Sunday, April 14, 2019

a happy heart

I love file rummaging, turning up long-forgotten images and the memories attached to them. I love this picture of Jim. It expresses his enthusiasm for life. His happy outlook.

This too. I wish I could some music together for it but YouTube really stinks about that these days. It was the mid 70's when we met, so Poco, Little River Band, Boston, New Riders, Billy Joel, Springsteen, Charlie Daniels, the list goes on and much good music to go with the good times.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Jim would be so proud.

The old steps at the front entrance were beyond decrepit. Nerve-wracking and treacherous. While I spent the day with Charlie, Colin made this happen. I love the smell of fresh-cut wood but I guess this will have to be stained or painted.

The little extra width on each step will be home to my shade loving houseplants when the weather comes to its senses.

Now what to do with the trashed out gardens on either side of the walkway. We sawed the evil holly bushes off at the root.  One project at a time...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

flower power

You might say, "Such extravagance!" but, really, each of these cost less than a couple of visits to Starbucks, something I just don't do. Jimmy used to get me flowers on a regular basis for no reason at all,  and I never got tired of the gesture, especially when I let him know how 'day old' flowers from the grocery store were just as grand as the overpriced ones from the florist.  It feels like something he'd like me to keep doing for myself.   There was always one of those little cards with his handwritten sentiments...I have a bunch of them still. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The bun.

Mom's house, Thanksgiving '84.      Based on my dark (unbleached) hair, I was maybe three months pregnant with Jake. I was disgustingly healthy. Jimmy was so happy. We both were. Thanks for sending this, Kim..

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Keep on Tryin'

I am.

I keep on trying. But I miss having Jim to share the burdens and the fun with. Even the plain old day to day BS. We used to hang out in the pool and hash out the day. He didn't linger the way I do. Now I'm struggling to save the pool. With the weather turning bad so quickly, today felt like the last swim this season. Sadness.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I miss the carefree times. The fun and someone to share the laughs and the burdens with.

 I recently read "Grief is just love with no place to go." Truer words were never written.

family ties

Jim's aunt Roz passed away early this year after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. She was a lady of great poise and dignity, always with a kind and open heart.

Easter Sunday, 1976 Jim took me to his parent's house for the first time. The Big Interview. Everyone was cordial even if they thought that their son was temporarily deranged. We were not engaged yet, it was a new thing.

As time passed and they all got used to me, I came to understand that I was being judged against the last serious relationship Jim was in, his high school sweetie, Barbara. Roz and Jim's mother  Eleanor were the first to make me feel welcome.

Barb connected over the years in a tenuous way - Christmas cards and the rare holiday phone call - and after Jimmy passed, she reached out to me on FB and offered a kindness and support that helped on the darkest days. We had never met in person until we made a point of doing so recently while she and her husband were here in the area for a wedding.  Thank you for your tireless compassion, my friend.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

After a particularly shitty week, Netflix has added this. Although it was released in '74, Jimmy and I saw it in the theater not long after we met. As was the custom of the day, we all were fully baked by the time the movie began and I clearly remember that my stomach hurt for days after from laughing so hard. It continues to entertain all these years later. We knew all the lines and Jimmy did a spot-on impression of the Monster's growl.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Music stays...

A year now, since Glen Frey passed.

The ticket stub post had me anxious because I apparently lost the stubs to the one time we saw the Eagles.
July 29, 1976, at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ and it was landmark!

I can't find corroboration, but I recall Jimmy saying that this was one of the first times that Joe Walsh played with the band and that Poco opened for them. This was before Hotel California.

 I don't think we got there in time for Poco, but some of them joined in with the Eagles on "Seven Bridges Road" and it was amazing. When I look at the set list, it all comes back. I remember because I was the designated driver that night.

It was general admission and due to the fact that people were just milling around, we had pretty good the mud. At some point, I had to use the bathroom, but when I got there, there were two inches of liquid on the floor and girls were peeing in the sinks. I parked my need and went back to the show. We were on the highway headed home when I couldn't wait any longer, pulled over, hopped a stone wall and took care of business. Jimmy stood watch and remarked that it was good of me to find a shrub and not a stone as it was a cemetery. It was a helluva night!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Good times

 Sometimes there was too much of a good thing producing black holes in my memory..when we talked about them, Jim would remember and give me some clues.  There were many more shows, especially before the boys were born. Colin was actually "on board" for Springsteen at the Garden. We came out of the show after four hours and almost a foot of snow had fallen and we couldn't find Nanny's red Duster for almost an hour! Still the best time.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

another year

The holidays will always be the hardest I guess. Christmas was our big day. In New York, we visited with family and friends, but once we moved here our celebrations were small and focused around our immediate family.

Of course, the family has grown and expanded in wonderful ways. Seeing Charlie begin to understand the magic of Christmas gives me such a pang. How much Jim would have delighted in him, spoiled him rotten.

Jim is always in our hearts no matter the day. Every time I see this old photo I'm upset that a great shot was out of focus. Then I realize that this is just how he will always be for us - just out of reach, but always in our hearts.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

away alone

             I'm back from the writer's conference in Salem. There would have been flowers waiting in my room when I got there. Gingerale and fresh strawberries, too.
         The election happened while I was there. On a dozen counts, I missed Jim so much this week. So much to share, needing his level feedback so badly. Swinging between miserable, heartbroken horror for our country and then the salvation of a small, intense gathering of other writers wrestling publicly with issues they were having with their work - I got back to my hotel room one night and actually picked up the bedside phone, his number front and center in my mind. First I laughed, then I cried.

     I went to a professional tarot reader while I was there. A first for me. I told myself I needed the experience for the book. I got what I was really after. Along with a kitchen sink full of admonitions of avoiding negative people, she asked me who the Big Laughing mustache was and told me that he's always with me, encouraging me to keep working on my art and to be there for the babies. I didn't need to pay someone for that, still....

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

thanks FB

The "memories" function of Facebook will just gut me on some days. From September 19, 2013 :

"There is rumbly laughter coming from the next room. Music to my ears."

That memory was music to my heart today.

Found Jim's passport from his school trip to Spain in '71.  Ladykiller. yes.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

echoes from the past

My sister-in-law, Dawn, sent an envelope of photos yesterday. Many were copies that I sent to Jim's parents through the years. Lots of the boys school studio pictures. A handful, like these, I have never seen since they were first taken. In some cases, never. These two took my breath away.
Jim, meet Jake  6.2.85

Monday, July 18, 2016

give me strength

I study this fine face and I see that little crease of worry between his eyes and I remember promising him that I would handle things.

Now I have to remind myself that we will handle stuff together, as a family.

We will be alright.

But I miss you, babe.

Monday, June 6, 2016

His angel

Now that Charlie has his first "big boy" haircut, he looks more like Jake every day. This pictured startled me yesterday.

Jimmy is watching over Charlie these days.

Friday, June 3, 2016


We would have had a real bash for this one. Tomorrow would have been our fortieth wedding anniversary.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Some days I miss him so much it's hard to breathe. Hard to want to breathe.

Monday, April 25, 2016

the videos

1991 Christmas at Nanny's...oh, the HAIR!
The box arrived over a week ago and I've only looked at two of the tapes.

We have very few videos of our family. For a short while I had an ancient super 8 camera and there are a handful of short, jerky films that have been put onto VHS.

The box my sister sent down has a dozen tapes from my Dad's collection starting with the Christmas morning my brother got him that huge video camera 1990.  A scene: Jimmy is sitting on the couch, Jake is bouncing in and out of the frame, Colin nearby engrossed in some gift. Jimmy tells a dirty joke smoothly editing it for mixed company. It was hilarious and so wonderful to hear his voice.

My task is to convert all these tapes to digital...daunting and wonderful at the same time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

the fun begins

Charlie is fast coming up on language, his way first.

When the boys were toddlers we spent a lot of time discussing just what the hell they were trying to tell us. They clearly had needs and opinions that they wanted us to understand, and it was up to us to figure out what "ardibury, bamagor and tunka" meant. Jakes main inquisitor was "Zat?". You could almost hear Jim's Bronx accent.

He would also be happy to take you by the hand and drag you to the scene of whatever was going on. I can see Jimmy looking at me for help. I had none most of the time.

It was always a delight when one or the other of us finally figured out what Jake was trying to tell us so earnestly. He had an elaborate experimental language going on with lots of gestures,  complete with looks of disgust.  I can remember Jim trying so hard  to keep a straight face while Jake was on a babbling tear....

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Facebook dished up this as a memory today, but I'm a little mortified to share it with the world again.

It's old and sweet and I'll just keep it here.  Back when Mama was a hottie and Daddy was crazy.

I have no idea where we were or what the occasion was but we got a lot of mileage out of that dress and his (wedding) suit.

Friday, January 8, 2016

his Opus

       There are some who might think that I'm running out of things to say, to post here. On the contrary. It's just that the things that I am thinking and feeling are so deep, so personal. It's like I can hear his voice again after a long silence. Not just the youthful exuberance and laughter. It's the steady confident voice that kept me grounded, keeps me moving forward and comforts me.

I watched all of "Mr. Holland's Opus" this morning with Charlie. Anything with music is OK by him. The first time Jim and I watched it I thought it was entertaining  if just a tad sappy, but I'm a sucker for Richard Dreyfus.

Over the years, I discovered it was one of Jim's favorite guilty watches; he'd let it run any time it was on. I see these things we once shared with different eyes now and a more open heart.Today I paid close attention and recognized some of it's appeal.

I came in on the scene where he meets his newborn son. How he was transformed by the moment. One thread of the story was about how a man had to set aside his passion for making music to be responsible and care for his family. Good thing for all of us that Jim's passion, after family, was his work.

The movie chronicled the teacher's whole career and gave us bits and pieces of our history along the way in snips of film and popular music, something else that Jimmy loved.  If you haven't seen it and plan to someday, don't watch the following clip - it's the last ten minutes of the film.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


We had a new HVAC unit installed the other day. Central heat for the first time in six or seven years. We lost count because, being hardy Yankees, there weren't too  many days in a Georgia winter that didn't make us scoff at the locals moaning about the weather. It took me a long time and a good sale to make the commitment, choose a contractor and get it done. He would have been very pleased with the job, as I am.

When we were first married Jimmy worked installing woodstoves and aftermarket fireplaces. This was during the seventies oil crisis and he could have worked 24/7 and not met the demand. His work was all about helping families keeping warm and being safe.

Our first house together was a vacation cottage so drafty the curtains never stopped moving. The furnace heated one room - the furnace closet. Without consulting the landlord, he installed a fireplace into the corner of the living room and finished the face of it to look like adobe. It had a mantel and hearth and it was a complete miracle to me. I also learned that fireplaces were mostly about ambiance. For real heat, he put in a little boxy woodstove in the back room. We were cozy. And when we moved, we took it all with us.

I can't help but think he's resting in peace now that I've accomplished this huge step in getting our house back to being a home even if it never was a big deal to either of us when he was still alive.

The furnace comes on with a whisper and each time I hear it, I imagine him grinning and saying, "Fuckin' A!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

another day

I hate the way the calendar we use wobbles through time. Dates falling on different days, year in and year out. The sloppy flux of numbers on paper. Leap year. One day more or less in a whole month of days, so I'm not going to pin any crown of thorns on this one.

By some fool's measure of time, it's been two years since Jimmy had to leave us. On some days, it feels like forever; on others, just yesterday. It's been hard on all of us who counted on his love, his humor, his calm presence, and his confidence in all things.

He and I never talked about this day as if not believing it would come could hold it back. Yes, once or twice toward the end. We made our promises to each other and kept them. I know he's is proud.

We do what we must, what he would have us do. Live life and love it, joys and heartaches coming in all flavors, bitter to achingly sweet. I don't feel as if he is receding from me in time. Each day that passes brings me closer in time to where he is.

So here's to you my darling. All my love, all my life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


It's been a while since I've had a good, pee your pants laugh.

This popped up on FB yesterday and I laughed til I cried and sent it in a private message to just about everyone I know.

Yeah, yeah vulgarity. Don't care. Made me laugh the way Jimmy used to.

We had a cat, Jinx, a chubby little tiger, who would do the same thing only she would make eye contact with you while she was shoving whatever off the counter or tabletop. It was always funny as hell. He spoiled us rotten with love.

(Jake just reminded me how she would get on top of the refrigerator and reach over the side to pluck magnets and the paperwork they were holding off  to fall into the garbage. There was a pair of concert tickets to see James Taylor at Chastain Park, at least one seatbelt summons, and things from school that were supposed to get signed and returned. It was not all amusing)

Friday, October 23, 2015

True Love Ways

Watching this with Charlie and remembering how much we liked it when it was new.I had never heard this song before the but Jimmy said that Gary Busey did a better job at it than Buddy Holly. He was right. One more for the long list of "our" songs.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Missing my Goodman this week a little more. Being good to myself for my birthday doesn't work all that well because there's no surprise in it. He was good at that. Knowing what I wanted before I did and putting a bow on it.

I will celebrate by getting back to work in the studio. Let the doing carry the feeling for a while.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

one last showtime

What may be my last solo show is opening tomorrow at the Phoenix & Dragon bookstore here in Atlanta.

I have a deep affinity for the place. When I first came to Atlanta ahead of Jim and the boys, I spent a lot of time wandering around just getting a feel for the city. My overall impression was not great. Then I found this place just a few miles from where I was working at the time and it fell like church to me. All these years it has  endured as a place of peace and contemplation for me and I'm deeply grateful for the re-invite to show my work. Jim used to tease me "She's off to the witch store."

This show is dedicated to Jimmy. Without his love, encouragement and support none of my art would ever have seen the light of day.

August 26, 2013

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Can we ever get enough love, comfort and tenderness?

Every day I have to remind myself how lucky I was and how rich I still am.