Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Joy to the World?

Troubled times, but I am mostly doing OK.

The world is in chaos, guns are a' blazing, and hope went down on the livability meter. I have written six posts since I was last on Blogger, and most were intended to be funny.  However, they were never finished and were left in my draft folder to be revisited on another day.  I also did not want to publish anything silly or meaningless during these past few weeks because of all the "Breaking News".  These have been anxious and very sad times.

In the midst of all of this, we all must live our lives, which can be dicey on its own. However, if we turn off the noise, and lift our heads up from our phones, we can see that there are still joyful surprises and kindness in this world.  The Retired Man and I experienced this last week when we had to make one of our many trips into the city (Philly) to deal with some issues in our lives. We took the 8:04 train and were flabbergasted that the car had not the usual, bland, modern seats, but rather cushy leather ones and the decor throughout was very retro. We felt that we were transported to "Back to the Future".  As we settled in, the conductor's voice came over the loudspeaker, welcoming us aboard, telling us where the train would stop, and in the most pleasant tone, told us to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.  He spoke a few more times during the trip,  reiterating his cheerful message and thanking us for riding Septa.  This was a commuter train, not the high-priced Amtrak line and in all my many years of riding the rails, I have never been been greeted with such enthusiasm and friendliness.  I thought to myself, "Mr. Rogers lives".  It changed our whole mood and helped make our day a little brighter.  What a wonderful gift that was!  Small things, when we least expect it, can mean so much. I wish I could have thanked him.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Still Got It (sometimes)

Good things still happen, and I am doing OK.

I mind being old but I am grateful for being able to grow older.   There are many times when I can't believe that I am the age that defines me, but there are also times when the crappiness that comes with that age slaps me in the face.  I try to go with the flow as best I can, but frustration often over-comes me.

Last week, though, I had a moment that blew some of those years away.  While at my volunteer job, I was enjoying a conversation with a female client when one of the staff came by and complimented me on my outfit, especially my new boots.  Being noticed is definitely a plus, but being complimented, lifted my spirits tremendously.  The woman who I was speaking to previously said that she also liked how I dressed and that I was "fly".  "Fly", my gosh, I am fly!  How wonderful is that.  Of course, I did not know exactly what this term meant, but as I said, I go with the flow, and figured that it was this generation's word for cool.  I could not wait to tell The Retired Man when I got home, but he was clueless as to whether it was a compliment or not.  I then told my children who all laughed but told me my boots were, indeed, very nice. Today, I told my granddaughter, Ruby.  She smiled, and said, "You sure are, Mamama." Ruby's place in my will just moved up.

I might not be able to flit around like I did before, but I sure do like being fly - even if my wings are arthritic.

Monday, September 21, 2015

From Whine to Wine

Summer went by too quickly, but I am doing OK.

Other than commenting on other people's blogs, I have not been around Blogger too much this season.  I have written several entries, but have never finished any because of one reason or another. I hope to continue with my writing but I really don't want to be on a schedule. I do hope, though, that the people that I have come to like and admire will still pop in and say hello even if my posts are sporadic.

At this point of the year, I usually write about what I did on my summer vacation.  I actually did a lot, but I really don't want to bore people with a slide show.  Oh, you really want to see, you really, really want to see, well since you asked, here is a quick run through.

Best picture ever of me. My legs never looked so good.

May was a dry month, but then the flood gates opened up and the planting season started off well.  We visited many nurseries deciding what flowers we would choose.   I, as usual, chose too many.  We celebrated the late spring nights on our deck, admiring our work in the yard and toasting to the moonlit sky.  I could go on but.....

Vacation time came and we started off with a trip to the vineyards of the Finger Lakes of New York State.  It rained, except for one day. We stayed in a castle that had spigots of free fine wine in its halls for people to drink. Our suite had a hot tub that I could get in, but not get out (picture omitted). Their restaurants were lovely and with the company of good, dear friends, we had a great time.  I could go on, but ......

10 year old granddaughter looking for a wave 

When we returned home, Hubby (renamed, The Retired Man) went out to California to visit our daughter and her family for two weeks.  He had a great time and I was so happy for that.  He drank fine California wine on the beach and I drank cheap wine on my patio, except when it rained, which it did plenty in Pennsylvania.  I could go on, but ......
A mule and carriage tour of Charleston

Two days after he returned, we took off for Charleston, SC with my youngest daughter and grandson. We love the city (been there three other times) and took in many of their interesting and fun sights. If it hadn't rained so much, we could have seen more. We met up with some very dear friends in the day and had some fine wine in a lovely restaurant named Cypress in the evening.  It was a very enjoyable day.  I could go on, but ......
A horse and carriage tour of Beaufort

Relaxing our time away on Harbor Island

The next morning we were off to our destination, Harbor Island, a private island that is a preserve for birds, alligators and turtles near Beaufort, (a gem of a city).  There we met up with another daughter, her husband and our grandchildren.  They stayed in a fantastic eight bedroom house/McMansion with another family.  We had rented a condo on the beach not too far from them.  We all got together everyday and enjoyed some fine wine in the evenings when the kids were otherwise occupied. We were glad that the decks and porches had an overhang because of all the rain. I could go on, but......

We returned home and worked on the gardens.  The flowers were enormous and beautiful and the  tomatoes were (are) large and plentiful because of the rain.  On Labor Day, we went to a local vineyard that has an annual festival at the end of the summer and drank semi-fine wine.  We had a wonderful time enjoying good music with the company of  very dear old friends. It did not rain.

I could go on, but ...... I already did.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

No Phone Zone

The best days of summer are here, and I am doing OK.

It is warm and wonderful and the perfect time to enjoy an ice cream treat. On these lovely evenings, with the sun still high in the sky and the air being pleasant, there is nothing nicer than visiting the local dairy bar. The other day, after hours of trimming overgrown bushes, hubby and I decided that we deserved a reward, so off we went to our town's little piece of heaven.  There must have been about 40 gourmet flavors to choose from and we took a long time staring at the various selections before making our most difficult decision of the week.   As we sat outside on a picnic table devouring our luscious, frozen delicacies, we watched the steady stream of customers coming by with friends and family to also take advantage of the lovely August night. What I noticed was that this was a place where no one had their phones out.  Everybody was talking to each other face to face.  Children were laughing and playing rather than checking social media.  All it takes to really connect people is a cone of melting double dip ice cream.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015


Another gun day in America, and we are not OK

Our innocence was lost at Columbine; our hearts were broken in Sandy Hook; our faith was shattered in Charleston - and the beat goes on.

 When I look at the picture of that young man who did the most despicable act in that beautiful city in South Carolina, I wonder how such evil could come from such a boy of 21 years.  Where did he learn such hate and bigotry to want to destroy the lives of innocent people who took his hand to pray.  Where was his humanity?  Were there no parents or family to teach him kindness and love or was his soul blackened from the moment he was born?  I do not understand hate; I do not understand the violence we all face in today's supposedly civilized world; I do not understand that no matter how many times these awful acts happen in our country, there is only talk, but no action.

Father's Day is Sunday.  I do believe that this man learned to hate from someone.  What we teach our children can be passed down for generations.  If we can't stop the guns, maybe we can stop the hostile attitude that prevails, whether it is silent in our hearts or more open in our actions.  Times won't change unless we do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It is Never Too Late to Become an Entrepreneur

Sharing my days with hubby and doing OK.

The Inspector (aka, Hubby) retired last week and, so far, things are going (sort of) fine.  It is day three and I have faith (and hope) things will continue this way for at least another week.   The actuarial tables, however, tell us that we can live this life of 24/7 togetherness for 25+ more years (which in retirement years, could feel like 50)  Hmmm, no one warned me about this before I said, "I do."  Trying to be positive, I  checked the Internet for some ideas on how we should deal with this new phase of life.  Articles suggested that other than the usual route of volunteering, watching grandchildren, going on cruises, or complaining about everything, it is also a good time to start a new career. Now, they say, may be the right time to try out that great idea you had but didn't do because of the responsibilities you had when you were younger.  Unfortunately, it might be too late to become a rap artist or acrobat.

The other day, I read in our local paper about an elderly gentleman who was living in an assisted living facility and was still able to become an entrepreneur even at his late stage of life. The rent at the home was subsidized by the county so he had some of his pension money left at the end of the month to invest in a business.  Somehow, he was able to leave the premises and walk to a local liquor store.  When he returned, he sold drinks to the other residents. With the profit, he hired prostitutes to visit and entertain him in his room.  Unfortunately, things came crashing down when one of his ladies was found hiding under his bed.   His new career came to a quick halt and he was asked to leave the home.  Apparently, he was not as disabled as they thought.  I am wondering what his third act will be.  Maybe he could start up his own hedge fund as he seems to like risky business. 

Well, at least he has his memories, or maybe not.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Hairy Post

Together forever, and doing OK (sometimes).

Over the years, I have lived on and off with a hairy man.  This thing about wanting follicles wherever they can grow possibly has to do with that small part of the male brain that has not evolved from the time homo sapiens first stood upright.  Women, being on the faster tract of civilization and fashion, decided that if men wanted to mate, they had to nix some of that hair and start to smell nice.  Women also wanted them to put on pants.  Shirts, for men under 30, were optional.  Men, feeling warmer with animal skins and wool sweaters, gradually gave into the female's demands due to the human species needing to survive.  However, some hair on the face, in different styles, has remained part of the masculine need to howl with the wolf and to show their dominating force of virility.  We women have accepted it, loved, and hated it, but mostly put up with it.

Hubby would grow a manly beard in winter when he was young.  I didn't complain too much.  I knew he was vain and as soon as the spring sun would shine, his need for a perfect tan would take over and then the shaver would be used.  In the past fifteen or so years, he has remained clean faced.  Last November, though, he started sprouting stubble again.  It grew into a beautiful white beard, always neatly trimmed and looking impeccable. He looked younger, more sophisticated and like a member of Mensa.  He might have even grown an inch.  Yeah, I love the look of my manly old man.  Some things do improve with age!


Friday, March 27, 2015


Bird watching and doing OK.

I have not written two posts in one week in a very long time, but when my hubby showed me some pictures of the hatching of some new eaglets in Hanover, PA, I wanted to share.  Though no longer on the endangered species list, the Bald Eagle is a rarity to see in many areas.  This serene bird, the symbol of the USA, is a magnificent sight and when the nesters were spotted, camera crews went to work.   For 35 days theses birds sat on eggs while millions watched their every little move. There is no privacy in Birdland ( I am sure the NSA and Google were also hiding in the trees). This particular pair are comprised of a 12 year old female who lost her mate in 2012 and a much younger male who, according to those that know, is a first time dad.  It takes between 24 and 48 hours for the chicks to peck their way out of their shell.  I like that the kids are given responsibility from the beginning.  Baby # 1 arrived on March 24th and the lazier one on the 25th.  Mom, dad and babes are doing fine. 

I am wondering which is the male and which is the female.  One seems a little clueless.

The chicks will start flying in June but will hang out at home till December.  Then they are off to see the world.  At least, that is the parent's plan. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All I Needed Was A Flower Show

The snow is gone, and I am doing OK.

Last week was the end of winter in my part of the world,  at least that is what I have decided.   My hubby saw some tulip greens sticking out of the ever decreasing snow piles (which have now disappeared), so I am sure Mother Nature is lifting her frozen wand and trading it in for the greener model.  That is my hope and she better not cross me. 

A few weeks ago, in order to get myself psyched, I put on my pretty pants, grabbed my daughter and granddaughter and off we went to the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This is the largest indoor flower show in the US and is usually attended by what seems to be half the country's population. We waited till the last day, hoping that the crowds would be less, and by mid-afternoon that seemed to be the case.  Instead of shuffling, we could actually take steps and get to the front of all the fabulous displays.  This year the theme was Disney movies (or similar) and they did a magnificent job, which is usually the case

We followed the masses through the entrance.

We passed by the  Little Green House

Found "Nemo" and Dorrie

Crashed  "Cinderella's" wedding

and spied her slipper

Marveled at the exotic sights from  "Mulan"

Stopped to check out some "Cars"

Saw that "Aladdin" was not  home

  And went "Into the Woods.

and saw spring


Monday, March 2, 2015

Crying Uncle

I am doing OK, but poor Miss Circle has had it. 

Miss T and Vanna aren't doing much better.

And Marilyn is just pissed.

They say Spring is just around the corner, so girls and boys, and cats and dogs, we all have to buckle up and
we gotta Believe!
"Just remember in the winter, for beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes a rose."
(The Rose, by Amanda McBroom)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I slipped down some stairs a few weeks ago, but I am doing OK.

I got up this morning but my feet did not want to do the same.  They seemed to want to remain asleep and not be the wheels of my day.  I insisted, so they begrudgingly obliged.   They have been doing this a lot lately but come to life in a matter of minutes after I get my motor running. It is no big deal and I have decided to put this inconvenience in the column of my life under the title, "the crap I have to put up with".

I looked up some quotes from people much smarter than myself and their take on aging.  None of these are too deep, and they did put a smile on my face.

"We get too old quick, too late smart"
Old Dutch proverb

- Yep, we have all made mistakes.  Lessons learned are to be cherished, even if they hurt.  It has taken me a lifetime to become this brilliant.

"The age of a woman does not matter, the best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles."
Ralph Waldo Emerson.-

I have more time to listen, and have experienced some of the sweetest music.  I am just hoping that my strings don't snap.

"Someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again."
C.S . Lewis

 - I have been married 47 years.  On the other hand, I have been married 47 years. I will never go back to innocence.  I grew up reading the Grim Fairy Tales, now it is all about 50 Shades of Grey.  I can't relate to either.

"Age is not a particular interesting subject; anyone can get old.  All you have to do is live long enough"
Groucho Marx

- I will answer with Groucho's own line. "Time flies like an arrow; Fruit flies like a banana.

Simply said, but it is about making the most of the moments you have and always, always,  watch your step.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aah, Life

The blizzard of the century never came here, and I am doing OK.

There are different phases of life that we all pass through.  There is childhood,  followed by the joys and angst of coming of age, which leads us to an awakening with great expectations. Slowly, though, we creep into a sometimes begrudging acceptance, but this is replaced by a new awakening, and then back  to (a comfy) acceptance of most of the things that have annoyed us in the past. I have gone through them all with laughter and tears and have now arrived at a new stage of life.  Yes, I have entered my grunting years.

Recent examples:
Getting up from a sitting position. = 2 grunts.
Getting off the floor = 5 grunts (7 if the temperature is over 80 degrees F)
Sitting down after some activity  = 1 aah and 2 grunts
Sitting down in a deep chair = 3 grunts followed by a loud aah
Answering a question I answered 5 minutes ago  = one loud sigh and 2 grunts
Answering that question again  = 3 very loud grunts followed by feeling guilty
Opening a bottle or jar that now seems to be sealed with crazy glue = 6 grunts and some nasty words

The lowly grunt has its place and I have accepted it as part of my life.  It is good to still be heard.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


New year, old me, and I'm doing OK.
Marin Birds Salad Plate
I never tasted a Cronut, but I did imagine one in my mind.  It was yummy even there.

Quinoa is OK, and some recipes can make it quite tasty, but I hope it isn't part of my last meal.

My mother made me sit at the table until I ate my kale.  I would be there for hours because I could not get the dog to eat it.

Today, people take pictures of their food.  I have made food that has looked fantastic, but has tasted awful. A brussel sprouts casserole comes to mind.  My husband told me that the vegetable made even the bacon in it taste bad.  On the other hand, I have prepared some pretty good dishes that were not visionary masterpieces.

It is winter.  It is cold. There is snow on the ground.  I need to bake.  There will be sugar consumed.  It is not healthy.  Nobody lives forever.