Tag Archives: Love and Loss

In Not Of

Food Hall Plaza Hotel NYC Easter Bunny, Hunny! Photo by mjb2013

missjunebug wishes you a Happy Easter! Happy Spring! Happy Life!

May the E.B. be good to you and bring you lots of velvety chocolate rabbits (eat the ears first) and daffodil-yellow peeps (these keep forever!) in your Easter basket. Dye eggs! Hide eggs! Find eggs! Make deviled eggs! (Check out missjunebug’s fab recipe on this very website!)

Eat brunch! Drink champagne! Feast on glazed ham and roasted asparagus! Embrace family and friends and pets! Enjoy the delights of this earthly life!

The beauty of the season and her tiny place on the planet inspired missjunebug to wax poetic and spiritual, a little rhyme-y, but a little serious, too!

For your consideration:

In Not Of

Hearts look above,

Hands work below.

Human beings:

God’s dream.

A sun rises, sets;

Flesh, blood

Shed red regrets.

Hearts look within,

Hands pray to mend

What can’t be mended.

In not of

God’s Son Rises

Wrapped in love.

Hearts look above,

Hands work below,

Souls stir, then know.





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missjunebug’s Homage to Valentine’s Day or How to Fall Back in Love with Your Sweetie Pie


One from the Heart! Happy Valentine's Day from missjunebug!

missjunebug has decided to write her missive about Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day Eve. Pourquoi? (the requisite bon mot of French for V-Day) you may ask?

Because tomorrow missjunebug will be way, way, way too busy scarfing down See’s Candies Strawberry Creams and swilling Frexinet Champagne in that sexy-chic and sleek black bottle and swirling her new Jennifer Miller Jewelry faux (another Français bon mot!!!) diamond-size seven-yellow gold bracelet around her wrist that she ordered for Mr.JB to give her (natch!), to be bothered with anything wordpressy and tedious.

missjunebug has mixed feelings about V-Day what with all the commercial hoop-la, Lifetime cry-fest movies, and rom-coms littering the airwaves, streaming bands of Netflix, and guilty pleasure-rented iPad movies. (missjunebugTip: Skip Blue Valentine with Gosling and Williams: triple downer on steroids, but an excellent film–save it for a dark and stormy winter’s night. But if you do choose to watch it –even though the title alone should scare you off–have Jane Eyre (2011) or Pride & Prejudice (any version will do) or Downton Abbey Season One waiting in the wings for an emotional uplift because you are going to need it after BV).

missjunebug’s bottom Valentine line is it’s all about LOVE.

So how do we fall back into LOVE if our Sweetie Pies (MrJB for mjb) have been with us for 30+ years??? missjunebug has done thousands and thousands of loads of laundry, washing the Jockey t-shirts and underwear (eww: skid marks!) of her SP about a kagillion times, fixed countless sometimes-inspired meals, (sometimes not), made the bed every morning (or at least her half of the bed, because mjb must admit, her SP makes his half–thanks Mr.JB), planned social outings because somehow that task falls to her most of the time, and even set the queue for their streaming evening entertainment (no more WWII movies puhleeze, Mr.JB; missjunebug is currently partial to French subtitled rom-coms, a cut above the American ones–except for any American-made rom-com with her guilty crush AplusK. (sigh). Sorry Demi, you did the one thing that can’t be allowed a woman in Hollywood married to a (much) younger man: you got old. missjunebug so does not envy you this V-Day.

But missjunebug digresses. How to get the LOVE back into a mature marriage? That is the V-Day question. And here are missjunebug’s super practical, maybe no-fail mjbTips to help you just do it. After all, LOVE is a verb, an action, (mjb’s Master’s in English pays off big time) and that will make all the difference.

1. Say a prayer every night thanking God for your man. missjunebug has a dear friend who recently lost hers and believe mjb when she says that is NO picnic. Her dear friend is shouldering on, but the thing is, she no longer has a solid, manly man shoulder to lean on. Think about that the next time you start mentally nagging your SP. At least he is THERE to listen to your nagging if you have the temerity to vocalize it. mjb advice: Stifle the nagging. It is a guaranteed marriage and romance buzzkill. Don’t ever, ever go there. A) It doesn’t work. B) It’s rude as well as unkind and (mostly) unwarranted. and C) It doesn’t work. You’re a smart cookie. Figure out a way to politely cajole or do the damn thing yourself that has to get done…remember LOVE is also a verb, not just a noun. Okay, so say that prayer of gratitude to soften you naggy attitude. You won’t regret it, and God and your help-meet with appreciate it. Guaranteed.

2. Be happy to plan the social outings. You know all your girlfriends are having to do the same thing, too, so have some fun with it and double date or triple date. mjb has two dear friends + hubs that she and her Mr.JB celebrate New Year’s Eve with every year. No better place to be than in one of their homes, drinking champagne (or martinis–triple olives, please), and popping Poppers when the clock strikes twelve and poor old Dick Clark gets rolled out again on his taxidermy stand to wish us all a Happy New Year‘s. Fun times x 6!!! So bust out that calendar, email, text, tweet, or call your married friends or solid single friends–don’t invite problems with unattached women you can’t trust–because our silver fox men are looking better and wealthier every year! True dat. And make some fun plans to do something, anything that shakes up the routine a bit. A movie, a dinner and a movie, a museum date, a local play, a music experience, a quick stroll around the outlet malls (okay, maybe not so quick), a walk along the beach or in your own neighborhood! Many, many fun things to do if  you’re willing to make the initial move. Just do it!

3. Praise your husband to your children. You loved ’em and nurtured ’em unconditionally, but your SP taught them how to be wonderful men and women. ElderJB and TinyJB don’t spend much time referencing what they learned from their mom missjunebug, but you can bet Mr.JB gets mentioned repeatedly in sentences that begin: I remember Dad said… I remember Dad did this.. I remember everything I every learned from Dad and just now I’m beginning to appreciate his profound wisdom as a man, husband, father, friend, breadwinner, spiritual leader, and all round great and ethical human being. So say ElderJB and TinyJB. So says missjunebug. So say we all.

4. Keep buying you SP’s wardrobe and sending those shirts to the cleaners-you know you’ll never get around to ironing all of them so don’t kid yourself! Keep your man well-clothed and encourage the occasional haircut, eyebrow trim, and nose and ear ream-out. Speaking of ream-outs. Get him in for his colonoscopy asap if he hasn’t had one yet! This kind of maintenance is absolutely essential for a full and fun second half of life. And throw in a physical with a good internist while you are at it. Encourage good grooming and exercise to maintain your SP in tip-top shape. Who benefits? He does, of course. But so do you!

5. Feed you man according to the Michael Pollan/Mark Bittman plan. Food does matter so “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” And throw in a little red wine for good measure. One of mjb and Mr.JB’s faves? Monogamy Cabernet Sauvignon featured on a previous mjb blog post! But choose his fave and you can’t go wrong. Cheers!

Are there other tips? Keep things interesting in the bedroom. A little lovely lacey and racey lingerie never hurt (missjunebug must try this herself sometime!). Surprise him every once in a while with an interesting story, an amusing anecdote, or just a line or two from the newspaper you can quote to him. Have both of you listen to NPR together in the morning as you prepare for your day…lots of good stories to talk and debate about that are always in the news. Listen to Marketplace.org for some fun and scary facts about our economy! Our local NPR station KCLU 88.3 has the best local coverage, too, for Ventura County so you get triple benefit with news, weather, and traffic reports. This year Mr.JB and mjb donated some funds and received excellent seats to see Yo Yo Ma, master cellist, up in Santa Barbara in April. What a great cause to support and what a great gift in return! Thanks KCLU and program director Mary Olsen. Sweet x 88.3.

Other mjbTips? Just love him up before he leaves the house with a big hug and love him up with a big hug when he comes home. It’s rough out there, and our SPs are not getting any younger, better maybe, but not younger. Somehow what they’re up against, is younger, faster, hipper, and much more technologically expert, so fortify them with hugs infused with LOVE and encouragement.

Are you back in love with your SP yet? No? Okay, then think of all the reasons you married him in the first place, and yeah, you picked him!! That’s a really good thing to remember!

Is he sweet? funny? kind? adventurous? smart? capable? loving? spiritual? giving? cute? handsome? (lucky you! But missjunebug will take intelligence over looks any day of the week and twice on Sundays! just mjb’s pref.) or all of the above? (even luckier you!). In other words, remember why you fell in love with him and want to be in love with him again. It’s all still there, you just have to take the time to discover it again.

And remember what Rhianna wisely sings, “I found love in a hopeless place…I found love in a hope-less place.”

You can too! Now go give your man a big Valentine’s Eve hug and an even bigger one tomorrow!





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Dancing on the Grave at Borders

Everything Must Go! Photo by mjb2011
Everything Must Go! Photo by mjb2011

So missjunebug did something today she usually doesn’t do. She went to a store- closing-forever sale. It was the Border’s Bookstore Everything-Must-Go!-Slashing-Prices-All-Over-the-Store-30%!-40%!- Yes! Even-50%-Off Sale!!!! One town over from where missjunebug lives, this bookstore had a prime location a few doors down from one of missjunebug’s fav’s, a Nordstrom Rack and close by a Cost Plus World Market and an Old Navy. Despite being in a high traffic center, Borders just couldn’t hold on here. Of course, Border’s has a much larger, sadder story now: 200 stores closing and bankruptcy proceedings ensuing. Bummer Deluxe x 10.

missjunebug is the first to admit she has no doubt contributed to Border’s problems, with her move to Kindle via her Amazon account and the occasional iBook purchase on her iPad. Still, to lose a bookstore is never a good thing (unless of course you are one of Border’s creditors). For missjunebug, a trip to the bookstore was always rife with possibilities: a new self-help book that promised to remake her; a shiny, bright cookbook offering up new recipes for magical meals to stir up in her kitchen for Mr.JB; a riveting mystery, perhaps a P.D. James or a Christie she’d missed; or, best of all, a travel book that promised to open up a whole new world to her.

Walking up and down the aisles, taking a book from the shelf to scan a back cover or peruse a table of contents has to be one of the great simple pleasures in life. Maybe she’d buy the book or re-shelve it. Maybe she’d move on to the next aisle and the next set of books and possibilities that stretched all the way to the back wall of her imagination. She knew eventually she’d find the book she was looking for. It was always with the thought that this was the book that would change her life. And she was never wrong about that because that is exactly what books do.

But one town over from where missjunebug lives a little less of that will be going on. Sometime in April this Borders’s store will be no more. Of course, things change, stores come and go, but the shuttering of a book store seems sad, sad, sad to missjunebug.

Still, that didn’t stop her from delighting in the Everything Must Go Sale and giddily scooping up some terrific titles deeply discounted. In her little bugheart, she knows she’s the problem here, preferring to shop online most days from the convenience of her kitchen counter instead of venturing out to her local bookstores on a regular basis. She and other savvy online shoppers reap the cheap, but suffer the whirlwind of loss as well. Heraclitus said it this way, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” True Dat. Bookstores will never be the same because of e-books, internet, and online access, and maybe someday bookstores will never be at all. For her semi-local Border’s Books it’s a fait accompli and missjunebug is one of the accomplices.

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Ashton! Say It Ain’t So!

Ashton Kutcher greets 2nd Security Forces Squa...
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug has a not-so-secret crush on Ashton Kutcher. She loves his funny and yes, puerile, movies, especially that one that takes place in Vegas with Cameron D. She liked Assassins, too, watching it on her iPad during a recent flight to Chicago Midway on Southwest Airlines. What a fun way to while away flight time!

missjunebug is proud of Ashton (and his better half Demi) for giving back in a variety of enterprises, donating their considerable money and time to make the planet a better place. So when she started hearing those salacious rumors about his extracurriculars on those deplorable celebrity status shows like Excess Hollywood, she just didn’t want to believe it could possibly be true. So Ashton, please say it ain’t so. missjunebug’s heart will break if you and Demi go the way of so many celebrity marriages. You gave hope to women of a certain age everywhere! Keep the hope alive and be good and faithful to Demi!

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Keep Your Friends Close, Your Family Closer

missjunebug is facing some pretty serious challenges lately that she will not bore you with in this little blog. She’s doing her best to deal with them one at a time even though sometimes it feels like they are coming at her like a tsunami–the big quake, then the deluge. Where’s her life preserver????

The answer to that non-rhetorical question is this: Family and Friends.

During this daunting period in missjunebug’s life she has had the most amazing support of family and friends. Where does she start? The sympathy cards. The get well cards. The beautiful flowers. The handmade bath soaps. The delicious soups: chicken veggie, lentil, and pisole. Yum. The Costco drink run. The good wishes candles: one for each month of the year, each with a little treasure inside! The drives to the doctor when missjunebug wasn’t fit to operate machinery. The dark chocolate hearts…so sweet! The bags of Munchos! Love ’em. What else? Emails of concern, calls of loving inquiry, conversations of concern, prayers of healing and protection.

missjunebug knows her family and friends will recognize themselves in her little summary of support. She wants to express her deepest appreciation for all the ways, large and small, they have buoyed her up in troubled waters.

Thanks and thanks again. Love, missjunebug

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Perfection Wasted

Blessing to you, JBDad, from your missjunebug. Photo by mjb2010
Blessing to you, JBDad, from your missjunebug. Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug is borrowing a title from a really fine poem by John Updike for her little blog today. The perfection she refers to is her very own JBDad who recently passed away.

missjunebug has written previously about the angst she and brother experienced when searching for a care home for their Alzheimer’s-afflicted dad. After the initial move, things went pretty well for a while but the inevitable and tragic eventually happened in a series of falls that revealed their dad required more care than the facility they had chosen provided. So much for quality of life issues in the golden years.

Skilled nursing became the order of the day and with the hard work of her JBBro, the JBDad received the round the clock attention he needed and deserved at an excellent care facility that met all the needs of their dear dad. Still that did not ameliorate the devastating news the doctor revealed: final stage Alzheimers was the unexpected verdict.

Is it an axiom of life that we think there is always more time than there actually is? Maybe.

The downhill to death was speedy and unexpected. missjunebug did not even make it back in time to say her goodbyes, but her dear, dear JBBro stood vigil until the last breath of their dear JBDad.

88 years. One fabulous marriage. Two pretty decent kids. Four awesome grandkids. Two spectacular great grandkids. His own successful business. A quirky and close extended family. A strong bond to his Czech heritage. Extraordinary backyard barbeque skills. Debonair Dancer. Good Friend. Fine Fisherman. Lapsed Catholic. Cussing Master. Loner. Laugher. Lover of Life.

Now reunited with his lovely JBMarie, dancing to the sweet strains of Sentimental Journey.

missjunebug will never stop missing you, dear JBDad.

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