finding the funny everyday

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It’s been a while since I posted about life with Mom, who is 89 years old. She is living with me now after years of living independently. Before she moved here, she had a group of friends with whom she would go shopping or work on craft projects. They would chat and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. They still do chat and laugh, but much less frequently and at a distance of 400+ miles. People don’t call as often as they used to and who writes letters anymore? Mom’s movement is more limited – it’s physically hard for her to get around and she is afraid to go out and do things because she’s in a new city. Sometimes she can’t remember where she’s going or how to get home. I think she’s afraid that if she goes out, she will be lost forever. Her world is shrinking.  Continue reading

the joys of an old building

I like old buildings. My home is in a building that is about 115 years old. I just watched Homes by the Sea, a UK show on Netflix about, well, living by the sea – those buildings make my 115-year old look like a “new build”.  I invariably enjoy the (rather limited) offerings on HGTV more when the renovation or purchase involves an older house. Sometimes there is an updated, but not gutted, old home in another country, which is fun. I just find older buildings to be more interesting.  Continue reading

rant: the harrowing life of a pedestrian

rain-2859322_1280I awoke yesterday to find it was raining. Ugh. <*sigh*>

It wasn’t so much that I was going to have to juggle a tote and an umbrella or that it was going to be a dreary day. The thing I dreaded was having to deal with traffic. It seems that drivers in Baltimore – or at least the ones traveling through my neighborhood – really like puddles. They drive through at seemingly faster-than-needed speeds, resulting in waves of water splashing pedestrians who just want to cross the street. Given years of avoiding the wave, I’m an old pro. Now it’s not so much the fear of getting splashed as it is annoyance of having to navigate the wave early in the morning.  Continue reading

on being a cat … living the life of Oscar

Oscar was found wandering the streets of Pittsburgh more than 14 years ago. Somehow, he ended up on his own. His long, beautiful cream-colored fur was matted and dirty. He couldn’t hunt or hold his own in a fight, in part because he had been declawed. He had fleas and worms. Lori, with whom I work, is a cat lover and had been watching him for a few days, trying to find a way to grab him.  Continue reading

surprise! let’s renovate the kitchen

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I had a plan: undertake a big project in my apartment every other year. It would take forever, but that timeline would allow me to pay off one project and save up for the next. First it was replacing the carpeting and the heating and air conditioning system (year 1), then replacing the kitchen appliances (year 3), then repainting the living room and bedroom (year 5) and then replacing the windows (year 7). The full bathroom was set to be next in year 9 (2013), but there were other things that needed to be done – replacing my laptop and some furniture. So the full bathroom renovation was set for 2015, with the floors scheduled for 2017, the kitchen in 2019, the half bath and new doors (and maybe the walk-in closet) in 2021. Just as we were ready to begin tearing out bathroom tile, my mother announced her plan to move in with me.  Continue reading

another of mom’s favorite movies

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In addition to The Adventures of Robin Hood and The African Queen (movie magic sometimes strikes), another movie that is a sure hit with my mother is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. Mom normally is not a ghost movie fan, but this one is humorous and romantic and she is happy to make an exception. We watched it again last night and found it as entertaining as ever.  Continue reading

making work, well, work

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For me, work has always been a place where I could combine multiple skills and bring a measure of creativity to create something new – something that informs. I managed projects and teams, interfaced with clients and stakeholders, and made decisions about what to prioritize and how to accomplish our goals. Whether in academia, the nonprofit world or NGOs, my work was a major component of who I was as a person. Even when there were ups and downs, it was like home … a mind-space were I felt strong and safe and alive.  Continue reading