Friday, August 31, 2012

TGIF


We cannot separate our lives from time. Why is it that we are so extravagant,
so thoughtless, in our waste of time, especially in youth, when we cling
so tenaciously to life? You cannot separate a wasted hour from the same duration
of your life. If you waste your time, you must waste your life. If you improve
your time, you cannot help improving your life.

Orison Swett Marden


Yippee! It's the Friday of a long weekend. Saturday will be a cooking day for me, but I am sure going to take advantage of Sunday and Monday. These three-day weekends are few and far between. The temperature is rising up into the 90's tomorrow, but that doesn't stop me from having fall fever.  Halloween and the autumnal equinox have my full attention right now, so don't be surprised if you see some early posts about either.  

You might as well say that this  year will be all new for me.  I've never been what you would call 'a healthy eater', but now, with my health issues, fruits and vegetables have become an important part of my diet. I ate so many cherries this summer that I thought they'd be coming out of my ears, and from what I have heard from those who have been loyal cherry eaters throughout the years, they were especially good this year.  But now, I've had my fill of the harvest of summer and am looking forward to sampling the fall harvest. 

Wishing you all a weekend filled with love, laughter, good weather, and lots and lots of fun. See you Monday

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Magical Places


Magical places are always beautiful
and deserve to be contemplated. . . 
Always stay on the bridge between
the invisible and the visible.

Paulo Coelho


My china closet is full of fun and magical items. There are some things I just couldn't bear parting with when we moved so today's photos are of some of my favorite trinkets. Sorry I am still using my phone. I really do need a camera. The above plate is about 15  years old. It plays "Over the Rainbow".  


The merry-go-round above is made of crystal. It plays "It's a Small World" as it spins. (Sorry the picture is so blurred. I did my best.)


My little ballerina in the snow globe above twirls and dances to the tune of "Fur Elise".



This is my pretty little angel. I bought  her for our first Christmas together...20 years ago. She has become too special to pack away so she has a permanent place in my china closet.


This is hubby's little toy.  He just loves Betty Boop. He has Betty Boop hanging in his car, a Betty Boop coffee cup, and a Betty Book key chain.


And finally, although not from the china closet, I just had to share this.  Hubby made this when he was in the 6th grade.  What an amazing reminder of his childhood.  
Never, ever stop believing in magic, no matter how old you get.
Because if you keep looking long enough and don't give up,
sooner or later you're going to find Mary Poppins.

Steve Kluger


I do believe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As the Season's Turn



I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud.
So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are
a little yellow, its tones mellower, its colors richer, and it is tinged
a little with sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not
of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but
of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age.
It knows the limitations of life and is content.

Lin Yutang



I am so thrilled that September is right around the corner. Not only does it signify a much needed long weekend, but to me, Labor Day signifies the unofficial beginning of Autumn, a season which, this year, more than others, will be welcomed with open arms. The heat and humidity has really gotten to me this year, and now that I know that I have Graves Disease, of which intolerance to heat and excessive sweating are two of the symptoms, I understand why I feel so miserable, but it doesn't help me to stop feeling miserable. 

On the negative side, the beginning of Autumn will mean more crowded, noisier trains with less seats as the children return to school, but there is just so much more to love about the season that I can easily accept those little discomforts.  Autumn will always be my favorite time of the year. Although I do love the Spring and the season of rebirth, there is something special to be said about the world as it prepares itself to turn inward for the winter months. I, too, always look forward to this time of turning inward as the days shorten and give way to the longer nights. 

This year, perhaps more than any previous year, will be a time of serious reflection for me as I ponder what direction my life will take. Sadly, just when I thought things were looking better, each day now becomes more and more of a struggle to make it to work. The arthritis in my back continues to deteriorate. Walking has become such a painful affair.  Oddly, though, when not on concrete, I get along very well. I've tried so many different insoles in the hopes of absorbing the shock, but now none seem to work very well. Important decisions must be made as I, just as our Mother Earth, enter into the new phase of my life, the Autumn of my life.  

There is a sadness as one major phase of life draws to a close, and I begin to prepare for a new stage of my life; yet, there an air of excitement as I wonder what is to come. What will I decide to do?  I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't afraid. I'll be letting go of something that spanned 50 years of my life.  As I write this, I feel the tears beginning to well because there is a part of me that really doesn't want it to end, a part of me that wishes it were ten years ago and I still had time, a part of me who fears the unknown, but the only constant in life is change. It is an inevitable reality of life. As children we go to school to learn. As adults, we work, most of us for our entire adult life. And then suddenly the age of retirement is on us, and we find ourselves filled with mixed emotions.  While we may be unhappy with our jobs, it gives us a place to go to.

Keeping this on the "I", I know I am finding it difficult to imagine life without work and the structure it gives me. I know that I've spoken many times of looking forward to this time of my life, and now that it is fastly approaching, to be honest, I don' t even know how I really feel. Before I close, I wanted to shared something I read in the book, Retirement for Workaholics, "Retired is being tired twice, I've thought. First tired of working. Then tired of not."  I guess that really says it all.

"Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, 
time seems speeded up. What was is not and never 
again will be; what is is change."

- Edwin Teale -

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Golden Windows



Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not

mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary it means accepting
it as it comes. . . . To accept is to say yes to life in its entirety.

Paul Tournier 



I've never wanted more than what I have. Yes, you often hear me speaking about wanting to leave the city to go back to the country, but that's nothing more than a dream that I am able to admit to myself may never come true.  I would love for it to happen, but I am not going to sit around ruminating about something that may never be.  Instead, I choose to cherish what I DO have. My three-room apartment is exactly what I 'need' right now.  It feels so good to come home from a hard day at work and kick up my shoes and relax in my favorite chair by my favorite window.  For those of you who have ever lived in a home with virtually no windows, you know what a joy it can be to finally have one in every room of the home.

It's the simple things that give me pleasure. I've learned that living one's life always 'wanting' something more takes those pleasures of life away. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with wanting the best for our lives and working towards those goals, but when we spend our lives chasing something far and beyond our means, we open ourselves up to an unhappy life because we are so busy chasing that we don't take the time to appreciate what we do have.  We must take the time to enjoy the blessings of the simple things in life if we want to experience contentment. 

The little girl in the story below was just such a person.  She was so busy being unhappy with what she had and wanting more that she was blinded to the gifts that she already possessed.



The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the valley to a wonderful house high on the hill – and this house had golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would dream of how magic it would be to grow up and live in a house with golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.

And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and dreamed all day about how wonderful and exciting it must feel to live there.


When she got to an age where she gained enough skill and sensibility to go outside her garden fence, she asked her mother is she could go for a bike ride outside the gate and down the lane. After pleading with her, her mother finally allowed her to go, insisting that she kept close to the house and didn’t wander too far. The day was beautiful and the little girl knew exactly where she was heading! Down the lane and across the valley, she rode her bike until she got to the gate of the golden house across on the other hill.

As she dismounted her bike and lent it against the gate post, she focused on the path that lead to the house and then on the house itself…and was so disappointed as she realized all the windows were plain and rather dirty, reflecting nothing other than the sad neglect of the house that stood derelict.


So sad she didn’t go any further and turned, heart broken as she remounted her bike … As she glanced up she saw a sight to amaze her…there across the way on her side of the valley was a little house and its windows glistened golden …as the sun shone on her little home.

She realized that she had been living in her golden house and all the love and care she found there was what made her home the ‘golden house’. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of her nose!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday This and That


Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi




Is it Monday already?  My goodness, where has the weekend gone?  Saturday I went to the old neighborhood to deposit some old checks.  Hightailed it out of there quick as I could before I ran into anyone from my old house.  But, I guess I needn't worry.  For sure they were up partying all night and were probably still sleeping off their hangovers.  I wish there was a bank closer to my new home, but I hadn't given things much thought before I opened an account in a bank with few branches throughout the city.  

For sure, I can always close it out and change banks, but it is such a hassle. Since it is an estate account for residual checks for my ex-husbands acting jobs, I need a letter from the Screen Actors Guild, our marriage certificate, his death certificate, social security card, birth certificate...and on and on it goes.  Just more trouble than it is worth.  Besides, if I close out the account, the cash cannot be placed in the new account.  In this type of account, I can only deposit residual checks, no cash or checks from other places.

Afterwards, I  headed out to my favorite discount store. Now, mind you, I don't go shopping often, and it seems just about every time I do go, there is some sort of street fair going on, meaning there will be a long walk to catch the bus to go home. The bus driver assured me that the buses would be running straight through until 11 am so I figured I  had some time. I bought a couple of pair of much needed slippers, to crinkly dresses to wear about the house, two pairs of loafers, two tops for fall, and a few beaded necklaces. Didn't even spend a hundred dollars.  

When I came out of the store, it turned out I'd taken longer in the store than I had planned on.  The fair hadn't yet begun, but the buses were no longer running through, so there I was.  The only way out was to walk...and walk...and walk.  My back was aching and the sun beating down wherever you went.  The humidity was high, and here I am trying to juggle a heavy bag in one hand and my cane in the other.  Not a pretty picture...and the bus, when I finally reached the spot where I could get picked up, never felt so good.

I couldn't help but spend some time pondering where our world is headed. When I woke up Friday morning, I turned the news on, not to hear the news, but I have a thing for the weather and to be honest, the Fox Five morning weatherman is quite a hunk.  Yes, even at my age we look.  Unfortunately though, before the weather came on, the newscasters reported that a 13 year old boy had been shot and killed last night. Now, don't get me wrong.  My heart goes out to the parents.  I know it must be devastating to lose a child, but pray tell why was a child that age  hanging out on the streets, in one of the worst neighborhoods in Brooklyn, at 12:45 am?

This shooting/murder follows on the heels of the death of a four year old boy in the Bronx who was in the line of fire when shooting erupted at a basketball game near where he had been playing. An just prior to that, a 14 year old honor student was shot to death while playing tennis in the park.  And then, as I am seated at work on Friday morning, I hear helicopters flying overhead and learned that someone began shooting in front of the Empire State Building which is only a few blocks from my office. My first reaction was that perhaps it was one of our clients.  Turned out that it had been someone who snapped and went to kill his boss who had fired him a year ago.

Shootings and killings have become almost an every day occurrence that many people don't even pay attention to it,  and the shock value of it has gone. There is something wrong with our society and we have to figure out how to fix it. How we can do this, I don't know.  I wonder if anyone has an answer.  I know here in the city every so often they offer cash for guns, no questions asked, and many guns are turned in, but what is turned in doesn't even make a dent in the amount of guns that are out there.  Making guns illegal won't help.  Most of the guns being used in these shooting are already illegal.  

And, my gosh, these killers are so young. Gangs always fought over turf, but I grew up in the era of "West Side Story" where gangs fought each other, and the innocents were kept out of it.  Today's society is awash with a generation of young sociopaths who have no regard for the sanctity of human life.  It's frightening to think about what the future will bring if we cannot find a way out of this mess, but before we can find the answer, we have to find out the why's...and there are many.

To begin with, our economy is a mess. In order to survive, parents are forced to work two jobs, if they are lucky enough to find them.  More children are left without parental guidance of any kind.  Adults in my time were aghast that Elvis Presley swiveled his hips. Too sexual.  Today's music, if you can call it that, doesn't sell unless it includes sex, violence, guns, and abuse of women.  There is violence on television and in the video games our children play.  Violence fills the morning newspaper.  Look for a story of something warm and family-oriented.  And, please, don't even get me started on today's pop idols. They turn my stomach every time I see one of them prancing into the courthouse.

Yes, as the great Bob Dylan sang so many years ago, "The Times They Are a-Changin".  And where all these changes lead us, no one knows.  We can only hope that one day humanity wakes up...and it is not too late.  Let's pray that one day there will be a better world.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'. 

Bob Dylan




Friday, August 24, 2012

TGIF


Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. 

Jim Morrison


Another week done, and as the Mets announcer says, "Put it in the books."  The week has been bittersweet for me.  Good byes were said to a co-worker while I sit back and ponder my own retirement.  I've suddenly become the old lady of the office. My nearest co-worker in age is 20 years younger than me. I wonder, how did this happen?  How did the years pass by so quickly and how long do I want to continue being the old lady of the office?

Things have been coming to a head for me lately.  Health issues are making me ponder my future.  Finally ready to admit I am a senior, I downloaded the application from the MTA to apply for half-priced fare as a senior. Next, I will be applying to Medicare.  I've joined a program called NY Access.  It's a plan for seniors which helps one find which programs they are eligible for.  There is one which helps alleviate extreme rent increases.  That's something I really have to look into.  

As it is a non-cooking weekend, I plan to do a little shopping for myself.  After a quick trip to the bank in my old neighborhood, I'm going to head on over to my favorite store and see what I can get. Here in New York City it's the last of the week long tax free shopping break, so I definitely plan to take advantage of it. It's not everyday the city gives you such a break.  

Otherwise, I've got some reading I'd like to catch up on and I could definitely use some extra sleep.  The work week wears me down like it never did before.  

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend. Be happy and enjoy what you plan to do.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hymn to the Night

Wow, I am really feeling at a loss for words today.  Doesn't happen often, but I know it is something that happens to all of us.  Didn't want to 'not' post today, so I chose one of my favorite poems.  Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. I figured that  Miss Dawn had her say this week.  Now it is time for the ever peaceful Mother Night.


I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, -
From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-beloved Night!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love you all and sure do hope you can feel the virtual hug I am sending today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Magic of Play

Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.

Nora Roberts


Magic exists in the beauty of sunrise or in the sunset, as day turns into night, and then back again to day.  We hear it in the laughter of the children or in the enchanting tune of our favorite song. There is the magic of the changing seasons and the magic that is found in all the world around us.  The magic of the stones, the stars, plants, trees.  Magic is all around us.  It is everywhere. 

And then, there is the magic of play.  This is the kind of magic that we tend to forget as we grow older. We become so enmeshed in the world of reality that we forget what it is to play. But play is important to adults, too. It helps us to clear our minds and relax. Imagination is good for the soul.  For those who have known me for awhile, I always keep a coloring book and crayons on hand for those overly stressful days.  It helps me to unwind to become a child again, even if only for an hour. I also love cutouts, always have.  Only, I've not been able to find them in the stores lately. It seems little girls today, in this technological world, don't have the opportunity to experience what once gave us great joy.

I have to wonder...how many children today have the opportunity to or even want to romp about the yard on a broom, pretending it is their faithful horse?  My grandmother's groom was Sowdy. Why, I even remember my horse's name almost 60 years later, but don't ask me where I got it from.  That's how magical life was back then...before the days of video games and 500 channel t.v.  

I still love the magic of play.  It's what keeps me going.  And, although I don't indulge as often as I once did, I'm finding my way back again.  My office space is so much out of the norm.  At the old place, I had so many little guys who used to sing and dance.  Everyone, clients as well as staff, used to remark that it was like stepping into a magical world.  Alas, most have been given away now because I just don't have the room where we are now, but, the following guys made the trip with me.

  
Mr. Frog plays and sings "I'm a Gambling Man" while Mr. Gorilla just sits there and rolls his eyes.  Mr. Rat has been with me almost 15 years now. He is just too soft, cuddly, and cute to let go.


White Boy moves his arms and sings "Play That Funky Music, White Boy." Officer Ron twirls his nightstick and sings "Bad Boys". Sometimes I like to play tricks on clients as well as co-workers, so one night I advised my parole group that we had a special guest.  When I said Officer Ron would be speaking at the group, the youngest group member got highly upset, "We don't want him here." Then, I took out little Officer Ron and allowed him to do his thing, and the group burst out in laughter. Along the same lines, I once had a parrot that repeated everything  you said.  I thought my guys would enjoy it, but when I sat  him in the middle of floor, everyone refused to speak.  They thought he was taping everything they said.  For that one, I humbly apologized.


This little pirate parrot, on the other hand, sings "I Want Candy" while flapping his wings.  Miss Flower sings "Hello, Hello, Hello", all based on nearby movement.  I used to keep her sitting next to the candy dish in my office. Every time someone snuck into my office take a candy, she'd go off in song and scare the cahoots out of them. I got such a kick out of it. Tinker Bell  was a recent gift from one of my clients.

Not exactly the kind of behaviors one would expect from a woman my age, right?  But, hey, we have to laugh.  We have to find joy in our lives.  We can't go through life so serious we have no time to play.  

So, what how do you play?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dawn on the Headland


Dawn - and a magical stillness: on earth, quiescence profound;
On the waters a vast Content, as of hunger appeased and stayed;
In the heavens a silence that seems not mere privation of sound,
But a thing with form and body, a thing to be touched and weighed!
Yet I know that I dwell in the midst of the roar of the cosmic wheel,
In the hot collision of Forces, and clangor of boundless Strife,
Mid the sound of the speed of the worlds, the rushing worlds, and the peal
Of the thunder of Life.

William Watson



Lately  it has been dark when I rise on my early days to work.  Sure sign that fall is on its way. No longer do I have the luxury of stepping out into my backyard and enjoying the sunrise as I sip a steaming mug of hot coffee, but it is just as much fun sitting at my window in the darkness, looking into my courtyard and watching as the sun rises over the buildings. The windows in all of the other apartments are dark, quiet, with no signs of movement, and sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who must get up and leave the coziness of my bed to go to work.  

Solitude.  I imagine that I am alone in the world as I watch as the first golden rays of the new day's sun appear.  A new day is just beginning, and I wonder what it will bring. Will the day be quiet, without incident?  Or will be one of those days when nothing seems to go right?  And I begin to think of the things that I have to accomplish for the day, and I will go about getting it all done...and suddenly, a shrill cry startles me, and I am shocks me back to the world of reality.  Miss Minga has risen and wants to eat.  

Of course, on rainy days my mornings are slightly different.  I do sit in the darkness and watch the rain as it falls, but my thoughts are not the same.  Instead of making my daily plans, I sit there thinking, "Should I or shouldn't I?"  There is just something about leaving the comfort of one's home and stepping out into the rain.  

How do you spend your morning hours?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday This and That



My home...It is my retreat and resting place from wars,

I try to keep this corner as a haven against the tempest
outside, as I do another corner in my soul.

Michel Eyquem De Montaigne


Friday night was special. The rain held off until well after I got home, and when it finally did come, I was so prepared.  Off went the lights and the curtain was pulled.  Turned out not to me much of a storm, but it did cool the night down some.  Saturday I was up early and headed out to the supermarket by 9 am.  It was so nice and cool.  A great touch of fall to be sure, but only a tantalizing hint of what was to come because it seemed that the heat had returned by the time I got out of the store. 

As you may have already guessed, the pictures today are of my home.  Not as clear as I would like as they were taken from my cell phone.  I've been saving up for a new and better camera.  The picture above is in my living room above my computer work space.

So, the rest of my Saturday was spent slaving away in the kitchen.  The newness of experimenting with sodium free recipes has worn off, and cooking has once again become a chore to me.  It wasn't always that way.  I used to love to cook, so much so that I took a certification course in catering and used to work parties with my sister-in-law. I thought perhaps I had cooked myself out, but this Wednesday we are having a farewell party for a co-worker who is moving onto better pastures and are all bringing in a dish.  I find myself looking forward to putting it together. Perhaps I just need a crowd to cook for. I've chosen to bring a cold pasta salad of sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, olives, and chunks of mozzarella cheese. 


This is one of hubby's collection of masks.  This one is from Africa.  It's quite a magnificent piece.


The above mask is from Columbia. 




This is a little altar set up by the entrance door.  It changes throughout the seasons. 



This beautiful arrangement stands next to my china closet.  It's about five feet tall and everything but the roses is made from wicker. They stand in the following beautiful vase.




Forgive the blurriness.  My knees would not let me kneel to get a better view. And finally.....



One of my favorites.  Hubby and I have had this painting almost twenty years now.  It holds a prominent place over my dining room table.

So, there you have a short tour of some of my favorite things, some of the things make my home a home, a place to come home to and kick off my shoes and want to stay awhile.  More to come, but for now, I will leave you with the following:



What is home?

“A roof to keep out the rain? Four walls to keep out the wind?
Floors to keep out the cold? Yes, but home is more than that.
It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength
of a father, warmth of loving hearts, lights from happy eyes,
kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is first school and first
church for young ones, where they learn what is right, what
is good, and what is kind, where they go for comfort when
they are hurt or sick; where joy is shared and sorrow eased;
where fathers and mothers are respected and loved, where
children are wanted; where the simplest food is good enough
for kings because it is earned; where money is not as important
as loving-kindness; where even the tea kettle sings
from happiness. That is home. God bless it!”

Unknown

Friday, August 17, 2012

TGIF

Rather than fitting one's life into the demands of external conformity,
rather than living one's life as an imitation of the life of another, one
should look to find the authentic self within. One should labor to
develop one's own unique style in crafting one's soul. An individual
who denies his or her own individuality articulates life with a voice
other than that which is uniquely his or her own. One who suppresses
one's own self is in danger of missing the point of one's own existence,
of surrendering what being human means.

Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin


Wow, the weekend is here again. So fast...and so welcomed. This is a pay week for me so you know what that means. It's also a cooking weekend. Will be up early tomorrow morn and out to the store. This low sodium diet, and the medications, are really working. Yesterday I had the nurse take my BP, and it was 140 over 84, a great drop from the last time. Doesn't mean I am going to let up on things though. It's still high with a ways to go to be normal. But, even when it does hit normal, there is no way I will go back to the uncontrollable eating that got me in this shape to begin with.

Today I feel good about myself and the positive changes I have made in my life. There will be no going back.

Sunday, I'm still not sure what I am going to do.  I know I am getting antsy about making some Autumnal changes on my blog, but somehow, with the weather as warm as it is, it doesn't seem right.  I know I will definitely do some reading.  Bought a great book for my Kindle called "The Witch's Goddes:The Feminine Principle of Divinity" by Janet and Stewart Farrar. Fantastic book about the feminine principle in women. A nice cozy bath also sounds great, some scented candles, and just some comfy lounging about in my favorite chair. My son won't be coming down this weekend, so Sunday is all mine.  Much as I love him, we all need time to ourselves to recoup and rest.

May you all have a weekend filled with great joy and happiness.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Will This Be Us One Day?

The planet earth has a life span of eight billion years, give or take a few million.
People have been around for approximately forty thousand years--a virtual
blink in the cosmos. It is sad that we as a species are ravaging the natural 
world so fast that we are jeopardizing our survival. If we wipe ourselves out,
it would be the height of folly, but the earth will survive even us. It will eventually
restore itself. It might take a few thousand years, and it won't be just
as it was before, but its life is stronger than death.

Charlotte Davis Kasl


Yesterday a co-worker and I were watching the latest pictures of Mars on the computer, and I thought, "How special is this. Here we were, sitting in an office watching pictures of a planet that is located 35 million miles from us, at the closest point in its orbit, and it was like someone had filmed a dessert on our Earth." The pictures were magnificent. Yet, as I stood there watching in awe, I couldn't help but wonder if we were being given a prophetic glimpse at the future of our great Mother Earth. Is this where we are heading?

To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster
its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

Wendell Berry

Personally, I believe the Mars once was once a thriving planet,  teeming with life; in fact, much like our Earth. That is, until its inhabitants destroyed it just as we are in the process of destroying our own beautiful planet right now. Greenhouse gases. Polluted waters. Overpollution. As a people, we throw tons of garbage away every year without even thinking of recycling. We destroy natural habitats in our quest for fuel to heat our homes and drive our cars. We chop down trees and destroy forests for paper and building. As a result, animals are going extinct, and once they are extinct, they will be gone forever.  

Could it be that by allowing the Curiosity to land and take these pictures at this precise time is the Universe's way of reaching out to us?  Is she showing us what is to come if we don't learn to live within our limits? The truth is, if we don't stop all this madness and start thinking about tomorrow, there will be no tomorrow. We have an obligation to our future generations to come. As it stands now, what future will they have. Our Earth is definitely getting warmer and our desserts bigger. We are becoming the planet Mars. Are we just going to sit here and watch it happen?  Or are we going to do something about it while we still have a chance?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Real Life Nightmare


Nothing is more destined to create deep-seated anxieties in people
than the false assumption that life should be free from anxieties.

Fulton J. Sheen


I often say there is no need to drive a car in New York. One can get anywhere they want on a train or bus.  But, sometimes that just isn't so. Last night was a nightmare coming home from work.  It all started out well.  I was on a cool air-conditioned train, enjoying a book on my Kindle, when a conductor announced...'No N, R, or Q trains going to Brooklyn. To catch any of these trains, please go back uptown to 42nd Street and pick up the 2 or 3 train.  Take to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn."  There, we were assured, we would be able to pick up our trains and to the rest of the way home.

Heading uptown was a nightmare in itself. There was no free transfer.  As usual, the MTA wasn't on top of things so it cost me and all the other passengers an extra fare.  The train itself was mobbed, and you can't imagine how crowded and hot it was at the Times Square Station.  But, the nightmare gets worse.  On the 2 train we were packed like sardines...and there was no air conditioner. The sweat was running off me...but I'm dealing with it because I am on my way home...or so the MTA had me believing.

The truth is, there were NO R or N trains running either way. When we got off at Atlantic Avenue I couldn't believe what I was facing.  There were tens of thousands of people there all struggling to find their way out of what had a 120 degree station...if not more.  Police officers were doing their best to direct people, but it was a mob scene down there.  I hadn't been feeling well to begin with.  My back was aching badly, and I was beginning to feel like I was going to pass out.  "Please. Get me out of here."  I cried out as I literally started sobbing.  "I can't take anymore of this I am afraid I am going to faint."  An officer saw my situation, on cane and all amongst all these people, and personally helped me to the elevator and out to fresh air. 

Fresh air, to be sure, but throngs of people and no place to go. It was quite a frightening experience because none of us knew what was going on.  There were police stationed all over the place, and police cars, fire trucks, and even a hazmat vehicle sped by sirens blaring. Someone passed a rumor that there was a bomb on the Manhattan Bridge, but how can you blame people for jumping to conclusions when, as usual, the MTA couldn't get it right? The MTA on one occasion said 'debris on the tracks on the Manhattan Bridge' and on another occasion 'Smoke alert at Dekalb Avenue.'  It's almost like they were trying to cover something up, and when added to all else that was going on, it does make you wonder.

Eventually I made it to the corner, leaned against a pole, and called hubby on my cell phone.  "Please, come get me" I cried.  "Tell me where, and I'll be there right away."  He heard the panic in my voice.  I was still feeling so very lightheaded.  Unfortunately, though, even travelling by car was treacherous, and it took him almost 40 minutes to get there.  We stopped at the Spanish restaurant to pick up some take food, and yes, I'll admit it, my diet went out the window last night.  I wasn't feeling well enough to go home and fix my standard dishes.  My sodium level didn't go up too high, but higher than it has been.

My nightmare was finally over when I stepped into my apartment at 8:10 pm last night.  I'd left work at 4:20 pm.  Now, aren't you glad you don't live in New York?  (Sigh)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Wonderful World



Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
With the wonderful water round you curled,
And the wonderful grass upon your breast,
World, you are beautifully dressed.

The wonderful air is over me,
And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree -
It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.

You friendly Earth, how far do you go,
With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
With cities and gardens, and cliffs and isles,
And people upon you for thousands of miles?

Ah! you are so great, and I am so small,
I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers today,
A whisper inside me seemed to say,
"You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot:
You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"

William Brighty Rands 


How often do we take time to appreciate all the great gifts our Mother Earth has provided us with?  How beautiful is life? It's such a special honor to walk this Earth.  Soon a new season will be upon us.  Summer will pass as if it never were here, and Autumn with all of its spectacular colors will arrive.  It is a season of change as we begin to prepare for the cold winter months.

Autumn days are shorter and cooler, and the leaves turn orange, yellow, and brown as they begin to fall from the trees.  It has always been a special time of the year for me, but this year it will be all the more special.  For this year I have learned how fragile life can be, how one can walk about oblivious to what is going on around them, oblivious to what is going on within them.  I have learned that our time here is, indeed, short, and if we blink we will miss it.

"Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one relieve
one's sadness," don Juan said. "Warriors are always joyful because
their love is unalterable and their beloved, the earth, embraces them
and bestows upon them inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only
to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings."
Don Juan again caressed the ground with tenderness.
"This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands
every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when
I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom."

Carlos Castaneda

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday This and That

It is important from time to time to slow down,
to go away by yourself, and simply be.

Eileen Caddy


Ah, another weekend has passed on by, and I have nothing remarkable to report. Is that what growing older means?  Alas, though, I love these wonderful quiet weekends where I've nothing pending, and I can take my time about things and do as I wish.  Such a blessing they are!  In my youth, Friday and Saturday were always a time to party, a time to have fun.  Gosh, it was dreadful if plans fell through, and I had to stay home. Now my home is my haven, and sometimes I wonder if I would ever leave if I didn't have to work.  After all, shopping can now be done online and delivered. 

Actually, this weekend was spent nursing a nasty little cold.  Those annoying tickles became a full-fledged cold by the time I got home from my test on Friday. I'd planned to go to the fruit stand on Saturday but decided that, since I was dressed, I'd take a walk there on Friday.  It's always fun to see what new they have, and sometimes very disappointing as well.  There are quite a few new fruits that I tried, loved, and never found again.  They did have some donut peaches and dinosaur plums back so that made me quite happy.  I also found a plum like fruit that looked quite interesting and was ready to give it a try, but when I saw the price--$4.99 each--I quickly put it back.  What was inside of it anyway, gold?

I've been getting sick with colds quite often since my office moved to its new location.  We all have.  I realize that it is not so much our clients that are passing these illnesses on, but rather those who live in the shelter. Why they would build the outpatient clinic, where clients also come in from the streets, on the 10th floor and the two shelters on the lower floors, I'll never know.  In my opinion, we'd do so much better on the lower floors.  Needless to say, it is done now, and we're stuck riding a crowded elevator up 10 flights with the people who reside in the shelters.  Now, please, don't get me wrong.  I am not looking down on them in any way.  I am just stating facts. Many  have always lived on the streets and the little niceties in life, like covering one's mouth when they cough, have never been learned.  Riding that elevator is like stepping into a 'sea of germs'. 

Proper hygiene, as well, is something else that many of them have to be taught. There is nothing worse than riding the elevator in the early morn with someone who hasn't bathed or used deodorant in a week or more or has urinated in their pants and continue wearing them without washing them out.  Sometimes it is so bad I feel like throwing up.  It's a smell that sticks with you for awhile.  I often think if only I could walk up the stairs, but, alas, with my arthritic back I can barely make one flight let alone ten.

I was thinking that soon it will be time to change the look of my blog.  The seasons are changing quickly, and this is one summer, I will be glad to see go.  It's been far too hot and humid to do much of anything.  Whenever I do step out on the weekends, it's always such a relief to get back home.  I feel like I missed out on so much this year.  Perhaps it is because this is my first summer in my new home, and I had planned on doing so much.  But, perhaps it is that this is what was meant to be.  Perhaps slowing down and taking it is easy, taking care of self, is what I am supposed to do.
What is time? The shadow on the dial, the striking of the clock,
the running of the sand, day and night, summer and winter, months,
years, centuries--these are but arbitrary and outward signs,
the measure of Time, not Time itself. Time is the Life of the Soul.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow