Life Changes

Well.  It’s been a long time.  A long time of waiting, waiting, and waiting, and even MORE waiting.  At last it is settled:  Sally, Dan, and the boys are moving to Utah so that Dan can complete the schooling needed to be employable as a commercial helicopter pilot.  He already has his license, but needs flight and instruction hours, and the best place to get them is where he began – Utah!

The house is filled with boxes, our cars are out of the garage while he fills it with their furniture and stuff.  The truck arrives November 4th, will be loaded that day, and they leave the next day.  They figure 4 days of driving 650 miles a day.  We are all praying for no snow in the Rockies until after they get to Salt Lake City.  A new adventure for the Caldora-Yates family, and a new beginning for Mr. Deb and I.  Life will be quiet without the boys.  We will miss them terribly.  Oh well.  Life goes on.  Who sang that song?  I hear it on the car radio all the time – Jackie and Diane – life goes on.

Okay.  I’m headed out for a cruise around the local antiques mall.  I call it a mall, but really it is a large number of dealers in a local mill down by the river.  One of my favorite places to spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon while Mr. Deb watches the NY Giants lose again.

On the up side, in the World Series, the Cardinals beat the RedSox last night so are now up one.  Yay!  I am rooting for the Cards this year because I have an old camp friend who lives out there and seems to be a pretty rabid fan, so that’s a good reason, right?

Later! love, deb


Summer’s getting better!

This is a good day! I am sitting upstairs in the quiet of my freshly cleaned bedroom, ceiling fan gently moving the air around, and listening to the distant rumble of thunder.

This morning I went over to Brunswick and visited Katie and Tenley. They have been in their house about 6 weeks now, and it is looking fantastic! Old furniture newly painted, a desk built in the study, and the new bathroom almost completed. It all looks so wonderful, it made me jealous – sort of. Nothing I love more than settling into a new home. Painting, arranging furniture, hanging pictures, shopping for stuff at yard sales, everything!

Outside they have a very large vegetable garden going – Bok Choy is coming on like a champ. They (and I) don’t know what to do with it, but it’s going to be fun finding out.

Next to the deck is a new perennial garden, surrounded by flat rocks. The previous owners left a bunch of stuff out behind the shed, so they have culled out that pile and found some terrific things, which are in use in this garden. A very large, old cast iron kettle which now anchors one corner of the garden, tilted on its’ side with flowers flowing out. The opposite corner has a 2 ft. tall rock which has been hollowed out, in which flowers are also planted.

And the big thing, Tenley built a fire pit out of old bricks and stone. They are going to enjoy that. They have done so much hard labor on this house…moving an entire load of firewood away from the house. I am so proud of them!

They have a new little puppy, a yellow lab named Maggie. She is about 10 weeks old. I met her today and love her. She has those razor sharp little puppy teeth so one must be careful or she will bit your fingers or toes. Adorable. Tenley is off for the summer (she is a teacher) so she is working to train Maggie. She’s very good at it and Maggie is already better behaved than either of our dogs.

So that’s the day so far. It’s been good, and now is peaceful because Sally and Dan have taken the kids over to the school to shoot off the rocket Quinny got for his 7th birthday a few weeks ago. Rob’s out on the deck reading, and I’ve been foofing around the bedroom, cleaning, rearranging stuff, and just enjoying myself.

Until next time…love, deb

The Summer of our Discontent

This is going to be the summer of my discontent. My hair is too long, but not long enough for a pony tail. My right foot hurts so I can’t walk for exercise much. The boy across the road has taken up basketball, and all I hear most of the day is bounce, bounce, bounce. The kids have been out of school for two days and so far all they do is fight and yell at each other. I am beginning to understand the desire for “over 55″ living!

Will try to revisit summer with more positive comments!
Bye for now, deb

A Good Day – May 14, 2013

So.  Today is Rob’s 70th birthday.  As usual, he couldn’t think of a single thing he wanted for a birthday present.  So. Sally made him a cake, the boys made him birthday cards, and we made spaghetti & meatballs for dinner.  His favorite.  

This afternoon I took him on a “Magical Mystery Tour”.  We went to Verizon where I bought him an iPad mini.  He loves it.  I had first talked to the Multiple Listing Service for Maine, who assured me that he could access it from an iPad (last year you couldn’t – this is Maine afterall, and it takes awhile to catch up with the rest of the world!).

So he is very happy.  I also bought him a nifty cover for it, which has a keyboard attached.  Now he is all set.  He can sync it with my music on my iTunes account if he wants to.

Now I AM HAPPY TOO, because I saw a tiny little bluetooth boom box (maybe 2″ x 3″) which can play all my music from my iPod.  Yippee.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love music and singing along when I am alone.  MY MUSIC, not someone else’s idea of what’s great, but what I think is great.  Right now I’m listening to the Beatles “White Album”.  Man, so many good memories.  

I’ll just stay here, at my computer, all night, playing music and playing hearts or solitaire or mah jong . Nothing but challenging my brain and listening to “Blackbirds” by the Beatles, or whatever.  


Until next time, love, deb




I just read today that this is the year for the 17 year cicadas on the east coast.  We probably won’t see them here in Maine, but one can hope.

I remember when I was in high school (1962 was the year for them, so I was a junior) our hometown of Westfield, New Jersey was hit with them.  Millions and millions.  Not only were they really loud, but they were EVERYWHERE!  I remember scuffing through them as I walked down Dorian Road over to Summit Avenue, walking my friend Vicky Casamo home.  I haven’t thought of her in years.  Never saw her after high school graduation in ’63.  

Anyhow, back to the cicadas.  Trees were literally covered with them as they crawled up the bark.  You’d see a tree from a few feet away and do a double take because the tree was moving.  The dead skins, which they had just shed, were covering the ground like leaves in late fall.  You couldn’t step over or around them.  You had to just walk through them.  The boys would pick them up and fling them at you.  Yuck.  They flew in the air and landed on your head.  Double yuck.  When you drove down the street they would create a loud cracking sound as you ran over them.  As they sang their mating song they drowned out the airplanes which flew overhead.    At night when the other noises died down, the cicada humming seemed louder and louder.

According to the article I read, they will emerge when the ground temperature reaches precisely 64 degrees.  Not 63, not 65, but 64.  Somehow they know.  The article predicts that they will be emerging from North Carolina to Connecticut, so presumably the southerners will see them first.

I have a friend who is hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail right now, from Virginia to around Gettysburg, PA.  I wonder if the cicadas will be up in the mountains or if is cooler there, and the valleys will see more of them.  

I love this kind of natural happening.  Think about it:  it’s a flashmob of cicadas!  I will be following the news for the next few weeks to read all about it.

Something to look forward to!

Until next time, love deb

Easter Sunday

Today we slept late, then watched t.v. for an hour or so, a travelogue about Spain.  Very interesting.

Lunch time our other two kids came over.  I had a ham and stuff, so we sat around the kitchen table for a couple of hours eating and chatting.  The  middle daughter is buying a house with her partner, so we talked a lot about that.  The son has found a new job, which will start in a week or so, providing Mr. Deb and I with a measure of peace and thankfulness, since this means he won’t have to deploy overseas with the Army.


Cooking pork roast with saurkraut, potatoes and fresh green beans for an old fashioned Easter Dinner.

A peaceful day.  Happy Easter and to neicy, Happy Keaster!

love, deb

Neicy and I

I have a friend whom I rarely see.  When I first met her 13 years ago, we were like soul mates.  We laughed all the time and laughed at things that no one else thought was funny.  We could look at each other and think the same things, chuckling to ourselves.  We worked at the same attorney’s office.  You’d think that was a somber place, but we got a kick out of it.   She is a real, true Maine-ah.  She knew stories about most people that came into the office.  She knew stories about many of the local politicians, secret stories.  Even about our boss, now THAT’S a doozie, but I don’t feel right about putting it in writing.  It’s that good!

Last week we were supposed to have lunch for the first time in months, but I was sick one day, she the next, and on and on, so now we are aiming for next week..  I miss her.  I need more of that kind of inane fun.

One time we decided that I was going to smoke pot with her, for the first time in many, many years.  She got some “really good shit”.  She picked me up at my house and we went out to Arne’s house, out by Crystal Lake.  He was working and she and I sat in the sun on the deck smoking and eating a disgusting vegetable platter with non-fat dip because we were on diets.  I expected to feel silly, like I had back in the 60s and early 70s (BK-before kids).  I didn’t feel much so how good could “that really good shit” have been????  But later, I was throwing up broccoli.  Gross.  You can’t take me anywhere.

I used to write stories about “Meg and Jen”, loosely relating our adventures and greatly embellishing them.  I think I’ll start them again.  Last we saw the girls they were hiding a giant lobster in a saltwater swimming pool, out in the Harpswells…  I wonder what they did with that lobster?    And what happened to Divin’ Dave, the guy they knew at the local bar, Jameson’s Tavern (which in reality actually closed down a month ago – DRAT!) where the girls used to go for a drink after work sometimes.  What happened to the scumbag Mike, who propositioned both Neicy and I at the Muddy Rudder when his girlfriend went to the ladie’s room?    Jen and Meg and Neicy and I had lives in my stories – our lives intertwined and were called fiction, but some of the events actually took place.

One time she and I were sitting on a beach down in Scarborough.  She had a  blow up flamingo tied to her chair.  I remember we had ‘boat drinks’ along and took naps that day, in the sand.  Later we watched the sturgeon swimming up the inlet, leaping into the air.  There were so many of them.  What a sight.

We need more of that!  Winter’s almost over – time for fun.

until next time, love, deb

P.S.  The picture at the top of my blog is out at Pemaquid, the view looking down the coast from where I always sit, behind the little shed that housed the oil for the light at the top of the lighthouse.  Right at the edge of the sea.  I’ll take more pictures next time I go out there.  In the summer I go at least once a week.  Meet another friend in Damariscotta, leave one car there, drive to Reilly’s Grocery and pick up lunch, then out Pemaquid Point for the afternoon.  That’s another story for another day.  Remind me to talk about last year and all the beach chairs!

Good Friday

So what’s appalling to me is that my kids haven’t introduced THEIR kids to church much.  They have no idea of the meaning of Good Friday.  My kids were thinking they’d “do” Easter tomorrow, on Saturday, because the son-in-law works nights and wants to see the grandkids finding the Easter Eggs, so Saturday is logical for him, since it’s his day off.  WHAT????  “Do” Easter on a Saturday?  What has this world come to??

Oh well, it has very little to do with me, so I shouldn’t concern myself.  But I hate to see traditions go by the wayside.

The snow is going, going, going…… Now we have ice in our backyard, and lots of standing water and mud.  We really need to get some stones and sand into our driveway, to keep the mud at bay.  As soon as it dries up we will get the people to come and drop a truck load of stone and then we will all rake it up and down the drive, and try to fill in the pot holes.  Someday it would be nice to pave it, but not this year.  The snow has melted enough that I can now see the fire pit.  I’d like to enlarge it this year.  We need to have more campfires…the boys love them, and so do the dogs.  So do I, for that matter, except the kids get upset when I start singing songs.  They have no concept of singing songs around the campfire.  Duh!

I am loving my new iPhone.  It is just right.  The old Samsung was too much work and too iffy.  This one is fairly reliable and I can easily access the things I want.  Yay!

Planning for spring.  Some friends are travelling… one is hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Don’t know where he’s starting from, but know this isn’t the first time, so he is probably starting in Virginia or somewhere in the middle range.  My cousin has been up and down the length of the trail and is starting again this year, this time from the north, here in Maine.  Maybe I’ll see him this time.  Last year he was running for Senator from Vermont, this year hiking. He lives a good life!

I wish I were free and could do that kind of thing, although I am sadly WAY out of shape and think it would take me at least a year to get in shape for it.  I think everything hinges on really GOOD walking shoes, which I have not found yet.  And carrying a 30 lb. pack?  No, not for me.  I guess I’ll stick to walking around the neighborhood and stopping to talk to the neighbors, all of whom are a couple of decades younger than me.  

Saw a really good movie the other day…”Quartet” with Maggie Smith, Billie Connolly, Tom Courtenay.  I loved it.  England and Maggie Smith.  What could be better?

That’s all for now.

love, deb 

Maundy Thursday Story

Years ago, in 1975, I was a Deacon in our church and participated in the Maundy Thursday ceremony .  Up on the altar was a long table.  On each side of the table were six chairs and another chair at the end.  We represented Jesus (at the end) and the 12 disciples.  I was Judas, one of the disciples.  Each of us had to stand up, one at a time, read a portion of the Bible (from the New Testament), extinguish the tall candle that was in front of each of us on the table, then remain standing for two more readings, after which we sang a song.

Unfortunately, I was pregnant at the time with our second child.  I was prone to fainting.  As I stood and read my passage from the Bible, I felt faint and began to sway.  I swayed towards the candle in front of me, catching my hair on fire.  I didn’t realize it until I felt the men on either side of me patting me on the shoulders.  They were wiping away the singed hair as it fell onto my dress on my shoulders.  Jeesh!  You can’t take me anywhere!

That was funny.  At least I thought so.

love, deb

Sad Day

Early this morning, my best friend from high school, Ginny, passed away.   I heard she was ill two weeks ago, when she had 3 months to live.  Last week I tried to call her several times, but no answer.  This morning I heard from another friend that Ginny had taken a sharp turn for the worse last week and passed at 3:30 a.m. today.  Rest in Peace, Ginny. 

Yesterday I was going through old pictures and saw a few of my brother, Doug, who passed away from AIDS in 1987.  Suddenly, after all those years, I was missing him terribly.  Of the four siblings, Dougie and I were the most alike and we were the middle kids.  We had a bond.  We thought alike and laughed at the same things.  When he was in his twenties and going to some kind of dress up party in NYC, I gave him my prom dresses to wear.  Don’t know if it was for laughs or what, but it made Dougie and I giggle.  My oldest brother was very staid and wouldn’t have laughed.  My youngest, very somber, probably wouldn’t have thought it was funny either.  But Dougie and had a good chuckle over it.

One day in ’87, when my family and I lived in southern Virginia, I called Dougie up to chat.  He was still in NYC, but hadn’t been well and had been sad for awhile since his partner Michael had passed away the previous year.  Anyhow, I used to call him and check in fairly often.  this particular day, Dougie didn’t sound right.  We talked for a few minutes.  When I was hanging up I said “I love you Dougie” and he said “yeah, I love you too, deb”.  Those were our last words. I called my youngest brother who lived at the time in New Haven, and asked him to call Doug’s friends from Gay Men’s Health Crisis to check on Doug.  Youngest brother instead drove to the city to check on him.  He found Dougie unconscious in his apt. and had him taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital where he died several days later.  That was around July 5th, 1987.  I forget the exact date.  He was only 40 years old.  The other day I saw a picture of Dougie’s patch in the AIDS quilt.  I don’t even know who made it and added it to the quilt, but I am glad he is a part of that huge quilt.  Those were the early years of AIDS.  He wasn’t even diagnosed with AIDS back then, well he was by his doctor, but the city government wouldn’t recognize his illness as AIDS because he didn’t meet all the criteria of the official diagnosis.  That way the city didn’t pay him disability or give him health coverage.  I don’t remember the particulars now, but at that time, Doug and other gays who lived in the Village had banded together with friends, and eventually an organization was born called Gay Mens Health Crisis.  They and other volunteers helped each other with health issues, legal issues, rent, etc.  Doug couldn’t move back home with my parents because NJ had no such assistance, and Doug needed to be near his doctor from St. Vincent’s.  Also, my father didn’t speak to him (because he was an a-hole! my father, not Doug).  So, although he was ill and not with his family, he had his own family from the Gay Mens Health Crisis who brought him food and checked on him several times a day.  They paid his rent in the last few months, procured his meds, took him to the hospital or dr. when he needed it, and basically were there for him.  God Bless them all.

So, seeing one picture of him from camp back in the ’50s, brought all of this crashing back.  He was a good guy.  He had a hard life in many ways.  But there was good and he enjoyed it.  Rest in Peace, Dougie!

Until next time,

love, deb