MAC this….

imageThey say a comfort zone is a nice place to live but nothing grows there…I have been in computer hell for the last three weeks.  My saving grace is fleeing the world of Windows and joining the Mac world, or so I thought.

My Macbook Pro arrived on Friday, I was “waiting-for-my-secret-decoder-ring” excited.  Open it up and it is beautiful and light and the screen has just the most amazing resolution that it takes your breath away. Let us begin, how hard could it be, I’ve got an iPhone, I’ve got a iPad mini, I’m Apple literate.  Not so fast…what the hell is this?

imageI shoot off a text to my Apple Guru and he says power cord…there is nowhere on this super slim machine to plug in anything that looks like the end of that cord.  Nothing.  Seems the adapter comes apart and that end slips into the adapter after you pull off the prongs for plugging in the adapter…stay with me here.  I had just had a fit about Apple being so damn high and mighty making the adapter too big for the power strip and lo and behold it turns out they are genius…pun intended. Did I mention I’m a PC girl for the last 35 years?

Ok now I’m ready. Let’s start with email…not so fast, what do you mean you can’t connect to the server?  My iPhone is connecting to the server, my iPad is connecting to the server…In the interest of saving my sanity and this brand new shiny Mac, I pour a glass of red, had dinner with my sister and went to bed.

Day two brings me to the Apple store where all the kids know everything there is and I’m set up with Russell who is patient and fabulous and hooks me up, email in place, here are a few tricks to keep you out of trouble and I’m on my way.  I get home and not so fast, why are these emails from three years ago?  In the interest of saving my sanity and this brand new shiny Mac, I pour a glass of red and park my ass outside the enchanted forest on the deck.

Today I decide to act like a child/use my beginner’s mind and just be with the Mac, we will have an understanding by the end of the day.  And so I begin, one step at a time, deleting email and adding them back, downloading the programs that are dear to me, essential to my work and future, dropbox, photoshop, up to google to learn how to set up my Mac so that my images open directly into Photoshop…oh I’m gettin this.  By the end of the day when my Apple Guru checks back in I can say with confidence that it’s going to take me a minute or two but I’ll be fine.



I spent a minute or two, a bottle of wine and several cups of coffee over the last three days beating myself up for not being like those little kids that can open the box and be up and running.  Did I mention I’ve been a Windows girl for the last thirty five years?  I come with context and experience and expertise from a whole another operating system, those darling kids do NOT.  The irony is not lost on me that my personal operating system may have been a bit…something, and it too is being tweaked over and over again.  But true to my core I will practice slinky syndrome over the next several weeks, poking in and backing out, asking a million questions, living on google until I really see how this baby works. Hopefully it will NOT turn out like the many slinkys I tried to figure out.  To the future….stay tuned, stick close Guru.



Remember Me?

ellie and doris

That was the subject line of a recent email I sent to two someones I missed very much.  I missed them because I had lost touch over a period of several years but I never lost them in my heart.  This was not a friend breakup, this was neglect.

From the email:  I’m reminded every year on Doris’ birthday that I haven’t spoken or seen you two in a very long time.  And because of that I usually become paralyzed at what I might find, or not find, if I dial the phone.  I am entirely at fault for letting life get in the way even though life has been very very good.  Busy shouldn’t ever be an excuse, I’m a late learner on that one but I’m coming around.

Continued from the email:  Just wanted to let you know that I think of you both very often and miss you.  Let me know all is well, or all is not, and I’ll be back in touch.  Know that you’re on my mind more than you think.

And so you sit with your finger hovering over the send button.  Doris is in her late 80’s, I have no idea how old Ellie is but we are contemporaries. The what ifs come and the shouldas come and the wouldas come but you won’t ever know unless you hit send.  And so I hit send.  And I hope that these two women will find it in their hearts to take me in again.  They took me in once before over a decade ago when life was difficult and there was school and an internship and and and. We hit it off famously and worked side by side for several years as volunteer counselors, Ellie was the boss we used to joke. They understood difficult lives either through their own or the clients they assisted which made for easy conversation and comfortable silences when they occurred.  I learned from them, I enjoyed them, I cherished them.  I was scared to death waiting, hoping for a reply, hoping for a positive response.

Well well well. LoConti is alive! came the response the next day.  Yes I deserved that but that was the only tiny little swipe and I know I deserved more.  I bit more advanced insight to our Doris’ life and plans were made for lunch in a few days.

So there we were at our favorite diner, ordering off the old familiar menu…we knew Doris would have the omelet with french fries and all seemed right with the world.  Catching up on what’s happened in their lives over the last several years tore at my heart, because I wasn’t around and because it was difficult for them and I should have been.  Not that I could have done much more than make meals for the freezer or just make them laugh with one of my zillion stories but I could have done just that.

These are gracious women who put others ahead of themselves.  These are women of substance and grace that I’ve looked up to and who have looked up to me on occasion.  I’m letting go of the coulda shoulda wouldas and starting from where we are which was a very comfortable and amusing place by the end of our lunch.

Ellie said it was brave of me to take the chance sending the email, maybe it was but I can’t help thinking it was really an easy way out because either way I’d know.  If you find yourself in this situation I truly hope you will do the same.  If there are people who you’ve lost touch with that you care about please take the chance, the not knowing is not conducive to a wonderful life.  You may be disappointed but you will know. Or, like me, you will know like you know that part of your life is intact and part of your legacy is being shared by two wonderful and easily forgiving women.  Hit send…


To Grandmother’s House We Go…


When I get to be 85 I want you to remind me what a pain in the ass my mother was and perhaps that will help me snap out of whatever craziness I’m going through.

Let me start by saying, I am a father’s daughter, my relationship with my mother is evolving…even a decade later.  I’ve learned a lot from her, especially what not to do, but some of it is incredibly valuable.  Like drinking Amaretto at breakfast, just sayin.

I have been broaching the subject of bringing the dogs on Sunday mornings for, oh five years, but she insists that I don’t, so I didn’t. There are two main reasons why, first the housing authority doesn’t allow tenants to own dogs unless they are service dogs and second there is some left over resentment about something himself did, TEN YEARS AGO.

People of my mother’s generation are steadfast in their rule following, they don’t waver.  People of my generation broke damn near every rule and somehow the earth didn’t open up and swallow us.  My argument; the dogs don’t live here they are just visiting.  Her argument; but what if someone sees them, they will throw me out and I will be homeless…really? Homeless?  While the guys are cursing and smoking in the screened in standalone porch out back and the people on the fifth floor got caught jamming a few extra people into their apartment, you’re going to be homeless because the dogs come to visit?  I let it go, several times…

Himself once brought Tootsie with him when he came down to see my mother about something or other.  Tootsie was barely out of puppy stage and himself was in a bit of a hurry to get out and back to his…other preoccupation.  So needless to say he didn’t follow the golden rule of bringing a puppy somewhere new by first making sure she was absolutely positively empty..if you know what I mean.  In she came, over to a particular corner of the room she went and well she went…as in solid went.  My mother was furious but out of the other side of her mouth she laughs about never having seen himself move so fast.  So for the next ten years she told the story and forbid me bringing the dogs.  I let it go, several times…

Fast forward a decade and the universe began to conspire with me.  Steps were becoming an issue for Mom so she was going to have to think twice about coming to my house, going any further than the mail box or a doctor visit was no longer appealing to her and then her Lina died.  Her Lina. That little shit of a pit bull left her earlier this year and she took it pretty hard.  So I ever so casually asked if I could bring poor Toto over to see Gramma.  I’m not exactly sure she said yes, but she didn’t say no…my generation loves a good loophole.

For the last several weeks Toti Nonna has been visiting Gramma on Sunday morning.  Gramma puts out a water bowl in the kitchen and has a little Tupperware full of treats.  I allow her to give only three because Toti Nonna is getting too damn fat…they put their heads together about just how mean I am as a mother and thank God she comes to see Gramma where she is spoiled. Toti smooches her every chance she gets and sticks to her like glue, Toti’s tail wags so hard every time the woman speaks I’m sure it’s going to break, Toti lays down right next to her and looks up as if she has been saved. Really both of you?

When you’re 85 years old you can do whatever you want, you can drink Amaretto with breakfast and you can change your mind.  You can welcome your darling little granddaughter with open arms because you know that’s the only way you’ll see her if you’re not willing to travel or go up stairs. There is no better cure for a mundane week than dog breath and waggy tail adoration…I mean nothing better, accept maybe Amaretto with breakfast. Just sayin.

Best of Summer ~ The Adventures of Toti Nonna


OK, where was I before Muriel so graciously brokered a truce between me and my laptop? Saved it from becoming a speed bump, backed it up in three different places and got me to pull myself together.  I was about to fill you in on Toti Nonna’s big adventure to the Cape.

Whenever there is a loss of someone close you generally find yourself in a year of firsts.  Life without Lina is no different because she is a dog.  I was sure there was no way to make it up to the Cape in June but something made me ask a friend if he knew of anybody renting a house near him.  Never heard from him but heard from his “anybody”.  You’ve heard me talk about all the dear old friends I’ve met for the first time; well Wanda and I talked for quite some time right from the start.  What a delight!  I can hear you say “of course she is” you know…just sayin.  And so with happenstance meeting oh-what- the-hell Toti Nonna and I were off to the Cape.  In July…  For a week…  Did I mention in July?… the summer.  This is where oh-what-the-hell meets jumping for joy!File Aug 09, 3 57 20 PMAlthough we’ve been coming to the Cape for the last twenty years, this is a new home rental for us.  This is someone’s home and we are surrounded by the personality of the owners.  Again, did I mention delightful?  Toti made herself right at home, thankfully after I made the bed, and we unpacked and relaxed.  Wanda and her husband Rick had been clamming the day before so there on ice, in the refrigerator, waiting for us, were some of those clams. There was a lovely card, and dog treats and generosity that was totally unnecessary but so incredibly heartwarming.  Did I mention it was as if we were old friends being welcomed home?


Toti loves the car so I knew that wouldn’t be an issue for her but in any other situation she was most comfortable with Lina by her side, or should I say attached to her hip?  So what would her new comfort zone be? What comfort zone, it’s all new, fake it til you make it little girl, it’s what we do.  So on our first day…Come on lets go- it’s cloudy, the beach is out, let’s go to Ptown.  And go we did, she walked Commercial Street like she’d been going there for years, drank out of every water bowl she saw, tried to sneak into every air conditioned store and welcomed every ooo and ahhh she got from the masses.  And I do mean masses, everyone had the same it’s cloudy let’s go to Ptown thought…

File Aug 09, 3 56 49 PM

Summer, eeek, on the Cape, there are hundreds of people around and it was an unusually hot and humid week.  I mean it was around 85 degrees where usually you’re around 75-80.  Mind you I am not a summer person to begin with so when it turned out to be “Wicked Hot” (cue the accent) I was remembering life as a kid in an unairconditioned house.  God bless ReRe she propped a big old box fan on the kitchen table, practiced light control during the day and cranked that sucker up at night so a cool breeze would eventually find you during the wee hours.  I won’t say it was as bad as all that but Toti and I wound up doing exactly the same thing and it saved the day, or should I say the night.  Kind of, remember when you didn’t like to cuddle up to momma Toti?  Did you have to pick the hottest day on the cape in a full size bed to change your mind?  Just sayin…


After walking every morning, it’s all about the fan.  After going to the beach and showering in the outdoor shower, it’s all about the fan.  After almost everything, it’s all about the fan.  Thankfully the bright, airy screened in porch was comfortable, cross ventilated and yes…all about the fan.

File Aug 09, 3 55 50 PM

It’s common practice on the Cape to bring your dog with you practically wherever you go.  So when my good friend Terry and I went out to eat, along came Toti Nonna. This was new.  Really new. Like never been done before.  The Wee Packet Restaurant welcomed her with her own water bowl and although she was a bit apprehensive, she soon settled in under the table next to her beloved Uncle Terry.  This was big!

File Aug 09, 3 54 53 PM

It was a shame to head home but back in the car we went.  Are we there yet?

File Aug 09, 3 54 12 PM

This trip was transformative on so many levels, for me, for Toti, for me…life without Lina is evolving.  I sometimes feel guilty about the ease of it.  Life with Lina could be stressful as she lived an entire lifetime with anxiety.  Toti’s job is done, she can exhale, and she can enjoy herself now.

We arrive home and let Wanda know the Jersey Girls arrived safely.  Toti settles into her familiar space and I head to the mailbox.  As if this trip didn’t have enough to be thankful for I’m greeted by an envelope addressed to Ordinary Legacy. You know how I love to get mail!!! Elizabeth from St. Ignace, MI you can’t begin to know the joy your words brought me.  Thank you for your support, know that I am incredibly grateful that you took the time to share them.

File Aug 09, 3 59 38 PM

Another new old friend.