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Monday, July 25, 2011

A Most Unusual Party Favor

My niece and her husband have a moderately sized home and lot. They make good use of the available land and plant vegetables. They have corn, peppers, zuchini, tomatoes and various herbs.

Yesterday, they celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary. They started their day with a mass where they renewed their vows.

Then we went to their party, where we had a delicious meal followed by a wonderful dessert - a three layer white cake with chocolate mousse between the layers and a vanilla cream topping.

When it was time to leave, she brought out the favors. She had a bumper crop, so was sharing her bounty. My party favor was two zuchini and two cucumbers.

This was much better than a dish or chocolate.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Books

Today was the day to spend the afternoon working in the clubhouse. I enjoy this, I get to see my friends and make new ones. If it's really slow, I get to read which I've been very lax about since I retired.

Today a woman came in with a shopping bag. She told me that she cleared her plans with our activities director. She is collecting paperback books to send to our armed forces and will be taking some of those in our library. What luck! I've got a bunch of paperback books just collecting dust and cat hairs in my office. All I have to do is call her when I've got them all together and she will even pick them up. How lucky is that?

Now, what can I put on those shelves once the books are gone?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Compromise vs. Party

I'm sure you've all heard the president's recent statement that he couldn't guarantee that social security checks would go out on August 3 if an agreement couldn't be reached on raising the debt ceiling. He also added that veterans, the disabled, etc. wouldn't get their checks either.

Quite a threat/promise. Try to scare the folks so they will get after their representatives to agree with the president.

But, what he didn't say was that he is planning to celebrate his 50th birthday on August 4 with a special birthday party. He's asking people to bring a gift of $35,800 a couple. Now, I don't know about you, but the only people who can afford that kind of gift are the very ones he wants to tax - the fat cats, the Wall Street barons, the oil company executives, the best selling authors, not the parents who are struggling to find the money for college, seniors, wounded veterans, the unemployed.

I really don't understand why any couple would pay $35,800 to celebrate with someone who is constantly telling them they how bad they are for not contributing their share to spread the wealth. Maybe the president is planning on using the gifts he receives to pay down the deficit. Yeah, that's what he is going to do. He'll serve coffee and cake (if Michelle allows it) and send those checks to the treasury to pay down our debt.

Everyone deserves to celebrate their 50th birthday but not in such a public way when, as he said that the checks might not go out if no compromise is reached? Will Obama have the nerve to party while we default on our debts?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Yesterday, I had an example of how true that statement is.

I went to lunch with two friends from grammar school. Unfortunately, we had lost touch after graduation, but were fortunate to reconnect about 10 years ago. It's so good to have friends who knew you when and have the same background and know the old neighborhood.

We sat down to eat about 1:00, took a little time out to sit on the deck before dessert. The next time I looked at my watch it was 6:30. I couldn't believe how fast the afternoon went. We chatted, we laughed and had a wonderful time.

I can't wait until we do it again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Acts of Kindness

I was speaking with a friend who has had a terrible year with illness and death. She mentioned the comfort she got from friends who had come to visit with her.

Most of us do what we think is the right thing and don't think anything about it. We don't think anyone will notice. We just do it automatically. We call or visit during times of trouble, but we never realize how important that call or visit really is.

That conversation led to my mentioning a friend from my old job. Every morning, Esther would find something nice to say to me. Sometimes she would say my hair looked particularly good, or my earrings were nice, etc. You get the picture. She made my day and how I miss her since I've retired.

I guess what I'm getting at is this. It's the little acts of kindness that we don't even think about that can have the biggest impact on someone's day. It really is the thought that counts.

I'll have to work on that.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

We Are at War

I really wish I could write about more pleasant, non-controversial things, but there's too much going on.

I've been thinking for a long time that we are in another war. The frightening thing about this war is that it is on our soil. It is a form of class warfare. This president seems to think that it is important for everyone to have a share of our wealth. I agree with this point, but it's his method of ensuring this that I disagree with.

He seems to think that the wealthy should pay more taxes to support those not as fortunate or ambitious as CEO's and COO's. I've seen the work ethic of major executives. They do not work a 9-5 day. It is more likely an 8-9 day and this includes their secretaries. What he doesn't realize is that it is the wealthy who create jobs. When was the last time that a poor person had the ability to hire staff.

From what I heard, one of the reasons for companies not hiring is the uncertainty in the market. These companies don't know what their tax bill, health care expenses will be next year. Most companies plan their operations two or three years in advance. They also now have to worry that the National Labor Relations Board will interfere with their expansion into states where employees are not forced to join a union.

The president's latest kick is to tax corporate jets. This tax could cause the companies to move their manufacturing facilities overseas resulting in the loss of another industry and the resultant layoffs.

If the president thinks the wealthy should pay more taxes, he should go after his friends at GE. This company took full advantage of tax loopholes and paid no taxes for 2010. There is no law against wealthy individuals paying extra if they feel the country needs more money. The president, himself, took advantage of deductions while telling everyone else to pay more.

I feel very sad about all this class warfare. When I was young, many, many years ago, we wanted to succeed at our jobs so we worked hard at whatever job we could get; we saved our money to buy our homes, we didn't buy what we couldn't afford. The current thinking seems to be that the government (we taxpayers) should take care of us. If we buy a house we can't afford, we can try to readjust our mortgage or just file bankruptcy and walk away from our debts. We just have to have the latest car or gadget and then we have to have the most elaborate vacation. No wonder so many wives HAVE to work.

I worry about our country if this class warfare takes off.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something good to write about.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th

I hope everyone had a very happy and safe July 4th.

This morning I checked out some events of July 4 in the past. I'm sure you all know that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826. Did you also know that James Monroe died on July 4, but in 1831. It is also the birthday of Calvin Coolidge.

This is the day that the Statue of Liberty was presented to US in Paris in 1884. "America (My Country 'tis of Thee)" was first sung in Boston in 1831. On this day in 1845, Texas voted for annexation to the United States.

It's also the birthday of several other people including Stephen Collins Foster, George Murphy, Louis Armstrong and Mitch Miller.

And, of course, the reason for all the celebrations, we declared our independence from England.