"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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Where Is The Toilet Paper

One of the nuisance things about moving so many times is finding where the toilet paper holder is. That's right. Think about it. You get up during the night because your bladder just woke you enough to know you would be more comfortable if you go into the bathroom and relieve the full bladder. Okay. Keep the eyes closed, stumble into the bathroom, don't want to wake up all the way so you can get right back to sleep. Sit. Reach to the right. No toilet paper. Reach to the left. Still no toilet paper. Where the heck is it? Now you have to wake up. Darn. Oh. That's right. At this place I have a stand alone toilet paper holder. It stands straight ahead. Oh brother. I hope I can get back to sleep. See what I mean? Moving multi times has some strange and lesser known downsides. Too much information? Oh.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

It is more fun planning for Christmas with children growing up in the home. More decorations. More laughter.

This year I am learning to appreciate the senior age, the single life, lots of friends and plenty of laughter.

A year and a half ago I lived through another divorce. Instead of hanging my head I decided to live my life to the fullest and count my blessings. I learn important lessons if I pay attention.  Instead of being lonely I am having fun and appreciating my simple life. Simple and busy.

This is the first time I decorated three Christmas trees. One at the senior center, angels being the chosen   theme. Two different styles of Christmas trees at the library for the Parade of Lights. How could I not get into the spirit of the season with so much decorating.

The various Christmas parties add to the enjoyment of this time of year, making season's greetings cheerful and bright, overcoming the cold and snow. Bundling up to get somewhere to share hot cocoa or hot apple cider with other families and wine with friends is the reward for getting out in the cold.

Finding blog buddies through the years of blogging is another blessing. My wish for each of my blog friends is that you have joy and good health and are able to share some joy with people who are not as fortunate. My heart hurts for the dear people who are sad during the holiday season. Smile and hug to everyone I come in contact with online and in person.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


You have all probably seen this going around in emails. My friend is helping her daughter plan her June wedding this coming year so I am hearing talk about the bridesmaids dresses so naturally this picture popped into my head.

Monday, December 9, 2013


When the sun comes up, is it really "coming up"?

When I look up to heaven, is heaven really "up there"?

Why do some people say they're going "downtown", while others say they're going "uptown"?

Why do some people tack on the word "up" to some sentences?
"Eat it all up".
"Clean it up".
"'Fess up".
"Shut up". Well, maybe this one is different.
"Stir it up". "Stir it" would be sufficient.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not A Material Girl

When Madonna was singing about material girls, I was doing my usual thing of letting go of things, and moving to another destination. No kidding, I have moved over one hundred times in my life. So far. The first nine years of my life my brother and parents and I moved at least six times. That seemed to set a pattern for the rest of my life. While I was still living with my mother during pre-teen years, we moved three times.

Then there were different homes with foster families followed by three moves before I got married. Then moving to various locations in five states, sometimes only staying in a place a month. That is lot of moves! I moved to Nebraska in March 2008 and have moved six times. I feel like a nomad, most of the time staying one year in a place. This is not a listing of all the moves, just a condensed version.

Over the years I had convinced myself that the moves were a benefit in that I did not hoard things. I can't tell you how many new refrigerators, new washers and dryers, and other new appliances have been in my life.  Cars were traded in for a new car often, sometimes annually.

The lesson I learned from the nomadic life was to not get attached to material things. Ever. If I have something and someone else likes it or wants it, the natural thing for me, with my background, is to give it to them. No problem, no attachments. I can't say I had favorites, not homes, or cars, or any thing. The way I feel is that things belong to all of us. Some people give me things. Nice. Some things I give to others. Also nice. Things are just things, I either have them or I don't, not that important. The important things in life are how we treat each other and the lessons we learn as we travel through this life. This is just my opinion, others may not agree with it. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Truly Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Another reason to update my Grateful List.

My children are at the top of my list. I found myself in awe so much of the time watching them grow themselves into adults. I was sort of a guide but they had the instinct and stamina it took to be my children and to love me with my failings and what appeared to be mistakes. They always knew I loved them beyond description, accepted them unconditionally, accepted the role of single parent and always made the best of it. To hear them describe their childhoods, they thought I did a good job. Amen.

My friends are next on my list. I have a few over fifty year friends who still love me even knowing me through my stupid times. I have a dear friend for over 20 years who lives too far away but has been a life saver and sees me through rose colored glasses. And the close friends I have developed here in my new town over the last three years are awesome. What a blessing to be "just me" with them and be in a family of loving friends and never feel alone with my children so many miles away. Thanks for all my friends.

My blog friends are next on my list. I think I began blogging in 2005. Did I ever imagine that I would have the blessing of making friends online at that time? No. No idea at all. Through the blogging years we have shared sadness and joy, been there in ways we couldn't describe to a non-blogger, building stronger ties each year. Three blogging cheers for my loving and caring blogging buddies around the world!

I am grateful for the various people who have come in and out of my life. I learned lessons from so many people who have helped me on my journey of growth and healing and education and eye opening jolts. I hope I may be some part of other people's journeys and play some part in their healing and growth as well.

Of course, I am grateful to have a safe place to live, a loving cat Lola, comfortable furniture, a great computer, good food, books, music, and a low maintenance vehicle.  More importantly, I appreciate having good health, good eyes, good hearing, and a fairly decent mind.

Thanksgiving Day is being spent with my good friends at their home in the country, taking it easy and each of us doing what we want during the day. I made lasagna using strips of zucchini instead of pasta, and a pumpkin pie. This coming Saturday their children and grands will be all over their house and yard and it will be a fun and full family Thanksgiving gathering, with a traditional meal,  which I am blessed to be part of.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear family and friends. I hope your Grateful List is one that you reflect upon many times throughout this coming year. And may I be part of that list as well. Hugs to each of you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Community Supper

One of the first things I heard about when I moved to this town was the community supper. The Chamber of Commerce puts on a good feed once a year. Free to all in the area. My friends called me last night and said they were coming to get me for the supper.

One of the reasons I didn't go in the past was that the main dish was pancakes which I am sure are not gluten free, so why should I go to eat when I can't eat what they have. But one of my friends is also gluten free so she said she had made some biscuits for us so let's go and enjoy.

The auditorium was full of people when we arrived and the line moved quickly. They obviously had this thing down pat. Very organized. When we got near the food line I saw the largest griddle with a few men around it with spatulas in hand watching and turning the large pancakes, the size of a plate! Then there were roasters full of cooked sausages. My friend and I each were served sausages, three each, and moved down to water and juice. Coffee was delivered to the tables. The four of us met up with several other friends and joked and laughed and ate. I put syrup on my biscuits and enjoyed the evening.

One of the best parts about the affair was the band. The Community Band. I had not been to an event where they played, and was surprised at the number in the band. The stage was jam packed with all the people and their instruments. They played Christmas music and we were singing along and some of the Chamber helpers came over and sang with us. What fun! Another event I want to attend next year and the next and well, you get it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Living It Up

Since I have moved numerous times in my life, I have no idea what it would be like to persevere in one place, in one town or even one state. I enjoy listening to stories my friends tell here in this part of the country of growing up in this area. Dancing was a large part of their lives as teenagers. There are still some lovely dance halls all around this part of Nebraska. I have been to two of them, not to dance, but to observe.

One such time I watched men and women my age and much older dancing to a well known polka band and the place was packed. These people brought small ice chests with them and miniature fans to help cool down between dances. The thing that was imprinted on my memory of that day was seeing their faces light up when the music began and they walked out to the dance floor. They obviously love to dance! The energy level was awesome.

The other place I have watched dancing is at a well maintained ballroom in a town not far from here that is used for huge craft shows, sometimes garage sales, lots of weddings, and of course, dances. The two times I have been to dances, the band played oldies as well as some country western tunes. The dance floor is immense and the band only took one small break, because those people were there to dance, dance, dance. I was singing to the old songs and enjoying watching the dancers. The music was too loud to visit with my friends, but we didn't care, the band was really good, which was why we were all there.

To add to the enjoyment, some of my friends tell how they met their spouses right there in the ballroom, where they were standing, who they were with at the dance, how they were asked to dance by someone they did not know,  the beginning of a life journey of marriage and children and more dances. Pretty nostalgic, isn't it?  I really like that ballroom, and the memories of people living it up there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

More About The Great Post

This is the second in a series I am writing about a great post on the blog Weekend-Windup. The title of that post is Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind.

The second item in this great post is "Learn how to forgive and forget."

Most of us would say we forgive freely and often to those around us who wound us. I personally don't keep track of how many or how often, I know it healthier to forgive and move on.

I thought I was truly forgiving until I realized that I did not Forget the grievance.  I now realize that to truly forgive, I have to forget.  Holding on to things that hurt me must have given me something, must have been a comfort in a sick way. Was I remembering all the times I was the one to hurt someone? No. Too bad, so sad if I was the one doing the hurting.

So it must have been important to me to hold painful things close to my heart and coddle and maybe even exaggerate in the mental replays.

Being honest with myself did not come easily or quickly. But thank God I am finally peeking in the door of unpretentious truth, open and honest eye opening truth.

Learning to forget the wrongs done to me is resulting in a release of resentment which is a burden I no longer want to carry.

Next time you are reminded to "Forgive and Forget", don't forget to forget to truly forgive.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great Post

Over on the blog Weekend-Windup, I found a great post with a list I will be printing out and saving.

This should be a monthly reminder for our finite minds, at least, speaking for myself, I am constantly working on improving all aspects of my being, so this great list will be a help with my growth and learning.

The title of the post is Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind. That is something I am searching for each day:  Peace of Mind.

The first thing on the list is "Do not get into others' business, unless called for help." After years of work in Codependents Anonymous, I finally understand and appreciate this concept. I have to remind myself often when someone is sharing a problem with me, that unless they ask for advice, I am a good friend to listen and just "be there" for them, just as I want the same thing from them. If they want my expert advice, Ha, they will say so.

Even worse is unsolicited advice, when we see someone saying or doing something we think we should advise on because we are so knowledgeable. A good lesson in life has been to learn to mind my own business. And actually, it is a relief not to have to take care of everyone else. I listen to my grown children and sympathize and enjoy their own growth and success and disappointments, but it is not about me and not my business.

It is not cold, it is the opposite, it is loving and caring in a mature way to stay out of others' business.

I will be writing posts in the future about some of the other items on the list in this great post. Check out the blog Weekend-Windup. I'm glad I did.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Your Brain's Silent Killers

A good friend forwarded this link to me and I read the pages of the excerpt from the book "Grain Brain".

The information in the excerpt was not new to me, as I had already come to believe that the way the food is processed today is not like the food I ate as a child. After the modification, the flour a person purchases now is not like the flour we used 50 or 60 years ago.

Living gluten and wheat free has given me a new life. No longer in pain and no longer spending time at doctors and in the bathroom. I usually don't waste time wishing for something, but I often do wish I had known about my allergy to wheat, rye, barley while I was raising my children. It would have been amazing to be their mom and feeling as healthy and strong and pain free as I do now.

I have ordered the book "Grain Brain" from Amazon and will be sharing it with my friends after I read it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Needing Attention

Continuing with my observations of self improvement inspired by the post titled "Constructive Principles For Peace Of Mind" on the blog Weekend-Windup, this post is about needing recognition.

In the blog Weekend-Windup, one item in the list is "Don't look for recognition always."

At a young age, I recognized that many people in my life would give to me, but with strings attached. So I decided that I wanted to grow up to be a person who would give with no expectations. The act of giving, whatever it is, is its own reward.

The funny thing is, that while striving to be anonymous, I was never the person who could walk into a room and blend in, something I always wanted. I would become the center of attention in one way or another. While carrying around my own sad stories, I was given the talent for bringing joy to others. I never met a stranger and related to each person I saw, whether I spoke with them or not.

Giving to others, of myself or some material thing, is a gift to me too. My way of thinking is that material things belong to all of us. Whoever needs it should have it. Holding onto "things" does nothing for me. Giving something away makes me happy. So giving is its own reward.

Learning to accept the attention from others in a gracious manner instead of dreading it has taught me that some recognition can be healthy because it one of the ways we relate to each other as humans. Needing the attention to be happy or feel accepted or part of the thing called life is not healthy.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Two Months To Go

This past summer my son asked me to come visit him and his wife over Thanksgiving. I said yes. Then I talked with my close friend and she asked her husband if he would mind if she went with me, so we talked with my son and said I would be there for his birthday in January. This is a busy time of year around here, the last two months of the year are full of activities and get togethers and projects for me and my friends.

So, in two months my friend and I will be traveling to Honolulu for a visit with my son and daughter-in-law. I have been there a couple times but my friend has never been there and it has been at the top of her bucket list for forty years.

I haven't seen my son in person in 5 years. This is going to be great!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Watching The Kids' Faces

My life insurance policy entitles me to participate in a fraternal group. I just attended the annual state convention about an hour away, a one day meeting full of discussions and voting and eating.

Our local chapter does what we can in the community. Not just one town, but towns in the surrounding area. For Halloween we purchased two bicycles and invited the children to stop by the fire department and sign up for a giveaway while they pick up treats at the fire house. The volunteer fire department held a costume contest.

It is fun and rewarding to watch children appreciate winning a bike. These are not children who are given so much they hardly notice something new. The children in this area are being taught to appreciate and care for things to make them last. They know at a young age their parents work hard to provide for them.

The winners of the bikes this year know the joy of winning. It will be a lasting joy as they ride the bikes for the next several years. And I will enjoy knowing I was part of that. My job this year was to bring the juice boxes for their treats at the fire house. We all voted that the kids get plenty of candy, so we wanted them to have fruit juice from us. This is the kind of town that moms still make popcorn balls for trick or treat.

The younger winner caressed her new bicycle over and over and when asked if she wanted to trade it in for a different color she kept saying "I want THIS one".

I hope you all enjoyed Halloween as much as I did. Hugs to you all.
First Place Winner 
Bicycle Winners

Thursday, October 31, 2013


With love from Lola (my cat) and CiCi (the cat's human). 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


What do little ghosts drink?
Evaporated drink.

What do sea monsters eat for lunch?
Fish and ships.

What do witches put on their hair?
Scare spray.

What do you call a ghost with a broken leg?
Hoblin Goblin.

Can you tell I am getting ready for Halloween?

Saturday, October 26, 2013


A little boy was overheard praying, "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a good time like I am."

After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

One particular four year old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets, as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

I was particularly smitten with the last prayer, for I have been working on my attitude about people who try to "put trash in my basket".  I said Try, because it is up to me what I let get under my skin and who I allow to throw trash my way.  So this is something I continually work on. Amen.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Squash and Leek Lasagna

At my age that did not "sit" right when I first read this.

Then I looked again, and said "Oh, LEEK."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Senior Hour At The Library

We are used to hearing about Story Hour at the library for the little kidlings, but here in my town we have Senior Hour at the library once a month.

As always, there is more to the background and I want to share it with you. The Director of the library has recently retired, not as in getting older and wanting to stop working, but as in a young mother of several children and married to a farmer and is needed at home. She is awesome, as a librarian as well as a member of the community.

One day at a book sale at the library, she and I were the last ones there. Sorting leftover books and talking as we worked. She asked if many of the people at the senior center utilize the library and I said I didn't think so, and then we talked seriously for about an hour and came up with some ideas and themes that would be of interest to the the seniors. A new program was born.

She made flyers and put the news in the local paper that the library would be open for seniors only on the third Wednesday each month. We had discussed times, so it would be possible for the slower moving seniors to attend the library discussions and get to the senior center in plenty of time for lunch.

Each month we look forward to seeing what we will be doing. One time we played a Nebraska Trivia game. Of course I didn't know any of the answers. But it was fun learning about the sports teams and the different towns. This month we were handed a quiz on the origin of Halloween, which we worked on and then discussed as a group. That was fun. Then we were trouped into the computer room and each put at a computer and taught where to find medical and pharmaceutical information for seniors online. As we were heading out the door, we were each given a Halloween cupcake holder full of nuts and corn candy. What fun.

The good news is that the woman who was the director likes working with us seniors as much as we like being with her, so she volunteers her time and comes in to town for our monthly get togethers. She is prepared every time and has some little treat for us. One time she passed out coupons for free ice cream cones at the local Dairy Mart.

It is sometimes the small things in life that, when put together, are what sustains and nurtures a community. I am so blessed to be learning this first hand.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Halloween Month

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

What do you get when you cross Bambi with a ghost?

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its radius?
Pumpkin pi.

What game do ghosts like to play?

What goes "Ha-ha-ha...THUD!"
A monster laughing his head off.

Oh yeah, gettin' in the mood for Halloween.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hee Hee

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

Go ahead, laugh.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fraternal Organization

It doesn't take much to join. Just a life insurance policy. I have a policy and have been attending the monthly lodge meetings this past year.

Each month we meet at the lodge.  We have the one thing in common: We each have a life insurance policy. We don't know the particulars of each policy. We don't need to know each others' business, we just know we are all the same in that one thing.

The ones who attend regularly are involved in the community. After all, that is the mission of a fraternal organization. Each month we have a project to work on together. Once a year the project is the bloodmobile but the rest of the time I work the bloodmobile is on my own because I like it.

The monthly meetings are potluck, something I have done very little of before moving here. And I am finding I like potlucks. What a smorgasbord. I have always been shy about cooking for people I don't live with, so getting past the shyness didn't take long when my food was eaten and the bowl and pans were empty. They liked it! Whew. So now I try out new recipes on the group. Of course everything I prepare is wheat and gluten free and there are two of us in the lodge who have to eat that way.  A couple women even make gluten free for the group occasionally. I have added to my list of interesting people to know and cemented my place in the community further by actively participating in the organization. For a non joiner like me to enjoy hooking up with a group is unexpected, but I am finding, rewarding.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's Too Soon

Sunday was a fun day. Late morning drive to a town with a large place for a craft fair. I went with two friends and we went prepared to buy some gifts. I took my travel shopping bag my daughter gave me many years ago, it has gotten so much use but it still looks fairly new. I did find some amazing things at the craft fair as well as getting a chance to visit with the people who made everything. One lady crochets necklaces, which my friends bought several of before heading home. I bought only one necklace but I spent lots of time at a booth with greeting cards (one of my weaknesses) and I tasted some exceptional home made salsa and bought six pints of various flavors. Of course we stopped by the store for some bags of corn chips before coming home.

Another friend wanted me to join her and her husband watch the grandson play football at the high school field so I wandered down there in the afternoon. After a half hour in the bleachers I wished I had dressed warmer. And after half time snow flakes were coming down. Yikes. I did have on a heavy sweatshirt and a hat and gloves and took my travel mug of hot coffee but by the third quarter I told my friends I love their grandson but I had to get home and thaw out my frozen body. Next time I will over-dress and remove if need be, but gads, snow already? It's too soon.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens.
But they hold happiness, love and joy.
They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy.
They laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take no for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a
birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes, colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run, text  or email you
to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love and laughter.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.
Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.
However, if there is one flaw in women,
it is that they forget their worth.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Life Lessons For Life

The only friends the little girl had were her Chihuahua dog and her cat. The three of them played together for hours in the shed behind the old garage. Using cardboard boxes and boards and leftover material, she had transformed the little room into a home.

Piecing together odds and ends of old clothes, she fashioned baby clothes for her pets. The dog and the cat allowed her to try clothes on them as often as she wished. They knew they were loved.

Living out in the country miles from the nearest neighbor was never lonely with the dog and cat running around the acreage with her. When she stepped on a snake the dog would growl and bark and the cat would hiss and meow and they all ran on to the next adventure.

One day a stranger knocked on the door of the house. When she opened the door, the stranger with sad eyes told her how sorry he was, that the dog had run out into the path of his car on the highway. The dog he put in her arms was dead.

The little girl found the shovel in the messy garage, did her best to dig a hole by the shed, wrapped her precious friend in the clothes she had worked hard to sew by hand, and laid her dog in the hole. She knelt down and scooped the dirt over him by hand, she didn't want to take a chance that the shovel would hit her dog.

That was the first and last funeral she ever attended. To this day she has not been at a funeral. When her grandparents died she was not taken to the funeral. Children were not included at those occasions back then. The other grandparents lived too far away so when they passed away she was told about it later.
When a good friend passed away she had already moved to another state.

Now that the girl is within a few years of 70, she wonders if the first funeral she attends will be her own.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Voice Of The Family Pet

A friend and I were visiting at the library and she told me about a book she recently read about a family dog "speaking" the story. The entire book is in the person of the dog.

She told me that the story is about a family as seen by the pet. It sounded good so I checked it out and brought it home and began reading. I was 2/3 through the book and had to put it down to get some sleep.

There is something for everybody in this book, it is well written, and a quick read. I don't want to say too much except that I am enjoying it immensely. There are many things I can relate to in the book and am sometimes entertained, sometimes sobbing, and often chuckling.

Monday, September 23, 2013


This is one of the last things my mother mailed to me last year. It was a newspaper clipping a friend had sent to her.

As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Kentucky back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out and my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played Amazing Grace the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never see nothin' like that before and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently I'm still lost.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Painted Veil

Have you seen the movie The Painted Veil? I highly recommend it. When I started watching it, I planned on watching half and going to sleep and watching the rest the next day. The movie is 2 hours and 30 minutes long. But it was so interesting I stayed up and watched the entire movie. I like it so much I will watch it again in a few months.

The movie is based on the novel by Somerset Maugham.

Maybe it is because I am a huge fan of both Edward Norton and Naomi Watts that I loved the movie so much. Diana Rigg is also in the movie and I have always liked her acting.

Check it out if you haven't seen it yet. It is a timeless love story with some excellent acting throughout.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

For All You Golf Fans

My kids and their spouses and my grandkids golf. Some of my friends too. The two grandsons play very well. Before I had kids I did golf some and did some archery and was bowling often. The only sport I played while raising my kids was tennis. I could play tennis all day if I didn't have to work. But I would play real early in the morning and go home and get ready for work, maybe one morning a week. Can't find anyone to play tennis with here yet. One friend who golfs each week does play tennis but she doesn't have time for both. There is a bowling alley in town but it is full all the time. So right now the only activities for me are bingo, dominoes, and cards. Ha. My heart and waistline are craving more.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Boogie Through Life

My mother sent this to me a couple years ago. I found the newspaper clipping while cleaning out my file cabinet.

************************Boogie Through Life********************

Don't cry because it is over; smile because it happened.

Pain and suffering are inevitable, but misery is optional.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why is called The Present.

A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.

Everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end.

Be happy. Boogie through life!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Using Ordinary Things

How's this for an imaginative invitation? Inflate a balloon. Pinch end shut but don't tie closed. Write invitation details on the balloon with a bright permanent marker. Make sure the ink is dry before you deflate. Place balloon in an envelope and mail one out to each guest. When your guests receive it, they'll have to blow it up to see what it says.

Note: It is suggested to use a pump for sanitary purposes.

Now I want to have a party.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Easy Peasy Bacon Burgers

Mix ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, prepared horseradish, some seasoning, and real bacon bits together in bowl. Shape into patties. Grill to done. I sometimes add some Worcestershire sauce to the mix. Yum.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

One Of The Universal Laws

Law of Mechanical Repair:  After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

For me, it is as soon as my hands are in the soapy dishwater.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pizza Hut Can Be Ever So Accommodating

A group of us play bingo every Friday afternoon in a town about 15 miles away. Sometimes we go to that town early and have lunch in one of the great little restaurants there. We have driven by the Pizza Hut so many times, thinking there would not be be gluten free fare. I called the Pizza Hut and asked them what they could provide for my friend and me. They invited us to come in for lunch and try the salad bar. They prepared chunks of chicken breast for us to add to our salads. The staff was so accommodating and friendly and fun and the manager even printed out gluten free information on every item in their restaurant and brought the list out to our table.

My salad consisted of great lettuce/carrot mix, pears, sweet banana peppers, green olives, sunflower seeds, cheese, more carrots, cucumber, potato salad and lots of chicken pieces. It was fresh and delicious. I made two trips to the salad bar and am looking forward to visiting Pizza Hut again soon.

If any of you have to eat gluten free or know someone who does, try your local Pizza Hut. I hope your experience is as great as mine was.

My friends ate personal pan pizzas and said they were excellent. We won't be passing by the Pizza Hut any longer.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ghosts And Goblins

What do ghosts and goblins drink on Halloween?

What do ghosts put on top of and ice cream sundae?
Whipped scream.

What do ghosts serve for dessert?
I Scream!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Little Elderly Humor

An elderly man was going up to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police who asked "is someone in your house?"

He said "No, but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me."

Then the police dispatcher said "All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available."

George said "Okay."

He hung up the phone and counted to 30. Then he phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I shot and killed them both, the dogs are eating them right now", then he hung up.

Within five minutes six police cars, a SWAT Team, helicopter, two fire trucks, a paramedic, and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips' residence, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George, "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

Don't mess with older people.

Good thing this is only a joke, or else George would be in jail!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


What do you get when you cross a black cat with a lemon?
A sour-puss.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's Up With The Fires

My brother and sister-in-law and two kids live in Montana. Last week the fire came close to their home and they had to leave, then were allowed to return and then the wind changed and brought the fire even closer to their home. Fire is one of the scariest disasters in my opinion. It ravages acres and homes and lives. It is difficult to control. I know my brother and sister-in-law are very grateful to the hard working fire fighters who have been working to control the fire in their area.

Most of the fire houses in this part of the state where I live are volunteer fire fighters. They get a call and they drop everything and hurry to the fire house and get suited and into the truck. They are trained and hard working and brave.

The fire is not out in Montana, and there is a huge fire in California that is of great concern to all the people who live in that part of the state. After the fire in Arizona took the lives of so many fire fighters recently, I have been reading about the different fires with interest and anxiety. The fact that one of the fires affected my family did make me more involved but the fires are of great concern to us all. Material things can be replaced; fellow human beings cannot. Be safe everyone, as safe as possible.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It Takes Time

Moving isn't quite the quick turnaround that it used to be. Growing up in a somewhat transient family and then in foster homes, changing environments and locations was the way of life. Young adult years were a continuation of change with a husband who craved the moves as much as I did. Looking back over those years I have to wonder at how much was spent in moving costs alone. Each new place was painted and fixed up and turned into "home".

The moves did become fewer when we started buying the homes. But that just meant we moved state to state after a few years, living in five states six or seven years in each state. Traveling across country a few times was a great adventure each time.

At this stage of my life I have no desire to own another home. Renting is the right thing for me. I can still make a nice home for myself and my cat Lola. We have been in our duplex a month now. Lola is adjusting to the new place finally and I have plenty to do to update the place with the blessing of the landlord. I have a couple more rooms to paint and then I will tackle the kitchen, stripping wallpaper and putting up new blinds and valance. I haven't hung pictures yet because I move them from room to room until I know they are in the permanent place. I like doing these things but this is the first time I have more to do with friends and have to find time to work at home. I am enjoying the card games and bingo and road trips and the various impromptu adventures here. Who would have thought there were so many fun things to do in Nebraska? Ha. Don't let the secret out, I don't want lots of people moving here and turning this great place into a hectic one like the one I left in California.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


If I am not able to give blood myself, I can sure help at the bloodmobile. Today was a good day as the city auditorium was transformed into a Red Cross convenient place to donate blood. I worked the registration desk with my good friend, Alice. The people donating are called to the next area where they are screened and tested. The ones able to donate are then led to a vacant table and made comfortable.

After they fill up a bag with their blood, they are escorted to an area set up like a lunch room and fed sandwiches and chips and pickles and snacks and drinks. The volunteers are encouraged to partake in the fare, but since I eat gluten free there is usually not much I could snack on anyway. But it is fun to watch the folks munching and visiting until they are told it is okay for them to go when they are ready.

There is truly a need for blood, and I admire the people who share with others like this. The one and only time I be-bopped into a Red Cross bloodmobile years ago, I was on the table a long time, long enough to watch people on each side of me come and go several times. Finally the lab tech told me I can't give blood, they couldn't even get a third of what they get from others. My itty bitty veins don't cut the mustard, or in this case, the blood.  But that doesn't keep me from helping in my own way.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bingo Babes

My closest friends and I go together to bingo in various local areas. Another group of gals from our area have been playing bingo together for years and they wear cute shirts that say "Bingo Babes".

We get along very well with the other group, and sometimes share rides, and we told them we are going to get shirts too. But we can't come up with a name we like.

Someone suggested "Bingo Beauties", and we have thought maybe "We win at Bingo" (we do!), or "Seniors Do It At Bingo".

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Neighbor Kids

There is a nice family living across the street from where I have been living. Seven children, some not living at home now, but the three youngest are about 10, 8, and 5.

Those three youngest kids would take care of my cat when I would be out of town. They are Lola's  catsitters. And they took the job seriously. They would come over in the morning and clean the cat box and put fresh water and dry food in the bowls. Then each evening they would repeat the tasks. Their mom would private message me on my facebook page with updates of how Lola was doing.

Sometimes when I would walk out the door and head to the car, one or all of the kids would say "Hi, CiCi, how is Lola?"  Or, "Do you want to see the worm we found?"

One day this week after taking a car load to the new place, I returned home to find a bag hanging on my door. A hand written note was taped to the front of the bag that says To CiCi from each child's first name and then their last name. Inside are notes from each of the three children, loving and sweet notes as well as pictures they drew and painted for me. And the present was a plastic container of berries they picked in their yard.

Thank goodness this is a very small town. I would be sad to think I wouldn't see these kids again. They would sometimes ask if I needed help carrying something. I think I will keep this bag and notes for a long time.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How Is The Move Going

How is the move going, you ask. Well, it feels like I am in a sort of limbo. When I saw the duplex the middle of June, the landlord told me I would able to move in on July 1st. So I am paying rent in this place and the new place, as well as all the utilities. This is a costly month.

When I went to the new place the afternoon of July 1st nothing had been done. The landlord had told me he would have new carpet in the hallway and living room, new mini blinds throughout, plumbing issue in bathroom ceiling fixed, and I would be able to put my car in the garage. None of that has happened.

Yesterday the carpet was pulled up in the hallway and living room and the huge riding lawn mower and two other mowers and ladders and tools were rearranged in the garage so I can at least start storing boxes in the garage now. The car, though, will not be able to be in the garage yet. I don't need the car in the garage, but it riles me to pay for something and not get it.

Today I am heading over to the new place to continue cleaning. The kitchen is four times the size of the kitchen here in this little apartment so after I get the cupboards cleaned I will start taking over kitchen things. It will get done, just not as I had planned in the timing I had scheduled.

If I ever mention the "move" word again, just slap me silly!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saving The Economy

To help save the economy, the government will announce that the immigration department will start deporting seniors instead of illegals in order to lower social security payouts and medicare costs.

Older people are easier to catch and can't remember how to get back home.

This is obviously a joke, someone sent it to me in email. But, hey, how many of you will I see on the bus?

This is the kind of senior joke that my friends and I send to each other regularly.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Last night two friends invited me to go with them to the next town to watch fireworks. We parked in industrial area, got chairs out of the car, and sat and visited till the fireworks began. Hundreds of people were doing the same. Families had come earlier and eaten. The family next to us was playing cards. It was like being at a campground, one of my favorite things to do.

Fireworks began at 10:00, lasted about a half hour. They were humongous. We had perfect seats for the view of city skyline and the wonderful fireworks display.

Afterwards we drove into town for ice cream sundaes!

Whatever you have planned for today or end up doing on this fourth of July, stop for a moment and say a prayer of thanks for our freedom as a country and count yourself among the people with the wisdom to see the need to protect and preserve this planet.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Elderly Drivers

This was sent via email, making the rounds to all my friends. Not a true story, but it probably has some truth in it anyway.

My neighbor was working in his yard when he was startled by a late model car that came crashing through his hedge and ended up on his front lawn.

He rushed to help an elderly lady driver out of the car and sat her down on a lawn chair.

He said with excitement "You appear quite elderly to be driving."

"Well, yes I am", she replied proudly.

"I'll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don't even need a driver's license to drive anymore."

"The last time I went to my doctor he examined me and asked if I had a driver's license. I told him yes, and handed it to him. He took scissors out of the drawer, cut the license into pieces, and threw it into the waste basket saying 'you won't need this anymore', so I thanked him and left."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Glenn Miller

One more stop on the Iowa road trip was an evening at the Glenn Miller Museum. What a beautiful building, inside and outside.  I was in ninth grade when I really became award of Glenn Miller's music and his unique sounds. We watched an hour long movie in the theater at the museum with clips of Glenn's life that are not seen anywhere else and followed his story from childhood to his death. I ended up liking him even more after learning so much about him.

The director of the museum was gracious and helpful and friendly. He was putting up some twinkle lights in one area that was being converted for the evening for a surprise date. One of the young men who volunteers at the museum had asked if he could bring his prom date there for a surprise picnic supper before the prom, so they made room in one cubicle for a table and two chairs. The young man brought a nice tablecloth and his guitar and amp and was going to play his own songs for her during the meal and then he was going to serenade her with his newest song for her. He borrowed his uncle's BMW to pick her up and treat her like a princess. We met the young man while he was preparing the area and we both sighed audibly as we exclaimed that we know the girl will be thrilled with the way he planned every detail. He made three large flowers out of duct tape and then painted them, then took those flowers to the florist shop for them to make a small table arrangement around his flowers. We asked what the food would be in the picnic basket and he replied "steak and pineapple". It was an added bonus for my friend Shirley and me to be in on the surprise. Doesn't that sound romantic?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Apartment Living

He helped his mother move out of her apartment and then he and his wife and two year old moved into the almost empty apartment for a month of free living.

The noises from the apartment suggested they were chronic fighters. Screaming and yelling and sounds of bodies pushed (or thrown) against the wall.

They would go outside the apartment building and chain smoke on the back steps, leaving hundreds of cigarette butts on the landing and the surrounding area.  The two year old showed signs of being a troubled child, constantly whining, crying, and hitting and kicking his parents.

One night after another loud fight, the mother brought the child and a suitcase out their car. As she was fastening the child into the toddler seat, her husband ran up to her and tried getting her to talk to him, saying he couldn't live without her and how could she leave after all he had done for her. She buckled in the child, got into the drivers seat, and drove off. The man went back in the apartment.

Within five minutes, the woman was back in the parking spot. She left the child in his seat in the car, and she went back to the apartment, pounding on the door, saying to let her in, that she wanted the cell phone. He unlocked the door, she went in, and the door closed. Then shouting and more sounds of hitting and being thrown up against the wall and the inside door, with her screaming that she wanted the cell phone, where was the cell phone. It was hard to tell which one was on the receiving end of the physical abuse. All this time the child was out in the car.

After twenty minutes the fighting ended. He walked his wife to their car, he retrieved the suitcase, she got the child out of the seat, they all three walked into the apartment where things were "normal" for a day.

The apartment was across the hall from mine and the car was parked in front of my window. I was exhausted just being a spectator. I worried about the child being left alone in the car and I cringed at the sounds of things being thrown, especially when some sounds were clearly a person being hit and pushed.

I think about this family occasionally and know that there are many families like this one.  Children being raised by troubled adults who have no idea how to raise children. What a vicious cycle. Breaking that chain is more than difficult.

Have you been around situations like this?

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Out of Joint

What else?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Buffalo Bill Cody

One of the prettiest small towns in Iowa is Leclaire. Along the water, quaint shops, very small main part of town. A few houses and B & B's.

I found a wire basket and some older tablecloths in a pleasant shop full of collectables.

We spent a few hours scouring each item in the Buffalo Bill Cody museum and then listened to  hand held tour info while walking through the steamboat.

Down the street from Buffalo Bill's museum is a shop for guys, American Pickers on television sell some of their stuff here. They also have tee shirts and plaques and books they wrote. This place was busier with tourists than the Buffalo Bill museum. Tourists were lined up out front waiting for the American Pickers store to open.

The visit to Leclaire Iowa was interesting and fun and the natural beauty of the town will be a pleasant memory for me for a long time.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Czech Museum

One of the many displays in the museum.

An elaborate hat with beautiful handiwork.

The new museum.

The old building on blocks.
We visited several museums during the two week road trip through Iowa. Small museums and some very large ones too. The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids IA is beautiful. It is located in Czech Village so there are shops and restaurants within walking distance of the museum where more Czech sights and  aromas invite passersby to stop and check it out.

A few years ago a horrendous flood damaged much of that part of Iowa and there are signs of continuing rehab and refurbish, as well as many people mentioning the flood in conversation. It made an impact on all their lives.

The Czech Museum was on lower ground and the muddy waters thoroughly damaged the museum and all the books. The books are being slowly and meticulously restored by professionals using modern techniques. The building was emptied, lifted up on blocks and moved to the current location across the street from where it was, and stands majestically on the hill looking down on the scene of the flood damage. We watched an interesting movie of the process of the huge undertaking of the move. The Czech community came together to work quickly and efficiently in the effort to salvage the bones of the building, move it to higher ground, rebuild and expand. The "new" museum has been open over a year and is absolutely beautiful. The community has come a long way from the humble beginnings of Czech immigrants.

Many of my neighbors and friends are Czech, which made the excursion to the museum even more interesting. Of course I bought a souvenir tee shirt there and enjoy remembering my time there every time I wear the shirt.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wake Up, Little Susie

Across the street is old train depot that is now a restaurant.
Music of all kinds was part of my childhood. I was singing Everly Brothers songs for years. It was a treat to be in the town they lived in as children and see the small house they called home. Shenanhoah, Iowa pays tribute to the Everly Brothers. And why not? The Everly Brothers were influential in the music world for many other musicians. In their seventies now, they still perform as backup singers and write music.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Great Photography, great opportunity. Too bad it isn't mine. Someone sent me an email with this photo in it.