Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Grandmother's Chandelier

Today we had an electrician install a new light fixture in my dining room. No, not new, actually. It's very old. My grandmother's chandelier hung in my parents' dining room since she passed away thirty years ago - until my folks sold their house a few months ago. The new owner said she was modernizing and asked if they wanted it. They posed that question to me. It didn't seem all that important at the time except the one I had in my dining room was modern and had shades - UGH! Totally not my style. So I agreed. They had it shipped a thousand miles and it arrived without even a broken bulb.
Now that it's up, I'm so glad I got it. I have tons of things from my grandmother - she and I were very close. But there's something about this chandelier that touches me where most of the other pieces don't.
The electrician complained. The wires were old and had no ground. (We'll have to get it rewired). The bulbs were so old we'd never be able to find exact replacements. The gold was dirty and showed years of neglect. I shined it up and dusted off his comments. I love it. Every time I turn it on I can almost hear my grandmother's voice, feel her arms around me. I suddenly remembered things, like the birthmark on her hand, the smell of the Channel Christalle perfume she loved, the way she'd watch the dance moves and songs I'd made up and tell me how wonderful they were.
I'm so happy to have her light shining.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Check This Out!

I'm so excited! Tomorrow, the fabulous Debra Dixon will guest blog at Romance Rules. If you're not familiar with Deb's work, she literally wrote the book on Goals, Motivation and Conflict. She keeps a movie journal where she keeps track of the structure of the movies she watches. There is much to be learned from this exercise. She'll be using the movie "The Holiday" as her example. So, if you haven't seen it, watch it tonight. It's a good movie starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. Please stop over the Romance Rules and say hey to Deb. She's very sweet and a fabulous teacher.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I love my DH. I really do. Last week he threw me for a loop, though. He shaved his head - completely bald. Now I have nothing against the bald headed look - it looks great on some men, just not him. With his glasses, he sort of resembles a tall, muscular turtle.
Why did he do this? His reasons were very honorable. His boss has breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. When she started losing her hair, all the guys who work directly under her, shaved in support. A very sweet gesture, to say the least.
Here's my problem: I can hardly look at him without wincing. I know, I know, I need to get past this - grow up. It'll grow back. And I'm trying, believe me.
Here are some strange facts regarding baldness:
It used to be a commonly held notion that baldness was a given if a man's maternal grandfather was bald. Not true. It's actually much more difficult to predict than that and just because a guy's grandfather is bald, doesn't mean it's a sure thing he will be.
My SpellCheck makes bald head into one word - baldhead. How weird is that?
The technical name for hair loss is alopecia and it is considered more preventable these days than ever before. Isn't that cool?
My dad is bald - has been since he was in his twenties. I always thought my son would be too, because of this. But in my research, I've found he may actually keep his hair.
And what about those notorious comb-overs - blah!
So what about you - do you like the bald look? There certainly are some very sexy men out there with no hair. Is it better to shave it all rather than have a ring of hair around the edges?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reflections on the Summer

Monday begins the mad rush back to school here. As much as I love the sleeping late, not having to drive carpool or bug my kids to finish homework, I am about ready for the routine of the school year. It's been a fun summer, but it couldn't last forever.

Here are a few highlights from my summer:
THE BEACH - We got to stay at my friend's gulf side mansion of a condo twice - a total of about 9 days. We spent most of the time in the water, helping our blood pressure and stress level drop.
CHERRIES AND BLUEBERRIES - I think my insides are red and blue by now.
LESS TRAFFIC - With school out, I've noticed the roads aren't as clogged as usual in the morning and mid-afternoon.
LOOSE SCHEDULE - Along with the glory of sleeping in, there are fewer places to be, fewer appointments to show up for, less structure.
THE POOL - Swimming with my honey is always so much fun. It takes me forever to get in the pool (I like it warm as bathwater). But he wraps around me, keeps me warm and even hangs on after I've acclimated. How great is that?

What about you? What will you miss about the summer?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Uh Oh!

This weekend is my last hoorah in my daughter's school's PTA. I'm the Back-To-School Picnic Chairperson and the event is Sunday. We start back to school here in August. But when it's over, I'm done with my indenture to the PTA. Not just for the year - but forever! Woo hoo! This is my daughter's last year at the school. Then she's off to high school and I'm off the hook!
Next week we go back to my friend's beach condo for a few days. The good news is, they're renting the place for the year. That means we can go a bunch more times and pretend we're millionaires.
On a totally different subject - I screwed up. I told my Dad we could travel to NY the first week of November to help celebrate his 80th birthday (although his birthday is around Thanksgiving, we didn't want to deal with the holiday travel crowds). Turns out, Nov 3 is a huge book signing here that I totally forgot about. Not only am I a signer, but I've agreed to do a program the night before the signing. As if that wasn't a big enough oversight, Nov 3 is also the date of a close friend's son's Bar Mitzvah. So, here's my schedule Nov 3: 10:00 am - Noon - Bar Mitzvah service. Noon - 1:30 - Bar Mitzvah luncheon. 2-5 pm - Book signing. 6 pm - 11 - Bar Mitzvah party. And hell no - I won't miss the party!!! Should be quite a day.
Looks like we'll have to brave the holiday travelers after all. What about you? Have you ever completely zoned out about a big event and double booked?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Free Novella

Come read my post at Romance Rules today.

JUST IN: I'll be drawing a name from everyone who leaves a comment on my Romance Rules post to give away a copy of my contemporary novella, Bride from the Black Lagoon! So, comment away!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I hate to fly. No - I'm scared to death to fly. The last time I was on an airplane the thing did one of those rapid descents that frightened the living sh*% out of me. That was about 18 years ago.
Now, my family lives a thousand miles away. DH has repeatedly asked me to consider flying there next time we go. I thought and thought and thought. But I can't do it. Last time I took a train there and although the 23 hour trip wasn't horrible, it was hardly a day at the beach either. The drive takes us a day and a half each way. Years ago, this wasn't a big deal. The kids had the same vacations from school and we had plenty of time. Not the case now.
This year, my fear of flying cost me the opportunity to go to RWA Nationals. Much as I want to get over the phobia, I can't seem to bring myself to do it. And I know - statistically, I'm much safer in a plane than in my car. But in my car, I'm in control. Have I mentioned I have control issues?
I have a feeling I will fly again someday, but not yet. What about you? Any fears that keep you from doing things you want to?