Sunday, June 29, 2014


Orange barrels dot the landscape. There is alot of road work going on around here. Detours are everywhere, taking you to out of the way places. It takes a painstakingly long time to go from one side of town to the other. On ramps and off ramps to major highways are being redone. Lanes are being widened. Sidewalks and angled parking are being put in. One area of town is adding a roundabout. And near us they are rebuilding and repairing bridges. All of this has changed the traffic patterns and has made for a congested daily commute. People are frustrated. Cops have stepped up their game hoping to nab those not wearing their seat belts or speeding. Just the other day... one pulled me over, far away from the construction zones... for going 5 mph over the limit of 45, on a back country road. I understand the need for safety... but 5 mph over??? I've seen folks going much faster, believe me, on that same stretch of road. And I bet they've never seen those flashing lights, telling them they're in trouble. Even though, they should have. Come on. I'm an old lady. I meant no harm. I was on my way to Walmart. Give me a break. Fortunately... he did. My information was in order and I had no previous citations. So the nice police officer left me off with just a warning. Thank goodness for small favors. Ever since my uniform encounter, though... speed has been bumped off my radar. I have been creeping along, out there on the road... so much so... that cars are now passing me where they probably shouldn't... going faster than ever. Where are the cops? Next thing you know I'm going to get a ticket for going too slow, while all these other guys speed off to their destination. Have you ever gotten a ticket?

Monday, June 23, 2014


A few months ago... I had a taxing day. The hubby was out of town and the younger daughter was texting me from Alaska, non-stop,  complaining about her lot in life... Meanwhile, I was left to fend for myself on the home front.  My hubby gets a free meal and complimentary drinks on the house... when he's on the road for business. That makes me a tad bit jealous and this particular night I wanted to be pampered too.  I needed to sit somewhere and just relax. So... I went out to eat at a nicer place than usual, knowing he'd probably be mad at me for doing it. But figuring... sometimes a girl has to do, what a girl has to do.  I scoured the menu for something good to eat, finally settling for a chicken and crabmeat dish that wasn't particularly cheap. Then... I ordered a Bellini Tea. I passed the time, texting my daughter. Usually I'm quite observant. But... due to where my table was located... I didn't have a view of the room I was in... to see the people that surrounded me. The meal was served. I ate it. I wasn't particularly impressed. So... I  ordered dessert. A piece of white chocolate, raspberry cheesecake.  When the waitress brought it to the table I nearly swooned. It looked delicious, and I can attest to the fact, every single bite was heavenly. I sat there a little while longer enjoying the afterglow of this delight. I knew that I had quite a large bill to pay, for the luxury of this meal, and waited patiently for the waitress to bring my tab... thinking perhaps, I should have gone somewhere else to eat. When she approached the table she was smiling. I smiled back. Then... it all went south on my part. She looked at me and said, "Your check has been picked up by a very nice person. I can't tell you who it is. They prefer to remain anonymous. But... they want you to have a very nice day." Her words didn't translate. I was in shock. I was gobsmacked. I thought she was kidding. Not one word came out of my mouth, not even a thank-you. I'm ashamed to say... I literally sat there just staring at her, dumbfounded. She said, "You are free to leave anytime." And walked away. I fumbled with the cash in my hand trying to decide what to do. My first instinct was to put the money I owed on the table. But... I didn't. Instead, I left the waitress a tip, only. I stood up... looked around the room, then seeing nobody looking back... I left, trembling. I sat in my car for the next ten minutes and began to cry. Who would do such a thing? And why pick me? What did they want? I didn't deserve this kind of gesture. For days afterwards it haunted me, and I was in a quandary about it. I know I should have felt touched, and lucky. But I didn't. I felt like a victim. I felt guilty. I had the money to pay. I wasn't a charity case. Someone less fortunate should have been the recipient. Not the reaction the person paying for my meal probably expected me to have, right? They wanted to make me happy and I wasn't. Do you think it was a strange reaction?? In retrospect it probably was, wasn't it? And I still don't know why I responded that way. But I did. Now let's fast forward a couple weeks later. Let me preface this by saying... my parents and I live... five hundred miles apart. They are on a fixed income. My dad had a stroke last autumn, and now uses a walker to help him stand and get around. So, my mom and him, usually don't like to venture too far from home. But... one day they were restless and decided to drive out of town for dinner. They went to a nice buffet style restaurant. They had a delicious meal, a nice conversation and were friendly, smiling at the people around them.  One man in particular caught my mom's eye. He stopped at their table to say goodbye, even though my parents didn't know him. He told them to have a nice day. My mom said, "Thank you. You have a nice day." When it came time for my folks to settle the bill, the waitress came over to the table and said, "Your check has been picked up by a very nice person. I can't tell you who it is. They prefer to remain anonymous." I KID YOU NOT. The same deed. The same words I had heard. Talk about a coincidence. WHAT are the odds of that happening in two different states... halfway across the country... within a month's time??? Needless to say, my parents were also surprised by the nice gesture, but they managed to say, "Thank You" to the waitress. And thought that... perhaps the gentleman that said hello to them... was their benefactor. Perhaps he was. I will never know who treated me. I still regret not saying thank you, at the time.  What's the old saying, "You never look a gift horse in the mouth." However, since then, I have learned to be extremely grateful for what happened to me, that day. With my husband about to lose his job... and us to be on a limited income, with just Social Security in the next few months... I realize the significance of the selfless act this stranger performed. And I've learned to not feel so guilty about it. It was the gesture, not the monetary value of the deed, however, that's important. I should have enjoyed the moment, reveled in it and not fretted so much over it. A kind stranger, made a new memory for me. One, I will always treasure for the lessons it taught me. In the days that followed these experiences... my mom and I have done a number of different things, in our own way,... to PAY IT FORWARD to others, hoping to bring a smile to someone else's face.  I wanted to share this story with you and say that RANDOM ACTS of KINDNESS, big or small, can change a person's life. Find a way in your heart, to PASS it ON. PAY IT FORWARD.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

REPURPOSING A Relic from the Past

I love being outside on my patio. We have one in the backyard and one in the front yard. The one out back has been abandoned by yours truly in favor of the front one. Years ago, before the onslaught of today's fire-pits... I decided I wanted to enjoyed a fire outside. But there was nothing commercially available for that purpose except chimineas. Because we couldn't handle the weight of one of those, without the possibility of breaking it, we had to come up with another solution. Building something was not cost effective. So... we gave it a lot of thought and couldn't figure anything else out. Then... one day I was exploring a quaint antique store in Indiana. Back in the corner, almost hidden from view, I saw an old potbelly stove. I instantly knew I had my outdoor fireplace. So I had the proprietor load it in the car and I brought it home. After repurposing it... it has housed many outdoor patio fires, throughout the years. And it has brought me great joy. It was more than worth the price I paid. But these days the weed trees have overtaken the back patio and I seldom if ever get out there to use it. My hubby has COPD and with my bad knees we can't really do the clean up needed to spruce the place up to it's former glory. It makes me sad seeing that old potbelly stove just sitting there. Makes me wonder if I should sell it and pass on the joy it could bring. What do you think???? Should I keep it for old times sake?  Or not?

Friday, June 13, 2014


(click on picture to enlarge)

to my hubby, my dad, my brother
and all my blog buddies.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


My hubby and I have different tastes in things. Case in point... a visit to a Michigan Coney Island restaurant. I liked the flashy decor. But truth be told... I wasn't in the mood for anything that had coney sauce on it. My husband thought that this was sacrilege. Why bother to go there, he wondered?  I insisted life wasn't all about coney sauce. They had lots of interesting choices on the menu.
Hani's for instant. In case you've never heard of it.... "A Hani is a Michigan created wrap sandwich that starts with a loaf of pita bread. Mayonnaise is spread on the loaf followed by slices of American and Swiss cheese, tomato, shredded lettuce and breaded, fried chicken tenderloins."  Sounds interesting, doesn't it?

 I would have chosen one of them but I found something even more mouthwatering... A Turkey Reuben. It was just what my taste buds were looking for.

My hubby chuckled when I ordered it. He maintained you do not come to a Coney Island restaurant unless that's what you're going to get. So he opted for the Coney Chili, instead. 

We both added a salad.

we saved room for dessert later on. 
Again at odds with each other... 
I indulged by picking the 
homemade baklava and my hubby 
simply chose the vanilla ice cream. 

(I had a bite before I took the picture.) 

Do you have different 
food preferences 
from your family members?