"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Changing the date to 2013 doesn't seem as strange as it did when I had to start typing or writing 2012.

This is going to be a very good year. That is not a prediction; it is a determination.  As in a firm resolve to make this coming year a year committed to personal success and growth. As I persevere in this quest,  I will use the wisdom in the words of the Serenity Prayer. I am wholeheartedly dedicated to being a better person. If this is a New Year's Resolution, so be it.

Best wishes to my blogging friends for a year of awakening for us all, being aware of people around us, accepting their decisions that seem to be mistakes, allowing them to work through their own lives and learn from their mistakes just as we want them to do to us.  I give you, dear readers, my unreserved love and encouragement and hope you pass it along throughout the year.

Hugs to you all.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What A Mess

Christmas day. 
Trash can full.
Removed the plastic bag.
Tied it shut at the top.
Carried it to the door. 
The bottom broke apart.
Trash flew everywhere.
Like an explosion.
Coffee grounds. 
Orange peels.
Empty cans.
Etc etc.
I stood looking.
What a mess.
I thought,
how can I clean this.
This was a first.
Never had this happen.
Felt like I was in a cartoon.
I trudged through the mess.
Got to the kitchen closet.
Reached for the dust pan.
Began scooping trash
into three new trash bags.
That was when my friend arrived.
She found me on the floor 
tying the three bags.
She helped me carry the bags
out to the trash can.
We sat at the kitchen table 
laughing and merry
Perfect Christmas visit.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Photo found at New York Daily Photo

Many of us celebrate Christmas, each in our own way, for our own reasons. For me, presents are not the priority at Christmas. Not the kind of presents wrapped in fancy paper and tied with a bow.  Your heart can discern and your spirit can move you to love truly, unconditionally.

Enjoy your Christmas, however you celebrate. I hope your blessed day carries over to tomorrow and to tomorrow and lasts all year.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Eyes

Whew. Both eye surgeries went well and the implants are like having new eyes. The right eye lens is for distance and the left lens is for close. That is the correction my eyes adjusted to many years ago, so even without contacts my eyes would do the blended vision.  The left lens has been in place since December 5th and it feels normal. The right lens was put in place Dec 19th just in time to see all the lovely snow.  White is SO BRIGHT now.

Six months ago I changed the light bulbs in the bathroom to 100 watt bulbs and still had some difficulty seeing well in there. Now I need to remove the 100 watt bulbs and replace with 75 or even less.  It is way too bright in there.

My friend Vicki drove me to both eye surgeries, waited for me and brought me home, and to the post op check ups at the doctor's office.  She volunteered to do that.  I have been around her a lot this past year and after the second eye surgery I looked at her and said "Wow, did someone paint your eyes?"  Her eyes are so blue but I did not know that.  It makes me wonder how long I have been seeing things in grey.

The swelling is down and the healing is amazingly fast. Never once did it hurt. Never did I feel uncomfortable.  The jigsaw puzzles are lined up and my crocheting has begun again.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Share The Joy Of The Season

People who still have jobs probably have a more difficult time than those of us who have retired. I remember having to work around some people who were disagreeable to the max.  Their unwelcome comments seemed to drag down the vibes in the work place.  Some of us would attempt to get the message across through humor by saying that we all needed an attitude adjustment.  When a group of us would unite in our fun project of an attitude adjustment,  we were a strong enough force to change the atmosphere to a more uplifting environment.

Now that I am older, hopefully wiser, and not working, when I come in contact with a person who likes being in the unpleasant state of negativity, I know I have a choice. There are no mandatory meetings or overtime, there is also no paycheck I am depending upon.  I am finding that since I stopped working I am truly the captain of my ship, steering aware from danger and denial by maintaining an optimistic attitude.  At the very least I am able to decrease or reverse negativity and in many cases I am able to produce calm and affirmation in my life.

It isn't necessary to go head to head with a person who wallows in negativity. They must be getting something out of it to continue on their un-merry way.  Their choice.  For me, I make more progress on a project when I am relaxed and positive.  Right now, my main project is living each day at a time.  During the holidays we all have the opportunity to show what we are really made of and share some joy with others. You never know what an act of kindness will do to soften a heart and cause that person to pass along the joy to another person.  It is possible to stop negativity and promote hope and joy.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Copy Cat

Heh Heh

I Am....

Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on the ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die. 

-Mary Frye

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What Is Left Behind

During the early summer the young (very young) mother would sit under the single tree in the front yard, hoping for some shade as she rocked her new baby. The lawn was uneven, so the rickety chair did not move in a smooth arc, more like sitting in a chair that had hiccups.

The baby's father would park his motorcycle on the lawn near the front door. Maybe to keep an eye on his prized possession when he was inside the small house, or maybe to have the motorcycle ready for a quick getaway.

The motorcycle would be gone all day sometimes. Then the dad would bring his friends home for an evening, followed by several days of absence.

The young mother continued to sit outside each afternoon, comforting her baby through her own tears.

The motorcycle did not return.

One day the meager possessions were packed into a friend's small truck.

The little house is empty now. The only evidence of the short time tenants is a large green trash can overflowing and boxes and trash scattered at the road.

Hopefully the baby was not named after his father.

Note: This is fiction, I watched a girl with her baby and wrote this story.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Admire Talent

Let me introduce you to Rowan. She is the niece of my dear friend, who has been a best friend for over twenty years.

Rowan lives in Seattle.

"Hi Cici, thanks so much for your message. I sell my work primarily at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. I have a number of cashmere armwarmers and lambswool hats that are ready for sale right now.  I can take some photos on Sunday morning and send them to you. If you like something you see, please let me know right away. Everything I make is usually one of a kind, so I can have them pulled from the table so we can make sure to get them to you.
Yes, this is definitely my busy season! I'm usually selling my goods within days (sometimes hours) of making them.
My cashmere armwarmers sell for $33 and up. Lambswool hats are $55 and up. All of my materials are recycled luxury fibers. They are felted to give added durability and warmth. The hats are also breathable and naturally water resistant, great for wearing in all kinds of weather. Each hat has a little pocket on the side. I like to write a positive affirmation and put it in my pocket for the day. The one-of-a-kind hats are also embellished with found vintage items and neat vintage buttons."
Rowan designs and makes unique wearable art and accessories, made from recycled cashmere, lambs wool, and merino wool. She even has amazing pieces for the hair, barrettes that are one of a kind. 
You can see some photos of Rowan and her customers wearing her distinctive and remarkable products on her facebook page

The hat I purchased is a light olive green pixie cap in soft lambswool. This is a small/medium cap style hat that looks fantastic on short-haired or straight-haired women. The bill is finished with repurposed green lace, and the roses are hand-stitched green velvet. The leaves are hand-embroidered lambswool. Vintage plastic buttons adorn the sides. 

The second is a patterned lambswool lotus hat. This is a style of hat that goes over and around the head, slouches toward the back, and usually covers the ears. This lambswool features a beautiful and unique tapestry-style design in earthy colors - reddish brown and gold, with a blue center. The roses are handstitched lambswool, as are the teal leaves. Vintage mother of pearl buttons. It is a medium to large hat. This style looks great on larger heads and is on the thicker side so it would be great for winter.

"I can also make a custom hat for you. I can make a hat in this style for you, without extras like mother of pearl buttons and lace. You'll still get the lovely roses design and vintage buttons."

Visit Rowanica Designs on faceboook.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Joanna Has Great Giveaways

Joanna has started a tradition this time of year. She is having a giveaway.  Go to The Fifty Factor and get in on the chance to win.

This is the one time each year I can say to Joanna, "You've got balls!"

Monday, December 3, 2012

Trouble Seeing

Vision with cataracts

Vision after cataract surgery
The time is near for my cataract surgeries. Dec 5 is the left eye; Dec 19 the right eye. It is difficult to see  well. I have stopped doing the jigsaw puzzles for now. Stopped writing posts or reading blogs. I have trouble reading labels when I buy food. I haven't started writing out Christmas cards yet.  It has come down to the need to just take it easy for now, not reading books or magazines, just listening to music or watching documentaries on Netflix. Monday morning (today)  I go to the eye doctor office for final measurements of the lenses that will be in my eyes after the surgery. Since I have had mono vision most of my life, the left lens will be for up close and the right for distance. My dear friends are having fun fighting over who "gets" to drive me to the surgery center and then the next day to the doctor office. I am so ready to have these surgeries and to see again.  Thank goodness the numbers on the bingo sheets are large size!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rest Now, Mom

Yesterday morning my mother passed away peacefully in a hospital in Las Vegas. She was taken to the hospital from the assisted living facility when mom had trouble getting her breath. She had pneumonia. I spoke with her the day before she passed and she sounded strong and clear minded. The last thing she said to me was "I love you and God loves you".  She said her goodbyes that way the last year.

I have written about my mom in my blog(s) a few times.  Our relationship was not calm but we did learn much from each other.  It is just dawning on me that from now on I will be writing about her in the past tense.

My visit with her in September is even more important to me now. I am so glad I made the effort to spend a couple weeks with her and to be on the phone with her almost every day. We spoke for at least one hour every day. Mom kept telling me she was happy that I am living in this town and have such wonderful friends here.

Now this last picture of me and mom together in September will have a special place on my wall and in my heart.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blessed Peace

No expectations. Easier said than done? Maybe. Goals are good; however, expectations are unhealthy.

The mind is a powerful tool. Use it to be healthy. Embrace the peace you achieve.

The Hairs On My Chinny Chin Chin

Photo found on Google.

You know what I'm talking about. The annoying hair on the right side of the chin, pluck, it is gone, and then Poof! In a couple days you rub your chin and what the heck, that hair is already a half inch long.

Someone told me long ago that our hair stops growing as we get older. What planet did that person come from. My hair grows, my nails grow.

If I don't shave under my arms I could braid the hairs in two weeks time.

Same with the hair on my legs.

Just sharing some personal information. Aren't you glad you read this post?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Riding In The Wind

Gads! I didn't have a bicycle for three months. Where did the time go?

I was riding a bike every day when I was living at the little hippie house.

Then when I moved to this apartment I didn't ride as often.

Then the bike was stolen.

I bought a used bike from a woman in town.

The tires wouldn't hold air.

The nice man in town who works on bicycles worked on my bike.

He changed the tires, changed the seat to a comfy one, and repaired the gears.

Wowzer! I went riding today.

Liking Me Some Bike Riding.

After I took this picture I saw the cords to lamps I added for more light when my friends come to play dominoes and cards on the round table. Oh well, at least the cords aren't hanging around on the floor to trip someone.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Here, Turkey, Turkey

In my case, I should be calling Here, Chickie, Chickie. I am going to have the cousin to the turkey again this year. Roasting a turkey for one is silly. But a roasted chicken can be many meals for me.

I found some sage dressing that is gluten free.  Fresh green beans cooked with bacon and onions.  A baked sweet potato. Lots of leftovers, and then finally the bones will be in the slow cooker for a couple days to make soup stock.

C'mon, Cuz.

Huge blogland hugs to my dear blogging friends for which I am truly grateful.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Patron Saint Of Music

Ode For Saint Cecilia's Day is a contata composed by George Frideric Handel in 1739 based on the poem by English poet, John Dryden. The main theme is that music was a central force in the earth's creation. St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians.  Cecilia is my name.  CiCi is my nickname. Music has always been my rock. This is one of my favorites, read it and hear the celestial sounds.

From harmony, from heavenly harmony
This universal frame began.
When nature, underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head.
The tuneful Voice, was heard from high,
Arise! Arise!
Arise ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
In order to their stations leap!
And music's power obey!
And music's power obey!

From harmony, from heavenly harmony,
This universal frame began.
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in man.

What passion cannot music raise, and quell?
When Jubal struck the chorded shell,
His listening brethren stood 'round.
And wondering on their faces fell,
To worship that celestial sound!
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangour excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger and mortal alarms,
The double-double-double beat,
Of the thund'ring drum,
Cries hark! Hark! Cries hark the foes come!
Charge! Charge! Charge! Charge!
'Tis too late, 'tis too late to retreat!
Charge 'tis too late, too late to retreat!

The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim,
Their jealous pangs,
And desperation!
Fury, frantic indignation!
Depth of pains, and height of passion,
For the fair disdainful dame!

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To join the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees uprooted left their place
Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her Organ vocal breath was given
An Angel heard, and straight appeared –
Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky.

Carlo Saraceni
Saint Cecilia and the Angel
c. 1610 - Oil on canvas
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Friday, November 16, 2012

Deal With It

The apartments I live in are HUD subsidized senior apartments. I live in an end unit. There are 16 units, small complex, and I am in #15. Been here six months now. The best thing about these places is the low rent. When I say LOW RENT, I mean really low. Because I don't have to pay gas, water, trash, it is like having twice as much money each month. 

A few weeks ago a woman moved into #16. It has been empty since I moved in. This woman keeps her door open as do three other people in this building. There are 8 units in each building and now 4 of them keep their doors open in my building and their radios and TVs on high volume.  

When I walk out my door, the woman across from me rushes to her door to talk to me. When I take out the trash, there she is. If I go out and stop to lock my place because I am going out for awhile, there she is. All the while her TV is blaring. Why can't she close her friggin' door? Maybe it annoying to me particularly because I don't have a TV, am not exposed to all the noise and confusion and when it is forced on me, it is irritating. 

Her son-in-law is our Saturday mailperson, and he was helping at bingo one night a month ago, and told us she was moving in here, and told us not to tell her when he comes to deliver mail or she will find something for him to do. I didn't appreciate how true that was until she moved in here. This woman is needy. She knocks on peoples doors to ask for help all the time. Like, her refrigerator was too cold, would they adjust it for her. She wanted a flashlight. Couldn't find hers. Do I sound cranky? I guess I am. I miss the quiet on this end of the building. If I hooked up my huge speakers and listened to hard rock, the folks here would have a cow. So I just wear my headphones to watch Netflix or listen to music. I can't walk all over the place though. Maybe I need wireless headphones. Ha.

Writing this post is not meant to be a complaint, it is written to remind me that there are things in life I have to either change or adjust to, and how I go about doing that shows me what kind of person I am. I never did well in an environment where I had to listen to others on the phone or in group situations with several people talking at once. It was a struggle when I worked in office situations with cubicles for work spaces. Loud voices in other "cubies" would drown out the phone voices in my cubicle and give me a headache. I didn't last long in those jobs. I would quit, find something better, move on. 

So this morning, as it is every morning, when I wake up and start making my coffee, I hear the newest neighbor on the phone, her door wide open, and remember that she is lonely. She wants attention. Each person who walks past her door is accosted. She may settle down some day after she has been here long enough. I want to remind myself what it is like to be new in town, new in an apartment building with all new residents. I am sorry to say that I cannot bring myself to befriend this woman, she is annoying to me, needy, demanding, and manipulating. I have already seen enough to have several red flags raised, which for me means I stay away from that kind of personality for my own good health.  Whew, there, got that off my chest.  I am in acceptance of the new situation and am able to retain my sanity and keep my life busy and happy. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One Puzzle After Another

As busy as I am each day, I manage to work on the jigsaw puzzles. I have completed three recently and finished another one last night.

Most of the puzzles are hand-me-downs from friends; some are found at garage sales; some I buy on an online garage sale site in this area. So some of the puzzles are missing a piece. Or two. Never more than two.

But I find I enjoy the challenge of working something to a conclusion, to find there was a missing piece.

Another challenge in life. Working things through, completing a task, or a trial, to have it revealed that something was not there, not done as expected, testing my abilities a smidgeon more.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Write A Caption

Write a caption for this photo. I put this photo on the bulletin board at the senior center asking the seniors to write a caption. It will be interesting to see how similar the blogging community sees the photo and what type of captions are composed by the seniors and bloggers.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

Yes, I used to smoke. Never got to the three pack a day habit, not even two packs. And I did not want a cigarette as soon as I opened my eyes in the morning. I have to say, I liked the really small cigars, sweet tasting. At one time I even had a small gold glittery pipe and I liked cherry blend tobacco.

June 1981 I said goodbye to smoking. My kids were relieved. Probably not as much as my lungs were though. I was still playing tennis often and it didn't take me long to notice how much better I played after I stopped smoking.

Now I am one the people who do not like the smell of cigarette smoke, don't want to stand near someone who is smoking, and can detect the smell of cigarette smoke on people's clothes and hair. I try not to be a nuisance as I do believe we each have a right to make our own decisions.

When I moved into my apartment six months ago, I would catch a whiff of old cigarette smell when I opened the apartment door. Then I learned that the senior woman who occupied this apartment was a chain smoker. She had ash trays in every room. She smoked in bed. Yikes. Apparently, the apartment manager and the maintenance man spent many hours trying to "de-louse" (what is the word for getting rid of cigarette odors) and then the place was painted and new carpet and kitchen and bathroom flooring installed. It takes time to replace old scents with new ones. Finally, this place smells like home. I must say, I like my smells better!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Yes, I Used To Be TechnoBabe

Long ago in the land of newbie bloggers, I was TechnoBabe. I was married and working and busy and added blogging to my busy life, starting TechnoBabe's Adventures to test the blogging waters.

Then the home life began the downward spiral. I thought my heart would break. I thought I would be crushed from the weight of the pain and the stress.

Contrary to what I thought would happen, I survived and am doing well. Every once in awhile someone finds this blog and asks me if I was TechnoBabe. During the five plus years I blogged as TechnoBabe, I met hundreds of fine folks in blogland. These days I am blogging less, commenting less, and keeping a lower profile. But I made it through some difficult times.

Deciding to leave the TechnoBabe persona behind, I began this blog about a year ago. And what this blog does for me is give me the strength to blog as myself. Something I thought I would never do. I ventured to the old blog today and read some of the posts. I liked the look of that blog that I spent so much time perfecting and pouring love into as well as receiving so much love from readers. It was a great trip down memory lane.

I am no longer married. I no longer work. I live far from my children and grandchildren. I live alone in an apartment. Well, not quite alone because Lola, my cat, is a great companion. However, as bleak as that sounds, I am happy, healthy, living a full life. I have cultivated some amazing friends in real life and have some friends from my youth who I love immensely. I am fortunate to have dear people who love me as I am and encourage me in my endeavors.

So yes, I was TechnoBabe, and now I am just me. CiCi. And happy to be me.

Thank you to the sweet bloggers who read and comment on this blog, thank you for sharing this past year with me. Your blogging friendship is appreciated and cherished.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Halloween Day was packed full.

It is the birthday of the manager of the senior center. Happy Birthday, Heather!

Two cars of seniors left the senior center in our town and traveled to the senior center in a town about a half hour away. We brought wrapped white elephant gifts. We played bingo and had mighty fine desserts and snacks and had lots of fun. 

Then we all went home to rest awhile and then meet up again for bingo in the town we usually play bingo on Wednesdays. 

So it was a double bingo whammy. Not just Halloween.

Hope you had a bewitching Halloween, my pretties.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I have graduated from this therapy group. I am not like any of them here, except maybe the ghost. I am not the woman I used to be, hopefully I am a better person, wiser and stronger.

If you celebrate Halloween, have a good one. Hope it is frightfully good for you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Deserving Of A Mention

Today is my ex-husband's birthday.  He has been moving from one hospital to the next for the past six months, then last week he moved to an assisted living facility, which could be a permanent home for him.

Friday a friend went with me to deliver his belongings we stored in her garage. He looks good and is settling into his new place.  This has been a most difficult year for him.

Send good wishes to him along with mine. The universe will deliver our collected greetings.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tissues In Every Room

It's not a cold. No fever. Some slight sinus pressure.

But the nose is running like a faucet left on, as soon as my feet hit the floor.

Must be allergies.

At least each tissue box is a different color and design. Designer tissue boxes. That makes me smile even as I blow my nose. Again.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Too Many Numbers

So many times I have felt just like this. Different passwords for each company I purchase from online. Each bank. Each email address. Each debit card. (I don't have credit cards, or there would be passwords needed for them too.) And on and on.

How do others handle this?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Glass Of Milk

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk.
He drank it so slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"

"You don't owe me anything," she replied. "Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness."

He said ....... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Many year's later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they
called in specialists to study her rare disease.

Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.
 Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.

He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.
After a long struggle, the battle was won.

Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill
was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something
caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words...

"Paid in full with one glass of milk."

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

This was forwarded to me in an email. We all know a story like this one, perhaps even have been involved in a true story like this. Do something kind for someone else, every chance you have. Not to reap the rewards yourself some day. But because showing kindness to others can help heal a nation. 

According to snopes.com, this story is true. Dr Howard Kelly, 1858 - 1943, was one of four founding doctors of Johns Hopkins. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Go After Your Dreams

Sometimes going back to sleep for another hour can be the best sleep of the night. But waking up completely, facing the day with enthusiasm, and going forward each day determined to live the day to the fullest opens up the opportunities presented to me each hour and each minute.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Womens Business

One woman volunteered to drive. Two cars of us drove about 50 miles from here to a small town. On the way there one woman pointed out where she grew up, the barn can be seen from the road but the house could not. A woman showed us where cousins live. I call them country roads, just because I am used to freeways.

Our car arrived a little early, so our driver showed the homes and the businesses and churches in the town to us. There were some very large, newer homes there.  One man was walking on his house roof  removing the fallen leaves with his blower. Other men were mowing the leaves on the ground. The colors of the trees were definitely shouting FALL.

After parking at the Womens Club, we joined the women in line. Over 300 women were there for the same thing. The annual salad luncheon and fashion show. This was the 34th year for this event.

There were about 40 long tables, each one decorated in a different theme. They were wonderful. Some were glamorous, some were glitzy, some had animal themes. Each table had matching sets of dishes, napkins, silverware, and a candy dish at each place setting. Our table had mint patties, others had nuts, still others had various colors of M & M's. The most formal table had black and white M & M's.

Since I eat gluten free, there aren't many food events I attend. But the salad affairs provide an abundance of food for someone like me. One trip to the four long tables filled with salads was enough to satisfy my appetite.

After the women removed our plates, the first half of the fashion show began. Clothes being modeled were from a higher end womens store in Lincoln. The models were all ages and all sizes.

There were donated gifts ranging from bags of local apples to beauty products and many gift certificates, some for elegant dinners and some for hair salons. There were so many prizes being doled out, my mind began to drift, and then I heard my number. I double checked the number on my ticket in front of me, then stood up so the girls helping their mothers could bring me my prize.  A large very soft stuffed dog with the Bass Pro Shop tag in his ear. My cat thinks he is hers.

Lola talking to her new friend.

Lola cleaning her new friend.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Growing Old And Glad Of It

Growing older is better than the alternative. I just spent time with my mother and she has a difficult time getting things done for herself and navigating in her wheelchair. At this stage in my life, I am so grateful for my health and my peaceful life. Keeping things simple has become my way of life. There is joy in so much in my life surrounding me each day. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

For Sale: One Sentimental Cat.

A friend sent these pictures to me in an email. 
I changed the words.
This is not my cat Lola, who is four times the size of this kitten and different colors.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Depression Awareness Month

October is a busy month. Breast Cancer Awareness month. Depression awareness month. AIDS awareness month. National Hispanic Awareness month.

Then there is Yom Kuppur. Columbus Day. Canada Thanksgiving Day. Train Your Brain Day (one of my favorites). International Forgiveness Day (another favorite). Mother-In-Law Day.
United Nations Day. Ramadan.


Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work Day is also in October, but I didn't want to include something that would seem silly. Smile.

Kind of puts Halloween into perspective.

Best wishes to each one reading this for a month of blessings and lots of joy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

If you were not aware of it, I was away from home visiting my mother in Las Vegas. The city and all the activities are not enticing to me, so I didn't see any shows or do any gambling. I did eat at a buffet one night with friends and played two hours of bingo. That was my one night out. My kids and I lived there several years during their school days and the gaming industry did not

My cat Lola missed me while I was away. When I walked in the door yesterday afternoon she ran to me and meowed and rubbed on my legs and would not allow a few inches between us for the rest of the evening. My neighbors across the street saw me arrive and came over for one last visit with Lola. They were taking care of my cat while I was gone. I guess Lola wouldn't come out when they came in the apartment to feed her. I have been brushing Lola and talking with her and she is settling back into our routine.

It is a comfort for me to know that my anxiety about flying was that one time, about ten years ago. I was flying from California to Hawaii and both going and coming back I was obsessed with getting to the door and getting off that plane. I have avoided flying since then until this trip. With the help of an anti-anxiety pill and my music on the iPod I made it through with flying colors so to speak. This flying experience and the whole trip went so well I plan on going again in about six months.

Adjusting to the two hour time difference was a breeze when I got there; getting in tune with the time at home is not going as well. I am staying up late and sleeping in, almost missing things I am committed to doing here at home.

My mother is 91 years old. She has shrunk and is somewhat shaky. Her mind is pretty sharp, in fact, she can remember some words and people's names that I cannot remember. It was good to have so much time with her.

Here is a pic of me and my mom at her apartment in the assisted living facility.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


In less than two weeks I will be flying to Las Vegas to spend a week with my mother. She is in an assisted living facility there, and will soon be moving to a nursing home. Years ago my kids and I lived there and they went through school there so they have kept in touch with school friends over the years, but I have not kept in touch with anyone there. The city has grown so much since I moved from there.

My mother and I speak on the phone almost every day, but we both decided that it would be nice to see each other in person, so it has become a work in progress for me to prepare for this trip.

The ten year old girl across the street will have her first "job" taking care of my Lola while I am away for nine days. Lola will be in our apartment, she has never been outside, so she will need to be attended to each day. My little friend wants $1 per day for the job.

The last two times to fly were from California to Hawaii and I experienced my first ever anxiety attacks on those two flights. I did not want to be on the plane; I wanted to get to the door and open it and get off the plane. In order to ensure I will be able to get on the plane to go see my mother, I had to see my doctor and discuss the anxiety, and filled a prescription for anti-anxiety pills. Sheesh.  My doctor assured me there are many people with the same problem.

Between the monthly decorating at the senior center and preparing for the trip, I will not be writing any posts. At least, I don't think I will. I will be reading my regular blogs and commenting.  There has been a change in the cataracts this past year, so when I return from Las Vegas, I will be making an appointment to see an eye doctor. If I am going to have the cataract surgery, I would like to have it done before winter.

My way of life includes being as prepared as possible for the things I am planning, so that when the unplanned things happen I have the wisdom and sanity to deal with them. Life brings surprises and challenges at unexpected times, so I try to be prepared for anything.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Windshield is Clear

About six months ago, a rock flew up from the wheel of a large truck in front of me on the highway, popped on my windshield right in front of my left eye, and within days a crack began moving across the window. Driving was made difficult, as I had to scrunch down to see under the crack, or sit up very tall to see over it.

Last week the crack had traveled 2/3 of the way across the windshield. I called every auto window replacement company within a hundred mile radius for quotes. I carry liability insurance on the car but even if I still had full coverage I would have had to pay the deductible. Then I saw a comment on a site I frequent that is a local online garage sale site. The commenter was expressing appreciation for the great work replacing her windshield. I called that company for a quote. Not only was the quote almost a hundred dollars less than all the others, he comes to the customer. I made an appointment and Monday morning the window man came here to my apartment, replaced my windshield, and was on his way within an hour and a half.

Now I hop into my little red car and don't have to scrunch down to see out the window.

It is the little things in life I am appreciating.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking Shortcuts

Is it a trait of the younger generations, or have we as a people always looked for ways to find easier methods? Attempting to open my mind to taking shortcuts has mostly made me decide that taking a shorter path is not the wisest choice for me.

When I see ads such as this

and ads about making thousands of dollars a month, or other supposedly easy, quick ways to lose weight or make money or accelerated learning, it does make me stop and think. I don't watch television, but I can only imagine all the ads on TV that are enticing to many people. I get enough of them sent to me from well wishers in emails.

It seems to me that the faster the results, the more impatient people become. Fast Lane. Fast food. Instant gratification. Terms I hear but pay little attention to, reasoning that they don't apply to my life right now. Believing that a brisker manner would mean quicker service, thus more "time" for the individual, is a big con. Like the ads.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Senior Apartments

There are 16 apartments, eight in each building. I live in one of the buildings. Yes, I am a senior. Happy to be there finally, old enough to have gained some wisdom along the way, and young enough to have fun being retired. Most of my adult life I worked and wanted to be in a position to not have to work. Each of us can tend a garden under our windows. I planted a few flowers and plants under my window but just did not have a heart for gardening this year. This coming spring will be my time to get the soil under my nails and enjoy planting flower seeds and tending a small garden. I bought a sun hat for gardening. And gardening gloves. And knee pads. I am ready for spring! Oh yeah, this is only summer and there are two more seasons until spring. Well, I am planning for the future.

So much has happened since moving to this town one year and ten months ago. The first year here I would take my camera and walk around town, snapping pictures of anything that looked interesting. These apartments looked interesting, so I took these photos of them in my first year here, never knowing anything about the apartments or that I would soon be living here.

In the three months I have lived here, a new roof was installed, a new brick planter put up around the flag pole in front, and various smaller improvements to the outside.

This now feels like home.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We Went To The Races

The next town is even smaller than the town I am living in now. There was a celebration in the smaller town today, the town was celebrating its 125th birthday.

One of the activities was a racetrack for lawn mower races.

Lots of people turned out to watch this unusual sport.

Here are a few pictures.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ha, Men, What Do You Think?

Yes or No, men?

Yes or No or maybe, women?

What? The women have an extra choice? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Table Setting

Growing up learning correct table settings, at home and in school, has not been of much use in my casual lifestyle. Many parties and get togethers were held at my place, wherever I was living at the time, but most of them were buffet style. Guests serving themselves frees the hostess to enjoy the event, as well as setting a mood for relaxation.

In comparison, my older daughter chooses large formal sit down meals, with occasional more casual parties. She knows the proper etiquette for the grander venues, so I am sure this graphic is not needed at her home.

My growing up years were spent in sparse circumstances, so the occasion of my first formal dinner is etched in my mind. My fiance was the younger brother of a man who was married to the daughter of the president of a platinum company. She grew up used to special holiday dinners and formal celebrations unlike any I had ever seen. My first Christmas holiday celebration with the entire family was for me somewhat disarming. The huge table was set with crystal salt bowls at each place setting, and more forks and knives and spoons than I knew anything about. So I followed the lead of my seat mates and tried to blend in to the formal setting, including a finger bowl. Fortunately I was dressed appropriately with my very best clothes. I was so nervous throughout the lengthy meal, I don't remember what we ate, just that there were so many courses and large amounts of food, compared to my lifestyle. I do remember the dessert. The final course. Holiday Pudding. The maid brought in a flaming dish and everyone clapped. I was the only one who did not know there would be a silver charm hidden in one of the pieces, and I enjoyed the whole ceremony of Christmas Holiday Pudding.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


People's generosity sometimes blows my mind. The town I live in is full of kind and sharing people.

Probably half the houses have home grown vegetable gardens. Some of the delicious produce is prime right now, and people share the fruits of their labors with each other.  I don't have a garden, but plenty of folks are bringing me large amounts of fresh produce. Onions, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes (red and gold), eggplant, cucumbers, and more.

The other day two friends with gardens brought me a small roast and lots of veggies including carrots and parsnips and turnips. They said they thought I would like to make a meal for my senior friends and that is what I did. I put all the veggies and the roast in my electric skillet on medium low temp and we had a delicious meal before a fun time playing dominoes. My friends are still talking about that meal!

My trough is full.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Please Don't Eat The Daisies

For some reason, beginning with Mother's Day, my daughter has flowers sent me me via FTD. A large black box arrives every other month with a bouquet and vase. Each delivery is different flowers. Sort of like the Flower of the every-other-month club.

This month the flowers are Gerber Daisies. I like the photo with the darknesss around the flowers. This photo was taken without the house lights on and the blinds are down.

The flowers are delivered at a young stage so they last a long time. It is a pleasure to unpack the flowers and arrange in the vase, but seeing them each day is a blessing. I hope she knows how much the flowers perk up my little apartment but mostly how much they invigorate my spirit.

Having fresh daisies in the house makes me feel like I am living a Doris Day or Donna Reed life.
Do any of you remember who they were?