After having been away for over a month we returned to pick up all of our mail.  There was a pretty orange envelope from someone I did not know in Charlotte, NC.  I anxiously opened the card.  I smiled at all the different ‘brooms’ and could not wait to read inside.susans-card1-2

The next item you need to know is I used to dress in full witch regalia to the green face and mole on Halloween.  My black hat was tall with a huge wide brim. I delighted in giving out candy to the neighborhood children. We used to attend Halloween parties.

Now Halloween is not one of my favorite holidays.  I understand there are many who revel in it.  I am not sure where I lost my enjoyment of it.  One year in full dress a young boy was surprised and started to back up and was about to fall off the porch.  Of course I grabbed him and hoped he would not fall.  Then he saw our children and knew who I really was.  I often wondered if I harmed that child’s psyche in any way?

Then as I grew older the annoyance of having to get up and get to the door was a pain.  Compound that with the ‘Scream’ mask which I detest and I am no longer into ghouls, the glow for Halloween left me.  In fact truth be known I do not like being scared and some of the costumes are scary.  This year we did not even turn our light on and it did not matter as we were not in any heavy trick or treat area.  If the light had been on I am certain no one would have come anyway.

Back to the above card.  It came out of the blue across the miles and years.  It is from a woman who used to trick or treat at our door when I was in full witch dress.  Come to find out she loved it.  I was friends with her mother and her son was a best friend of our son.  She decided this year to tell me how much, as a young girl, she loved my costume and the hat especially. She said, “Every year as we get ready for trick or treating I always wish I had a big strong witches hat like you wore greeting trick or treaters in Hollis.”  She went on to share, “…..I look back with a smile.  My youngest is 15 yrs old now and even she knows of your great witch costume.”

While I no longer wear the costume it is heart-warming to know at least one child was and evidently still is happy for my foolishness.  Thank you Susan for reaching out.  You made an old lady happy.  When our world slows down I will write back.  You never know.




I wrote the following a long time ago on September 22, 2012 when I was in the ‘write daily for a year’ challenge that I gave to myself.

As the time passes it appears our outlook can erode.  Last night I was caught up in a reflection that gave me pause to look at myself and how I have changed internally.  It was more like a slap in the face.  It caused me to reexamine and this blog came to mind.  Time to practice what I preach and this seems a great way to do it – repost!  What is old is new again.  Here is the blog minus a paragraph which referred to current events of the time.



When the skies are brighter canary yellow
I forget ev’ry cloud I’ve ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.

I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.

I hear the human race
Is fallin’ on its face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is sellin’ me a bill,
And tellin’ me it just ain’t so.

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I’m stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!
Not this heart…

Growing up in my house we had a record player which was a huge piece of furniture.  It held a turntable and a radio all in one using the same speakers.  It was not new and we only had three LP records that I can remember.

What is an LP you ask?  Records in those days were 12″+/- across and held 5-6 songs on each side.  They were placed on a spinning disk and you physically placed a needle on them so the sound would come out.  I am not trying to talk down to anyone.  I am trying to be clear as there may be people who have not ever touched one of these records.  The LP which stands for long-playing came in a sleeve that was heavy cardboard and decorated to tell you what was inside.

We had an LP with the music from the Broadway play ‘South Pacific’.  One was the music from the play “Kiss Me Kate”.  There were 4 as we had Tommy Dorsey Band and Glenn Miller Band records.  I used to be able to sing all the sings from ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Kiss Me Kate’.  My favorites were ‘Cockeyed Optimist’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ from ‘South Pacific’.  I loved ‘I’ve Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua’ from ‘Kiss Me Kate’.

The words ‘stuck like a dope on a thing called hope…’ from ‘The Cock-eyed Optimist’ were specifically written for me I believe.  When I sang them I would almost scream them as important.

I live in a state of hope and have most of my life.  Full disclosure I have had moments of depression – most of my first year of college would qualify for this description.  There were other various times in my life when I have been ‘blue’ or ‘down’.   Few would know that I was feeling unhappy as I tried to not let it show.  For the majority of all these years I will claim upbeat and residing in a state of hope.

I have been a cheerleader literally and metaphorically.  I believe it is the best way to live.  When I am faced with negativity it feels hurtful like I am being physically assaulted.  I try to remove myself from these situations as quickly as I can.  I look for the best in people.  Everyone has some ‘best’ in them I have discovered.

I refuse to look at the outcome of anything as negative.  It is my belief that looking with hope leaves one in better shape to work toward a positive result.

I believe it is a heavy burden to live a life without hope.  I believe it is visible.  Look at the homeless for a glimpse of lost hope.  Look in the eyes of an addict.  Look into the eyes of someone who is terminally ill.  Many are hopeless.  Their situations could change on a dime and yet they cannot see it as they are bogged down in the depths of a dark world. That is the reality that they may live. Yet once in a while there is a glimmer of hope.

The ill person has a good run of terrific test results and their eyes light up as hope comes into them.  Offering an addict a place to recover so they can choose to change their habits can give them a glimmer of hope.  Suggesting to the homeless that there is another way and then taking them to an agency to find it is offering hope.  Perhaps the simple offer of a cup of coffee and some company can bring hope to someone.  A phone call can bring hope.  A letter or an email can contain hope.  A smile to a stranger walking on the sidewalk or in the mall can give hope.  We have no idea what is going on in their lives.  Remember my post ‘A Smile and A Wave’.  It is simple to spread hope.  I believe our world needs it more today than ever.

Many people have referred to me as naïve.  Well fine with me as I am…’a cockeyed optimist – immature and incurably green’ AND naively  ‘stuck like a dope on a thing called hope…’




It is the afternoon of the 11th of August.  I just want to make this clear that inspiration can come at any time any moment and from unexpected places.

This past few days we have had the joy of having #2 Grandson and his dad visiting.  It is bittersweet for this author as it may be the last time for many months that we see either of them.  Saying good-bye was tricky smiling and waving and wanting to cry and not doing it to keep everyone strong and happy.

On our first day here, we stopped to get some groceries where we saw a homeless man in the median. I mentioned how I was hoping he would be there when we came out and on our side of the road so I could give him some money.  Sadly he was gone when we left.  We saw him once again and before we could get back to his spot again he was gone.

The conversation at different times this last few days has been on homeless people and people who are hurt.  Our grandson asked about the scar on my neck.  I told him I had had surgery to which he responded it really upset him when family had surgeries.  He said he also was upset by homelessness too in the same conversation saying he could watch scary things on TV and they did not upset him as much as those two things.  Interesting conversations.

This morning our son showed us a video of a man giving a sleeping Homeless man $100 bill.  The camera then followed the Homeless man as he went and bought a sleeping bag and a pillow and few sundries at Target.  The Homeless man came back to the bench where the “Giver” of the $100 bill was sitting.  Since the Homeless man was sleeping he had no idea who his benefactor was.  The two men on the bench began talking and the “Giver” shared how his daughter needed medicine and he could not afford to buy it.  The “Giver” was really going on and on as the Homeless man stood holding his bags and listened.  Then the Homeless man asked the “Giver” to watch his back pack for a bit if he was going to be there awhile.  The “Giver” said sure he had no place to go.  The Homeless man returned empty handed and gave the “Giver” a $100 for the medicine for his daughter.  Imagine it.  At this point the man told the Homeless man that he was a videographer posting on the web and that his act of kindness had been recorded.  He said he was going to publish this video and gave the Homeless man $500 for his generosity.  The video ended with the Homeless man in tears and thankful.

My three guys, the boyfriend, the son and #2 Grandson are on their way to the Zoo today.  I am cleaning for an upcoming Open House.  Truth be told Zoos are not a favorite.  I do not go into the Reptile House and a few other places so why go???  The boys will have a ball.

An aside here………Grandson #2 lost a tooth last night and the tooth fairy found him even though he was not in his own bed.  He could not understand that as he thought he had this tooth fairy thing all scoped out.  She left him $2.

As the three guys arrived at the Zoo I got a phone call from our son – a proud father at this point.  He said, “You will not believe what your Grandson did.”  It seems they were stopped at an intersection with all the windows down.  Those three do not believe in air-conditioning like I do!

At this intersection was a homeless woman with a sign.  Before the men in the front knew it Grandson #2 in the back seat handed his tooth fairy money to the lady.  What a special moment for them all.

Lesson – you never know what your children pick up from you.  Live well, Laugh often and Love much! You never know who is watching.




‘Open mouth insert foot’ is the prescription I have heard for saying the wrong thing.  Or your ‘mouth is in gear before engaging the brain’.   There are more quotes about words spilling out of our mouths with lack of harmful intent and yet they are still out there once they have been spoken.

I did that yesterday and felt horrible the minute I said them.  The horrible feeling was one of wanting to run away and hide.  I wanted to immediately wash my mouth out with soap.  I certainly wanted and have asked forgiveness from the person I hurt.  Words cannot be rewound like in a video.

I had this happen to me a few years ago.  I was out to lunch (no literally) and one of my companions made an off the cuff remark about me that was like a slap in the face.  Immediately the other two ladies stopped eating and a hush fell over the table.  Ultimately someone spoke to break the tension as we enjoyed the rest of our meal.

I was quite hurt by the comment long after that lunch.  After much thought I gathered my courage and wrote a note to my friend explaining my hurt feelings as well as suggesting that sometimes we need to think before we speak.  I received a lovely note back and an apology with some explanations and it actually bolstered our friendship I believe.  A leap of faith repaid with generosity is a gift.

After I made the comment yesterday I wondered if it had to do more with my age than anything else.  I do find that the filters I had years ago seem to be disintegrating.  Is this what happens as we age.  I took a minute to think back to my great aunts and grandmother and I have come to believe that this is real.  Is it that as we age we become careless?  Does this mean we care less?

I hope not.  Each time I fail I look to it as a lesson learned.  This one I am taking to heart.  I do not ever want to hurt anyone so will have to engage my brain more often now before I open my mouth.  At least be aware that I need to do this when I am speaking.  It is my hope that awareness will lead to less carelessness.  The unsaid word can do no harm!

Ever a work in progress……….





It is not every day that one can shout to the world that they have had a colonoscopy.  Today I can join that quiet throng.  It has led me to speak about the unspeakable.  This really is not a procedure that one should take lightly.  While the prep is literally a pain in the butt, it does save lives.

I had my first colonoscopy in 1996 after my father called to tell me he had colon cancer.  Needless to say I was distraught at this news.  Three weeks later I was pleased with the news it was gone.  Daddy was diagnosed on Feb 14th, had his surgery to remove the encapsulated tumor Feb 21st and was given a clean pathology report on Feb 28th.  That was a good month.  He was 75 and stayed with us until age 93!  Early detection was the key.

At the time of my first colonoscopy we were living in Memphis, TN.  After my procedure I was escorted into the Drs. office for the results.  There, on an easel, was a picture of my doctor, Dr. Ed Cattau, standing with Ronald Reagan.  I commented on how wonderful it must have been to meet him.  He replied that he was the Dr. who found the pre-cancerous polyp in President Reagan’s colon. (1)  While I am not so sure I needed to know that news, I was certain I was in good hands and who does not want to be 6 degrees of separation from a President?

Since then I have had uneventful trips to the gastroenterologists on a not so very steady basis.  It is not a favorite activity thus it is put off until absolutely necessary.  I made it 9 yrs this time.  Really way too long with my history.  The reasoning is that we were busy.  If there is bad news (which is not anticipated from first glance) than busy will have been a bad excuse.

Katie Couric was the first to bring Colon Cancer to the awareness it has today after her husband died of this disease.  Good for her! Sad for the reason.  She actually was awake as she had a procedure on film for all to see on one of her shows.  Did not watch it nor have watched any of mine.  Give me the drugs I say and get on with it.

Today was a ‘fun’ adventure.  Dr. Wu came in to greet me and asked how I was to which I replied ‘Excited!” with a tinge of sarcasm.  He answered that I would be the only one there in the beds who was.  The rest of the prep was uneventful until the procedure room when Dr. Wu had a bit of a time putting on his paper gown.  I shared my concern vocally that if he could not figure out the gown should I be worried.  They all chuckled and I hoped that was the joke I intended as I do not remember much until it was over since the drugs did their work.

Before the procedure, I was chatting with my husband and the nurse attending me about what would make a Dr. choose this as a profession.  Who would like to be this end of a person all day long?  There has to be more to it.

The ‘end result’ (pun intended) is that this procedure does save lives.  This procedure was reported in 2014 to have reduced the incidence of colon cancer by 30%. (2)  In January of 2016 the rate was 61% reduction in colon cancer from this screening.  (3) While it may be unpleasant to talk about as well as endure the prep it is well worth the effort.

That’s it Boys and Girls – your PSA for the day.  Go out there and schedule yours!  What could be more fun?  Ending this (again pun intended) with a serious note that we are really blessed to have the medical technology to save lives before any illness can begin.  Life is good!







I love the mountains.
I love the rolling hills.
I love the flowers.
I love the daffodils.
I love the fireside.
When all the lights are low.

I found the lyrics to the song to the children’s song “I Love the Mountains” simply for the two lines about flowers.  I am more of an ocean gal though I do love flowers with daffodils being one of my favorites.  I love gardening so long as someone else waters and weeds. I can plan up a storm.  At one of our homes I took part of our back yard and created a lunar garden, a rose garden and had a fence filled with hollyhocks.  Sadly I did not stay there long enough to see the hollyhocks bloom.  The lunar garden was pretty all white in the light of the silvery moon.  Oh my another song reference – I am lyrical this morning as chaos reigns around me.002

We are in the process of a couple of moves and one will take the majority of our plants.  I did not realize how many plants I actually had until I lined them all up to see if per chance these gentlemen would transport them.  I know there are no guarantees of life for the greenery though if it can survive me it can survive anything!

I really should not have plants.  I forget to water them and rarely feed them.  Dusting them is unheard of though I vow to be better with each time I do give them any nourishment.  They all know I lie.

005Our very first Easter my husband gave me a dish garden.  I still have the mother-in-law tongue and spider plant from that which makes them over 47 years old.  (Spider plant is the one on the left)I treasure them and sadly do not treat them as such. Luckily both are low maintenance.  I should not have plants!  At least I am not a plant killer.  Despite my lack of attention they seem to thrive.

Today they are all being boxed up to go on yet another journey.  They have traveled in many forms and now in boxes which is probably the nicer way for them to go.  We usually just load them up in a car or back of a truck.  I will be anxious to see how their journey ends.  Hopefully I will not have too many lost.  If so then I will just search out friends with similar plants and root them again.

That is the most fun of plants with me – the sharing.  When we leave a place of late we have given shoots from the spider plant to friends.  It is healthy for the plant as it gets pruned and fun for us as we leave a little of us with friends.  That is something I did not even speak about in the care of plants – the pruning.

Just like in life we need to step back and examine our own lives and clear out unnecessary distractions, plants need to be snip of the dead leaves.  On occasion plants need to be repotted for their health.  On occasion, we too need to move on to other interests and even be  transplanted for a job.  In the end this is all healthy for both of us.  I keep telling myself this to justify the lack of attention I give the greenery that so lovingly surrounds me.

As I finish this little exploration into the art, or lack of, the care of houseplants it occurs to me that I may have the strongest plants in the world.  Perhaps they stay strong to keep me strong.  Could it be that despite my attention they are growing as they know I am happier with them around.  Could the plants be looking after me?

That is a real “Little Shop of Horrors” thought yet much more comforting then Audrey II ever was.  My plants feed my soul! I must make a stronger effort in the next incarnation of their lives to take better care of them.  I will try!




There was much discussion about how and why this day came about.  It supposedly tracks way way back to the cave men!  It had to do with change of seasons.  I really was not that interested in the origins nor the day.  I do not like pranks.  It is not my favorite thing to make someone else look foolish or to trick them.  Our youngest grandson however takes great delight in this and spends time watching this goof ups on you tube videos.  I suppose it could be worse.

I have too much else on my mind as we are transitioning this year from one lifestyle to another .  I have no idea what the ‘another’ will look like.  While ever up for a new adventure I must share that I am a wee bit wobbly at what is to come.

In the meantime I have to dismantle my library.  I think this is perhaps the hardest job I have ever had to do.  I love books.  I love the feel of them in my hands and behind me in this office.   I think, as I write this, I have to thank our small little library for this feeling.  Going into the building there was always a scent of dusty books that somehow was very welcoming.  If I did not want to see anyone that day I could go to the front stacks pick a spot on the floor and a book and read.

I volunteered, when I wanted to, helping check books in and out.  This was more self-serving than generous as it let me check out my own books and I did not have to hear Mrs. Hitchcock’s clucking at her distaste for my choices.  Before Harlequin there were Acadia books of much the same genre.  I did really enjoy a good romance novel even trashy ones.

Last Sunday we had visitors and I was going through some books to share with them and give them.  In one of the books I came across a piece of paper which would not be unusual for me and my books.  Bet many are full of notes I was to send or receipts or memos of some sort.  This one in particular was entitled, “For those of you that like romance novels”.  It was a fun read so I am sharing it with you as my blog today.  In my need to give credit for writings I have no idea where this came from so offer an apology if I am breaking some laws.  I present it exactly as I found it.

For those of you that like romance novels:

On a Trans-Atlantic flight, a plane passes through a severe storm.  The turbulence was awful, and things go from bad to worse when one wing is struck by lightning.

One woman in particular loses it.  Screaming, she stands up in the front of the plane.  “I’m too young to die!” she wails.  Then she yells, “Well if I’m going to die, I want my last minutes on earth to be memorable! I’ve had plenty of sex in my life, but no one has ever made me really feel like a woman!  Well, I’ve had it! Is there ANYONE on this plane who can make me feel like a WOMAN??”

For a moment there is silence.  Everyone has forgotten their own peril, and they all stare, riveted, at the desperate woman in the front of the plane.

Then, a man stands up in the rear of the plane.  “I can make you feel like a woman,” he says.

He’s gorgeous.  Tall, built with long, flowing black hair and jet black eyes, he starts to walk slowly up the aisle, unbuttoning his shirt one button at a time.  No one moves.

The woman is breathing heavily in anticipation as the strange man approaches.

He removes his shirt.  Muscles ripple across his chest as he reaches her, and extends the arm holding his shirt to the trembling woman, and whispers:

“Iron this.”

Happy April Fool’s Day!




I have been asked a couple of times lately what I think of the primaries going on right now.  I told everyone I would be posting thoughts on  I have yet to do that.  I will be posting this on that site as well to get a start on political conversations.

Today however I am writing another – yet another – open letter to the news media.  Sunday afternoon I was watching Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.  I like Chris Wallace.  I liked his father Mike Wallace.  I believe both of them men of integrity despite Mike’s occasional scrapes.  I believe they look for truth and report it.  Sunday I was very disappointed in Chris Wallace.  So perhaps this is an open letter to Chris Wallace.  I just re-titled this blog!

On Sunday Chris was interviewing John Kasich.  For those of you who asked he is my choice for the man to run for President of the Republican party.

During the interview Wallace quoted Rubio , showed a clip and made a judgment that was incorrect.  You can find all of this by looking at the transcripts. (1)

Chris Wallace said this:

WALLACE:  Governor Kasich, you’re on the show today.  We’re very happy to have you here.

I want to ask you — I want to ask you about Marco Rubio because he has suggested to his supporters that to try to stop Donald Trump, maybe his supporters in Ohio should actually vote for you.  Take a look.


RUBIO:  I have a voter in Ohio conclude that voting for John Kasich gives us the best chance to stop Donald Trump there.  I anticipate that’s what they’ll do.


WALLACE:  Governor, following that same logic, should Kasich supporters in Florida support Rubio so he can beat Trump?  It’s winner-take-all, instead of splitting the anti-Trump vote?

You can see what Marco Rubio actually said by checking the video. (2)

Marco Rubio said:

“If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump and comes to the conclusion that John Kasich is the only one who can beat him there ten I expect that is the decision they’ll make.  I can tell you in Florida I am the only one that can beat Donald Trump.  If someone supports Ted Cruz or John Kasich if you vote for them in Florida you’re in essence voting for Donald Trump.  If a voter reaches the same conclusion in Ohio then I think that’s what they’re going to do as well.    (question by reporter) I’ve not talked to John Kasich about this – you asked me a question -I’m giving you my observation clearly John Kasich has a better chance of winning Ohio than I do.  If a voter in Ohio concludes that voting for John Kasich gives us the best chance of stopping Donald Trump there then I anticipate that is what they’ll do.”

As I read this nowhere in this statement did Marco Rubio say he wanted his supporters to vote for John Kasich.  Of course it can be taken or inferred that this is what he is saying.  In fact his campaign came out and said they urged voters to vote for Kasich.  Rubio did not say that in his statement.

This is the fine line of which I am speaking.  Even in the reporting and Wallace using the video clip from Rubio, Rubio did not suggest to his supporters to vote for Kasich.  He clearly stated that if voters made the assumptions and wanted to stop Trump they would vote for Kasich.  He did not release them to do so.

I hear you out there and yes I can see how this is a veiled release yet his words did not say that.  Chris Wallace came to that conclusion.  I must also add that Rubio’s campaign did come out and urge voters to vote for Kasich.  All that being said in this particular answer Rubio did not say those words.

The second media note I wish to make is from Breitbart.  Now again I like their news reporting and take umbrage with the headline that came up in a chat I had this morning.

The Headline was:

REPORT: Soros Money Funding John Kasich’s Presidential Bid

followed by:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Soros Fund Management is one of John Kasich’s top financial contributors.

Interestingly, as Breitbart News has previously reported, John Kasich has made a series of extreme statements on immigration that place him to the furthest leftward reaches of not just the GOP Presidential field, but the Democratic Presidential field as well. For instance, Kasich has said that enforcing our immigration laws and deporting the illegal immigrants is not “humane.” Kasich likened deportations to the Japanese internment camps of World War II. Kasich has also pledged that he will enact amnesty within the first 100 days of his hoped-for Presidency– in effect, meaning that those who support John Kasich’s presidential campaign are voting to enact the largest amnesty in U.S. history by April 30, 2017.

Breitbart goes on to show George Soros, a noted donor to liberal causes, gave John Kasich’s campaign $202,700.(3)  The inference of the article was that since Soros is funding Kasich that Kasich will be a liberal President – at least not conservative.  Where is the truth?  The truth is Soros gave Kasich $202,700.  I wonder if that is enough to buy legislation.  We must remember that the President cannot enact nor pass any legislation.

The third piece of questionable reporting is last night in the reporting of the primaries.  The Drudge Report had a screen shot of Trump over Cruz by 13% in Missouri when in fact at the time Cruz was leading by .7%.  Big difference.

My conclusion is I make up my own mind when I hear the words from the candidate themselves.  Sadly Chris Wallace has now joined the ranks of all the other reporters in that my trust at least needs to be earned back.

It is going to be a long campaign year I am afraid if the two winners now end up there in September.  It also will be very interesting and wild I believe.

















This morning I had to go out for an appointment.  On my way back I saw a lady, on this drizzly day, carefully raking the small garden in front of her home.  I am betting it was no more than a foot or maybe 2 by 10 feet.  Her care reminded me of the care “Grampa Smith”, our neighbor in one of our homes gave to his @20 X 40 garden.  As I drove home and thought of these two examples of care, it fit right into my theme that has been running through my mind this last few days.

There is no one size fits all in anything.

The beginning this thought came when I was told to ‘stage’ my house for selling it.  We are downsizing some since there are only two of us living here.  I was offended by some of the advice I was being given.  Having bought and sold over 10 homes in the last couple of decades, I am not new at this buying/selling thing.  The current thought in real estate is to strip your house of any presence of you living there.  De-clutter, unclutter, stage the house – the words that are used to tell you to get out of your home before you sell it.

I hope you noticed the two words used.  The realtors are selling a house.  I am selling a home.  There has to be a happy medium here.

As I thought about the sale of this house – our home – it came to me there is no one size fits all for realtors and staging either.  I thought more about ONE SIZE FITS ALL.  Does It?  I do not think so!

I back this answer up with a couple of current facts – statistics if you will of another product.  If there was a one size fits all philosophy out there we would not have 50 different brands of toothpaste according to Wikipedia.  Two countries seem to be the major manufacturers.  Japan and the US currently have the market.   The Japanese even have a brand called ‘”Etiquette Toothpaste”.  I wonder what it is like.

A great story in the research was “Tom’s of Maine”.  I remember when this brand was started in 1970 and trying to break through to the market.  The Chappell’s, Tom and Kate, were big into natural ingredients and wanted that in their toothpaste.  They began the business with $5000.  They sold it for $100,000,000. to Colgate-Palmolive in 2006 retaining a 16% share.  Congrats to them!

Backing up even more with another product we all use – toilet paper.  I could not find the exact number of brands that are out there.  I did find there are 6 manufacturers and Good Housekeeping has tested 20.  Imagining there are more than 50 brands with worldwide usage.  I did find a website that calls itself “The Encyclopedia of Toilet Paper”.  (1) It claims to have the history of toilet paper from 50BC to the present day.  It has much else including the fun fact that 72% of people first start their roll with the paper coming OVER the roll.  A question that is ageless – right?  Now you have an answer.

If there were a one size fits all we would have only one brand of toothpaste, one brand of toilet paper, one brand of coffee and I could go on.  The fact is we do not.  We have choices.

The question then becomes,  as I return to the premise of this blog about real estate,  “Why would we all want to look at sterile homes devoid of all the warmth that a families existence has brought to the dwelling?”  I would answer that with: “Take them to a model house”.  This house will have no knicks or dings anywhere.  A home on the market has had life in it.

There are many different kind of real estate buyers.  I have purchased houses to live in myself and create a home and I have purchased houses for rental.  I still try to find good bones in a building and obviously want it to be structurally solid with utilities in good working order.  My choices for either depended upon their use.

Decor means nothing to me as I see beyond it to what I can place in the house.  Our most recent purchase was an empty house, painted in a color I do not like and can live with.  It is carpeted throughout the living area and has oak kitchen cabinets.  I have no problem envisioning hardwood floors throughout with a white kitchen.  Anything and everything can be changed if the structure suits you.

Supposedly it is easier to sell a furnished house then an empty one.  Thus builders will put furniture into their model houses to help the buyer see themselves in this building.  While most model houses are lovely they seldom reflect my eclectic way of decorating so I have to look beyond their tastes.

That is my point.  As long as the house is clean, picked up and neat then decor should not matter.  The photographer that came to take the pictures of our home told me that she made her father put away all his reminders of his many travels to sell his house.   I wondered how he enjoyed living in his home from then to sale with no reminders of the joy of his life.  Did it sell his house any quicker?

Since 1990 we have sold 6 homes and 3 rental houses.  The homes were in various stages of furnishings .  Some had furniture others did not. Some were on sale in slack real estate markets, other not.  The favorite was the TN home that sold in 20 days for full price while we were on a business trip in Paris.  We did not stage a thing nor put away personal items.  The home was tastefully decorated and had our familiars throughout it.  We decided if we sell another home we simply have to put it on the market and go to Paris.  Sadly this trip has not yet happened again.

We have friends who are selling their home as well. They were told by their realtor to go through it and make it impersonal, to start packing their belongings and paint the walls a neutral color.  They did all of it as the marketing agents said it would sell better and quicker.  They worked extremely hard.  There were many showings in the beginning.  Their house is on the market still while they are contemplating lowering the price.  I hope they do not as their house is worth the price though the marketing people are now telling them differently.  It is a lovely home and will sell.  They are being told their drawback is that the lot slopes back.  Really – they liked it and bought it!  Someone else will as well.  How is staging going to change the shape of a lot?

Here we are being told to start packing our own things as well.  There are those who might say I am a wee bit stubborn as I refuse to live in a house that is not a home.  I have given in some by taking down most of our family pictures that filled our bookshelves.  I have removed any clutter from our closets.  All the clothes are hung up not on the floor.  We are going through our storage and tossing so those areas will look neater.  We are going through the office and disposing of books.  We close up the roll top desk to hide the real clutter.  In the meantime I am still comfortable here at home as I was in all the homes that sold furnished – there were 5 I believe.  This house will sell when our buyer is ready to buy.

It is my job to keep our home clean.  It is the realtors job to sell the clean home.  They hopefully will be savvy enough not to bring someone here who wants a ranch – we are a 2 story.  Hopefully if a person wants a first floor master they will pass us by as we do not have one.  If they want a completely finished basement they must move to something else as we have a craft room, bathroom, a storage room and a workshop in our basement.  Just as I am keeping up my end hopefully realtors do their homework as well.  Tell me they do not like my deck or do not like our craft room.  Solid comments.   To hear that the decor got in the way says the people did not want this house at all or had no imagination thus decor is an easy excuse.

Blessedly our realtor is understanding and supportive of my position on staging.  She believes she can sell our home furnished or not.  Some of the realtors she had at her open house seemed to agree.  My favorite comment was “Lovely home – I have someone I want to bring by when they are in town.”

I leave you with another thought.  There is no one size fits all being the first.  I believe this with all of my being.  No one size in anything!

The second thought is that your perspective is your reality.  I believe our buyer is coming.  I believe they will be here in God’s time not mine.  Our prayer was that the first person who sees this house buys it.  That prayer was not answered.  Now we are praying the buyer comes soon.  They will in God’s time not ours.  It is our job to take care of this home until they arrive.

A sweet friend of mine who lives with MS said this today as she was headed for a treatment…..

“When you have an eternal perspective, and your eyes are on the prize, the little things that can bring you down don’t seem so bad.”  Wisdom from a 30 year old!  Thanks Jenni. Making this my perspective my reality – I am not in control!





In the early afternoon.

I received a letter from a friend of mine recently asking why I had not blogged on the most recent political situations.  Those that have read this blog for awhile know that I was very opinionated in 2012.  After that for that matter as the changes taking place in our government were not met with much enthusiasm by some.

Today I have chosen to answer this one terrific fan with a blog.

I did not blog the whole month of February.  This was not from not having anything to say.  It was from my own lack of organization and not keeping passwords in one place.  I had forgotten my password to this blog and could not get into it to post.  I have spent the better part of an hour now trying to figure out how to get back here.  I had to come a back way through my other blog that I set up specifically for political posts.  The lesson here Dear Readers is to have all your passwords be the same or to keep them all in a convenient place.

This brought back to mine a dear friend who passed away all too early.  I remember her daughter telling me that they went in to take care of her business and found a little piece of paper that had all her user names and coordinating passwords written down.  She said it was easy to get things completed with this one piece of paper.  You have to know that I have now my own ‘one piece of paper’ with all my passwords to gmail and yahoo and aol and comcast and our banks and credit cards all written down.  The banks are in a bit of a code so hoping whoever is left can figure them out.

The title above is a reference to our #1 grandson who used to run into our house with his arms open wide and say “Grandmama I found you!” complete with the big hug.  That feeling of joy and happiness was exactly what I felt when I got into my blog.  It was a coming home for which I was very grateful.

To answer my fan, I have not blogged about the political agenda as the last time I was cast out by too many friends and relatives.   I am getting too old and cannot afford to offend many other people if I still want to have friends.

To my fan – In addition, I believe I am going to have my say. When I do it will be on my other blog so people not of my political persuasion and not caring about what I think or hearing any opposing views to their own need not view it.   My other blog is

I am now off to lunch feeling very accomplished and satisfied with the toils of this mornings adventures and writing.  I leave a quote………”I’ll be back.”




This morning I woke up at alarm time and stayed in bed as I normally do until the hustle of going to work is passed. I was feeling the cold outside of the blankets.  It was freezing in this room.  I love to sleep in a cold room and believe for the first time in a long time I had actually had a decent night’s sleep.  When I got out of bed at my normal time I checked the temp in the room and it was 52*.  When I opened the shades there was frost on the inside of the window.  It was cold and outside of the blankets it was uncomfortable.

I have been dealing with symptoms of stuffy head, nasal congestion and coughing lately.  I have no idea where I got the germs that created these symptoms.  I only know I have them am not naming them as I do not want them to feel comfortable enough to hang around.  Not working as they are hanging around regardless.

All of this is to make the statement that I am feeling the cold more this year than in years past.  I am wondering why this is?  Is it age?  Is it the symptoms and will pass?  Is it colder outside?  I mean 52* is 52* is it not? Not much has changed except I am not eating many carbs – like pasta, breads or alcohol – these days as I feel better physically without them.  Could it be that food is making me cold?  I have no idea though watching squirrels put away food for the winter gives one pause.  Bears eat tons before they go to hibernate.  Who knows and I am really not interested.  I simply know the cold is bothering me this winter.

The problem is that for as long as I can remember I have been hot in body temperature.  I am certain that has to do with age and stage of life.  I do not like being hot.  I am uncomfortable.  I compensate for heat out of doors or in buildings by dressing cool most of the time!

I wear sandals all year long.  My Clark sandals are comfortable and have been acting as a thermometer.  When it is warm out they are open toed and cooling.  In the winter many buildings or people have their homes warmer than I like and the open toes keep me cool as well in this time of year.  Even in snow I wear sandals as I am usually only going from the car to a building.  I do have boots in case I need them though can count the times I have worn them on one hand.

On top of the shoe issue, I am more comfortable in cropped or capri pants that come above my ankle.  Again it is a heat issue and I am more comfortable in the shorter less covering on my legs to keep me cool.  I do not own many full legged pants.

The revelation in all of this is, that for the first time in years, I am faced with buying shoes and long pants.  I am at a loss.  This may also have to include a sock of some sort.

Now in the scheme of things in this world this is not a huge deal.  For me it is a wee bit traumatic as I really am so comfortable having free ankles and feet.  Perhaps a clog, I used to wear them, is a compromise?  Perhaps a skinny sock will allow shorter pants and not look to funny?  Perhaps this cold feeling will pass when the symptoms go? Perhaps I will finally have to face the fact that I am an eccentric old lady and simply deal with this quietly?  Who knows?

I can only take comfort in the fact that though I am dealing with the physical cold issue be it temperature or germ, I still have a very warm and whimpy heart!





HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL! It is the first day of 2016 and I am astonished that I am up and dressed and preparing dinner.  You see I have been attacked by symptoms.  I say symptoms as I do not want to label this malady for fear it will hang around.  If I call it a cold I will have it for 7 days or a week whichever comes first ‘they’ say.  If I call it a flu then I will be accosted by those who tell me I am nuts not to get a flu shot.  So I do not name it – I name the symptoms.  I have had a sore throat, nasal congestion, watery eyes, headaches, minor cough and now hoarseness.  Symptoms only.

I am not a big one to run to the doctors for the least little thing.  I do my due diligence with the yearly check-ups etc.  Other than that I am an over the counter search the web and gut kind of patient.  If I cannot fix it I will call the doctor as an absolute last resort.

The other thing about doctors is I believe even with all their education they do not know everything.  I also believe that some alternative remedies work just as well if not better than expensive chemical prescriptions.  I also believe that ancient remedies though sounding ridiculous can be very helpful.  Acupuncture is one of those.  Seriously you are telling me that sticking needles all over you to take away pain will work?  You are telling me in the case of acupressure that pushing on the right spot will remove pain?  Both of these are valid methods of taking care of pain.  Being a white knuckle dentist patient it amazes me that my brother-in-law goes and has his dental ills taken care of by using acupressure.  Had someone else said this I would scoff.  Not from this man.  He is a man of few words and the ones he says are truthful so I accept this alternative medicinal cure as real.

The first minute of 2016 I decided to go back to the ages of childhood medicine and I rubbed Vicks VapoRubVICKS all over my throat and chest before I went to bed.  I used Vicks nose spray to clear my nasal passages and prayed for a good night’s sleep – something that had been alluding me for almost a week due to the symptoms.  It was not more than 15 minutes when I was feeling much better.  I could breathe and  my cough was lessened.  I had the impression I might actually sleep.  I did!

With all the meds out there this little miracle in a blue jar changed my world in one night.  I am on the mend and looking forward to 2016 instead of last night dragging 2015 behind me as I headed to bed like it was an anchor weighing me down.  I toss aside that ague as one rips off the covers in the morning when getting out of bed.  It is a miracle!  I will be well again! (I know a little melodramatic right? Why not – it is a new year!)

I know a little too much glee invested in that statement.  I am going to be ship shape again soon.  Not much gets me down for long.  A few symptoms will not do that either – I will not let them.  I will sing the praises of Vicks and share it with the world.  Do your own investigating.  I hear now the new thing is to put it on your feet.  I thought of that last night once in bed though was too tired to bother.  Tonight I will bathe in it as from my reading it does wonders.  Read for yourselves from the links provided – the pros and cons.  I will believe the pros, ignore the cons and continue to use the product in the magical blue tub!

So it is indeed a Happy New Year – let the year begin!




Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring as their noses were all in the books they got for Christmas!

It has been an interesting journey to Christmas this year.  It was and still is and will be again tomorrow a wonderful holiday.  The last of the gifts under the tree will be opened tomorrow afternoon.  The decorations will start coming down the next day.  I usually wait till Little Christmas on January 6th and will not be doing so as we are busy the minute the new year begins.  As I said it has been an interesting holiday.

The Spirit of Christmas was intermittent for me.  Coming in and out, gently touching me on occasion as a summer breeze.  It never really settled in and for that I believe the holiday was a bit less merry.  It was not a disappointment; simply not as jolly as others of the past.  Is that what happens as we age?  Perhaps that is why I have not been able to turn a phrase to write a blog as well?  I am not certain.  I simply have not been as tuned in as in the past.

Perhaps it has been the weather.  It is now 60 outside my window on this Boxing Day.  Tomorrow it is to be 69 and sunny.  This is mid East coast USA and the normal temp is low 40s by this time of year at least.  It is one of those years that defies imagination.  We are to be skiing and skating not hiking and golfing.  Our neighborhood is petitioning to have the pool opened again.  Of course it is jest yet it is warmer now than some days last summer!!!  I remember a winter or two like this as a kid.  Very disappointing when you get skates for Christmas and the local pond is still open water.

Whatever the reason, the joy of the season is here, any malaise will pass, winter will come and the first snow will blanket the earth.  The quiet beauty of a winter night will appear with streetlights casting shadows on a pallet of  white.  The pureness  of hope and promise.

The  new year will begin.  Resolutions will be made and broken. Children will return to school after vacations and the world will get a chance to start all over again.

…..and there it is……….one just has to look into ourselves quietly sometimes to find goodness and joy that is in each of us.  It is there despite what we may think or feel on the surface of that I am certain.  Hope and Joy and Love.  It is the season to find them in the manger.  If we have Jesus in our hearts, Hope, Joy and Love are there too under all the distractions of the lives we live.  Our job is to look and the humanity of this writer gets in the way on occasion.  Not today!




…..written Nov. 19 – unable to post until today………


I am at my happy place – our cottage at the head of a harbor off the coast of Maine. I came here in answer to a ‘call’. Ask anyone who lived here and they will tell you, if they are honest, that on occasion they hear a strong call to return to this place. It may or may not be answered. I choose to answer this call as often as I can and did especially this time. You see it has been a year since my father graduated and I wanted to be here. Plus I wanted to check on our cottage before winter.

My ‘boyfriend’ was not going to join me. I asked my aunt, 8 yrs my senior and more like a sister, partner in crime to come. We arrived Thursday night turned on the heat to toast the cottage and began our few day stay. We were returning to our homes the following Wednesday. That was until Sunday morning.

We got up as usual, turned the heat up, made coffee and began smelling burning plastic. Not certain of what it might be we turned everything back off. The smell was much like a curling iron heating up or the scent of foil garlic bread heating in the oven. Something was burning. We had company coming for lunch.

I made a few calls to a couple of male relatives getting neither. Got a call back from one wife saying call the fire department which I did. I called them and explained exactly where I lived. I was told they gave my neighbor a burn permit that morning so it was probably from his burn pile. They asked me to go out to see if I could smell it outside. It seemed I did so we let the whole issue drop as explaining the smell and smoke we saw.

Our company arrived. We were having a great time. The house was getting chilly so we turned on the furnace only to experience the smell and smoke again. Off it went immediately. One of our guests said they had those conditions when their furnace needed cleaning. We shut if off committed to calling the heating company in the morning and started the woodstove.

Morning came and the repairman said my furnace was burning itself up. It was heating though not connecting with the blower. The blower was not pushing the hot air. The safety switches did not work. The plastic coated wiring was melting (the burning plastic smell). The heating man left to order the part as well as taking the blower for further examination. The heating company gal called to say it would take 2-3 days for the part to arrive. It was then Monday making a Thursday exit doubtful.

The thought of HAVING to stay in my happy place an extra day or two was extremely appealing. Now realizing that Thanksgiving is next week along with all the things I had planned to do, the added time is beginning to look less enjoyable. We are keeping the home fires burning, literally, in the woodstove to keep the cottage warm so there is no freeze up. As the weather is turning warmer for the weekend a freeze is unlikely though I still want to be sure all is in working order before I leave. My aunt may have to be ‘rescued’ by her husband as she can stay no longer than Saturday.

That is the story of the Cold part of the title. It has been chilly even with the woodstove. We have shut off the bedrooms to make it comfortable. Both of us like cold rooms to sleep so that works well. Luckily it is keeping the rest of the cottage fairly warm. It is an adventure for sure!

The Signs and Wonders part of the title is a bit more involved. Hang in with me as I explain these words.

Daddy graduated to heaven on a Sunday. The date was November 16th, 2014, Mondays date. The furnace began to act up on Sunday after two days of working just fine. The repairman came on Monday with the verdict. This for me was both a wonder and a sign.

Why, after working properly all fall and for the Thursday night, Friday, Saturday we were here, did the furnace break on Sunday – a year to the day after Daddy’s graduation. The repairman found the problem a year to the date of the graduation! Coincidence? Godinsidence? Or simply my father still looking out for me through his intervention from another place? Perhaps you can come up with even more questions. I have none.

The furnace is serviced regularly. It was working properly all fall. Had I not been here the furnace would have overheated probably resulting in a fire with the cottage being a total loss unless someone happened to see the smoke.

Ask your questions as you will. For me I have all the answers I need. I am reaffirmed in a life after our time on earth. I believe my father is still watching over me with “Our Father who is in Heaven”. Graduation is not the end. I find this reassuring and comforting. I am filled with wonder at this demonstrative sign.

Now if the furnace part would arrive please today I could get home to my boyfriend!



addendum – the part arrived Thursday and the furnace repaired on Friday.  we reached our homes on Sat ofr my aunt and Sunday for me………..ONWARD………..

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It is a rainy dreary Wednesday outside my window this morning.  It looks cold.  The leaves are falling from the trees.  The color will soon be all on the ground and the branches barren and empty.  If this description were put into a feeling it could easily pass for a feeling of loneliness or despair.   Surely when the leaves are no longer on the trees there is a loss of color.

My world lost some color yesterday when I heard of the graduation of a facebook friend.  How strange that seems.  A stranger I never met became a good friend to me in social media and yesterday cancer won the physical battle though I know the Lord won the spiritual one.  John is in heaven sharing his stories with any who will listen.

When my ‘boyfriend’ arrived home last night he asked what was wrong as I seemed a bit somber.  I told him of John’s death. He complimented me on my compassion for someone I had never met.  I thought about this for a long time all evening and as I was falling asleep.

In the not so recent past much of our communication was done by letters not in person.  We have the letters of note written by famous people Hemingway, TS Eliot, Tolkien, Ronald Reagan or Barrett-Browning.  All these people communicated with letters.   My favorite of all regarding letters is “84 Charing Cross Road” about the relationship with Helene Hanff, a writer living in New York during WWII and FPD the manager of a London book store.  It is a delightful story and they never met yet had the most wonderful friendship sharing their family stories across the ocean.

On the best day this is what facebook can be and was for me with John.  I had no idea who this man was.  He asked me to be his friend.  He told me he liked the way I wrote about political topics.  He told me he thought I was quite clear and thoughtful in my responses to some heated arguments.  I looked him up as best I could and accepted his request to be my friend.  I had no idea who John W. Huffman was except a fellow conservative who voiced candid and clear opinions about political issues.  I discovered that John was an author and the jacket of one of his books listed his historical information.  I had no idea about much of this until this morning when I decided to write this tribute.  See for yourself.

About the Author

John W. Huffman was born 29 November, in Hemphill, Texas, attended elementary school in Pineland, Texas, junior high and high school in Jasper, Texas, and graduated summa cum laude from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He enlisted in the Army Airborne in 1966 and served two tours of combat in Vietnam, the first as a private, and subsequently a sergeant, with A/1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in 1966-67, and the second as an officer/aviator with the 120th Aviation Company in 1972-73. He retired as a major in 1986 with three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, sixteen Air Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Medals, and various other service and campaign ribbons. Upon leaving the Army, John launched a real estate sales and management company, owned and operated seven speedways in five states, created an automobile racing and sanctioning body, and developed three touring series. John has honorable mentions for two short stories, along with his six other novels: A Wayward Wind, a Regional Finalists in the General Fiction category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; The Baron of Clayhill, a Finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Contest and a Finalists in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 National Indie Excellence Book Awards; Tiger Woman, the First Place Winner in the Action-Adventure category of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Above All, a Finalist in the Action-Adventure category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; America’s Diplomats, The Road To Attleboro, the First Place Winner in the 2011 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, and his recent release, Cold Hearts Burning. John has one other novel awaiting publication, Eyes of the Blind, and is currently working on When A Rebel Comes Home. John resides in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, with his wife Misty, and has three sons and four granddaughters.

I think I got to know, over the course of our friendship on facebook, more of the man than is listed above.   Those are the things he did. We who were his facebook friends got to know what he thought and felt.  He had over 3000 friends on facebook with 200+ following him regularly.  He was a rabid conservative willing to take on the most left leaning liberal out there with carefully placed nuanced words.  He was sharp, clever, kind ever ready with a joke or verbal smile.

He was supportive.  I told him I was writing a book .  I asked if he ever previewed first time authors. He sent me an email and said send it along.  Sadly I never sent it as I would have valued his opinion.

He loved his wife Misty, his Bride as he called her.  He would speak of her sweetly and lovingly.  He loved his granddaughters – his Princesses.  His page was filled with pictures of their visits.

He loved his home The Eagles Nest.  It sounded like a small farm as he described planting, harvesting and storing vegetables, cracking bags of black walnuts and cutting wood for the winter.  Not sure he ever stopped until cancer grabbed him and took him quickly.

He was very proud of his service in the military and his friends from that time.  Lots more pictures of all of these people were on his page as well.

I am certain the man we all knew on facebook had unhappiness in his life as we all do.  It was not evident from his posts.  He greeted everyday with joy that would sometimes help my down mood evaporate.  If he was anything other than kind it did not show up on facebook.  Nor does it now.

His loving Bride posted that she was with him when he passed yesterday morning.  That one post alone had 450 comments.  Today as yesterday his wall is filled with notes from his many followers and friends sharing stories and sadness at his move to heaven.  I believe he was a good man.  My world is a little less today knowing he will no longer be posting a “Good morning from the Blue Ridge”.  I will no longer be able to return “Morning from the top of the Delmarva”.

Strange isn’t it.  I never met the man face to face yet I believe I have lost a good friend.  I think John Donne said it best,

“…….any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Rest in Peace John W. Huffman, you will also be missed by we who never met you and call you Friend.




It has been a long time between posts.  No good reason simply the busyness and business of life.  I have decided that it is time to regroup, regain my being and reestablish some guidelines for my life.  Thus far this week I have done the outward work of cleaning in the house.  I have had some painting done on the walls and the carpets cleaned.  A few more chores and I believe I will have the opportunity to  actually take a breath and live without chaos as I continue to clear the clutter of paper out of my life and off the desk.  Last night as I was falling asleep I thought I needed something more.

This morning I awoke with the answer.  I am going to have an affair.  An affair seems to allow the two participants to escape from the mundane of their lives.  It appears they are kinder to each other.  They do special little things for each other.  They call at odd times to be spontaneous.  They may bring flowers or chocolate.  They dress up more than normal.  It sounds very appealing.

I believe the impetus for this was a movie I watched on Sunday.  Being a chick, I love chick flicks.  Sunday I watched “Serendipity” a favorite.  I also watched “Falling in Love” with Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro.  I did not think I had seen that one before.  It was almost finished when I realized I had seen it after all.

In this movie the two characters meet in a bookstore though they ride the same train into the city.  It is a draggy movie until they connect and meet for coffee, then supper, then sit together on the train and hold hands then the big deal that does not happen as Streep has a case of conscience.  Both of them are married.   Both seem to have working marriages.  While neither are living in bliss they seem to be happy.  The affair unsettles both marriages until they each divorce.  You can see the movie yourself for the end.

As I contemplated the post sharing that I am going to have an affair I researched famous affairs.  Of course those my age know of the Liz Taylor – Richard Burton affair.  We know the famous abdication from the throne of Edward so he could marry Wallis Simpson.  More recently there was the nastiness f Prince Charles and Camilla.  Ultimately these examples ended up in marriages.  Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy had a lifelong love affair never marrying.

Then we have the tawdriness of Monica and Bill and others that had brief flings that made the news.  There are actually books that have been written about affairs.  On such book has an interesting name “The Break-up Bible”.  Cannot imagine what this has within its pages.

While an affair is not in my nature I am thinking it is something that will be exciting.  In my new take on life it will give me a boost.  I plan to begin this affair on Thursday.  I already have the man picked out.  He is an older married good looking man.  He has various interests so I think we will find much to chat about.  His children no longer live at home.  He works so could call without alerting anyone that might matter.  Hopefully he will enjoy the new meals I plan to woo him with using different recipes than what he may be eating now.  In the Streep film she changed her clothes a bunch of times to find just the right outfit.  I think it will be fun to get out of sweats into nice clothing on occasion.  Perhaps an affair has more to do with the anticipation then the actual meetings?

Think of all the work that goes into having an affair?  Think how great all our marriages would be if we put that much effort into them?  Really stop and think……how wonderful would your life be if you prepared your home and heart as much for a spouse as it appears people do to have affairs.  Would more marriages be happier?  I do not have the answer.  I simply am going to have an affair.

In case you do not know me and have not caught on as yet, I am crazy in love with my ‘boyfriend’.  We actually celebrate  47 years of marriage next month.  He has been away this week on his annual fishing trip.  I miss him! So I decided that when he returns we will begin an affair that hopefully will last another 47 years at least.

Nothing like having a bully pulpit to shout I LOVE YOU right out loud without waiting for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday.  Perhaps other husbands and wives could take my lead.  The question of the day could be “Have I told you I love you today? If not why not?”   Think these may be more important, certainly more interesting than, “How was your day?” or in my case “How many fish did you catch?”  Your question of the day is……….?




…..fools to the left of me … the right of me….. here I am stuck in the middle …..scattered scattered  – I cannot seem to focus on any one thing these last 48 hrs – so much effort has been put into the day of reflection we presented on Saturday that the rest is now a blur………it has been a wildly busy time.  Are we not old and is this not supposed to be the time to slow down……..I was left with a blur, unsettled thoughts about what to do next and where when and how do I start.  The news has been full of the election the Pope and controversy surrounding all of it.  I myself even entered into some of that controversy which did nothing except unsettle me more……in the middle of all of this is daily living and doctors appts regular blood work dentists meals life…..CALGON TAKE ME AWAY.  Can you still buy Calgon???

When I left the OCS on 9-11, an interesting day to leave, I was filled with new resolve to live a new way of life.  As I sit here this morning the thought occurs to me – when is it going to begin.  The answer comes as readily – when you are willing to begin.  I am thinking perhaps today is the day.

I have been struggling all this past week with all the admiration this Pope is receiving.  He is the successor of Peter and many men have held this same position.  Why is this man now the new darling of all, especially the politically left leaning among us?  I struggle with this and then I think my answer came this morning while I was taking my shower.  You have heard of pillow talk before well let me introduce you to shower talk – I am not the only one who hears this either.    Another friend of ours gets light bulb moments in the shower as well.  As I type I am certain we, each individually alone in our own showers for clarity, are not the only ones.  The only real difference in pillow talk and shower talk is the ease of writing down your thoughts is not available. I keep pen and pad by may bed for pillow light bulb moments – the shower – well water inhibits any of that so one must rely on memory.  I did and here I am developing this stream of consciousness  conversation with myself.  While this will be public this is more for me than anyone else.

Let me start ( and maybe even end) with the Pope.  I have absolutely no right pontificating about this wonderful man nor his position.  This is the faith that I chose for many reasons.  Probably first it was my husband’s faith and I wanted one religion in our family.  Many other validations of my choice have come over the years.  PLEASE – this does not to negate any faith at all.  I believe in faith and church. My second mom said “I don’t think it matters what pew you sit in – just that you sit in a pew.”  She made that ever so clear to me once when she told me about her church attendance in Boston while getting chemo.  She was a Catholic now Protestant sitting in a church on Sunday  in Chinatown in Boston with my dad’s boss who was a Jew.  Now if that is not ecumenical I do not know what is!!!

My problem with this Pope is all the hoorah.  He is not the first Pope to come to the US.  Why is he being celebrated and touted as being so different from the last two?  Is he being seen as the second coming?  He is a different man in the same position of many before him.  His life work has been to serve as the other Pope’s before him.  Anyone elevated to this position is there from a life of service to Christ not just the church I believe.    What makes Pope Francis so different?  What makes the media see him so differently?  I have been chewing on this for a bit now and this morning was the light bulb.  I had to do some further looking.

What I found was very interesting regarding the media.  Before anyone jumps all over me, the media has reported widely on both the previous Pontiffs though maybe not in quite the same manner.  Pope Francis is getting a positive full court press and I wondered why.

While both the previous men were amazing as well their outward positions were not aligned with much of the media in the USA.  The agendas did not mesh.

Pope John Paul II – well you can read the summary. (1)

Plenty have been written and said about the remarkable journey of Karol Jozef Wojtyla, popularly known as Pope John Paul II, to the most sacred seat of catholic community in the world. Throughout his lifetime, he earned both the admiration and criticism for his stands and opinions and enjoyed great influence over the masses. Along with being the longest serving Pope in history, he was also the first non-Italian since 1523 to become the Pope. Considered one of the most powerful religious authorities of 20th century, he was instrumental in improving relationships of the Catholic Church with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. Never restricting himself to the comforts and safety of Vatican, he pushed aside the boundaries of religion, culture, caste and creed to spread the message of ‘God’ and apologized for the wrong doing and sufferings inflicted by the Catholic Church over the centuries. However, he defended the church’s decision to oppose the marriage of same sex couples for which he also faced great opposition. He vehemently opposed the various aspects of Liberation Theology (liberation movement in catholic theology) and also criticized the U.S invasion of Iraq, incessantly.

Pope Benedict:

During his time as a cardinal, Ratzinger’s liberal Catholic critics dubbed him “God’s Rottweiler” because of conservatives positions and actions such as his denunciation of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, his disciplining of Latin American liberation theologians, and his censure of Asian priests who viewed non-Christian religions as part of God’s plan for humanity. (2)

Ratzinger was elevated to the papacy on April 19, 2005, upon the death of Pope John Paul II, and celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass five days later. Known for his rigid views on Catholicism, he has sought a more inclusive image as pope.(3)

In 2008, Benedict made his first visit as pope to the United States, where he spoke out against clerical sexual abuse and delivered an address at the United Nations. That same year, to foster relations and understanding between religions, Benedict addressed the first Catholic-Muslim Forum, a three-day conference of Catholic theologians and Islamic scholars.

All three men proclaimed Catholic values.  All three men really not wanting the job yet accepting, believing and living according to and in the shoes of the fisherman who came first.  Pope Francis, is seen as a new wave in the church.  I have to admit I did not understand it.  I was struggling with this man, as well, though you revere the Office.

I could not understand why he said it was not necessary to go to church.  Why did he say “If a man is gay and searches for the Lord …who am I to judge?”  I was confused when he stood in the well of the Congress and asked for capital punishment to be abolished and did not ask for abortion to be repealed.  Why bother speaking about climate change and gun control?  Then I read another article or two and discovered what he actually really said in some case and through conversations found clarity with the others.

One article quoted,  “Since the start of his papacy, Francis has sought to shift the hierarchy’s focus away from what he said is an “obsession” with sexual issues and toward a greater concern for the poor and all those rejected by the church and society, a social justice priority that many gay Catholics also share.” (5)

Then I saw an article about Mo Rocca. The article was from a militant church group (4) and they were incensed that Mo Rocca was a Lector reading the first Scripture during the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden.   They described him as an actor, comedian and openly homosexual.   This struck me odd in this context.  I am not labeled openly heterosexual.  Why specifically when speaking about a church service was his sexuality mentioned.  In the context of church is not the prerequisite of our going that we are all sinners? This article was of course focusing on what they believed was Rocca’s sin.  I was very confused at first about what all the hubbub was about.  AND there it was in the shower – the light bulb – who am I to judge?

The media in this country is obsessed with liberal leaning pundits who focus in and aggrandize all the social issues so why would they not adore this man who is now apparently focusing specifically on a social agenda.  The issue, that was not coming across to me via the media, poured down on me like the water in the shower.   Pope Francis is still speaking the beliefs of the Catholic Church.  The Church in the Mo Rocca case has always accepted homosexuals. What the media is hearing now is a different lead line.  Pope Francis is leading with the Love One Another and feed the poor.

The light bulb said to me he is speaking acceptance which I live daily.  I love everyone.  I simply took for granted others did as well.  It evidently is new to some that the Catholic Church – the people in the Catholic faith –  actually does love everyone.  Pope Francis is calling us to love one another – something I live or try to remembering I am human too.  His message was not new to me so I could not understand all the flurry of newness.   That was the light bulb.  The Pope proclaims hope and reaffirms the promises of Jesus.  He is walking in the shoes of the fisherman and bringing us the same message as all Popes before though it appears many more are listening.  That is a good thing. The different way he is packaging his message is what is being heard first now.  New Pope new packaging that evidently appeals to more of the masses, certainly the media.  His message in Congress was really clear.

“This rule points us in a clear direction: Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves,” he said. “In a word, if we want security, let us give security. If we want life, let us give life. If we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.

“The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us,” the pontiff said, drawing a standing ovation from the assembled House and Senate. (6)

I struggle with my faith and stand on scripture probably more than Catechism, truth be known, yet they really are one in the same if you do the study.  Probably more correctly speaking the Catechism is based directly on the Bible.  Regardless as Christians, followers of Christ, we are called to follow His standard for us all.  Pope Francis is continuing to proclaim that.

As with most of my blogs I come to the end more educated and find my own message.  Grounding – that  is what I need and that is one of the mindful gifts I am going to give to myself.  Back to the basics of a daily study of faith.  Daily prayers are good and not enough.  I need more grounding than that so this stream of words has brought me to a new resolve.

Last Saturday at our enrichment I was speaking to one of our friends and shared with them that I had a very interesting walk with and without faith in my life.  The part that really impressed me the most is that while I was all over the place God had not moved.  He was right there waiting for me to return.  Blessedly I did and receive His blessings daily through the gifts He has given me.  For all of that I am grateful.

Pope Francis said, “We have a father who waits for us. In the midst of our worldliness, He calls us his children. We are not orphans.”

Thank you.










Oh how I miss the structure of writing a blog daily!  Good to be back and fun to be able to share some information I discovered.

I am not a hypochondriac.  I do not run to the doctor for any little ache or pain.  This is judge comes from my upbringing.  I used to get terrible pains in my legs.  My parents called them ‘growing pains’.  I was not ever taken to the doctor for this symptom.  If my legs ached my father would rub them with his ‘magic medicine’.  It was either Aqua Velva or Listerine and the funny thing is probably the alcohol in it was soothing.

As we grew Listerine was the answer to any ailment.  Gargling with Listerine was a cure to multiple illnesses from a cold to a fever.  Occasionally we took two aspirin.  We girls would get a reprieve some months with a dose of paregoric if necessary as in our teen years we had a nurse in residence.   Over the whole minimal medicine was key in our home.

I brought that with me to our family.  Our children say to this day that if they were not bleeding for more than one place they went to school as we were tough!  I do not believe I was quite that heartless yet what can I say – perception is reality for some.

I have had a fairly healthy life.  Emergency appendectomy at age 10 the exception.  I have only had one broken bone from roller skating at a Boy Scout event.  Some might contend as a non-skater I was tripped???  Just clumsy is more to the case.  A couple of female surgeries end the list.  I take only one prescribed drug and that is an ongoing argument with my doctor.  Being rather generous of size she is concerned about blood pressure.  Mine goes from 120/80 to 140/80+ up and down depending on what I am doing.  Realizing I used to register 118/68 I accept there may be some concern.  I do not want to go on blood pressure medicine and we have compromised on a type water pill until I can let go of some girth.  The doctor also does not like my cholesterol numbers and we are discussing that as well.

So there you have it.  I do not go blindly down the medical path.  I hear you out there that I do not go blindly anywhere and I say why should we?  We need to be our own advocates and cheerleaders by investigating to make sure what we are doing is right for us.  How many times do we hear about the wrong leg being operated on or a mishap with leaving a tool in a body or a misdiagnosis.  We need to be informed.

I believe in natural medicines as well.  When my liver enzymes were not at the right numbers I became concerned as we only have one liver – we have two of most other things!  I did some research and reading to discover that Milk Thistle is good for cleansing our liver.  I started taking it before my next blood work was to be done.  A nurse friend of mine was very concerned enough to ask a doctor friend of hers about it.  The doctor told her “You have one smart friend as it works.”   When she told me this I was affirmed.  The next blood work also showed my enzymes back in line with the numbers that “they” believe are best.  Who says what numbers are the best?  Who knows that they are right for everyone?  This same nurse friend had a grandmother who passed away in her 90s with a cholesterol level of 400!  “They” say our cholesterol should be below 200.   Years ago 200 was normal and 226 mid and 240 high.  Who decides these numbers?   I know I know there are boards of intelligent physicians who set these.  Not going to get into any controversy about kick-backs from drug companies.

So back to natural.  I have discovered a wonderful new natural medicine.  It is turmeric.  I have seen it mentioned in a couple of places as an anti-inflammatory spice.  This last time I read about it I decided to give it a try.  To share with you what it is and from where it comes I went to the web. (1)

Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

I was surprised to see just how many things it can help from IBS to cancer, arthritis, and even Cystic Fibrosis.  It was quite enlightening to read further on the web as I write this about my own experience.

The article that I read that convinced me to buy this product was a blurb in a woman’s mag that you buy at the checkout counters.  It said it must also contain Bromelain which is an enzyme found in pineapples.  I found the pill online and it was $13 for 60 pills and I thought this was not too bad so ordered it.  I started taking one pill a day when it arrived.

Sadly as an aging woman, eclectic writings or not, I have to face that my body does not work the same as it did when I was younger.  My mind is still fairly sharp yet many other muscles are sore and arthritis is beginning as evidenced by my halted gait and crooked fingers.   The additional weight (according to ‘their ‘charts) I carry of course does not help.  It is hard to exercise as aforementioned aches and the weight remains despite less food intake.  Lately I have been walking slower as my right knee has a severe pain which causes shooting pain when pressure is put on it and walking down stairs has become a two feet on one step at a time proposition before going to the next step.  I am walking older than my years really.  I remember my great-grandmother with huge knees and barely walking and accepted this as a hereditary issue.  This is one of the reasons for ordering turmeric and bromelain – what did I have to lose?

It has been 4 weeks and even after one week I was almost bounding up stairs.  I noticed it on July 25th when delivering one of the grands I walked down a set of stairs without holding on to anything.  I can now walk up and down stairs with ease and even the lifeguard at the pool said I was ‘looking good’.  She had seen me trudge in daily with the grandchildren.  She was surprised at how well I was walking.  Asked about it and I told her what it was and sent the link to buy the 100% Hawaiian Turmeric that is vegetarian as well.  Anxious to hear her results.  Hoping they are as good as mine.

I have not lost a pound or changed anything else in my life except add this spice based pill.  I have more a bit more ache now as my knees are being used more and getting back into condition.  I will take this happily and work further to strengthen them.  The sharp pain is gone.  I can get out of our high truck without pain as I touch my right foot to the pavement.   I know longer have to plan trips up and down the stairs (except from laziness) as it hurts so much to go up and down.  I am amazed.  My boyfriend is surprised and happy for me.  I am telling everyone I know about this.  Golly $13 for a health fix?  Why not?

I know many will poo poo this as junk.  Fine with me.  I am not a doctor and I do not play one on TV or in real life.  I simply am a person who wants to live the best life I can in good health.  So far so good.  Turmeric has helped.  I am not prescribing for anyone – I am simply sharing what has helped me.  Off to bop upstairs to do the laundry. Tumeric has erased much pain not the chores.  It is NOT a wonder drug.





The last thing on my mind this morning was to write for my blog.  The last blog I wrote was on my birthday.  That was the first day of a new year for me.  Today is the halfway point of this year.  Can you imagine it?  I marvel at numbers and thoughts.  I have written 518 posts for this blog.  Who needs to read more?  Have no idea.  I only know that when the words want to pour out if I do not let them my mind is chaos for days.  I have to write for myself.  If you enjoy so much the better.  I discovered recently that my words effected someone so much that they changed their whole way of thinking.  More on that at a later date!

The title of this post was originally REFLECTION.  The LITTLE THINGS was added as I pondered what to write.

This morning as I was in the process of my morning ablutions I noticed a shaft of light reflecting on the mirror.  Now this light was high up in the trees.  There were two of them as if slivers of eyes in a creepy movie with a black face.  Each sliver looked like a skateboards top to bottom thinner than wider then thinner as the light of a weird orange came through the trees.  It was unsettling and intriguing.  As I sat and looked I realized the sun did not come from that direction.  In fact when I got up to investigate further,  the sun was indeed at my left and the slivers of orange light directly in front of me at a higher level than our second story bathroom.

I continued with my chores and went out to clean another area before returning to take my shower.  Upon my return, the orange skateboard eyes were gone.  My conclusion was that the sun coming up on my left had hit a spot on another house and the “eyes” that I saw were simply a reflection off something nearby.  I settled with that as a theme for this writing – the reflections in our lives.

I reflected on what had happened in the past few days.  I reflected on the people with whom I had interacted either via voice or emails or internet.  I reflected on the good and the not so and the confusing.  I thought of the actions I have taken.  The same good, bad, confusing labels apply.  I thought about how all of these had affected me.  Again the effects were good, bad and confusing.

I ended the supposed post my mind was writing with the words that we are all called to be reflections to each other.  I took joy in the positive responses I received yesterday.  The bad I will sort out later and the confusing will become clear at some point.  It all is good if the reflections we see can be understood and explained at some point.  I like the filter of faith.  This filter allowed me to come up with what the last line of that post would be if I write it then.  I would end with, “We are called to be reflections of the sun and the Son.”

My mind would not let me leave it there as the words, “little things” came to my mind from something I read this morning.  I cannot of course find it now to share as completely as I like.  It was strong enough to stir up my spirit.  It spoke to me about the little courtesies that we can do for each other and may or may not do.  It spoke to me of phone calls we could have made.  It said forgive and do not hold grudges in your heart as you are not perfect either.  These two words, “little things”, said write the notes you want even in email form and feel grateful that you did so like I did yesterday.  I heard in my mind be thankful, be grateful, forgive, reach out, be kind and if I could remember it would probably recited the Girl or Boy Scout laws in my brain.  It is the “little thing” of which our lives are made that make our lives.

So you the reader choose the title today.  REFLECTIONS or LITTLE THINGS.  I believe they both apply.  I believe that perhaps without both we are shallow.  If the ‘little things’ make our life than are we not going to be a ‘reflection’ of those as we face the world?  Today I hope and ask please let all my ‘little things’ be joyous so that the Son may be part of my ‘reflection’ to the world which I am about to encounter as I go about my day and errands.




Today is my birthday!  I just checked my facebook page to find a number of birthday greetings (our #1 daughter being the first) and it warmed my heart to see so many people cared to take the time to write a birthday greeting.  I am humbled.

Yesterday the mail contained multiple cards.  Saturdays mail even had two cards from the same person one of which is responsible for the title of this post.  The card simply said “Birthday Queen” with a crown on the front.  Inside it said, “Happy Birthday, Your Royal Wonderfulness.”  Now this sweet person (daughter #2) knows me well!!!  In fact I am wearing my “Queen of Absolutely Everything” shirt today as it is my birthday and I am the Queen of this day in this house today!!!

My boyfriend greeted me first thing with a “Happy Birthday”.  As he left he asked about dinner.  It is only two of us this year and he has scouts tonight so thinking take out Chinese will be on tap – hooray!!!  Otherwise no big deal.  The gift I wanted has arrived and is waiting for unpacking.  A new sewing machine may be nothing to some – for me I am very excited and have projects already lined up to run through the stitches it promises.

Are any of you wondering why the word “Numbers” is in the title?  If you are not that is okay.  The number issue is something I do not know what to do about.  It is just a tantalizing thought that I am about to share.  Perhaps it means real luck.  Perhaps it is simply 2 numbers that worked out this way.  It has been fascinating me since I discovered it.

I googled “what do numbers mean” and the definition popped up of course.  This was followed by “Numbers in the Bible”, “Spiritual meaning of numbers”,  “Repeating and Recurring Numbers” “Angel Numbers” and “Numbers and their Meaning”.  I looked further into the last one and was greeted with the Fibonacci Number and more. This article then started going through every single number to 13 and then did some double digits to 99.  The two numbers I am concerned with were not mentioned.

So here is the most interesting thing about this day and year.  Can someone tell me what it means?

Today I turn 68.  To me that is a great number as psychologically for most of my life I could not envision life after 35 as that is the age my mother died.  Despite having aunts who lived longer this is a real issue in girls who lose their mothers at a young age.  Needless to say I worked through it and moved on.  I was born in 1947.  That is the other number,  47.  So I am dealing with two numbers 68 and 47.

Now here is the punch line.

I was married in 1968 and this year we will celebrate 47 years.  See it?  68 and 47 again.  What are the chances of this happening I wonder?  I am taking it as lucky and a blessing and I WILL buy a lottery ticket today!!!

Off to make my birthday a fun day and may just take the day off and read or watch a movie.  It’s my party and I can do what I want to right???

Thank you to all who sent a card or message via email or facebook.  You are my blessings.