Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday Memories

Happy are they who still love something they loved in the nursery:
They have not been broken in two by time; they are not two persons,
but one, and they have saved not only their souls but their lives.

G.K. Chesterton

Some of my best memories of childhood are those of my paper dolls.  I had boxes and boxes of them.  Grandpa and I used to head to town every Saturday morning.  He'd give me a little spending money and I would head right for the store to see what new books came out.  One time there was an extra special book in the store.  I couldn't believe it.  So many paper dolls in one book.  But I didn't have enough money so I ran out of the store to find grandpa.  To my chagrin, he REFUSED to give me anymore money.  Not only was my heart broken that I couldn't get that book, by this was the first time my grandpa had EVER refused me.  Cried all the way home.

I was obsessed with my paper dolls.  No magazine was safe.  Grandma used to hide her McCall's because I'd been known to take Betsy before she was done reading.  Which is why I have this on my Wish List at Amazon

And I ordered this already.  Wonder how it will feel to cut out some paper dolls after nearly 60 years.

Have a good one.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if
he or she deserves it. . . . Don't allow his or her anger
to become your anger.

Bohdi Sanders
Warrior Wisdom

Morning all.  Hope you had a great weekend.  I had a quiet one.  I scheduled it that way.  Saturday was my stay-in and do nothing day.  Cooked dinner, yes, but nothing fancy.  Did some journaling and lots of reading.  Went to church on Sunday.  It sure was cool out this weekend.  Doesn't really feel like July 4th will be here on Saturday.  That will be 7 years of non-smoking for me.  My own personal Independence Day.

I really enjoyed Sunday's sermon. The priest spoke about planting seeds within.  Do we want to grow beautiful flowers, or do we choose to be overrun with weeds. The choice is ours.  He then went on to relate a story about a woman he knew when he was just a young Priest with his first congregation.  This was a woman filled with such an anger that family and friends had turned away from her. The only one who ever had time for her was this young Priest.

Then, one day he received word of a transfer and notified his congregation that he would be leaving.  After the service the woman came up to him and asked, "I know I am an angry person.  How could you stand to be around me?"

The Priest responded, "Because your anger had nothing to do with me.  It is all  part of your garden, not mine."

Good lesson.  If someone chooses to sow weeds/anger that is their choice, and I should not allow it to invade my garden.  

Haven a good one.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Friday Roundup

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles--by the ear, by the heels,
or any other way you can manage it.  It's the healthiest thing a body can do.

Mark Twain

Good morning, all.  As Friday rolls around, I wish I could just sit in and do nothing today.  Been such a busy, but fun week.  My body is calling for my rocking chair, but it's bill time again so I'm off to the bank this morning.  Seems like these months pass quicker and quicker.

My blogger friends, I have a dilemma and really need your advice.  How do you handle an online stalker?  Well, I call her a stalker, but she really is just a lonely depressed woman who has infiltrated herself into my life.  I met her in a FB group I belonged to.  It was one of those gift and card exchange groups, and it was fun for awhile.  Then, at one point, the group leaders asked if any of us would like a penpal.  I already had several but I agreed.  It's fun receiving 'snail mail'.  Well, the penpal they chose for me became my stalker.

So, why do I call her my stalker, you may ask?  Well, it all started out normal enough, but then I noticed she was joining all the groups I belong to.  Next, she friended my son, followed by his girlfriend.  Next it was one of my other online friends. Now I see she has friended my son's friend who went with us to the party the other night.  I have to wonder how many more of my friends she tried to become friends with. She speaks of me, my hubby and my children as if we are HER family. And it's like she sits at her computer all day waiting for me to post something because the moment I do, she is there with a comment.  As far as being a penpal, she writes me a letter every single day and then tries to make me feel guilty that I don't write her as often. I finally had enough of it and asked her to stop trying to make me feel bad, that I write her as often as I can.

Maybe it's just me, but I feel creepy about the whole thing. I feel as if she is trying to live vicariously through me, and I don't want that.  This is MY life.  And I know that she is very super sensitive so I am careful not to hurt feelings.  She messaged me one day and said she was really going to need me for the week because her sister, who doesn't live with her, was going away to see her daughter.  In a nice way I told her that I cannot always be available for her because I lead a busy life and spoke to her at length as to how we are responsible for our own happiness, suggesting that she finds things to do, like going to the park, rather than sitting in her house getting more and more depressed.  Thought that might help her, but the next thing I know she is asking for my phone number.  No way. 

And, I guess it is harmless because she lives several states away and will never be able to travel here.  But I just don't feel comfortable.  How would you handle this situation without  sending her into a deep depression?  Or should I just let it be and stop letting it bother me so much.  Am I making too much out of it?  Need some advice.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday Photos

Had a great time at the grand opening of Wahlberger's the other night.  Well, actually, it is not open yet, but it was a pre-opening party.  Got some great photos.

Donnie is such a friendly guy.  He was out and about with everyone.  Loved meeting him.  Later found out I was on Twitter with him, too.

Brother Paul was also a sweetheart.

Abby, Tom Selleck's assistant on the show.  Beautiful friendly woman.

Nicky from Blue Bloods.  Didn't really approach her.  I hate to say I had bad vibes, but the truth is, I felt that she didn't want to be bothered.

Press conference with the three brothers.

A scene from the party. 

The only brother who I didn't meet was Mark.  He didn't want to be bothered by anyone.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday Memories

We are all afraid of something. But that shouldn't stop us from going on every day. We should not always walk in fear of the shadow while we are in the light. It is certain we will not know when or how the difficult and bad times will come, but if we accept that they will come, then they are easier to face when they do. And always remember that anything that causes the shadow is smaller than the source of light. 

Joseph M. Marshall III 

This is my grandparents.  I used to spend every weekend at their house.  I had an awesome room upstairs in the half finished attic. My room was huge and furnished nicely, but I never felt comfortable there.  Half of the attic was unfinished, and that part of it was so dark.  I was sure something was lurking there so when lights went out, I felt such fear.  I recall that I used to sneak down at night and sit on this sofa. I would put the television on very quietly, but in those days, there was no such thing as overnight television.  At a certain time the broadcast ended with the playing of the 'Star Spangled Banner.'  Then I just sat in the darkness.

This fear followed me right up until my grandma passed when I was 16, and when I sit here and think about it, I would still be fearful if forced to sleep in that room again.  Wonder what that was all about, but I think there had to be something to it.

This is another picture of my grandma and grandpa.  Oh, how I loved them.  I miss them so darn much.  Have to believe they are still with me.

My great grandma and namesake.  We never had a chance to meet, but I feel strongly that she has always been a part of my life.

My great grandpa. He died of tuberculosis.  He was so young, only 38.  When I started working on my family tree I discovered he didn't had a tombstone.  We worked together to get one for him.  

And today I will be forging some new memories.  I've a date with my son to attend the grand opening of Wahlbergers at Coney Island.  He's got us VIP tickets so we can go inside.  Hopefully I will get a chance to meet Donnie, Mark, and Paul.

Have a good one.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

As the days go on toward July, the earth becomes dry and all the flowers begin
to thirst for moisture. Then from the hillside, some warm, still evening,
the sweet rain-song of the robin echoes clear, and next day we wake up
to a dim morning; soft flecks of cloud bar the sun's way, fleecy vapors
steal across the sky, the southwest wind blows lightly,
rippling the water into little waves
that murmur melodiously as they kiss the shore.

Celia Thaxter

Morning all.  And a happy Monday it is.  Had a wonderful weekend.  Friday turned into a stay in day.  Caught up on some letters and some minor cleaning of the apartment.  Just didn't feel like going out.  I get those days once in awhile.  Guess it's my body telling me it's time to slow down.

On Saturday I headed on over to Coney Island for the annual Mermaid Parade, the largest 'art' parade in the nation. The parade itself, a celebration of the beginning of the summer season, was first held in 1983, is a celebration of ancient mythology and of the people who live on Neptune and Mermaid Avenue.  It's a totally insane day, and I must admit I almost didn't go.  I got a case of the 'what if's' in the morning.  'What if it rains?'  'What if I am in too much pain?'  'What if I have to go to the bathroom and none are available...or the line is too long?'  (I do take a water pill.)  

But, hubby, bless him, talked me into going, and I am glad he did.  I had a wonderful time.  Here's a few of the photos.

This amazing little kitty sat on his owner's head throughout the parade.  Didn't phase him a bit that he was surrounded by half a million loud, screaming humans.

It's the kind of parade that everything goes...

And some let it all hang out...

Well, that's about it for my   weekend.  Overslept on Sunday and didn't make it to church.  So I stayed home and welcomed  the Solstice with candles, rose incense, ate strawberries and cream, and planted some St. John's Wort. 

Have a wonderful day.
A celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside, it showcases over 3,000 creative individuals from all over the five boroughs and beyond, opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride. The parade highlights Coney Island Pageantry based on a century of many Coney parades, celebrates the artistic vision of the masses, and ensures that the summer season is a success by bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the amusement area in a single day.
It's the kind of parade that everything goes....
The MERMAID PARADE specifically was founded in 1983 with 3 goals: it brings mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune ; it creates self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded as “entertainment”; and it lets artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public - See more at: http://www.coneyisland.com/programs/mermaid-parade#sthash.6T9Rv7jN.dpuf

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Quote

We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is. Someone--
our parents, teachers, analysts--hypnotizes us to "see" the world and
construe it in the "right" way. These others label the world, attach
names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter,
we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other
things to us. The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become
undeaf, unblind, and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us
in new voices and write all its possible meaning in the new book of
our existence. Be careful in your choice of hypnotists.

Sidney Jourard

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Memories

Happy are they who still love something they loved in the nursery:
They have not been broken in two by time; they are not two persons,
but one, and they have saved not only their souls but their lives.

G.K. Chesterton   

My bike was one of my best friends during my childhood years.  I remember many days that I rode from morning to night.  During the summer I was left alone while my parents worked, and my friends were busy with their own families, so my bike became the one thing that never let me down.  As I recall, it was a green no-name brand, but it brought me to the far corners of the world, and there was nothing like taking first place in a race.  Of course, I was not only going in circles around my neighborhood and totally alone, but in childhood our imagination carries us wherever we want to go.  On my bike, I was fearless and carefree, with not a care in the world. The loneliness and pain of growing up in a dysfunctional family was gone.  Yes. Life was good.

Have a good one.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

I belong to the people I love, and they
belong to me--they, and the love
and loyalty I give them, form my identity
far more than any word or group ever could.

Veronica Roth

Morning all.  Another week is upon us, and it begins with a rainy day.  I'm taking off today.  Not leaving the house.  Lately it's become hard for me to carry an umbrella crazy as that may sound.  My fingers tend to lock when I hold it and for some reason, perhaps because of the angle of my arms when I try to carry it, my back starts to hurt.  Always something when age starts creeping up on you. 

I  was pretty sick last week.  There is a nasty cold bug going around, and I picked it up from hubby.  First cold since September of last year. (Knock on wood).  Felt pretty miserable the first couple of days and spent most of the time sleeping, but by the third day I was well on my way to getting better.  Made me think back to those days when I smoked, ate unhealthy foods, and no fruit.  Three weeks into my colds I would still be hacking away.  Healthy eating works wonders.

Had a quiet weekend.  Didn't do much of anything on Saturday.  Made a nice pot of low sodium sauce. Put some red pepper in for flavor.  Felt like having macaroni for dinner.  Been awhile,  and I was really craving it so it was all I could think of from the time I got up.  Yesterday I made a low sodium chicken chili that was out of this world yummy. 

Saute peppers, onion, garlic, and celery until softened. Add diced chicken and saute until cooked. Add 1 can low sodium Great Northern beans, 1 package low sodium chicken bouillon, cumin, flaked red pepper, picante sauce, and one cup water. Bring to boil then simmer until water almost gone. When serving top with Jack cheese and sliced avocado.

Speaking of food.  Hubby came home with a huge package of strawberries Friday.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to eat them.  I already had sliced up fruit salad of melons grapes, blackberries, and a few strawberries, pineapple, and oranges.  So,  I put the strawberries in the blender with some orange juice and made a healthy frozen dessert.

It was an awesome dessert, especially in this hot weather.

Been communicating with my first boyfriend through much of the week.  Ralph need not worry. LOL!!!  That was a long time ago...and obviously so not important that neither one of us can remember how we got together or how it ended.  He was a junior and I a senior, so we know we weren't in the same class. It's weird that I could remember his name after all these years, and remember him enough to look for him when I joined Classmates, but I cannot remember any of our dates or how we met...and neither can he.   

Well, that's about it for me.  Hoping you all have a good one.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday Quote

Never stop learning and adapting. The world will always be changing. If you limit yourself to what you knew and what you were comfortable with earlier in your life, you will grow increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age.

David Niven

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tuesday Memories

What we remember from childhood we remember forever — permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. 

Cynthia Ozick 

My Dad holding me.  That was my grandma's house.  We lived there until I was 5 years old.  After that, I just spent weekends there.

Me on my first birthday.

This was me on the horse that bit me.  I have had a fear of horses ever since.

I think this must be kindergarten. 

You know, I look at all these pictures that my mom kept for all these years and tears come to my eyes.  I have to believe that in her own way she must have loved me or else she would have tossed them all away.

Speaking of memories, my very FIRST ever boyfriend joined Classmates and contacted me yesterday.  He said that he had been thinking about me, and then, there I was on Classmates.  I had been wondering what happened to him, and it was great to hear from him and even more awesome to think that he remembered me as well. We spent much of the day playing catch up  Much as he meant to me back in the day, I realized that it was only 'puppy love', and I am glad that I ended it when I did.  There will be no more thinking about what 'might have been'.

Have a good one.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

Another quote from one of my favorite authors.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

A friend from church bought this key chain for me.  She knew I loved Angels so she knew I would love it.  I do.  I just wish I could get a better photo for you, but no matter what angle, other colors appear on the silver.

Morning friends.  Hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was quiet.  Wrote a paper for class which was harder than I thought it would be and spent a lot of time researching osteoarthritis and sciatica and natural things I can do to help ease the pain.  It seems now I never know where it is going to pop up.  On Saturday I went to do our food shopping and on the bus my finger locked.  Scary feeling.  Then, for the rest of the day the joint was painful.

One nasty habit I know I have to consciously work on is something I have done for as long as I remember--pick at the side of my nails.  I was a teen when I started and still find myself doing it.  There was a time when I used to pick until they were sore and bleeding.  Fortunately I don't go that far anymore, but I still find myself doing it when my hands are not occupied.  This is a reason I have never had nice nails, and secondly, after all these years the repetitive movements are catching up to me. I'm sure this has something to do with my frozen fingers.

Went to church on Sunday.  What a gorgeous day.  About time the sun came out.  More rain headed our way later this afternoon though. Good for the gardens, but not for lunch in the park. 

Hubby has another nasty cold and only felt like a can of chicken soup so I made myself a fabulous tasting chicken salad for dinner. I bought some Perdue ready made chicken strips, diced some celery and red onion, a dollop of mayonnaise, and sprinkled in some curry powder.  Delicious.

 I'd like to close today with an old Hindu legend.  Don't know if you heard it before......

There was once a time when all human beings were gods, but they so abused their divinity that Brahma, the chief god, decided to take it away from them and hide it where it could never be found.

Where to hide their divinity was the question. So Brahma called a council of the gods to help him decide. "Let's bury it deep in the earth," said the gods. But Brahma answered, "No, that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it." Then the gods said, "Let's sink it in the deepest ocean." But Brahma said, "No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it." Then the gods said, "Let's take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there." But once again Brahma replied, "No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity." Then the gods gave up and said, "We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach."

Brahma thought for a long time and then said, "Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there."

All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring--searching for something already within themselves.

Author unknown

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Roundup

As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those things that hurt, instruct."
It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually
to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.

M. Scott Peck

Happy Friday everyone.  The weekend is here.  Been a strange week.  Cold, rainy, gray.  Not much energy here.  Lost 2.8 pounds. That is 36.2 altogether. Didn't make any real changes, so I guess my leader was right. My muscles were retaining water to protect themselves. I take my weight loss journey very seriously, and it does hurt when I gain...even though I realize that not all weeks will be good ones.

Had a bit of a scare on Tuesday.  My BP shot up sky high and my pulse rate was very rapid.  Got scared and took myself to the ER.  Hubby is trying his hand at working again, driving clients to and from a clinic.  He does it part time so it doesn't interfere with his benefits.  Unlike me, he doesn't search out things to keep him busy, and he gets so depressed hanging about the house.  I'm glad he is doing this, but hope it's not to much on him.  He leaves here at 8:30 in the morning and gets home after 7 at night.  The other day he told me he was so busy he didn't have a chance to eat lunch.  Not good.

Now, back to my scare.  I had a terrible night.  Lots of pain, enough to keep me up almost all night so after class I lay down for a nap.  I didn't want to sleep too much because it would mess me up at night so after two hours I forced myself up.  Decided to make a cup of coffee.  Now, when I had the palpitations last year I gave up caffeine and only started again the day after Miss Minga passed.  I only have one watered down cup in the morning.  Hubby has been making the coffee so I wasn't sure how to make one cup.  Added two scoops to one cup of water.  Way too much, and after I drank it I felt that pressure in my ears.  Pressure was  190/90 with pulse rate of 107 and rising.  Time to get to the ER.

T'was the coffee that was the culprit.  Too strong for someone who, first of all, hadn't been drinking it in awhile, and secondly, for someone with high blood pressure to begin with.  Lesson learned.  Won't do that again.

Saw the doctor last night about my leg pain at night. Been going on long enough, and I really need a good night's sleep.  The appointment went well in respect to no referrals for tests or specialists. My issues are something different however. Nothing to be done at the present time. My knee and hip pain from the cartilage wearing down and the pain the runs down both legs is sciatica of which there is no cure. Doctor's orders to continue my weight loss journey, keep legs up when possible, heat therapy, calcium supplements with D3, omega 3's (I noticed pain got worse when I stopped taking my Krill oil, but it is so expensive), and I have been referred to a nutritionist as certain foods have antii-inflammatory properties. I am aware of most of the foods but it won't hurt to have consultation. 

All I know is that I am going to fight this tooth and nail.Yoga and Tai Chi are also on my agenda. Going to start looking for classes today. Don't want to be looking at replacement therapy down the line. 

And that's it for this week.  Have a good one and talk to you on Monday.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thursday Photos

These are the gifts I ask
Of Thee, Spirit serene:
Strength for the daily task,
Courage to face the road,
Good cheer to help me bear the traveler's load,
And, for the hours of rest that come between,
An inward joy of all things heard and seen.

Henry Van Dyke

What a gorgeous day at the park last Friday, and how nicely the trees have filled in. Weather this week hasn't been conducive to spending time at the park.  Hopefully next week will be better. 

Isn't she cute.  I felt such joy watching this little one chasing bubbles.

 Yeah, cherry season again.  Good for the heart and blood pressure.

Hubby made us ribs the other night.  Super awesome.  Have to get this man to cook more often.

My Prayer Plant is taking off now that we decided to hang it.  And speaking of plants....

First bud on my Peace Lily. Can't wait until it opens.

Well, I'm off to Weight Watchers for my weekly weigh in.  Wish me luck.  Have an appointment with my doctor at 5:30.  Don't mind telling you how scared I am.  They always find something wrong.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wednesday Quotes

Have you ever watched small children playing alone in a room? They will
talk to themselves, and they will answer. They will dress themselves up.
They sing and dance.
A small child in a room all alone can have a marvelous time entertaining him-
or herself. Children can do this not only because they have an innocence that
helps them to rise above the cares of the world; they don’t mind being alone
with their thoughts and dreams. They don’t mind acting out their fantasies.
They can live their lives beyond the expectations of others. In a room all alone,
children have no inhibitions.
They have nothing to prove and no one to satisfy but themselves. They feel free!
They are unencumbered by opinions and directives.
It happens because nobody is watching them.
Live your life like nobody is watching you.


Iyanla Vanzant

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Morning This and That

The boy and girl going hand in hand through a meadow; the mother washing her baby; the sweet simple things in life.  We have almost lost track of them.  On the one side, we over-intellectualize everything; on the other hand, we are over-mechanized.  We can understand the danger of the atomic bomb, but the danger of our misunderstanding the meaning of life is much more serious. 

Edward Steichen   

Good morning everyone.  Not a very pretty day out there, but we are in need of rain...and I do love the scent of it in the summer.  It rained hard last night, so hard that it flooded my kitchen.  I may have had to mop up the floor, but at least my window garden got a good watering.

Had a quiet weekend.  Went to the park on Friday.  What a gorgeous day it was!  Perfect for the park.  Had a tuna sandwich, grapes, and coconut water for lunch.  For some reason, even a plain lunch like that tastes better when eaten outdoors under the trees.  

Got a chance to sleep in on Saturday...if you can call 7:30 am sleeping in.  But that's an hour later than usual for me.  Once this pain in my legs starts, there is nothing I can do but give in and get up.  Have to make an appointment with the doctor to see what's going on.  I have a pretty good idea, discs in my lower back pinching against the nerves while I am at rest, but I'm not a doctor.  One thing I know.  I DO NOT want to take pain pills.  I'd rather look for other ways to deal with it.

Later in the day I made some butter fried chicken.  Oh, gosh, how yummy, and low fat.  I use Smart Balance Light Butter, and you'd never know the difference.  Dipped in flour and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chives, and you have a tasty meal in less than a half hour.  It's perfect for those hot days of summer when one wants a meat dish, but doesn't feel like slaving over a hot stove.

This has been a special time in my life in more ways than one.  Oh, nothing could surpass the joy of re-uniting with my daughter and grands, but it also pays to take a look at the events leading up to our reunion. I think I'd mentioned it a few times.  I'd been having strange dreams about trying to find my way home. I'd find myself on strange pathways always walking in circles, never finding my way. Since the reunion, I no longer have these dreams.

Then, when I tell my granddaughter this story, she tells me that she has been having dreams as well.  Her dreams were of my father telling her there was something she had to do.  After sharing our stories we came to the conclusion that my dad was reaching out from beyond, working to get us together again.  

And then, in the park the other day, the crows appeared. (Enhance the photo and you will see two of them high in the tree.)  It's the first time I have seen them there.  They hovered about a bit, lit on a tree, and after a few, they flew away.  One of the lessons the crow teaches is that the past doesn't have to hurt.  It teaches us that if we want to heal we must discover a new perspective of the past.  Was that another message from my dad?  

Well, that's about it.  Have a good one.