Here’s To You, Sister.

It’s been awhile since Meg posted, and she has a good reason. She’s has writer’s block and angst over something she needs to write, but has been unable to do so.

Last month, I lost my beloved sister (in-law) to the big C. C as in CANCER.

A little over 30 years ago, I met Sharon. She was a southern belle from Virginia, and I was a colorful Bostonian. We both were dating brothers, and we found ourselves in the north country of New Hampshire for Memorial Day, aka “opening ceremonies” for summer. It’s the kind of weekend in New Hampshire where you better have a warm jacket, a gallon sized can of RAID, and boots if you are going to party around a campfire in the White Mountains.

Sharon and I became fast friends that weekend, sharing a bedroom, a curling iron and a hankering for Michelob beer. When she and Rene became engaged and married the next year, she did her darndest to throw her wedding bouquet my way. While I didn’t catch it, I did nevertheless walk down the aisle with the other brother a year later, as Sharon looked on with a wink and a smile.

We shared many events over the next 30 years, too many to count. I think the best way to show it is through photos, so indulge me and let me share a little bit of how special she was:

carnival7Winter carnival in Quebec. Did you ever try and attach those glitter flakes in Goldschlager to your teeth? Trust me, we did try it.

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You actually don’t notice frostbite after some drinks.

grill3 The Outer Banks in North Carolina was one of our special places!

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deja_blue4
This was on the steps of our favorite rental house!

three_chicksThe sistahs at Fenway Pahk!

sistahs A little dinnah in the North End of Boston!

rene_sharon Sharon and her husband, Rene.

Sharon always had a courageous outlook on life. When she lost her younger sister many years ago, she, my sister and I made a pact we would always be the three sisters; together, forever. Over the years we shared good times on vacation, consoled each other at the loss of parents, and always, always, we had each others backs.

A little over 2 years ago, Sharon started feeling strange, and through a rather long process, it was discovered she had brain cancer. She may have been scared, I was never really sure, because she was always brave and confident that she would prevail in her battle. If Plan A did not work, Plan B would. If there was negativity, I never saw it, as she showed up for every appointment, willing to undergo whatever needles and shitty toxic drugs that they put into her. Because next week dammit, she was going to the gym and get in shape, get better, and move on with her life.

Sadly, Sharon lost her battle a few weeks ago. It was hard to not root for her to live, but it was also hard not to root for her to be out of pain and at peace. Luckily, I was there when she passed, which makes me think the higher powers align things in ways we just can’t comprehend.

I’ve said to various special people in my life, that when you lose a loved one, there appears a unique star in the sky that always twinkles for that lost loved one. In this case, I think there is an entire constellation with Sharon’s name on it, containing three sparkly sister stars; and they will surely shine bright, strong and clear as I look at the heavens and think of her.

Sisters always and forever.


Learning to Speak Texan. Or Not.

Meg is still learning to speak and pronounce the official state language of Texas. Sometimes she feels like she’s in a foreign country, one in which no one ever says her name correctly. She either gets called Mag or she gets called Megan. She infinitely prefers Megan, so she often goes to Starbucks and orders a mochacchino for MAYGUNN.

Meg gets a kick out of reading the local newspapers and magazines, because she is sure Texas is the only state where everyone puts an extra vowel or consonant in their name just to mess with you.

For example, she sees good old fashioned Maureen spelled like Maurrine. Arlene is spelled Arlyane. Then there are names like Eula Mae, Charna, Roddy Sue, Ina Irine, Tula, Patsy, and Odell. It makes Meg’s head spin, because nobody here is named just Beth or Jen.

Then there is the litany of words Meg constantly wrinkles her brow in puzzlement at. Want to take a like vocabulary and slang quiz with her today? Let’s begin!

RAY-ID – the color red, as in Santa’s colorful red jacket.

HAY-ALL – as in a 5 inch Jimmy Choo shoe. Also see: eternal damnation.

STANKIN’ – a term of endearment, as in “your dog Jack is stinkin’ cute.

INNNNNNNNN-shurince – stuff you pay a boatload of money for to drive your car in Texas.

AGGGER-vated – Meg just usually calls this pissed off.

Y’ALL – something that comes out of a Texan’s mouth every two seconds.

JAY-ZUS – Our Lord and Savior, naturally.

YAY-IN-KEE – Anyone not from Texas.

F**K – HA! Trick question, Meg has NEVER heard this word except from another New Englander, when we get together for our secret club meetings and let f-bombs fly.

Just for the record, Meg occasionally says YOU ALL, which IS NOT to be CONFUSED with Y’ALL, a phrase which she hears spoken as “How y’all y’all today?” To be which replies “Great. Howah you guys doin”? In her very best Boston accent, of course.


Meg Returns From Vacation

Or, how I put the Blahhhg into my Blog since I returned from vacation!

Blurg, Blahg, Burble.

Those were the sounds of Meg’s stomach and digestive track for the last several weeks. Almost four weeks ago, Meg was returning from her lovely New England vacation, and dined at a famous seafood establishment at Boston’s Logan airport. After eating at Schmegal Leefoods, she proceeded to step off the plane and get violently ill with food poisoning; as in a one week diet consisting of gingerale and protein bars. She was super glad the staff told her they stayed up drinking and partying all night and were performing their jobs like zombies, because Meg is sure that attention to detail in the kitchen (such as salmonella growing on food) contributed to her month long malaise.

Anyway, a newly trim Meg has some vacation photos to share, and a slightly sunnier outlook than she had at the end of July:

First stop: Boston

Meg loves how the old Custom House Tower shines above the modern buildings:

Onward to Cape Cod, where the official flower was in bloom everywhere:

Hi Mom! Thanks for hosting us!

Needless to say a boat ride on a sunny day was in order, so we decided Martha’s Vineyard was the spot to be. We sailed right into the middle of a regatta. That’s right, not a boat race, a regatta.

Right? Who needs a lobster roll, raise your hand!

Meg did not realize how much she missed lobster until she had no access to it, so she pretty much ate seafood every single day.

They took a tour of the historic Methodist campground, where tiny little Victorian cottages were decked out in their summer outfits of colorful flowers:

Precious Porches, indeed!

How could Meg not enter this enchanting bookstore?

I want this view. I demand to see this out my window every day:

And yes, hats are needed when you are by the ocean, because you have no idea what salt water can do to one’s hair.

At the end of a beautiful day, the Super Moon beckoned us to take a walk on the beach:

The next stop was Maine. Land of the big lighthouse:

And cute little baby lighthouses:

Land of the lobster:

And where you can still find a real fountain coke:

She also appreciated those guys in Maine that bought Meg and her husband some beers one rainy afternoon, and proceeded to explain in detail how there “wall of shame” worked. It was pretty simple. You get too shitfaced, and you basically got kicked out. There was a prominent entry that said “Dallas Cowboys jacket guy”. Everyone remembered him getting thrown out onto the sidewalk and Meg thinks to this day anyone with Dallas gear would get thrown out for just showing up. So don’t parade around on Commercial St. in Portland with your Texas gear, OK?

Meg appreciates the beauty of New England each time she goes home, as well as all the other quirky things like Wise Potato chips, decent hot dogs with real split top buns, and people that say “HOWAHYA”? And especially bars with walls of shame. Sigh.


Right Where I Belong

Meg has been busily preparing for vacation and can’t wait to escape the Texas heat and the Texas sized house. She realized she really needed some time away when she awoke to this sight:

That’s right, she had her Victoria’s Secret nightshirt on inside out. Even without her glasses, she examined her disheveled self in the mirror and thought, good thing I have this to look forward to:

She will be partaking of the bounties of Boston, Cape Cod, New Hampshire and Maine in a quest to eat as much seafood as she can, sit in the sun, visit friends and get her inner New England on.

In the meantime, she hopes you are all having a good summer and wearing your clothes right-side-in.


Hair Through The Ages.

This week Mama Kat asked us to post a Throwback Thursday photo and write about it. But honestly, Meg couldn’t limit it to one stingy photo when it comes to the subject of hair, or should I say the stuff on our heads and the bane of every women’s existence. (with the possible exception of of Kyle Richards).

Meg is the family archivist and photographer, and in her spare time she tries to scan, organize and keep photos together, because she hates the thought of every single photo of her family being held hostage on an android phone. While sorting through some of these photos, there soon was a common theme.

HAIR. Bad hair, good hair, blonde hair, brunette hair. Let’s take a look:

Baby hair.

Sweet one year old pixie hair. It never gets better than this people, they don’t call it baby soft for nothing.

Post college hair, circa 1981. And hey, look at that phone on the desk with all the buttons! That red button is called a HOLD button, kids.

Permed hair. Meg has posted this photo before, but it’s worth doing again, as it really does show the perils and danger of processing your hair in this manner.

Gigantic hair! Bold, blonde, big crazy hair!

I am quite certain that my hair was bigger than this baby, and Meg believes she was VERY proud of this look.

Regular let’s keep it real hair.

Thank God we aren’t expected to take a curling iron to our heads any longer.

When I see these photos, of course it brings back many memories. Mostly though, it makes me think two things:

What was I thinking? (Not sure)
Exactly how much money have I spent on my hair? (Enough to finance a luxury vacation to the Greek Islands for a month).

Sigh. Wishing I was on Mykonos right now.


The Path to Heaven

…is your local business directory.

Recently Meg became aware of a local business directory from a very popular church, one that people keep asking her to join.

It’s highly unlikely Meg will join this church, but she may perform a social experiment and see what all the fuss is about. In the meantime she diligently tries to be open and find out what possibly may be of interest to her if she attends services there.

Will she be uplifted?
Will her soul be fed?
Will she break out into jazz hands and shout Hallelujah?

She thinks it’s most likely she would need a VERY strong Bloody Mary after Sunday services, based on come of the things she read in the church business directory.

Buy a service for your neighbor from the directory.
Post on Facebook and Twitter.
Place signs in your yard at Christmas and Easter.

Now all these are pretty innocuous, right? And good for the church for being on social media! Can you picture your local parish priest Facebooking while in the confessional or at the communion rail? I guess if everyone was whipping out their phones it might just cause heaven to crash. And how we we reboot it?

All listed business have pledged to adhere to the biblical principles of running a business, including stewardship, financial responsibility and a biblically based resolution process.

1. Serve the LORD with your heart and SOUL.
2. Conduct business according to GOD’s WORD.
3. Practice personal integrity and be CHRISTLIKE to your employees and customers.
4. Never promote products or materials that advertise illegal services, pornographic content, gaming or CONTENDING FAITH’S.

This is where things fall apart for Meg. I don’t get if you own a tree service, an air conditioning business, or you are an accountant or lawyer that somehow God’s Word comes into play. Aren’t businesses successful because of solid financial practices and general common sense?

I especially don’t get the phrase “CONTENDING FAITH“. Does this mean all other faith’s and walks of religion are bad? Does this mean the Yoga studio where I say Namaste and for one hour immerse myself into a Buddhist trance is really the devil’s workshop? Does this mean that you can’t associate with people of other beliefs because you want to live in your own insulated little world, never knowing the beauty of diversity?

Meg still struggles with the fact so many people study the Bible here, and cherry pick quotes from it. I mean everyone here has a favorite quote, and it’s never from someone like Thomas Jefferson, Maya Angelou or Kurt Vonnegut.

Scripture is huge in Texas, just like Friday night football. Both are a religion, but you can’t run your life by it, can you?

She is still pondering the biblically based business resolution model, and all she can come up with is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And if Meg sees a one eyed shop owner, she’s going to run for the hills.