You are currently browsing the archive for the Learning category.


When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. – Maya Angelou

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. – Unknown

I am learning, both the potency and urgency of these quotations. A little late in the game, maybe. Maybe right on time. Either way, I’m ready. Ready to have relationships that nourish rather than drain. That uplift rather than crush. That embrace rather than judge.

I am paying C A R E F U L attention. I am listening. Hearing all of your words. Observing all of your actions.

It used to be that I brushed aside small criticisms of my person. Large criticisms, too. Slights. I made excuses. I didn’t believe, without articulating it as such, that I deserved better. That I deserved kindness and respect. That others were more important than me, my thoughts, my feelings.

Times have changed. Show me who you are, and I will believe you NOW, the first time. For some, it may be the 100th. But it will be the last.

These words, seen so clearly, seem a bit harsh to my eyes. But when I look back on the hurts and failed relationships of my past, where I was disrespected and unappreciated, I know I need their simplicity, their clarity.

I’m ready for all the goodness and light I deserve.

See you on the other side. Or maybe not…

For a long time now, the hubster and I haven’t bought each other gifts. We’ve got the love of our dreams and the life we want, so it seemed unnecessary. Until. Until we bought this house and have been working almost every single day for thirteen weeks to fix it up. Knowing that we have about thirteen more. Having that giant dumpster in the back yard for more than two months, big time stinky smelly from a laborer tossing something other than construction waste in it, something oh-so FOUL. Hoping for favorable winds so we could open a window or take a break out back. Yeah, blech.

And then the realization that our birthdays are our FORTY-FIFTH! As a good friend said, halfway to ninety. Holy shit. So we bought a telescope for our mutual delight at star gazing and imagining what if? We looked at Jupiter Wednesday night and three of its moons, Mars, too, from our own, sweet smelling, dumpster-free yard. The wonders of the universe and height of splendor, peeps, the absolute height!

And because I don’t have the attachment for my camera, YET, I snapped photos of my yard gazing while the hubster’s eye was on the sky. Good times, happy nights, and more to come!

Be well…




Happy Wednesday, dear reader! A little peek at our work in progress. Dave our window guy takes the final boards from what once was a bay window in the living room. It didn’t really fit with the house, a 1950s brick ranch, and even if I had liked it, the base was almost entirely rotten under the fascia. I’m just glad no one really heavy made their self at home on the window seat, as it likely would have collapsed. Dodged a bullet with that one, whew!

The second photo is Walter the mason adding courses of bricks to a too low window, which will give us better functionality in the kitchen. It kept anything of normal height from being installed on an entire wall. After all is said and done, the kitchen sink will be under the window, and I’ll be happy as a clam gazing into our lovely yard whenever I wash up.

And finally, the hubster, champion of my heart! I took this photo after he spent about an hour crawling like a caterpillar in the attic, tracing and rewiring circuits for the kitchen. This was our dinner break, and as we sat on the floor eating green chile, I thanked him profusely for doing what I can’t and don’t want to do.

This is where it gets really cool and I feel even more grateful for this partner of mine. He thanked me profusely for doing what he can’t and doesn’t want to do, like running errands, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, buying his clothes, decorating, gardening, painting, finding and hiring people to install windows and floors, grocery shopping, the list goes on.

The truth is, I get a lot of flack from a lot of people (but NEVER from him) about my lack of paying work. When are you going to apply for a job? When are you finally going to contribute? I tell them, shamefaced and ears burning, about how damn hard I have tried. How, over the past six years, I’ve applied for more than five hundred, got hired for one, and made about twenty-five cents an hour. Twenty-five measly cents. What I will now say, after finally hearing it (because he’s said it a million times) from the man of my dreams, is, “It’s none of your business.” Because it isn’t. Our life is our business. We’ve been together for twenty-five years (huzzah!), love each other well, sweetly, and heartily, and have our own good and great thing. Its beautiful and messy and oh, so right. He does wonderful work that turns on lights, makes money, and pays bills. I do wonderful work that doesn’t (like this blog). But together, we have it all.



 More movies? So soon? Yup! I realized that I left out some really good ones last time. Enjoy!


Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s – Regardless of your take on fashion, this documentary is pretty cool. Meet the people and learn the history behind the iconic New York institution, Bergdorf Goodman. The genius window dressers, the trend spotters, the sales people. Fascinating!

The Silence – A young girl disappears in the precise location another girl disappeared some twenty-three years earlier. A story of loneliness, friendship, and the past we can’t escape.

The Story of Film: An Odyssey – Wowie zowie! This is a spectacular documentary series that looks at film and film making, from the very first to present day. Broad in scope, each of the fifteen hour-long episodes covers a different genre, era, or innovation from around the world. Mark Cousins, the talented writer/director/narrator has a fabulous voice, too. In particular, I enjoy his use and pronunciation of the word “sweep.”

Robot & Frank – In a not so far off future, children concerned about their father but too busy or distant to care for him on a regular basis buy him a robot. Oh, and Frank is a cat burglar with dementia, too, and learns how to get his robot in on the action in between bouts of forgetting. Deception and mayhem ensue.

Rust & Bone – A woman wakes up with her legs amputated after a freak accident with the killer whale she was training. A man with a passion for fighting. They meet and become friends. Sweet things happen. Sad, depressing things happen. People make horrible mistakes. Rights are wronged as best they can be. A happy ending, of sorts. Brilliant!

Frequencies – In this mind bender of a fil-um, success and intelligence are determined by a person’s frequency, the higher the better. When people of mixed frequency interact, chaos ensues (earthquakes! lightning! thunderstorms!), usually within a minute. Very low frequency Zak, in love with very high frequency Marie is determined to find a solution. Terrific!

Dear White People – Meet four black students at an Ivy League school, each unique and with very different ambitions, each mixed up in a heated battle in the one all-black house on campus. Whip smart, laugh out loud funny, and incredibly sad and horrifying, at times.


Snow is falling, inches of it, maybe even feet by the time the storm passes. We walked to the hardware store to buy a second snow shovel, as we love to be out in it together, tag team.

I can’t remember if I’ve already said this, but snow, and our sheer pleasure at its falling in Portland last winter, was one of the signs we were ready to move on. For the preceding years of our residence, we were the killjoys who wanted only rain and wished the snow away, and the sooner the better. It was, in many ways, a reminder of what we left behind.

That, I suppose, is the nature of change. Fifteen years of Portland rain proved adequate. There is comfort in snow, and I am happy for it, to watch its delicate descent, to stomp and shovel it, to have its white blanket quiet the land.

Pittsburgh weather, at least thus far, has been more variable: a few days of rain, a few days of clouds, a few days of snow, a few days of sun. It is colder here, temperature wise, but I am decidedly and happily warmer, for it lacks Portland’s winter humidity that chilled me so.

It also lacks the green, with the majority of neighboring forests deciduous, save a token few evergreens. Carpeted with brown leaves (or snow) and spindly, skyward climbing branches, it is jarring at first, and holds fewer secrets. I remember walking in Forest Park and hearing movement, the rustle of leaves, the crunch of twigs, and never once seeing what creature was responsible. It is possible here, and I’m reveling at the opportunity.

I would like to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to all who reached out after the passing of my Grandma and our sweet kitties. The loss and the resulting change in our lives has been more difficult than we ever imagined it would be. Your kindness, much like the blanket of snow, has been a tremendous and most appreciated comfort. Thank you.


« Older entries