My New Year’s Brain


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Today I’m grateful for my new year’s brain. And I wonder what happened to it.  I know it’s there somewhere because I just had a conversation with it. Here’s how it went. . .


Me:  I wonder why no one has commented on my blog post for today?

Alt Me:  I know, it’s odd.  Usually someone says at least something.

Me:  Right?  Like even a quick “like” by someone.

Alt Me:  Right.  I don’t think you’ve ever posted anything where at least one person hit a button to like, love, wow or whatever.

Me:  Good thing there isn’t an ef-off button.

Alt Me:  A lot would probably use that one.

Me:  I can think of a few good uses myself.

Alt Me:  I bet you can.

Me:  So it’s not just me, right?  It’s odd no one commented.

Alt Me:  It’s odd. I already said that.

Me: I saw more comments on the Spirograph one and the Eating/Exercise one, but nothing on todays.

Alt Me:  What was today’s about?

Me:  Um.  I don’t remember.

Alt Me:  YOU wrote it!  How can you not remember what it’s about?

Me:  No clue.

Alt Me:  What time did you write it?  Maybe that will trigger your memory.

Me:  Um.  Ummm.  Ummmm.  Ummmmmmmm.  I don’t think I wrote one.

Alt Me:  How many ways can you spell Asshole?

Me:  Just one.  Mary Mooney!!!!!


This is Mary.  This is Mary’s new year’s brain on Mary.  Can’t wait to see what’s next can you?  Me either.


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Know My Limits

Spirograph first attempt.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Today I am grateful to know my limits.  Which are numerous.  Especially when it comes to anything at all to do with math.  My dad was a whiz at math.  I didn’t get the gene.


But I was pretty excited to get the Spirograph from Himself for Christmas.  It was not something I ever thought I wanted, but the idea of cool designs that I might color later intrigued me.  Give me anything to “waste” time and I’m there.


I waited to take it out of the box because I was thinking about how cool it was going to be when I did.  I would make the designs on the cover and then create my own which would be much cooler than their silly, basic ones.


I read the directions.  Points for me!  I put the goo on the big wheel, pressed it to the paper, turned it like they said to so it stuck tight and then I stopped reading the directions.  I got this, I thought.  So I started messing with the wheels.  And got confused.  Fast.


I think I was pressing too hard.  And forcing the wheel to do things it didn’t want to do, kinda like driving on the expressway.  I didn’t want to stop, but I didn’t exactly want to continue either, but I didn’t throw it at the wall like I do with Monopoly.  Close.


“I really suck at this,” I said to Himself, who was anxiously waiting for my first masterpiece.  I held it up for him to see.


“That’s it?” he asked.  Not quite the glowing exclamation I was hoping for.  And he was right.  “What are you doing wrong?”


“I don’t know!  I hate this thing.  It won’t let me do things my way,” I said.


“That first one looks like you did it your way, alright.”  I didn’t throw it at him.  Don’t I exhibit remarkable restraint sometimes?  Especially when he’s right and we both know it?


“There is math involved, I think.”  I was leafing through the directions again, but not really reading much.  “It talks about angles and stuff.  I don’t do math.  I don’t want math part of my creativity.  I hate math.”  He just looked at me, I’m sure remembering the last time a math question appeared on Jeopardy and I answered “Chocolate Cake”!


“Do you want me to figure it out and then let you know the easiest way to do it?”  Yes, I do.  And then I want you to do up a bunch of them so I can color them.  That is something I understand!  I know my limits!

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New Years Improvements?

a maxine new years resolution

Monday, January 01, 2018

Today I am grateful for a new year.  That’s about it.  The page turned, it’s a new year, pass the peanuts.  Oh wait, you can only have 24 before you have over indulged.  Start counting.  Be sure to put the halves together to constitute a whole peanut.  And be sure to get 12 hours of sleep a night or you’ll die.  Young.  Too late!  Yea, the morning news programs are bound and determined to improve me and make THIS my “best year ever” by giving me weight loss, exercise, meditation, high-colonic tips.


I plan on continuing with Weight Watchers and going to the YMCA water aerobics and if I live through that maybe some other exercise programs.  But I always do that.  I also plan to get my head out of my ass and stop the sugar madness, but I always do that, too.  There is so much talk these days about the opioid crisis.  Sugar is crack!  Do the study on that one.


I’m going to keep eating at least one yogurt a day, with berries or other fruit, cooking some chicken ahead so I can freeze it for a go-to meal, and drinking enough water to cause a tsunami if there is not a nearby bathroom.  And I will discover the produce aisle of the grocery store so keep your high-colonic.  If you make me eat edamame just tie a rope around my ankle and let me float among the buildings in the Macy’s Parade next year.  No need for helium.


So shut up all of you “experts” because I’m already doing what I can do.  I have no intention of pushing myself to 15 million “steps” a day.  Somedays my biggest aerobic challenge is getting in the car to go to the Y.  Really.


I don’t see myself spending way extra money and even more extra time shopping for and chopping up eye-of-newt mixed with fresh ginger and beet juice and poured over chopped pineapple stems to get rid of inflammation, or whatever that combination was you were talking about.  No thanks.  Also no GREEN DRINK for me!  Don’t know what it is and I won’t drink anything that looks like a swamp turtle could live in it.  Unless it’s green beer on St. Paddies day.  One of my sons gave me a taste of coconut water and it sucked.  I can’t imagine a green drink being any better.


Sleep?  Eight hours a night at least?  Good one.  I’d LOVE eight hours of sleep a night.  I go to bed at an hour where I could easily get eight hours.  Tell it to my nocturnal clock which often wakes me up at three. . .for the day!  I breathe deeply, try rhythmic yoga breathing, and meditate the thoughts out of my head, being careful not to lose all of them, because I want to remember how to drive a car.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  At all.  No matter what I do, even if I get up, watch TV, read, walk around the dining room table or pay bills, I can’t get back to sleep.  I don’t need you “guilting” me over it, so shut up.


As for Himself.  He’ll pad along as he always has, with donuts and/or crumb cake for breakfast, a dry bread ham and/or cheese sandwich for lunch, and a liverwurst on white bread, with a cuppa tea (with 3 packets of pink stuff and milk) and a big whack of chocolate cake for dinner.  Intersperse copious bowls of popcorn and/or Bugles throughout the day and he’s all set.  Hey, he made it to 82 with this diet, plus he used to smoke like a chimney, but thank God those days are gone.  Talk about crack!  He does just enough exercise to feel like he’s making an effort, but no more and considers it a good exercise day when he goes to the basement to paint Dungeons and Dragon creatures.  Steps are involved.  Sometimes more than once, if he has to come up to pee.  Put that in your statistics and shove it.


So go ahead and dispense your advice to improve me if you must, I have a remote control to change the channel anyway.  Click!  Thank you.  But no thank you.  I got this covered. . .just as soon as the peanut butter balls are gone!

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Another Year With Mom




a great grandma in helsinki scarf

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Today I am grateful for another year with mom.  Even though she can be a bit irascible bordering on cantankerous, at 91 each and every year is a gift.


Now that winter has arrived in Wisconsin (and here) with a vengeance, each time I talk to her she says, “I wanna go back to Arizona!”  And each time I tell her that isn’t possible.  And then she says, “I know, but this is ridiculous!  SNOW!  And it’s so cold!”  Now, mind you, no one is expecting her to shovel or even go out in this weather, but somehow she is offended by it just the same.  She considers winter a personal affront.


Mom is finally adjusting to life in assisted living and maybe even thriving.  In way better shape than she was when she moved in there, she now enjoys some of the staff and other people who live there.  Some drive her “nuts,” others are “okay,” still others are “pains in the ass”.  All her words.


One constant of every conversation whenever I speak with her is how much she hates the food.  “. . .and there isn’t enough!  I’ve been hungry since I moved in here!  They don’t put salt on anything and so much of it is too spicy and they don’t cook the vegetables!!!!”  When I was a kid, I marveled at how you didn’t need a tooth in your head to eat vegetables that mom cooked.  Mush!  I didn’t know what asparagus really looked like until I was in my thirties.  To me it was this blob of slimy green stuff with the occasional tough, stringy part.  Yuk!


Since she’s hungry, I suggest that she go down for the evening meal, which she hasn’t done since she moved there.  “What for?  It’s a stupid little cup of soup!”  I explain I’m sure it’s more than that and she says it isn’t.  What she doesn’t say is that they take you down for the meal in the middle of “Judge Judy” and there is no way in Hell she’ll miss one minute of that show.  Judge Judy is her BFF and has more wisdom than Methuselah.


She tries to cook some things for herself but with macular degeneration her eyesight is getting worse and worse.  She should not be using a stove.  Bacon grease spilled on it so the next time she turned it on, it filled the entire floor with smoke.  “I don’t even notice it,” she said to Joe, when he tried to find her through the cloud.  Now she’s on probation with cooking.  If something like that happens again they will have to disconnect her stove.  I will breathe easier if/when that happens.  But I will also feel for her because one-by-one, all of the things she enjoys are being taken away for her safety.  That has to be difficult to deal with.


My sister posted the picture of mom wearing the scarf she bought for herself in Helsinki.  I think it’s the best I’ve seen mom look in years.  First of all it covers her hair, which I go crazy about and want to fix every time I see her and second, mom loves fur and/or feathers!  So here’s to another year with mom!  BING!  Heartprint!


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Outdoor Decorations

December 30, 2017

Today I am grateful for outdoor Christmas decorations.  I remember the energy crisis back in the day when everyone was told get smaller cars, emission controls were added to everything, including my electric mixer and people were discouraged from putting out Christmas lights during the holidays.  Boo-hoo, bah-humbug!


I get it.  Energy is a vital resource.  When we bought new appliances I made sure that they were all energy “star” rated because not only do I care about the environment, but I don’t mind saving a buck, either.


But with Christmas lights?  Sorry.  All bets are off.  I just love them.  All of them.  I love the tastefully designed, all-white lights with an occasional lit up deer; I love the candy canes that never seem to stand upright in the row for which they were designed; I love the old fashioned, big-bulbed-multi-colored-energy-sucking ones; I love the choirs, elves, snowmen and Santas.


I love the newest thing where a grid of tiny lights shine all over someone’s entire house in morphing colors; I love the spotlight that splashes dancing snowflakes or presents around the yard and garage; I love the blue lights that seem to give the most dramatic effect of all.


And, drum-roll-please, brace yourself, I even love the blow-up creatures that everyone else seems to despise.  I like them better at night when they are standing tall, or leaning in a coquettish way like one Frosty was last night.   Too much eggnog, I suspect.  But I get a kick out of them during the day, too, when Mr. & Mrs. Claus melt onto the ground head-to-toe, in suggestive ways.  Go Santa!


Last night we finally took the time to ride around and take in all of the lights.  We kept bumping into friends of ours who were way braver than us and got out of their car to walk around.  Himself was not about to do that with wind chills in the near single digits.  Jersey City boy whoosie!  Obviously he is not a native of the great Wisconsin tundra, like I am.  I stayed in the car to support him.  J


Taking pictures with my phone was challenging, but I managed to manipulate a few of them to make them suitable for posting.  I hope we are never faced with another energy crisis.  A dark Christmas just isn’t the same.  Bring on the outdoor decorations and lights!

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Short Video

Friday, December 29, 2017

Tomorrow I will be grateful if the pictures I took tonight of the lights in our area appear in the blasted cloud.  The cloud is great until it isn’t.  It must have frostbite tonight because the pics are not there.  Enjoy the short video, which was across from the most amazing yard of splendor.

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Handmade Gifts

Alina's ornament

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Today I am grateful for handmade gifts.  To think that someone would take the time to make me something using their own natural skills just warms my heart, especially if it’s from a child.  That’s why I’m glad we have another little one in our midst.


Our youngest granddaughter is a natural artist.  At only a little over a year and a half, she already loves pencils, paints and crayons.  Yippee!  I am planning on having her over to actually pain on a canvass, with an easel and acrylic paints.  Whenever that happens, you can expect another blog.  It should be interesting.


If she doesn’t take to that we’ll break out my new Spirograph, Play-Doh and my favorite. . .crayons.  Plus, when we were cleaning the basement we found an entire box marked “Christmas Crafts” so that is another go-to project.  I can hardly wait.


When we have a little one here I have a hard time pacing myself, probably because I pick up on their energy.  A little.  I want to do it all, RIGHT NOW!  But that can lead to disappointment for everyone so I’m going to guard against it.  Maybe I’ve learned a little since the rest of the grandkids are a little older now.  Ha-ha. Maybe not.  We’ll see.


But one thing I know for sure.  I will cherish her first hand-painted ornament forever.  And it will go on the tree every year, no matter what the “theme” may be, because our granddaughter made it and that is the best!  BING!  Heartprint!


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