What Sam Fool Thing Have You Done, For Pete's Sake?

The other day I got to thinking: Where did I get all these "Pete-related" sayings?

"For the love of Pete." 

"For Pete's sake.

"Heavens to Pete."

I've never even known a person named Pete. 

I wonder where these sayings originated?

I had a friend once who told me that when she was a child, she would play with her cousin at her aunt's house. And every time she turned around, her aunt was scolding her cousin for something or other.

"Damn it to hell, Bob!" she said her aunt would yell.

So my friend, as a child, thought that this was his name. "Damn it to hell, Bob!"

Isn't that funny? Poor Bob.

And then there's Sam. Don't think I've ever personally known a "Sam" either.

But I find myself saying: "What Sam fool thing have you done now?"

Who's Sam? Did he get in trouble a lot, like Bob? 

I think back, and I can't recall when I started using these phrases. Heard them from my childhood, more than likely.

Do you have figures of speech that involve people's names? 

Finally Got A Little Bit Of Decorating Done

I finally managed to get myself in gear to drag my big green tub out of the closet. It has most of my Christmas decor in it.

Not sure if I'm putting up any of my small tabletop trees. The ornaments are in a different box. We'll see.

Not sure why I'm dragging my feet on this. I just am.

So what I did today was the kitchen. Two areas where I put a little decor because it's too small to do much or I can't work in there to make meals!

Do you recall that I got that red cupboard up there on the wall at the Jenks antique mall for I think it was $35? And then Israel put it up there for me.

Speaking of Israel, he was on this side of town paying his insurance and came by. Says he's looking for another job when he gets back from Mexico in January.

I decorated this little corner of the kitchen. Or at least I decorated a bit on top. Hopefully I can still get my spices out of there without breaking one of the birds or the Santa.

What you see to the far left is a bowl drying in the drying rack. Remember I don't like dishwashers.

Then I did this small bit on top of my little pantry. I got it at the same antique mall a few months back for $60, and I sure use it everyday. 

I won't put food in the kitchen cabinets because I fear the mice will come back. So my food goes in here and in my red hanging cupboard in the kitchen.

A rare moment when I got a photo of Charlie where he is still and it isn't blurry. Look how nice his left eye is healed up. I'm so pleased!

He won't look like that later this afternoon. For he and Abi are going to the doggy groomers to get groomed. They haven't been in quite some time. And I don't do such a good job with the scissors.

Have you started dragging your holiday decor out yet? I guess I'll just drag along and do a little bit at a time. I can't seem to get my motor revved up to do it all at once.

Another Book Finished

I finished this ebook on my Kindle. I would love to read other books by this author, but I think this one may have been her first.

When we're young, we often make foolish choices. Heck, no matter how old we are we still make foolish choices!
In the end, she makes a good choice. What I thought was the right choice under the circumstances. Though she came very close to going in the other direction.
I managed to get three suppers out of my Thanksgiving meal. Two large boneless chicken breasts in the crock pot with dressing. 

With the price of meat these days, that made me happy!

I keep thinking I'm starting on my Christmas decorating. But then I get side-tracked. 

Yesterday I went to the closet to dig around in my Christmas stuff, and ended up finding and ironing the red and white buffalo-checked curtains. 

I hung them in two windows. I looked and looked and couldn't find enough for all three, though I know I have them somewhere.

Sometimes I wonder how I can live in such a small place and not be able to find things. Amazing, isn't it?

Home For Christmas Blogger Party Link Up Announcement


Debra (Common Ground) and I will be co-hosting our annual holiday party link-up, just as we did last year.

We want to see all of the creativity you've put into your holiday decorating. So get your homes spruced up and your post ready and link up with us on December 13th.

Here's a collage from my holiday decorating last year...

This is a chance for everyone to participate and show off your home all dressed up for the holiday.

So come to our blogs early on December 13 to link up any Christmas inspiration. This could be craft projects, decor, recipes. Anything Christmasy!

So jot down this date and remember to join us in celebrating Christmas in Blog Land! That day will be here before you know it.

Here is a 300 pixel graphic to put on your sidebars, if you so choose.

Chasing Ghosts

Sometimes I try to remember what it was like to drift off to sleep in someone's arms. It's been a long time. 

Not that I want that. I just want to be able to remember how it felt. 

Transient images filter across my brain. But nothing sticks. 

I'm reading a book on my Kindle right now that reminds me of myself in some ways. It's about a young woman who is a nanny in an opulent but loveless home. 

The boy she tends to seems to have dangerous tendencies. His mother is a cold, aloof TV broadcaster. 

And his father, a successful attorney, is about as good-looking as they come. And that's all she sees.

The nanny has stars in her eyes for him. She is Catholic and knows that this is against all she has been taught and believes in. 

But her heart, swinging like a pendulum, tells her different. 


Be careful what you wish for. 

I've told myself that many times.

I reached for the prize and somehow, despite all the obstacles involved, a man who said he'd love me forever stole my heart. 

He was the last man I slept with. The last man whose arms ever wrapped me in slumber. 

For awhile there I felt like a princess.

I never should have allowed myself to love him in the first place. But no one, no one, had ever fawned over me the way he did. 

There were times that he told me that there was no one in the world who loved me the way he did. (We had a long and complicated history)

And then there came a time when he looked right at me and told me that I was unlovable. "No wonder your parents left you," he said in such a matter-of-fact way.

That hurt the most of anything he ever said to me. 

Through all the painful barbs that went back and forth between us, I can't think of any that ripped me open like that one sentence. 

Because, you see, deep down, I believed it to be true. 

Sometimes I wonder, when a girl doesn't have a father to love and help shape her, if she ever truly learns how to choose a proper man to love and marry.

I've always looked at girls with doting fathers and felt such envy it almost physically pained me.

I think there is a hole in your psyche if that father was never there.
And I don't believe there is a man in the world that can fill it.

Around holiday time, I often have these feelings and memories rush back to me. I wonder why that is? Why these ghosts rear their ugly heads?

You can't go back and have a second childhood. 

I know you want to see pretty photos of holiday decorating, and I promise you that will come. But first, I have to herd the ghosts out of my mind and send them packing. 

And sometimes they are slow to leave and close the door behind them.

Did you have a loving father? Do you think that helped you in choosing a mate? 

Or was your experience more like mine?

Thoughts & Ruminations

Yesterday was a beautiful, sun-filled day. 

I put Marty's chicken and dressing recipe in the crock pot in the morning, and had my main meal at suppertime.

My younger daughter asked Wednesday if I'd like her to bring me leftovers Thanksgiving afternoon. But I told her no, I had my meal all ready to go. But it was mighty sweet of her to offer. 

Charlie is sleeping on the ottoman with his tongue hanging out the right side of his mouth, blissful in his ignorance of this oddity. 

I guess he doesn't worry about not having more than two teeth. He still manages to eat. Although I do have to hold Abi back, a greedy creature with a full set of teeth who always bullies him at meal time.

I thought I might do a bit of Christmas decorating. But I'm still just not ready for some reason. Usually around Thanksgiving, my decorating impulses kick in and I drag out my big plastic Christmas box. But that didn't happen.

Did any of you start decorating yet?

As many of you have already mentioned, I find that the older I get, the less stuff I want to drag out. 

The less stuff I want around my home on an everyday basis. 

I suppose you begin to desire a more stream-lined and simplified life at some juncture. I'm there.

I don't desire a bigger place to live than my 725 square foot apartment. I spend most of my time here and I never feel "claustrophobic." And it's the smallest home I've ever lived in.

I have what I need. I have my patio with the gazebo and container gardens. 

I have my living space that is elongated into my dining space. A small kitchen. A fairly big bedroom with two walk-in closets. And a small bathroom like most apartments seem to have. 

The place was built in sixties. And could certainly use some updating. 

I cleaned out the bird bath yesterday. 

I love to watch how the birds dip down, get a bit of water, then lean back and swallow. Almost like watching a seesaw.

I wonder if kids nowadays know what a seesaw is? Do they still have those things?

Oh, I still remember the school merry-go-round. How you jumped on and off while it was going round and round, and sometimes you fell and skinned a knee. 

How you'd feel a bit dizzy as it went faster and faster. Feeling a tad nauseated and exhilarated at the same time.

Back to birds... 

I find birds fascinating. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Lipsky, who took us on early Saturday morning bird walks and cultivated my interest in birds, would be proud. But I'm sure she's long dead. 

She gave me a gift however, when my love of all things nature blossomed. 

Around 6 a.m. on those Saturday mornings, a small group of us trudged through the woods, sticks and leaves crackling beneath our feet. 

Which brings me to this notion: Even when you don't have any money, you can go right outside and be the benefactor of so much. 

The expanse of sky, in almost endless shades of blue on any given day. The stars against the inky black canvas of night.

The birds and squirrels with all their antics. Bird song. So many varieties of chirping!

A breeze briefly caressing my face. 

Rain. Oh, how I love the rain!

To me it is a daily gift. Without these sights and sounds I've grown so accustomed to loving, I think I would be lost.

I hear sirens in the distance. A part of living in the middle of the city. 

I always wonder where they're going. If a house has burned down and left a family homeless. If a child has drowned or been hurt. 

I imagine the utter despair of having your home go up in flames, gone in an instant. 

I imagine a parent who could not have begun to imagine, when they awoke that morning, that by dusk, they would have lost a child. 

I think that must be the most cruel of life's many chapters. The page on which your beloved child precedes you into death. 

And then I think of the parents I interviewed, years ago, who are still waiting for their child to come home. A child that would now be old enough to be a parent or grandparent. 

How do they do it? Those parents? Put one foot in front of the other and wonder if they will go to their grave never knowing what happened to their child.

I wonder if they can forget, for a minute or two, the tragedy that has trapped them in a cycle of never knowing?

Or if any bit of brief happiness is automatically eclipsed by the not knowing

Sorry to be so morose. I guess that's just where my thoughts go when I hear those sirens. 

Until the sound begins to fade in the distance. Taking my woeful ruminations right along with it.

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful for all of my readers. For all of your thoughtful comments. For your daily friendship. 

I thank you with all my heart.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Yea, I'm Different...I'm Just Me

I'm that weird lady who would rather be alone on holidays. Really. 

When I was married to my second husband (he had the best personality and attitude of the three), I remember how holidays played out. This was back in the late eighties up until the late nineties.

Marriage 1, 2 & 3...

Marriage #1 lasted 8 years.

Marriage #2 lasted 8 years.

Hey, maybe there really is something to that "seven year itch" people talk about.

Marriage #3 lasted 13 years, and that was at least five too many.

Back To Husband #2...

His parents were lovely people. Truly. They were the parents I wished I'd had. 

But come rain or come shine, about 30 minutes to an hour before leaving to go to their home for a holiday dinner, I'd panic and back out. 

My innards would begin to get twisted and my heart would start to race.

And husband #2 would say: "Oh, not again!"

He didn't like having to make excuses for me. And I hated that he had to do it.

If we knew then what I know now, it would have been easier all around for everyone, I think.

It Is What It Is...

I've always loved being alone on holidays. 

I've had neighbors say: "Oh, if I'd known you were going to be alone, we'd have invited you!"

(I was mighty careful not to let anyone know if at all possible.)

I don't know about other people on the autism spectrum, but I don't think I understand what it feels like to be "lonely." 

There is alone, and then there is lonely. 

Lonely isn't really in my vocabulary.

Go here to visit the Autism Women's Network.


When I'm Truly Happiest...

I feel most happy when I am alone. With my pupsters of course.

I've planned a nice little Thanksgiving dinner for myself. 

And the great thing is, I get to break all the rules!

For instance, I picked up a pumpkin pie from Braums (I SO love their pumpkin and pecan pies. I could not possibly bake one better. And I have baked many) on Sunday. 

I didn't have any extra room in the freezer. So I just put it in the fridge and started eating it Sunday evening. 

A full four days before Thanksgiving. 

And by Thanksgiving Day, when everyone else is just slicing into it, I'll be relatively tired of it. Or it will be gone.

To me, it doesn't make any difference if I eat it on that day or four days before or four days after. 

When It Comes To Holidays...

I seem to be better able to break out of my rigidity when it comes to holidays. 

When everyone else is stressed out and scheduling meals and wondering if there will be any family arguments, I'm chilling and breaking out of my usual mold.

I can take a few days a year and totally not adhere to a schedule. 


Well, to a point of course...

All those years I spent flagellating myself because I just couldn't bring myself to sit around a table with a bunch of people; well, those days are behind me, thank goodness.

I mean, when my kids were still home, I managed to get through holidays like a halfway normal mom. I cooked, I cleaned, I halfway socialized.

My daughter and I have had this discussion about holidays, and she knows how I feel. I know she doesn't mind that this is simply the way I am. Actually the topic doesn't even come up anymore.

I love my children and I would do anything for them. But they're grown now.

Now it's just me and the pupsters.

This Is Who I Am...

I now just accept who I am.  

"My name is Brenda and I happen to have Asperger's Syndrome. And I really prefer to be alone on holidays."

I'm not less than everyone else. I'm not better than everyone else. 

I'm just different. 

And finally, that's okay. 

Charlie Update & Another Book Read & Reviewed

I'm happy to say that Charlie got a good report card at the vet eye specialist yesterday. We have gone through months of issues and two surgeries. 

But it was all worth it to see my baby open his eye fully and not have that ulcer smack in the middle of it anymore. 

He shook and trembled the whole time we were there. Probably worrying he was going to have his eye bored into again. But he was happy as a clam when we finally got in the car to go home.

Pupsters, Peppers & Pot Roast

Just as it's getting cold here, my peppers are finally ripening. They'd better hurry up before we get a frost!

Candles, A Friend & Another Book To Start

I brought this mirror out of the closet and put it on the coffee table. Then I arranged some candles on it.


Wink, Wink...

Okay, so you knew the cable guy was coming between 5 and 7 p.m.

Luckily for me it was 5:30. Which meant I was only about 30 minutes off schedule. (Schedules are very important in my life.)

Cable Men & TVs & Men In General

I've been dusting and cleaning. 

I hate to dust. I'm allergic to it and then I itch all over. But it has to be done.

I tend to wash a few loads of laundry when I clean. 

Then I have wash rags and towels laid over furniture and coffee makers and the like, because, if you recall, I have a portable washer that I hook up to the sink.

And those things just slightly dry. That's okay. I know it's much better for your clothing if you don't dry them, but hang them instead. They last much longer that way.

Anne Tyler Book & A Giveaway

I settled on reading Anne Tyler's book. "Back When We Were Grownups."

I read about a third of it. Anne Tyler is typically always a good read.

Cleaning Closets, Crazy Weather & Airport Shootings

I finished the book. Boy, I didn't see the end coming at all. 

I was shocked. Really I was. I'm not going to say more. I don't want to spoil it for those who might read it.

I want to know what you think if you read it.

Vintage Linens & The Memory Box

Today I got out my vintage linens. I set up the ironing board. and went to get them off the bed where I'd just laid them.

And Abi was nosing them all to the floor. Little scamp.

Meatloaf In The Breville Oven & Good Books

Yesterday my youngest daughter picked me up and we took Andrew to the park. 

Then we went to lunch. Her birthday lunch. She's 38. And she's my baby. 

I had a little stack of magazines for her, and she had books for me. You can see them below. We always trade books.

I finished a book on my Kindle last night. So I will start one of these tonight. Hm. Which one?

Abi Tried To Chew Up A Glue Board

I guess I forgot to tell you all about this little disaster with Abi. It happened a couple of weeks ago.

I've told you about the problem with mice here. Well, maintenance put some of those sticky black things in here. I understand they're called glue boards, after googling them.

On a recent Friday night I was relaxing in the bath tub when I heard this manic scratching sound. I look up and see Abi is pawing at herself on the floor in the hall. 

Staring at me as if to say: "Help, Ma!" 

I think: Well, what on earth? And quickly get out of the tub.

(Here she is yesterday. Can you see where Charlie is?)

Painted Bedroom Furniture & The Screws Were A Nightmare

One thing I know for sure...I will never ever take the doors off that painted sideboard again. I didn't the first time I painted it. And I don't know what possessed me to take them off this time. 

I suppose I was trying to do things right, as most sensible people who paint things would. I know leaving the doors on while painting is a lazy thing to do.

I wish I'd taken the lazy way out.

Here's the dresser on one side of my bed. The crazy sideboard is on the other.

Who Knew There Were So Many Screws In Lowes?

Yesterday I went to Lowes before my mammogram. 

Well, before that I went to the vet to get the dogs their food, to be precise. (I tend to like to be precise.) Their delicate tummies can't eat anything else. 

At Lowes I stood on the aisle that had hinges on it. The sideboard I've painted (yes, I let that slip didn't I?) was pretty beat up. The screws fairly fell out of the doors.

What I'm Reading & What I Will Be Writing About

I am deep within the pages of a book my daughter brought over some time ago.

The Woman In Cabin 10... 

Life's A Garden...

Two days ago I took my sewing machine table with the wooden top out on the patio so I would have more room for painting. Stupidly, I did not check the weather forecast.

It has been raining non-stop. Guess when it stops raining I'll dry it off and put a piece of oil cloth over it until I can get things sorted out. 

Bits Of News...

It's overcast today. I haven't checked the weather, so I don't know if rain is in the forecast.

The leaves are falling, but none around me are turning pretty colors. I feel like Mother Nature has missed a step in the evolution of fall.