Archive for November, 2014

Thanksgiving and the Single Senior

November 16, 2014

My Thanksgiving decorations are in place but my plans for Turkey Day aren’t.

Jumping Jack Pilgrims

Jumping Jack Pilgrims



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My older two sons and their families are going camping with my ex-husband. Susan invited me to Northern California but traveling that week is a real hassle. Marlene’s family celebrates on Friday due to divorces and in-laws, so she invited me to join her, her husband and young daughter at Country Buffet. I may do that. When I was married, I made the dinner and then went with the ladies to the movies. The guys stayed home to clean up and watch the football games and the kids. So the movies are an option maybe with Susan G.

I hadn’t made plans because I was holding out hope that my wayward son would be back in the fold and I would cook for him and some friends. Not happening but I’m reluctant to accept reality. I’m hold out hope that he’ll be sober and want to spend Thanksgiving with me.

The holidays are about the only times when I miss being married because there wasn’t any question about our plans. I got to cook the dinner and be surrounded by my family. That’s the legacy that my parents left me. My mother always cooked and baked and we enjoyed the dinner with our immediate family and my mother’s parents. My grandfather always brought Barracini chocolate turkeys.

So how am I dealing with this? I didn’t want to break my budget so I splurged at the 99 Cent Store. My bill was over forty dollars, which is quite a shopping basket full of goodies. I got myself chips and chocolate and Christmas thingamajigs for my granddaughters.


And I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been going out to Happy Hour with my neighbor Donna. We ate at Blancoin Scottsdale and devoured big bowls of seafood ceviche and drank margaritas. We went to P F Changs and pigged out on lettuce cups and Mai Tais. And last night I went to Uncle Sal’s with Donna and Joan and got a tasty New York strip steak in the bar for only $11. I don’t drink very much so I’ve switched to sparkling water.

I could go Freud on myself and analyze what the no cooking has to do with my feelings of abandonment but I won’t go there. I’ll just sample more Happy Hours next week.

Sometimes Being Single Doesn’t Matter

November 9, 2014

I’m over in Los Angeles this week, training for a new job. I was dreading it as I‘ve endured many boring sessions in my life. My new position is as a supervisor of computer based testing. It’s a full time job for four months, perfect for me.

I knew only one person who was going to the training, my former supervisor Judi. She’s a fun person. On our flight over to LA she also said she was concerned about being bored.

The hotel was at the LA airport. We registered for the training and then went to the trolley station to go to Manhattan Beach for dinner. After waiting for half an hour for the trolley to come, the driver wouldn’t let Judi and me on the bus because we only had cash and hadn’t bought a ticket at the hotel .So we ate dinner at the hotel bar which no longer offered a happy hour.

Since this is November, I’m writing two thousand words a day of my new novel to meet the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to write 50,000 of a novel in that month. So I got up early the next morning and wrote 1500 words before I went down for the breakfast provided by the company.

I had a hard time locating the training room, but I managed to get there on time. There were sixteen people in my session, four men and twelve women. My field manager Patty was conducting the training, assisted by a Home Office person. Although I’d spoken to Patty on the phone, I’d never met her in person. She is an attractive and animated woman which raised my expectations.

We went around the room, introducing ourselves and saying where we were from. There were six of us from Arizona. The others were from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. I was pleased to see that everyone was articulate and lively.I’ve learned a lot and laughed a lot this week.

Since I knew little about my new job, I was anxious to learn what my responsibilities would be. I was surprised at how quickly the morning went. My colleagues asked intelligent questions and Patty went slowly enough to encourage understanding but fast enough to ensure attention.

That night eleven of us walked to a local Greek Restaurant, Aliki, for dinner. It was excellent, in case you’re ever staying at a hotel at the LA airport.

I managed to fit in two workout sessions at the hotel fitness room.

As I’ve gotten to know these people over the past week, I realized I was probably the only single one in the group. A few of the spouses had accompanied them, but most were on their own. No one asked me my marital status and it didn’t seem to matter to anyone. This is the first time in quite a while that people have socialized as people, not single or coupled. I liked it.

Halloween Decorations

November 1, 2014

Holiday Decorations

A pull-toy pumpkin I bought at least forty years ago

A pull-toy pumpkin I bought at least forty years ago


This year I returned to Scottsdale from my cabin in the middle of October, earlier than usual. I decided to decorate for Halloween, which I hadn’t done for at least five years. I didn’t go so far as to buy pumpkins and carve jack-o-lanterns.

I used to have large space to adorn:  a school library and a big house. The year I retired I sold many of my holiday decorations to teachers, donating the proceeds to the district’s scholarship fund. When I moved from a 3600 square foot home to one with 2000 square feet, I gave away and sold more at a yard sale. I finally downsized to a 1200 square foot condo and sold more. I’m down to two boxes. One is decorations and one is Halloween stories, poems, puppets and kids costumes. I used the latter in my granddaughter’s class this week. After all this weeding out, you’d figure I wouldn’t buy any more decorations. But you’d be wrong. This year I bought orange spider lights and ornaments for my gate.


Since we have no trick-or-treaters in my complex, for whom do I decorate? The grandchildren are too busy to visit. I go up to their house. I used to decorate the library and my (principal’s) office for the delight I saw in children’ faces. And my own children liked to have the house dolled up for each holiday. But I live alone. So the answer is I decorate for myself.

Trapunto picture I made thirty-five years ago

Trapunto picture I made thirty-five years ago

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