Current state of mind…

In following the stay at home/stay safe guidelines, my emotions are much like a runaway train.  Up, down, sideways and, at times, in danger of a complete derailment.  Trying to find things that lighten my spirit as opposed to so much of what pisses me off.  Difficult, to say the very least.

Now and then, a segue happens.  A welcome distraction from this current pandemic-lifestyle. Somewhat of a benefit given by all this time on my hands and the ability to just waste that privilege whenever I damn feel like it!

5 positive (sometimes instant) mood-lifters.

Music Old music.  Doowop.  As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything in this genre, having it deemed “pure crap” by my father.   He never realized that his description made the music even more enticing. Late at night, I’d hide under the covers, armed with my trusty transistor radio, earphone plugged-in, and tune into the one or two New York radio stations that would come in with several wiggles on the dial.  Static or not, the music was great.

The artists could actually sing, and most were damn good at it.  The lyrics always touched a tender spot.  Love, heartbreak, mixed with a dash of hope, all in a two-minute recording.  I’ve been playing several songs, over and over, doing some chair-dancing and loving all the memories of much simpler times.

Purging.  Something that most of us have been doing.  Pretty soon I’ll have an abundance of room for what…I have no idea.  A good feeling, overall.

Talking on the phone. How much nicer to hear someone’s voice and share expressions that don’t take the form of a text, accented with some asinine emoji.  😊

Cooking. Well, honestly, I pride myself on being a cook but…with my pre-unemployment work schedule, dinners previously involved my mad rush in the front door around 6 or 7 p.m.  The Husband would be waiting, noticeably weak from hunger, and I’d hurriedly get his meal prepared.  Now, in the past month, I have time to present gourmet quality dinners, served at the much more reasonable time of 5 p.m.  Great, right?  Well, not so much when he frequently informs me that he’s had a late lunch and really isn’t all that hungry.  Note to self:  Encourage him to have more late lunches when my job resumes.

Sleeping. Mind you, not a lot of it but far beyond what my manic stress level usually allows.  It’s been lights-out by 10 p.m. and I awaken now, usually by 4 or 5 a.m.  That…is pretty much a full night’s sleep for me.  I’ll take it, for as long as this unwanted vacation lasts.


5 instant mood-downers.

Trash. Used gloves and masks thrown down in the parking lot at a market.  Shame on everyone who does this, and you KNOW who you are.  Stop it!

Television. Mainly, the news. Stop the network-to-network sniping and keep your personal opinions out of the mix.  We are embroiled in a national/worldwide crisis and not interested in your personal agendas or your like/dislike of government, or other, officials.  Shut UP!

Pets. Okay, this is promising to become a major issue.  When this pandemic started, the rush was on for people to hit animal shelters and adopt, adopt, adopt.  What’s next?  What happens when everyone emerges from hunkering down or returns to the workplace?  What will happen when the new furry family members no longer receive the undying attention they’ve been used to?  Think about that!

And now that the media is reporting a few cats and dogs who have become infected with COVID-19, might this start a pet-dumping wave of insanity?  Think about that, too!

Toilet Paper, and other necessities. It’s been over one month and what appears in the markets (at least here) are a few rolls of toilet tissue (single ply/no name brand) and a sign…”One to a customer”.  Is society experiencing some major intestinal disorder?  How much toilet paper do people really need?

Frozen food aisles?  No pizza, taquitos, egg rolls, french fries, potato skins…the basic noshes…next to nothing available.  Pasta and rice?  Mostly gone.  Carbohydrate overload anyone?  But there is… ice cream…and lima beans.  Plenty of lima beans folks.  And they’re so much better for you than all the above junk!  Each flat little bean includes manganese, potassium. copper, magnesium, and phosphorus, and iron.  Two words of advice:  Buy Beans!

Line jumpers. Trust me, they’re out there in the supermarkets, cutting in front of shoppers who dutifully wait behind the taped lines at the checkout, markers in place to maintain a six-foot space between customers.  Along comes some wise ass who wheels in between the lines of that aisle.  And then gets yelled at.  Loudly.  And retreats.  He won’t soon forget me.


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: Write a list of 5 things that put you in an instant better mood.  Write a list of 5 things that put you in an instant bad mood.

Obviously, I combined both writing prompts.  I’m more than certain there will be plenty of opportunities for, sometimes erratic, mood swings before this current pandemic ends.  If it ever ends.  The emotional roller coaster ride will take its toll as we all wait, and wait, to move forward again.  And we will.  With much caution.  We will…get through this!


Undertaking chaos…

Project:  a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel, and equipment

I can assure you that no money was involved during this, stay-at-home-and-stop-the-spread, undertaking.

And, as far as personnel, I am all of that.  A singular body.  A personage, in my own right.  Here in my home, anyway.

The scene:  My home office. 


Well, honestly, it wasn’t/isn’t as bad as this photo.  Close, but no cigar. 

The first two weeks of being unemployed and relatively sequestered at home, I did very little.  Oh, I thought about projects which needed my undivided attention.  I made notes, lots of them.  Initially, the novelty of not working was almost a feeling of being on an extended vacation.  Suddenly, there was such a large window of free time in front of me with no pressure in having to do something.  As I’ve written before, time was now on my side to think about it, talk about it and formulate a plan to get it done.  Eventually.

And then it became real, starting with a slew of photographs.  We all have them.  Somewhere.  Go look!  As I shared recently on Facebook, for me, it was an accumulation of more than 50 years of memories, some sad, most happy. Images of new life, celebrations and precious moments captured by a camera lens. I laughed, to myself, about how times have changed where pictures are concerned.  How many of us have photo albums, gathering dust on a shelf, or stashed in a closet?  Now, SD Cards chronicle our passing years in a digitized format. 

From there, it was greeting cards and notes.  Birthday, holiday, thank-you, get-well, anniversary….why do we save them?  I didn’t, except, of course, for every card given by my grandchildren.  No respectable grandparent will ever discard that scribbled note or handmade card from the loves of their life.  Oh, I’d better add the little notes always left behind from our oldest daughter when she visits.  She tucks them here and there around my home for me to find when I open a drawer or some other spot where I’m certain to find them.  Keepers.

Jen's notes

On to the supply drawers. Equipment, of sorts. 12 boxes of Chalk.  Who uses that anymore?  Why do I even have it and where the hell did it come from?  Markers… definitely keepers.  Crayons..always come in handy.  Pencils…Mongol, 5 boxes, all in need of sharpening but I can’t find the electric pencil sharpener.  Stickers, Post-it notepads, paper clips, staples, pens, envelopes and…57 one cent stamps.  57.  Don’t ask.

And then, the BIG stuff.  Business documents.  Invoices, ledgers, tax paperwork (ugh), check stubs, certificates…all now infringing on my personal, home office, space since we closed our retail operation a few years ago.  The rule of thumb is to save all for at least 7 years.  Let me tell you, my next purging is going to be a bitch and cannot come soon enough!

For now, I’m just about done, at least with my home office.  I’m on a roll, ready to forge ahead and tackle clothes closets, starting with…The Husband’s.  It’s all good with him working and giving me some prime time to go in (as I do yearly) and get rid of questionable menswear.  Most wives know…those jeans that are “good for when I cut the grass”, or…”when I work on the cars”…soon to be history!  Also departing the homestead, a protective “male” device worn by The Husband when he played softball, 30 years ago.  Why do men hang onto possessions like this?  I’ll be asking myself this as well when I go though my closets and heave everything that I haven’t worn and have no idea why I purchased some in the first place.  I did get rid of my Disco Dress in last year’s purging.  It was difficult, but I did it.  I’m on a roll!




workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Write about a project you recently started.


Heartful purging…

Date:  February 14, 2016…Valentine’s Day

Place:  Kent Cliffs, New York

Time:  Not enough

Subject:  Purging


Living in the Northeast blesses us with seasons; some we love and others just cause everyone to scatter and climb onto the nearest soapbox to complain.  

Really, people?  It’s Winter and it happens once every year, why the shock and dismay?  Why not just move, become a snowbird and settle down in God’s Waiting Room, aka/Florida, to escape Winter’s wrath …snow, ice and brutal temperatures?  Funny thing is, everyone who makes such a move can’t wait to avoid the Florida sun.  Once they get there,  many hide inside their air conditioned condos or other dwellings of choice, mostly at all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants where they fill their Tupperware and complain about, what else, the Heat!

Sitting here at home on this day of hearts and romance, I’m doing my own hiding of sorts here in my office, that little room-of-my-own.  In fact, most are doing the same as the siege of an intense Arctic Freeze has our area in its icy grasp.  It’s almost impossible to move without feeling a chill reaching out to poke you from under every door or glare back through frosted windows.  Early this morning it was -14 but has now warmed-up considerably, reaching a balmy 8 degrees in the early afternoon hours.

I decided to peruse my files of writing ideas and drafts, realizing that I’ve fallen-off considerably with my postings.  But, there is no soapbox waiting for me to vent any lame excuses like life keeps getting in the way and other blah blah bullshit.  When you are a true Writer, the creative process is always present.  Laziness is the real culprit behind our, inability to produce material, excuses.  I especially need to stop blowing that smoke up both my own and everyone else’s patootie.  Let’s get real, when someone has a passion for the arts, little gets in their way.  For example, Peter Robinson, Jr., a dear high school friend is a very talented photographer who shares his work without hesitation and graciously allowed me to place some of his talent in my blog post today. Peter is a true visionary who captures everyday scenes through his camera lens and the result is just magical.  Rarely does a day pass without at least one photograph from him, the sign of a dedicated artist.






Amazing, isn’t he?  


I’ve finally learned one important thing , whatever the form of creative expression, it should never be done selectively, as if one is doing the world some random favor.  Don’t you agree?  <Note to self:  recite this pep talk into the mirror every day>


The whole subject of purging hit me when our daughter stopped-by to borrow a cooking item and as I rummaged through a kitchen closet,  she suggested that it was time for me to “P”.    Hold any/all wisecracks.   It did make me stop and think, about that finite wall of time that is ahead and all the stuff that is entwined in our lives; things that are important, not to be misplaced, and others than make us wonder what in hell we were thinking when we purchased them.  Of course, the feeling one gets from purging either material or emotional baggage is beyond cathartic.

For now, I’ll hold onto my stuff.  I will also endeavor to make every possible effort to clear the traffic-jam of ideas and thoughts in my head put into some intelligent format while, hopefully, there is still…time.



 Don’t die with your music still inside you.
Listen to your intuitive inner voice
and find what passion stirs your soul.
– Wayne Dyer