Monday, July 27, 2015


I love to grocery shop. But, there is one aspect to it, that drives me bonkers. That is... opening the plastic bags to deposit fruit or veggies. It is a real chore for me. No ifs, ands, or buts about it… I can not master the art, of doing what should be, a simple task. Those bags remain firmly closed, and I struggle to open 'em… for at least 5 to 10 minutes, each time…  feeling like a complete idiot. Nothing rattles my cage more than this. Well, perhaps that is overstating the problem a bit. But you catch my drift, right? As I attempt to gather my produce.... dealing with these bags is... irritating, distracting, not to mention... time consuming. Is it me? Or do you too, have an issue with them? If not, do you have any quick tips, to outsmart these pesky PLASTIC bags, so they say OPEN SESAME? This frustrated lady wants to know? Personally, I’d prefer PAPER ones, instead. Maybe, I should petition my local store, to offer them as an option... for old, weary shoppers with fumblefingers. Or is that BUTTERFINGERS? Why am I suddenly craving chocolate?


Monday, July 20, 2015


Fountains delight me. I am mesmerized by them. Songs have been written about them and movies made. You find these glorious water features in the most conspicuous places. They reside on the grounds of museums, libraries, office buildings, town squares, malls, home gardens and the like. And they are always the center of attention. You see that water spurting up to the sky, and you are immediately drawn to the fountain. What adult doesn’t reach deep into their pocket or purse, to extract a penny or two, to throw inside the reflecting pool, puddling below? As young children we are taught to “make a wish” as we toss a coin into the fountain. And if we are lucky, that wish might really come true. If only we believe, lore tells us. The truth is, fountains give us hope. They make the seemingly impossible, possible for one scintilla of a second. They bring us comfort. The sound of the water… stills our hearts, and we feel no stress. The world is free of pain, fear. Time stands still. And we smile, don’t we? As we gaze deep within. Throughout the years, I have made my fair share of wishes… as I have tossed countless coins, into various fountains… across this great land. The other day was no exception. We were at the hospital. My husband was having some tests. After his procedures were over, we sat down, him and I… on a bench near a beautiful fountain, outside. With noise all around, there was a stillness there. A peaceful calm. It was in the middle of the afternoon. And as is customary, we parted with some loose change, hoping for a positive outcome. A wish come true. An answer to our prayers. But suddenly… our solitude was disturbed. And we watched in horror, as our money was scooped up by a groundskeeper. He was mopping up the coins, with a broom and placing them in a BIG ugly plastic bucket. Where was the MAGIC in that? Where were all those coins going? To what cause? Surely… it was bigger than our wishes, alone? When we asked, he said, it would be noble if the coins went to an organization like, “Make A Wish Foundation.” But… the truth is, he told us… they go into a fund to maintain the fountain. Nothing more, nothing less. End of story. This momentarily threw us for a loop. We were disillusioned. But we supposed, it ultimately made sense. Look at all the joy it brings to thousands of people every day. Without the fountain… where would all those WISHES, go? We watched this worker finish his job, take the money and leave. My husband and I… looked at each other. Despite our ages, we are still young at heart. Without hesitating, we reached deep into our pockets, once again... finding a few more spare coins... and we tossed them, with reckless abandon, into the fountain. Heads, say we win... whatever we wish. BECAUSE we BELIEVE.



Monday, July 13, 2015


My husband and I married many moons ago in Michigan. This week is our anniversary. It is a milestone year and begs for a celebration. We have been housebound for a long time, taking only staycations to the lake. It has been raining excessively, too. Traveling to somewhere exotic would be nice. A trip to Hawaii or Paris, as much as we’d like them, is out of the question, though. The money we have in the bank won’t stretch quite that far. However, we should be able to afford a little more than we did, back on our twenty-fifth anniversary. That was eons ago. Back then, we had not one thin dime to our names. We were living in a dirt cheap motel. And we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to celebrate, because it was FREE. We spent the entire day dealing with other people’s children… pushing, shoving, screaming and crying. It was not exactly the romantic adventure we had imagined. But we made do, trying to enjoy ourselves. The animals made it worth our while. My hubby and I...then sought out, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, nearby... where we renewed our vows, saying a little ditty to each other... with lots of people milling about. It was sweet, but crowded... yet, somehow intimate enough, to mark the occasion. No one embraced us or the moment, so we went on our way. (Nowadays it would have been captured by a stranger’s cellphone and posted on social media.)  After our little impromptu ceremony... we picked up a cheeseburger, small fries and a drink... splitting the order  in half, to share in our motel room. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. That was it. No friends, family. Just us. More years, than we care to mention... have passed since then. And, we've had plenty of other anniversaries to celebrate in style, with all the bells and whistles. But now, because of our advancing ages, particularly my husband's... this anniversary, this week... is especially important. Because the truth is... it could be our last one together. The Grim Reaper looms. So... we racked our brains for ideas. What to do or where to go to celebrate. Unfortunately, the main issue at hand is our mobility. Wherever we go... has to be easy to navigate, with little if any walking involved. And parking must make the place accessible. Breathing in the elements... is also a potential deal breaker, because of my husband’s pulmonary problems. The heat and humidity are not COPD friendly. So no risk taking in July. Yet… our hearts desire is strong. The outdoors beckons. The ocean is calling us home. But not yet. Not this week. In the late fall, instead... when the temperatures drop and wearing a sweater is a necessity. Somewhere, where the sharks aren’t biting... we’ll be renting a room for a week... in a vintage 1950’s motel with an ocean view. We’ll be chilling… with a few mimosas, or perhaps mulled cider… sitting on our butts, in a couple of basket weave lounge chairs… watching the waves roll in… as the sun rises out on the Atlantic Ocean. Did you know that ocean is the same color as my husband’s eyes? A beautiful seafoam green. My heart beats a little faster, when I see them both. Let’s hope nothing happens to change our plans between, now and then. We’re more than a little excited.

Monday, July 6, 2015


I was shopping and noticed the autumn Yankee Candles are out in the stores, right now. Seems kind of early to me. But I love Fall, so I had to peek at them.  I wanted to see what new names were in the mix. The old standby’s were there, Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin Cupcake. Who doesn’t love those? I figured the names I wasn’t familiar with, must be the new releases. Fall Wreath, Fresh Salted Caramel, Ripe Berries, Sweet Red Apple, Cinnamon Meringue, Apple and Pumpkin Picking… just to name a few. Some of them sound good enough to eat, don't they? I particularly loved the aroma of Ripe Berries. However, the one that really stood out to me, was Brisk Morning Air. How do you capture the feel of that in a 22 oz. jar? I tried to conjure up an image of myself… outside at dawn, watching the sunrise, in the early October sky. Feeling that cool, crispness of the morning… as I pulled my sweater, a little tighter around my shoulders, shivering... inhaling, exhaling… seeing my breath hover in the air, as I take in the season. The scent of burning leaves lingering from the night before, fresh coffee being brewed. Yet, that doesn’t really describe the complexity of such a morning does it? There is something in the brisk, dawn of a Fall morn, that envelops you in a hug. It draws you in, encouraging you to plant your feet and stay awhile. If someone could package and deliver that experience to your front door, you would buy it, wouldn’t you? Hence, the candles I was looking at. Curious, I took a sniff. This MORNING one was intriguing, smelled nice, fragrant. Not sure if morning dawned, but I liked it a lot. Enough to buy it. Yankee Candle says this about their Brisk Morning Air candle, "With the crisp scents of eucalyptus and mint layered beneath soft pear and sage, it's like that first deep breath of bright, clean air on a morning far, far away." And here I thought... Autumn had something to do with it. Or maybe it does? 

(PS. I got the RIPE BERRIES candle too.)

Friday, July 3, 2015


“Freedom is the open window
through which pours the sunlight
 of the human spirit.”



Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I confess I am a procrastinator.  I take my time getting things done. Looks like it has finally paid off. Late November in 2014, when I decorated the front porch for Christmas, I still had pumpkins sitting on the stoop.  I was going to throw them away, but they were in excellent shape, not a bit of  rot. So I kept them. But I did not let them stay on the porch. I moved them because I was afraid my neighbors might make snide remarks, seeing my autumn decorations mixed in with my Christmas display. Yes, it’s silly to worry about what other people think, but I admit I do. Because I have mobility issues I couldn’t carry the pumpkins too far. So, I ended up putting them, a few feet away. It was at the edge of my flowerbed, out of sight, from the street, but visible to me on the patio... so I could still enjoy them, until the snow flew. And it is there… they resided all winter long, gradually disappearing into the deep, dark ground, they rested on. I could never make the time to put them in the garbage heap. Out of sight, out of mind… I never thought about these pumpkins again, until yesterday. Because of all the rain we’ve been getting here, I haven’t had the opportunity to sit out on our patio this summer. But the sun was shining, so yesterday I did. Even though my yard is a mess and my flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds... It was beautiful out there, listening to the birds chirp. While I was practicing the ancient art of Boketto... suddenly my eyes focused on some yellow flowers. They were in the middle of a plethora of vines, I knew I never planted. It gradually dawned on me, what they were. The seeds from the pumpkins that had decomposed last winter, had apparently germinated. Flowers and vines were everywhere. Soon pumpkins would be sprouting. Mother Nature is full of surprises, isn’t she? I never in my wildest dreams thought there would be pumpkins growing in my flowerbed, this year.  I am so excited about the notion of having my own homegrown pumpkins, I can think of nothing else. While my fingers are crossed that this delightful orange fruit will arrive just in time for Halloween... I realize it will probably happen much, much sooner. I pray they survive the bugs and varmints that will attack. This is Mother Nature's garden project not mine, so whatever happens, happens. I will not interfere. I'm hoping for a successful outcome, though. In the end, I wonder how many pumpkins these vines will yield?  From where I sit, even one… from this random occurrence, will be cause for celebration… don’t you think? "No more store bought pumpkins for me," she said to herself, optimistically. 

Monday, June 22, 2015


When I got a subscription to Prevention and Oprah magazines, I didn't realize the headaches it would cause, down the road.  While I enjoyed the publications at hand... I decided I no longer wanted either one of these magazines, at the end of the year. So, I didn't renew. But… because they had my credit card number, they took it upon themselves to renew for me, automatically. I was upset when I found out what they had done. I tried to cancel the new subscriptions. This was no easy feat, since I had unsuspectingly ordered the magazines from a third party, and not the magazines themselves. Finding the third party contact information was near impossible, since I had no idea who those companies were. And the magazines claimed not to know either. So I was going around in circles until I contacted the bank. They told me they could not undo the charges. They said too much time had lapsed… since the transactions occurred and I had discovered it. So, it appeared I had no recourse and was going to be out the money. I thought... what a racket these magazine folks had going on. They were making money doing something, somewhat underhanded, hoping people don’t notice. But, all hope was not lost, for me. The bank was able to give me the name of the third party who charged the credit card. At this point, I handed the problem off to my husband. I was convinced I’d make no headway if I tried. The information the bank provided, enabled him to contact the third party sellers. Unfortunately, instead of human intervention… this company automated their response, to any and all inquiries. They put my husband through a maze of prerecorded questions and answers… that seemingly did not allow, for a reversal of the renewed subscription. He was stuck in limbo… until he found a tiny crack in their veneer, by pushing this button or that… managing to painstakingly navigate his away around their automated system, until they had no choice, but to issue the refund and cancel the subscription. It took almost 2 hours on the phone to do this. I kid you not. But in the end, mission accomplished, without ever talking to another human being. The moral of this story is this… if an item you purchased, comes up for renewal or an upgrade in the future, that you do not want, BEWARE. You will forget that it does. Giving a company your credit card information... allows them to also use it, a year or two, later… unbeknownst to you. The charge will slip through on your bank statement, unless you are vigilant. Then, you may get stuck in a revolving door, like I did, with no way out. Unless you get lucky and catch them at their own game.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Time to be true to yourself.

If you're in the mood...
Do a little work around the house.

Binge Watch a little TV.

Make something to eat
out on the grill.

 Then spend the rest of the day

"A truly rich man is one
 whose children 
run into his arms,
 even when his wallet is empty."

to my hubby, my dad, my brother,
my son-in-law
and all my blog buddies. 


Sunday, June 14, 2015


The other day, I looked death in the eye, and cheated it… by some fast thinking. What happened was this. I was rounding a curve on a narrow stretch of road between my house and the lake. I was headed to the water’s edge for some much needed solace. It had started to drizzle. So the road was slick. I was traveling in accordance with the speed limit, so I wasn’t overly concerned. Then… out of the blue, I saw something that shook me to my core, and damn near gave me a heart attack. Coming straight towards me, hogging the entire road, with no room to spare, was a house. You heard me, a house.  A ranch house… sitting on top of a flatbed truck, overhanging on all sides, obviously too big for this mode of transport. I saw no customary warning vehicle in front of it, to give me a heads up... this monstrosity was there. All my eyes could focus on, was just this big house… headed right at me, going faster than the speed of light. It looked like it might tip over on top of me, if it did not hit me first. Suddenly, I saw my life flash before my eyes. A line from an old Mary Chapin Carpenter song came to mind.  “Everything can change in the blink of an eye. One minute you’re the windshield. One minute you’re the bug.”  I looked for someplace to go. There was only one option, the grassy berm. So… with seconds to spare, I jerked my car in that direction, hard right, skidding to a complete stop. Then, I held my breath and mumbled a prayer. I was certain the end was here. The car vibrated and I clung to the seat. The house missed me by a hair. It was that close. I sat there for a moment taking in what had just happened. It was surreal. That driver’s load and reckless behavior had almost gotten me killed. Shaken, but still alive… I pulled away and continued on to the lake. I needed to decompress. I had just been spared and I was going to make the most of it… starting right then and there. The road is dangerous. Do not take it for granted. Defensive driving saves lives. PRACTICE it, religiously. PS) Further down that road… where it became a double hwy… was another house, similar to the one I had had a close encounter with. It was sitting there waiting to make that perilous journey around that same narrow curve. I prayed nobody got in it's way. I pulled over and snapped a photo… because seeing is believing. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Happy and Healthy

We never thought we would stop feeling guilty for putting Dara through surgery. All did not go according to plan in our cat’s recovery process. Immediately following the operation she was a total wreck. She couldn't walk without wobbling and falling down. Her eyes were filled with sadness. We were filled with regret. Her long wispy whiskers had been reduced to stubble. Her sister was mad at her for no darn reason. It seemed nothing would be alright ever again. The week after surgery, Dara decided her stitches were itching, and she needed to scratch them. So she rubbed her head, on anything and everything that would give her relief. It got so bad she rubbed a spot raw on her face. We were told we were going to have to put one of those cone things on her head if she did not stop. As per the Vet's instructions we used Neosporin on the area that was sore. Dara would then rub her paw all over it, removing the medication. It became a battle of wits. It took time but the cat finally made progress. Slowly over the next two weeks, she healed. At long last, we thought we were in the home stretch. Unfortunately her sister Mira got in the act. A day or two... before Dara’s stitches were to be removed by the Veterinarian… Mira used her little kitty cat teeth, to dig into Dara’s face and extract half of the stitches herself. There was a bloody mess. Dara was upset. We were upset. Mira was in the doghouse. We cleaned up the wound. Some of the stitches remained. The Vet cut them off and told us Dara would be fine. A month has passed since the whole tumor ordeal began. We’re glad it’s all over. Dara is still a bit lopsided because her whiskers haven’t completely grown back. But...her hair has, where the tumor once was. She is a tough cookie, our Dara. She survived this (and so did we).Finally she is acting like her old self. That old spark has been reignited and she's back to being ornery. We count our blessings. The outcome could have been much worse. We want to say thank you for all your love and support out there in BlogLand. Could not have done it without you. Dara says thank you too. She wants you to know, 'cats really do have nine lives'. And she's getting on with hers. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Years ago… our oldest daughter (and boyfriend) rented a rambling old  house with lovely flowerbeds, in the heart of downtown, adjacent to a small library. My husband and I used to marvel at the architecture of the house, compared to the antiseptic modern look of the library. The woodwork inside this house was exquisite. It transported you back in time. My daughter wanted to live there forever. Unfortunately, she was told the lease was up, because the home owner had decided to sell the old house, to the library. It seemed the library wanted more parking spaces for their facility… and planned to bulldoze this relic of the past, into oblivion… and then blacktop the empty lot. This was heartbreaking. All of us were saddened that the house would be no more. Some of the old doors and hardware were salvaged. But I wondered what would happen to all the gorgeous plants and flowers surrounding the house’s foundation. I was told they would be plowed under. This upset me more than you can possibly know. I asked my daughter if I could dig up a few of the peonies. I had heard they were originally put in, when the house was built… back in the 1930’s or 1940’s. That meant they were very old and had a rich history. In my mind, transplanting them somewhere else, would preserve the memory of the house. She said the owner didn’t want anything touched. I thought it was an atrocity. My husband knew I was losing sleep over this and made a suggestion. We’d plan a  covert operation, the two of us,  to save the plants. So that is exactly what we did. Dressed like cat burglars, under the guise of darkness, armed with shovels and plastic bags we rescued 4 peony plants, the day before the demolition. It was exhilarating to be able to pull off such a feat. We hid them out of sight for a week, anticipating all hell to break loose. But it never did. Nobody ever noticed they were missing. So… these precious plants were placed in our flowerbed, with love and tenderness. Unfortunately, only two of the peonies survived. We felt guilty that we had taken them from their native soil. We confessed what we had done… but our daughter had moved on and didn’t seem to care. Twenty years has passed. Our flowerbed in now overgrown and neglected. It makes me sad to see it in such disrepair. But despite that… these beautiful, resilient peony plants… still open their pretty, fragrant heads, every spring… hidden among all the weeds. They bring us great joy, and remind us, of a house, in our daughter's history that will always live on, in our hearts.

PS) Pictures of the old house 
 are buried in a box 
somewhere in the attic.
Could not find them at this time.

Friday, May 29, 2015


 Ain't that the truth?

I have become set in my ways
and do not want to try NEW things.

My diet has changed.

I sometimes FORGET important things.

My clothes do not fit like
they used to.

I'm not as agile as I once was...
but I can still 
'cut a rug.'

From time to time
I enjoy an
occasional libation.
"How about a toast
to my birthday?"

Binge watching TV is the
high point of my day...

Especially when the 
screen fades to black...

Birthday girls
being serenaded.

I'm easily winded,
Too many damn candles
to blow out.

I am FOREVER 39...

And utterly speechless.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


I am going to do some
 armchair traveling
and take a little staycation.
To blog or not to blog...
 that is the question?

Sunday, May 24, 2015


 set aside time to pause and remember

"The brave die never,
 though they sleep in dust:
Their courage nerves a thousand living men." 

"With the tears a Land hath shed. Their graves should ever be green."

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I love indoor plants. But they do not love me. They sense danger whenever I am around, because inevitably, I kill them. Sad but true. It’s not intentional, it just happens. But once upon a time it didn’t. Not sure when that changed, but it somehow did.  So... being without indoor plants in my house, became a fact of life, I have learned to live with... throughout the years. It makes me a little sorrowful, but... it does not stop me from looking at them, when I am, out and about. Every now and then, I get tempted to purchase one. A couple weeks ago,  I became enamored with a cactus I spotted in Lowe’s. I spied it on a shelf… hidden in the back, and pulled it out… to have a look. It was very unusual. It was called a Coral Cactus. Something about it spoke to me. It whispered sweet nothings in my ear and insisted I take it home. So I put it in my cart, intending to buy it. But when I got to the register, my heart would not let me. The thought of it dying… was more than I could bear, so I put it back on the shelf. But… before I left the store, I snapped a picture of it, blinking it into permanence. End of story, right? Out of sight, out of mind. Wrong. The following Wednesday, I was visiting my grandson. He had just had surgery to remove his tonsils. So, I thought I’d stop by and cheer him up. Little did I know... he’s a budding horticulturist. Guess what was sitting on the counter in my daughter’s kitchen? My cactus. The one I did not get for myself. Apparently, a couple days before his operation, my grandson went to Lowes with his parents. (that was the day after I had been there)  He saw this cactus. Took it down from the shelf and ogled it. He really, really liked it. He begged his parents to buy it for him. He is seven going on eight years old. They couldn’t figure out why he wanted a cactus. They told him he did not need it. But he was persistent. Said it was a ‘special plant’. He insisted he would take good care of it. So... they gave in, and bought it for him. Imagine that? The same cactus I loved. What are the odds? We’re two peas in a pod, that boy and I. I took out my camera… and showed my grandson, the picture I had taken of it, sitting on the shelf at Lowes... before it had come home with him. He stared at the photo, for a moment or two. “Aw grandma”, he said looking up at me. I smiled. He smiled back. He then left my side, and went over to look at his new plant, on the countertop... thinking deep thoughts, that only a child can. It tugged at my heart seeing him with the cactus. Some things are just meant to be, aren't they? 

Friday, May 15, 2015


It won’t be long until FAIR time is upon us. That is the high point of life for most the people in these parts. Everybody vying for a ribbon for this or that… be it cow, pig, cake, photograph or quilt. When we were younger and mobility wasn’t an issue… my husband and I used to head out to the fairgrounds to see the exhibits and animals, then walk the midway… eating funnel cakes, cotton candy, corndogs on a stick and fried dill pickles. Until I moved here… I had NEVER, ever heard of fried pickles. Apparently, some guy in Arkansas popularized them back in the early 60’s. They are supposedly a staple in the south. The thought never crossed my mind to take a crisp delicious thing like a pickle… slice it, then smother the pieces in flour and bread crumbs and deep fry them. When I first saw this… I asked WHY anybody would ruin a nice kosher dill like that? Nobody had an answer. People here just swore they were delicious. Curiosity got the better of me and I finally had to bite. I wanted to see for myself what it tasted like? Frankly, I did not understand what everybody was raving about? First off, you have to let the fried pickle COOL off before chomping down on it, or you’ll burn your tongue. That takes forever. Honestly, it does. Secondly, the dipping sauce (ranch I’m told, is the best kind) is hard to carry around, if you’re roaming the fair. Eating this country delicacy sitting down, makes more sense. So now, one of the fast food places in town, serves them year round. But… some diehard fans of the FRIED PICKLE say the ones at the fairgrounds taste better. Truthfully to me, they all taste the same. Like a pickle covered with flour and bread crumbs, deep fried. I’m not impressed. But still… I have had my share of them throughout the years, in spite of that sentiment. Because junk food and fried food... tends to be irresistible, doesn’t it? Have you ever had a fried dill pickle? What do you think?

Monday, May 11, 2015


The good news is the tumor appears to be benign. 
That is such a relief.
The bad news though is,
she now can not walk without falling down.
She wobbles and then collapses like she's had a stroke.
 This is frustrating her and us.
At times it also appears... 
she does not recognize her surroundings.
 Her sweet little face is covered with stitches.
We feel like monsters for doing this to her. 
The veterinarian's assistant told us 
she would be like this for a while, 
until the anesthesia wears off.
They used gas. Side effects are always bad.
If there is not noticeable improvement by tomorrow
we have to take her back in.
Otherwise we don't see the vet again
for fourteen days, at which point he'll remove her stitches.
It means the world to us.
We appreciate it more than you can possibly know.


She has surgery today at 9 am
to remove the tumor from her face.
As I previously told you 
via another post...
we do not know if it is 
benign or malignant, pending further tests.
We are hoping 
we made the right decision
 for her to have this operation.
Sometimes leaving well enough alone
is the better option.
But she has been a member of our family
for 12 years and we felt we owed it to her
to do everything we can to prolong her life
if she is looking at the worst case scenario.
I will never FORGIVE myself if something 
goes wrong today and we lose her, 
in surgery or post-op .
I will keep you posted here
about her progress after it's over...
Dara should be back home 
from the veterinarian
by five o'clock tonight 
barring any complications.


Thursday, May 7, 2015


"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." "Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you're the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside. "



Friday, May 1, 2015


Twelve years ago… my hubby and I were in the market for a new toilet. Because our rear ends are larger, than the average joe's, we were looking for a style that would accommodate us. The bigger the better. Water saving toilets were all the rage back then. And as you know, they are smaller. We wanted something old fashioned, with an extended bowl. We managed to locate one about an hour north of us. To get there we would have to take back country roads. So off we headed to get our new commode. It was a beautiful day. A glorious drive in the country. Along the way we saw many things. One of them was a sign. It said FREE KITTENS. We are suckers for kitties.Those BIG heads (pardon the pun, since we were talking toilets) and wide eyes. Our own cats had perished several years earlier and we thought stopping for a 'kitty cat break' sounded like a nice distraction. We agreed in advance to not be tempted by this opportunity. We were just LOOKING, nothing more. So we pulled off the road. The scene was chaotic. Kids were running every which way, and so was a great big old dog. There were 3 teeny, tiny kittens nestled in a bed in the garage. One of them ignored us… as we entered the room. But the other two... were all over us. To say they were adorable would be an understatement. We immediately scooped them up in our hands, hugging and kissing them. They mewed and purred. Is there any sound more precious? We were smitten. When it came time to leave, my husband was the first to cave in to his heart's desire.. He said, “Let’s take one of these cuties home.” I told him I could not choose between the two… they were both too sweet. I figured we'd better just walk away, like we agreed to before we stopped. But he would not take NO for an answer. He got the bright idea, to take BOTH of them, instead of just one. He insisted we do this, and not look back with regrets. He knew I wouldn't be able to forget these two little fuzzballs and he also knew... I would always be wondering, what if. At first, I thought he had lost his mind. We were not prepared to do this. I had to wrap my head around the thought of two cats, not one. We had no kitty supplies at home or for that matter in the car. He said we’d be fine. I knew he was right. So I not so reluctantly, gave in... and we adopted them. It was a long, bumpy ride back home, with this pair of kittens in tow... scurrying, climbing and clawing everywhere in the car... with me frantically trying to gather them up, as my husband drove. We headed straight to the pet store and got a litter box in lieu of a new toilet. We named the kitty sisters, Mira and Dara. Dara was mischievous, definitely the troublemaker. And Mira was an old soul. They adapted well to their new surroundings, sleeping together under the coffee table, at first. Then in a couple days... they settled in permanently, on the foot of our bed. Here at our house… they have silently ruled the roost for over a decade, giving us unconditional love, every single day. They are inseparable. We can not imagine one without the other. We have taken for granted… that they will always be here with us. Unfortunately, I recently discovered a lump on Dara’s head. It may just be a cyst or it could be something worse like cancer. I am worried sick, heartbroken at what we might find out. She goes to the vet tomorrow. Please keep her in your prayers. We are not ready to say goodbye. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE:We just got back from vet. It is definitely a tumor. Dara will have surgery on May 11th to remove it. We will find out then if it is benign or malignant. Could you please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We appreciate your support. Thank you.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


There is something inherently cathartic about getting your hands down in the dirt to plant flowers. Don’t you agree? All my life I have been partial to impatiens and geraniums. At this time of year, my yard usually bursts with their colorful blooms, brightening my days well into autumn. Because... once placed in the ground, these pretty flowers usually last until the first snow flies. Their longevity rewards me for my efforts. Getting down on my hands and knees, to garden, is a tedious task… and now that I’m older, I do not do it.  As a result, this traditional rite of spring is sorely missing from my world. But I have the memories of my days in the sun and kneading dirt. When I was a little girl, I used to help my mother fill the hillside outside our house with HENS & CHICKS. They caught my fancy, early on. And when I see them today out in the garden shops I am filled with delight. They look primitive, yet have a modernistic shape that fascinates. I like the texture and feel of these succulent beauties too. Is there a flower or plant that is your favorite at planting time?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AstroWives: The Women Who Helped Pave The Way To The Future

It’s no secret I am always on the lookout for a good book. A few years ago I found one I thought my mother might like. So I bought it, and I sent it to her. She was delighted.  Said it was the perfect read. At the time I also bought a copy for myself. But I put mine in the bookshelf, unread and forgot about it. At night I like to sit on my porch and look up at the stars. I have always had a fascination with Outer Space and our travels there.  I remember well, man landing on the moon and what a triumph that was. I remember the stories of the Russian woman who orbited the Earth, pregnant.  I believe this thing called LIFE is bigger than us here on Earth. We are not alone. I think life besides ours, exists in that great big Universe out there. It simply has to… with all those billions of planets and stars. And I am convinced the survival of humanity depends on us pushing beyond our planet to find it and other habitable places to live. I am excited about the talk of putting men on Mars in the next 20 years. And I am thrilled we have probes circling the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto today. Our country wastes so much money on trivial things. I think NASA and our government should be bankrolling space exploration, full speed ahead, like John F. Kennedy wanted. In the big scheme of things, I think it’s important for mankind to venture where it’s never been before, much like our ancestors did. With that said, I stumbled on the book I had put away. It was there staring me in the face. So I began reading. It is called THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB by LILY KOPPEL. (Behind every man is a good woman.) It is the true story of the young military wives that were catapulted into history when their husband’s became America’s first ASTRONAUTS. Almost overnight these women became role models and fashion icons of a generation. And because of the danger of their husband's missions, they became each other's support systems. It is a wonderful read. It takes you back to a time and place where anything was possible. Where people tried to achieve the impossible and did.... paving the way for the future. I haven’t been able to put this book down. Pick yourself up a copy. I guarantee you’ll love it too.

One of my blog buddies told me it's been made into a TV drama. If it stays true to the book it should be good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Late one summer night, about eight years ago, I heard a ruckus in the front yard. I thought it was teenagers playing around, imitating camp noises. When I went outside to look… I was surprised by what I saw. Turns out I was wrong. It wasn’t kids after all. It was a Great Horned Owl. It stuck around for the rest of that summer and then disappeared when winter rolled around. But the following spring, it came back for a return engagement. And it’s been a fixture here at our place ever since. By and large, this elusive bird only ventures out at night to catch it’s prey. The bigger the better. (It hunts rodents, bats, skunks, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels.) But every now and then, I catch a glimpse of it, in the daylight or around dusk. However, it never stays put long enough for me to take a photograph. Talk about frustrating. Unfortunately this year… our friend the owl… has taken up residence, in the tree, right outside our bedroom window. And... as a result, we are having some pretty restless nights. It keeps waking us up with his/her noisemaking, at the most ungodly hours... shrieking on, and on, and on.The Great Horned Owl’s hoot female or male… is an eerie guttural sound that will frighten the bejesus out of you, if you are unfamiliar with it. Legends and myths say that such creatures foretell death or great fortune. I am hoping it’s the latter. Is there something that disturbs your sleep during the wee hours of the morning?