A Moment of Levity

For those of you who know the Princess, you know she loves animals – really LOVES animals and anything living. She tried her darndest years ago to resuscitate a caterpillar by flipping over its lifeless body and gently rubbing between its legs to bring it back to life. Her innocent attempt actually succeeded and the little bugger crawled happily away.

I, on the other hand, am very selective with my love and have a slight fear of any animal that shows too much enthusiasm. Jumping dogs. Bucking horses. Running bulls.

And if the truth be told, I’m guilty of stepping on spiders, squishing most insects that I find in my home and am not a fan of bees while I garden.

You get the picture.

This coronavirus pandemic has us (like most of society) stressed to the max. So we’re making a lot of cupcakes, eating bags of popcorn and cookies, and binge watching a lot of Doc Martin, lately. (If the woman calls me “tosser” one more time, I’m gonna toss her and her little animal-loving self out into the cold!)

To offset this binge eating, we’re taking daily walks. For most couples this is a lovely, outdoor experience bordering on spiritual enlightenment. For the Princess and I, there are times it turns into a lovely tug-of-war; with SHE running over to pet and love on one of the neighbor’s dogs, and ME gently reminding her that we have a “six foot rule” to abide by.

So yesterday during our daily outdoor ritual, I saw one of the neighbors give her dog a treat for not running toward us and jumping, and I got an idea.

Today we went for a walk and the Princess smiled at the dog-walking neighbor, said, “Good morning” and kept walking.

Genius here pulled out a Hersey Kiss, gave it to her and said, “Good job!”

Needless to say, I now have a black and blue arm and she has been calling me “tosser” most of the day.

Oh well, a moment of levity in the midst of a pretty scary time in our lives.

Stay healthy and safe, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

Hangin’ in Costco’s Egg Aisle

My GP wanted to know why I needed another prescription of Xanax. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer her.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, I walked in from doing my weekly grocery shopping and discovered that it took me an hour and a half longer than it usually did.

 

The Princess had some shopping to do Tuesday, too.

 

Women have told me, “Must be nice shopping for the two of you gals. My husband HATES shopping. Thinks it’s women’s work and all.”

 

Un-huh.

 

“So,” I asked these clueless individuals. “Have you ever gone shopping with a five year old in a toy store?”

 

“No?” I continued. “Well, you really don’t want to if you don’t have to,” I informed them.

 

“The Princess is a grown up version of a 5 year old.”

 

The Princess needed to see my grocery list while we were still in the parking area of Costco, so I gave it to her.

 

Not thinking that I would actually NEED the list while shopping, she left it behind in the car when we went in, and when I asked her for it, she innocently looked at me and mumbled, “Uh, the list is in the car. Maybe I’ll go out and get it, eh?”

 

“Hm,” I answered. “I think that would be a smart thing to do in light of the fact that I know there were at least TEN items on that list, and I can only remember ONE– eggs.”

 

 

“You go to the car and I’ll meet you in the egg aisle,” I continued and off we both went in opposite directions.

 

I quickly got to the egg aisle, picked up the eggs and began to wait, thinking, “Well, maybe she forgot where the car was and she’s out there walking around aimlessly looking for our white Subaru.”

 

(Have I told you, People, that here on the Olympic Peninsula in Western WA everyone and their mother’s uncle owns a white Subaru? Well, they do!)

 

“No,” I told myself, “She couldn’t have gotten lost. We parked too close to the store for her to have gotten lost. She must have lost my list and she’s afraid I’ll get mad, so the poor thing is probably asking the Costco door people if they’ve seen it on the ground.”

 

“Yep,” I assured myself. “That’s what must have happened.”

 

“Let me call her up and see what’s going on.”

 

“Hey, “ I said to her when she answered. “Where the heck are you? I’ve been waiting forever in the egg aisle.”

 

“I’m in the food aisle,” she said. The Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars are on sale and they’re giving samples today. You need to get a sample.”

 

“And oh,” she continued. “You know those wool socks that you and I like for the winter?”

 

“They have them by the towels on the other side of the store, “ she added, before I could answer her question.

 

“So, let me get this straight,” I answered, keenly aware of the fact that I was talking to her in a very public place.

 

“You are in the store right now shopping, and I’ve been hangin’ in the egg aisle for the past 15 minutes waiting for you to come back with my list?”

 

“Well,” she answered having a hard time not laughing out loud at my annoying tone with her.

 

“I looked down the egg aisle and didn’t see you, and then I saw the Haagen-Dazs lady and went there, and I ran into one of my biking buddies and started chatting and then…well,” she continued.

 

“I started wandering around, checking out stuff, and that’s when I saw our wool socks.”

 

“You still want the list?” she asked me when I wheeled my cart out from the egg aisle and saw her in front of the ice cream lady hitting her up for a second sample.

 

“No,” I answered her. “I just sent you out to the car to get it ‘cuz I have nothing else to do but hang in Costco’s egg aisle today.”

 

Lord, please help me keep my sense of humor today, ‘cuz I’m gonna strangle her if I ever get ahold of my grocery list!

 

Life with the Princess is never boring. Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya next time looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education was Important to my Mother

Education was important to my mother.

Keeping her children happy was even more important.

So, when her oldest daughter lost her sense of humor and started freaking out about final exams the week before graduation, Momma Benedetti went to her bag of tricks to ease the tension.

She dressed up in my graduation cap and gown and declared she was a “college gad-gee-ate”.

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When that didn’t so much as get a smile from me, she tried walking into my bedroom with a rose between her teeth and asked me to tango.

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Unfortunately, I was so hung up on doing well on my finals, that neither action made me any less anxious.

Yes, I was her more sensitive child. The one the doctors always referred to as “emotional” and recommended enemas on a regular basis.

You know the kind.

Every family has one.

And lucky me, I was the one.

It wasn’t until the next morning, while I was sitting on the throne, looking down at the painted toenails of our clawfoot bathtub, that I burst out laughing.

Mom had painted all of the nails on the claws with bright red nail polish.

Her oldest daughter needed to laugh, and Mom wasn’t giving up until I did.

She succeeded.

I sat there on the toilet laughing hysterically and shaking my head in awe.

Mom got me on that one.

I was now prepared to kick some serious butt on the last of my final exams and to graduate from community college.

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Thanks, Mom.

It’s because of you that I went on and became a “college gad-gee-ate”.

I miss her every day, but it’s memories like these that keep her close to my heart and very much alive.

Love you, Mom.

Love you to the moon and back.

Continue reading Education was Important to my Mother

Rat Karma

The Princess is outside walking around with the exterminator.

Yep.

Unfortunately, our local raccoons have no manners and are messy eaters with the birdseed they steal from the Princess’s bird feeder.

 
Did you know that rats like leftover birdseed?

 
Un-huh.

 
They do.

 

And our cat, Boo, has been too occupied with the deer to mess with the baby rats, so we’ve got furry, 4-legged, low-riders scooting around the perimeter of our home and having a grand ole time.

 

Yuck!

 

I hate rats. The Princess, on the other hand, loves and respects all life forms, including RATS.

 

She spent the better part of an afternoon researching and calling various exterminator companies.

 

I can assure you, the pest control company that she eventually hired was thoroughly vetted to make sure the little buggers wouldn’t suffer any undue stress when they went to rat heaven. They simply eat a special food that they leave for them, and then drift off to sleep, like Snow White.

 

“Yeah,” he reassured her. “They may get a tad thirsty before they doze off, but that’s about it. It’s pretty painless.”

 

“Oh,” he continued. And you might have a peculiar odor coming from the house until we come and pick up their remains, but not to worry, it’s just their decaying bodies.”

 

Swell.

 

I’m so glad she paid a professional to do this. I was prepared to buy some traps, bait the traps and nail the little buggers. But the Princess, being the Princess, didn’t wanna hurt the little sweethearts.

 

“After all,” she informed me. “You could end up with bad karma if you kill them inhumanely.”

 

Un-huh.

 

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t looking forward to killing them myself, but sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And I certainly was not going to cohabitate with any 4 –legged creatures of the rat family. If you recall, the Princess and I played a version of “Pop goes the weasel” with a rat when we lived in CA. I did not and do not want to do this, again!

 

No siree, Bob.

 

I’m glad someone else’s karma is gonna be negatively tweaked, though. I can now go to sleep knowing that my “rat karma” is in tact.

 

And you, dear People, have a great day and I’ll catch ya next time, looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

Hullo! Is Anybody home?

For those of you that have regularly followed me over time, you know that I have a mother with a few endearing (or not-so-endearing) little peculiarities. To say that Momma Benedetti’s special character traits haven’t ingratiated herself with many would be a boldface lie. So when my sister and I recently tried to telephone her, repeatedly, and were unable to reach her, we were a tad concerned.

 

My mom has a pretty steadfast routine and RARELY deviates from it. Her morning coffee, a trip to the loo, watching her favorite show, “The Price is Right”, taking out the garbage 3 times a day; walking the circle around her senior complex…you get the picture. We know if it’s Monday afternoon, she’s at the Senior Center playing “pitch”, her favorite card game, and if it’s Thursday afternoon, she’s across the street playing cards with her Thursday group.

 

She eats regularly, poo’s regularly, does her laundry, dusts and makes sure the garbage doesn’t sit in her baskets more than a couple of hours. So when we couldn’t reach her over an 18 hour period of time between her regular routines, my sister and I became concerned.

 

I was hesitant to text our cousin at her job because she does so much for Mom/us and thought long and hard about contacting the complex’s administrative person to check on her, but decided when BOTH my cousin and I couldn’t reach her, that I’d best contact someone at the apartment’s office.

 

Linda, the office administrator, graciously answered, sent up an individual to check on her and lo and behold, 10 minutes later, I received a phone call from Momma.

 

“What’s your problem?” she barked. “I got your phone calls. I was busy eating and didn’t wanna be bothered.”

 

“The maintenance guy scared the heck outta me pounding on the door,” she added.

 

“Cazzo! she continued. “Can’t a body eat in peace without being harassed?”

 

At that point, I took a deep breath, told her that I had to visit the restroom and hung up.

 

Damn that old woman drives me nuts!

 

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Have a great day, People, and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.

 

 

Rest in Peace, Little Sweetheart

We had to say good-bye to our sweet, dear Mollie today.

 

It was the right thing to do; the compassionate, kind thing to do.

 

But somehow all that doesn’t matter to our broken hearts right now. All I know is that this black and white fur ball – that at times drove me totally off the deep end – made me laugh and smile (most of the time) and brought endless joy to my life.

 

I know we were good Mommies. I know we loved her completely and totally and spoiled her like no other.

 

But somehow all that doesn’t matter right now.

 

All I know is that there’s a hole in my heart as big as the entire outdoors; and no sweet, little fur ball laying on top of my chest tonight poking her precious, pink noise in my face staring at me with those cute, sweet, raccoon eyes of hers.

 

The Princess and I love you sweet Mollie Girl. Love you with all our hearts.

 

Rest in peace, little sweetheart. You brought us much joy.

RV Rookies

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So who said you needed to drive an RV on all six wheels? Certainly not my Princess!

 

As one who was accustomed to freeway driving in the San Francisco Bay Area for most of her life, learning to drive a newly acquired, 25 ft. Fleetwood Pulse across three states during a season of raging fires was a piece of cake.

 

There were moments that I felt this cake was gonna be of the upside down, pineapple variety, but I’m happy to report that me and our little blue house-on-wheels are right side up and safely home.

 

I’m currently taking multiple antacids for my stomach and need a new prescription for anti-anxiety medication, after our little road trip. Other than that, life is good on the Olympic Peninsula of Northern WA.

 

During the spring of this year, my oldest brother and his wife decided that tooling around the United States in a 30 ft. RV was something that was worthwhile and adventurous for two young’uns new to retirement. And the Princess and I – getting too old for sleeping on leaky, plastic air mattresses and squatting in poison ivy bushes to pee – decided that maybe my brother and his wife were on to something. After all, there’s something to be said about sleeping on a mattress without a rock, the size of Gibraltar, poking at one’s plump, highly sensitive hinny. And having access to an indoor plumbing facility, minus the thrill of an ivy bush, we felt was just peachy for these two old gals.

 

So we set out on an earnest search in the local area for an RV that we could afford and was to our liking. Unfortunately, after scouring the area and not finding anything we liked (and could afford) we were ready to throw in the towel until next season, when my brother, Anthony, called and got involved in the search… and within hours had us a perfect little house on wheels.

 

The one minor detail: this rolling abode of adventure was located in the state of fry sauce and mini vans (a.k.a. Utah). Other than that, it was a perfect vehicle for the two fur-balls and us.

 

The only thing the Princess and I needed to do was to drive out there – thru 3 smoke-filled states on fire – purchase it, clean it out, learn to drive and operate it, and get it back home before we took off for NY to check on Momma B.

 

And we did just that.

 

In between time, we learned to drive on a 7 lane freeway with wall to wall traffic, navigate tornado-like winds without steering off a cliff, question the quality of mom and pop gas stations selling old diesel fuel; and utilize friendly truckers, when navigating Mt. passes on fire about to get a snow storm.

 

And the mother of all-important things that these RV rookies are truly grateful for learning is that you ALWAYS (Yes, People, ALWAYS!) empty your black water BEFORE your gray water!

Or you may unwittingly find yourself the butt of your fellow RVer’s jokes and campfire conversations.

 

Yep.

 

With the addition of a gas additive the former owner left in the vehicle, the advice of a friendly trucker in Idaho, named Jolene, and all kinds of suggestions and prayers from family members and friends, we made it safely back home; where we were promptly greeted by two sick kitties, who were happy to have their mommies back for some special, bed-time snuggling.

 

Now we just need to figure out why our “Kwikee step” on the RV ain’t so quick to open, and get a local auto dealer here in no man’s land to replace Li’l Blue’s recalled passenger airbag.

 

Other than that, the Princess, Li’l Blue, and I are doing just swell here in the land of long underwear, rain slickers and roundabouts.

 

Hope the Fall Season is finding all of you healthy and happy. Take care and I’ll catch ya the next time, looking at life from my shoes.