Monday, July 17, 2017

Joys of Home Ownership

Brad's daughter, who loves snakes, found this right by their door. According to Brad, it's non-poisonous and he sort of poked it with a stick and it was on its way. This is in Albuquerque.


Anxiety Dream

I had an anxiety dream last night that was so intense that it's stayed with me even this late into the day. In short, I had to take a US History final and I didn't know what classroom to go to. Plus I hadn't studied, plus I couldn't find the textbook, plus my friends (some of whom I could identify as real people from high school days) all had these precise notes about where and when their finals were and of course they had all diligently studied.

I knew it was at 2 pm but I didn't know what building or room (it was a college campus) and Mary was my roommate in the dream and I asked her how I could find out where my final was and she blandly said, "I don't know" and that was really a funny (in retrospect) part of the dream that EVEN MARY ISN"T HELPING ME.

I realized that even though I didn't buy the textbook I had US History books in my personal library so I could review those so I was searching the bookcases and all the books were Mary's and I wondered what happened to my books.

So in the dream I got this brilliant idea of calling the university, asking for the history department and then asking where my final is. I pick up a phone, and you know what happens in anxiety dreams. Phone didn't work, couldn't make a connection, kept trying.

This dream had a subplot which is I was trying to do laundry. I had a whole bunch of dresses (??) and I wondered in the dream why I had gone so long in not doing laundry (which is NOT like me in real life). It was one of those non-sensical subplots where I kept gathering them, and losing them, and gathering them and then finally I picked out four items to take down the hall to the washing machine thrilled that I was finally making progress and there were two washing machines, both of which were in use.

What added to this anxiety in real life is that I was having this dream early in the morning and I'd wake up 80% and think it was real, and doze back to sleep, and wake up again (or thought I was awake) until finally I woke up 100% and was relieved it was...

just a dream!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Passing of a Teacher

When I was in elementary school, the smart kids (of course I was one of them...) were presented with French lessons starting in first grade. The teacher was Madame Simpson and she was also the mother of my good friend Hester. Her mother had actually created the job and sold the school district on teaching kids French. When I would go to Hester's house to play, I often had to speak French and the one thing I remember about dinners is that they served salad after the main meal in the European fashion.

In any event, Madame Simpson became somewhat of an institution and we adored her and realized as adults what an amazing opportunity we were given. But today, Hester gave me the sad news that Madame had passed away peacefully. She was 99.  In addition to the language, Madame also taught us French culture and geography. In sixth grade, we went on a French class field trip to a New York City restaurant called Les Pyrenees and then on a tour of the Ile de France, which at that time was one of the luxury ocean liners. I still remember that day vividly.

To be honest, one thing I remember was the first course in the restaurant being liver pate and I wrapped mine in my napkin and the waiter realized what I had done, but just laughed. Never did like liver pate.

I asked Hester if she wanted me to tell the classmates and she said yes... so this is what I sent:

Hester told me today that Madame Simpson passed away peacefully last week. She said she had already told some classmates and I asked her if she wanted me to send a note to the entire class and she said yes.
 
For those of us whose lives were touched by Madame Simpson, her passing is a sad time. I told Hester the other day that I can still see her mother entering our class and saying "Bonjour Classe" and we'd reply in a chorus, "Bonjour Madame Simpson."
 
The first time I was in Paris in my 30s, I was on the Metro on a line that ran both above and below ground and all of a sudden out of the window I saw the Eiffel Tower and my immediate reaction was to gasp and think, "It's just like Madame Simpson showed us." I remember pictures of various Paris landmarks pasted on colored construction paper and we'd have to identify them.
 
We thank Madame for her zeal and grace and send our best thoughts to Hester in this very difficult time.

Me again: I was so sad about this and I realized that part of my sadness, a selfish part, is my own ageing. That as long as an elementary school teacher was still alive, I wasn't "the oldest" but now we are.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Highlight of My Day

Years ago, in college, Mary and I would sometimes talk about the happiest thing that happened to us that day before we went to bed. Ok, this makes us sound doofy, but we did it. And over the years, I sometimes ask myself the same question and typically it's the kindness of strangers, or an unexpected and appreciated compliment when I needed it, but today it was meeting Coco.

I had left the doctor's office and I was sitting on this little wall, waiting for a cab to come my way, when this little black dog being walked came over to me as if she knew me... her name is Coco and her companion told me she is a SCHNOODLE... which is a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle. She even put her little paws up on me, and the owner apologized and I said I didn't care, which I really didn't, and she said, "Coco likes to make friends." So that was the nicest thing that happened to me today.

And you?

Here's a stock photo of a Schnoodle:


Coco's front paws were white and I asked if she were old or if that was her coloring and it's just her coloring. She really is a cute dog.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

PS to Post Below

Just got this from someone who also knew Katrina:

I got an email from Katrina the other day. Voices from the dead. There was a dozen or so names on the address line, all from [company name], as far as I could tell. It came to my [company] email address.
Really weird when a dead person’s address book is hacked. Only message was a link, which no sane person would ever click on.
But it was a reminder of how sad Katrina’s cancer was.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Reason #9 billion to hate spammers

This was quite a coincidence. Was talking to Mary who was cleaning out some paperwork type boxes and looked at the cards and letters she got when her father died  in 1993. She told me two of my friends had sent cards, one being my friend Katrina who died of pancreatic cancer about three years ago.

About an hour later, I go on line and in the queue you, of course, see the senders' names, not as email addresses but as their regular names. So I scan the list of new email and there's an email from Katrina (with her first and last name). I have to say it sort of freaked me out a bit.

So I open it and it's one of those spams that has a "look at this cool thing" with a URL. And I thought even when you're dead, you're not safe from the spammers.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Baby Lily and her Great Aunt Mary

Mary says:

I love holding baby Lily. She is tiny. She lost weight, more than they like, so they had her on supplemental feeding and she started gaining again but she's only about 6 lb 1oz.