Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Amazoning

I considered getting an ugly Christmas sweater, but I didn’t, and that’s OK.

I am not a traditionalist as I have always preferred my own ideas.  I do stick with the fundamentals, but just because someone from years ago thought it right to eat this or that over the holidays or put tinsel on a tree, does not mean that I should.   I have changed things around over the years and my family has gone along with it - mostly. The tree decorated with pink raffia, though, tested them.  However,  I am slowing down and that vast pool of ideas that I used to have has dissipated and easy (boring) is now my only choice.  I got the tree up, but not to my satisfaction. I thought of redoing it, but I decided to get over that. My list of presents to get everyone was so ho hum, and nothing special.  It bothered me, but I got over it. Some decorations are showing their age and should be replaced, but I look the other way, and got over it.  What we all are going to eat has not really been planned but I do have a number of take out brochures and Costco is close by, so I have a default.  It will all work out and if not, they will all get over it.  The good thing for everybody (and me) is that one of my daughters is in charge of Christmas dinner.

All the above are the trivial things that I stress about.  I cannot say that they are unimportant, but they are not my main focus.  My California family will be arriving on Saturday; my college age grandchildren will be coming home for a few weeks, and my sisters will be visiting. I am so looking forward to lots of hugging.  Love is what matters and laughter and memories shared is a priceless gift.  I am blessed, and I don't take it for granted.

However you spend the holidays, traditional or not, I hope that you have and receive joy.  I know how holidays can be very difficult for many, and I send you my love.  I am not a person of prayer, but I am of hope and heart, and you all have a special place in mine.  If you have the opportunity, reach out to others because, as we all know, the giving of your time is greatest gift of all.

Be kind to yourself and and remember you don’t have to drink that eggnog, eat the green mushy casserole or the fish with it's head still attached unless you like that tradition.

Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Eat the Cake

I wrote this a few months ago but never finished it.  Today, with The Retired Man out all day and the seat by the computer empty, I decided it was time to write or complete a post.  I am staying current with you all on my tablet but my time at my very slow computer has been limited.  We, hopefully, will be getting a laptop soon, and I will be able to use it in another part of the house that has not be claimed as his retiring room.

I am winding down and I am doing OK.

My summer days are long past and I am in the later part of autumn.  It has its advantages (no more pimples) and I embrace them and accept (mostly) what I cannot change.   My leaves have been falling but root rot has not quite taken over yet.  I recalculate daily and make choices based on comfort.  I still look for joy and fun and laughter because without them, I would lose hope. During my adult life I have taken semi-good care of myself and am glad that those good habits, good genes, and luck have brought me to this age still standing vertical and with some active brain cells.  I no longer am a master at trivia, but the things that have always been important to me are still strong in my mind, although it takes longer to retrieve.

I am now, though, rethinking some of my good habits and wondering why I need to keep them up anymore. Time is going by so quickly and I shouldn’t be denying myself any pleasures. 

I often go out to lunch with my friends and we ladies, all in our 70's, discuss the calories we are consuming and choose the meals that have less. We then order one dessert and split it between us but always leave the last spoonful. We have done this for 40 years.  It made sense when we were young but now that our veins have turned blue and the laws of physics have taken over, it might be time to relax and maybe eat the whole thing.  I just might go crazy next time and order my own dessert.

Now that I have gotten to this new age of reason, my mantra will be, "Drink the wine, eat the cake and feel no guilt".  I might also get rid of that damn scale.

Since I originally wrote this post, I took my granddaughter to the city where we had lunch on a docked, tall sailing ship.  It was lovely and we had a great time.  She would not even consider sharing her dessert, so I ordered two.   She is only 16, but she is teaching me things.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

It’s All About The Fat

Time is going by too fast, but I am doing OK

We lost our ice cream store last fall.  It has been part of the town for over 100 years and although there are other creameries around, none could compare to Nelson's. The texture was so smooth and rich, the flavors were divine, and it contained more than an average amount of fat. They had won many prizes for their quality but for some reason, the owners sold off the recipe and closed the store.  This week something wonderful happened.  They are back in business, and I think they are better than ever (probably even more fat). They have not returned to their former home but are selling it in gallon containers in a local grocery market and at a few small cafes where we can get it served in a cup or a variety of cones.  Summer might be waning but there is still much to look forward to and enjoy.  It’s about those little things that I love, the simple joys.

I wrote a post a few years ago about an August evening at this dairy store and I thought this would be a good time to do something I seldom do, a reboot from 2015.

No Phone Zone

On lovely evenings in the summer, with the sun still high in the sky and the air so pleasant, there is nothing nicer than visiting the local dairy bar. We had finished a long day in the gardens, cutting back bushes, removing debris and completing all the tasks that one must do to keep the area from looking like a jungle. I decided that we deserved a reward.  We got the car keys and headed off to our town's little piece of heaven.  There must have been about 40 gourmet flavors to choose from and all looked so good.  I felt like a 10 year old with big eyes while staring longingly through the glass partition hoping for inspiration to make the right choice.  It was my 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 perfect 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.

I hope you are all enjoying a simple pleasure today.

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Livin’ is Finally Easy

It is a sum, sum, summertime, and I am doing OK.

Today is a day without clouds, wind, threat of damaging storms, tornadoes, hail, hurricanes, floods, power outages, falling trees, heat waves, and humidity.  I had almost forgotten what people do on a glorious day like this, but I intend to enjoy it all, even if I am just puttering around in my gardens. After all, that which is rare should be embraced and treasured.  You never know when another will come along.

I hope you are all having a beautiful day.

For Shady: Summertime, Summertime by the Jamies

It's time to head straight for them hills
It's time to live and have some thrills
Come along and have a ball
A regular free-for-all

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Time Marches On

Getting through some days can be as unpredictable as the weather, but I am doing OK.

I have a birthday in June and will be celebrating an age that I associate more with my mother than myself.  Society defines us all by numbers and that’s a bummer.  I like to think of myself as being in my mid 40’s and 5’6” tall.  I was never taller than 5’4”, but if I am going to fantasize, why not taller, thinner and younger than some of my children.

 A few weeks ago I went into Philadelphia to see my son who was participating in a ten mile race.  It was raining out but not hard enough to deter the runners or the crowds.

Andy had been training for months and did really well. I was a very proud momma when we saw him come down Broad Street at a the six mile mark. The smile on his face was wonderful to see.  His wife and I then took the subway to meet him at the finish line.  It was a madhouse at the station but we did get the first train and squished our bodies in like sardines in a can. There were no seats available so we had to hang onto the pole which has its challenges but I was fine with that. I have not traveled the subway in many years and I thought this short ride would be fun.  Three times I was offered a seat and people looked at me oddly because I refused.  I appreciated their kindness and consideration, but I am still lucky enough to be able to stand, walk, run, and even chew gum at the same time.  They saw an old lady; they didn’t see me.  The years have changed my body, my face, and yes, my stamina, but not who I am;  a very stubborn woman who is going out of this world fighting and with the conviction that I can still do it.  

I ain’t done yet, and neither is my son.  He is now training for a half marathon.  He’s got grit too.

Thank you for all your well wishes.  It has been a difficult few months and I have lost some very dear people in my life.  It was hard, but as I always say at the beginning of my blog, I am doing OK.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gone for Awhile

I got some bad news today, but I will be OK

I only write a post once a month so most will not miss me, but I do comment on your posts often and try to keep the conversation going between those I have met and admired on Blogger.  Reading your blogs is a joy in my life.  Today was a difficult day and I need some time to get through this.  I will be back, but I need to go away for a little while.

Stay well.


Monday, March 4, 2019

Where Oh Where Did I Put My Funny Bone

Today I am doing OK.

My sense of humor has been lost for awhile and there are some moments when I think I see signs of it, but if I try to get a hold of it, pop, it disappears. I have become Serious Arleen and am bordering on Debbie Downer.  It has been a hard few years living in a country where the pot seems to be boiling over; there is so much negative noise; and, well, it is always raining (at least, where I live).  I need to laugh more, tell funny stories, be silly, relax and chill out. Today, is a good beginning because I woke up this morning to blue skies and the beautiful sun shinning down on one of the loveliest snow scenes I have seen in years.  

Those of you who have read my blog before know that from January to March, I bitch and bitch and bitch about Mother Nature.  The darkness plays with my mind and it is all about getting thru it rather than celebrating the days. Driving  is always a problem and at this point in March, I hate the idea of more shoveling.   

This storm came in the evening, and although I did not see any wind, the power to my house went out.  There was no other choice than to get under the covers and go to sleep.  At 6 AM, I awoke to the blinding sun piercing through the curtains and bouncing off the newly laid snow.  It was so beautiful and I couldn't help but smile.  I looked out the front door and the snow plows had already done their work during the night and despite having seven inches of snow, the roads were clear.  The power company was also busy and the heat was back on.

I got on Facebook to read what my neighbors were saying about the roads and came across this:
If  you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life, 
but the same amount of snow.

I liked that!  There is a lot of wisdom there.

The Retired Man shoveled the driveway with our handy, dandy Toro power shovel snow thrower and he had no complaints (another reason to smile). I will be starting my inside seeds this week, and I found a great recipe for some leftover meat for a nice dinner tonight.  All is well.

Then the mail came with some local tax bills, but I will open them another day.  Today is for joy and the beautiful things that surround me.  Who knows, my funny bone might show up also. It might be hiding among the dust bunnies under my bed.  I never look there.

Thursday, January 31, 2019


Looking for my thermals, and I am doing OK.

There is some extremely cold air coming our way in the next few days and we are being told that it might go to where it has never gone before, temperature wise. To those in the Midwest who might look at us Pennsylvanians as wusses because they are suffering with -50 F and ours is only -6, I’d bow to you but I don’t want to freeze in that position.  You do have my sympathy though.

People will be coming over on Sunday to watch the Superbowl game and the warmth of friends will be all I need.  I so enjoy company and being around those I love.  Retirement can be lonely, especially after having an always busy life.  The winter always seems so long and the Big Game is a good excuse to have a party and forget about the cold outside.  

All those with a beating heart need companionship of some sort, even if they are not of the same species.  Warmth comes from inside and outside our bodies. We live longer, are happier, and our brain lasts longer.  Our four legged friends know this.

Caesar, the cat, doesn't know he is different than Champ and Brandy.
He loves them and appreciates that they keep him warm.  Friends do that.

He just needs to be in charge

Ellie and Finn are siblings and could not be more different looking and in temperament,
but family is family and they would be lost without each other.

A family of semi-feral cats who need each other (and us) to survive.
They are needy and I love to be needed. 

Then there is us, an old married couple.  It was really cold outside so I thought I would put my boa on.

Yes, it is real.  This was not on my bucket list, but it was fun.

Stay warm, cuddle up with a warm blanket, read a good book, or do a marathon of Netflix films. Better yet, call an old friend.