here if she wasn’t here. I only knew her and my one friend from childhood. When you move a great distance, you think about those things.

My sis has lived here with her husband, in the winter for 8 years. She has a base here, close friendships. My appearance in her life was one more of them. But we both have realized how awesome it is to have each other. To have someone in your life on a regular basis who lived through your childhood together, who knew how you grew up, experienced all that you experienced. To have someone in your life regularly to whom you don’t have to explain who you are. It’s amazing really.

This morning, I was making my coffee, and thought about how all three of us, my older and younger sisters, and me, drink our coffee the same way. Cream only, and not too much of it. (Although my younger sister, now mostly vegan probably gave up the cream.) I thought about my little sister’s visit in about 10 days. Thought about how cool it will be to go out to lunch with both my sisters, just the 3 of us.

Of course, then I always think about how blessed we were to grow up in the Norman Rockwell life we did. Two parents who loved each other, in a small town in Iowa, in a 100 year old house 3 blocks from the Mississippi River. Days spent on that river together, where at least my older sis and I learned to water-ski, behind our 16′ boat. Minor league baseball games with my dad.

Mostly, and I’ve written about this many times, never ever going to bed wondering if our parents loved us. My God, what a gift that is to give your children. The people I know who did not have that foundation, that gift, of unconditional love have striven for it their whole lives, don’t believe it exists, and have built incredible walls and acted out in harmful ways to ease the pain of a child who doesn’t believe they are worthy of love.

I’m trying to finish up the stuff I need to get done with the house before my little sis comes here. I look at the diamond shaped window in my front door, and the round stained glass flower that this sister made for me which fits exactly in the center of it.

I feel so much peace lately. So much more than I’ve felt in years. My sisters and I hanging out together. The spark of a relationship that has the possibility of becoming something very special, without all the pain and drama and ugliness of my marriage and last relationship. A cute little house in a place where 60 is cold weather. And not having to go to work. Good, close friends. One of them who is almost like my sisters, who has known me forever, and to whom I never have to explain myself. It’s coincidental that the other day L was telling me a story from his youth, and said, oh yes, when I get together with my old friends, it’s still one of the stories we talk about.  Then he asked me, “do you have any friends that you’ve been friends with forever, like that?”  I told him “Oh yeah, in fact last weekend I had 3 girls staying with me and we’ve all been best friends since we were 13.”  He remarked how nice it is to have people in your life who knew you forever, that you never have to explain who you are to, who just know you.  It’s frigging amazing, really.

I have said so many times in the last couple of years, that I believe my purpose on this earth is to learn lessons and evolve my soul. I still believe that. The last couple of years though, I’ve added a caveat to that which is, that my lessons become easy lessons. I’ve had enough of the hard ones. I think I really have. Right now, it seems easy. I mean, the hardest thing that’s happened in a long time is having to set up a new cell phone, LOL. It feels like the Universe has listened, as if the intentions I set are manifesting.

Love and light to everyone.

Working Out Sleeplessness

I see my old friend Pat sleeping on my couch, in deep sleep and I think how nice it would be, to be able to just sleep anywhere. She’s one of those people who can. My mom used to be able to do that. My mother-in-law fell asleep at an NHL hockey game once. You know it was not quiet there, lol.

I went right to sleep last night, and well I should have. 3 hours sleep the night before, 2 rum and cokes at the restaurant, and we had a little smoke when we got home. I slept for a couple of hours, and then woke up, and of course, couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s getting old, this not sleeping thing. I had taken a full Ambien, just to make sure I slept, but there you go. So at 1 AM I took a Benedryl. That’s ridiculous I know. I am aghast at myself for putting so much crap in my body, but I am craving sleep and it is just evading me.

Lately when I’m like this I have to get up and write. Stream of consciousness…just let out whatever it is. Last night I felt very comfortable with my friends sleeping here. I was not overstimulated. When I went to bed I was only looking forward to climbing in between my sheets in that bed I love. But there I was, awake at 1:30 AM.

I picked up my laptop, opened it up and began to write.

What came out was, all the tentative hope I had for this relationship with Tim. He sent me an email this morning. Telling me about his night, and that he can’t wait to see me. Not gushing, just loving. He included a poem, I don’t know if he wrote it. I don’t think so, it was in quotes but the author not id’d.

I also realized that I still miss things about S, which I wish I didn’t. But that is always overridden now with his ability to play games with me and others, and the way I am always the big loser with him, that there is nothing to be gained from him. I guess when you love someone you always love some parts of them. The funny, smart, sexy parts. But they aren’t worth the brokenness, the chaos, the confusion.

I know where I stand with Tim, and it is so reassuring. I also am physically attracted to him, and that too is reassuring to me that we can get to that place eventually. He’s not overbearing, but likes to stay in touch. He’s not demanding, but expresses himself. He is not afraid to put his arm around me, he is not afraid to take my hand and talk to me seriously. He is not overly demonstrative, but is demonstrative. And he’s also smart, and has an artsy side. He loved his wife, who died after a 7 year battle of cancer. He was her caregiver all that time. And happy for the job.

What do I not like about him? Well, he has a drawl, lol, and my mind always clicks to a redneck when I hear a drawl. But he’s so not. He is so much an aging hippie like me, even though he’s an ex-firefighter, and ex-cop.

So, I have hope that this will go somewhere. He’s a really good man. I am cautious, too cautious with him. Like I should have been with S, and wasn’t, jumping in with both feet. I resolved not to do that again. To let things grow, to fill the marble jar, before giving myself over completely. S would always put 5 marbles in the jar, and then dump it over and just watch the marbles roll out. It’s just too hard to retrieve yourself, when someone breaks your heart. Jumping in set me up for heartbreak over and over again. I can’t imagine Tim willfully breaking my heart. Nor me his. I’ve broken a man’s heart before, but not willfully. It was just that I could not match his emotions for me. That man was needy, and I am so not. I love to be in love, but not with just anyone.

So that dichotomy, between the two men, that chaotic jumble of emotions, is what was keeping me up. Tomorrow Tim and I will go manatee watching, sunset watching and really see if we connect. I’m looking forward to the growth of the seed that’s been planted.

Love and light to all.

Music and Friends (or why I was so tired last night, lol)

Open mic is such a cool thing in this little town. I was supposed to meet my friend Beth there. She said she was going early to practice a song with a couple of guitar players, but when I got there she wasn’t there yet. The friend I’d run into Wednesday was there, sitting with a few other friends, and he right away motioned for me to come over and sit with them, which I did.

I got into a conversation with a woman who I was only acquainted with before, when I asked how everyone’s week was. She was telling me if it could go wrong it did, lol. Then we got into a discussion about how Mercury turns retrograde Monday the 19th. And kind of wondering what effect that will have on the Electoral College vote that day. Mangia Gourmet Cafe is a rare place in FL where you will not find any Trump supporters, so it’s safe to talk openly about him, and not expect any arguments.

Beth showed up, and as is her way, she flits from table to table because she has known everyone for so long. She kind of settled across the table from me, next to our awesome transgender friend G. G is 69 years old, and trans-ing from male to female. She is so open, and funny and she sings beautifully. Next to G was a performer who comes up from Sarasota, about an hour away, on a regular basis. The table was rounded out with D, the wife of the shows MC, who is an actress, having taught acting her whole life, but is now retired. She and her husband are equity actors, meaning they get paid for their work, lol. However, she considers herself a sculptor. I have not seen her work. Such a lovely funny person.

We were talking about the music they were all playing, and I leaned into the table and said, “I am waiting for someone to get up and do some Van Morrison. I’ve never heard anyone sing him here.” B, the guy from Sarasota, nodded his head, and looked like he was thinking about what I’d said. Well, when it came to his turn to sing, he first did Harvest Moon (Neil Young), then maybe one of his own compositions. Most everyone was doing just 2 songs, but we kind of egged him on to do another. The MC told him to go ahead, and B said, “Ok, well I have a request…” and he pointed at me and began singing “Moondance.” So everyone at our table started clapping. Somehow he transitioned Moondance into California Dreaming and that into All Along the Watchtower absolutely seamlessly. It was so awesome! When he was done I gave him a big hug, thanking him for all of it, especially Moondance.

There are always makeshift bands that play together, to back someones music up. My friend Beth did her two songs, but then joined in a bunch of others. Everyone loves her to sing with them, because she knows all the music, and can sing harmonies without thinking about it, and puts on a fun show while she’s up there. The last song of the night was Minnie the Moocher, (old Cab Calloway). They had 6 or 7 performers up front, and Beth was singing the scat part of it, she is so good at that and loves to do it. Everyone laughing and clapping, everyone having a good time.

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“Minnie the Moocher” at Mangia Gourmet

At the end of the night, a few people were saying how Mangia is needing a bigger space. Because it does get really busy, people are out on the sidewalks.

God, what a fun night.

Tonight is my date. I got a text from him last night saying he hoped I enjoyed my open mic night, and that he was really looking forward to tonight. So am I!.

What a rough life, lol. I slept til 7:30 this morning, that is SOO late for me! But I’m glad, hopefully it will mean I won’t get tired so soon tonight.

Love and light everyone.

Quiet Friday

Quiet day today. I drove out to another side of town, in search of a CVS. That was really just an excuse, I just wanted to go in the other direction, lol. I found the store, in the small town next to mine. Pretty little town, but more commercial, in a nice way. I also went to the post office to pick up the mail they’ve been holding. I had a letter from someone who wanted to buy my house. I guess that’s a good sign, but I just pitched it. Not selling for a LONG long while.

I came back, put some more stuff away. A new friend texted me, because she left something in my car last night. She came over to get it and the two of us went to the library in town, then off to get ice cream down on Beach Blvd, lol. How Florida does that sound?

She gave me a tour of the town, some things I hadn’t had a chance to see. We went to the Clam Bayou, which is a nature conservancy with all kinds of paths for walking an biking through it. It’s right on the water. She also took me over to the Boca Ciega Yacht Club, which is really just a club of boaters, that love boating and water. We were able to walk in, ask about their sailing lessons, just walk around it. Not fancy at all. Just people like me who love the water.

This town is about the same size, population size, as the small town I lived in in CT, 12,000. Yet it has all these wonderful things for the people who live there. Community theater, a big beautiful library, a wonderful senior center, a yacht club, artwalks, galleries. Tomorrow there’s something going on at a place called The Blueberry Patch, and there will be music, etc. There is always something to do. Always. I even found a center today that does sound healing and I’m going to call them and see what kind of sound healing. It could be gongs! That would be so awesome.

When my friend left, I noticed my ceiling fan was making a little noise. I shut it off, and got up on the ladder, to see if there was something loose. As it turned out, I could see the tail of one of those little lizards sticking out of it!!!!! I pulled the tail out and it broke off. I was completely grossed out. There was another little piece about a half inch long hanging out of the crack in the fan (I think it was a dried up leg) but I couldn’t find my needle nose pliers to pull it out. Poor little lizard got all the way to the fan and died…..Geez. I turned it back on and it’s not making noise now, so I suppose it was the tail whipping the blades as they spun.

I am starting to get less freaked out by the wildlife here. Giant bugs, lizards, fire ants….. I guess they are a fair trade for the balmy breezes, beautiful beaches, and lack of winter. I mean, I can’t be squeamish when I live alone.

My friend Pat, the painter, is going to start designing the sign to go outside my front door on my house that will say “Avalon”.  It really is the place of new beginnings, and healing. So happy the universe conspired in my behalf to land me here.

Life is good. Gonna look for a movie on TV tonight, after I eat dinner. All is well.

Love and light.

An Evening Out

mangia

The evening air was sultry.
Sea breezes blew across our shoulders
from the bay
From beyond,
Giving us respite from the heat of the day.

Quiet music charmed the diners
As we sipped our tea
And carried on intimate conversations,
Or laughed together,
And met new people,
Under the lights strung through the trees
Like twinkling stars.

We clapped our hands
For the singers
Who got up and sang for free
For the joy of singing.
Only happiness and contentment
Filled the air.

Sometimes it’s not that way
Sometimes it’s more raucous
With singers belting out the blues
Or rock and roll,
And people dancing.

But not that night.
That night was just laid back
And perfect.
Evoking memories
Of hot summer nights
In another life
Long ago and far away
And intimate conversations
Under the stars
With people that I loved,
Still love.

There is a continuum,
From then to now.
The energy and the love survive all,
Love always, and all ways.

Straight From the Bottle

I’m about to drink wine straight from the bottle. Because I don’t have a glass that’s not packed. I feel like I need to sit back and relax.  (There’s only about 1 glass left in the bottle.)  I’ve been going full tilt since 8:30 am and it’s now 5:30. Vacuumed and mopped the basement floors, and cleaned the fridge in there. It was my sons fridge, he’s 24. That should be enough to explain how much fun that was. I did score 4 beers out of it, lol, but I don’t really like beer. Oh well. Someone will drink it.

My two besties came over this morning and cleaned out my pantry and freezer. Their husbands cleaned out the garage. By cleaned out, I mean that they took all the food that was edible out of the pantry, and all the stuff from the garage that I couldn’t sell or give away.   Snow blower, weed wacker, space heaters, gas cans, all sorts of stuff.  Then the husbands helped me disconnect the TV, and put it in the box it has to go in for moving. Also the mirror which is attached to my dresser.

Then I packed more stuff. Like my printer, jewelry box, jewelry that doesn’t fit in my jewelry box, DVD player, hand soap dispensers and toothbrush holder. Cleaned two bathrooms.

Done for today. Done. Especially after talking to my sister for an hour, and my son for a half hour. I’m pretty spent.

I don’t have TV to watch tonight either. I can watch it on my computer though. So many people are asking to come by and say goodbye one more time. It’s really heartwarming. Because I don’t have time to go see everyone, but they are all willing to come here. I am grateful. Doing all this stuff alone has proven to be very hard.

The one person I really kind of hoped would say goodbye has remained silent. I’m not surprised, he couldn’t do the right thing on his best day. And neither could his girlfriend. Match made in heaven. Or maybe the other place. I’m over it, just think it would have been nice to leave things on a more positive note. He’s never been able to do things that are uplifting to anyone but himself anyway.

On the other hand, Addie, whose heart I broke over the silent one a few times, has been in touch, and still makes mefeel his   unconditional love.   I am so hsppy to hear from him. And happy that his girlfriend is secure enough and mature enough not to try to stop him.  Blessed to have that sweet man in my life, takes the sting out of the other one.

Well, onward. Not much left to do here. Thankfully. Wind it up and get my butt down to the land of sand, salt and palm trees. I’m ready.

Love and light.