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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yesterday my son returned to his home after a vacation here with me. He was here for about nine days and I really put him to work. He's very good to me and willingly did all those little jobs that I can't do, like fixing my computer and little odd jobs around the house. He explained, again, how I can link a story to this blog. Maybe I'll be able to do it soon.


It's been wonderful having him here, I wish it could be more often but he has a job and a life which he likes in another city. Since I have the flexibility, I'll probably move closer to him in a few years. In the meantime, I can always go out to visit him.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Anniversary

Tomorrow will be the first anniversary of this, my newest venture. I started writing this blog on December 30, 2006 and, while it's not as good as I would like, it is a start. This is just the latest in my attempt in fulfilling my dreams.

About eight years ago I decided I wanted to live in the country. I moved to a home in a very rural area of New York State. It was a great adventure and I probably would have stayed there, but I discovered my present home. Back in the country I had a family of five deer who would come into my yard almost every day, and the stars at night were big and bright. I had never seen so many stars, I even saw the big dipper.

Two years ago I decided to drive across the country, again something I always wanted to do and now I have the time. I saw Mt. Rushmore, the St. Louis Arch, Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful, and the Rockies. It was a wonderful trip, I hope I can do it again, if I don't drive, I'll take the train, again that's a wonderful trip.

My writing is improving and maybe some day I'll feel more confident about it, but until then, I'll keep writing and trying to fulfill my dreams. Everyday is a new adventure. I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts. Here's to many more years.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Years

This is the last weekend before New Years. It's a time when the papers are full of recaps of the past year and predictions for the next. We get lists of who died, who was born, who was married, the best of and the worst of. We are also inundated with predictions from various psychics and astrologers. Just once I would like to see a recap of last year's predictions just to see how good those psychics and astrologers really are. I doubt that will ever happen.

Today I heard Kim Coles on the IVillage tv show say that when she was a child she expected some sort of magic on New Years. She expected big changes and was very disappointed when she realized it was just another day. That's true, why do we expect so much from January 1. We expect great changes both to the world and ourselves. That sets us up for great disappointments. Why don't we see it as just another day and enjoy it. Then we can make our plans for change any other time of the year.

Whatever your thoughts on New Years, have a great one and enjoy 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back when I was in St. Sylvester School in Brooklyn, we usually started each semester with a motto for the term. I don't remember most of them, but two stand out. One was, "We must abhor every sort of affectation" and the other was, "Pride goes before a fall".

Today I learned about pride. Yesterday, I was bragging that after 43 years, I still had a complete set of china, and that I have rarely broken any dishes and glasses. Today while I was washing some bowls, one larger one slipped and knocked two others onto the stove, breaking them.

I think from now on, I'll keep quiet about my good luck with household furnishings.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Changes

As you can see, this page has had a facelift. There is now a link to my son's blog, Cromely's World and some news items. My son has been here this week and he has been doing some of the chores on my list which included these links. He has also done some routine maintenance on my computer and is also doing some scanning. It's so nice to have someone who knows what he's doing.

Enjoy the new look and have a very Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Letting Go

Lately I've been watching a show on The Learning Channel called "Moving Up". They show people who have sold their home and the people who have bought that home.

The sellers tell about their favorite part of the home and how great they think it is and say what a shame it would be if the new owners changed anything. The buyers are also shown in the house they have just sold to their new buyers. They of course feel that everything in their home is the best. I've often wondered why, if their home is so great, did they sell?

Of course, the new buyers change just about everything, doing the work themselves. At the end of the show, the sellers return to their old homes and critique the changes. Most times they don't think the changes are all that good and they prefer their homes the old way.

Why don't these people realize that when they took the money, the house was no longer theirs. It's time to let go.

Friday, December 21, 2007

How Others See Us

Too often we don't see ourselves as others see us. I've recently had a few examples of that.

About a week ago I was waiting for a bus. There were a few seats for those waiting on line. A man who I thought was older was sitting. He tried to get my eye and when he did, he offered me his seat. Of course, I declined but I didn't think I looked either that old or tired and he seemed to be around my age.

Several times at the supermarket checkout where the clerk was filling my bags, I've been asked if the bags were too heavy. Do I look that weak and frail? I don't think so, but what do I look like to other people.

A friend of mine had asked two college students for directions and when she thanked them, they replied, "You're welcome Grandma".

There was a time when I appreciated it when someone offered me a seat, now all I can think is that they think I'm old. I'm not old, I'm middle aged, well maybe a teeny bit more than middle aged.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Airports

Yesterday I went to the airport to meet my son's plane. Surprise, the flight was early, but there was a problem in the baggage area and it took almost an hour to get his bags.

While I was waiting a man walked by. I thought to myself that he looked an awful lot like John Amos, a character actor currently on Men in Trees. I didn't say anything but then an airline employee started calling for passenger John Amos. I was right! Unfortunately for Mr. Amos, there was a problem with his luggage and it was probably still out west. I hope he eventually got it. When we left, he was still filling out paperwork.

That's the second time I saw any celebrity at the airport. The other time was about six years ago when I saw Yogi Berra.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Survivors

I don't usually watch Larry King, but tonight I caught his show. His guests were "Lucky to be Alive". They were all unlikely survivors of lightning strikes, falls, shootings and sharks.

One woman was skydiving from 10,000 ft. She had a planned freefall for 5,000 ft, then her first parachute failed. If she had been more experienced it would not have been too much of a problem, but she wasn't. She tried the second chute, but it too failed. She landed face first on asphalt, broke many bones in her face and her pelvis. She's doing quite well now, but still needs reconstructive surgery on her face. The biggest miracle is that she was two weeks pregnant at the time, and is now the mother of a very healthy boy.

Another woman was struck by lightning and spent five days in a coma. At the time of the strike, her mother gave her cpr which probably kept her alive. She had to relearn everything and is still in a wheelchair. The doctors can't tell her how much further she will progress since they don't see many survivors of lightning.

Another survivor was a lawyer who was shot five times at point blank. His assailant hit him in the arm and neck. His only protection was a small tree that he tried to hide behind. Fortunately for him, the shooter missed major arteries and his spinal column.

The last survivor was a surfer who was attacked by a great white who kept circling him waiting for him to bleed to death. The shark took such massive bites that he required 700 stitches. He was saved by a pod of dolphins who swam between him and the shark until rescuers could reach him.

Their stories give hope to Alcides Moreno the window washer who fell from the roof of a 47 story high rise. As of Monday, he was still in critical condition. It's believed that he stayed on the scaffold which acted like a surfboard in the sky and slowed his descent.

There are still miracles.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Misplaced Food

Yesterday I had a small party at my home. I thought I had everything organized and under control.


I'm a very independent person and rarely accept help from my guests. I did make an exception yesterday and let someone put food on the table while I grated the cheese. Everything went well and I even accepted help clearing the table after dinner.


This morning while I was cleaning up and putting things away in my utensil drawer, I discovered a block of cheese. Evidently, when I finished grating the cheese, I put it back in the storage bag and put it in the drawer instead of the refrigerator. I guess I cot confused while I was telling people what to do. I've heard of other people putting food in strange places when they were distracted, but this is the first time I've ever done this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Memory

Lately, I've been forgetting things, nothing important, but it is annoying. Last week I bought a toy for a toy drive and put it in my room so it would be out of the way. When I looked for it to bring to the drive, I couldn't find it. I searched all over the house, in closets, in drawers, all to no avail. Last night when I was putting laundry away, I found it in the laundry basket. I never thought to look there.

I've also hidden cookies so that I wouldn't eat them and then forgot where I hid them, resulting in a wild search when the urge to eat came on.

Today was the worst though. I'm having company tomorrow and baked a cake. I have a lovely Christmas cake plate that obviously I only use once a year and I thought it would be perfect for tomorrow. Again, I looked in all the closets and drawers I could think of. I don't know where it is, and had to settle for a different, although as nice, plate.

I'm not concerned that I'm having "senior moments", I just think that my brain is like a hard drive and I have to delete some memory, or back it up on some paper list. I'll probably find that cake plate in July.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Weather

Yesterday was the last day of my three part lecture series on "The Language of Music". It was very interesting. We learned about the way other cultures have influenced our music. I enjoyed the series and the people I met. They are people I would like as friends and hope I see them at future lectures.

My original plan was to wander down Fifth Avenue and check out all the windows and maybe even go to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. What visit to Fifth Avenue would be complete without a stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Unfortunately, it began to sleet. As soon as I left the museum I started sliding on the sidewalk and realized it would not be a good idea to walk around the City.

There's another storm forecast for this weekend. That makes three snow/sleet storms so far and it's not even officially winter. Does this mean we're in for a snowy winter? I hope so, as long as we don't have storms when I have plans. How can I control the weather?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dick Wilson

Dick Wilson died a couple of weeks ago. This past week I've been seeing a commercial paying tribute to this relatively unknown man. Many people knew him, few people really knew him, or even knew that his real name was Dick Wilson.

We all knew him as Mr. Whipple and Charmin has been running a commercial as a memorial to him. I think this is a very nice touch. Remember, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin"?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Strange News

Even though we're in the midst of the Christmas season, there is still some strange news out there.

In South Dakota, a woman just wanted to relax in her backyard hot tub. Suddenly she saw a big, tan, hairy body. She didn't realize what it was until it took a leap and jumped up on the side of the hot tub. Fortunately, the cougar didn't like hot water and retreated. The woman said that now she knows what a goldfish feels like when the cat is staring in its bowl.

A Swiss man drove to Indonesia. He started his trip in July and drove through more than 15 countries before arriving in Bali last week. Solar panels on a trailer connected to his car feed electricity to a battery so he was able to travel 62 miles per day and not use any gas.

Police in Greece gave a parrot a $600 parking ticket, but the bird's owner is taking authorities to court. The local council says the perch is obstructing drivers because it partially blocks a metered parking space. The owner argues that the bird will die if it has to move indoors.

Talk about the big bang. In Australia an explosion tore through a fireworks factory. The building was destroyed and the flames were seen for miles, but fortunately no one was hurt.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Flowering Plants

About a year and a half ago when I drove cross country my son gave me several cuttings from one of his plants. I don't know the name of the plant, but it roots very quickly, in fact it had begun forming roots before I got home.

The plant thrived and soon I was taking cuttings and making more plants. I even took one to a friend who had invited me to dinner. That was about six months ago. She has been cutting it down and replanting the cuttings. The other day she called to gloat. Her plant is beginning to flower. Today, she called to say that she has over 25 buds.

My plants are still growing well, but, there are no flowers.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Radio

For the past two and a half years my morning radio was tuned to the Curtis & Kuby show on ABC. Now they have given that spot to Don Imus, even though the Curtis & Kuby show was among the top ranked morning radio programs.

The exchanges between Curtis and Ron Kuby were often entertaining and when Warner Wolfe joined the group, it only got better. Curtis Sliwa is still on ABC, but for only one hour - 5:00 am to 6:00 am, I'm rarely up that early.

On the last day of the regular show, Curtis showed a lot of class. He said that even though his show was highly ranked, that's the nature of the business, sometimes you're cancelled for no other reason than management wants a change of face. He even corrected a caller who said she would no longer listen to ABC. He reminded her of the other talented and intelligent broadcasters. I still haven't tuned into Imus, there's something about him that I don't like and haven't liked for many years.

I do miss Curtis Sliwa and his butchering of the English language, I'm sure a person of his caliber will not be off the air for long.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Museum Wanderings

Today was the second of the lecture series on "The Language of Music". My new best friends were there again. Today there was a discussion of the various codes the composers wrote into their works. Some musicologists have found certain combination of notes to mean certain things. After this series, I realize there is so much I don't know about music. I just want to go out and buy a bunch of cd's and sit and listen for the nuances and moods.

After the lecture, I wandered around the museum. There is an exhibit on Roman and Greco statuary and artifacts. The statues are magnificent and the pottery is just beautiful. I didn't realize that the Romans also used sarcophagi to bury their dead. I just thought it was only the Egyptians, I guess I never thought much about it.

Every time I see the sculpture and building that are over 2000 years old I'm amazed. This work that has survived all those years was done without benefit of power tools. What artists those early sculptors and builders were.

I also saw the Angel Tree. That too is beautiful. I'm definitely going to be spending more time visiting the museums and just wandering around the City. I saw some buildings that piqued my curiosity about their origins.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Season Part IV

Tonight we had a Holiday Concert given by a local chorus group. This was followed by a sing-along. While we singing "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus", I remembered the time I actually saw Santa Claus.

I guess I was about five years old and, like all five year olds on Christmas Eve, I had trouble sleeping. At one point I woke up and saw the shadow of a man leaving my parents' bedroom and he was carrying a large bag. I quickly shut my eyes and pretended to be asleep because I was afraid Santa would know I was awake and he'd leave without leaving any presents. From that night on I was convinced that the chimney for our home was in my parents' closet. The next morning, when I realized that Santa didn't know I was awake I was so excited. I told everyone I knew that I actually saw Santa.

A few years later I realized that I really had seen my father setting everything up for us. But for a little while it was magic.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Season, Part III

Part II was actually yesterday, but I didn't realize it.

In years past there was the usual problem with the lights. I could never understand why a set of perfectly working lights was put neatly away, but the following Christmas it was a tangled mass of sporadically working lights. Fortunately, I haven't had that problem lately, I guess the tangled lights fairy didn't follow me to my new home.

I now have another problem. Last year I had five round tables, each with a tablecloth, some plain, some Christmasy. This year when I took my decorations out I could only find one white tablecloth. I guess the tablecloth fairy took them. I went out and bought some new ones, so if the old ones suddenly appear I'll have a variety.

That seems to be my new philosophy. If it breaks or disappears (even temporarily) replace it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Season

Last year at Christmas we had no decorations in our Clubhouse. Because the powers that be didn't want to offend anyone, they decided not to celebrate the holidays and so they offended everyone. There were many complaints and a survey was conducted this Spring to see what, if any, decorations would be welcome.

Tonight we had the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas Tree and Menorah. We also have a beautiful creche and Kwanza decorations. We have a beautiful tree, probably 10 feet tall and it's decorated with white ornaments. We have white poinsettias and some real pine on tables. It's very festive.

I guess what this proves is that it is possible to satisfy everyone by including all holidays - Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanza.

I was quite surprised at the turnout for the lighting. The weather here has been rainy and cold all day, I thought most people would want to stay nice and warm and dry in their own homes, but I was wrong. For once, I'm glad to be wrong.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Season

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

I'm having the Christmas season I've always wanted. I have something to do every day, there are all kinds of activities going on in my community. Now, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. There almost seems to be no time to sit back and relax and the cats are following me all around the house because they never see me anymore.

I'm not complaining, but I'm not used to being this social. I know everything will get done and I'll have a wonderful Christmas, but sometimes...