Friday, November 1, 2019


            Wildfires, shootings, tornados, blizzards, politics.  The news had gotten so discouraging, I started watching the business channel, but the ups and downs of the market were making me seasick.  Even the comedy shows were anything but.  TV was not enjoyable.  I wanted to  get away from all that.  I checked, but there was no Calgon anywhere to be found.

            I needed to find some escapism entertainment.  I found the Hallmark Channel.  They usually show mild movies, even though the story line is always the same – girl breaks up with boyfriend and returns home, meets first love who broke her heart.  They renew their friendship while preparing for Christmas.  There’s always a snow scene and a Christmas tree with all the trimmings and other decorations.  Of course, there’s some misunderstanding, but everything works out and they live happily ever after.

            These movies are just what I need for this stressful time.  Unfortunately, there is one drawback.  I want to put my Christmas tree up and start decorating, but I have to wait until after Thanksgiving to do that.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Shocking Surprise

Tonight I got a shocking surprise.  It wasn't a good or bad surprise, but I was shocked.

A little backstory.  For about the last week and a half, I've been trying to eat healthfully.  For me, that meant no sweets, no fried foods, no wine and smaller portions.  And now I do feel better, more energetic.  I guess I was super good today because after dinner I was still hungry.  I needed a small snack.

I went to my secret stash of cookies in the pantry and checked the calorie counts and there was my surprise.  I had some lemon Oreos, some sugar wafers and Mallomars.  Here're the calorie counts - lemon Oreos have 150 calories in two cookies.  The sugar wafers have 110 calories in three small (about 1/2 inch by about three inches)  and the Mallomars have 120 calories in two cookies.

Who would have thought that those yummy chocolate covered marshmallows and cookie have fewer calories than a lemon cream filled sandwich cookie.  After all those marshmallows are covered in chocolate.  I took two and they were soooo good.

Friday, August 2, 2019


Well, I see that the climate change alarmists are at it again.

Recently, Google sponsored a global warming summit in Italy.  It was well attended by the rich and famous.  These "concerned" people arrived in their private jets and yachts.  They claim that private jets are necessary for security purposes.

Their 114 private jets must have put hundreds of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.  I'm sure their super yachts didn't do much good for the waters surrounding Sicily.

I just did a quick Google search on global warming or climate change conferences and found that there are meetings planned for this year in October in Amsterdam and Bangkok and another in December in Kuala Lampur.  More chances to use those private jets and travel in luxury.

I wonder is these attendees are more concerned about our planet, or if they just want an excuse for a party with their other jet-setting friends.

If they are truly concerned about our planet, they would consider jet-pooling the way we normal people are encouraged to car-pool when we commute.  Have they not heard about tele-conferencing?  Many large companies use this method for meetings instead of having employees fly from several offices to one office for a meeting.

Instead, the rich and famous want us to give up our water bottles and plastic straws so they can continue to enjoy fitting around the world in their private jets and super yachts so they can warn us that we only have 10 years to save our world.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Sometimes the old way is the best way.

For several weeks I have not been able to stream shows on my Firestick on my Smart TV.  Several times I would turn on the TV and switch to the streaming source, but it didn't work.  I guess since it's a "smart tv", I expected it would fix itself.

This morning,  I decided to tackle it myself.  I did a self diagnosis, checked the internet connection, made sure everything was plugged in and turned on.  I tried everything.  Fortunately, I resisted the temptation to return to factory settings.

Then I had a brainstorm.  Check the batteries in the remote, especially since I have had the Firestick for almost two years.  It was very hard to open, but I managed to do it without breaking anything.  That was a wonderful idea.  I changed the batteries (fortunately I had some on hand) and it worked.

In this wonderful electronic age, who knew the fix would be as easy as changing the batteries.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Books, Books, Books

Today I decided that it was a good day to tackle my office.  It's legendary, not because it is so beautifully decorated or organized, but because it is, to the outsider, disorganized and cluttered.  I found that it was getting difficult to walk around because I had two snack tables set up and two chairs at my desk.

Why do I need two chairs you ask.  Simple.  Crash has again decided that my comfortable desk chair is perfect for a nap.  When I want to work on my computer, I have to sit on a dining room chair because I have a very spoiled 18 year old cat who runs my house.

Today, she meowed until I sat on the couch so she could sit next to me.  I gave her enough time to fall into a deep sleep and then went into the office.

After I cleared the two tables and removed one and folded the other, I went after the bookcase.  I had hoped to find some books that I could donate.  Instead, I found many, many books that I bought intending to read.  Some were novels, others, books from places I visited, or hope to visit.

I did manage to organize two shelves of the bookcase, but in the process produced a pile of about a dozen books that I want to read.  Every time I saw a book, I thought, "I've been meaning to read that." and then added it to the pile.  I also found my copy of 1984 which I want to reread.  I think I first read that when I started work, right after high school.

So now I have a stack of books to read and probably another dozen on the Kindle.  Looks like I'm going to be very busy reading this summer.

Oh, I did find two books that I'm ready to donate.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  I've been watching some of the newsreel footage of that day and it reminded me of my trip six years ago to Normandy.  It was truly a trip I will never forget.

We visited Omaha Beach and I saw the cliffs those young me had to climb and the bunkers from where the German soldiers fired on them,  It was an enlightening and sobering experience to be in the actual place that I had read so much about and to see what they faced on that day.

We also visited the cemetery.  Again, seeing all those Crosses and Stars of David and realizing all the young lives that were lost that day and the days following.

I came away from that trip with a greater appreciation for the veterans of that war and all wars.  And I thank those who were wounded and died on that day.

On a lighter note, I bought a mug commemorating D-Day and will say a silent prayer of thanks today while I have my coffee.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Geographical Exploration

I recently returned from my latest geographical exploration.  This time I spent two weeks in Northern Italy with 15 or my neighbors and friends.  We started in Milan and then drove around the small towns in the area.  It was a wonderful trip and we had a wonderful trip leader.  Our plan, at one point, was to take a ferry from our hotel on Lake Como to an island in the center of the lake.  Unfortunately, the lake had other ideas that day and was very "angry"
so our leader went to Plan B.  He found a bus to take all 15 of us to a museum built upon and devoted to Roman ruins.
I find it amazing that these buildings have survived so long.

One of the selling points of this trip for me was a train through the Alps to Switzerland.  I am fascinated by the Alps.  Guess I'm a mountain person, I couldn't care less if I never saw a beach again.
Pretty much the rest of the trip was spent with views of these magnificent mountains.  We visited a farm that is almost completely self reliant.  They have mountain goats, deer, apples, olives, sheep.  The wife of the farmer uses the wool from the sheep to make slippers, purses, etc.  They have a restaurant high in the mountains where we had lunch.  The food was delicious.

Of course, one cannot visit Italy without tasting the wine.  The wine was wonderful.  I could not decide which I preferred - red or white, or even bubbly - Prosecco.  It was all so good.

Before I went on this trip, I was ready to cut back on my travels, especially to Europe so I could concentrate on road trips here in the States.  I'm still planning on a couple of road trips this summer, but I'm wondering where I can travel to next year.  Maybe a river cruise in French wine country.  Yeah that sounds good.