Archive for the ‘habits’ Category

I could have died waiting.   

In habits, Life Essays, quirks, writing on January 26, 2015 at 6:59 am

There were two things I remember wanting so badly I thought I would die when I was a little girl. The first was in the fifth grade. I wanted a tape recorder. I had to have it in order to tape the music from each week’s episode of The Partridge Family. And I got it, for Christmas. No it wasn’t the best way to get music, but I was ten okay, and yes in the background you could hear my little brother making car noises and the sound of my mother vacuuming, but I didn’t care, I could record music.

A year later my sixth grade class had a two week typing mini course, it was followed by two weeks of Gregg shorthand. I wanted to type so badly I could die. I loved books, I loved to read, but I took most of my allowance to the student store to buy pencils and pads to write on. Typing became an obsession with me. We didn’t have a typewriter at home, but I practiced on a cardboard keyboard the school had provided. I told everyone I knew I was learning to type, and when Rosalie, our neighbor across the street found out, she offered to loan me her portable typewriter to use for practice. I typed all of my homework, stories from books, pages from the dictionary. I was painfully slow, but I didn’t care. When I was watching television, or sitting in the car listening to my parents talk, I would ‘type’ whatever was being said on my lap, on the carpet, or the back of the car seat. I still do this, usually on my leg or with my hands in my pockets… sometimes on Hunky Hubby’s leg or arm, I don’t mean to do it, it’s become a habit, one of my charming little quirks.WP_20150124_14_11_12_Pro

Anyway, it was 1973 and I was eleven. I wanted a typewriter more than I wanted to meet Bobby Sherman (who I was sure would wait for me and marry me someday when I grew up). It was after Christmas, months until my birthday and I knew I would die if I didn’t get a typewriter. I know I was a weird kid, but hey back then a tablet was, well… a pad of paper and you wrote on it with pencils or ink pens, so a typewriter was cool. Okay, it probably wasn’t cool even then, but we had no sidewalks for skateboarding, and my parents didn’t think girls should play the drums.

I knew it would take me forever to save enough for a typewriter with my allowance of 50 cents a week, but I started saving anyway. About that time a babysitting job fell in my lap. It was my first regular job, babysitting after school every day. I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to play!

So I saved every dollar I earned. This was easier back then. I lived in a small town with no stores, no fast food restaurants, we didn’t have eBay or Etsy so I stuffed my money in my little pink jewelry box with the dancing ballerina and watched it grow. When the lid would no longer shut on my jewelry box I took it downstairs to my mother who was sitting on our gold crushed velvet sofa, which rested on the avocado green carpet, that matched the avocado green flocked gold wallpaper in the dining room, are you sensing a theme here? And, I asked to go shopping. We went to Sears. I bought an avocado green Sears Newport. I think I paid sixty dollars for it, but who knows, I mean I was eleven at the time, how do you expect me to remember what I paid for a typewriter.

I typed every story, poem, report and speech that I wrote through middle school and high school on that typewriter. I have no idea when I got rid of it, or how. Perhaps it was at a garage sale when we moved my senior year of high school. It could have been when I saved enough money to buy that brand new electric typewriter with automatic correction. And although I’ve thought of it fleetingly over the years, when I got my Olivetti typewriter with the daisy wheel and five hundred character memory, and a couple of years later when I got my first computer a 286 that the salesman assured me I’d never need to replace, I’ve always thought of it fondly.

So the point of my story is that although today I have a PC, laptop and a tablet, not the kind that’s an actual pad filled with paper, the kind that uses Wi-Fi, I missed my old typewriter. I wanted to feel the excitement I felt transcribing my handwriting from those notepads onto that first manual typewriter, how real it made the words on paper feel. Every now and then I search the internet to see if I can find it, or at least one like it. Last week I struck gold. There were two listed on one well known site for $165 and$250 dollars, and I was ready to pony up. I couldn’t believe I’d found an avocado green Sears Newport typewriter. Hunky Hubby even agreed it could be my Valentine gift. But before I clicked add to cart, I checked another site just for the heck of it, and found my typewriter for $15.99 plus shipping of course, in the last hours of the auction. In all there were three of them on the second site, all avocado green under $50 and two of the auctions were ready to end. There were no bids on any of them, which surprised me, because who wouldn’t want a vintage early 1970’s avocado green typewriter, right? I waited patiently until just before the auction was over, swooped in and placed my bid, and won my typewriter for $15.99 (plus shipping of course).

I’ve saved money patiently, and impatiently for many things over the years, but that typewriter is the first thing I wanted so badly I thought I would die waiting to get it. I could write without it, and did, but with it my writing felt real.

It was delivered on Saturday. Right now it’s sitting on my dining table. It blends in pretty well with my sage green and cream décor. Every time I walk by it, it makes me smile. It also reminds me to put my behind in a chair and write, because that’s obviously what I’ve always wanted to do.

Do you remember the first thing you wanted so badly you were willing to save every dollar for? That you had to have it? How old were you? Do you still have it now? I’d love to hear your stories…WP_20150124_14_23_56_Pro

Just a note, if you click on Bobby Sherman’s name you can see photos and listen to the music I listened to in the 1970’s. I’ll be doing this all day today!


Just Me on Monday – Fear of Driving, Or Tari’s Three Mile Radius

In habits, quirks on February 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm

DSCI0199 - CopyTrains, planes or automobiles, it doesn’t really matter, I’m not a great traveler. It’s not that I don’t like to go places, it’s the getting there and getting back that’s a problem for me. I hate being in a car, I don’t like the take-off or landing in a plane….and strangely, I do better in small planes…. Trains, well, they just don’t seem to be that convenient.

I haven’t always been like this. When my oldest son was little, I would put him in the car, pack a picnic, and scrape up all the change I could for gasoline, and we’d go ‘exploring’. I really didn’t care where we went. Sometimes I’d ask my four year old son, “Which way should we go?” “Tell me when to turn.” It was just an adventure. In fact, that was pretty much the way we met Hunky Hubby. We had a destination, but we got lost and it didn’t really matter…because we were exploring.

After Hunky Hubby and I were married, I was pregnant with middle son, oldest son was in the passenger seat of my, oh so adorable Mustang Cobra with the sunroof, and we were crossing a major street, when a lady driving a VW Rabbit speeding, in the bus lane hit the passenger side of the car. I instinctively turned to protect my six year old, not that I could protect him from an oncoming car, but by doing so, may have protected my unborn middle son. When I turned to the side, I moved my belly away as the steering wheel collapsed into my thigh. I still have a dent in my thigh, although not noticeable, from the steering wheel. Although my cute Mustang was totaled, no one was hurt, and that was what really mattered. I have to admit that before this accident I didn’t always wear a seatbelt, but since this accident I have never started the engine of a car without my seatbelt on.

A few years later, we were living out in the high desert, I had all three of our sons in our Hyundai. We had just had a special treat, lunch out at Sizzler and were on our way home. We were on a two lane road with sandy shoulders. Another car was coming in the opposite direction when the driver bent down and disappeared from sight and drifted into our lane. I swerved off the road to avoid a head-on collision. Our car spun in a circle ending up facing the opposite direction as it rolled onto a dirt berm all the way onto the roof, then back down to land on all four wheels. For a moment as the car came to a stop there was complete silence, and I was terrified. Then the two younger kids began crying from the backseat, and I could see my oldest, in front with me, was fine. The other car took off, not even stopping to see if we were okay.

This was before cell phones, and the road we were on was not heavily traveled, so I was thankful when a garbage truck came by and called the police from their CB.  When the police officer arrived, the boys and I were standing by the car waiting. The officer got out of his vehicle, looked at ours, and asked where the bodies had been transported. That’s how bad the car looked. I don’t think I realized how bad it was until a few days later when Hunky Hubby took me grocery shopping. For some reason he had had the Hyundai towed to our house. When we got back from the grocery store I saw the remains of our car sitting there in the driveway and broke down in tears, thankful that we all made it out of that car alive.

I was told that with time I’d get over these experiences, but nearly twenty years since the second accident, I haven’t. I do drive, I never stopped, but I don’t go very far on my own…..unless I have to. I have driven  between Wyoming and California several times. On occasion I have driven to my OCC RWA meeting, thirty miles away. I can stretch my radius if I need to, but I’m not comfortable doing it, and I have to admit that on a couple of occasions I’ve gotten to my destination so shaken up that I haven’t been sure I could get myself back home.

We lived in the high desert for five years, and I never once drove out of that valley by myself. I probably only left the valley with someone a handful of times during those years. We moved to Casper, Wyoming, lived there for six years, and I never left Casper by myself. Someone else always had to take me.

A friend of mine once questioned my life, not going places very often. To be honest, it rarely bothers me. I’m quite content wherever I am. I like to do and see other things, and will occasionally push myself beyond my comfort level, but generally, I’m happiest at home. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on much.

Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite authors, didn’t drive, he had a chauffeur, and if I had the money, I would too. Maybe I would go more places, but it’s not as though I’m a great passenger either. When someone else is driving I sit on my hands to keep from reaching for the dashboard, and sometimes I find my foot pushing on a non-existent brake pedal. I’m a terrified passenger.

I couldn’t teach my boys to drive because I was afraid that my reactions to other cars would cause them to have an accident, or undermine their confidence. I don’t think they always understood. It wasn’t about my confidence in them, it was about my confidence in other drivers. This bothered me much more than limiting how far I drive.

Luckily for me, Hunky Hubby is a little bit of a male chauvinist (I think I’ve said this before) and he prefers to drive. He also has no problem dealing with my paranoia. He takes me anywhere I need to go, and pretty much anywhere I want to go….if I want to go badly enough.

I know some people who would have a problem living like this, and some who have a problem with the fact that I live like this, but I’ve learned that we all have our challenges. For me driving is a huge problem, for others hypochondria, fidelity, alcoholism, drugs, there are so many challenges we can struggle with in this life.

Anyone else out there afraid of driving? Anyone overcome this fear? What are your biggest challenges?


And Now Folks, Back to My ‘Real Life’…..

In habits, Life Essays, writing on November 18, 2013 at 7:01 am

Anyone who reads my blog regularly….okay, no one has been able to read my blog regularly because as I realized this morning I’ve only written one blog post in the last year.

I wrote the last statement and had to go back and check because I didn’t really believe it, I always have so much to say, but it’s true. I’ve only posted one entry. I apologize for my neglect, because I know you’re all just waiting for the next little tidbit that happens in my life.

So let me catch things up. I had a goal, actually several goals, losing weight (I know I said I wouldn’t make that resolution again, but as they say, ‘old habits’) finishing my book, and selling our townhouse and buying a single family home…… the last goal being the most difficult because of the tough housing market. Okay, none of those were easy goals.

I’ve gained weight, done little with my book, but we managed to sell our townhouse at a profit and buy a cute little fixer upper that is not attached to anyone and now I can as I say, ‘get back to my real life’. I didn’t quit my job, although the new manager probably wishes I did, because I might be treating her like my daughter. I’m trying hard to catch myself, but I’m not sure how well I’m doing. I told her she could fire me and my feelings won’t be hurt, but she’s much too sweet. Luckily for her I’m only working one day a week and most of them we won’t be together. I know she’ll do a great job, probably better than me, she’s young, smart and very quick.

I always think my life is crazy, but this year, has been insane. I don’t even know where it went between working full time as a manager of a store with five to six employees….who would give me employees? After nearly twenty-four years of not holding a ‘real’ job. I felt like I’d jumped into the deep end of the pool and forgotten how to doggie paddle.

But I learned. I learned to tread water, and then I was actually doing some swimming, metaphorically of course, because there’s no way I’m wearing a bathing suit right now, although, swimming is my favorite form of exercise, maybe if I go to the pool when there’s no one there….is there a time when no one is there?

The point is, I’ve been working like a crazy person, then in May our realtor, the amazing Leslie Stetson of Prudential Realty (we highly recommend her) sent me an e-mail saying “It’s time.” She knew of course that we wanted to move. So we got the house ready in record time. Put it on the market on June the 10th, had our first showing on June the 12th, had a full price offer on June 13th, showed once more on June 14th, had a little bidding war over the weekend and our house was in escrow on June17th. One week from listing to escrow. Yes, it really happened that way.

Now we had to find a new home, and pack to be ready to move out by July the 22nd. Yes, July the 22nd. And did I mention that Paul and I were working nowhere near the same hours. More craziness ensued.

We began house hunting. Okay, the truth is that I’ve been watching the market and ‘house hunting’ from the minute we moved back to California from Wyoming. Although our little townhouse was very nice, and had a peak-a-boo ocean view from every floor (did I mention that there were three floors? Yes three flights of stairs for laundry or groceries or anything else that needed to go up and down) and then there was the roof top patio…..the truth is, that we really wanted a single family home with a little yard.


So, we made a couple of offers, but things were selling fast, and for more than they were listed for, just like ours had, but then we found this little fixer upper. Livable, but needing some love, we made an offer on July the 3rd and by the 5th it was accepted. Our realtor, Leslie Stetson, was amazing, as was our lender. Everything got kicked into high gear, and we packed, signed papers, moved things to storage, signed papers, worked like crazy people, signed papers, closed escrow July 22nd on the townhouse, signed more papers, stayed in 3 different hotels for the next 10 days (a story for another day) signed papers, and finally took possession of our new little house on July 31st. How our amazing realtor and lender made that happen I’m not quite sure. Yes, do the math, they managed to close escrow on a house in twenty six days, in Los Angles.

We have had little social life for most of the last year, and none the last six months. I tried to write at the beginning of the job, but I suddenly had employees and a very high learning curve, and then of course selling a house, signing papers, buying a house, signing papers and moving, moving, moving.

I stepped down as manager the end of October. I really have to tell you that the one thing I think I did right at my ‘real’ job, was putting together an amazing team. The ladies I work with are incredible, and I feel very lucky to know them and work with them.

Here I am, not quite settled in our new little house, kitchen remodeling going on (another fun story I’ll have to share), hanging laundry on a clothesline because there is no gas line yet for a dryer, still living out of boxes, but I haven’t stopped smiling for weeks. Okay, maybe there have been moments here and there, but life is pretty good.

I’m writing. Next official goal is to finish this book and start number two.

I’d also like to reinstate my social life……if I still have any friends??



So I’m a Multi-tasker….No Really!

In Food, habits, Life Essays, quirks, rituals on August 24, 2012 at 6:42 am

I am a multi-tasker. It’s true. I don’t feel like I’m getting enough done unless I’m doing several things at once. 

Sometimes this is a really good thing, and helps me to accomplish a lot…other times it means I get absolutely nothing accomplished…or at least it becomes a form of procrastination, keeping me from accomplishing what I most need to get done.

From the minute I get up in the morning, I multi-task. I start by getting a load of laundry into the washer. While it’s washing, I make the bed, put some toothpaste on my toothbrush, hop in the shower, wash up, (I know this is WAY too much information, but bear with me…or bare with me, I am in the shower). I wash my hair, then condition, now my conditioner needs to stay in for two-three minutes…and I’m not going to twiddle my thumbs and count them off, so I pick up the toothbrush to brush my teeth…it’s timed for brushing your teeth for two minutes, but while I’m brushing my teeth, and conditioning my hair, I still feel like I could get more done, so I switch my toothbrush to my left hand, grab my razor, and shave my legs, while I brush my teeth, condition my hair and do laundry…ah, now I’ve got things in control. Look how much I can accomplish in two-three minutes!! Of course, I frequently knick my legs while I’m shaving this way because I’m not all that coordinated…but at least I’m using my time wisely, no really I am.

So, I get out of the shower, alright, I rinse my mouth out, rinse my hair, hose down my legs and get out of the shower. Wrap my hair in a turban, and dry off. Quickly, because I’m pretty sure my load of laundry is done, and this means I’m no longer multi-tasking, so of course, I’m wasting time.

I throw my laundry in the dryer, fill the washer with a new load, turn them on…yay! I’m washing and drying, now I can go fill the crockpot or bread machine, or some big pot on the stove with food for dinner so that I’m doing a few things at once. Maybe make cookie dough, so that I can bake cookies, while starting dinner, unload last night’s dinner dishes from the dishwasher…I’m really going now, and reload…phew, now I’m cooking, doing dishes and laundry all at once! But wait, the washer just finished, so I better go grab another load. So I can move the laundry from the dryer to a laundry basket, from the washer to the dryer, and reload the washer. Now I’m folding laundry, keeping an eye on whatever is cooking, burning a batch of cookies, waiting for the dishwasher to beep…and what was it I was planning on finishing today? Oh yeah, editing chapter twelve of my book.

So, the laundry is folded, dishwasher, washer and dryer are running, cookies are burnt and dinner is simmering. I grab my manuscript and red pen… but then the dryer buzzes AND the dishwasher dings…oh, and I can smell that I’m scorching whatever is in the pot simmering for dinner.

So, I go stir the pot, unload the washer and dryer first, I don’t want those clothes to wrinkle. Fold the laundry, put some toilet bowl cleaner in the toilets so that I’m still multi-tasking while I empty the dishwasher, realize there’s black dog hair everywhere, so I  better vacuum, but I don’t want to vacuum until I dust because, well everyone knows you dust before you vacuum…. but, then the dryer buzzes and the last load is done.

So, I rush to stir the pot again, grab the last load of laundry, fold them while I get my bank balance over the phone, now I need to go to the bathroom.

But, I’ve put toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet, and everyone knows you need to clean the rest of the bathroom first and the toilet last, so I wipe the counters, and the shower, quickly sweep, clean the toilets, finally go to the bathroom….and oh yeah, I still need to vacuum….but I haven’t dusted.

So I stir the simmering pot, start to dust, the phone rings, I dust while I’m on the phone…THIS IS MULTI-TASKING!! I hang up, realize it’s almost time for Hunky Hubby to get home…I’ll just vacuum the downstairs real quick. Finish putting dinner together, just enough time to put on some make-up, put my manuscript away. Take a quick look at my to do list….. there were only two things on it:

  1. Exercise today
  2. Edit chapter 12


Somehow I didn’t get anything done on my list! Maybe I should get up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow.


What about you? Are you a multi-tasker. Or do you check things off of your list one at a time? How do you get things done? Tell me, I’d love to know…really, I could use some help!


Just a note: Don’t forget to enter the contest from the August 23rd post: https://taristhread.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/where-are-you-from/