This is the first Father’s Day without my father on this earth. He graduated to heaven last November.  While I was rarely with him on Father’s Day, thankfully I was last year.  Other years there was always the call and gift though I have to admit the gift might have arrived late.  My timeliness is a joke in my family.

I have ever been a ‘Daddy’s Girl’.  I was proud of my father.  I wanted him to be proud of me.  I wanted to please him.  For much of my life I used his values as being the measurement for all of my choices.  He was a faith filled man who believed in loving his fellow man.  For years he helped out his best friend who had MS.  There was a team of 4 men who would get Don up out of bed and put him back in bed every day and Daddy was part of this.  He was a camp counselor for teens at our church camp and beloved by the letters I have found since he left us.  As I said in the eulogy, Daddy, like Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life”,  was the richest man in town if you count the love of his family and friends of which he had many.

In the eulogy I gave, I said that Daddy’s legacy would be written by those who knew him.  It would be different for each and every one of them as well.  A friend of mine remembers him as a neighbor and patriot and took the time when he could to stop and visit.  One of the last times Johnny visited he gave Daddy a coin, they are called “Challenge Coins” I believe.  My father was thrilled with this small gift from one serviceman to another.  Another friend will remember him from the golf course and ever being on it.  And another from having him as a boss.  Another from being in a Bible Study with him.  His pastor remembered him for his being well dressed and chiding Pastor Brown about preaching without wearing a tie.

Today I briefly mourn the lack of a father.  I say briefly as my joy of being his child is so much more prevalent in my heart.

Being who I am and loving my father, as the only constant parent (my mother and step-mother both died) I had, I imagined that when he died I would be bereft. I imagined myself keening like women do in other countries as they wail in that high pitch tone.  I imagined that I would go through a dark depression and barely be able to function let alone live a normal life.  Little or none of that has happened.  My mourning the loss of my father’s being has transcended into the joy of being blessed to have been his daughter.  I am amazed at what is going on with me. I am thankful to God.

Do not get me wrong, Daddy was no saint.  I long since have managed many of my own values and measurements. He was still the best father in the world for me and I think my siblings.  If any negative emotion is stirring in my soul it is the jealousy I have for my siblings having had so much more of his time as they were living in town and I have been away since I was 21.  This emotion rarely comes as I chose my life from the foundation that my father helped create.  He led me to believe I could do anything and go anywhere.  I have and I did.

So on this day I honor the man who gave me the best gift I could ever want – him as my father.  He gave me the gift of learning, the gift of gab, the gift of loving our neighbors, the gift of faith, the gift of loving marriage, the gift of family and ultimately the gift of hope.

The last time I spoke with my father was the Wednesday before he left on Sunday to attend the Big Church.  He had called to ask about a scripture. I told him I thought he was not right and then said let me go to the internet.  While we were chatting I checked the web and in fact his thoughts were spot on.  I was not really surprised. I learned something new again.  Our last words were “I Love you Daddy” followed by an “I love you too”.  Does it get any better than that?

Happy Father’s Day Honest Les!






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!






Good News?…..we just have to find it.  For some it may take a long time if you read and listen to the negativity and scare news in media of our country.  I decided this morning to address the media so you may stop right here if you choose.

Dear MEDIA or A MEMO to whom it may concern in the world of news:

I believe, I have to believe, the world as a whole is NOT in the dire straits that is portrayed regularly on our news and in our papers.  There are more than one human interests stories in or communities, states and nation.  I can attest to this and will willingly share 48 of my recent hours with you in which to show an example.  Goodness abounds whether you choose to see it or not.

Hour 1.  I awoke.  That in itself is a good thing for me at my age!  It counts as really good news!  I hopped into the waiting car to drive for 4 hours with my boyfriend to a family event.  When we received the invite to this event we were uncertain as to whether we could attend.  After some scheduling and research as to how far it was, we determined we could go.  We kept that date held close so that nothing would interfere with it as we really wanted to celebrate our grand nephew’s accomplishment.  He was to be awarded his Eagle Scout Badge.

For many this may not be a huge deal.  For our family Scouting is a major part of the male activities.  My boyfriend is an Eagle Scout.  As a teen he even went further earning five more merit badges which gave him a bronze palm to attach to his Eagle ribbon.   As a scoutmaster he helped 11 boys, including our son,  reach this pinnacle.  As an adult Scouter, serving on District Boards, he worked to received his Wood Badge beads.  To recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council men are given a Silver Beaver Award and my boyfriend has this as well.  You’ve got to love a man in uniform with all the ribbons!

His oldest brother is also an Eagle Scout as this brother’s son, our nephew, who now is a Scoutmaster.  I had the honor to sit with these three adult men in uniform and their wives to applaud our niece’s oldest son as he received his Eagle with Six – please see that number 6 – of his friends.  That is Seven – 7 -young men – teenagers – who worked diligently over the course of time to move up the ranks, earn 21 merit badges with 10 required, hold leadership roles in their troop, propose and complete a major project for their community.  All of this activity is done while the Scout still attends school, church and participates in other activities along with simply being a teen.  Many of them played sports – soccer and lacrosse.  The Seven were not just scouts they are all Seniors in High School.  Their senior prom had actually been the Friday before this event.  These boys are going to West Point, Cornell, Middlebury College, University of Michigan, UConn and Penn State.  The work it took to become Eagle is over and above the work it took to get into those named schools. It really is a tall order.  SEVEN Boy Scouts from one troop were honored on Sunday.

MEDIA – where were you?

I sat there in awe of the Seven Scouts.  Seven teens who had been friends for a long time.   Each one of them was given a chance to speak over the course of the ceremony to share what this award meant to them.  They also took a time to honor a mentor that had helped them on the way.  The mentors were, in our nephews case and one other Scout, their Grandfathers as well as former Scoutmasters, fathers and men of the community.   Each time one of the Seven rose to speak I waited and in each case I was rewarded with a well spoken young man.  One Scout even spoke clearly with clarity and compassion and no notes! It was astonishing to see in comparison to what the news tells us of teens in our country.  Here were Seven who were excelling not dropping out.  The local papers had been notified of this event.

MEDIA – where were you?

These young men – still teenagers and again I say all seniors – I believe represent what our country is all about.  I believe I saw the real America standing in front of me.  Despite what we see daily in and on the news, all teens are not drug or sex obsessed or as violent as they are portrayed.  I believe that 90% of our country have hometowns filled with young men and women full of honor and pride.  We simply do not hear about it. Later  I asked our grand nephew if they had made a pact to do this all together.  We have all heard of other less positive pacts in the media of late. The answer was it was not official yet they all wanted it to happen together.

MEDIA – where are you? 

We have another Eagle Scout, the son of my boyfriends other brother in our family.  There are three more nephews on the trail and will make Eagle in the coming years.  That will make 10 Eagle Scouts in for our family.  This may not be unheard of and yet I think it is quite a testament to this program.  I note also it is a testament to the men I am related to through my marriage.  I can say that with no bias being an in-law!  Well maybe a little bias.

MEDIA –  where are you with all this good news?

Missing in action is where the MEDIA lives today.  Or surely focused elsewhere not accentuating the positive.

The next 24 hours of this period of time was in pursuit of a long awaited dream to augment retirement. We took the day off to look for recreational vehicles.  I will not go into the litany of this pursuit other than to say it is ongoing.

Hour 1 again was awaking and grateful to be doing so as we said with our morning prayer!  Off we went to the back roads of Pennsylvania.  If you have never, I hope one day you can.  This state is covered in the very out outskirts of Philadelphia with fields of green and hills covered with farms of all shapes and sizes.  Much of it is inhabited by the Amish as I have written before.  Their way of life is simple and leaves me longing to be a part of it until I understand the lack of conveniences and accept that ultimately I am a lazy woman!

We were waited on by people who were pleasant and wanting to help.  One man, we discovered, had common ties with both of us growing up in New England and having parents who retired to upstate NY and my husband’s hometown.  “Small world” is ever the phrase we use at these times.  As we ordered lunch the gal waiting on us shared that she was from Farmington, Maine.  We told her of our most recent trip through there on route 2 to which she said, “You drove right by my parents house.”  “Small world”.  These were nice folks earning a living and being kind to their customers.  Good news? Maybe not earth shattering yet I believe there are more of these than the foul mouth persons in news stories on our screens each night.

As we continued our day and the rain came, the conversation invariably drifted back to the information we are fed on a regular basis that is negative and filled with despair and violence.  It was hard for us to even turn on the TV to see the news when we got home after these delightful 48 hrs without it.  We knew what we would hear and were not disappointed.  Death, destruction, poison politics and more.  I am certain that there are really good stories out in our nation’s countryside.  It would surely be nice to hear more of them.

MEDIA – where are you?




This morning started like every other day with the exception that t is Saturday and I have no gatherings or meetings or people to see.  I have essentially a free day.  This in itself is amazing.  I started as I did most other days.  Got my beverage – today it is coffee, some days it is tea – and headed to the computer to check emails and facebook and scrabble.

As I am scrolling down my facebook page I came to a post that said “What Jim Carrey Explains In 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.”  Now I am not a big Jim Carrey fan and would have moved quickly on had it this link not been shared by a friend  from a past life who is a sweet, very quiet, unassuming and kind lady.  I actually hope one day to be able to be with her again.  Years ago we had the most delightful day touring a plantation house in Louisiana.  I clicked on the link to see what she had shared.

The link took me to a video (1)of Jim Carrey making a graduation speech in 2014 at Maharishi University.  I had no idea where that was so of course did a quick wikipedia search.  It turns out the University is in Iowa. (2)

Maharishi University of Management (MUM), formerly Maharishi International University, is an American non-profit university located in FairfieldIowa. It was founded in 1973 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and features a “consciousness-based education” system that includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.[6][7] Its founding principles include the development of the full potential of the individual, fulfilling economic aspirations while maximizing proper use of the environment and bringing spiritual fulfillment and happiness to humanity.[8]

The university is accredited through the PhD level by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers degree programs in art, business, education, communications, mathematical science, literature, physiology & health, Vedic Science and sustainable living.

Interesting search into the credentials of the University.  The average cost per student it said was about $16,000 in 2011.  With the costs of some schools this appears to be fairly reasonable.  You be the judge of its programs.

The speech was what held my interest.  I heard what had been shared then went back to hear more.  Jim-Carrey 3I had a new appreciation of Jim Carrey.  Besides his movies, he has written and children’s book (3)and is a painter (4).  In fact in his speech he references one of his paintings.

I will not go into all of this.  I will simply leave you with the links and a few of his words.  Got to say my day has taken a different direction.  Has listening to this speech changed my life forever?  Who knows.  It has impacted my morning for sure.

At this time of graduation and transition for many, it simply seems like a good thing to share.

From the speech……………

“…all there will ever be is what is happening here and the decision we make in this moment based is either love or fear…”

“You cannot fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at what you love.”

“….the effect you have on others is the most powerful currency there is.”

“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible…..risk being seen.”

“….to find real peace you have to let the armor go…….”

I also liked what he had to say about faith – take a listen it might interest you today.



(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharishi_University_of_Management


(4) http://www.palmspringslife.com/Palm-Springs-Life/January-2012/Something-to-See-Here/



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 has been a long time since I have written anything of any controversial nature. After being put in my place with stinging words and shunned by family members who no longer have much to do with or visit me or us,  I decided the better part of valor was to keep quiet on controversial issues.   I cannot leave this Baltimore situation alone.  Specifically the situation with the lady in yellow and her son.

I, like the rest of the country dare I say world, watched that video with interest.  I commended the mother in conversations with friends and in social media.  I believe discipline, responsibility and accountability are much of what is lacking in our world today.

Much has now been written about the woman in yellow, Toya Graham.  I can add little to any of it.  She has been called the ‘mother of the year’.  She has just lost a job has six children and does not know where the father is.  It has been suggested that there may be different fathers.  I am not here to judge her taste in men.  The fact is that she is a single mother of six and took charge when she saw her son misbehaving in public.

She told the reporters that she did not want him to be another victim.  Nor did she approve of what he was doing.  No matter her motivations she probably saved that 16 yr old son of hers from further pain by embarrassing him as she did.  His peers were telling him via social media that she deserves the greatest Mother’s Day gift ever.

I also am not here to judge her tactics.  While I do not believe I ever reprimanded my children in quite that way it was effective.   It is surprising though that social services has not intervened and taken all her children away for that act of violence.  Lesser actions by some have taken children from their homes as a ‘protective’ measure.  Perhaps it is a good thing this was caught on camera and the Mayor and City Police Commissioner have held her up as a good example of parenting.

It actually is ironic that this woman is being applauded for her actions which were not dissimilar from the ones the police are accused of taking with the victim that started all of this.

Toya Graham seems to be doing the very best she can with the circumstances in which she lives.  The one thing that it appears that no one has made mention of to this point is the proof of her really good parenting that does not include violent beatings of children.

Toya Graham’s proof of her good parenting I submit is in the way here 16 yr old son reacted to her intervention.  Did anyone notice that this young man did not get in her face and yell back at her?  Did anyone else notice that aside from trying to not have her left hand hit him in the beginning that this young man simply tuned and started home?  Did anyone else see the look on his face when at one point he turned so you could see his whole face?  That look was a look of ‘I know I’ve messed up’.  Did anyone else catch that he stopped when she told him?  There was no hate for his mother there was no anger on his face.  He simply acknowledged the situation and turned and went home.  The young man in question, Michael, was told not to go to the protest.  He went.  What would your parents have done to punish you for disobeying them?

My guess from all that I have seen and read about this that Michael, Toya’s 16 yr old son growing up in a household of 5 sisters and a mother, has learned to respect women from somewhere.   I do not think it is the streets as movies paint a totally different picture of how some young black men relate to women.  Perhaps it is from church as she says she goes to church and in fact her pastor would not like seeing her actions on TV.  Regardless, I am thinking I like the Toya Graham school of parenting that has a 16 yr old willingly doing what his mother is asking (screaming) of him.  I may not agree with the hitting or language, yet her anger and his face tell another story that is totally different.

I leaves me hopeful after this tragic week.






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.




I awoke this morning at 5:33AM after a full night’s sleep.  Last I knew it was 11:30PM.  I did not wake in the night.  This may be normal to others – for me not so much!  I awoke with my mind racing from thought to thought.  I tried to calm my brain and relax.  I lay there for the next hour plus meditating thinking reviewing and planning.  It was quite simply unusual that I slept let alone woke with energy of sorts.  Is this how 2014 is going to end?  Unusually?  That will be interesting if nothing else.

Tonight we are going to Raclette for dinner again.  A tradition started last year when my sister gave us the grill for Christmas.  Our guests all enjoyed it and we had such fun.  Three of them were 13 and under and up for anything!  Tonight after raclette we will finish our game of Monopoly and then watch a movie which has yet to be selected.  A quiet evening so not sure what the unusual will be.

Wait a minute – perhaps I will be winning the lottery.  Yesterday playing scrabble with friends on facebook I got three Bingos.  A Bingo in scrabble is when you use all seven of your letters as one word.  I am not the greatest scrabble player and am still on the learning curve.  For me to get one Bingo is unusual.  Three in one day is outrageous.  With that in mind I am going to buy a lottery ticket today!  Maybe a powerball as well.  I am going to encourage my boyfriend to do the same.  His luck has been outrageous too.

For Christmas the grandson in residence this year asked for a Pokemon Monopoly Game.  Of course Grandmama got it though did not opt for the one that was for sale for $149.  Seriously that game sold for $149.  Have no idea what was in it.  We got a lesser priced version.

This game is the same as the original with the exception that the properties have Pokemon related names and the pieces as well are shaped like Pokemon players.  I am currently using Pikachu.  Whoever or whatever  that really is in the game I have no idea.   I normally play as the thimble so the shape is different.  My two favorite spots of Baltic and Mediterranean are now Geodude and Onyx.   Perhaps you know these better than I.  To me they are still Baltic and Mediterranean with brown bands and different names.

I have loved playing Monopoly all my life.  My BFFs and I would play it for hours even if there were only 2 of us.  We used a house rule that any fees or taxes would go into Free Parking and if you land on it you get those funds as a windfall.  Well it seems our kids have stepped this up and the bank ponies up a $500 bill to fund Free Parking each time it is taken.  One could easily make a political comment about the funding of our Nanny state here yet I will refrain for any lengthy diatribes.  I complain about this funding each time we start and play anyway as I said I love to play Monopoly and board games in general actually.

Our first game playing this new version we were 4 around the table.  The Free Parking was funded and off we went.  Free Parking was taken in that game approximately 10 times.  We lost count though all agree it was 9 or 10.  Of those ten times, my boyfriend got it 7 at least.  It was bizarre.  He won the game.  Something he has rarely done.  Even when we played alone together I usually won.

Last night we began game #2.  Free Parking was funded and off we went yet again.  My boyfriend took Free Parking 6 of the 7 times it was won.  Two of those time were consecutive.  Not ever in all my days playing this game have I seen such luck.  The game was put on hold for bedtime for the 10 yr old.  We will finish it tonight and it is anyone’s game actually even though the Free Parking Impresario has over $3000 from winning it so many times.   I suggested my boyfriend buy a lottery ticket also.

To finish up the year a few comments on older posts.  I was the Willow tree.  The contradiction here was that I, as scattered as a Willow tree, am a fanatic about a straight un-mangled tube of toothpaste.  I am not a squeezer.  My tube is straight and clean and the boyfriend mangles!

I also heard from many cat lovers that toilet paper in their households necessarily has to come up from the bottom.  If it comes out from over the top then it is a toy not a necessary bathroom item!  I bow to their wisdom.

Thus ends 2014 and many will say what a year it was.  I make no judgments about that.  I will look back on occasion to this year with smiles and tears.  I will look forward to 2015 with angst and hope for what is to come.

As I was lying in bed this morning in a meditative state of sorts I thought I am thankful for the smiles and tears, the joy and sorrow and look forward ever to what comes tomorrow.

…………as you sing your “Auld Ang Syne” remember it is about  friendship and health and good will and that  I have already wished that for/to you and yours this day…..may 2015 bring you your heart’s desires.  It is promised to us in the book I read in Psalm 37:4.




There is a picture circulating on facebook (www.facebook.com/Kysouth/photos_stream)depicting Santa asleep in a chair.  He appears to be ‘done in’ and exhausted.  I can relate to this shot.  Yesterday afternoon found me asleep on the couch sitting straight up.  I knew I was dozing and was so relaxed I did not care.  I remember being aware of my pose and feeling a little chilly and wanting the new blanket that had stars on it to put over me.  I was so comfortable I did not want to break the mood so did not bother to move and fell off to sleep again. 734546_313963812040856_1844614011_n

I think I was in and out of this state for well over an hour.  All else was quiet.  Dinner was done and the dishes being washed.  Someone was watching shows on TV.  Someone was putting together a Christmas toy and someone was playing a video game.  I was aware and relaxed as my work was done.  That is what the picture of Santa said to me.

Today the returns to the stores begin.  We have a couple of things to return and it will NOT be today.  When I first heard of boxing day as the day after Christmas I thought that was what it meant.  Wrong.

We used to be invited to a boxing day party each year.  It was lovely getting together with friends. The hostess was British so this was her tradition.  I could not imagine having my house as clean as hers let alone as organized the day after Christmas to have a party.  She did each year and it was very nice and relaxed, no pressure, despite the fact that her husband was my husband’s boss.  Things changed.  We moved and no longer celebrate the 26th as Boxing Day.

The origins of Boxing Day is not related to the sport or as I said returning gifts.  There are a couple of thoughts among historians.  One is that servants had to work on Christmas Day and not the 26th.  The Masters would give them gift boxes as they left to be with their families.

Another is that it is St. Stephen’s day and the alms boxes [i.e. poor boxes] at the churches were opened and the monies distributed to the poor on the 26th.   St. Stephen was on of the original seven deacons ordained by the apostles in the Christian Church to look after the poor.  When he died, he was a martyr and stoned as his preaching was so successful, he asked God not to punish his killers.

Another may be found in the carol “Good King Wenceslas.”  He was the Duke of Bohemia.  As the song says he went out on ‘the feast of Stephen’.  It goes on to say that as the Duke of Bohemia he helped his peasants through a blizzard the day after Christmas by bringing them food  and wine.

Today Ireland and England use the day as an added holiday and do the same as we with sports and shopping.  Occasionally there is the odd event such as swimming the English Channel to heighten the festivities.

For me it is going to be another day to relax.  I may play some games or do a puzzle with our resident, for the next few days at least, 8 yr old.  I am certain we will play Mine Shaft that Santa brought and his dad spent 6 hrs assembling the 400 pieces yesterday.  I may take another one of those gloriously relaxing naps.  Though I think it will be hard to duplicate the quality of the one I experienced on Christmas Day, I am willing to give it a whirl.

I usually keep our decorations up until January 6th, Epiphany or ‘Little Christmas’.  As I look around this house I am thinking that with the long New Year’s weekend coming up I might just break that tradition this year and put things away for a clean slate January 1.  Perhaps I could ponder that on the couch with that shell blanket.  Hmmmmm – that might just bring on a restful nap!




In trying to keep the Christ in my Christmas I am focusing more on things other than presents.  This morning the scripture readings and meditations that I do peeked my interest more than normal.  That is the point is it not?  Are we not supposed to read these and have them stay with us during the day not simply be an exercise to complete?

The scripture reading was about the angel coming to Joseph and telling him that it would be okay if he married Mary.  It was Matthew 1: 18-25.  I have it below for you.

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

The meditation accompanying this scripture referred to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Coincidentally last night the final Jeopardy question asked what movie had originally been named, “The Man who was Never Born”.  In actuality this was a rename from the original 21 page story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern.  The second name came about when it was published in two magazines in 1944.   The name by which we know it came about in 1946 when it was made into a movie.

The question that was in all of the above was “What if you had never been born?”  What if the angel had not led Joseph to marry Mary and Jesus had not been born?  We know all the good things that never would have happened had George Bailey not been born?  What about you?  I asked that question of myself this morning.  What if I had never been born?

Thinking there is no simple answer to this as we as human beings are ever so complicated.  For a fact I know of 6 lives my not being born would have effected – my husband, our two children and three grandchildren.   This would have spread out like waves in the water to all the others that did not get to know these wonderful 6 people.  As I meditated on this I realized just how many lives my dad effected as evidenced by the packed church at his funeral.

I do not believe we are to live a life where we are intentional about the impact we want to leave on this earth.  I believe we are to live with love and respect for all – friends and enemies.  It, of course, would be even better if we had none of the latter.

I believe we are to relish and enjoy every day we have on this earth.  Greet each day with a “Good Morning World” yelled right out your window or front door.  We are to smile at everyone we meet and wave to those we pass by in our cars.

It really all comes down to one word does it not?  JOY!  If we live a life filled with joy and share it then we will have left an imprint that can never be denied.  This is the season for it isn’t it!!!

In the end question does not need to be answered.  Off to enjoy more of my wonderful life.  This has been a nice way to start my day.




Yesterday I spent some time musing about telling others shocking information.  There are other uses of the word shock (without the ‘ing’) that we could have some thought.  Shock can be a noun or verb besides an adjective.

As a noun we have definitions of sudden blow or sudden impact, collision or commotion or sudden disturbance of the mind or emotions or sensibilities.  Shock is a common word for the pathological collapse of the function of the circulatory system.  Shocks are part of the car in that they absorb the bumps in the road so you have a smooth ride.

As a verb shock is to strike with force or to jar with a comment that shocks.  When we had a pool we had to “shock” it.  This meant we had to add a product called “shock” to the pool to have it create a chemical change for the better.  We have to add similar products in smaller doses on occasion to our fish tank as well.

Did you notice anything in the above descriptions.  The word shock is usually associated with sudden or violent or impromptu and not planned.  A shock is usually a surprise of some sort good or bad.  My grandfather had a shock and died.  Today this is more commonly referred to as a stroke.  Regardless this word is associated with something that is unexplained and out of the norm.

I experienced a couple of shocks this week.  On Tuesday I was in the middle of a lengthy business letter when all of a sudden the power went out.  Shock followed quickly by anger as I was uncertain if  the computer had saved my work.

At the same time I had an appointment coming up in a short time from this shock.  Since the power did not come back on I was ‘shocked’ to realize I could not get out of the garage with my electric door opener.  Luckily I knew enough to pull the red cord and simply open the door.

Shocks can also come from carpets as we walk across them and touch  a light switch.  Also from our friendly pets as they rub up against you and their fur connecting with you gives you a start.

Speaking of pets, I think it is almost shocking and I am lucky that we had our calico cat Cassiopia for almost 21 yrs.  Prior to that I killed a pet parakeet “JB”.  It was not intentional of course.  I was so traumatized by that I told my husband I probably should not have children if I could not keep a bird alive.  To their or my credit our kids are still living.  Fish are now our pets.  Well were as I have done it again.

SHOCK: Yesterday after writing my blog I looked at our fish tank and was shocked to see 5 fish floating.  The day before the water had been fine though a little cloudy so I added a dose of clear water like I usually do.  I have no idea what happened.  I did nothing different.  I was shocked again later to see the rest of the fish floating.

All are now gone and our children and grandchildren will now be shocked to read this.  What can I say blogging about it beats calling everyone and hearing their angst.  It is like the “Cats On The Roof” joke.   Now if I see their number on the ID caller I simply can avoid answering the phone today as I know what the topic will be!

I took the tank apart last night.  I was sad about it actually.  I enjoyed it as a night light on our kitchen counter.  We set  it up over two years ago.  One of the fish was an original in that 10 gal of water.  I was sad to see him upside down.

I am taking a break from pets of any kind for a while.  It appears this will be the best for all.




The number in the title refers to the fact that when I hit the “PUBLISH” button I will have posted 500 entries to this blog.  Seriously am I really that verbose.  That rustle of wind you all just heard was those who know me in unison hollering to the ether the word “YES”!

When I started in June of 2012 with my challenge to write for a year I had no idea where it would take me or how it would affect me.  I marvel at what comes out of my brain through my fingers.  Some of it is interesting some mundane and of course some is downright junk.  I own it all and am even more determined to get my book in print and on sale.  I have a working title and it is almost complete.  Had hoped for a Christmas offering and now more focused on Valentine’s Day.  As my husband would say “Stay tuned.”

The above title is in reference to a question that was asked of me last night.  Let me set the stage for you.  I attended a Holiday Extravaganza last night in our neighborhood.  It was a social time with neighbors who had a home business offering their products for sale for Christmas gifts.  I went with a friend and my first words to her upon entering were, “I missed the boat.  I should have had a table here with my skincare that I love so much.”  I should have and next year will.

The room was filled with ladies with specialty products from creating your own make-up foundation to match your skin tone (I will be calling her) to jewelry and wreaths  to nail art and salts and seasonings.  I bought some Himalayan salt as I have been anxious to try it.

My friend introduced me to some of her friends and we had a grand time getting acquainted over the course of the evening.  I met more people last night at this event that live in my neighborhood than I have met the seven years we have lived here.  I pondered that all evening and into this morning.  What have I been doing all this time?

The answer came to me that I had been living my regular life as we all do.  If we are involved in activities we tend to spend time with those people.  Our time has been spent more out of our home area than in it due to our involvements and travels.  Sad really and there it is.

We really enjoy our neighbors and are neighborly.  We are older and interaction is less as everyone has their “own thing” and many younger neighbors are very busy with their wonderful children!!!  I cannot imagine living in an over 55 community.  I would miss the enjoyment of watching children at play.  Since my life is at the beginning of yet another new chapter I was pleased to attend this event and meet new people.

Over the foodie treats we were chatting away as new acquaintances do and one gal said, “Tell me something shocking about yourself.”  My first response was “Who Me?”   As the affirmative YES came back at me I was stunned.  Perhaps this would have been the most shocking thing???!!!

As I sat there looking at the three women gathered with me I thought what an interesting question.  I also thought how provocative and gutsy of her to ask it of a stranger.  I thought how much do I want to share with these virtual strangers these friends of my friend.  Interesting isn’t it?

Despite my demeanor of being outgoing and open I tend to be a very private dare I say a shy person.  I am very careful what I share with others as I have been hurt from trusting wrong people before.  Aren’t we all a bit different from what we show to others?  Don’t we all have a “me” I do not want others to get to know?  One we are afraid they may not like?  One perhaps even we do not especially like?

We are interesting creatures we human beings.  Complex and intriguing.  Simple and easy.  We are all sorts of combinations.  At our core though, is not acceptance and happiness what we want?  Heavens I usually tell the cashiers at the registers when I use a credit card that the acceptance of my number and approval of my purchase just made my day.  Acceptance and approval in any form are good so  you have to love those machines!!!  See I never know where the thoughts will lead me.

Back to the question in the title.  Would you tell a stranger a most shocking detail about you?

As it turned out these ladies were not strangers after minutes of meeting them.  The ease of the conversations and laughter had us all sharing silly stories.  For we aging ladies the shocking stories seemed to have more to do with skinny dipping than anything else.  That in itself is not shocking as many who swim have done this.  The details surrounding the stories were the shock factors.  Really though how shocking is any of it?  None of us shared that we were serial killers, kleptomaniacs, deranged housewives or the like.    It was a conversation starter and one that still tickles my brain.

I know I could come up with some shocking stories that no one would believe about me.  Don’t ask I’m not going to enter that discussion.  The other side of this question  is what is shocking?  For some to hear that my husband and I have been married for 46 years is shocking.  To know that we have been volunteering  in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter ministry for 26 years might also be shocking to some.

It is all relative.  Relatively speaking my relatives are all great golfers and it might be shocking to know that while I golf I am not good nor do I care if I win.

What is shocking?  You be the judge.  For me this subject immediately caught me as a great idea to chat about today for #500.  What a great conversation starter.  What a tantalizing idea.  What an interesting conversation that can be had with this one thought.  Your thoughts…………..?




I do not normally do this.  I think perhaps I have repeated only a couple times in my almost 500 posts over the years since June 2012 when I challenge myself to that year of writing.  Please allow me this one today.

I read on the news feeds that I check about a couple of suicides and attempts today.  This is the season of the year when we are at our happiest and probably at our saddest as well.  Having just celebrated the life of my father it seemed important even urgent that I share this post again.

Life is the best choice.  A life well lived is joy.  A life lived well is a blessing.  Living gives us a chance to correct ourselves over and over again.  Without further comment I give you my belief that we must all choose to live the best we can everyday we are blessed with on this side of the grass.

FAREWELL ALEXIS (first printed 11-16-13)


On occasion we will send a request to one of our family and friends to pray for something in particular that is effecting our lives.  We believe prayer works and prayers shared are more powerful.  We receive requests from our friends as well.  We have prayed for tests, jobs, illness, house sales – the sky is the limit.  Today one came across that as I sat at the computer took me figuratively to my knees.

It simply read:

We come to you with heavy hearts this evening as we ask for your prayers. Our oldest daughter lost her best friend today, and is in a very confused and sad place. We  we ask for prayers for acceptance for our Sera, and for the family of Alexis. And that they all may comfort and peace through the love of our Lord during this difficult time.

We could not imagine the sorrow that Sera was experiencing and since the word confused was there we jumped to the, later confirmed, horrid assumption that Alexis took her own life.

Please join us in this prayer.

When tragic events happen don’t we all stop for a few minutes and think about what went wrong for this young girl to take her life?  There were over a dozen google accounts of this and the news picked it up from hours away from the incident.  Occasionally this type of sorrow reaches the national news.

These tragedies leave us all with more questions than answers.   Looking from this age I cannot imagine what could be wrong in a young life.  Looking from the eyes of a teen I cannot imagine what could push me to that point.  By the time I was 15 I had known my share of upheaval and can honestly say suicide was not in the forefront of my mind though running away occasionally popped up as an alternative.  I had not the ability to do either.  Sadly today’s teens are more worldly and know both.

I cannot explain it.  I cannot change it.  I must accept the reality that it does happen and according to the statistics last taken in 2010 it happens once every 13.7 minutes.  That is simply too high.  Again I ask what do we, as a society, not understand to help these people?

I am being torn as to what direction to go with this post.  It opens the door to say so much about kindness and acceptance.  Loving people who are different from or disagree with us.  Awhile ago I was involved in a nasty situation on facebook.  The person wielding the unkind verbiage told those reading not worry as one day I would use it as material for my blog.  Today is the day.  This person was scourging me for my political beliefs and asking that I be removed from that particular list and more.  Those words hurt and if other words are not offered these will be the last we share.  How sad.  Is that what sent Alexis to the edge – bad words from a friend or relative?

I have friends and relatives that have very differing opinions from mine.  It does not change my love or caring for them or my wanting good for their lives or more importantly that I treat them with kindness and not cruelty.   Think the golden rule is “Love one another.”

At my age I can accept derision and unkindness in vile language aimed at me.  Could Alexis? Was she treated unkindly?  Did people berate her for her beliefs or actions?  Did they tell her to get out of here?  Did she not feel love?  Was she abused?  Right now these questions cannot help her.

They can help us in dealing with people.  They can help us to be more loving and kind to each other.  These questions may stop us from saying that off the cuff remark that may seem innocent to us and may hurt another.   These questions may stop us from assuming that if someone seems strong on the outside they are the same on the inside.

Another aside this morning,  A game came across the emails in a forward.  It asked what would you do with $86,400.  It had specific rules and ended up sharing with the reader that 86,400 is the amount of seconds in a day.  What would you do with all of those?  Why didn’t Alexis realize that in all those seconds much can change?  Could she not wait for one second more?

I have used this poem before.  It is so appropriate today.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

Alexis’ death diminishes me.  Diminishes us all.  What would she have given to the world?  What would have been the ‘butterfly effect’ of her life? We will never know the full extent to what her life may have given to the world.  I put forth that we are all the less for that.

Yet let me also put forth that she has stopped the world for us to have a conversation about love and kindness today.   I can feel the breeze of butterfly wings.  I think I will find someone to receive a butterfly kiss from me right now.

Farewell Alexis and prayers for Sera.




Good Late Afternoon- from the comments it appears the choice has been made as to who is the willow and who is the cedar – the larger question is who uses the mangled tube and who uses the neat one???

more misadventure…………..