Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Be The Story

While I huffed and puffed, I got the freaking tree up and I am doing OK.

It has been hard lately to get up the energy to take in the spirit of the season. Even without all the fa-la-la, I did decorate the house, this time being very mindful of what is taken out of the Christmas boxes and put up will, in a short time, need to be taken down and put away. I have always found that dismantling is a lot more work, maybe because it has to be done in a shorter time.  Less is best needs to be my new mantra. The holiday colors are on display but in what I call a tasteful and not in an abundant way.  It suits me now and is far removed from the once "deck the halls (tables, windows, ceiling, etc. etc.)"  person I have been in the past.  It is time to scale back in so many ways and I am pretty sure I will do fine with the new plan.  Besides, now I have time to enjoy the little things and think about what pleases me without the anxiety of go-go-go.

One thing that I enjoy doing during this time of year is to look for good TRUE stories that show the generous spirit of our fellow human beings.  I have a favorite, however, it is not a Christmas story, but good people don't need a holiday to show kindness towards others.  This narrative was published in our local paper last August and is about a gentleman who opened a car wash along a country road and wanted to bring attention to his enterprise. Drivers often missed him because for five months a year, a corn field blocked their view.   He decided to plant some sunflowers in the hope that people would notice them and his business. People stopped and started remarking on the flowers' beauty and how they enjoyed the scene.  As the years passed, more and more sunflowers were planted and with the help of two local farmers, the field was flush in the brilliance of tall yellow heads that looked like big smiles.  "This is my gift to the community", Mr. Frey said. With all the sad things in today's world, I'd like to think of this plot of good earth as a place where people can come for serenity and peace."  There are thousands of sunflowers and people come not only to look but are invited to take some flowers with them.  A lady who was there told of taking some bouquets for her wedding and reception a few years ago and now she comes back with her child to relive the memory. It just took a few seeds to sow this joy into the hearts of many. 

Just a seed, or a cup of coffee for a stranger, or any simple thing can make someone happy or maybe even affect their day or life.  It makes us feel warm and fuzzy to read these good stories, but think how much better it would be if we were part of the story, if we were the one who initiated the kindness. I have always found that it is better to give than to receive.  Blessings don't necessarily come from above, they are often from the hearts of those who care and who reach out towards others. 

If I don't have a chance to write another post before the holidays, I want to wish you all peace, joy and serenity in the coming days.  May the season of hope bring you many smiles - just like a sunflower.    


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Missing in Action

It has been a most difficult year, but, most of the time, I do OK.

I have been off of blogger, both writing and commenting, for awhile because of a loved one's health.  You know these things will come to us all sooner or later, but we are never fully prepared to accept how hard it is to deal with.  My love had no sooner recovered from the big C when his heart became a problem.  We have been through an emotional roller coaster this past year and sometimes I just want to scream.  He, though, is so very brave and pushes on and I know he has the spirit and fortitude to get through this.

Last night, there was another big blow that rocked us to our core.  What started out as a day of hope turned to despair. I know that I have to pick myself up and move on, but the wound is great and it will take time to heal - about four years.  I was ready to toast with a glass of fine wine last night to a brave lady, Hillary, who tried her best but failed to break the glass ceiling, but the thought of any spirits made me ill.  Hopefully, soon, there will come a day when my stomach won't be out of sorts and the sun will shine and I will once again enjoy the good life, or at least one with less anxiety.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Breaking News

Times are tough all over, but I am doing OK.

After a long hot summer with few clouds and less rain, moisture is coming our way.  It is a grey day, but I don't mind because my brown lawn is about to get a long needed shower.  The weather people are besides themselves talking about it and warning us of impending doom. They are not only pointing to areas that might be affected, they are swaying their arms all over the map to let us know, in Armageddon terms,  that dark days are coming.  This is not a hurricane, nor even a tropical storm, it is what used to be called before "BREAKING NEWS", just rain.  The hype they put us through every day is causing no small amount of anxiety among the population and this just adds to the deep depression and fear that many of us are experiencing over this election from hell.

The rain will come and the earth will be nourished.  The leaves will fall so the trees can sleep.  We will enjoy the color and take breathtaking pictures of nature. This election time will end - hopefully in the right way.  If it doesn't, somehow, we will endure and hope for the best. None of this is BREAKING NEWS,  it is life.

Just in case the doomsayers are right, though, be careful out there.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Outside In

Baby, it is hot, hot, hot, but I am doing OK.

The thermometer is reading 100F, the relative humidity is 93%, and it is not a good day to work or even sit outside.   Breathing becomes an issue and I have always thought that taking a breath consistently is good for my health.  I did go out yesterday to pick some tomatoes and fix some plants but when the shade moved, so did I.  It took me a good half hour to recover from my fifteen minutes in the backyard. So, unless it is a matter of great importance for me to move, I will be relaxing on the couch with a cold glass of ice tea in my hand and my sweet Daisy at my side, enjoying my deck garden in all its glory, from the cool, comfortable inside. How wonderful is air conditioning!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Incredible Shrinking Woman

There are only 50 days left in summer.  I am not sure where this season went, but I am doing OK.

I used to be 5'4 1/2" tall. When asked now (especially by my doctor), I say "about 5'4".  If somebody measured me today, I am probably closer to 5'2".  My grandchildren used to be little, now we are eye to eye and they keep growing.  So is the circle of life.  I disappear a little at a time and the younger ones sprout as fast as a daisy and take over the garden.  Nature has its way in all things and no matter what man does through medical technology, the sands of time move on and everything changes.  However, the fountain of youth stays always in our hearts.

So, what to do, what to do.  I look for sneakers and shoes with a little lift.  I stretch my head to look forward and try not to look back. I stand as tall as possible with pride for what I have accomplished. I play happy music and sing along as loud as I can and sometimes hit those high notes. I dance when no one is looking and also when they are.  My clothes are colorful, and I don't care if the shades are too bright for my age. I want to be noticed.  

My surroundings have so much to do with my mood so I spend much too much money on plants.  I am a giant amongst my flowers.  I do not listen to the news so my head will not tilt low, and I make sure there are always cookies in the cupboard to turn my lips up into a smile. I can't change what Mother Nature and the world are doing, but I have to get through my day as best I can, so I never say no to sweet things and plant as many blooms as I can. This year especially.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years

Computer problems kept me away, but I am doing OK now.

I looked around at the scenery of the outside theater and a lump came to my throat.  Oh my, such wonderful memories had been made there.  It seemed like a short time had passed since we came here as a family in the summer months to lie under the stars and enjoy the sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra and their famous guest artists.  But no, it had been many years, and our children, who we had taken to those events, are adults and they were now taking me to my first big concert in a long time.   That night, though, would not be the music of  Bach, Beethoven, or Strauss, it would be classical Simon, being sung by Simon.

He is an old guy, but for two hours he stood under those hot lights and sang the songs we love, and added a few new ones from his latest album, Stranger to Stranger.  His voice has not changed since I saw him over 30 years ago when he partnered with Art Garfunkle.   I enjoyed them all, but some touched me more because of the wonderful words that this most talented artist has written. The years have made me melancholy but I try not to live in the past, and that night I felt young and danced and sang and had a blast.  I felt that I had "Diamonds on the Soles of Her (my) Shoes and even if I sometimes like "The Sound of Silence", I can still shake my booty and have joy.  Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson, Koo-koo-ka choo!

Stranger To Stranger

..........I'm just jittery, I'm just jittery
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing with my joy
It's just a way of dealing

Words and melodies
Easy harmony
Old-time remedies.

So true.



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sweet Old Man or Stalker

 Spring is making me feel the love, and I am doing OK.
Looking for love is not that complicated, if you know where to search.
Back in February, I went to a local store to purchase some birthday cards.  I was pleased to find it not crowded and I had the whole aisle to myself.  I usually spend a lot of time picking out just the right card for each person and was glad there was no one else around to get in my way. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone walking towards me.  He was an older gentleman with a leprechaun smile, and he had two Valentine Day cards in his hand.  He tapped me on the shoulder and asked for my opinion on what he had chosen.   Both were cute, with one being more sentimental than the other.  I gave him my opinion and told him that either of those choices would earn him extra points with his lady.  We exchanged a few more words, and he thanked me for my help.  I quickly went back to my browsing while wondering where the gentleman had found those cards since I was the only one in that aisle for the last five minutes.  After getting what I needed, I decided to do a little more shopping in the store.  As I was walking to the check out counter, I noticed the old man back again in the card aisle showing another(mature) lady the same two cards he had shown me few minutes before.

I am wondering if this gentleman might have had an agenda.  Whereas he might have tried to pick up young, perky ladies in the frozen food aisle years ago, he was now trolling the aisles of the pharmacy looking for love or a home cooked meal.  One can admire his ingenuity and his inventiveness.  After 60, a drug store might be better than a bar when looking for a lady with a good prescription plan.

Our priorities change over the years.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

That Damn Door

Spring!  That is such a wonderful word, and I am doing OK.

I have read, and so much want to believe, that walking through doorways plays with one's mind. This assures me that it is not my brain, but rather the fault of the architect who built my house who has caused me to question my sanity. In an article in Scientific America, researches at the University of  Notre Dame tested subjects (absent minded professors, perhaps) and found that the doorway effect suggests that there is more to remembering than just what you paid attention to, when it happened and how hard you tried.  They point out that some forms of memory have a shelf life and the brain purges that information in favor of new stuff.  They call this kind of memory representation an "Event Model", and propose that walking through a doorway is a good time to purge your event models because whatever happened in the old room is likely to become less relevant now that the venues have changed.  This seems similar to my pantry, where dusty jars of spices (I only needed one teaspoon) and cans of olives purchased for a long ago party, find their way to the back and are forgotten about.  I am fortunate to live in a home whose main floor is very open and rooms flow into each other, except, of course, the bathroom. So far, I have not forgotten what my mission is when entering through that door.  It is, however, when I go upstairs and downstairs that the problem seems to arise.  Doorways abound and I am left with the question, "What am I doing here".  I then run back to where I was and look for a hint of what my mission was.  It usually comes back to me but then I have to huff and puff all the way back up and down the stairs and a decision is made as to whether it is worth it.  On days of ambition, I might do it.

So maybe the answer to my brain farts is to move into a one floor, one room house.  Less doors, no stairs, and maybe there will be more room in my mind to store information that will help me find my glasses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Nobel Peace Prize

Still winter. It snows, then is hot, then snows, then is hot (kind of like a menopausal woman), but I am doing OK.

In this year of terrible events, terrible news, and terrible politics, I was wondering how they would find someone worthy of  The Nobel Peace Prize.  As anyone can nominate or be nominated, I would like to submit a candidate for their consideration. This is a time when many of us feel squeezed out of the American Dream, when we are pulling our belts tighter and the scales seem not to tilt in the right direction. However, in the past few years, there has been an amazing breakthrough in the sciences that has given us a product that has made the world a much better place to live in and relax.  At this time I would like to propose to the committee that they consider the people and the company that has given women great comfort and joy.  Yes, I am talking about those geniuses who brought us Active Wear.   These magical outfits hug your waist and hips without accenting the overflow; they stretch; 10 lbs. seem to miraculously evaporate from the body, and there are no buttons to stick into ones navel. There also isn't an annoying zipper that may cause someone to have to recline in order to pull it up  This clothing is truly the masterpiece of the fashion world. No longer do women have to suffer through muffin tops or rolls that appear to be larger when putting on their pants and oh, how nice it is to enjoy a good meal without opening the top button of your trousers.  Even though they are called "Active" there is not a need to be active in them.  You don't have to promise yourself to run a marathon or even walk around the block.  They look very nice as you stretch out in your reclining chair while eating Bon Bons.  They come in many styles and there is something for everyone.  I prefer black with the boot or flare bottoms but I have also gotten the straight cut.  I am a little too old for the leggings, but those do look attractive (If not in a pattern of large flowers) on the right person.  There is no place that these cannot be worn.  They are perfect in the morning as you jog from the kitchen table to your couch and they are lovely to shop in as they are easy off, easy on. In the evening, with a matching top and some pearls and/or a boa, you will look stunning in the finest of restaurants. The best thing, though, is that  they are the perfect pajamas.  Twenty-four hour clothing - what we have all dreamed of having.  Men do have the option to buy them also, but so far I have only seen them on bike riders, however, they usually have padding in the rear. I have to admit that I love to watch them when they ride by.  An active man is a beautiful sight to behold.

So join with me to get those stuffed shirts who are on committees to look beyond the wars fought by men and consider the comfort and satisfaction of women around the world who have too long been bound by some type of corset or control top pantyhose and now have the pleasure of living free and looking good.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Kettle

Thankfully, life goes on, and I am doing OK.

Everything changes, but now, it is going too quickly.  I can't keep up. I have come to the point where I think, "why learn", it will be different tomorrow.  I used to be excited about the next big thing, what was new, and the joy of mastering a new skill. There used to be time to learn and to take things in. There was satisfaction in mastering a new concept, and thinking that knowledge would take me to the next step.  Now there is no time, and I don't climb steps as easily now.  More than ten stairs leaves me breathless.

Product DetailsI was thinking of a tea kettle today.  For most of my life, there was always a kettle on the stove.  The sound of that whistle brings me back to my beginnings.  All things started with that - the tea, the dinner,  the sitting down together to talk, to laugh and to cry. I have not had a kettle since we moved into this house 13 years ago. I boil the water for my Earl Grey in the microwave, and now that we are only two, less boiled water is needed.  We eat out a lot; I like to cook, but The Retired Man does not like the fuss (or my mess). I hate that big contraption called the Keurig that is taking space up in my kitchen.  I don't drink coffee and the tea pod does not make my drink of choice, my choice.  I could have hot chocolate, but I rather make it in a pot with real chocolate and not something compressed. I miss the whistle of my kettle, I miss simplicity, I miss, I miss...

I am going to buy a kettle this week - if they still sell them.  I need to have something simple and real.  I want to hear the whistle again. It is a sound that will give me joy, at least for the first few seconds.

Monday, January 11, 2016

I Have Become One of "Those People"


I've been sharing my home with someone new and I am doing OK.

I had no intention of doing this and when opportunities came my way, I ruled it out.  Oh sure, there were temptations and I admit that I am attracted to those with blue eyes, but I am older now and really did not need any more complications in my life.  However, it was love at first sight and it hit me hard.  

She arrived on my front porch on a rainy night.  She was not alone, her five siblings  accompanied her. Although it was dark, I could see they were very young and my heart went out to them all.  Then their mother appeared (the neighborhood free spirit) and took them into the small house we keep on the side yard.

The next morning I paid a visit to the house and removed the roof.  There were six adorable  kittens all looking up at me.  I took one in my hands and before I knew it, she found her way into my home and heart.  She was no more than four or five weeks old and needed to be bottle fed for a few weeks longer.  The bond grew stronger.  I was able to collect all the others and gave them to a lady who fosters kittens and cats.  All were adopted within two weeks.

That was six months ago and although my family has some challenges now (don't we all), this little fur ball has given us much joy.  Daisy came into our lives just when we needed her.  In the beginning, she wore us out with her playfulness but now things have settled down a bit, and although still kittenish, she has become the most loving and affectionate pet we have ever had.

I have become one of those women now, you know, the typical cat lady, who shows you pictures of their pets at the smallest suggestion.  I accept that, as I admit that I can talk about her endlessly and I can't believe that I waited so long to write about her.  We do have another cat, Wheezy, who is not very happy with the new addition, but we try to give her the needed attention also.  She, being 11, though, would rather be left alone most of the time.

My new baby

Daisy has grown in more ways than one and now sports a very large mane and a very full fluffy coat.  She is also overweight and the vet has put her on a diet.  We over-loved her with too much food and now must cut back. This will be difficult for all of us. 

Three months after we brought Daisy into our home, her mom, Big Bucks, made another delivery.


This time there were five.

All of these beauties were adopted within four days and we finally caught Momma.  She is now out of the kitten business and so are we.  Halleluyah and meow!