Infinity Dreams – aren’t they all?

This morning I had a lovely message from Debbie Diljak of North Carolina, telling me that she nominated me for the Infinity Dreams Award – an interesting concept for the relative newbie that I am. Thank you, Debbie, for nudging me toward getting the word out about my blog, because, as we all know, writers LOVE to have more readers! Here’s to both of us picking up another thousand or so followers. Shoot for the moon!

Because this is a spread-the-word kind of effort, there have to be some rules…and here they are:infinity award

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.
  • Post the award badge and rules.
  • Tell 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

 

First of all, THANKS to Debbie, find her blog at https://writerdiljak.wordpress.com

Now – You read the rules – so here goes:

Eleven (no, not 10, not a dozen, ELEVEN) facts about me:

  1. I am avid photographer, preferring a photojournalism approach to capturing my subjects instead of the studio look. What can I say, I like edgy.
  2. I draw strength from people around me and have little patience for negativity.
  3. I used to like politics, now I abhor them.
  4. I’m a California girl, grew up in the SF Bay Area and always wanted to live near the ocean. Still working on that.
  5. I love cruising, traveling (fave places: New York City, San Diego and San Francisco) and am looking forward to visiting New Orleans next year and cruising to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Roatan and Hawaii in 2017.
  6. I am married to an amazing visual artist who is patient, funny, affectionate and kind. I consider myself the luckiest girl in the world.
  7. I believe very strongly that we all have an obligation to make this world a better place – no effort is too big or too small.
  8. I love to cook and am a Food Network fan. I host a spaghetti party every January for about 100 people on a very eclectic guest list.
  9. I am a pittie mama, our American Staffordshire Terriers, Booker and Gracie (both rescues) are our favorite furry clowns and cuddlers.
  10. I just became a grandmother for the first time and it is every bit the miracle and joy I imagined.
  11. I cannot imagine going back to a cubicle farm or newsroom after experiencing freelancing. Except for chasing clients who pay late…..

Debbie had some interesting questions for me – here are my answers:

  1. If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would do more work with young writers and artists, walk on the beach, read more and expand my culinary skills
  2. Even my best friends would not know that I can’t ride a bike. (My imaginary tap dancing is amazing) My balance is comical and I saw someone get killed riding a bike in front of my house when I was a child, so there’s a little underlying trauma there.
  3. I am best at being a listener.
  4. Describe me? A take-no-prisoners writer. An exuberant life participant. A loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
  5. Why do I like blogging? I like the freedom of writing without silly guidelines and sharing it with the world.
  6. Best advice ever given: Don’t die wondering.
  7. If I could change anything about my life: I’d be a little more active. I’m trying to get into walking and exercising at age 61. This might have been easier if I started sooner. Other than that, it’s been pretty darn perfect.
  8. How many books do you read each year? Yikes, not enough.
  9. Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? I like a mix of both.
  10. If the new ninth planet turns out to exist, what would you name it? Phineas. Just because.

And we’re supposed to pick 11 bloggers to recommend for the Infinity Dreams honor, but I could only think of five that I really, really like … right now:

leahdipaola.com – This is a girl I watched grow up, she worked for me as a reporter and I told her lifestyle writing was more in her wheelhouse – and she does it beautifully. She recently made a big move across the country and is in the blissful state of finding herself

broadwaymusicalblog.com – I am a performer as well as a keyboard artist, and I love to read the backstage notes, written to actor/tech theater geeks like me.

doIhavetowearpink.blogspot.com – Katie is a former news colleague who is a wonderful writer, mentors young women writers and recently kicked breast cancer’s ass.

dramaqueenyc.com – Great reviews that feed my fantasy life of having tickets and living close enough to see all the amazing shows on- and off-Broadway!

melissadell.com – Friend, mother, cook, motivator, savior, crafter, lifestylist. One of the most giving humans I’ve ever met, and helping my daughter (the new mom) realize she’s going to be OK.

And my crazy questions for them:

  1. Superman or Batman? And why?
  2. What is your secret indulgence or guilty pleasure?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. What is your biggest joy?
  5. From where do you draw your strength?
  6. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  7. Think local: what is your most favorite and least favorite thing about the town in which you life?
  8. Sweet or savory?
  9. What is your proudest achievement?
  10. What is your biggest embarrassment?

There you go. Thanks again, Debbie for the nomination and I look forward to hearing from my five nominees! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forty Years of Love, Laughter and LIFE!

October 26, 1975.Boise, Idaho, in the home of Ed and Jean Jacoby, these two kids tied the knot
October 26, 1975. Boise, Idaho, in the home of Ed and Jean Jacoby, these two kids tied the knot

Oh. My. God. Today, I will celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary.

With my husband, of course.

Two score. I mean that as two chunks of 20 years each, but it does bring about a knowing grin when you think of it in Married Life Terms, because we did. Big time.

Four decades. More than the lifetime of a car, a computer, a food processor or a TV set.

In fact, I don’t think I have any of the original appliances with which we started this roller coaster of bliss. We’ve upgraded everything but the jewelry.

I still have my original wedding ring, as does he. I noticed this morning that his band that used to have deep leaves carved into it has been worn smooth in places. Mine is still pretty three-dimensional, although the bands in the back are blended into a solid gold line. I did have the diamond replaced when I lost the original at an ill-fated chalk festival a couple of years ago. Same size. I don’t need anything bigger or flashier. It’s been working for 40 years, and it is ready for the next 40.

We looked like an old married couple from the start...
We looked like an old married couple from the start…

Forty years. Holy crap. That’s a whole lot of patience and laughter and worry and happiness and stress and celebration. In those years, we’ve lived in three places; a very cold cinderblock apartment in Caldwell, Idaho, a lovely duplex in Burbank and in the Rock Hacienda in East Valencia Heights for the last 33 of those years. Our house is nontraditional, (he’s a painter and I’m a writer; we have no white walls whatsoever) but the comment we always hear is that people love to visit. Frank and I work every day to make and keep it that way.

One of many Christmas dinners
One of many Christmas dinners – Frank, Casey, Kerry, Sarah and me, wearing an apron from the LA County Sheriff’s Homicide Division. It was red…..

We’ve raised three kids in this house; hosted countless birthday parties, baby showers, graduation parties, Christmases and New Year celebrations, let wayward teens live with us for awhile and always made sure that our kids’ friends knew there was always a meal, a nonjudgmental ear and usually some fun thrown in if they stopped by. That doesn’t happen without two people working together to balance each other’s tolerance and wisdom. I think it was that mixed bag of patience and love that earned us the nicknames MamaRock and PapaRock, which we cherish.

Love. Patience. Teamwork. Forty years of teamwork.

Laughter is an important part of love.
Laughter is an important part of love.

Things haven’t always been easy. We are more than familiar with the term “starving artists” and sometimes we have had to make do instead of taking fancy vacations or buying extravagant gifts. It’s frustrating, but rewarding at the same time. We have each other and that’s enough.

If I had to describe being married, I would talk about comfort, security, safety and responsibility. I would touch on agreements and not always having the answer and facing adversity with a hand to hold so we stand tall and don’t fall over. It’s driving home after a rotten day at work or having great news and there is no one else on the planet that you want to share it with more. No one else can dry my tears or make me laugh like him and I wouldn’t have it any other way. In his arms, my stress level drops and I am at rest. It’s a great feeling.

Greetings from the Top of the Rock - the kids sent us to New York City for our 35th anniversary.
Greetings from the Top of the Rock – the kids sent us to New York City for our 35th anniversary.

I’d also mention that the most important element of a happy and successful marriage is a sense of humor. Life is a funny old raccoon, a wise friend once said, and he was right. Just when you think you have the solutions, the problems change. Over the last 40 years, we’ve found ourselves in situations that left us no alternatives but to laugh, gather our composure and start over. Our family has had some health challenges that could have ripped us apart, but we stood strong. We worried when our son served in Iraq and when relationships weren’t so good for our young ones, we cried with them. If adversity was at the door, we took a breath, gathered our composure and faced it. Together.

Laughter. Strength. Love.

When I wanted to pursue a career in news, he was behind me all the way. He saw how it excited me and made me feel worthy. When he had a career adjustment and I encouraged him to start muraling and exploring his passion for painting, I saw his eyes light up. I am his biggest fan and I know he’s mine. This is as good as it gets.

Forever, for always, no matter what...
Forever, for always, no matter what…

I will admit I am the luckiest girl in the whole damn world. My beloved puts up with my often insane reasoning, my spontaneous nature, my procrastination, and my mood swings. He celebrates every one of my little victories, sometimes even more than I do. He is, without a doubt, my biggest cheerleader and I hope he knows that I am his as well. He is my staunch defender, my arm candy, my partner in crime and the absolute love of my life.

At the greatest party Hart Mansion has seen in a long time - Casey and Tim's wedding in July 2013
At the greatest party Hart Mansion has seen in a long time – Casey and Tim’s wedding in July 2013

He listens and laughs, most of the time in the right places. He is passionate about a lot of things, lucky for me that I’m one of them.

As we approached this milestone, I tried to remember some of the early times. They’re getting harder and harder to recall, except the constant that whatever we did, we did it together. Through all the years, the pounds, the varying hair colors and lengths, crazy fashions and hobbies, he’s been there. Though some friends have come and gone, I know that the two of us fit best in the big chair in the living room and if it’s just us, that’s OK.

Comfort. Satisfaction. Togetherhood.

And the family grows! Papa and Mama, Tim, Casey, Sarah and Kerry
And the family grows! Papa and Mama, Tim, Casey, Sarah and Kerry

Now that our nest is empty, our first granddaughter will be here very soon and we’re excited to have all the kids home for the holidays – I’m looking forward to the new times. We’ll share new experiences (beyond the maze of Medicare and Social Security) as we enter a new chapter of our lives and I’m excited beyond belief that we get to do them together.

Frank, thank you for the easy-to-say last name, the hugs and the cuddles, the joy and the laughter. I love you to the moon and back. I believe in you and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. All I know is that it’s gonna be great.

To the next score, and the one after that, and the one after that…….here we go!

CaseyAndTim-204