Stockings and Garters and Rope, Oh My!

July 25th, 2014

   Pinup Girl Black uwear


There are a lot of blogs aimed at or written by younger mothers who blog about their children.  I think that is wonderful.*

But this isn’t one of those and I’m not one of them.  I’m from the other side.  The dark side.

I am here to tell you something.  Shhhh. It is a very well kept secret.

lips at last

There are definite benefits to having your children moved out of the house.  OK, there are major benefits to having your children moved out of the house.

You have reached a different stage of enjoyment with your kids. You are blessed to be able to see “who” they have become.  Alpha Hubby and I love that our son is also one of our best friends (along with his wife and their friends).

Be that as it may, after he moved out (and my short heart-aching melt-down), it didn’t take long to realize the benefits.  I looked over at Alpha Hubby and we shared a very sly grin together.  Helloooo, baby!

I was blessed to have a mother who warned me to take care of business so that when Alpha Son was out of the house, Alpha Hubby and I would still know each other.  She warned that we needed to protect our relationship so we didn’t look at one another after 20 years and think, “WHO the heck IS this person??”

The best years ever as a couple are those after you have finished the years of raising children.  I’m serious!  I know each stage of your child is wonderful, and you never stop loving and praying for them.  But you let them go to spread their wings to fly or hit a wall, their choice.  You are there IF they need you but your focus has changed.  No.  That’s not true.

little boy big glasses

What ARE they doing in there???

Your focus shouldn’t change at all, just become MORE.  My focus has always been on Alpha Hubby, but I was also mom.  It isn’t the same during as it is afterward.  “Mommy, why is the door locked?”  

NOW you can get back to the business of chasing one another around the house.  

Alpha Hubby and I didn’t get that when we married.  He took on the responsibility of Alpha Son and became his dad.  Alpha Son would not be who he is today were it not for Alpha Hubby.  He is the one who completed the manly-man training.  I mean, I have to blame someone for this:

So anyway, my point is that there is more of this going on and less little metal cars, ball games, and school projects:

We have more private time to sit around and share what we love about one another without interruption:

There is more of this:


And some of this:

And lots and lots of this, from here to eternity**:



…well, needless to say, that simply is NONE of your business!

No matter what stage you are in your relationship and life, the most important part is to ENJOY it TOGETHER.  Life is way, way too short to not do so.

Oh, and the title?  Well, it caught your attention didn’t it???  Oh OK, here’s the rope:


You didn’t know that married people can make it hawt?  Shame on you!!


*Not to imply that mothers who blog about their children can’t do these things, too.  I know they do, through experience.  I’m talking about once the kids have moved out of the house and you’re free to run wild without embarrassing interruptions.

**1953 movie From Here to Eternity starring Burt LancasterMontgomery CliftDeborah Kerr and featuring in the famous beach scene which was famous because the censors wanted the scene to be cut completely, but Columbia refused and the scene stayed in.  This was pretty risque stuff back then!

Think on These Things

July 14th, 2014

I think if you have followed me for any time that you know that I believe in positive focus, positive talking and staying far away from anything (or any one) negative.  Recently someone said to me that they believed I was setting up a false standard by telling only the positive stories of my marriage to Alpha Hubby.  They didn’t believe this was fair to people who had less than perfect relationships.

Zebra from Behind showing Striped Rear and Tail

Zebra puckey.  I have mentioned that I am a… um… volatile person.  Alpha Hubby is very calm (although he can blow his top if pushed to an extreme.  I think that has happened maybe twice in twenty years. 

I am thinking more that this person has missed the entire point of my posts.  Even my friend Pamela at Road-to-Joy Blog who wrote a wonderful book about relationships, “How to Screw Up Your Marriage: Do-Over Tips for First-Time Failures  (fka Love Gone Viral: Couples Who Make You Wanna Puke) got the point!  Go buy her book – it is e-book format and paperback.

How To Screw Up Your Marriage

In her book, Chapter Five: What are you looking for? She states:  1When people think I’m making all this stuff up about my storybook marriage and they tell me to get real, it’s a little frustrating.  I’m not alone here; my friend Nan (Zat’s me!) knows what I’m talking about. She and her husband make people want to puke, too. She feels exactly as I do about this.

“I’ve ridden the drama train before,” Nan wrote to me a while ago. “So has my husband. We are striving for peace. Our life is real and not without issues, but our marriage truly is wonderful. Part of why it is wonderful is that we always look for the best in each other, and we talk nice about each other.”

2Don’t let yourself look for any negatives, not for a single second. Today is a day for gathering positive evidence. Reject critical interpretations. Banish thoughts about faults. Refuse to look for sins and omissions.

Nan reminded me that the Bible says to “Focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).

 I love some of the other translations of that scripture – whatever things have honour, are of value, whatever is fair, what is a good report; continue to think about what is good.  Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected.  Think of that which is commendable.  Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are honest, reputable, authentic.  Keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper.  Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile.

couple scary woman

That scripture defines our marriage.  I wasn’t good at it at first.  I’m sure sometimes he wondered what he’d gotten in to.  I always assumed he had a hidden agenda and THEN that axe murderer deep inside would show himself and prove me right.  I don’t mean he’d hit me but that he would suddenly find me – less.

He never did.  He taught me how to focus on the true, pure, honest, valuable, beautiful, admirable, noble – the GOOD in the other person – him.  To not assume he meant something bad when he said something innocent that tripped a land mine trigger in me.  His favorite line for years was, “I’m not that deep” when I’d explain what I “thought” he was thinking.

love napkin crop

As we focus on the good in each other, I am always reminded what I’d read in a letter to Ann Landers wherein the woman talked about being a widow and the women who griped about their husbands’ snoring.

Link is here:,5422982

The point was:  Her husband had just passed away a few months before.  She wrote, “Whenever I hear a woman complain about her husband’s snoring… How I would love to have mine beside me snoring all night long.”

I read that back in 1985, long before I met Alpha Hubby, but I NEVER forgot it.  I made the decision right then and there that if I ever met my Knight in Shining Armour, I was going to value him, consider him someone precious to me, and protect what we had.

love never fails

When I finally met him, lucky, blessed me, he felt the same way.  He had a heart for me and knew what was valuable.  What we have is so precious and rare we take very good care of it – WHILE LIVING NORMAL LIVES AS TWO PEOPLE WHO LIVE TOGETHER WITH STRONG PERSONALITIES AND OPINIONS.

We are human but we work very hard either not to fight in the first place or to forgive and restore quickly.  No long sleepless nights tossing and turning over a fight.

Boxing Gloves

Yeah, yeah – I learned how much a waste of time that was in our first year of marriage.  I was so so so angry and was lying in that bed tossing and turning over our fight WHILE HE, the bum, slept the sleep of the righteous.  Or perhaps it was the exhausted.  But he never fumed half the night over a fight – so – I gave that up as a waste of time.  No one was impressed.

So to those people who think I am setting up a false standard, unobtainable for anyone, you’re wrong.  We really don’t fight much and our fights are other people’s light tiffs – totally stupid and ridiculous.  We raise our voices but usually not in anger.  We’re both pretty passionate, but in a good way.  Anger happens but it feels so awful we get over it toute de suite

couple touching

What we do that is totally obtainable is to focus on the good in one another, the positive not the negative.  I never said it was easy.  It took me years not to allow past triggers to dictate my reactions.  His calmness helped me work through. 

And, as you know, it is important to know that isn’t just ONE couple who have this.  I know there are others out there.  You have Pamela and Eric – and Nancy and her Superhero over at Too Wonderful For Me (she hasn’t posted in awhile due to a death in the family but visit her and check her other posts out).

raspberry background

So to all the naysayers out there, I say a big raspberry – BIG raspberries to you – and to quit being a zebra’s behind.  Learn to focus on the good.  So he forgot to take the garbage out – big whoop.  There are a million other things he does do for you… you’ve just forgotten to focus on them.

Start again. 


1,2Hutchins, Pamela Fagan (2012-04-29). How to Screw Up Your Marriage (FKA Love Gone Viral) (Kindle Locations 333-339, 351-352). SkipJack Publishing. Kindle Edition.

What’s in a Face?

June 29th, 2014

couple contrast

I remember when I was younger and a friend and I saw an “older” couple walking down the street holding hands, I thought “Aww, how sweet” and she was grossed out.  She didn’t believe it was appropriate for old people (they were probably in their 50′s) to act like that.  She thought they should keep those public displays of affection to themselves, at home.

So many times youth judge older people harshly, thinking they themselves will be young forever.  Sometimes when one is older, that is the one thing we like about getting a bit older – you know it will happen to everyone, even snot nosed young people!

Apple Dolls

I’m talking getting older through numbers, not aging.  Aging is actually a choice or default, not a set-in-stone fact.  It is a choice as in you choose to accept aging or feeling less than 100 percent; to accept aches and pains as normal and to give up or begin to think it’s “too much work!”.

Or it is default as in if you don’t make a decision, one will be made for you.  If you don’t take care of yourself your body and mind default to aches, pains, wrinkled skin, thinning hair, weight gain, that it is normal or genes (tell that to Oleda Baker a beautiful 79 year old former model).

As I began researching longevity, I studied things I could do to stay healthy and active, keeping my joints fluid, maintaining my skin, etc.  What I learned astonished me.  We have been sold a bill of goods that says “You much have these symptoms as you get age; it is a fact of life.”  LIE!

In case you doubt me, look at these pictures below (click to enlarge) – pay very careful attention (there is a reason):


Young Model         sexy older woman 85 crop


Daphne Selfe 83 crop     daphne selfe-2 83


Christopher Plummer 82     Christopher-Plummer-007


Carmen Dell’Orefice 82 crop       Carmen Dell’Orefice 1 82 crop


Iron Nun Sister Madonna Buder 82     Sister Madonna Buder 82


Joyce Authur George 89 90        Jacquie -Tajah- Murdock 82 Lanvin model


Joyce Carpati 82     Joyce Carpati 82 red


Earl Cameron 96


Ready for what they all have in common?

1-2 = Random pictures of women, aged 80+

3-4 = Daphne Selfe, age 83 - called “World’s Oldest Supermodel”

5-6 = Christopher Plummer, age 82, oldest Actor to win Academy Award

7-8 = Carmen Dell’Orefice, age 83, current model (she is the only one who has had “a little work done”)

9-10 = The Iron Nun Sister Madonna Buder, age 82  The 82-year-old `Iron Nun` who has completed over 340 triathlons – almost one every month for 30 years AND didn’t start until she was 48.

11 = Joyce and Arthur George, ages 89 and 90, still teaching amateur roller skaters

12 = Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, age 82, Apollo Dance Theater Legend  and now new Lanvin model

13-14 = Joyce Carpati  (or Yahoo article), age 82 = splits her time between Paris and New York and still works as a beauty consultant

15 – Earl Cameron, 96, One of first Black actors in UK television and film, and still active.


The last time I did something like this for you, most of the people were in their 50′s and 60′s.  So did you notice what all these beauties had in common?  THEY ARE ALL 80+ YEARS OR OLDER

The first picture is close to what most people think eighty (80) should look like.  The second is far more fun to think about and work to achieve.  The rest?  Oh my gosh they are amazing people, full of life, still agile, still functioning in society, still beautiful or handsome, still working, and still taking care of themselves.  And none of them badmouth themselves. They talk energy.  They talk life.  They talk doing, being and thinking strong.


So you ask what this post is about?  If you are in your 20′s, 30′, 40′s START NOW.  It will be so much easier on you in your latter years.  You can live a long and productive – and beautiful – life if you plan for it.  It isn’t random.  Every one of the real people above took care of themselves in one way or another.

And if you are over 40, it’s not too late to start taking excellent care of yourself instead of falling for the default.  You know the one – where you joke about being or getting old, where you moan and groan and accept that you are supposed to feel old.  Where your mouth will undermine anything you try to do toward longevity.

As Carmen Dell’Orefice said, “…nothing on the outside is going to make a blind bit of difference unless you take care of the inside.”

But if you don’t also take care of the outside, then you will look like those apple dolls above – and we KNOW none of us really wants to look like that.

Research longevity.  If you’re even going to live what some think is normal – 80+ years – how do you want to live it?  Do you want to be in a wheelchair with your knees hurting and your mind wandering or gone?  Most of us will reach 80 (and beyond) but how you reach it and what shape you’re in is totally your choice.

Pay attention to what you’re saying.  Moisturize that face and décolletage.  Laugh a lot.  Enjoy life.  Dance in water puddles.  Begin to focus on longevity and make plans.  You have 9 roll models (and believe me, there are more) that prove you can live a long, strong, vital, and healthy life – and be beautiful while doing it!

What’s in a face?  Well that, my darlinks, is totally up to you.


Ta Da!!!

June 20th, 2014

I have all sorts of oldies love songs on my playlist on the player in the sidebar.  If you don’t wanna hear any of them, click on the sideways equal sign and pause the music!

So as you may know I was having some problems with my blog, losing entire years worth of work or finding a copy that was warped, missing pictures or adding symbols.  Some of it was backed up which proved useless as while I was able to back up, I was not able to restore it back to my website.  Major grrrr going on here in my office.

After much agony and research and learning new code information and stuff I’ll probably never, ever need again, I semi-determined that it possibly was my theme and permalinks and “who knows what-all” suddenly going wonky.  So I played with a theme they recommended that was clean and supposedly wonky-free. Problem with that theme is it was very very B-O-R-I-N-G.  Plain and ordinary.  Blah. Nothing special.

So years ago I’d saved this particular theme you see simply because I thought it was cool.  The girl originally looked like this: pretty_girl_black Which is all fine and dandy EXCEPT she is wearing a pretty pink dress and this is a blog (and in my closet is) about Little BLACK dresses.  That wouldn’t do.  I eventually discovered she’d made several ladies, one pregnant, one blonde and one with grey-silver hair!  And I may or may not have some grey-silver-white hair.  I’m not saying I do.  I’m not saying at all.

So I wrote to the creator and asked if she could make me one with a black dress and she quickly obliged!  How cool is that?  

Yes, Miss Catarina from has a few Word Press themes and is pretty amazing.  I love this new feminine theme and right now it’s working for me perfectly!  I am so grateful to this generous and talented woman.

Life is too short to have an ugly boring theme!  That doesn’t represent any of us, for sure.  We are all just too amazing!

Who’s Your Daddy?

June 12th, 2014

Click on most pictures to enlarge if you want.

Whos your daddy

So my dad died in 2004.  It was sudden and unexpected.  I was on vacation and couldn’t get back before he moved on to heaven.  I am always grateful the last things we said to one another were things like “Love you” and we had hugged so I have no regrets but I’d sure like one more hug.  I have a small answering machine tape with his recorded voice on it that I listened to for days after he moved.

Dad2 cropped

Around late 70′s early 80′s

Even after all this time, it is really strange that I can’t celebrate Father’s Day with him.  I don’t like that because my parents were big on celebration blow-outs.  I am always grateful for how long I did have with him – he was 82 when he moved – but to me it is not long enough.  He should have stuck around longer!  It really points out how important it is to CHERISH your dad – mom – loved ones.  Cherish the love.

Josh Gramp 1986 crop

Burning trash with an Ewok! 1986

He was an amazing father and an even more amazing grandfather.  Alpha Son had 22 years with his “gramps’ which is more than some people get.  Dad helped him enjoy life, laugh, play, work, and to have an amazing man’s influence until Alpha Hubby came along to complete the work.

And Alpha Hubby – what an amazing father he is.  He sure did not know what he was getting involved with when he got involved with me!  Or should I say us!!

leland Josh small

After chasing lost cattle for hours 2010

I loved Alpha Hubby when we married but the day he climbed in the little rubber swimming pool in his jeans to sit down and play with a little boy, then lose his dignity on a Slip ‘n Slide – well, I fell totally, irrevocably, completely, 100 percent in love forever. And ever.

Or maybe it is time time they were swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at Thanksgiving in New Hampshire – and the hotel clerk thought they were insane (cooooold).  Or the Texas Gulf in November.  Hotel swimming pools. The pool at our house.  They love playing in water.

He is the epitome of an amazing father and friend to Alpha Son and it is fun to watch them interact.  Watching them together has taught me a few things about a man being a dad.

A Dad Josh Moment

Good fishing day 2009

A dad should spend time with his kid(s) enjoying a hobby.  An accomplishment together makes excellent memories – and good food.

2012-11-21 13.41.16

11-21-2012 Texas Bay

There should be adventures together, even studying jelly fish and murky bay water!



There should be much laughter and play time together, no matter how old you get.

There should be funny stories that defy time and grow with each telling.  I’m not sure Alpha Son will ever forgive him for telling him chocolate milk came from brown Swiss cows.  Or the time we were staying in a hotel and Alpha Son lovingly saved his leftover chicken strips only to find them gone in the morning.  He still holds a mean grudge about it.  That morning Alpha Hubby suddenly created the three-minute rule:  If is left alone for three minutes, it’s fair game – which was funny until he ate my big-time expensive cashews.

A father should be brave:

leland from phone 3

Springfield Bass Pro Shop 2008



Mine!! 2009

Hard working:


Ready to move 2009

He should love God so he can be a good & wise leader:

Condo balcony

Early morning Bible reading 2005

And always be grateful for gifts received, no matter what they are!

Picture 147d (40) crop

Hot Sauces Christmas 2007

He should also let his wife stick a camera in his face all the time, day or night, no matter how much he hates having his picture taken, then not become angry if she posts it online because she thinks it’s great or maybe funny, heh heh heh.  Sorry hunny bunches smoochy poo sweetums!  Bwaaaahaahaaaa.  The power of the pen – um, oh – the keyboard?

Leland Closeup cropped

January 2010 caught off guard

Yes, father’s have a mighty influence on their children no matter what age they are.  Probably the most important attribute a father can have is a fantastic sense of humor and lots and lots of patience.  Loooots of patience.  Oh, that’s not with the kids, no.  It’s with the wife who drives him crazy.  Because I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” ― John Wooden????

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to the love of my life and the man who helped Alpha Son become the amazing man he is today.  Alpha Son and I cherish your love, cherish the love and life we have together as a family, and cherish YOU.

A Series of Choices

May 27th, 2014

look forward

I know I chat a lot about my love affair with Alpha Hubby but they do say you should write what you know.  All I know is his love for me.

I recently read a comment by a friend that said, “… love reading about your uplifting stories & perspective on life.”  I pondered on that comment and realized that in a way, my life really is a series of uplifting stories since I met Alpha Hubby.  Our perspective on life comes from our love for God and Jesus, but our love incorporated with His love is why our life is that series of uplifting stories.

good day

Oh sure, we could choose to look at life differently.  I used to be a Negative Nellie and expect bad things (and got them). But Alpha Hubby and I learned early on that we had a choice.  So while our stories may be uplifting is is because of choices we’ve made.

Everything in life is a choice.  So we chose to be uplifted.  Before, separately, our lives had been a series of events you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.  We got through our prior lives through the grace of God, but once we discovered one another, we made that choice to live our lives with joy and a positive outlook.

Let go of the planned life

We also had to be willing to let go of our past – the pain, the fear, the grief, the plans that didn’t include each other.  We didn’t want to take that into our future.  We both had some pretty big – thoughts – of how our life was going to go before we met one another.  By letting go our plans, we were able to flow together into a life that has been totally amazing.

So why am I so up and why am I uplifted by this man in my life?

Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe because he says things like this?


And means it.  I know this man would do anything to keep me protected.  What an amazing thing to know.  Of course it doesn’t really work that way because if he were going into that kind of danger I’d have to go with him because I don’t want to be without him.  If he’s going, I’m going with him.  We face it all together.

Or this that he quotes to me a lot:

SoICanKissYouGrayChevronTealHeart8x10 (1)

He also is not afraid to tell me this:

A love longer

He helps me live my life like this:

fear no evil

And to be able to give him this:

Couple behind the window

While what they say is true:

fairytale 2small

Let’s not forget that you must give your time and focus to one another.

A 5 rules

And even our fights are really, really stupid, not vicious. Sure there may be that trigger or two that sends one (*ahem* me) off the deep end but they become less and less as time goes by.  I can honestly say this man is the MOST patient man on this earth.

Our choices (and God) have given us this uplifting life.  Anytime it is not uplifting we can always trace it back to a bad choice one of us (or both) made.  So we forgive one another, get up, brush each other off, get sidetracked, play around, then go forward again.


I don’t want to live my life any other way.  Being full of hope, love, trust, and faith has given me something I never dreamed was possible.


Baby, I can honestly say to you from the bottom of my heart:

believe in fairytales

He Didn’t Have To Be

May 22nd, 2014


leland Josh small

After chasing lost cows for hours

Sometimes in a life that often had harsh and cruel times something wonderful happens, something so special and precious that you savour it and thank God for it and will never let it go.

That is what happened for Alpha Son and me after we met the man who became my Alpha Hubby.  We never could have known how this man would impact our lives in such wonderful and amazing ways.  We were and are truly blessed to have him in our lives.

This month is the month Alpha Hubby became Alpha Son’s legal dad twenty years ago.   The judge was a friend of ours so he helped make it a special day.  The judge allowed Alpha Son to sit in the chair next to his bench as he explained to Alpha Son what it meant if Alpha Hubby adopted him.  He asked if Alpha Son was in agreement to take Alpha Hubby as his legal father, to which Alpha Son obviously said a resounding yes.

Even before Alpha Hubby and I married, there was a small first ceremony wherein Alpha Hubby and Alpha Son stood before the preacher and took one another as dad and son.  They even had their own vows.  Alpha Son had waited 11 years to have a real dad and I wanted to make this day as special for him as possible.

I still tear up at the memory of the ceremony and the serious look on both their faces as they were saying their “vows” to be dad and son.  Man talk about a choke up moment.

About ten years later, after Alpha Son had been out of the house awhile, he called to talk to his dad.  He told him that he’d emailed a link to him to a video he wanted Alpha Hubby to watch with me.  He’d just heard the song and said, “Dad, this is what you are to me.”

Since Alpha Son was always sending funny song links, we figured it was just another funny song.  The jesting and joking between the two is always going on.

But no.

Needless to say, Alpha Hubby and I both cried.  A lot.

Ya gotta love a God-plan full of love.

This is the video Alpha Son sent to his dad (you may have to pause the player on sidebar):

If you have trouble accessing the video, it is on YouTube here:

Brad Paisley, He Didn’t Have To Be

Lookin’ back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be


I’m STILL working on rescuing my sidebar and lost files. It is very disheartening.

Troubling Times

May 16th, 2014

shocked woman head

UH OH!!!

Having a bit of a snafu with my website so it is “d-o-w-n” at this time.  Sigh.  Not my fault (for a change). Thank goodness I’d backed it up a few days before The Big Crash because for a minute there it looked like I’d lost all 8 years of posts and my website template changes and my mind.

Update:  My backup was worthless (grrr).  The only one I managed to use is from February and am having to rebuild the sidebar.  Ugh ugh ugh.

That’s all this post is for – to let you know I’m offline and dealing with sql and oddly named files and things I know zippo about but am learning about pretty darned quickly!  Wish me luck!