Stuff

Delicious! is fun fiction by Ruth Reichl, former food critic for the New York Times and publisher of Gourmet Today cookbook. She has written several memoirs that are full of humor and truth and some of the best food descriptions I have ever seen. Delicious! is the same way except it is fiction. Pack it for the beach.

Did you know that the street address for Mt. Olive Pickle Co. is  the corner of Cucumber and Vine?

Acorn.com is the British equivalent of Netflix with a smaller number of choices, but the majority are BBC produced. They carry quite a few PBS series but also have ones like Murdoch Mysteries which is worth watching to see the eyelashes of the lead character played by Yannick Bisson. Anzac Girls, A Place To Call Home, Lilies, Blue Murder are just a few that I have enjoyed. It just seems like the British do it better…for the most part. Recently stumbled upon The Homesman starring Hillary Swank and Tommy Lee Jones on Netflix streaming. It is wonderful story telling, believable acting and well-directed.

Forgetfulness
Just returned from the beach where a total of 12 women enjoyed the week together. The last ones there were clearing everything out to close up the house. We found two lawn chairs one person left, two canvas bags another one left, and took someone’s jacket to a person it didn’t belong to.

I do stuff like this all the time myself. May have hit upon the ultimate today.My housemate Jayne got into a furniture moving mood and was switching tables and chairs all around in the living room.

At one point she said, “Do you have plans for this tv?” A medium size old style which had been sitting in the corner since she moved in last August. “Me? Is it my tv? I thought it was yours.” Now it sits out on the sidewalk, awaiting its new owner. I’m glad we got that settled. I thought she was never going to do anything with it.

 

Musings About Sunset Beach

IMG_6969Coming to Sunset Beach isn’t coming to the beach.
It is coming to Sunset Beach.

It is being a Beach Bunny, a member of a diverse group of  smart, creative, don’t mess with me females who have been coming  here for twenty-three years.

It is coming before Memorial Day.

It is returning year after year to a favorite house.

It is exploring Mary’s Gone Wild Art.IMG_0844

It is accepting the BB mandate to do what you want to do during your visit.

It is connecting with, learning from, laughing with a wide variety of BB, some only once and others regularly.

It is posing fScanned Sunset Beach 011or the group picture taken each year.

It is discovering 40th Street and Madd Inlet.

It is visiting Orton’s Pond to see if osprey are nestingSunset Beach 2015 307

It is going to Southport and eating at the Provision Co. every year.

It is making trips to Myrtle to Dick’s Last Resort.

It is going to the Beach Quarters or a Southport shop and splurging on an outfit you wouldn’t buy at home.

It is learning new skills like crocheting flip flops or geocaching or felting.

IMG_0371It is laughing…sometimes at very weird stuff.

It is accepting the changes that came and will continue to come with the new bridge.pdf265

It is reading what you want to read.IMG_1071

It is catching up with those friends you just see one time a year.

It is joining in on the fight to preserve Bird Island.

It isSunset Beach 2015 131 finding quiet time for yourself on the deck or walking the beach.

It is repeating family history, job history, husband history, health history several times because with four people talking at once it takes awhile.

It is looking at the photo albums and wondering when the dark-haired beauties were replaced by the gray-headed lovelies–or how many shades of blonde there are.

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It is painting someone’s toenails for the first time in their life.

It is canoeing and kayaking and bike riding.IMG_0639

Sunset Beach 2015 281It is getting up in time to make it to the beach for the sunrise.

It is playing Scrabble, poker, Trivial Pursuit, Dominoes, Head and Foot and
Catan.Sunset Beach 2015 252

It is bird watching and keeping track and still not coming up with the name immediately or maybe having a small disagreement over which bird it really is.

It is walking to Bird Island, hopefully at least once during a visit.

It is writing in a notebook at Kindred Spirit, and it meaning something to your heart to read what others have left for Scanned Sunset Beach 027you to know about them.

It is riding back from Southport at night and listening to Patsy Cline.

It is knowing women who bring so much to your life                                                    just from the time spent here.Scanned Sunset Beach 026

Scanned Sunset Beach 025It is sharing this special  place with your daughter.

It is laughing a everyone’s stories BUT when Sara or Hurleen talk, you listen and you find yourself asking for a repeat of your favorite, like Sara and Roger and their two young children trying to get off the wrong airplane or the complications of your son’s girlfriend who has Tourette syndrome answering the phone in your home.

It is having a bet going on how many rolls of toilet paper 14 women can use int 3.5 days.

It is working a crossword puzzle or the Sunset Bridge jigsaw puzzle as a group.

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It is skinny dipping on a dark night

It is contributing money to save the old bridge house.

It is takingSunset Beach 2015 083 a gazillion pictures of the sunset each year.

It is seeing the fiddler crabs at low tide in the marsh for the first time.

It is the catch in your throat when you realize it is the last day.

It is hoping that God will be generous and you will return next year and the next and the next.

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I Don’t Feel So Nice Anymore

I am trying to pinpoint where this feeling comes from, if it is an external or an internal source. I take a pill daily for depression. Actually two pills. The second one is to help the first one do its job to the best of its ability. My body doesn’t utilize the first one so good without the second one which is enough to raise my hackles. Why don’t I behave so I can get by taking one pill instead of two? See, already I am getting testy.

In this, my 70th year, a large increase of twisted situations, external sources, keep life challenging. I once was described as calm and unflappable. No more. Some of the small things that should dissolve minutes after happening stay with me longer. Like yesterday’s visit to Comcast.

In April I answered a call from a sales rep who explained that my rate would be going up to $88 a month unless I took advantage of this new plan which included getting HBO and other stuff.

I worked my way through the jabber and had her say in plain English that I could  have a plan for $74 ($19 more than my present plan) or I could pay $88. Even though I do not have a tv, I would have the bundle of cable and internet with either plan.

Several days later UPS delivered a box from Comcast. I knew it had to do with the new plan but just let it sit there while my housemate searched for a cheaper alternative, without losing HD Wi-Fi.

Then the next Comcast bill came–$81.We had no better alternative and now I couldn’t explain for love nor money what it was I had access to and what the box had to do with it.

I girded up my loin and took the box to the Comcast office. I told the customer service person that I needed help understanding what was going on with my account. Which she explained to me without either one of us losing our composure.

I did feel that little hot flush feeling (blood pressure, hormones??), but managed to content myself with snippy sentences instead of all out sarcasm. Because you know you are not talking to the person who controls the labyrinth of new plans, additional channels and speed, partial charges and partial credits; the reps are just the messengers. Bless their hearts.

I did find out the box’s involvement–it had to do with cable and tv. “We don’t have a tv so do I leave it here?” “No, you need to have it.” “I need to have this, even though I am not going to use it?” “Yes, if you don’t take it then I’ll have to charge you $88 for your plan.”

Toss or Keep

I spent a great amount of time collecting all of these “things” I own, and now it is time to decide what is worth keeping. This process started when Mother died, six years ago. It began with her home selling which meant immediate downsizing.

There is the initial stage when furniture and other valuables are divided among family members. Most items went to new homes without an issue and this happened because Mother had stated or written where she wished them to go.(Well, except when she changed her mind for the fourth time and then it got confusing.) Left behind–clothes, shoes, hats, linens, towels, quilts, blankets, pillows, afghans, Christmas decorations, genealogy papers and family photographs.Not to mention the miscellaneous category.

I moved to a smaller home and purchased a shed to hold those leftover items that came with me. They were there because in the first stage I was unsure of their sentimental or monetary value.  This second stage is more difficult to get through. It takes time to weed out what must have once had sentimental value to someone.  It takes a stiff backbone to discard what might make your mother roll over in her grave.

Then, have you tried asking your children or other kin what they want of yours after you are gone?  I know friends who have posed this question and get an “I don’t know” or “I don’t want to talk about it. That’s morbid. It doesn’t matter. Whatever you want me to have.” I think this happens because while I might be looking towards the end of my life and trying for practicality, the younger ones find it difficult to be reminded of my morality and in turn their own.

Some of the deciding does come down to being practical, at least when it comes to large pieces of furniture. There might not be room for it in a home or  there is a difficulty in transporting or it doesn’t mean to the next generation what it did to the present one.

It is not a clear-cut process and takes: determination (I can get through all of these boxes in my lifetime), concentration (Focus, focus, focus. Now is  toss or keep time. If I am keeping, I will delve into these interesting letters later.) and time  (It took a long time to acquire these things; it will take more than a day to decide their fate)

By giving away to friends and relatives, yard sales, donations, and just plain putting in the garbage, I made progress. Right now I am weeding out what I still have. I find if I do this about every six months I come across items I can now let go of. Clothing is easy if you go by the two years and I haven’t worn it rule…but you have to follow that. Books I dealt with by challenging myself to keep only those which meant something to me and they had to fit into one large bookcase.

Family photos can sabotage a purge. Ours is the last generation to deal with so many prints and negatives–toss negatives (How many prints have you actually made off a negative?) and toss duplicates or near duplicates, Keep the really good pictures that illustrate or memorialize your life and your families. I bit the bullet and threw away old family pictures without names.

It is worth the time. It can make you money if you can sell the china never used or fine linens stored away. Donations make a difference in other people’s lives. If you hear of a worthwhile organization doing an auction, see if they can use your “treasure.” I just happily gave household items from sheets to dishes to a group helping formerly homeless people get settled in a new home.

Now if I can just figure out what to do with those five boxes of Christmas decorations…………..