Sticks and Stones

Piggy backing on my very aggressive encounter yesterday, one of the phrases that came out of my mouth, that may have been overlooked in the posting, was – you can say whatever you want to me, they are only words. Although that did not go over well with my already angry suitor, who then only cursed me out more, I began to think of why I said it to him.

When I was very young, I remember my mom telling me that ‘sticks and stones can break your bones, but names shall never hurt you’.

Only if you give words power can they actually emotionally hurt you and more often than not it is for a brief time. Yes, sometimes emotional pain can be worse than physical pain; no band-aid to put across to help it heal, no Bactine to burn the hurt out of you (that anti-bacterial spray actually hurt worse than the cut!), no bacitracin to keep bacteria out and heal faster… nope, this is all on you and whether you choose to let words have power.

I considered the source yesterday and that is something to keep in mind too when you come across someone mentally stunted and trying to intimidate you with words. Just laugh because the source is too inept to realize the anger and energy they are wasting on you. It is going to burn inside him/her for a very long time trying to understand why it didn’t bother you and that anger will feed on itself.

It may take a few hours or a few days to put it behind you, but you can, and that is the simple enjoyment of ‘sticks and stones’ logic – – you can just let it go and enjoy.

After all, they are just words, floating thru the air for a millisecond and then gone forever.

Back in time in order to be present

I had to log in the site today in order to update my work’s webpage, so I took a quick second to check out my own site only to be completely surprised that the last post was done in 2018?! Whaaa?!! Holy smokes what have I been doing these last 2+ years? (Wait.. did I do the math right?) I will need to go back in time in order to catch up to my current life (which is so much more boring now being shut-in).

Well, I definitely will have to give all my past travel its due diligence and address them separately, so coming up will be trips to Ireland (2018 Dec), Iceland (2019 Jul) and Japan (2019 Dec). After the passing of my father in 2017 and the amazing trip to Paris as sort of an escape from reality (click for pictures – simply an outstanding trip with Goose!), we decided to take as many Christmas breaks as we could to do a big vacation. Unfortunately everything has come to a screeching halt (thanks pandemic you selfish virus!). 2020 has been a bust for everyone, so not much more to focus on other than working from home, working out (lost 13lbs and many inches!) and walking Chester several times a day (whether he likes it or not).

Despite the controlled food intake and double the daily workout, my weight loss has plateaued. So, I have joined the many who participate in Dry January in hopes to jump start another layer of weight loss (or something). If you have not heard of Dry January, it is a personal ‘challenge’ of sorts, to abstain from alcohol starting the first of January throughout the month. Although was seems to be fairly new to the States (2014) upon further research, it was first coined as “Sober January” in 1942 by the Finnish Government as part of the war effort. Huh. The more you know!

Anyway, I have stuck it out and not had a sip (that sounds much more impressive than the fact it is only day 4) and even the temptress Cabernet, I bought in December, consistently sings to me as I walk by, like a siren calling for this old broken boat to cast herself against the rocks along the shore…. I avert my eyes and remain vigilant to my personal promise. Now I find myself filling the void with herbal tea and flavored honey (thanks for the teapot and honey Goose!)

It is still very early in the year and although I have not made any ‘resolutions’ I would like to follow through with a few self improvements; learn the piano and French, among others that I have not yet committed to. My mom played the piano and here it sits in my house, idle. I imagine every time I walk by it says, ‘Hello!! Here I am! Don’t just let me sit here and rot, use me!” I have wasted this last year where I could have been learning and practicing but as it looks like I will be working from home for another 6 months, I should refocus and get it done. I owe it to my mom, and the piano, to put some time in, even if it is a simple Happy Birthday tune.

Dec 2019 and 54 yrs. Whew! Made it.

Random coyote makes the blog


Please pardon the blur, it was taken from behind the screen door whilst trying not to attract attention…

So here is why this random coyote makes the blog today:

A few days ago, I get home from work to walk Chester, chester

you remember this cutie from his own write up on dodging the cartel right? Nine pounds of Mexican fury… ok I digress.. So we start our walk up the street we live on and onto the very busy main street, only to have a white car quickly pull up to me and say not to continue on, there is a coyote in the parking lot ahead, (where the police were apparently trying to push him away from the main road, back into the woods, and away from their delicious donuts)… not long after they drove away, the policeman did drive up to let me know about the coyote and so we started walking in the opposite direction. We didn’t get too far (a short block and three houses down the next street) when the white car zooms up to us again yelling, get in! get in! it is right behind you!! so without even looking I picked up Chester and jumped into this kind stranger’s vehicle. And there the coyote was, about 35 yards away from us. Staring at the meal that got away… yikes! The ladies introduced themselves and they apologized for kidnapping me, for which I reminded them they actually saved us (unless there was more to the jumping into the car that I didn’t know about).

Phone calls were made to the police to alert them that this thing was on the move (in broad daylight) but we were told that because she/he was not acting suspicious or aggressive there was little they could do. Hmph.

The ladies drove me back to the house, I dropped off Chester and made my way to several neighbor’s homes to alert them to take in their dogs. Then proceeded to run out for a quick bite only to have my phone ring that the coyote was now in MY yard!!  Thankfully Chester was in the house, but we are on high alert with every walk around the block we take (because the male/female hawks dive bombing were not enough to keep me on my toes…great).

Death from above and on the ground. I need another set of eyes, maybe some mace or a tranquilizer gun (that’s for me not the animals; situation is totally stressing me out).

Memorial Day is a time to pray for all the soldiers who have passed away

These markers are placed in remembrance for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. How often do people walk by without looking at the name of the soldier thinking it is someone from so long ago they are not so relevant….. well this is not always the case. My parents fought for this corner street stone to remember my brother (and my father always planted flowers there). A small but critical conflict in Grenada in 1983 where Rangers were deployed to secure the island and ultimately extract the medical students studying there.

1983…. it wasn’t that long ago..I was in high school…it was a conflict that is often overlooked with little recognition but to those that were along side my brother, it seems like just yesterday and a moment in time that should not be forgotten. These men are so amazing and humble they are a completely different breed and deserve all of our thanks, every day; far more than the very few holidays we afford them in ‘remembrance of their duties’.

There was only a handful of soldiers who died that day and more wounded.

Always remember those that have fallen and their families who tried to move forward with a piece of their heart missing.

Tis better to have loved and lost… I call B.S.

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote: “Tis better to have loved and lost. Than never to have loved at all…”

I call total B.S. on this. If you do not have the ability to know what you don’t know, in this case, feel what you haven’t felt before, than how can it be as bad as having your heart and soul ripped out, stomped on and then lit on fire? It can’t, plain and simple.

It is very similar to the dolts that say ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ – it doesn’t buy it, but it is required to obtain it i.e. travel, parties, etc. Only people with money say this because they want the poorer people to feel better about not having any money.

Just like falling in love, those that are still in love wave the Tennyson crap-flag about,to make us brokenhearted dolts feel better. Well it doesn’t so shut up. 

Witness Protection Please


This is “Chester” – I had to change his name to protect him from the cartel he was running on the Texas/Mexican boarder. He had just arrived a week before from the mean streets of Texas and staying in the day care system until a foster (temporary witness protection) or an adoption (full blown witness protection).

When the rescue agency tells you that this tiny brown boy not only was the head of the Chihuahua gang on the streets but also again in their day care too, you know he is the real deal. I didn’t make this up!

I haven’t asked about what brought him to New England and why he needed to hide out and he hasn’t offered any hints so I think it best to just ignore it. So far, he loves the area and the people.

It may be a while before he puts his past behind him and stops looking over his shoulder to see if someone recognizes him, but I have assured him, say the word and decorative outfits will be bought to disguise him. He came to the right house; no snitches here. Whatever it was, I think he was framed. 

The price of no vacations

I have not been ‘inspired’ to write anything these last many months as they have been tumultuous and heartbreaking; a fractured nose complete with concussion, the passing of my father (leaving me an orphan), my 9 year relationship dissolved, and facing the holidays for the first time without parents.

It is time to heal, push forward and grasp the limited time I have here – so no more sadness, time for the vacation updates….

It is no surprise to any one who knows me that I love to travel. I am proud to say that I am not a ‘tourist’ but rather a ‘traveler’ blending in with the locals as best I can by researching the area and culture, food and fun. The latest and greatest was a 10-day Christmas extravaGANZA to Paris with Goose.

We had both been to Paris before, me with my parents just out of high school and she with her high school french class, but this trip together was amazing.


We did hit the hot spots, Eiffel Tower (where we had our Christmas dinner complete with an out of this world bottle of Champagne! Merry Christmas to us!) Arc d’Triumph, and Notre Dame (where I lost my phone on the bus and had to spend half the afternoon tracking it down and explaining that the case that holds the phone says “don’t touch my phone” could be considered ironic…let’s ask Alanis…)


The Louvre was a bit disappointing as it was overcrowded with pushy souvenir sales people. They are hard to ignore and completely take away from the magic that surrounded us. We also walked to the Moulin Rouge – did not attend a performance as there was much more interesting things to do, see, and eat!


YUM – Charcuterie at Le Chat Noir – made a meal of it! and dessert oh my!


Have to get the selfies in – in front of Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame.      

Simply an amazing trip to add to the collection of travels and adventures we have had together… and always more to come, much more.

So to get to the title of this post – the price of no vacations — it is the stolen memories… the laughs, the adventures, the awkward conversations in broken languages, the bond created during the fantastic experience… this is the price of no vacations because it never happened.

No Alanis, that is NOT what ironic means

To point out the irony of this photo;

it is taped to the white board at work. Yes. Taped. = IRONIC

Which leads me to the Alanis M song Ironic because it just drives me batsh*t there is not one example of irony in the whole damn song. I really like the song…so I have a huge internal struggle every time I listen to it.

**An old man turned ninety-eight, he won the lottery and died the next day… (not ironic just extremely bad timing and hey, he was ninety-eight for crying out loud!)

**It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay…(this just outright sucks and can be considered alcohol abuse because flies are gross and you have to toss the wine no matter how badly you want to drink it)

**It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late…(there is a theme that runs throughout this song focusing on bad timing and this is just the second of many that points it out)

**It’s like rain on your wedding day… (you may think bad timing, but I will chalk it up to omen)

**It’s a free ride when you have already paid… (again, timing. I want to give it another category, but really I can’t its all timing)

**It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take…(ok, this is clearly not ironic but you didn’t take the advice for many different reasons; first and foremost, you may be thick headed and just stuck to your guns, nothing wrong with having some conviction, Alanis!)

And on and on we go. you know the song… dude waits his whole life to take a trip on an airplane and it crashes (pure bad luck, not ironic), traffic jam when you are already late (theme = bad timing), no-smoking sign on your cigarette break (um, are you too damn lazy to move to another spot? The sign won’t follow you around you know…)

Anyway, my photo shows what ‘ironic’ actually means. It’s not timing or bad luck.

Ironic is having a sign that is taped to a white board that states you are not allowed to tape anything to the white board. THAT is IRONIC Alanis. Fit THAT into your earwig song!