Posted by missjunebug on May 30, 2009
missjunebug's Fab Class Project Bracelet! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug decided to shake things up a bit and expand her skill set this week by taking a jewelry making class. In three short hours her world was transformed!
She still loves to bake and to knit and to watercolor, but she’s crazy-happy about jewelry making. So far she’s made a little bracelet, her class project, and a necklace that is having a few crimp bead/clasp problems still to be solved.
But that’s part of the fun! Things fall apart (to borrow a phrase from Yeats and Achebe) and missjunebug can put them right back together with her awesome tools: crimping pliers, chain nose pliers, round nose pliers, crimps and clasps. She’s not-quite-ready-for-prime-time wire wrapping, but she’s had a few practice wraps that didn’t look horrible. So there’s hope!
missjunebug has a theory that the older women get, the more fascinated they are by jewelry. It’s their way of counterbalancing with beads and baubles what nature takes away. A sparkling La Vie Parisienne pendant necklace or a pair of drop-dead Swarovski crystal earrings draw attention away from the inevitable imperfections. Not a perfect trade-off, but hey there are a kagillion beautiful beads out there waiting to be strung into necklaces and bracelets!
There’s still plenty of room in missjunebug’s jewelry box!
mjbTip: Get crafty!
Posted by missjunebug on May 27, 2009
Just the Tip of the Laundry Iceberg! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug is experiencing a crisis in her Department of Domestic Affairs. Gone for a week, she returns with piles of her own laundry as well as Mr.JB’s, not to mention the stacks of mail she put on hold while she was gone so Mr.JB wouldn’t have to worry about it. She’s going to be digging out from under for a few days, so her musings on her little blog might be sporadic for a while. She hopes her two faithful fans understand.
Posted by missjunebug on May 23, 2009
missjunebug’s JBDad spends a lot of his time asking Where to now? This way? You want me to go this way?
missjunebug answers, Yes, that’s right. Go this way. Right through here. Up the steps. Here we go. Right into the house. Great!
Is that right?
Yes, that’s right. Have a seat and enjoy that sweet iced tea.
JBDad hasn’t lost his love of sweet iced tea and sweets in general. He’s eating pretty well but he’s a little skinnier than the last time missjunebug saw him. Those new 38″ waist Levis had to be returned for 36.” mjb’s dad is getting a little tinier each time she visits him.
He’s a bit more frail, a bit more confused, and not so quick to laugh like he used to. And he keeps looking for things, things he can’t find, things that are lost, lost much more than just being misplaced.Â Things…and people that are gone forever.
missjunebug can relate. She’s lost her JBDad. Yes, he’s there, sitting across from her at the little kitchen table she remembers well. But he’s not there.
Where to now?
Posted by missjunebug on May 20, 2009
missjunebug is speechless…almost. She’s pretty sure Adam’s been Taylor Hicks-ed and bigtime Soul Patrol-ed and full-on Underdog-ed by the Kris Allen contingent. Yeah, the aw-shucks kid can sing but he doesn’t come close to the vocal virtuoso of Adam Lambert. Come on, people, shed your prejudices against eye-liner on a guy and embrace the future of music!
missjunebug may still have the last word on this as she tracks who scores on the Billboard Charts in the months and years to come. Her money’s still on Adam but she wishes Kris well.
Posted by missjunebug on May 19, 2009
American Idol 8′s Final Smackdown was a tad anticlimactic for missjunebug’s taste because she’s sure Adam has a solid lock on being America’s next Idol. Or maybe she’s just ready for the whole hoopla to conclude. It seems like a long, winding road to get to the finals and she’s ready for the new season of Closer to start. That said, here’s her brief take on tonight’s singing contest.
Adam reprised Mad World with a touching, controlled vocal elegance. As a fan of True Blood, missjunebug loved the vamped-up vampire long coat and thick smoke, not to mention Adam’s perfect eyeliner! That boy has talent! If things don’t work out with this singing gig, he’s got a great back-up as a make-up artist. Kris confirmed why he was in the finals with his bluesy interpretation of Ain’t No Sunshine. Master Cowell was a tad dismissive of Adam’s theatrics and gave Round 1 of the Smackdown to Kris. Hmmm. missjunebug begs to differ but okay. She’ll give it to him.
Round 2 far and away was Adam’s.Â Fortunately, his A Change is Gonna Come rendition was flawless, as was his fab grey suit and sharp blue tie. Very metrosexual. Very cool. Very Sam Cook rhythm and bluesy. missjunebug liked it very much. Kris did an imitation of the incredible shrinking voice at the piano, with a not-quite-big enough vocal for the venue. His playing was fine, his falsetto was sweet, but the impact of the performance fell short of forceful.
Round 3 did no favors for either performer. But the fault was with the song, not the singers. missjunebug blames the judges or whoever picked this No Boundaries lemon for bad song choice, the very criterion they’ve beat the contestants over the head with the whole season!Â missjunebug doesn’t care who chose it or who wrote it. It was not the right song for these two American Idol hopefuls. missjunebug noticed that all four judges dismissed the song and talked about judging Adam and Kris holistically.Â Good idea.
So here’s the whole truth: Adam Lambert deserves more than any competitor in the history of the show the coveted title of American Idol.
Posted by missjunebug on
missjunebug is on a mission, albeit a grim one. She’s checking out care homes for her poor little Alzheimer‘s plagued junebug-dad. Mostly mjb chooses to focus on cheerier topics in her cheery little blog, but as it turns out her investigations into possible care homes for her dad reveal a hopeful world for elders haunted by memory and function loss due to this heinous disease.
Of the three places she’s visited so far, she’d be happy to have her dad living in any of the three. There’s definitely a hierarchy of one to three, but each care home offers comfortable private living quarters, great food, plentiful activities, hands-on assistance as needed, access to secured outdoors (absolutely essential for junebug-dad), on-site nursing care, and some really kind people–staff and Alzheimer’s folks included.
Whew! You better believe she is really relieved about her unexpected findings. The one care facility she and her junebug-brother visited a couple of years ago after her junebug-dad couldn’t find his way home in his car from the local 7/11 and was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s) was grim x 10. Sad little old people lined up in their wheelchairs, heads down, hands folded in laps, totally unengaged as the hospital-style facility was ” currently without an activities directors.” That’s not all that facility was “without.” Needless to say mjb and junebug-bro ran for the exit p.d.q.
Since then junebug-dad has had excellent 24/7 care in the little home he’s lived in for all mjb’s life and if anyone’s counting that’s well over half a century. mjb and her bro are not jumping into making any change for their dad this minute, they’re just lining up a Plan B in case their junebug dad needs more help than at-home care can provide and funds run too low to continue the outsized cost of the 24/7 pay by-the-hour protocol.
Yes, it’s a grim disease, but missjunebug is relieved to know there are places that value the individuals within, preserve their integrity, and tend to their complex physical needs as well. Things are looking up, deep in the heart of Texas!
Posted by missjunebug on May 13, 2009
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug thinks a three-way tie for American Idol 8 might not be such a bad idea at this point. Yes, she favors the extraordinary Adam Lambert, but Danny Gokey and Kris Allen are not going quietly. And the judges in their second song round selected by the contestants themselves did all they could to promote a razor’s edge finale heaping on praise for Kris and Danny that felt a tad disingenuous in light of their damning with faint praise first round song critiques.
Adam fully embraced his rocker edge with the final song of the night “Cryin” by Aerosmith. He did more than channel Steven Tyler; he secured for himself a place in the Edgey Rocker Pantheon Hall of Fame. Now all he needs to do is tip his hat to Freddie Mercury of Queen in the final round to complete the circle.
Yes, Danny and Kris are good, really good, but Adam is the greatest singer American Idol has ever seen.Â Forget that 3-way tie. Bad idea. missjunebug is all in for Adam.
mjbTip: If it looks like Adam Lambert and sings like Adam Lambert, it’s the next American Idol.
Posted by missjunebug on May 12, 2009
Just the other day missjunebug was kidding around with her ElderJB on the phone talking about her fab blog and what a great way it will be for him and his brother TinyJB to know what their missjunebug mom was thinking about, writing about, valuing and criticizing, even what she was cooking for herself and Mr.JB long after she is gone. She wasn’t trying to go all maudlin on ElderJB about her eventual demise. She was just riffing on what a cool tool her WordPress blog is, a vast storehouse of ideas, thoughts, concerns, celebrations, and critiques on every possible topic and a few recipes thrown in for good measure. He liked the idea after he stopped laughing. Don’t worry, missjunebug knew it was a good-natured laughing with her, not at her kind of laugh. ElderJB was thoroughly enjoying her excessive enthusiasm for her online blog project.
But what missjunebug saw as such a benefit for her and her progeny has caused some grief for others. And not just in the blogworld, but in the wider world of social networking on Facebook and Twitter and even email accounts such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail where people’s lives both public and personal are fully plugged into the ubiquity of all things internet.Â What happens to these social connections when the user dies? missjunebug read a recent story at the NPR website featuring All Things Considered that suggested it can get pretty darned complicated. Who has the right to access these accounts after the person has died? For that matter, who even has the user ids and passwords? missjunebug knows for sure that no one in her immediate family knows where her blog is hosted much less the passwords to access the host site or the blog site. In the NPR story one person had to pull out some serious legal guns to get access to his grandmother’s email account after she died. It was far from an automatic process.
Another person commented on the weird feeling he got everytime a friend who had died came up on his Facebook sidebar as a possible facebook friend he might want to contact. The weirdness of this particular situation came about because he had joined facebook after his friend had already died so he never linked into him as a Facebook friend. But Facebook in its faceless wisdom knew they had friends in common so the dead friend’s face kept popping up in the sidebar. missjunebug kind of gets the creeps just thinking about it.
Another phenomenon of Facebook is the Site As Memorial. Once a person is dead all the connected friends can still access the wall and post memorials, remembrances, words of sorrow and celebration and, of course, a pretty much infinite number of photos. missjunebug likes the idea of this in theory, but again she thinks like the ETrade baby with the clown, people are underestimating the creepiness of it all.
The legally unregulated realm of password and id access makes it even more complicated to remove or delete or even access the decedent’s online connections. What’s a responsible relative to do? missjunebug googled the answer at www.legacylocker.com which allows an online user to bequeath ids and passwords to the appropriate beneficiaries for a modest fee. Then the user of all those cool online social connections can rest easy that access to them will be in the right hands.
missjunebug hasn’t signed up yet for the service, but you better believe she’s thinking about it. As Shakespeare’s Miranda said in The Tempest, O wonder!/How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world! That has such people in’t!” This weird internet life after death may even out-brave Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
Posted by missjunebug on May 10, 2009
TinyJB's Mother's Day Card! Photo by mjb2009
A Rad Inside! Photo by mjb2009
Sweet Words from TinyJB! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug is happy to celebrate Mother’s Day today even if the two primary reasons for celebrating are not home. Those two reasons would be Elder JB and Tiny JB, of course! She was waxing a bit nostalgic and sifted through a few shoe boxes to come up with the gems you see pictured above and below.Â Elder JB and Tiny JB had some pretty creative moments as little boys. missjunebug is not quite sure what years these fab cards were delivered to her but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter are the sweet words that capture the love of a son for his mother.
Tiny JB went with a sure thing: pressed flowers and a great little poem:
Thank you, Mom,
For all your love!
Love is what made me
grow happy and strong
Love is what made all my
hurts go away-
And love is what this brings
Happy Mother’s Day with love,
Dan (aka TinyJB)
This card fully reflects the best of grade school: construction paper, crazy magic markers, excellent cursive writing (A rare things for TinyJB, missjunebug is sure he would agree) and the ironed/melted wax paper over dried flowers for the full flourish of the kid-created card. missjunebug still loves this little card with all her junebug heart because it perfectly reflects what a traditionalist her TinyJB is at heart! As for the crazy MOM graphic beneath the poem, missjunebug suspects that TinyJB was on crack when he finished up the card (jk!).
Elder JB took a little bit different route and created a Mother’s Day card with a little bit of a gimmick: the pull-open-the-flap portion of the card that reveals ta da! that permission has been granted for missjunebug to be named the greatest mom in the world! Cool or what?? missjunebug stills loves this little card with all her junebug heart because it perfectly reflects what an innovator her Elder JB is at heart! As for the blue taped-down section with the slip-something-inside opening at the top inside the card, missjunebug suspects that ElderJB included some sort of coupon for doing chores like dishes or maybe even some cash? She can’t quite remember. Okay, she’s kidding about the cash part. Mostly it was missjunebug doing the doling out of cash to the JBkids.
missjunebug looks forward to talking to her ElderJB and TinyJB today. Mother’s Day without kids is kind of like drinking Coke without the fizz. It’s still sweet but pretty flat.
missjunebug wishes all the mothers of the world a Happy Mother’s Day. And for those of you who aren’t officially moms, she encourages you to find someone or something to mother. In the words of Elder JB and TinyJB, permission is granted to make someone’s hurts go away. What better gift than that to give?
Elder JB's Card with the Clever Gimmick! Photo by mjb2009
Ta Da! The Big Reveal! Photo by mjb2009
Sweet Words from Elder JB, too and the Blue Mystery Pocket! Photo by mjb2009
mjbTip: Hug your mom today! mjb wishes she could still hug hers because she made mjb the mother she is today.
Posted by missjunebug on May 8, 2009
Spring! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug is busy enjoying glorious weather outside, her dog, and her views of the little valley where she resides. She welcomes Spring with open arms and hopes you are doing the same wherever you are. And someday she would like some beautiful orange and pink lantana in her yard because what you see pictured above is nowhere near her property!