December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Day Assortment

Some random thoughts on this cold, dark Friday evening.  Missing Mr. Don.  Valentines Day, 2013, I was still frozen in grief and disbelief that he was actually gone.  Well, I still feel the same way, but he has been gone more than a year now.  Maybe I will be semi-frozen for the rest of my life.

I am alone now.  It is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  Continuing on in the face of never-ending loneliness and emptiness.  I still come home every day from work expecting to see an email (or dozen) from Mr. Don.  Somehow, I continue to chug along.

I haven't lost the power to laugh, though. That's important.  And I haven't lost so much perspective that I don't appreciate that what Mr. D and I had together was very special.  A once in a lifetime kind of thing, like the song -- Mighty Love:

From "Funny Face."  I so love this movie.  I loved Audrey Hepburn from the day I first saw her in a movie -- I don't even remember when that was!  Perhaps it was "Breakfast at Tiffany's" I first remember seeing her in a rerun on t.v.  I have also always loved Fred Astaire, that homely/handsome man who couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag but somehow, he always made it work and could charm the birds out of the trees.  And his dancing! Oh, his DANCING!  "Funny Face" was made in 1957.  I was six years old.  This is a great episode from the film, and it was filmed on location, no faking some of this!  LOVE!  And the movie itself, well, it is a great love story!  If you haven't viewed it, I really think you should:

Mr. Don couldn't dance to save his life!  He had no rhythm at all.  Never could get him to loosen him up on the dance floor until he had at least three shots of Glenfiddich.  The closest we ever came to sexy on the dance floor was in the summer of 2004, out on the deck at my house way after midnight. It was steamy hot outside, still in the 90's and tropical humidity.  Earlier that day we'd attended the wedding of my nephew Jim, and Mr. Don had his three shots of Glenfiddich and got out on the dance floor with me and my sisters and brothers-in-law. It was a hoot!   He was still loosey goosey and I had smooth jazz playing on a radio on the deck.  We danced jn candlelight under the stars and I whispered sweet words into his ear.  I actually got his hips to move (a little).

To heat things up a bit, how about this clip from the "Phantom of the Opera" movie from 2004, featuring an incredibly smoking hot, sexy Gerard Butler singing his own stuff, too!  Who knew?  I don't care how old Gerard Butler gets, or what silly films he ever appears in.  To me, this movie will always epitomize Gerard Butler.  I like to pretend that I still look like "Christine:"

There Mr. Don is, in Madrid, in 2012. We went back in early January 2012.  I'd bought him that leather jacket for Christmas 2011 because he seriously needed a new winter coat, but he never paid attention to things like clothes. But he was worried about the fit, believe it or not.  LOL!

Yep, he took it out of the box the day he arrived here, and we unwrapped our presents before dinner (I made all of his favorites, of course!)  He said ooh and aah, and tried it on and said, do you think the sleeves are too short?  I've got very long arms you know. (Yes, I knew).  The jacket fit his arms - just barely.  He wore it from that moment on until we parted the day he left home to go back to his place in Montreal, sometime the third week or so in January, 2012.

That was the last time I saw him alive.

It was in the high 20's that day in Madrid this photo (above) was taken.  We went walking after settling into our rooms at our small hotel.  We were lucky!  It had a lift! 

Mr. Don and I were great walkers. We were warm that day, coming from sub-zero Milwaukee. Jet-lagged as we were, we still managed to wander all over the King's Park -- I forget the formal name of it at this moment.  Rentiro Park?  Something like that.  I didn't wear my wool beret the entire time we were in Madrid in January 2012.  When we had first visited in October 2002, cold wasn't an issue.  When we visited then, all of the fountains had water flowing.  In January 2012, no water.  But I could see it in my mind's-eye... 

Believe it or not, the picture (above) was not posed.  That WAS my Mr. Don.  Always looking upward and pondering what the goddesses and gods were doing rather than focusing on more mundane things down here on Planet Earth.  THAT was my job.  How on earth did a Pisces (him) and a Leo (me) ever hook up together?  Only the Goddess (of Love) knows. Water and Fire -- and yet we were still going strong after 13 plus years.  Until he up and died.  I always knew he was more up in Heaven than down here on Earth, but it was hard to accept, nonetheless. I still have not accepted it. 

Life is not life if we do not face loss at some point or other.  Painful, hurtful, excruciating will-kill-you-if-your-knees-buckle loss.  Is that why I have osteo-arthritis in my knees now?  Oh hell. Who knows? It could be genetic.  I, however, prefer the more romantic explanation. But then, I've always been a bit of a drama queen. 

Cherish your mighty love, always!

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