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Crickets……… Have You Heard The Crickets?

Cocktail Time, life, Sexy After 60!, Uncategorized

Crickets……… I apologize for the Crickets!

“Are you still writing your blog?”  “I haven’t seen any new articles in a few weeks.” “Where the hell IS the Queen of Damn Near Everything?”

Those are the questions I’ve heard more than a few times over the past few weeks.  You might wonder if The Queen took off to a new kingdom- or just what the hell has happened.

Life.

Life is what happened. All good.  (Mostly good, actually).  But life.  Life at “speed of light” living.  And something had to give, somewhere. So, unfortunately, it was this blog.

Sorry peeps!

We moved just after Labor Day.  A good thing.  A great thing actually.  But a TIME CONSUMING thing.  Moving isn’t for sissies.  Even if you are a Realtor and should know how to do this stuff. And those of you who are in my “inner circle” know how crazy life is at the best of times.  we had out of town company right before the move, so we couldn’t do much packing. Then, of course, I don’t like to shut down my regularly scheduled life, so I continued to have my little parties and events I do monthly, such as Bunko, right up until days before the move……..Which leads to craziness when the actual move happened.

We had my stuff, Don’s stuff and too damned much stuff.

And, to add to the Melee, (Is that the word?  Is that A word?)Long before the move was planned, a vacation was planned.  To Cabo. For a week.  One week to the day after our move.

Great in some ways, because I had been averaging about 3 hours sleep for 6 weeks straight.  From the day we went into escrow, I’d hit the bed, and then by 1:30 AM be awake thinking of all the stuff that needed to be done for the move, and by 3 AM, I’d bound out and start moving at the pace of a chimpanzee on crack, never stopping for a minute until I fell into bed about 11 PM.

That being said, the vacation actually probably saved me from physical ruin.

A few days after we return from vacation, Don manages to break his foot. (THAT is another story for another day, trust me!) So, on top of trying to get a house in order, we now have to deal with a guy who is supposed to stay completely off his foot until they can get around to surgery.  Two weeks after the break we have surgery…………..So now, the guy who picks up so much of my slack by running here, running there, picking up this, helping out here……… is pretty much confined to sitting with his leg up. Leaving me with a LOT less time in my schedule.

But will I let that stop me?  HELL NO!  I still forge ahead with the important things in life.  Planning my first bunko party in the new house.  Planning our housewarming party. Putting on a dinner party for my Kiwanis group….  And work.  Work just doesn’t stop.  OH HELL NO!  Real estate has been as busy as EVER! So, just when you think you have a full day to unpack, organize, decorate or whatever, someone calls and off you go…… showing property.

Then, added to moving, broken legs, entertaining and making a new home, the “new home” pipes up.  If you have ever moved, you may be familiar with this phenomenon.  I don’t know if it has a name, but I know it happens, sure as the sun rises. Houses somehow KNOW when you move into them, and they decide to immediately ACT UP! Although an appliance may have been inspected before purchase of the house, although things all look fine and dandy before purchasing, WHAM, the house wants to see how much you REALLY love it by making things stop working properly, at seemingly break neck speed right after you move in. It kind of makes me think of a toddler who wants to test if you REALLY love them, by testing you every minute.

So, the first time we have the kids and a few friends over, we turn on the spa.  We’d been using the spa basically every night since move in, with no problems. We turn it on that evening and the water just drains out of the spa within seconds.  HUH?  A repair of a major part. Of course.

Then we have my Kiwanis group over for a party.  We have hired a caterer and she arrives, turns on the oven (first time since we’d moved in) and WHAP!  Blam, pow……. smoke, sparks, zap and no electrical panel now.  Of course, when the home warranty repairman arrives, he tells me there is nothing wrong with the oven.  (He has continued to tell me that the other two times I’ve had them come out…. again, another story for another day.)

And Real Estate. As I said, busy as hell. And none of the transactions I’ve dealt with have just gone down smoothly.  HELL NO!  There has been some sort of “challenge” (read as pain-in-the-ass) involved in every damned one of them.

AND, I’ve also been involved in selling my own home AND overseeing a home upgrade for a client, so I could get that house on the market for the best price.

To top it all off, my 60th birthday was Monday (November 13th for those of you who want to put it in your calendar for next year.  Send gifts.  Lots of them.  I like gifts.)  Needless to say, I’m having the big wing-ding party for my 60th, because, damn it, I’m worth it.  So, that happened Saturday night.  The band, the FABULOUS new dress. The DELICIOUS chocolate mousse cake, the out of town company……I even had a “signature Martini at the event. The Patti-tini!  (What else?) It was absolutely EPIC and SO much fun!  (Stay tuned, you WILL be subjected to pictures!)

I can now OFFICIALLY use my category of Sexy After 60! YIPPEE!  And did I score with the fun, all the way around!  Gifts, family, friends, fun, fun, fun!

That being said, this explains full well why all you have heard from me is crickets.  But I’m back!

Don’t forget about me! I didn’t forget about you! Tell your friends about this blog.  I’m only asking for you to personally share it with 100 of your closest friends.  Easy peasy!  You can do that for a fabulous friend like me, right?

Stay tuned. I have travel stuff to share. Before and after decorating stuff to share. Broken foot stories to share. There is a lot up in this noggin’ of mine to share with you.

 

Ode to Summer

Family Time, life, Mothering 101, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized

I’ve been buried eyes deep in packing boxes, fresh from the “big move.” Racing to make the new house “home” so that we can get back to the pace of real life again. You’ll hear more about that adventure soon. Since I haven’t had much time to write, I thought I’d post my first “guest blogger” and share this lovely article, Ode to Summer, with you.

Enjoy!  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as  I did when I read it.

Ode to Summer

Those lazy, crazy days of summer! Photo Credit Suzanne Scheve 2017

I’m sitting on a California beach watching my daughter jump the waves. This year we swapped our annual crazy road trip for a stay on the west coast, and at the end of an idyllic, albeit busy, ten day vacation with my family, I suddenly find myself staring at a new school year lurking just around the corner. While I’m excited to get my class list and finish organizing my room, I’m definitely not ready for summer’s last hurrah.

Summers Past

When I was my daughter’s age, I counted the days to our annual two-week beach trip by number of sleeps until the big day arrived.    We didn’t own a car, so travel was by motor coach to the south coast of England, a 7-8 hour mostly tedious journey, endless motorways finally giving way to the first views of the twinkling blue waves at the bottom of the hill as we pulled into the bus station at our destination.

We always stayed at a B&B for our fortnight of sand, sea, and sun; usually chosen sight-unseen from a holiday book, sandwiched somewhere along a row of Victorian three-storey homes, mostly the same on the outside, but revealing the personal stamp of the owners on the inside.  Creaky floorboards, uneven staircases, and old paisley carpets were de rigeur, however; along with the smells of morning bacon wafting up the stairs as we woke to the alarm call of the gulls wheeling in the impossibly-blue skies; the sound of stainless steel spoons in bowls of cereal, the scrape of knives and forks as you ate up every scrap of that full English breakfast which always tasted better on holiday.

Nell at the beach, Cardiff, CA. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Sand Castles and Salty-Sea-Lips

Most days were unplanned but usually had the same routine –  heading down the Chine to the beach with a towel (sometimes splurging on a deck chair); digging sand castles with a new bucket and spade; salty-sea-lips, mixed in with the taste of suncream and lunchtime baps filled with tomatoes, cheese, the obligatory packet of crisps,  and some form of lunchmeat.  Most importantly, it was essential to time the return to the B&B perfectly so that we’d be first to stake a claim on the communal bathroom – otherwise we’d be relegated to a quick cold dip in the tub, or worse, a ‘lick and a promise’ with Quickies and cold water in our attic twin room.  The bedroom sink did double duty as an underwear rinsing station too: M&S smalls hung to dry on a makeshift clothesline outside the window – and never a problem until one day a gust of wind blew a very sparkly pair of my purple knickers off the window sill and onto the No Vacancy sign in the parking area, where they remained until Mum rather sheepishly reclaimed them before dinner that night.

On the days when the tide was high and the beach area was reduced to a few feet, we’d take day trips to explore nearby towns and sights: a local safari park and forest, miniature recreations of British and worldwide monuments; we’d play mini-golf or time-waste in thAe penny arcade; or shop for souvenirs at Beale’s or W.H. Smith’s.  In the evenings, we’d walk into town or hop on the open top bus and ride the cliff roads with views of the bay: the Aqua show, Pier Theatre, and the fairy lights in the Public Gardens were always at the top of our post-dinner to-do list.

Sometimes we would go to the pictures – I remember seeing the Sound of Music for the first time and crushing on Colonel Von Trapp; belly-laughing at the corny jokes of Airplane!; and the summer of the disaster movie – Earthquake with the simulated shaking in the theatre; Towering Inferno with a sweaty Paul Newman and George Kennedy; and Jaws of course, after which every innocuous black shape in the sea caused a mild panic on the beach.

Years later, I look back at old photographs and find great joy in those memories of childhood summer holidays.  How lucky I was!  And how lucky I am in my summers now, to be able to spend many days off with my own daughter.   My Junes are filled with swim team and Vacation Bible School – quite possibly the best summer invention ever; my Julys and early Augusts calendared with trips by road or plane to visit family.

This summer, my goal was to get my house in order and focus (my one little word for 2017) on the myriad personal projects I never have time for during the school year.  I’ve organized and reorganized my pantry, kitchen, and the bedrooms; prepped for my new classroom; purged, tossed, and shredded paper piles; donated, sold, and put away the contents of my closet; finally tackled my tangled up jewellery boxes;  read more books for pleasure than for professional development; and most importantly, carved out serious quality time making new summer memories with my girl.

My grand daughter, Nell and “grand dog” Toro, a.k.a “Mush” Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

Last week, on our connecting flight here, I found myself sitting next to a mother who had recently lost her Navy son to a tragic accident.  She was on her way to give comfort to her daughter-in-law, who was drowning in despair, struggling to come up for air with a seven-month old son.  We talked about loss; about hanging on to faith by your fingernails when everything seems overwhelming; how there is no timeline on grief; how anxiety and depression can overwhelm your soul in those early days of loss; and how the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel can seem as unattainable as the summit of Everest when the pain of loss is but a few days old.

Time Waits for No Man……. or Woman

In 9 days, I will be exactly the same age as my husband was when he left this earth – 52 years and 98 days old.  28 days after that will be the 6th anniversary of his passing.  My daughter is a rising 5th grader who will turn 11 in October.   She tells me she remembers his voice.  I hear his laugh in hers, and see his kindness in her thoughtful ways.  She is his legacy of love.

Stopping the clock to freeze our favourite moments in time; pushing the snooze button on summer; tweaking the past with a time-turner – these are not available options for us.  In times of loss, it’s easy to clutch at the past, as a drowning man grabs for a lifebelt.  Time passes, and the rawness of immediate grief gives way to what is often called a new normal (I hate that term by the way); we resolve to go forward; to try to live our best lives, appreciate what we have, while we have it.  To be present in the moment and enjoy those simpler pleasures.  Dust bunnies and laundry can wait til tomorrow. Our lives shouldn’t be measured by piles of stuff, but too often, those piles become our defining memories.

Simple Pleasure of Summer

So summer of 2017, here’s to you and your simple pleasures…..

….to lazy days of walking on the beach and jumping the waves….

…..to that can’t-put-down novel and languishing in luscious language……

…..to sunburned shoulders and freckled faces…..

…..,to diving in the deep end of a pool and blowing bubbles through noses….

…..to cold pizza and icecream for breakfast, juicy watermelon dripping down chins, and everything good to eat…..

…to sleeping in on weekday mornings, and napping on the wraparound porch as the hummingbirds dive bomb the hanging baskets like kamikaze pilots…..

Cheers to you, summer…..

Cardiff-by-the-Sea CA. Beach. Photo Credit, Suzanne Scheve 2017

A bit about the author:

Suzanne Scheve is a single mom and a third grade teacher living in Houston, Texas, with her daughter, dog, and cat.  She enjoys traveling, cooking, eating anything on a plate, and hanging with her extended family in California, St. Louis, and on the East Coast.

Suzanne is also my step-daughter, from a previous marriage (it’s complicated, and FAR too difficult to explain here! She is also the fabulous mother of my only Granddaughter, Nell. Suzanne is a talented writer and photographer, in addition to her other previously named skills. I will vouch for her love for travel, cooking and eating! I have witnessed her abilities in all 3 activities!

Just days after they were with us for our summer visit, and their return home to Houston, Hurricane Harvey hit. Luckily, their home wasn’t damaged, and they were not impacted as severely as many there were.  We are blessed to have these two females as a vibrant and important part of our family.

You can find more of Suzanne’s writings at https://suiteanglaise.wordpress.com

By the way, If you haven’t yet subscribed to my blog, do it now! As soon as the boxes and clutter are cleared away, and I can get back to “real life” I’m going to be running some fabulous “subscriber only” contests!  You don’t want to miss your chance at fabulous free stuff—- do you?SUBSCRIBE ALREADY!

 

I’m a Super-Hero!

Comedy, Fabulous After 50, life, Uncategorized, You Can't Make This Shit Up!
Patti Phillips, Super-Hero

The research proves, I’m a Super-Hero!

Florence Nightingale, Step Aside!

It’s true!  I may not look it at first glance, but I have the proof!  Florence Nightingale has nothing up on me! Recently, I came across an article that I’d printed off the internet some time back. I am the hoarder of torn out articles from magazines and newspapers of days gone by. I print out articles from the internet and save them. Obviously, I’m the opposite of the “paperless society.”  I use paper where paper didn’t exist!

Eating a Vagina Cures Cancer!

It’s no wonder, however, that I saved this little gem! Ladies, you are going to LOVE this piece of information, trust me!  It is worth its weight in gold…… and then some!  This article proclaims in huge letters “Eating a Vagina Cures Cancer According to Cancer Treatment Studies!”

Well hell, no wonder I printed out this article and saved it!  I am ALL ABOUT saving lives, especially saving the life of the man closest to me.  Actually, I’m proud that I’ve saved the lives of men I didn’t know too well at all! I’m an “equal opportunity” lifesaving superpower! Throughout the years, I may just have been responsible for saving the life of dozens of men!  I definitely qualify as a heroine!

Anyone who has possibly saved dozens, maybe hundreds of lives is pretty damned special and deserves a bit of praise, don’t you think?  Shit, I’d crown myself queen, if I hadn’t already done so!

The Most Important Meal A Man Should Have…

But seriously, this article states that – and I quote here, “The most important meal that a man should take is eating a vagina.”  Well hallelujah!  Think of the time saved by not having to slave away in the kitchen!  There are, according to the research, evidently hormones which are produced whenever oral sex takes place!  Now I don’t know if I’m producing these hormones, and he’s lapping them up, or he’s producing the hormones… but in any case, this is a life saving measure that is taking place.

Look, you can’t make this shit up!  Here is the link, in case you question my integrity……

The original article I pulled this from- which looked pretty damned official, by the way, no longer exists, but this article sited here refers to it.

Ladies, put on your super-hero cape and go out and save a life today!

I Was the Star of a Freak Show!

Comedy, life, work, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

I’m sure that one of the first questions you may have is how in the world I have become the success I am today. Come on, I know that question is burning a whole right into your brain this minute, as we speak!  Well, I’ll admit, I’m glad you asked, and I am more than happy to share………

You will be impressed to know that I am probably one of the only people you will ever meet who started their working career as the star of a freak show…..

It goes WAY back, to when I was about 12 years old.  I walked into the Kane County Fair, in St. Charles Illinois, ready to have a day exploring.  Soon after I walked through the gate, a 9th grader I only knew by name, walked up to me and said, “How would you like a job?  I have a chance at a job at the fair, but I need one other person to work with me.  You’ll make $25.00 a day!”

Holy Shit, that was like Bill Gates type of money to me nearly 50 years ago (Putting that down on paper just made me hyperventilate.  How the hell was my first paid gig nearly 50 years ago?  Am I REALLY that fucking old????)  Needless to say, I was MORE than interested to put this kind of cash into my pocket, so I said that, of course, I’d be interested. . At that time, my weekly allowance was 50 cents.

With that, said older-and-wiser 9th grader walked me down to the end of the aisle/row/tarmack WHATEVER it is you call the end of one of the big street thingys at the fair, and straight ahead was a booth, the size of a large trailer, which boasted on the side, “Tora, The Headless Woman, The Body Beautiful.”  Jeanine looked at me and said, “What do you think?  You’ll be Tora!”

I’m smarter than I look girls! I said, “Oh no, I’m not cutting my head off, even for $25.00 a day!”  See, I’m not just all good looks, I’ve got a small bit of brain up there!

Jeanine went on to explain that I didn’t REALLY have to cut my head off, and took me inside for a little tour of the innards of the freak show booth.  It turns out that “Tora” sits in a chair, behind what appears to be a cylinder coming out of her neck, and there are tubes of fake blood which appear to be pumping in and out of her body. Now Jeanine, being older, wiser and the first one to explore this whole situation, had determined I would be Tora, while she was “the nurse.”  Perhaps it was because the front “observatory” room of the trailer was not air conditioned, and the nurse just had to make a brief appearance to check on the “Patient” every time we had a paid patron.

Meanwhile, she could sit in the air conditioned back room and stay cool.  That may have been why she chose that job.  Or, perhaps it was because both of us were to don outfits provided by our carny-guy boss, and God knows if and/or when either outfit had ever been washed…….  Her outfit was a nurses “uniform” of white cotton.  Mine, a leotard, to show off my “body beautiful.” It’s amazing I didn’t contract some sort of venereal disease from that damned filthy rag!

Patti Phillips as The Body Beautiful, The Headless Woman

Easy to see from this picture why they chose me for the “body beautiful” – don’t you think? Quite the hair do and glammed up outfit!

I had to call my mom for permission to do this job, so of course, she had to come on down to the fair, and then proceeded to hang out each and every day of the run of the fair, to make sure the carnies didn’t kidnap me and carry me off to parts unknown.

Let me tell you something, ladies.  When you start out at the tender age of 12 spending your lunch hour with the likes of the other freak show stars, such as the bearded lady, and the guys who owned the freak shows and ran the rides, you get QUITE the education in life! I can assure you, there are things that I learned, which you, most likely STILL know nothing about…