Posts Tagged ‘sisters’


July 14, 2015

Hey peewee,

Do you ever have nightmares where you think you are halfway awake and something freakingly evil is trying to take over your soul? When you feel like you should wake up but maybe you really are awake? And terrifying frightening stuff is happening around you like in the horror movies?

Then you realize you can’t move, scream or wake up fully? I had that last night. Those nightmares are worse than the ones where you realize you are naked in public. Worse than the ones where you are able to fly but just not high or fast enough to evade your predators or clear the obstacles in your path!

Are these dreams/nightmares common to everyone do you think? Or my neuroses manifesting in my sleep? Or something we eat before bed?

I don’t know, Lissa, I don’t have nightmares anymore, just really weird dreams. Somewhere along the line I learned to wake myself up when I was having a nightmare, by kicking out a foot or something. I remember the last few nightmares I had were kind of like you described, where I dreamt that I was awake but I wasn’t.

I think it was my subconscious trying to trick me into having a nightmare. I remember I was in bed in a hotel room one night, trying to sleep, and I was staring at the door when it slowly started to open. (Kind of like a recurring nightmare I had when I was a kid, where I would stare at the closet door, and it would slowly open and monsters would start to spill out.) Instinctively I kicked out my foot and woke myself up, but then as I was laying there, the door started to open — again! I was really still having the nightmare. This went on a few more times until I suddenly realized that the view I had of the door that my subconscious was using for the nightmare was actually from a different perspective — it was from when I had been sitting up in bed earlier, and it looked different than the view I had lying down. And that was the last nightmare I ever had.

Now when I’m having a really weird dream, sometimes I’ll stop and think, this is really weird, is this a dream? And I’ll jump up in the air to see if I can fly, and if I can, then I know it’s a dream. Then I take over the dream and just go do whatever I want. It’s really fun.

It sounds to me like you are feeling helpless about something, Lissa. Maybe you’re worried about TCB’s upcoming retirement. That’s bound to be a huge change in lifestyle for both of you. Could someone be feeling a little, cough, cough, suffocated?



Hot Fun in the Summertime…

July 12, 2015

Boy, Lissa, I sure needed that week off in Myrtle Beach.  It really cleared my head, and gave me a chance to figure out what I want to do with my life and how to go about getting there.  Not to mention it was really wonderful to see our dad again.  Never know how many more opportunities there may be to spend time with family.

Not that it was all fun and games — nine hours at a shot in the car with a cranky, carsick 10-year-old is no picnic.  He did surprisingly well, though, and we made it there and back without any major incidents.  We also explored Broadway at the Beach, and that upside down house, the Wonder Works.  He also got to run in one of those water wheels, but i couldn’t talk him into the zipline…

I didn’t realize until after we got home, though, that I didn’t get any pictures of the kid with his grandparents. Total bummer. All I had was my stupid cell phone because my camera battery died and couldn’t be recharged. Rats.

Oh well, we did get to spend some quality time together, which was really nice. Our father looks great — back to his old self. They both have their health issues, but they seem to be managing well in the housing arrangement there. Elaine and I even got in the pool for some pool aerobics, which actually turned out to be a pretty good workout (considering what a vegetable I’ve been for so long). Also the kid and I spent one afternoon at the water park, and I actually made it up all those stairs for the different slides (and so did the kid!).

All in all, it was a much needed break. Hopefully I can get something going so that I will be able to take a lot more breaks in the coming years…


You dingdog peewee!!!

if you could picture take pictures like you did of the kid you could’ve taken pictures of daddy and you could’ve handed your phone off for somebody to take pictures of you all.

I don’t take a camera anywhere I use my old  cell phone      Who needs a camera.     The photos you took with yourself phone of the kids proves that.


Early to Rise…

June 11, 2015

Whenever possible, I like to get an early start to the day.  I do my best work in the morning, when the house is quiet and Chaos is sleeping.  That means arising immediately after I first awake, around 4:30 or 5:00 a.m.  If I sleep much past that, I start dreaming, and once I enter the dream world, it’s very, very difficult to drag myself away.  It’s sort of like getting to the end of an enjoyable novel, and not wanting to leave your new friends behind.

And if I wake in the middle of a dream, it’s even more treacherous, because I feel as though I’m leaving behind something unfinished.  And so I lie in bed and replay the dream in my head, trying to puzzle out where it was going and why I was having it.  Inevitably I fall asleep and go on to still another perplexing storyline.

Especially after working long hours, when the pressure lets up I try to afford myself at least a few mornings a week to sleep in (like, till 8 a.m.), because I know how important REM sleep and dreaming is for keeping the grey matter in tune.  It allows the brain the opportunity to defragment its hard drive, clean up files and correct format errors.  Ever notice how cranky your computer gets when you keep it on for a few days in a row?

Some experts believe that dreaming is how your subconscious makes sense of events and emotions that are weighing on your mind.  That would explain why people tend to display symptoms of dementia when they undergo significant sleep deprivation.  There are too many unresolved issues tumbling around in the background.  The buffer is full.  Files are corrupted.  Don’t wait for the fatal error message — time to reboot.

Oh well, food for thought.  Time to leave you; Chaos has arisen.

Grover Finally Feels at Home

April 7, 2015

Hey Lissa,

I think Grover has finally accepted that he has found his forever home.  He no longer seems to worry when we go on a car trip that he’s going to be dropped off somewhere else, or worse, thrown from the vehicle and abandoned somewhere.  The other day he even stuck his head out the window for the first time.

When we go on walks, he takes his time and stops to smell absolutely EVERYTHING, not just the things that Uno finds.  He barks protectively at strangers.  Uno barks at other dogs and greets every stranger like a long lost friend, so I think Grover feels he needs to be the one to protect me from them.

When the dogs go out in the morning, Grover actually empties his whole bladder right alongside Uno, because he finally gets it that he shouldn’t waste the opportunity.  He initiates playtime with Uno, and the two of them take turns chasing each other around the house.

And when the first sliver of sunlight comes across the yard, Grover loves to go out and bask in the warm rays for hours.  Sometimes he even rolls over on his back with his legs in the air the way Uno does.  Now THAT’S a dog that feels at home.

2014-10-19 10.46.11


Well I am so happy to hear this!!  He needed both of you!


And Then There Was Lissa…

March 17, 2015

To say Lissa went out kicking would be a gross understatement…

Well, let me start from the beginning.

After Ursula and I enthusiastically immersed ourselves into the sport of skydiving, Lissa decided she wanted to try it.  Personally, I didn’t think this was a really good idea.  There are just some people who should not jump.  People who tend to freeze in crisis situations fall soundly into that category.  I remember once when Lissa cut her finger and just stood there staring at it, while blood spurted forth out and ran down her arm.  Another time a faulty outlet caught Ursula’s bedsheets on fire.  I ran to the garage looking for the fire extinguisher, my mom ran to the telephone to call the fire department and my dad found the fire extinguisher in the kitchen and put out the fire.  All the while Lissa screamed, “Oh my god! Fire! Fire! There’s a fire!”

But, Lissa really wanted to try skydiving and so I called the drop zone and put her name in for the first jump course that weekend.  When Lissa showed up bright and early that Saturday morning, she was clearly hung over from too much partying the night before, no doubt a last hurrah before facing certain death.  “Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked.  She assured me she would just take the ground school that morning and jump on Sunday, since we were planning to stay at the DZ for the whole weekend.  We drove through Micky D’s on the drive to the dropzone for some hangover breakfast, and she managed to spill pancake syrup onto the white leather seats of her electric blue convertible mustang.  This caused a fit of histrionics and before long trays, napkins, forks, condiments and bags went flying out of the open car like an airplane undergoing an explosive decompression.  I had a feeling it was going to be an interesting day.

At the dropzone Lissa was her usual funny self, and the instructors were never quite sure whether she was pulling their leg or she was really an incredibly spoiled airhead blonde (ish).  At the end of the class, however, when it came time to suit up, she politely declined.  “What do you mean, you don’t want to jump today?”  The instructor was incredulous.  She explained that she really didn’t feel up to jumping today, and that she would rather jump tomorrow.  The instructor wouldn’t have it.  It just wasn’t done that way.  You took the class, now you make your jump.  That’s the way it goes.  Reluctantly she acquiesced.

Well, Lissa suited up and went up in the plane with the rest of her group, and came back down in the plane.  When it came her turn to jump, she took one look out the door and this time her refusal was not so polite.  Not only no, but HELL NO.

That night as we camped out in the loft, Lissa moped about having missed her opportunity.  Bill, the jumpmaster, told her she could try again on Sunday if she wanted.  I told her I would go along with her in the plane and exit behind her.  Once she got under canopy she could look over and she’d see me flying by as well.  I’d even land right beside her.  While I really didn’t support the idea of her making regular skydives, I knew she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t make this one.  She agreed.

Sunday afternoon, after the next ground school was finished, we suited up with the rest of the students and waited for our load.  When our turn came, we loaded up in the Cessna, the jumpmaster, Lissa and me and a couple of other students.  On the first pass over the DZ, the first student made a nice exit.  On the second pass, out went the second student, nice and clean.  Then it was Lissa’s turn.  She got in the door, legs dangling, clinging to the doorframe.  She looked ready to go — until she looked outside.  She scrambled back inside.  The jumpmaster, Bill, signaled the pilot to make another pass.

Again, Lissa got in the door.  Again, she looked very determined.  Again, she looked outside and subsequently panicked.  Bill, quite generously, gave her still another pass.

On the third pass, I kept telling her not to look outside.  Just push off.  Don’t look out, just push off with your hands and go into a nice arch.  Don’t look, Lissa.  Please don’t look.  Lissa looked.

As we started to head back to the airport, Lissa was clearly quite disappointed.  Bill felt bad.  “Do you want to try one more time?”
he asked.  She nodded eagerly.  Bill signaled the pilot and we went back for one more try.  This time she was so close.  She was in the door, her hands clutching the doorframe.  I was sure she was going to do it.  Don’t look Lissa, just go.  Her face was squinched up in fear and determination.  “I can’t.  I just can’t.”

“Would you like some assistance?” Bill asked.  “Yeah, Bill.  Push her!”  I yelled.  “Just give her a big shove!”

Lissa nodded her head tentatively.  Out the door she went.

Lissa flew her parachute like a champ and managed to flare for landing back at the DZ as instructed, but landed like a sack of potatoes anyway.  I think her knees were too wobbly to attempt a stand-up landing.  She had a big grin on her face, and we both had a very funny story to tell, as did Bill and Roger, the jump pilot, and we each told our versions over and over that evening, drinking beer in the loft with the other jumpers.

Skydivers Who Go Out Kicking

March 3, 2015


At the California City drop zone in the Mojave Desert where I learned to skydive, one evening my sister Ursula and I were sitting around drinking a beer, looking for something to entertain ourselves with — as skydivers are wont to do, and we made an interesting discovery.

In snooping around behind the counter of the parachute loft, we located the club’s student records and decided to amuse ourselves by reading the instructor comments. At that time, all new students had their contact information printed on one side of an index card, and on the other side was information about each jump they had made, with an occasional remark by the jumpmaster.

Once a skydiver was cleared from student status, their index card was moved to the regular jumper file, but if someone had come and made one or two or a handful of jumps ten years prior and never returned, their card would still be in that student file. Needless to say, it was a large file.

Now, jumpmaster comments were generally limited to just a few words, since there was only one line for each jump. They might say something like, “nice arch” if the student had made a good exit, or “tumbled on exit” if it didn’t go so well. But on looking through card after card, there was one remark that seemed to foreshadow whether or not a student would return. It was just one word, “kicking.”

Kicking meant the student had struggled or thrashed on the way out the door of the airplane, signaling that they were singularly uncomfortable with the situation, or so I would have to believe. Because even the students whose cards bore the remarks “tumbled” or “back loop on exit” inevitably came back for more, while those who went out “kicking,” by and large never returned.

Now, after many years of skydiving and having observed my share of student jumpers, I have to say I have never seen one come down without a dazed, slightly maniacal grin on his or her face. No matter how terrified they are in the airplane, once they’re under canopy floating gently to the earth, there’s a sense of exhilaration that can’t fairly be described unless you experience it for yourself.

I’m guessing, though, that perhaps it’s a different sort of exhilaration for different jumpers, which explains why some never come back. Perhaps, for the ones who went out “kicking,” the exhilaration is less a sense of thrill and accomplishment but rather sheer relief at having survived the ordeal.

Merry Christmas, Lissa!

December 24, 2014

Yeah Lissa, things are definitely better.  We’re having a great Christmas — all four of us.  I actually managed to not only pay the rent and bills all by myself — no food stamps, no help from the hubby — this month, but scrape up a little bit extra for a tree, decorations, presents and even some new Cat in the Hat jammies for the kid — which he loves.


Even the dogs got early Christmas presents.


Although Grover doesn’t seem to particularly like his…


My gift is the pleasure I get from watching the dogs chase each other around the house and yard, clearly pals for life now. So yeah, it’s a great Christmas here, although I wish we could somehow get the family all together again. Oh well, maybe next year…