Archive | January, 2009

Still Alice

20 Jan


Still Alice is a remarkable love story not only between a man and woman, but also between a mother and her children.

Dr. Alice Howland, a Harvard professor of psychology, develops early-onset Alzheimer’s disease while she is at the pinnacle of her career.  Slowly Alice watches her mind unravel and she loses lifelong connections with her colleagues, family, and friends.

This book is unique because Alice tells her own story from the perspective of an Alzheimer’s patient.

Lisa Genova, the author of Still Alice, holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University.  Her mastery of the science of Alzheimer’s provides a realistic picture of the disease and the rampage it leaves in its’ wake.  Lisa’s compassion shows us the inner turmoil caused by Alzheimer’s and the heartache of family as they watch Alice slowly fade like distant music blowing away on a breeze.  Lisa Genova writes her heart within the words of each page.

My heart broke as I read Still Alice – its’ pages were christened with my tears.  I now have a better understanding of the disease and a better understanding of my grandmother.  Still Alice is a story that must be told and a story we must hear.

Lisa Genova is not only a doctor of neuroscience and a novelist, but she’s an amazingly kind person.  Her own grandmother’s life was stripped naked by this harrowing disease.  She is a woman of great success and yet she took a moment to read my small tribute to my grandmother.

You won’t regret reading this book.

Fire Ignites On The Domestic Fringe

19 Jan

“We’re shaken and slightly hungry, but thankful to have caught it early.”  Said FringeGirl shortly after evacuating her home.

A small oven fire ignited Saturday morning at One Friendly Fringe Lane.  Flames burst into existence during the preheat cycle of the FringeFamily’s oven filling their house with smoke.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation; however, firefighters believe an overstuffed turkey pot-pie was the culprit. 

Reports of turkeypot-pies leaving grease stains on oven floors have been prevelent since November.  A fireman was overheard mumbling something about the great turkey explosion of 2006.  Apparently the fire department has a counseling unit devoted to post-holiday stress caused in part by too many turkey fires.

No injuries were reported and FringeGirl is confident her oven survived unscathed.  Oriana, the FringePup, is being treated for smoke inhalation. 

Promising to use the self-clean option more than once a year, FringeGirl thanked local fire-fighters and promised cinnamon rolls made by Feona.


Late developing statistics show FringeGirl’s “good cooking cycle” to be officially ended.


The Domestic Gazette

Enlightened By A 3rd. Grader

18 Jan

On our way to the bookstore Friday night, my son tells us that a nose is like a third eye.  We can even detect vibrations through it.

Wow!  Is this a new scientific breakthrough?  Where have I been that I hadn’t heard.  A third eye – I need all the eyes I can get.  The only drawback is I’d need yet another pair of glasses.

“Where did you hear that?”  I asked genuinely curious.

FringeBoy was on the immediate defense.  He doesn’t appreciate my questioning his knowledge.  He’s sure he knows more than FringeMan and myself combined. 

“Alli.”  With that one word, he leaked his source and admitted defeat.

With a chuckle building from deep within, FringeMan asked, “Is this the same kid who told you girls have three butts?”

I could no longer contain my laughter.  Three butts and a vibration sensing third eye.  I truly feel as though I have it all!

I love my slightly gullible FringeBoy.  I’ll not let him read this post and spare his ego.

To be knowledgeable one must never cease to learn.

Age, Grace, & Grays…not particularly in that order

17 Jan

For me, growing old gracefully means I embrace the maturation of body, mind, and soul.  I don’t borrow my daughter’s clothes and I’ve updated my wardrobe in the last decade.  HOWEVER, it does NOT mean that I don’t, on occasion, lie about my age.  I still buy a shirt or dress from the junior’s department, but only if it’s a super sale and doesn’t make me look 14.  

Truth be told, I think I’m a better woman with a few years of joy, heartache, and experience on my side.  I just don’t want my gray hairs to represent my journey through life.  I’m not a tree and I don’t want anybody counting my rings or grays for that matter.

I knew it was time to change the hair when my daughter asked me a very earnest question over an after school snack.  She leaned over her chair and looked into my eyes with all the seriousness a barely seven year can muster.  Between licks of an Oreo, she asked “Were you one of the woman who sewed America’s first flag?”

“Why FringeKid, my darling child, I only developed my sewing skills after the last stitch in that flag was completed.”  Thankfully she’s my own flesh and blood or I may have flogged her for that question.

Just a few days later FringeSoldier, my brother-in-law, popped in for a visit.  As we laughed and joked across the table, he squinted, his eyes focusing in on my head.  “What?”  I asked knowing I really didn’t want to hear.

“Nothing.”  He said.  “It’s just that you’ve gotten a lot of grays.”

How he strings a line of girls across our great nation I’ll never understand.  I immediately called and made an appointment to have my hair highlighted.  My grays can still be camouflaged by highlights.


First I got a haircut.  I thought bangs would be different, fresh, and youthful.  My stylist likes me because I let her do what she thinks best.  I don’t do this with all people wielding a pair of scissors.  I’ve learned my lesson with one BAD HAIRCUT too many.  If you haven’t read about my bad haircut, click  HERE.


Next I got color.  Me, lighter and brighter…no grays.  In real life and light the blond is slightly shocking.  color3

Only stripes!  Old people don’t wear stripes on their head, do they?


FringeMan now lovingly calls me “Stripe”.  It’s the price I pay to stay youthful.

Are you aging gracefully?

What does that even mean to you? 

Watching Them Sweat Is Hard Work

16 Jan

 Exercise - Welcome To America Demotivational Poster
Motivational Pictures

Since I haven’t gotten any exercise since my last dream, I figured my legs needed a workout.  After all jiggling is only fashionable when it comes to jello.  I don’t want anyone to mistake me for a life size jello jiggler.  FringeMan might get jealous if random people start poking me.

So, I hauled my lazy butt off the couch and into the gym.  I’m taking it slow.  Last week I sat in the parking lot.  Today I moved into the gym and cozied up with a magazine.  I hadn’t been to the gym in so long I couldn’t find my card.  It probably went to live in someone else’s wallet where it can see the light of day once in a while.

After being assulted by the smell of sweat and reprimanded by the guy behind the desk (No card), I remembered why it is that I hate exercise; however, I do love the gym.  So many personalities get corralled in one room that things are bound to get interesting.   Legs are racing, hearts are pumping, and arms are hanging onto machines for dear life.

Apparently when a middle-aged woman’s heart rate reaches 140 bpm’s, all inhibitions flee.  The soon to be divorced gym owner/operator hasn’t even emptied his drawer of boxers (his wife’s getting the house) and he’s got women hanging from him like candy canes hung from my Christmas tree.  It amazed me how many reasons there are for a woman to hug an eligible man.

He was comforted I’m sure.

Have you ever seen a skeleton sweat? 

I have.  Yes-sir-ee.  

One of my favorite characters is a real live female skeleton .  I’m sure she’s fat.  Her scale told her so just this morning and again when she got to the gym and it will be waiting to remind her when she’s finished her workout.  Bones poke out in a directions as she runs until the treadmill whines in protest.  When the treadmill needs a break, she hops on the stairmaster.  I’m convinced this skeleton will run right into her grave.   It bothers me.  I feel as though I should donate cellulite, muscle, and FOOD.

I pondered the fact that a group of intelligent adults will congregate, sweat together, undress in front of each other, and allow fitness “trainers” to gauge their fat. 

What is happening to our species?

I’ll share my thoughts in another post or this could go on indefinitely. 

You’re welcome.

P.S.  Thank you all for commenting on yesterday’s post.  I enjoyed meeting all you lurkers who were brave enough to come forward.  It enabled me to connect with a new bloggy friend from Maine and read some awesome posts written by YOU.  So, I say thanks.

The Mysterious Onlooker

15 Jan

Each day I divulge the secrets of who I am, who I love, and who I’ve lost.  I make my mother blush and my husband cringe.  I treat you as friends.  We walk hand-in-hand on the domestic fringe, even if for just a moment. 

I wait with anticipation for your comments; you are witty and wise.  Some read my words and others race away in fear.  Still more scan quickly for photos.  I imagine many are  intimidated by abundant spelling errors. 

I am drawn to the domestic fringe because I need to write, to entertain, and to chat over a cup of coffee.  Hey, if coffee’s not your thing, I’ll serve tea…just let me know.

I feel bonded to the friends I’ve made in Bloggersphere.  You’ve made me laugh and cry.  You’ve shared your recipes, your parenting tips, and your encouragement.  You’ve offered advice on writing.  You’ve awarded my attempts at humor.  You are the reason I blog.

Because I can be compulsory, I look at my stats each day.  I secretly hope to beat my record ”high”.  The numbers constantly amaze me.  You ARE reading! 

Most of you lurk in the shadows, laughing under-breath.  Perhaps you’re are too shy to comment.  It’s driving me mad, I NEED TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE! 

You’re like a mysterious peeper.  I’d like hear from you…to catch a glimpse of your face.  If you’ve visited the domestic fringe, and obviously you have if you’re reading this post, then leave me a comment please.  Let me know how you found the domestic fringe.  Did you come by a link on another blog?  Where you referred?  

I give cash back awards for referrals.


The secretary at the department of motor vehicles knows more about you than I do…tell me something.  I told you that I left a pair of panties in my car.  I told you that I failed a psychiatric test.  I showed you my squash!

Please introduce yourself.  I’d love to make your acquaintance. 

See, I can even be polite when the situation requires it.  Press the little comment button and say HI! 

I’ll be waiting…I’m holding my breath, so hurry.

A Mother’s Propensity For Violence

14 Jan


The Doctor Says…

13 Jan

I sat in the waiting area (it wasn’t exactly a waiting “room” since this technically wasn’t a “Dr.’s” office) picking frantically at the cuticle around my pinkie finger - a wretched habit I’d inherited from my mother.  How could I have failed?  They told me to answer honestly and that’s precisely what I did after reading each concocted scenario.  The situations were completely contrived and I could hardly imagine myself as one of the characters.

Drips of red trickled down my pinkie and I fished in my pockets for a tissue.  Locating that tissue was harder than catching a hungry fish with my leftover chicken nuggets hooked on the end of a fishing line.  Popping my bleeding finger into my mouth, I went in search of a box of tissues.  If tissues should be stocked anywhere, it should be this office.

I again sat and waited, this time with my pinky unceremoniously wrapped in white.  I knew I was going to lose my job over this mistake.  I couldn’t comprehend being fired, let alone from my first real post-college job.  It’s not that I’m such a fabulous person, but I know how to work and I enjoy the perks of being employee of the month.   

Pride would not allow my mind to continue this direction of thought.  I would not be fired for failing a psychological test.  The potential embarresment was unthinkable, not to mention the jokes my family would tell for eternity.

My nervous energy turned to curiosity as the “Doctor” stepped from his office and beckoned me into the inner sanctum of mind control.  I’d never been in a shrink’s office and actually perked at the possibilities this visit held.  I always wanted someone to sit and listen to me without belittling me, poking fun, or telling me to shut-up.  I held a great desire to lounge on a couch while I regurgitated the past twenty-one years of my life. 

Disappointment was quick and cutting – no couch.  My visit was going downhill fast.

After a casual greeting and perusal of my file (I had a file!  That alone made me feel important.), the fatherly looking gentleman with the outdated glasses asked me why I thought I failed the psychological test.

The story of my mother dropping me as a baby popped into my head along with a million other scenes from my childhood, school days, and college experience.  Should I start at the beginning?  How much time did I have in my meter? 

I heard the desk clock tick.  That’s a sound you only hear under extremely difficult circumstances.  Clocks tick away in silence until the earth is about to shatter underfoot.  Suddenly they become sirens of doom clicking away the final seconds of life as you know it.

“I really don’t know why I failed.  I just answered the questions honestly.” 

Did four years of college really not prepare me to give an educated answer to a simple question?  Apparently not.

There’s no telling what secrets I revealed that afternoon.  My lips were loosed and I was ready to pour my life into the good doctors hands like a waitress pours a bottomless cup of coffee.  After our short dialogue, the doctor cocked his head and look at me inquisitively.

“Have you had a head injury recently?”  He inquired.

Sparks of light flamed in my brown eyes and I became alive with excitement.  How could he know?  I thought he was a shrink, not a fortune teller.  Perhaps the jobs are not so different? 

“I was in a car accident last week.  I ran straight into a tree, totaled my car, and bashed my head on the steering wheel.  Don’t worry, I just had a little lump.”  My words stumbled over each other in a race to the finish line.

Nodding in confirmation of his suspicion, the doctor determined that my failing grade was due to the head injury sustained just a few short days ago.  I’d be fine in a week or two.

“Fine in a week or two!”  I nearly jumped from my seat.

“I’m fine now and I was FINE when I took that test.  If you give me that test in two more weeks, I’ll answer the questions the same way.”  I argued.

I don’t think it’s wise to argue with a psychologist.  They are cunning enough to make you think they’ve won.

Case closed in his book.  His signature guaranteed continued employment for me, it confirmed my sanity, and it should have made me happy; however, my self-esteem was permanently damaged that day.  Imagine someone thinking that I was not ok because I bumped my head.  If that were the case, most of my childhood would have been lived in an fog of temporary insanity.

Somehow I blew my one chance to reveal my inner-self, share my woes, and spill my guts.   That doctor missed out on many good stories.  He should read my blog.  I lie on my couch as I write these posts – a cold compress across my forehead and a box of tissues nearby. 

I banged my head on the medicine cabinet while cleaning the bathroom yesterday.  There’s no telling what I may do in the next week.  Thank God I don’t have any tests to take!

Retro T-Set For Sale

12 Jan

tset1I went to the hospital this morning to visit someone from our church.  I had to muster all my courage to press the round “3″ button until it glowed. 

For me, entering a hospital is much like walking into a haunted house in the amusement park.  Darkness blinds me and there are ghosts and goblins lurking around each corner waiting to scream in my face, breath their spooky breath on my neck, or simply lay a hand on my arm.  Just replace the spooks with germs and you’ve Any Hospital USA. 

On the way out I bathed in Purell hand sanitizer.  The doorman offered me a towel and robe, but I didn’t trust that it was germ free.  Even hospitals knowhow bad they are for your health.  They’ve installed Purell dispensers in prime locations.  It didn’t help my paranoia any when the door I entered was plastered with a big yellow caution sign alerting visitors to wash their hands upon entering.  After checking with a nurse, I was informed that the important part was to wash my hands after EXITING. 

Nurses know how to calm my fears. 

ANYWAY, to reward my bravery I stopped in the hospital’s thrift store.  It’s a free-standing building, so I don’t feel threatened that it’s within walking distance to the hot house for germs.  I found this wonderfully retro tea set and it was such a bargain that I couldn’t pass it up.

The unfortunate part is that I have no room for it myself; however, I’d like to see it go to a family who appreciates fine junk.  Anybody interested?  If not, I’m going to list it on Ebay.


The complete set is comprised of one teapot, a sugar and creamer set, and 6 mugs.  It’s so cute!  Nice and bright too.  The perfect accent for a dreary winter kitchen.


All pieces are in good shape.  I don’t see any chips.  I can’t find any markings on the bottom to indicate age or origin.


The tops of the teapot and creamer are my favorite.  The little yellow spot makes me smile. 

FringeBoy’s opinion is that I need to keep this set, but I’m really not into clutter and I’m afraid this set would push me into the realm of too much stuff.

If you’re interested, send me an email @

Have a happy day!

Abundant Word Awards

11 Jan
I received a few awards over the last month, but with the holidays, FringeKid’s birthday, and the New Year, I just delayed passing them around.  Now it’s time to get back to business. 
I think it’s really special to have received these awards.  It’s nice to know people, however few or many you are, enjoy my blog.  I appreciate your giving me these little pats on the back and a spotlight on your home turf.
This first award is from Mamma Belle over at The Bayou Belles and Their Beau.  When I first looked at the award I thought it said Honest Crap.  Although I think “Honest Crap” is fitting for the domestic fringe, it’s really Honest Scrap.  I’m still trying to figure it out.  My brain is a little lethargic today; it’s snowing.
RULES:  Tell 10 honest things about yourself, Nominate 7 brilliant people for this award
10 HONEST THINGS?  I give you honest things everyday.  I’m not sure you why you’d want more, but here goes…more crap or scrap…whatever.
1. While in college, I got hired by a company to go door to door selling knives.  That job lasted for one day.  It took my father that long to figure out what I was doing and forbid me to return to work.  He made me call and quit in his presence.  I was crushed.  I was actually excited about this job and was determined to arm each household in New York with a new set of sharp knives.
2.  I have stood around Wal-Mart all day in a hair net giving out cheese samples for $10 an hour.  Obviously, I have no shame.  I enjoyed this job because I had some of the most interesting conversations with complete strangers.
3.  I worked for New York State in a Nuclear Power Plant.  This was my first “real” job…post college job that actually paid well and had vacation and sick time.  Because of this, we don’t need to use lights in our house.  I glow.
4.  I once lost my car in a snow drift.  I guess I’m lucky.  It could have been a child.
5.  Somebody spit in my hair while I climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.  Seagulls pooping on your head may be good luck, but people spitting in your hair is not.
6.  I was once stuck in an elevator in The Empire State Building.  I no longer recommend taking the elevator.
7.  While in flight, my airplane hit a flock of birds and needed to make an emergency landing.  It destroyed the engine and we needed a new plane.
8.  I once failed a written psychological test needed for employment (at the Nuclear Power Plant), but was later deemed sane by their psychologist.  It must have been a mistake…the test part, not the sanity part.
9.  I have a fear of fire and heights.  I’d need sedatives if I were in a burning airplane.
10.  I didn’t know what a subdivision was until I went to college.  That’s what happens when you live in the city.  You have neighborhoods, streets, and projects, but no subdivisions.
Whew!  I made it to ten.  It’s tough to think under all that pressure. 

I’M GOING TO BREAK THE RULES A LITTLE BIT…shhhh, don’t tell the bloggy police.  I’m going to list some great blogs at the end of this post.  I hope you’ll check them out.

awardThis award is given to bloggers who write about real life.  Janna from Something She Wrote awarded me this honor.  You should read her blog.  She’s a real writer and a good one too.  I write about real life because I’m not savvy enough to make stuff up.  I think I’m just stuck being real.  I’m not aware of any rules for this award, so I’ll spare you any more of my life’s details.


This lemonade award is from Straight Shooter.  I’m not sure if I’ve received this because I can turn lemons into lemonade, or if it’s because I’m so sour I should add some sugar to my blog.  Either way, I love lemonade.  A lemonade stand was my first job.  It also makes me think of summer and I do miss summer.  Thank you Straight Shooter for thinking of me.

I now bestow the honor of these awards to following blogs:

Honest Scrap

Kelly Ferreira Photography - her pictures are brilliant.  Go see the picture of my niece on her header.  It’s SO CUTE!

Derfwad Manor - her brilliance is revealed in her creativity.

The Cherry Blossom Girl - she’s got great style.  Her brilliance is reflected in the simplicity of her person.

Woman in a Window - I know I’ve mentioned her before, but you really must go read her blog.  Her brilliance is evident in her words.

Sara’s Art House - We can see Sara’s brilliance in her art.

The Texas Woman - Her brilliance spattered through each chapter of her online novel Shuffle.  Go read it!

Primitques ‘n Poetry - Mindy brilliantly works with all things old and abandoned.  She turns these cast-offs into lovely treasures.  I enjoy her pictures and her sweet spirit.

The Marie Antionette Award

Life In The Parsonage - She makes real life fun and interesting.

My Messy, Thrilling Life - In this blog, sweetness shines through real life struggles.

 *  Dust Bunny Hostage - I’ve only recently discovered this blog, but I’m enjoying it.

The Lemonade Award

Portugal Bound - Since my father lives in Portugal and Nina is living in Portugal, we’ve got a common connection.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know her these last months.  Nina is one of those people who can definitely turn a batch of lemons into a refreshing sweet drink.

No Whining Allowed - The name of her blog says it all. 

There’s lots of good reading in these blogs, so put your feet up, relax, and enjoy!



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