Small Town USA – Part 4

I tell you more crazy things happen in my supermarket at the deli counter. I guess it’s because aside from twiddling your thumbs while waiting for your number to be called, there’s nothing much to do, well except people-watch which I confess I’m prone to–a lot.

For instance, last week I found myself staring at a mature woman, okay very, very old woman, standing a few feet away from me. I stared because I never (no exaggeration) saw a woman’s face with so many channels of wrinkles before. My guess is she had spent a lot of days in the sun and it had taken an awful toll. But that wasn’t the most striking thing about her.

The thing is, she had taken great pains to put a full face of make-up on. And it was beautifully done. I know because I was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant for ten years way back when. As a matter of fact, because I spent  time as a consultant, I rarely leave the house without some kind of make-up on myself: lipstick, blush and sometimes eyebrow pencil. This particular day, I was spruced up pretty good.

I hadn’t noticed her looking at me, but she must have because she leaned toward me and said, “I like your make-up. It’s perfect for you.”

I responded, “I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

She smiled and said, “Well, I’d say we’re both still kickin’ it.” She chuckled as she walked toward the produce department.

These are the wonderfully unexpected things that happen in a small town.

Published in: on August 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blue Horizon – Ali vs Sonny Liston

 

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched a fight match on TV and only a single time I’ve seen one up close and personal.

First the TV. Most of the fights I’ve watched were less than spectacular except for the Ali vs Sonny Liston fight back in the 60s. There was so much hype centering around how bad Ali would be beat by Liston, that if you were a breathing human being (even if you’d never watched a fight before), this match had a macabre way of drawing you in. So, like thousands of other Americans, I tuned in that night. I even popped a bowl of popcorn, believing I would be stuck in front of the TV for a while.

About five minutes in, Liston went down–for the count! I hadn’t even put a dent in the popcorn. It was a stunner of a fight. I just sat in front of the TV staring at it, as if there could be some mistake. But no, Ali had taken down the giant and it had been spectacular to watch.

That fight didn’t transform me into a fight fan, but back in the 70s, the Blue Horizon Boxing Club was a popular local venue where Philadelphians went to see up-and-coming young boxers fight. My sister (who was a big boxing fan) had been begging me for weeks to accompany her to a boxing match down at the Horizon. I finally agreed.

The crowded lobby, before the doors opened to admit the fans, was like a raucous party. By the time we entered the boxing arena, we were friends with several of the regulars who made sure we were close to the action in the ring, second row seats to be precise. In those days, Blue Horizon spectators could practically sit in the ring with the fighters. It wasn’t a huge place like it is today.

Anyway, the fights began. Sweat mixed with blood was sprayed on the people seated close to the ring. As I mentioned, my sister and I were in a second row seat.

My sister loved, loved, loved it. I was nauseated throughout, but the guys who felt sure they had introduced us to the greatest sport in Philly, if not in the world, were so excited for us that I dared not go to the restroom to throw-up my dinner.

Worst night of my life? No, mostly because those Blue Horizon boxing fans were so enthusiastic about their sport and thank goodness we met them, because I didn’t have to accompany my sister to the Horizon ever again. She had a new group of friends who met her there for several more matches while I sat comfortably at home reading a book or watching Charlie’s Angels.

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Croquet–The Wicked Version

For two glorious summers in the early 70s, every time I had a barbeque for friends, we got into the habit of setting up nine wickets and two stakes in my backyard and we played a wicked game of croquet. I say wicked, because that’s the only word I can think of to describe the mayhem. The USCA (United States Croquet Assoc.) would’ve never approved.

The truth is, I had the perfect yard to set up a croquet course. It was long, about 100 feet and about 50 feet wide–perfect for croquet, except for one small detail. Running completely across the width of the yard, was a rolling hill. I’m not too good with measurements, but I’d say it was a foot and a half high.

Trying to get a ball successfully up or down that hill while at the same time trying to aim your ball through a wicket was, as I mentioned, wicked. That first Saturday, when husbands and boyfriends, who were inside playing cards, heard the raucous commotion coming from the backyard and realized at once that the ladies weren’t playing an ordinary game of croquet, they issued the challenge–guys against gals. Once that happened, as you can imagine, the game became even crazier.

Oh, to relive those sunny afternoons when icy beers flowed, and the burgers and hot dogs tasted so, so good.

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Entitlements

I’m going to say it one more time–people who have given a portion of their hard-earned money over a lifetime are entitled to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. No one is looking for a handout! They’re called entitlements because people are entitled to receive a little (and it is a little) bit back for their hard work.

Social Security does not contribute to the deficit, period. It is a trust fund. It has nothing to do with the budget or the deficit. In spite of Congress raiding this trust fund over the years, a fund which incidentally should be untouchable, according to AARP, the fund is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2023.

Just as the baby boomers are becoming eligible to collect, remember they represent the large working class that contributed to the fund while they worked. Those surplus funds were invested in U.S. Treasury bonds. If anything, the boomers contributed even more for the welfare of our nation just by their sheer numbers. The government should keep its promise to retirees, just as it would to any other investors.

Published in: on October 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Project Runway

Is anyone else getting bored with Project Runway? The designers don’t seem to be as talented as they have been in past seasons. There definitely should have been more excitement for that challenge where they teamed up with a school art class. There was so much inspiration there from the young artists, but the same lackluster array of clothes was trotted out. Pitiful!

When I think of “Runway,” I think of glamor and extraordinary fashion. I want to see some gowns and cocktail dresses coming down the runway, not tailored pants and jackets constantly. What fun is there in that?

The avant-garde challenge should have been evening wear.

There should be a different red carpet challenge every season. Let’s see the difference between a Grammy Awards red carpet as opposed to what we might see on Oscar night.

With so many Hollywood-type events to choose from, the best they could come up with was the Nina Garcia challenge? I have never seen Nina wear anything electrifying, and why in the world would I want to see her in clothes she would wear to work?

And the challenges themselves are getting old and stale. Okay, making a garment from stuff you can buy in a pet store was fun the first couple of times, but come-on! And then to put one designer down for using umbrella material, while rewarding the designer using fleece wasn’t even a fair assessment of the project, especially when the guy who made a dress out of birdseed was the clear winner.

And by the way, the bully in the playroom should’ve been kicked off the show, not one of his victims. But, oops, I forgot–the ratings. Maybe people are looking forward to more hysterics and mood swings. I, for one, would like to see more “out of the box” design and less drama.

Tomato, Tomahto

Whichever way you say it, you haven’t eaten a really good tomato in a very long time–well, unless you are growing your own or buying from a farmers market. However, you are eating really, really pretty tomatoes: bright red, no blemishes, smooth skin, firm to the touch, perfect green stem. Too bad they’re red rocks with little or no juice inside.

photo from

Every year, it gets harder and harder to find an awful looking, ugly tomato–the ones that are grown to taste good, not look good.

photo from

If you find one, don’t expect it to be bright red. Sometimes they’re more orange. And don’t bother to look for a perfect stem sticking out of its misshapen body, because there probably isn’t one.

If you’ve ever bent over and picked a tomato direct from the plant, you’ll know the minute you hold this ugly baby in the palm of your hand that it’s been sun-drenched and grown outside and maybe it hasn’t even been sprayed with “who knows what.”

So, the next time you pass the tomatoes in your supermarket, try to figure out why you don’t see those hideous looking tomatoes in the store anymore. Are we so enamored of beauty that our food has to look gorgeous, while real taste suffers?

Oh, well. Pretty is “in.”  So, I won’t even get started on our pretty, pretty red beef, or our pearly white eggs, or …

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 2:27 am  Comments (2)  

On to New Heights

NASA Photo

Rockets!   Shuttles!   They were glorious. They were exciting.

First manned flight. First man on the moon. Maybe some day first woman on Mars.

If you’re old enough, you’ll recall Sputnik, the first Russian satellite to be put into orbit back in 1957. Sputnik’s launch started the Space Age Race.

Sputnik

We’ve come a long way since ’57. Space was all the rage back then. I remember my prom’s theme was Starlight Melody. I was in charge of creating little sputniks, which we hung high from the ceiling surrounded by yards and yards of blue tulle. We danced under the stars, the skies, the moon and those tiny, glittering sputniks. Fun times.

Over–for now.

On to new heights!

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thomas Jefferson Said

Evidently, Tom knew what he was talking about!

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered… I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson

Chubby Checkers

Who would’ve guessed that out of all the shows I’ve seen in my lifetime, Chubby Checker’s concert would take first prize? I didn’t think anyone could possibly displace the double bill of the fantastic Tina Turner and the inimitable Joe Cocker, but there it is. Chubby Checker skyrocketed.

His show didn’t begin with an announcer’s usual warnings, “There will be no flash pictures allowed during the show” and “Turn off all cell phones.”  Once the show started, I understood why. Because if a cell phone rang, no one would’ve heard it anyway.

Only one prior statement was made–“Chubby will be available in the lobby after the show to sign autographs and say hello.”

Then his band walked out, took their places and the sax player walked up to the mic and simply said, “Chubby Checker.”

Chubby walked out onto the stage and proceeded to sing non-stop for an hour and a half. He embraced the audience and they embraced him back.

By the mid-point of his concert, it became obvious he needed no back-up singers or performers, because his audience filled the bill. People were dancing in the aisles, standing at their seats dancing and those who couldn’t get out of their seats were dancing in their seats.

Whenever he sang a song that came complete with its own dance, he’d shout, “If you know how to do the Pony, come on up.” People of all ages went up to the stage and danced. At one point, he had over 20 women onstage teaching them how to do the Fly. Toward the end of the show, he had 20+ men on stage doing the Twist.

He encouraged people to sing and since everyone in that audience knew the lyrics, everyone in that audience sang. He didn’t just perform his own songs, he sang songs that were well-loved in the 60’s. Songs by Little Richard, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, and so many more I couldn’t keep track.  He sang Blue Suede Shoes and he didn’t massacre it. He did Elvis proud.

At other concerts I’ve attended, when a recognizable song is about to begin, there is a hushed sort of “ahhh” that permeates the audience. At this concert, every time Chubby started to sing, people screamed their approval.

Senior teenagers! It was a night to reminisce, to do things we hadn’t done in many years. Some folks who climbed up on stage had to be helped up the steps. In one case, a man actually used a cane to get up on stage to join the rest of the guys.

Inhibitions be damned! Everyone was a kid again.

Many people stayed to talk to Chubby after the show and get his autograph. Some held old 33 1/3 record albums for him to autograph. Others just wanted to tell him what he meant to them when they were growing up.

I was there well over an hour and there were still people waiting to talk to him. They took pictures of him with their cell phones. He was gracious, never rushed anyone, and he signed every autograph requested.

It was a party!

Entitlements

What do you figure the word “Entitlements” stands for?

Maybe it means old people feel they are entitled to receive money from the government after they reach a certain age.

Or maybe it means after people work their entire lives and contribute money to Social Security and Medicare that they are entitled to receive some of their money back after they retire.

Either way, where do these old folks think all this moolah is coming from? Can the federal budget be balanced while these freeloaders siphon off tons of cash from the government?

Here are the facts. Read carefully so this sinks in.

Social Security is NOT part of the budget. It sits in a fund that was set up when Social Security was created. (That is unless the government hasn’t misappropriated the money to use for other purposes. I remain hopeful that hasn’t happened, but maybe I’m an optimist.)

According to Paul Owens writing in the Orlando Sentinel on May 6, 2011 … Congress has been raiding the Social Security trust fund for years… To read his entire article go to Orlando Opinionators.

Over the years, Social Security has collected more money than it has paid out. The surplus funds have been invested in U.S. Guaranteed Treasury Bonds. AARP states that in 2009, the trust fund had $2.5 trillion in bonds, earning 4.9 percent interest.

Perhaps the finger-pointing should be aimed at Congress — not at Entitlements.

Elizabeth Taylor

Okay, now that I come to think about it, I guess I overlooked Elizabeth Taylor as one of my favorite women. I’ll have to extend my list to eleven and include her.  She has been a part of my life–well, all my life. At one time, hands down, she was the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.

Back in the 50’s, the nuns at school spoke about how sinful she was. She had so many marriages and love affairs. Luckily, I didn’t allow their propaganda to sway me. There was always something about Elizabeth Taylor that was magical.

Thank goodness some of it is captured on film.

Published in: on March 25, 2011 at 12:59 am  Comments (1)  

10 Women I Like — A Lot

As with my list of men, I won’t be listing any American presidents–oops, we haven’t had any female presidents–no American politicians, or religious leaders. This is a random list, no ranking intended.

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt – Human Rights were her passion. She fought for the youth of America, for the poor, for black Americans and for women at home and abroad. She was a suffragette. (Yeah, Eleanor!) Her accomplishments are too vast to enumerate.
  2. Audrey Hepburn – For me she will always be My Fair Lady, but her glowing achievement was working as UNICEF’s Ambassador. She traveled the world, gave countless interviews and appeared before Congress, working tirelessly to make children’s lives better.
  3. Gloria Steinem – Where would women be today without Gloria and Bella Abzug?
  4. Lena Horne – I think she was probably born 50 years too soon for Hollywood.  But in spite of some really Stormy Weather, she clung to her star status throughout her life. Her sultry voice caressed. Her music should be cherished.
  5. Margaret Thatcher – Britain’s first female Prime Minister. History will decide her successes and failures. All the same, I loved listening to her speak.
  6. Jackie Kennedy – She entered my life as the wife of a president and she enchanted me for the rest of her life.
  7. Ginger Rogers – For the many hours I spent at the movies and in front of the TV watching her dance effortlessly across the screen with Fred Astaire.
  8. Pauly Perrette – Plays Abby on NCIS. This seems like an unlikely choice, but what many don’t know about Pauley is she uses her celebrity to help children, animals and the homeless. She is active in so many foundations, it would make your head spin.
  9. Rosa Parks – Where does this type of courage come from?
  10. Sandra Day O’Conner – First female member of the Supreme Court. She was a ground-breaker from the minute she graduated from law school.

Ain’t women grand?

Darvocet Is Off The Market!

Are you asking me to believe that it took the FDA over fifty years to decide Darvon and Darvocet should be taken off the market?!

It appears even the panel of experts couldn’t agree:

The pain medications Darvon and Darvocet should be pulled off the market, according to a recommendation approved on a 14-12 vote by a panel of medical experts assembled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For those of us who suffer from chronic pain, this is a catastrophe. Anyone who uses Darvocet or its generic, propoxyphene, which is a mild drug, will attest to its effectiveness, and it doesn’t make you drowsy. In case you’re wondering how many people that is–in 2009, 10 million people depended upon propoxyphene to help make their life livable. Deaths linked to Darvocet annually – .0005%.

What I find so wrong about this is–I would like to be able to make my own choice. Give me the facts and let me decide whether the risk is worth the pain relief.

Here are some comments from Join Together. It appears a lot of people would like to make their own decisions.

According to an article on the link Darvocet should be banned.. 23 million prescriptions per year are issued, (for the last 50 years??) the article also mentions 2,100 deaths from 1981 to 1999 (18 years). This does not seem to be a high risk ratio to me. I can only conclude the people making these waves have never dealt with moderate to severe chronic pain.

Here’s another:

I hope that this medicine is NOT taken off the market. I am deathly allergic to ALL NSAIDS.

And another:

My wife had a stroke and none of the other drugs that she was given gave the relief for the nerve pain that she has. If it is taken off the market then what can she use? The other drugs are either more addictive or so strong that it causes her to sleep 24/7. What quality of life would she have without it? Darvocet seems to be the only drug that actually cuts down the pain to tolerable level.

I’m really, really tired of the government taking such good care of me.

Now, I’m in the process of trying out other drugs that might be able to take the place of Darvocet. If and when I find it, I can be sure it will cost a whole lot more than my 50-year-old medication.

I’m sure the pharmaceutical companies are happy with the FDA’s decision. They must be jumping up and down with joy.

Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

When Did Living in the USA Get So Scary?

I remember when the news was delivered on TV in an unbiased manner. You were free to interpret it whatever way you liked. What a surprise–we were intelligent enough to do that for ourselves.

Enter cable TV and Internet.

Now we have “pundits.” People who give opinions in an authoritative manner through mass media. (That definition is straight from the dictionary) These pundits pose as learned individuals. But it seems to me what they really do is stir up a lot of hate. It’s all about the ratings, folks.

And when did we turn the corner of humanity and find that public humiliation was a fun form of television entertainment?

When did bullying become deadly?

I mean, for Pete’s sake, this awful girl named Vera used to sit in the desk behind mine and pull my ponytail.  She was a bully. So was Jesse. She always grabbed my scooter and wouldn’t give it back unless I begged. (which, for the record, I wouldn’t) What a bully she was!

Here’s a little something to ponder on cyber-bullying. And to think I was worried about Vera and Jessie.

When did we become reticent, if not scared, to engage in political talk with someone who held an opposing point of view?

Of course, there was no Internet or Reality TV or Pundits back then.

But right now, in this time and space, living in a country that is so filled with hatred is becoming burdensome and frightening.

BP Oil Spill Cartoon

WHAT A CRYING SHAME!

Drawing by John Darkow-Columbia Daily Tribune

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream – A Disappointment

I remember the days when I had no choice. If I wanted cherry vanilla ice cream, I’d pass all the other brands and head straight to the Breyers section. No  question. Breyers has always been about $1.00 more than the other brands, but it was worth it. I always say, if you’re willing to swallow the calories, they should me A #1 calories.

Of course I’m talking about the days before Cherry Garcia. It seems while I wasn’t paying attention, the quality of all the Breyers ice creams were being cheaped-down, while Ben &  Jerry were using top quality ingredients in their ice creams. This has become my dilemma.

Do I eat less ice cream, because Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a whole lot more expensive? Or do I accept the fact that Breyers ice creams have become mediocre, but are still pretty good in comparison to other cheaper brands?

This certainly isn’t the most pressing dilemma in the world, but it’s one I at least have control over. What do you think?

Published in: on August 7, 2010 at 6:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Do You Poop Or Do You Poo?

When did the word poop change to poo?

When I was a small child and I had to poop, I told my mother I had to do a #2. That was really a poop, except my mother didn’t want me shouting poop in the middle of a store, so her code word for poop was #2.

Now I’ve been hearing the new-improved, shortened version of poop being used, which apparently is poo.

I don’t know about you, but I have poo-pooed an idea or a piece of advice from time to time, but I’ve never pooed on a toilet, as far as I know.

Published in: on July 24, 2010 at 4:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Shocking Police Reports – Small Town News

If you’ve never moved from a large city to a small town, you might find this amusing. I, myself, had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.

I relocated recently and now receive an itty-bitty weekly town newspaper. One of the regular columns is Cops Corner (a report of crimes committed during the previous week). The following is a woman’s account “word for word” of her encounter with an intruder.

Suspicious Incident. A woman advised that her house is for sale and she has been showing it to prospective buyers. An elderly man came to see the house. They shook hands as he was leaving and he kissed the top of her hand. She said he then hugged her and kissed her on the neck. The man attempted to kiss the woman on the lips, but she pushed him away and asked him to leave. The man told her he would like to make love to her. She never felt threatened but did tell him to leave several times. The man left without further contact. She is not pressing charges.

Is that a hoot, or what?! Here’s another one for your reading pleasure. Same week, same paper. A real crime spree!

Larceny – Motor Vehicle. A man informed a deputy that someone had broken and removed the passenger window of his truck. The victim showed the deputy the broken side window and said that after breaking the window, the unknown person placed it in the grass next to the vehicle. The man stated the GPS, satellite radio and his safety equipment were all still in the vehicle. The only things taken were (WAIT FOR IT!) a soda from his cooler and two AA batteries. There are no suspects.

It seemed to be quite a week for odd car break-ins. A 19-year-old woman stated that an unknown person broke into her Jeep, too. Stolen? three $1 bills and $2 in change.

Don’t you just love small town America? Meanwhile, the oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico like there’s no tomorrow.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Pensacola Beach After the BP Oil Spill

Photo from

How sad! And the oil is still gushing. It’s like the Exxon Valdez all over again–only this time on a daily basis.

A lot of people and politicians are asking why the well can’t be blown up.

From Rep. Phil Gingrey

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go into the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the — around the periphery — drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently,” Rep. Phil Gingrey (Ga.) said earlier this month.

Could it be BP is more worried about their bottom line? Do you think they care nothing about people or nature?

Oh, forget I wrote that. No one could be that greedy.

Typewriter, Dictaphone, Mimeograph, Email, Laptop

I bought my first laptop today.

It got me to thinking back to my first secretarial job. Back then the qualifications needed to land a job were a good typing score (on a typewriter) with a knowledge of shorthand, or the ability to transcribe from a dictaphone or ediphone.

If copies were ever needed, you used carbon paper. Suppose you needed fifty or sixty copies? Then you had to rev up the mimeograph machine, but first a stencil had to be typed. Lots of good fun there!  See Boomer with a View.

I remember the first time I used Email. The system was installed into every employees’ computer in the company. Voila! I could actually send a message to someone on the third floor from the first floor. Believe it or not, it was only a test run at our company. The CEO didn’t see any future in it. When the test period ended, Email disappeared from my workplace. Wonder where that guy is working today?

Anyway, I wrote this post on my new laptop. Welcome to the 21st century.

Published in: on June 19, 2010 at 6:03 am  Comments (1)  

Dieting & Disco Dancing

How many times have you heard this? “If you want to lose weight, you must diet and exercise.” That sentence is at the top of my list of most hated things I want to hear.

I applaud all the people who love to jog, or love to go to the gym. I’m not one of them. However, I do like to listen to music, which brings me to disco dancing. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to sit and listen to disco music. That’s because it’s main appeal is it’s hard-to-ignore invitation to dance. The beat is perfect.

Therein lies the key that unlocks my exercise room. In my case, that’s my living room. I’ve been disco dancing (when no one is around). It’s fun. Finally! An exercise I can love.

You don’t need a partner, so let the gyrating begin.

Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Bowling – The Pin Boy

photo from

Well, it’s official. I’m really, really old! Yesterday I had to explain what a pin boy was. This “back in the day” knowledge of mine rushes in and sometimes startles me. I can’t believe how much the world has changed since I entered it.

Anyway, for those who lack my firsthand knowledge–The pin boy’s job was to set the bowling pins up after they’d been knocked down. Each boy covered four or five lanes and on a busy night, you sometimes had to wait for him to reset your lane. He was also in charge of clearing downed pins if they tipped over and stayed in the playing field.

There were no electric contraptions coming down to pick up and swish the pins backward. Everything was done by muscle. Oh, and the pin boy had to place the bowling ball in the chute to return it to the player, too.

It may not sound like it, but being a pin boy was a pretty good job. Several kids I knew held the job and loved it, except for the times they got hit in the ankle by a flying pin or bowling ball. But they had elevated steps to stand on located between the lanes, so an experienced pin boy hardly ever got hit unless he was caught off-guard moving from one lane to another. Then the players would hear him scream, “ouch.”

Jeez. Now that I think about it,  I can remember when the guts of a computer took up an entire room…but that’s another “back in the day” story.

Published in: on May 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dr. Who – New Who – Who Knew?

Photo from telegraph.co.uk

Just thought I’d take a trip down memory lane. I’ve been watching “The Doctor” take off on new adventures in the Tardis since the 70’s. Back then Tom Baker was the Time Lord. His scarf was a bit off the wall, but it matched his personality.

For the last couple of years I enjoyed David Tennant, a totally different type of Doctor, but still endearing. Now he’s gone. He has regenerated into a new Dr. Who.

telegraph.co.uk

Meet the new Dr. Who – Matt Smith. Who knew a TV series could go on this long! Believe it or not, Matt’s the 11th Doctor. He brings something new to the role, but he’s still Dr. Who, the smartest Time Traveler in the Universe.

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

“New Tricks”- Is Anyone Watching?

New Tricks — Am I the only one who has discovered this BBC weekly series?

New Tricks

Photo from TV Page.com

Look for it on Monday nights. In my area, PBS airs back to back one-hour episodes starting at 8:00 p.m. (no commercials – hooray!)

TV.com writes a short summary.

New Tricks centres around Sandra Pullman who out of desperation to put her flagging police career back on track recruits three old veterans to lend a helping hand.

The show proves, conclusively, that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks!

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

6 Easy Diet Snacks

I’ve already demonstrated how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs in my previous post, and they are the first items on my snack list, as well as on Heidi Klum’s.

  1. 2 Hard-boiled Eggs (only 150 calories)
  2. Eat your favorite cereal straight from the box. No milk? More cereal!
  3. Look for The Laughing Cow light cheese spread triangles in the dairy case. 1 triangle = 35 calories. (I can vouch for the Swiss flavor–it doesn’t taste like artificial muck!) 1 triangle easily covers 6 or 7 saltine crackers.
  4. Rice Cake smeared with 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2  sliced banana
  5. Low-fat Cottage Cheese with plenty of fresh blueberries mixed in
  6. Listen up! There are 15 calories in a tablespoon of ReddiWip. Think about that. You can add some really good zippitydoodah to that blah jello. Live a little. Spritz on two whole tablespoons. I’m not talking about that fat free stuff, either. This is the real deal. Jello with fruit with a large dollop of whipped cream. Heaven help us!

Click for more helpful hints

Published in: on October 4, 2009 at 8:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Maine

Acadia National Park

I’ve never been to Maine, but I’d like to go someday. Here are some of the places I’ll be looking for:

Published in: on September 13, 2009 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Atlanta, Georgia

Sky-Hike-Atlanta

It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Atlanta, but I remember my visit fondly. Probably one of the most innovative places in Atlanta is their underground shopping, where you’ll find unique shops and restaurants.

Also downtown, tour the World of Coca Cola.

Read more.

Macon, Georgia

macon-gaphoto from

[My computer has been sick, but it’s all better now.]

So, what’s doing in Macon, GA? That’s what I was thinking 5 years ago when a friend asked me if I’d like to go to Macon for the Cherry Blossom Festival. It turns out that Macon has more, many more, cherry blossom trees than Washington, DC.

And there’s more!

My Job Was Eliminated

I have been eliminated–not laid off with the hope of being rehired. No, I am an eliminated entity. That’s like erasing all the writing from a chalkboard with one sweep of an eraser. One minute there’s something there; the next minute it’s gone.

The thing is, one doesn’t know what to do with oneself when the alarm doesn’t go off. I remember all those mornings when that annoying alarm sounded and all I wanted to do was catch another 20 minutes of sleep. Now, for some reason, I don’t crave the sleep. I get up like always, but I have no place to go.

After several days of thinking and analyzing and speaking to my family, I have decided to move in with my daughter. We will be three generations in one house. That has spawned much discussion among my friends and acquaintances.

Many families, not just mine, are merging together out of necessity. I didn’t realize that while I was still employed, but it appears families are circling the wagons. They have run out of other choices.

In some instances, it is a good thing. My ophthalmologist has opened his doors once again to his son, and his nephew, too, is having a hard time finding another job. He is expecting to find him on his doorstep any day now, as well. However, he welcomes the opportunity to help both boys through this crisis and believes he will come to know each of them a little better because as he puts it, ” I only know the boys as they once were, not as the adults they have become.”

I think my decision to join my family will also be a good one, but I know there are many family situations that are not conducive to combining generations in one home.

I just had a discussion with a friend five minutes ago, while I was writing this post as a matter of fact, who is not looking forward to what the near future has in store for her. Her mother-in law and brother-in-law are preparing to move into her home. She is forced to give up space that she worked hard to create for herself and her husband over the years. That may not sound like much, but it’s huge. Furniture put into storage to make room for other furniture being moved in. Drapes to be hung in a sun room that will now be used as a bedroom, no longer a place of refuge. She views this turn of events as an end of her peace and comfort, something she craves when she comes home from work. The fact that she is forced to give all of this over to people she doesn’t particularly care for, but who she is obligated to help in their time of need, makes it all the more an enormous struggle. Yet, she will do it because she loves her husband.

I think depression will be the likely result for those who are forced to join together and make unwanted and unforeseen changes in their lives. What a pity. What to do? What to do?

Published in: on June 19, 2009 at 12:14 am  Comments (1)  

Savannah, Georgia

savannah-oglethorpe-sq

Oglethorpe Square

If you’re looking for southern hospitality, try Savannah, Georgia. On the menu–candy for the eyes. It is chock full of quaint B&Bs, but the main attraction is its charming 22 park squares that are situated throughout the historic district of the city. There’s lots more

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  

San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

When I travel I like to visit places I have read about in a book or magazine. I become the ultimate tourist. My intent is to take the words off the page and experience them in real life. San Francisco is a prime destination where you can do just that.

For one thing, a lot of stuff you’ve read about is within walking distance of each other. You can visit the sea lions AND MORE

Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Philadelphia, PA

Sculling on the Schuykill

If you’re vacationing in the U.S., Philadelphia is a good choice. It’s got a little bit of everything: history, art, sports, Broadway-caliber theaters, nightlife and great food.

READ ALL ABOUT IT


Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Good For The Waistline-Good For The Pocketbook, Too

cheeseburger

It’s time to cut out some of the fast food drop-ins on your way home from work. Notice I say some, because there are days when you’re just too tired to cook, or you don’t have time to cook, or you’ve got to have a greasy cheeseburger, no matter what!

On those days when there’s no getting around it, be prepared. It doesn’t have to be a fast food burger. I buy a pound of ground beef, but instead of freezing it, I shape it into four burgers (very simple–nothing whatsoever added to it). Those individually wrapped burgers are always in my freezer. I freeze burger buns, too. Instant meal!

And if you want to make it healthier, smother every burger with tomato, lettuce, pickle, onion and a little cheese. The more lettuce, the better. It adds crunch.

Another thing you might want to consider is, once the kitchen is cleaned after dinner, put up the “Closed” sign. I don’t mean literally, but I remember my mother wiped and dried her kitchen sink. She shined the faucet and folded the towel and, believe me, you didn’t mess up her sink after that. It was her way of closing the kitchen for the night. It was a good policy. No one in our family had a weight problem back then.

And, incidentally, if you want to read a book about losing weight the fun way, try reading a book written by Janice Taylor titled All Is Forgiven, Move On. I mention her book because one of her suggestions is to close your kitchen at 9:20 p.m. every night.  My mom was doing that back in the 50’s.

Janice also has some nifty charts, some great recipes and motivation ideas for getting healthy and staying that way.

You might also want to visit Janice’s site http://ourladyofweightloss.com/ It’s an interesting read.

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pirates of the Gulf of Aden

Does it get any better than Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean? Before Depp burst onto the scene, I thought Errol Flynn was the best swashbuckling pirate of them all. He robbed the rich to give to the poor, a regular sea-worthy Robin Hood. He wooed every aristocratic woman who became stranded on his ship through happenstance and, of course, they couldn’t resist his charms. His crew always loved him, as well.The pirate world was a fantasy land for the romantics.

Now fast-forward to the 21st century version of pirates.Weren’t you a little surprised the first time you heard about pirates taking possession of ships for ransom in this day and age? How did that happen? Why did that happen?

According to this recent report from the Associated Press, most often these modern-day  pirates are Somalians.

More than a dozen ships with about 300 crew members are still being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia, including the weapons-laden Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina, which was seized in September.

The multi-million dollar ransoms are one of the few ways to earn a living in the impoverished, war-ravaged country. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and nearly half of its population depends on aid.

What a sad commentary on the world we live in today. No more scenes of gaiety with Errol Flynn. Even the bravado of Johnny Depp’s, Jack Sparrow, is of no use in this latest of pirate sagas.

Our world becomes more and more scary every day. What to do? What to do?



Published in: on January 12, 2009 at 12:28 am  Leave a Comment  

Turn Signals May Be Detrimental To Your Health

Not using them, that is!

Why have so many people stopped using turn signals? Too lazy? Or maybe cutting cars off is more macho? I don’t know. What I do know is blood pressure rises when the car in front of you brakes to make a turn, or swerves into your lane without signaling.

Aside from raising your blood pressure, the “no turn signal” habit can kill you.

A lot of people feel the same way. See Ed’s Thoughts On Life

I don’t care who you are, where you’re driving, who’s around you or any other excuse you might give, if you don’t use your turn signal when driving your vehicle you make the roads a little bit less safe. On city and country roads – okay maybe you can have a little lea-way, but for gosh sake when driving on the highway, use your friggin’ turn signal!

The last time I bought a new car, the turn signals weren’t part of an optional package. All cars come equipped with turn signals. They’re meant to be used. They’re not an option.

Tension and anxiety levels in our society are on the rise. Stressful situations already abound in our fast-paced lives, why add to the pressure cooker?  Clogteachr doesn’t like sharing the road with the “crazies,” either.

Are these really an option when it comes time to purchasing a car? You would think so. It is just polite to use them … I mean how else are we to know that you want to turn?

Of course if the police don’t even use their signals why should the general public. You can get a ticket for not using one.

I was watching the movie “Shoot ’em Up” (with Clive Owen) this weekend and the director made a point about this. You only have to move your finger a half an inch to signal you are changing lanes … so come on people be connsiderate …

A half an inch–with one finger–is all it takes. If everyone used signals there would be less of this,

ambulance-man-on-stretcher

And more of this.

family-fun

Photo from

Published in: on December 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Santa’s Secret Village

This is a repeat from last year’s popular post.

With Christmas right around the corner, you’ll want to go to this site and share some quality time with your child or grandchild. It’s an amazing place to play. These are just some of the things you will find at Santa’s Secret Village.

1. The kids can write a letter to Santa and he’ll write back.
2. Create a personalized Christmas story.
3. See Disco Dancing Santa.
4. Read a book.
5. Do some coloring.
6. Connect-the dots
7. There are loads of recipes that you can prepare with the kids.
8. Rhyme words.
9. Watch movies and videos.
10. Build a snowman.

The list goes on and on. There are activities galore.

For home schooling, there’s even an Elf Pal Academy with lesson plans that combine learning with fun.

If you can dream it up, they probably already have it at this site.

Go here http://www.northpole.com/Village.html. You’re going to be glad you did.

Published in: on November 23, 2008 at 1:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Hospital

Frances Ellen is in the hospital.  Visit the site next week for an update.

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ghosts, Candy & Hitting Up The Drunks

Back in the day, Halloween was sheer delight. No one worried about razors in apples, or the safety of the streets. Parents stayed at home and gave out candy. Kids went door to door showing off their costumes. (most homemade using a bit of ingenuity.)

READ ABOUT THE GHOSTS, CANDY & DRUNKS

Published in: on October 26, 2008 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Does Chewing Gum & A Mental Disorder Have In Common

I guess I’m stuck in some frivolous time warp because this week I’m going to discuss chewing gum. Did you know that if you want to chew gum nowadays, most of the gum on the market contains aspartame? This applies to all chewing gums, not only sugar-free gum.

READ ON

Published in: on October 19, 2008 at 11:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Frivolous For The Soul

I had a need to write about something frivolous this week. With the downturn of the stock markets, and the low roads being taken by the politicians, I’m thinking I need to raise my spirits.

So here goes. If you look up the word frivolous on the internet, here are some of the things you find.

GO HERE – PRETTY AMUSING

Published in: on October 12, 2008 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

View From My Balcony

It’s important to get rid of your mental noise once in a while, and you don’t need a balcony or a pier to do that. We’re all so busy, it’s hard to remember to take time out for quiet. Fortunately, it takes very little forethought to take an adult “time out.” For instance, try this some Saturday morning.

GO HERE TO DE-STRESS

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

DO NOT Keep a Diary

About a week ago, I sent an email out to several friends asking them to share a favorite childhood memory with me. Many of the those who replied were the same people who have been telling me they can’t write.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I strongly feel everyone should be writing something –anything– so that the only thing one leaves behind isn’t just ashes. What would be the point of your being here if that’s all you leave?

Don’t even think about keeping a diary. Because you probably won’t.

A DIARY? NO WAY! READ MORE

The Saga Of The Squirrels

It was 7:00 a.m. I sat on the porch sipping tea when it happened. First, I heard the loud flutter of wings swooping to the ground, and then I saw the landing, It was a hawk gunning for two squirrels, who minutes before were running around the trunk of a tree, playing and squealing at each other.

Read More About The Danger Lurking In My Backyard

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  

“Auditions” by Barbara Walters

Even before you read one word of Barbara’s book, you understand what a remarkable life she has led. Printed inside the front and back covers are the names of all the people she has interviewed–the famous and the infamous.

READ MORE ABOUT BARBARA’S BOOK

Things My Mother Told Me

My mother would say to me,”Don’t spray cologne on your neck.”

Here’s her rationale. The skin under your chin, the “front” of your neck, is thin, delicate skin. It is one of the first places where people show their age. Since the first ingredient in cologne is alcohol, this is NOT a good thing to spray on your neck year after year after year. Her advice–spritz a little to the “back” of your neck, your wrists and the inside of your elbows.

FOR MORE MOTHERISMS

Published in: on August 30, 2008 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

6 Ways To Beat The Cost Of Groceries

  1. Don’t throw those leftover veggies in the garbage. Save them in a large container in the freezer. Keep adding to it. Leftover beef and chicken can be collected in the same container. Chop meat into cubes before adding. When the container is full, dump it into a pot of broth (chicken, beef or vegetable). Better still use some low-sodium bouillon cubes. It’s such a healthy meal, you don’t have to feel guilty about serving it with a big loaf of Italian or French bread.

Click Here For More Suggestions

Published in: on August 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happiness Is A Walk In The Rain – Spontaneity

run-in-the-rain.jpg

image from

Last Saturday afternoon, as I was getting ready to walk home from my friend Bev’s house, the clouds shuddered and an unexpected shower of rain began pelting the windows. It sounded good to me. It sounded like bad timing to Bev.

READ MORE ABOUT SPONTANEITY

2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

08/08/08 A propitious day in China, believed to bring prosperity, and to China’s utter delight, an opportunity to perform for the world–The Olympic Opening Ceremony.

READ AND SEE MORE ABOUT THE OPENING CEREMONY

Write a Memoir – Share a Memory

Every once in a while, I feel the necessity to encourage people to write and record a memory or two. I often suggest this to friends and I receive a variety of responses:
“I’m not a writer.”
“Nothing interesting has happened in my life.”
“No one would be interested in reading anything I could write.”
“I’m uncomfortable revealing incidents from my life.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I wouldn’t know what to write about.”

READ MY ANSWERS

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 12:14 am  Comments (2)  

10 Ways To Stretch Your Dollar

These are things I have been doing to ease the pain of high gas prices, high food prices and the devaluation of the dollar.

READ THE SUGGESTIONS

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 2:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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