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Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow

We had all the signs and predictions of another massive snowstorm today. Our garbage and recycling collections were cancelled. A community meeting was also cancelled. We had snow and rain yesterday and a little snow today. We didn't get much, but we did get at least 3" since the driveway and walkway were cleaned.

I thought today that I might be tired of the snow since I didn't spend the day running from one end of the house to the other to take pictures of the progress of the storm. As the day went on though, I realized that in spite of all the cancellations, the storm was pretty much of a bust in my neighborhood and not worth a picture. I'm sure my neighbors are happy.

I did hear a rumor about another storm the middle of next week. One can only hope.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thoughts on Health Care Meeting Today

Today I spent a few hours watching the president's meeting on healthcare. After a while, it became more of the same, so I gave up.

I did come away with one thought. What is happening to the American family? Barack Obama, himself, said as a reason for healthcare reform that his dying mother spent days arguing with the insurance company when she could have spent that time with her family. He said that the companies disputed her coverage. Why didn't he get authority from her to deal with the insurance companies? That certainly would have eased her stress. If he were too young at the time, how about her parents?

Nancy Pelosi also spoke about a man who is about to lose his home because of his wife's medical expenses. This man would rather lose his home than let his grown children know of their parents' predicament. Unless this man was a horrible person, I'm sure his children would have tried to find a solution to the problems. I know parents don't like to let their children know of their problems, but I don't think that those children would want their parents out on the street because of illness.

Back in 1940, my parents who had two small children, ages 4 and 1 and lived in a two bedroom apartment, invited an out of town friend and her husband to stay with them while their 1 year old girl had surgery for a cleft palate. It must have been difficult for them to have four adults and two children in that small apartment with only one person working. But that's how it was back then, people chipped in and helped family and friends. No one demanded help from the government.

I took some notes during the early part of this meeting and will comment on them another time. I just had to get these examples off my chest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adventures with Crash and Burn

It started again. I knew when I made the purchase that I would regret it. And I did.

Two years ago I made a table centerpiece for Spring/Easter using wooden and plastic eggs and cute little fuzzy chicks. Of course, the chicks aren't real. That doesn't seem to matter to Crash and Burn.

This year I, being the glutton for punishment that I am, made another arrangement. Everything went well for the first day. Then they discovered the chicks.

It's easy to catch Burnie going after the chicks, he's very noisy. Crash, on the other hand is very quiet and graceful. She manages to get up on the table (I know, their manners are terrible) without making a sound. She then steals a chick and, here's where she makes her mistake, brings it to me. She is so proud of herself, she trots up to me, meowing or cooing all the while and drops the chick at my feet. I guess I'm supposed to praise her for her catch, but I can't. She's wrong.

This morning I started spritzing them. That seemed to help a little. Now, I'm also leaving the spray bottle on the table, near the centerpiece. It's not very attractive, but if it acts as a deterrent, I'll do it. Whenever I have company I can take it off the table since I lock them up because some people are allergic or afraid of cats. And we all know that cats always go to the person who is most afraid of them, almost as if they are daring that person to like them.

I must say that it's very hard to be stern with Crash since she's so proud of herself for "catching" the chick.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Crash

This morning when I was sitting at my desk, Crash decided to come up and "help" me. She sat directly in front of my and stared over my shoulder. She kept staring, never blinking. It was very unnerving.

I was getting very nervous with the way she was staring. I know this cat and I know she wouldn't attack me. But, she is an animal and even though she been a domesticated cat for many generations, there's always the chance she will revert to her wild side.

I took a chance and picked her up and just laid her on my shoulder. She was very content there and was purring, so I relaxed. She stayed there for quite a while, actually until my arm started to get tired from her weight. And she stopped staring.

Later, I looked in the mirror an saw that there was one hair, just one, out of place and sticking out. I took it out. I guess that's what she was staring at. It was probably moving every time I moved my head. She exercised great restraint in not going after it to play.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Reflexes

Last night I sat down to watch the Olympics. I had been meaning to watch all week, but always seemed to get distracted. Last night, I decided, would be different.

I watched the skiing and everything was OK. Later when I was watching the men's racing with Apollo Ohno, I noticed something different. I was moving my legs ever so slightly as if I could help him along. I was so involved in the race, I guess my brain was trying to tell my legs to get out there and go.

That reminded me of the time I was on a ferry in my car. I think we were crossing Lake Champlain, but I'm not sure. I was driving at the time and was the first car on the ferry. As we were coming into the slip, I suddenly started turning the steering wheel on my car. It's a good thing the motor was off. I guess it was reflexive action. I had to turn the wheel so we wouldn't hit the side of the ferry slip. It gave us a good laugh.

I'm sure there's a medical or phychological name for this type of reaction. I wish I knew what it is.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tiger Woods

I hear that Tiger Woods is going to make a statement tomorrow and many in the media feel slighted because they won't be able to question him. What more do they need to know. He cheated on his wife, several times. End of story.

What bothers me about this whole affair is the fact that everyone says Tiger Woods is wrong, and I agree with them. What they are missing though is the fact that he wouldn't have been able to cheat if he didn't meet all those willing women. They are, in my opinion, just as much to blame and guilty. After all, they were willing and he didn't rape them. What is wrong with those women who think nothing of having sex with a married man. It's bad enough that Tiger Woods disregarded his marriage vows, but those women obviously have no respect for anyone's marriage vows. There used to be a name for females like that.

His wife will probably receive a nice payoff if she divorces him or even if she stays. His golfing ability is such that he will be able to resume his career. Those females he cheated with will probably write books or have some boost to their careers.

The only losers in this whole affair are his children. They will grow up knowing that their father had so little respect for their mother that he cheated on her.

I feel so bad for those babies (the children that is).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Senior Moment?

About a year ago I bought those dryer balls. You know, you put them in the dryer and they're supposed to soften your clothes and prevent static cling. They really do work. I've been using them ever since.

A month or so ago, I picked up another set as I thought the originals would soon lose their effectiveness. Then the last two weeks I noticed that my clothes were starting to cling to me, and it was very uncomfortable. It was time to replace the balls. I looked in the cabinets in the laundry room, I looked in the closet, but they were nowhere to be seen. So I bought another set.

Yesterday when I was putting some detergent away in the storage drawers of my washing machine and dryer, I found the set I bought and misplaced. I had put them in the most ridiculous place - the storage drawer of the dryer. How organized, why hadn't I thought to look there? Oh well, now I have a spare pair as long as I remember where they are.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Memories of Winters Past

The company that has been contracted to clear the snow in the community has been very busy. It has not been an easy job now that a lot of the snow has turned to ice.

They've been piling it on the corners, which can be a problem when driving. It's hare to see oncoming traffic when turning. On the good side, when I looked out my window tonight it was so high that it took me back to a blizzard when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

We lived in a second floor apartment and there was a garage under the house in the back. There was a community drive accessed by hills on either end. The hill nearest our house which was bigger, was wonderful for sleighriding. Back then not many people drove, and they usually took the smaller hill so we kids could continue playing, until the street lights came on, of course.

When the plows came through, they piled the snow right next to our house which was right near the corner. That created a fort for my brother and me. We would have wonderful snowball fights with all the other children on our block. When the boys weren't around, we girls could play house in the fort.

The pile of snow in front of my house reminded me of that fort and the fun we had so many years ago. Snowball fight anyone?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I have recently realized that I am either ahead of the fashion trends or hopelessly behind the trends. For the last 10 or 15 years I have had a had time finding a "cross-body" pocketbook.

There was one shop in downtown Manhattan (The Bag Shop) that carried this type of bag. It wasn't much of a problem when I was working, but since I've been retired it was more difficult. Lately, I've been getting tired of using this type of pocketbook, especially when I wear a coat with a hood. So I bought a couple of pocketbooks with simple handles.

I'm keeping my old pocketbooks. They're very useful in places where I need to have my hands free for shopping.

But, I've just seen on QVC that they are showing more and more "cross-body" bags. It's a new trend and very practical.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CORRECTION

I must make a correction to a post I made on February 4.

I was on my soapbox and I guess I got carried away and didn't pay attention to what I was writing. I was speaking about TV commercials, particularly for painkillers.

I blamed Advil for a commercial showing a customer just leaving her shopping basket on the floor in the aisle when she found a better painkiller. The culprit in this commercial is Aleve. That is the company that condones a customer's leaving her basket on the floor.

I'm now apologizing to the makers of Advil for blaming them.

Puttering

I felt so good on Thursday after my walk around the neighborhood that I decided I would do it again on Friday. I got up with all intentions of getting out and about.

Before I could go out, I had to do some laundry. Then I saw the bag of placemats and napkins that I bought earlier in the week. Before I could put them away, I had to reorganize my linens' drawer. I found some of my Christmas linens that then had to be put with the other Christmas supplies. Then I remembered two Christmas centerpieces that had to be put away also. I had rationalized that they fit because it was winter.

Then I had to empty the dishwasher and put the laundry in the dryer. It was getting late. Soon it was time for lunch and my Soap break. Now it was getting really late and my resolve to walk was dwindling.

So, of course I decided to purge my magazines getting them ready for recycling. Then there was some more puttering around the house and time for dinner. Between all this puttering, I had to check my e-mail and of course, play a few games.

Then it was time for the opening ceremonies for the Olympics which lasted past my bedtime.

Another day without walking. Maybe today. I hope so.

I also realized this morning that I hadn't written anything yesterday So, here's yesterday's post today. Hope I remember to write again later.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SNOW!!!!!

Today is a bright sunshiney day. Very different from yesterday.

In case anyone out there hasn't heard, we've had a little snow here in the mid-Atlantic states. I haven't gotten an official count, but I have heard 14", that, of course, is on top of the 14" or so inches last weekend. It's a photographer's delight.

I'm surprised I slept so late (7:30 am) this morning since it's so bright out there with the sun reflecting off the snow. I couldn't wait to get out there and take some pictures of the area. After breakfast, off I went armed with my trusty camera and sort of dressed for the weather - heavy coat and boots. No hat or gloves. Of course, I kept my camera warm under my coat.

I met a few intrepid neighbors heading for the gym for their workout, but no one else. Even the dogwalkers had the sense to stay in. The temperature was about 28 and the wind started kicking up. But, I had to get those shots.

Even yesterday, I kept running from one end of the house to the other snapping the progress of the storm. In case you haven't noticed, I love, love, love snow. As long as I don't have to drive in it.

Anyway, here are a few shots. This is how everything looked before the snow yesterday.

Then it started.

I actually ventured out the front door.

This is how my patio looked.


There was this little bare tree across the street. I just had to take a shot of it.


This is how it looked this morning. This is my mailbox. We didn't actually get that much snow, the plows have been piling it up on the side of the road. Some of the piles are very high.

But it still looks so peaceful.



You can see how the snow is piled up on the corner.

The trees are so beautiful.



While I was out walking, I met a couple of my neighbors who were also out doing the same thing, taking pictures of the area.

After talking for a while, I started getting cold so I went home and started the fireplace

had a cup of hot chocolate in my Montana mug and had my own blizzard party.



Unfortunately, I think Burnie has "cabin fever" even though he never goes out. He found a piece of cardboard and started biting off pieces and spitting them out. He hasn't done that lately.


Maybe I'll go out later for more shots. In the meantime, I hear we may get more Sunday or Monday. I can hardly wait.



















C














Today is a bright sunshiney day. Very different from yesterday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Double Standard

I see that the president's press secretary felt it necessary to make fun of Sarah Palin yet again. Her "crime" this time? She jotted a few notes on her hand.

Let's see. You shouldn't write a few notes on your hand, even if you have memorized your entire speech. It's OK if you read your entire speech from a teleprompter.

One other point. I believe that Sarah Palin knows that in the words, "Navy Corpsman", the "p" and "s" are silent. Something that the president obviously doesn't know. It may be possible though that he just reads from the teleprompter word for word and doesn't know or understand what he is reading. I wonder which it is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter

It's snowing again! And I'm not complaining. I love the snow. But, I don't think I'll subject my friends to any more "Blizzard Parties". Two are enough. As soon as I invited them to the last one, I started feeling guilty.

It took a lot of nerve to ask people to leave their nice warm house on a cold snowy night to visit me while I was all comfy in my nice warm, dry house.

This is our third storm this season, although it's probably only the second this winter since our first snowfall was on December 19, two days before the official arrival of winter. Since spring won't arrive until around March 21, I wonder how many more storms we will have.

I may lose some friends, but I'm really enjoying this winter. Call me crazy, but I really like the snow and cold temperatures. This has been my best winter in years. I'll stay home all day tomorrow and that's a good day for cooking and baking.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Census

Way back when I was in school, St. Sylvester's I think, we learned about the Census. The way it was explained to us was that it would be used to determine the number of representatives for a state and its citizen. There was, at that time, no mention of government handouts.

All the ads I've seen lately say that the purpose of the Census is to determine how much a state or area will receive in federal funds. Somehow this didn't seem right to me. So I checked the Constitution as written in my 2003 copy of The World Almanac and Book of Facts.

This is what it says

"Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers which shall be determined by adding to the whole Numbr of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians, not taxed, three-fifths of all other Persons. (The previous sentence was superseded by Amendment XIV, Section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct."

It goes on to stipulate the number of representatives for each state, with no state having less than one representative. There is no mention of giveaways based on the Census.

I've been hearing a lot about our government's overstepping the bounds of our Constitution. I think it's time to sit down and read and understand our Constitution. Just to see if all I'm hearing is correct or just propaganda.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow Day

All week I've been following the weather, particularly the extended forecast. I was being faced with a hair emergency. The gray was showing more and more each day and it was getting so long it was hard to style.

I took a chance that Friday would be OK, so I made the trip up to Queens (66 miles each way). I certainly do love my hairdresser. She's so good and I get a chance to drive around my old neighborhood. Fortunately, it didn't start to snow until around 10:00 last night.

This morning, when the plows woke me at 5:30 AM, this is what it looked like.

Actually, I waited until around 7:00 to take the picture.

I couldn't get too many other pictures outside. The snow had drifted up to my back door and I couldn't open it. I live on the corner and the wind had blown the snow onto my screens. The scene was good, but didn't make for a good picture with the screen in the way. Now, I wonder why I'm not like some of my friends who take their screens out in the winter. I could have gotten so many good shots.

The tops of my windows had some beautiful ice formations on them. Here are some shots.





These were all shot from the inside looking out. I really like the way the ice formed in some places and has melted in others.

I've invited some of my friends for another blizzard party tonight. Let's see how many can make it. The roads have been, and are continuing to be, plowed. Driveways not so much.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

SOAPBOX

It's time for my soapbox again. This time, I'm taking on TV commercials. There are two that really make me angry.

The first is for Advil. It shows a woman checking out pain relievers and taking several boxes of a competitor's. She puts them into her basket, then sees the Advil which advertises that she needs fewer pills for longer pain releif. She takes the Advil, which would be a good thing, except that she then just puts her basket down on the floor in the middle of the aisle. This is rude, inconsiderate and dangerous. Is Advil saying that the people who take their pain medication are rude and don't care about the wellbeing of other shoppers. This is a very bad message.

The other is so annoying that I don't remember the name of the product. It starts off with a germophobe of a mother using her foot to open the door to a store. As I said, I don't remember the product, but I question the intelligence of showing such an inconsiderate person to sell the product. This woman won't touch the door handle for fear of touching germs, yet she doesn't seem to care about the people who will touch this handle after she has had her shoe all over it.

If these advertisers are using these women as examples of good consumers, then it's no wonder there are so many rude people out there.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tempus Fugit (time flies)

Today was my afternoon at the activities desk. I have to be there to take reservations for the various events in the community. It's often very quiet and boring so I usually bring a bottle of water, newspaper, book and snack.

Today was different. Our activities director was trying to do some advanced work on her computer and asked for some help. We managed to scan a picture and poster which she then sent out to the community. Next she tried to load several pictures into an album on our website. She tried, I tried, but as much as we tried we couldn't load more than one picture at a time. Finally, she gave in and called the company that services our website. They said you can only load one picture at a time. That seems prety dumb, but that's the way it is.

After all this work, I checked my watch and discovered that 2 1/2 hours of my 3 hours had passed. I went back to my desk and puttered for a little while, then it was time to go home. I've never had an afternoon go by so quickly. I was so busy I forgot to eat my snack.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

When I was younger, around 40, I swore that I would never live in a "retirement community". They're just for old people. Boy was I wrong. I am busier and more involved that I can ever remember being. Even when I was raising my boys, volunteering in school and church and day care, I didn't seem to be so busy. AND I LOVE IT!

Friday night there was a party in the Clubhouse for the volunteers. Saturday my nephew, niece and her daughter came here and took me to dinner, a little more about that later. Yesterday, a friend had an "outrageous" party, more about that later too. Tonight, I was supposed to go to a meeting and pay for an outing in NYC, but I was just too tired to get there. Hope I can pay tomorrow.

Now about Saturday. My niece's daughter, my grand niece, is 8 years old and is one of 10 children in her school on Long Island selected to speak to the astronauts on the space station. It's quite an honor and I'm so excited for her. She's quite bright and extremely well behaved. She even tried some food (pickled herring in cream sauce). She ate one piece, didn't like it, but didn't make a scene like some children. And I'm not at all prejudiced. Not at all.

The "outrageous" party last night was a lot of fun. It was good, clean fun. The idea was to either wear or bring something that you own, but you wonder what you were thinking when you bought it. We all have those, "What was I thinking" purchases. It was a lot of fun. I brought a very flowery tablecloth that I bought one day when I was trying to shake my formal (boring) table setting habit. I bought it about 15 years ago and never used it. I was very lucky, one of my friends mentioned that her daughter would use something like that, so I gave it to her. Now I have some room in my linen drawer.

Do you have any "What was I thinking moments"? Care to share?