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!


(1) http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/reagans-doctors-discover-possibly-cancerous-colon-polyp





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 cornersoapbox.wordpress.com.  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.












(1) http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2016/03/13/can-donald-trump-unify-republican-party-fractured/

(2) http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/03/11/marco-rubio-ohio-voters-sot.cnn

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/us/politics/george-soros-and-other-liberal-donors-to-fund-bid-to-spur-latino-voters.html?_r=0



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 cornersoapbox.wordpress.com.

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.”




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.


(1) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78



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.




As we were preparing to sit down for dinner two nights ago our guest started to fill our glasses and I said. “And ‘she’ poured” using her name.  All three in attendance shared the smile and laughter and memories of lost traditions.

Growing up in a small town we were lucky to have a weekly newspaper.  It was filled with all the news of our town and the other three towns on our island.  We had the sports news, the editorials, obituaries and of course each town had their own local columnist that weekly would report on the happenings of our community.

One would find news of relatives who were visiting.  There would be information about local elections.  We would read of our townsfolk going to visit their families elsewhere.  Social events were reported as well as school activities.  I had a short paragraph the year I earned my bicycle.  My mother thought it a great way to let the town people who bought my greeting cards know that I had indeed completed the task and had a new Royal English bicycle.

There, every now and then, would be the news of a social occasion with a note that “Mrs. Jones poured.”  As a kid I thought this very odd to be interested in who pour the liquid refreshments, normally tea or lemonade.  As I grew and began to be schooled in manners and etiquette I learned that it was a grand honor to pour.  We had a great many wealthy people from the cities that would come to our community in the summer and our news then would have more than its share of who poured what. To me it simply sounded like additional work!

Let me enlighten you that it is or was a great honor.  From the article I have referenced (1) you will read below and understand why it is or was important to note them as “pourers” as they are held in high esteem.

It is an honor to be asked to pour tea. The pourer is considered the guardian of the teapot, ‘which implies sterling social graces and profound trust.

I believe much has been lost by the loss of these small practices.  It might not have really been important who pour your cup of tea.  What may have been important was that people cared enough to live with manners and exhibited them regularly.  Perhaps some of this should be passed on in school cafeterias?  It might bleed over into our world and make it a nicer place?

I have to come to and accept that times have changed.  In many ways I have too.  While change is difficult for me and not necessarily good, times changing can be a positive thing and I must accentuate that – ever a goal of mine to live in a positive manner.

Easy to do as I watched our friend, the “pourer” drive off this morning to complete her trek up the East Coast from Florida to Maine.  Alone.  Our aging beautiful friend is 70 and driving herself to visit her family.  A good change for the better I would think.  Unheard of years ago.  Women rarely went anywhere alone let alone drive alone.

I too drive alone all the time and think nothing of it.  I know women in their 70s when I was young would rarely have even contemplated taking off on their own, let alone drive on their own.  Interesting change in thought, society and probably more to the point health.  Change is our only constant I have come to believe.  We either rail against it or go along on our own paths taking the good and leaving the bad.

As I am writing this I am thinking that perhaps we owe some of this to the Feminist Movement though I believe the women of my age would have come to this on their own.  I think we were already dropping some of the norms of our parents group by more of us going off to college rather than stay in our home towns.  It is hard to make a judgment as the 60s spawned much change.

I begrudgingly accept the fact that while I am a feminist, only in that I believe I have a choice in all I do, I was not a marching bra-burner as my Dear Friend who just left to complete her drive today was. She worked outside the home I stayed in it.  She is a great housekeeper and I am a drop it as I want to kind of housekeeper.  I cook and mess up she cooks and cleans as she goes!

I laugh as we are so very different in actions and beliefs.  Yet we rarely stop talking when we are together!  We disagree on lots of things and still find each other’s company enjoyable.  Isn’t that the great stuff of which life is made?

I smile and will go about this day having enjoyed this visit.  We both return to our lives after a brief memory that friendships are what really is important.  Our friendship was born when our boys began kindergarten and a group of mother’s decided we needed to have a ‘coffee group’ which we did every Wednesday for many years.  The fact that our particular friendship has lasted this long I am certain surprises most of the other moms as the two of us would sometimes be at opposite sides of an issue and screaming at each other.  The further fact is that it has and I am glad!

Despite marital changes, logistical changes, philosophical changes we are still friends and I think this small nicety makes my world happier and it will bleed over into my day and month and year.

Friendships make the world a better place to be.  Peg poured!






I understand that there are many people who function perfectly well on a few hours of sleep. I am not one of them.  Last night I got 3 hours from 11 – 2AM.  I was awake the rest of the night.  I have no idea why.  Then the birds began so I got up.  I wrote about this part in another blog in 2012. (1)

I am not a violent person by nature.  I love all of God’s creatures, even snakes.  While I do not want much interaction with these slithery things I do appreciate their spot in the scheme of things.  I actually touched one in a zoo on our sons 1st birthday outing.  Trying to be a good mother I did not want to scare my son.  When the snake came by I did a dutiful touch and was amazed to that it felt like a fine leather glove.  The violence was awakened this morning at4:30AM.

Sleep and I are like strangers that pass in the night.  Sometimes we meet and others we just wave at each other.  I can be found roaming around our house anywhere from1-3AM just trying to GET to sleep.  Or perhaps I have slept for a couple of hours and cannot get back to sleep.  The phrase ‘sleeping like a baby’ really applies to me at these times.  Babies may have a hard time falling asleep and then only sleep for a couple of hours before they wake again.  It is a battle I fight.  A good night’s sleep is like a rare jewel.

The requirements I have read for a good night’s sleep are a dark, cool or chilly quiet room.  I actually have been sleeping okay these past couple of nights as we have the windows closed and the air-conditioning on fulfilling all the requirements.  We were in a heat wave with some rain.  Yesterday the air cooled.  I opened the windows to enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze the day offered.  It was almost cold last night so the windows remained opened.  At 4:30AM the Bird Anvil Chorus began.  I had had a good night’s sleep so far and really wanted more.

Last night’s effort was a pure failure.  As I am sitting here typing with heavy eyelids it occurs to me I may be brilliant.  Do they not say that Einstein lived on little sleep?  Leonardo de Vinci is said to have created Mona with only 2 hours per night.  Are there not other creative people who do well with few hours of shut eye?  Napoleon was also one to live on little sleep.

I decided to do a bit of research about this.  I discovered there are many different kinds of sleep.  We have power sleep,  polyphasic sleep , regular monophasic sleep, biphasic sleep, and free-running sleep.  Seriously?  There are too many suggestions about how many hours one needs for health to even hone in on any one specific  one.

It is thought that da Vinci used polyphasic sleep.  This is a the practice of sleeping multiple times in a 24-hour period.  It is thought to be good for you.

It was way too much and I am now sleepy at 7:30AM after a cup of coffee and working since 5:30AM.  This is ridiculous.  I have too much to do.  Perhaps I will follow da Vinci? Perhaps I’ll take a nap.  Perhaps the sun is out so those darned birds will be quiet…perhaps……..






I love to travel.  In fact I inadvertently met my husband from a one sentence line in an old teen magazine that brought my pen-pal to me.  ( I know I have written about this before) The line read “I love photography and I love to travel”.  At 12, from a very modest income family  and living on the coast of Maine, the most I had actually traveled in any one direction was  2 hrs from my home.  I loved it though!!!

The very same husband, as I have only had one blessedly, also loves to travel.  We like to take the long way around as much as possible.  After 46 years we still enjoy each other’s company even with no conversation.  The silence is comforting as we whizz along the highways and byways encapsulated in our own little world on four wheels.  We are in our own enchanted carriage touring the world in which we live.  This past weekend was one of those times.

When the invitation for my Aunt Pauline’s 90th in Bass Harbor, Maine arrived, the date was one week before a meeting we had to attend in Rochester, NY.  Now we could have stayed home and each weekend driven to the destination spot and back.  The trip to Maine would have been a 24 hr trip up and back and staying over in between.  The one to NY would have been a 12 hr up and back and a stay over as well.  I immediately looked at this as an opportunity for some vacation fun.  I asked my groom if he could take vacation for the week as I wanted to go to Maine and meander to NY.  No route was planned as the idea was just beginning to form.  Once it was certain I began looking and plotting and planning.  I love maps.  I also like the map engines on the computer which can change a direction with a drag of a key.

I will not bore you with all of that.  I will end the suspense with the fact that we took route 2 out of Bangor, Maine and stayed on it over the top of New Hampshire, the top of Vermont, right up the middle of Lake Champlain until it ended on the Vermont New York border where we picked up route 11 to wend our way down to Rochester NY.

Let me take a paragraph to share that route 2 took us by two favorite Inns at which we had vacation multiple times at each.  One we knew we would see and the other a pleasant surprise to be so close.  Fond memories of both.  Route 11 took us through my husband’s college town ad we got to see his old fraternity house.  Unfortunately since it was closed up it appeared all had gone for the summer. Route 11 also took us close enough (30/45 minutes off the path each way) to be able to stop and see one of our nephews and his wife.  I had never had the chance to visit though my husband stops every year with the family fishing trip.  All went well until we left Rochester on Sunday.

We have done the route from Maryland to Rochester before.  We know that at Corning/Painted Post there needs to be a redirection of sorts up and back.  Our route at this time is 15 coming north out of Pennsylvania connecting to 390.  This is not a big deal and as I said we had done it before.  On this particular Sunday it became a situation.

I had fallen asleep which is not a surprise to the driver of our carriage!  I happens often.  I trust his driving and do not sleep well some nights so the baby carriage effect comes into play here – trust and constant movement equal sleep!  He woke me as we approached the turn off of 390 as we traveled south.  We knew we had to get on 15.  The problem was there were no rt 15 signs.

This is the situation.  The GPS or IDA (Instrumental Directional Advisor) as we call her was telling us to get on 86 and go to Elmira to pick up 81 south.  We knew we did not want highway as we wanted 15 and scenery.  She clearly showed 15 as well.  My smart phone was showing the same intersection and 15 was a registered route number on it.  The atlas was agreeing with the other two sources.   The road showed no 15.  We saw signs for 17 East and West which is also known as the Southern  Tier Expressway.  We saw 86 for Elmira.  We saw 414 as well.  No 15.  There was this major blue highway sign with the numbers 99 on it.  Interstate  99 was not on the GPS.  It was not on the smart phone link.  It was not on the map.  We were hapless travelers.

As we traveled it was certain we had motored to highway 86 and 414 and wanted neither.  We got off the highway and started back through the village of Gibson to Corning.  Once in Corning 17 appeared and we knew we needed to go West to connect with 15.  Then at one turn we saw a 15 sign.  Relief until it too disappeared.  At this point I am using the smart phone and the map application and watching the car on the screen move as we did and kept us on the right road.  Eventually we came to an intersection that had 15/17 and 99 and we got onto 15 south for home.

We had no idea what we had just experienced nor from  where Interstate 99 came.  Aha I said I will google it using the smart phone as we were feeling very confused. Perhaps the smartness of the phone could illuminate the answer.   I googled route 99 New York and there it was…………..

From Wikipedia I give you the explanation we found and a related link to the whole story.(1)

Interstate 99 (I-99) is an Interstate Highway with two segments: one located in central Pennsylvania, and the other in southern New York[4] in the United States. The southern terminus of the route is at exit 146 of thePennsylvania Turnpike (I-70 and I-76) north of Bedford, where the road continues south as U.S. Route 220(US 220). The northern terminus of the Pennsylvania segment is at I-80 near Bellefonte. The New York segment follows US 15 from the Pennsylvania–New York border to an interchange with I-86 in Corning. I-99 passes through Altoona and State College—the latter home to Pennsylvania State University—and is entirelyconcurrent to US 220, within Pennsylvania. Long-term plans call for I-99 to be extended southward along the US 220 corridor to an interchange with I-68 in Cumberland, Maryland.

Unlike most Interstate Highway numbers, which were assigned by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to fit into a grid, I-99’s number was written into Section 332 of theNational Highway Designation Act of 1995 by Bud Shuster, then-chair of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the bill’s sponsor, and the representative of the district through which the highway runs. I-99 violates the AASHTO numbering convention associated with Interstate Highways, since it lies east of I-79 but west of I-81.

In its infinite wisdom the Congress of the United States made some road changes.  Future_I-99_CorridorThe problem seems to be that map makers and related resources were not made aware of when these were going to take place.  As we traveled further south on 15 into Pennsylvania we saw the signs that said Future 99. These signs would have been helpful in NY State which evidently dispensed with 15 without a care.  Oh the sadness for other travelers looking to stay on course.  ADVICE – stay alert and check with local DOT sites for road change information and still take the long way home!!!





Disclaimer: This is not about Jules Verne’s “Time Machine”.

Yesterday on a social media site I took a quiz.  It had been posted by one of my younger cousins.  The quiz was about which “Avenger” I would be?  Being a comic book junkie, loving super heroes  and quizzes I had to take this quiz. (1)

[Before I go into the depth of my thoughts on the quiz,  I must take a minute and share how happy I am to have so many of my younger cousins as friends on social media.  I am talking 50 years younger.  They keep me interested, honest and involved and I love it!  Thank you Kids! Back to the quiz.]

This quiz was aimed at your capabilities and looking to find out what kind of a leader you are or want to be.  From this they decide which one of the “Avengers” you are most like.  For those who are not in the realm of super-heroes, I went to Wikipedia as easier to explain……….

(2)The Avengers is a team of superheroes, appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team made its debut in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963), created by writer-editorStan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, following the trend of super-hero teams after the success of DC Comics‘ Justice League of America.[1]

Labeled Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers originally consisted of Iron ManAnt-Man, theWaspThor, and the Hulk.

All of the above has no relevance to what I found fascinating and all relevance to the scattered brain with which I live.

In this quiz was a tantalizing question that gave me pause and I have been thinking about it ever since.

You just found a time machine! Where are you going?






How would you answer this question?  I think I said that I would stay in the present.  Would I?  Would you?

I have been examining this question.  To go to the future would be interesting.  The future is defined by our actions in the present.  Our lives change daily depending on the influences and our own actions.  How could I be certain that the future I am visiting would actually be the future I would live?  Would it not be too dependent on the present?  Would I live my present differently to preserve the future I have visited?

I could go to the past and meet the ancestors that I have discovered in my genealogical quests.  I could meet the first man that came from England to Massachusetts and married the native girl.  I could meet my mother as an adult myself.  Could I relieve some of the events in my life and change them?  Would my going back change my present?  Too many questions.

All are interesting thoughts.  They have been bouncing around in my brain for over 24 hrs now and I think I answered the question exactly right when I said “NO THANKS! I’M STAYING IN THE PRESENT.”

Then again it surely explains why the futuristic “Avengers” and the past/present series “Outlander” are such big hits.  The topics are tantalizing either way.

So what about you?  Future?  Past?  Present?

Me…..I am cleaning house today and ever…………




(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avengers_(comics)









It is a dreary day outside of my window.  My usual bad night’s sleep is behind me. I have a list a mile long.  I am stuck with thoughts in my brain that must be exorcised so the blog gets them.  It is a good thing to have a blog in this particular case.  Thoughts not lost simply placed carefully for storage.

A life change is about to happen.  In the next year or so we will be looking seriously into the eyes of retirement.  All your life you work toward this goal.  Now that it is easily accessible one is left wondering where all the time went and what the fuss is all about.  To get to the retirement “place” we have to unload all the “stuff” of our lives that we have spent the last over 45 some odd years acquiring.  Where is the sense in this?

In our case we will be splitting time between the north and the southwest which complicates this move even more.  What goes where?  Do we need to keep this?  Is this a treasure or trash?  It is going to be a long time before we have divested as we need.  It is a good thing to start now.  The better thing might have been to not have acquired it all.  Though I believe every knick knack we have helps create our history and adds to the warmth of our home.

All of this leads to the title of this blog.  The beginning of all the thought actually started on Palm Sunday when we had family for dinner and we were discussing the dishes and stemware on the table.  We determined that few people use fine china anymore.  Few people have Sunday dinners anymore.

I have our Wedding China which is Lenox.  It is plain cream color with a platinum band.  There are place settings for 8 plus salt and pepper shakers and candlesticks.  The places we are going do not have formal dining rooms.  Not only the Wedding China is a question.  The whole dining room set will have to go.  I have mixed feelings about all of this.

Our dining room set was purchased in 1973 second hand from a little old couple in 001Biddeford, Maine.  I had wanted brand new then and we looked at Ethan Allen and Pennsylvania House and the newspapers for deals too.  When we went to look at this set for $500 with barely a scratch on it and costing about 200 times less than the brand new sets I knew we had our furniture.  The set is a Duncan Fife style mahogany set with a table complete with three leaves and table pads, eight chairs, buffet, server and hutch. 002

The only issue we had was a measurement to see if it would fit in our new dining room.  Of course we planned to live in this same house forever.  It did fit and we brought it home.  I was opening all the draws to fill them and found a brand new damask table cloth to fit the table with all three leaves.  I called the lady to tell her that I would bring it back.  She said she left it there for us as we were just starting out and their set was much smaller now.  I understand now what she was saying.  All pieces were refinished in the late 90s.  It has served us well.  What do we do with it?

That is just the beginning of the many decisions we will be facing.  Getting attached to “things” is not ever good yet I think letting go of this dining room set will be a hard choice.  We celebrated births, christenings, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and simple Sunday dinners around this table for over 42 years we has it.  If I have to let it go I want it to be cared for and enjoyed as we have.

The same goes for the Wedding China.  Where will that go?  Do the kids want it? We could sell it though not sure it would even sell.  What to do? I have often thought it would fun to set up a essay contest to sell these items.  For $50 – even $10 – and the best 100 word essay you could have furniture or china.  Who would not like a dining room set or china  for that price?  What to do?  Ah the choices to come!




This aging woman has a list that is a mile long this Saturday.  The eclectic personality is in full force and focus cannot be found.  My mind is racing from idea to item to project so much so that the vision of a Tasmanian Devil does not do this chaos justice.  The simple thing for me is to write it down and get it out of my head and on to paper.

When I decided to do this I heard “Saturday morning coming down” as a song in my head.  I checked as it did not sound right and it was not.  The song is “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down”.  Amazingly when I listened to it, the song did not sound like what I was singing in my thoughts.  The song was written by Kris Kristofferson while he lived in Nashville.  Trivia insert from songfacts.com.

“Kris Kristofferson wrote this song while living in a run-down tenement in Nashville when he was working as a janitor for Columbia Records – a strange occupation considering he had a master’s degree from Oxford University and risen to the rank of captain in the US Army. But Kristofferson wanted to be a songwriter, so he turned down a professor position at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and swept floors at Columbia waiting for his break.”

Ray Stevens recorded the original song in 1969.  It was a #1 hit in September 1970 and Kris first #1 as a writer.  Johnny Cash included it on one of his albums.  It still is not the song I am hearing in my head despite that the words match.  Oh well………..

My random thought of the week has been that I am going to declare tomorrow the Ides of March and more importantly our first grandson’s 15th birthday the beginning my own personal NEW YEAR.  So many thoughts in this one sentence.

First, tomorrow on March 15th our sweet kind loving first born grandchild will turn 15 on the 15th.  His years equal the date.  It does not seem possible that this beautiful little boy has become a wonderful young man so quickly.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that he was running into our home and saying with his arms stretched out wide, “Grandmama, I found you!” followed by a huge hug.   The fact is that this loving action happened over 4000 days ago.  Lesson to make the most of each day and tell those that we love that we love them. I love you Beau and Happy 15th Birthday Dear Grandson.

Speaking of birthdays as I was, on the other end of the spectrum Friday the 13th was my sister, Jo’s birthday.  She was born in March of 1950.  The story was ever told by Daddy that he was afraid he would not be able to get up the hill that took us out of town to get to the hospital due to a March blizzard in Maine.  He did and the doctor came out and told him that he had another Princess and Paula Joyce became Daddy’s second daughter.

I struggle with birthday gift ideas and am usually late and ever so thankful that Amazon can help me so I can direct ship and be on time. So last week I started thinking what I was going to get my sister for her birthday.   She has recently changed her eating patterns to live a healthy life.  She no longer drinks diet soda and has taken up coffee as her morning beverage.  As clever as I am not I went to Amazon and put in ‘coffee gifts’.  Up came a multitude of choices.  I settled on an environmentally safe French Press coffee pot.  I loved that idea and wanted to augment it with some new coffee.  As I looked there were different flavors.  I thought a collection would be fun.  There were many well outside the budget I had envisioned.  Then as if out of the ether came a package of coffee simply called “Jo”. No brainer as that is what I call my sister.  The plus is that “Jo” coffee is also environmentally friendly being a member of the Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade USA which she will love.  There is another gift on its way which has not yet arrived so not mentioning right here except to say the name Jo is also included.

The thing about my siblings is that I try to think of one gift in March and send it to all as their days arrive.  So this year I have to think of gifts of Susan and Bill if I continue the theme.  Susie Qs by Hostess Cupcakes would work or Black-eyed Susan seeds for my younger sister.  I put “Susan” into the Amazon search line and am proud to say the gift for her will work wonderfully.

Next is brother Bill.  I put “Bill” into the search line at Amazon and up came some Bill’s Cargo pants.  At between $100- $150 a pair they are well within my brother’s excellent tastes and way out of my budget.  The thought came that I could simply send him ‘my bills for payment’.   The search continues.

When is NEW YEAR.  We celebrate January 1 each year.  The Chinese celebrate on the new moon of the first lunar month which usually falls sometime between January 21st and February 21st.  Vietnamese and Tibetan’s New Year is similar yet the Tibetans cane flow into March.  the Aztecs use February 23rd.  India, some areas,  and Iran celebrate in March. Nepal is April. Nigeria has a New Year festival in June.  So it is arbitrary I believe.  Favorite quote time.

From the movie “Good Will Hunting”:

Skylar: Maybe we could go out for coffee sometime?
Will: Great, or maybe we could go somewhere and just eat a bunch of caramels.
Skylar: What?
Will: When you think about it, it’s just as arbitrary as drinking coffee.

Since I will already be celebrating a birthday on the 15th and St. Patrick’s Day is the 17th, I am declaring March 16th as my New Year this year.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Not to be forgotten today March 14, 2015 is a once in a lifetime day.  Pi, which is the spelling of a lower Greek letter used for the mathematical symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is 3.14159265359.  So today 3-14-15 at 9:26AM/PM we have the opportunity to celebrate something.  Not sure what exactly.  Our celebration of this occurrence is that we have opted to forego our regular Saturday night dinner of beans and franks for a ‘Pizza Pie’! Works for me.  Maybe I will actually get to cross some things off my to-do list since I will not have to cook!



It seems a highly appropriate time with this being ‘spring ahead’ clock weekend to chat about time and time tilts.  This is a term that just came to my mind.  TIME TILTS.  I think I will use the definition that “TIME TILT: moments in your life when you are teleported in your mind to another space or experience that effected your world.”  Sound good?  It works for me.

I have TIME TILTS – forward TT – often and they actually can rock me.  There are TTs that can bring me comfort.  There are TTs that when remembered actually give me relief.  TTs create feelings.  Thinking they would not be worthy of reflection if they did not.

The reason I am writing after such a long time is I need to do this – simple.  Writing seems to ground me.  No other explanation.

The reason I am writing about TIME TILTS or TTs is that I just had one.  It is the morning of March 9th 2015.  I looked at the clock to see that it was about this time 55 yrs ago that I was taken out of school and my 12 year old world starting reeling toward a different future than I had anticipated – if 12 yrs old at the time really anticipated a future.   Beside this being my cousins birthday, this was the day my mother died.  I am forever changed from that moment.

The thing that amazes and surprises me each year is that no matter how old I am when  (and if as sometimes I actually go through the day with no care) I remember what happened this day is that I am automatically 12 again.  I am again feeling bereft in my spirit and I cry like that 12 yr old for the what could have beens while all the time happily living in the what is.

TIME TILTS as I said can also be fond memories.  The ones that I really enjoy are the tilts that take me back to happy times.  Occasionally I will catch a scent of cookies or cakes and I am in my aunt’s kitchen as she is baking in her large white cast iron stove, using her iron sink that has a pump on it as I sit looking out the window on the windowseat between her two counters.  At these times a smile comes across my face and I am betting if I have cookies in the jar that I take one!!!

TIME TILTS of relief for me are remembering a lot of my early choices that seemed all so very hard.  Breaking up with the boyfriend that I thought I would love for a lifetime.  While casting no aspersions onto any ones character those memories in that time tilt leave me with relief as I like the life I have and am still after 46 yrs madly in love with the man that I married.  Thus the TT in this case brings feelings of relief.

The trivia for the morning a new way for me to look at life.  I love it!  Back to work now!


By ktsquared Posted in Trivia



This morning I have been contemplating these two items.  I even was in a conversation about them.  I maintain that forgiveness  is a choice and must be freely given.  I maintain that if it is, then forgetfulness will come about in time.  That is not to say that the situation will not come up again in our minds.  The choice then becomes how we handle it.  If forgiveness has truly been given then it will be easy to look at the issue and forget about  it and once again forget it.

Perhaps this is too simplistic.  As I do I went to the web.  A plethora of items were on the list.  Books about forgive and forget.  Movies about the subject.  Oprah weighed in on the subject.  Pinterest had a mention as did Wikipedia.  There was even a ‘web md’ article that dealt with the health of these two actions.  There  is a link at the end of this if you care to look into it.

The information in the ‘web md’ article was more about the forgiveness portion of the equation.  It began with:

Many people view forgiveness as an offshoot of love — a gift given freely to those who have hurt you.

Forgiveness, however, may bring enormous benefits to the person who gives that gift, according to recent research. If you can bring yourself to forgive and forget, you are likely to enjoy lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and a drop in the stress hormones circulating in your blood, studies suggest. Back pain, stomach problems, and headaches may disappear. And you’ll reduce the anger, bitterness, resentment, depression, and other negative emotions that accompany the failure to forgive.

Of course, forgiving is notoriously difficult. “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive,” said C.S. Lewis.

I am certain it is hard to forgive otherwise why would it be a gift?  Is not the forgetting a gift as well?

Do the names Isaiah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Samuel, Ephesians, Hebrews mean anything to you? They are all books in the Bible and all of them in one way or another speak to the issue of this thought.  The simplest of all of these is quoted from the NIV Bible and Luke 6:37 says simply “Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

From the above it would not be a stretch to say we would all feel physically better and scripturally upright when we forgive.  I will buy that.  I will also buy that I am human.

The other statement from an essay by Alexander Pope that comes to mind is “To err is human to forgive divine.”  Does this mean that since I am not a divinity that I cannot truly forgive?  Or is it that my humanity lets me forgive leaving me the work of forgetting? OR am I not called to what we say daily in our prayer “…..forgive us our trespasses (debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us (debtors).”

I have no answers.  I often have said “by the Grace of God” as a prayerful comment when I hope I am on the right track.  Perhaps that is how we choose to forgive.  If we are prayerfully living – even trying to live – in the Grace of God then that perhaps is the key? We can forgive with and by the Grace of God?  Pondering this more today.






The first few days of this year were fine and still filled with food and fun.  Yesterday driving to a gathering I was listening to a gift I got for Christmas.  I had asked for and received a collection of John Denver CD’s.  It is a wonderful gift and I am certain I will enjoy it more as I get to listen to it all.  Only got a chance to hear one and a half of the four discs.  If you like him I highly suggest it.  It is newly released box set “All My Memories”.

Also there was a conversation over lunch around music yesterday.  How fun that the last word of that sentence was one of the most famous songs by this group.  A lunch companion was commenting on a comment that had been made referencing Paul McCartney.  The comment mentioned Paul and then went on to say ‘whoever he was”.  The conversation was around the fact of the Beatles popularity.

I contended that, in fact, there may be people in this world who have no idea nor care who the Beatles were.  If you are not into rock/pop music you would have no clue as to the identity of Paul and John, George and Ringo.  In fact, Ringo may be more known more for his stint as the conductor on a railroad  than his drums!

I contended it is all relevant to the time in which you were raised and the music you heard in your home.  I went on to say that few would have known the Dorsey brothers or Glenn Miller if they had not been raised with them.  One of the dinner companions touted that big band music was nowhere near as popular worldwide as the Beatles.   I could not argue that point.  I maintained the premise though that what you grew up with lasts with you as far as knowledge of the popularity of groups and genres of music.

I listened to, and our kids heard, various forms of music in our home.  We listened to and played show tunes, pop, rock, folk, gospel, country (though very little then), bluegrass, classical with even a little new age thrown in for good measure.  Their tastes vary now as adults themselves.  Among my favorites was John Denver.

I liked his voice and his music.  It was not until I was reading the booklet with the collection yesterday that I realized how prolific he was.  I knew he had written many of my favorite folks songs. I knew others artists sang and made his music popular.  I also knew he died way too young.   He finally got a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in Oct of last year.  Colorado has adopted “Rocky Mountain High” as a state song as has West Virginia with “Take Me Home Country Roads”.

I was lucky to see him in concert.  That is a whole other story though I have to mention he took the stage and never left.  He sent his band out for an intermission.  He stayed and played alone on the stage for the intermission and looked like he was simply having fun.

I am not sure if it was the lunch, the music, the memories it evoked or the anticipated quiet that I would be encountering upon going home that encouraged the precipitation that came to my eyes.  I just know all of a sudden I was extremely melancholy if not slightly depressed.  I was concerned about my demeanor at the gathering to which we were headed.   Is this how the new year was going to begin?  Rocky Mountains and Sunshine made John Denver high and here I was with moisture in my eyes feeling very much in a valley not on a mountain top.

My last post on facebook last night was:

…….well there it is and it could have stayed away – the quiet is here…..oh well heavy sigh………….

I awoke this first Monday of 2015 with dread as I had a dentist appointment that I knew was going to have me sitting for a crown and facing many dollars.  Tomorrow I have a root canal scheduled.  I am feeling old and thinking I am falling apart.  The world seemed heavy as I got out of bed and showered.  I did not even bother to put on a light.  There was nothing I wanted to see.  Certainly not this aging bloated from Christmas food body.  I left for the dentist.  Even the welcomed calls before I left did little to lift my mood.

At the dentist office I pick up a magazine called “Departures”.  In research just now I discovered it is for Platinum American Express members.  While in the office the destinations and dress did little to lift me as they were way over any budget I have or could even imagine.  It is my turn to sit in the chair.

The assistant came in to put on the bib and scope out the problem.  I said my tooth had broken apart and I probably need a crown.  She asked which side and I said the left.  She looked in my mouth on the right side.  I simply pointed to the other in sadness and concern that she did not know her left from her right.

My dentist comes in cheery as ever.  Dr. Brian has the demeanor of a happy cartoon character and I needed this today.   He too asks and looks and then says I think we can fix this with a filling and would know better when he got in there to clean it out.

I cannot tell you the feeling that flowed over me.  I felt my mood lighten slightly.  I no longer felt heavy and burdened like the heaviness of the lead bib they put on to take an x-ray.  I saw color not gray.  Was it going to be this simple.  It was.

I left the office……….I must take an aside here.  This office is a warm friendly place.  I really enjoy the people working there.  They smile and give everyone a warm welcome and goodbye.  It makes it easy for me to go there as I am a white knuckle dentist person.  For me it is the worst thing I have to do for my health.

I left the office with a lighter soul.  I said Good Morning to everyone I met as I was leaving.  That was fun as you could see the mixed expressions.  Who is she? I could see on the first person.  How come she is speaking? from the second. This is uncomfortable said one face?  The last gentlemen responded in kind.

I put my ticket in the machine to pay my parking fee to discover I was in there less than an hour so no cost.  Well I will be darned!  Feeling lighter still.

The office is not far from our home so the ride home is short.  Snow started coming from the gray sky.  A smile was coming to my face I could feel it as I relaxed.

The sky now is blue with clouds and sun.  The day has changed.  My mood has changed.  I am streaming my new CD from the web and smiling.  What a difference small simple actions or things can make.  OH MY!!!

It is a New Year.  Imagine the possibilities to come.