Monday, September 18, 2017

NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY!

OMG! Today is National Cheeseburger Day and I've started my diet.....again! In little less than a year, my hubby and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Italy, Switzerland, and France. I need to be thinner, actually A LOT THINNER! But when I see that my favorite fast food item is being celebrated with a national holiday, how can I not join in the festivities? I absolutely love cheeseburgers!

Here's the thing, I really feel good in my own skin, that is until I see a pic of myself and am aghast at how large I look. Usually I attribute this to camera malfunction, but truthfully, I know it's malfunction of my dietary choices!

I don't understand why my weight isn't dropping. I've cut back on the amount I eat, don't nibble on snacks much, and have been drinking more water these days yet the needle on the scale doesn't budge one iota. Maybe I need a new scale, you think?

And I started exercising more regularly. I take Zumba classes twice a week, and try to walk Shadow everyday for at least 30 minutes. I probably stop 15 of those minutes to allow my dog to sniff and pee, and talk to the neighbors I bump into along the way. BUT IT'S STILL 30 MINUTES, RIGHT?

When grocery shopping, I try to select healthy foods, celery, spinach, carrots, oranges, grapes, etc. along with ice cream, cookies, and pie! The veggies and fruits are for me, the goodies, for Barry, right?  Wrong! Typically the greens get tossed before eaten, and the goodies are gone way before the next shopping trip is scheduled.

So today is the day, National Cheeseburger celebration or not! I'm going to stick to my diet despite the temptations that confront me at every turn. Oh, hell, who do I think I'm kidding!

I'm not one to get all upset over what others think or say about me, but I do take heed about what I think and say about myself. At this time in my life, I'm comfortable with who I am, what I've accomplished, and unless I see a pic of myself, really like the way I look! If I don't lose an ounce before next August, I'll be fine with that, I'll just limit myself to pics of the people and places we visit during our upcoming European vacation.

OR I'LL BE IN TONS OF PICS THAT I PERSONALLY PHOTO SHOP!

HAPPY NATIONAL CHEESEBURGER DAY! Enjoy, life is way to short to deny oneself the simple pleasures of melted cheese, a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, and that special sauce!



Monday, September 11, 2017

Legalize Recreational Marijuana in PA?

Over the weekend, some politician in Pittsburgh whose name I can't remember, was peddling his theory in the Trib on why PA should legalize recreational marijuana. He cited a number of states who have already taken that leap, and their tax dollars are rolling in faster than thunderclouds on a steaming August day! Pot is the perfect solution to the PA budget deficit according to him!

This fellow is all about the money. He gives no consideration to the number of studies on addiction, that report more than 75% of drug abusers began their descent into hell by smoking marijuana.

And what about highway fatalities? So many times it's because the one causing the accident was high on pot or some other substance he or she uses after his or her first encounter with weed.

Robberies? Home invasions? Murders?  So many of these criminals who commit these horrific offenses are either doped up at the time or are looking to score illegal drugs in order to get doped up!

The very same politicians who are lamenting the opiate epidemic in our society are the ones leading the parade to legalize recreational marijuana. Why? Because the money that recreational pot can generate is just way to alluring to be ignored. Furthermore, according to this politician whose name I can't remember, if our legislature fails to act quickly, the monies that could have been dumped into PA will be scooped up by other more progressive-thinking states. How tragic!

If I sound like an old woman who needs to chill out, maybe I am. The opiate epidemic in our country is personal to me. My nephew, my deceased brother's only child,  sits in a state prison today because when he was thirteen he decided to get high on marijuana. He's 37 now and has been incarcerated for more than half his life all due to drug abuse and parole violations. Oftentimes my nephew writes and curses the day he ever smoked his first joint!

In my opinion, there is nothing recreational about using marijuana. The chances of moving on to more additive substances like heroin and cocaine after experiencing the highs of pot aren't worth the risk.

Don't fall prey to the temptations of  innocent euphoria and wealth, and don't listen to that politician whose name I can't remember!

Monday, September 4, 2017

LUCKY, LUCKY US!

Over Labor Day weekend, we were invited and happily accepted invitations to two holiday picnics. Now you might not find that out of the ordinary, but we are up in years and as seniors don't expect to be included in the activities of the young and energetic.

Yet, our nephew, Brian, and his lovely wife, Monica, made sure that we were very much included and wanted at their Saturday get-together. There were people of all ages and personalities and, if someone hadn't met before, by the end of the afternoon they'd made new friends. Even though the weather was somewhat gloomy, folks sitting under the porch were gleefully engaged. Both the young and the old had stories to tell, and each group was thoroughly interested in what their counterparts had to say. We joked, teased, and yes, even enlightened one another over the course of an hour or so.

We couldn't play outdoor games due to the persistent rain, but that didn't stop us from coming up with some of our own. Shannon, a 10 year old, Brenna, going on 12, and myself, soon to be 73, hid on the cellar steps, and through a cat door leading to the kitchen,  grabbed the legs of people passing by startling the poor souls, and causing us to giggle ourselves silly! Some of the men were couched in the living room watching college football. They didn't seem to mind the youngsters scooting by the t.v. or one of us popping in to snap a few pics of them in their usual game day spots.

There was enough food to feed a large army, and take-out containers were provided so that everyone could pack up left-overs to enjoy later on. I think that was a super idea, and kind of extended the picnic well beyond our actual time spent in Brian's and Monica's welcoming home!

The crowd sang happy birthday to Kat, turning 4, and to me, turning 73 on the same day, September 9, but Not the same year! We both got to make a wish and blow out our own candles. That to me was symbolic of the spirit of this picnic: respect, acceptance, and love for everybody no matter the age or ability of the invitees to contribute to a holiday celebration. If only our world could be so inclusive...

Around 2:00 on Sunday, Ben and Delcie, our new neighbors, had their tent pitched, tables and chairs in place, chips, fruit and coolers filled with all types of beverages at the ready, eagerly awaiting all picnic-goers to arrive. As each car pulled in, folks made their way up the driveway proudly carrying trays of food to delight the preferences of even the most discerning taste buds. Although there were no youngsters in attendance at this holiday celebration, two dogs managed to provide entertainment as only four-legged creatures can. Oddly enough, one was a 15 year old mutt, the other a spry 6 year old pup who seemed to get along famously.

Again, the mixture of young adults with those of us more mature in years added to the fun rather than casting a pall over the get-together. We all truly enjoyed each other's company, listening to funny stories that included frying whole fish and eating their eyeballs which is customary in Venezuela, engaging in heated corn hole competitions to dethrone Barbie, Ben's mom, and once again, meeting strangers who instantly became friends when sharing food and good company.

As a chill filled the air, Ben started a fire in the pit further on up the hill, and very soon we were all gathered around it to keep warm, not wanting this wonderful picnic to be over just yet. Conversations centered around unusual names, starting with Delcie who was a moniker for toilet paper way back when although spelled differently, to what kind of names the young marrieds would be eventually choosing for their future brood of babies. Hazel, Myrtle, Tekla were only a few of the possibilities offered by both sides of the age spectrum, either because of family connections or past encounters. Thankfully none of these was a real consideration for any of the couples. I'm hoping that Flo might make it on somebody's priority list, but I know that would be a long shot for sure!

As we prepared to depart, hugs and kisses were exchanged, and as we walked to our house the feeling of being wanted and appreciated again washed over me, infusing my heart and soul with positive energy that confirms my belief that people of all ages, cultures, and race can indeed live together in peace and harmony, sharing laughter and love at every turn.

LUCKY, LUCKY US!



Monday, August 28, 2017

PHASES OF HUMAN LIFE

Hen-to-the Frying Pan Phase: Better known as conception-to-birth usually lasts for approximately 9 months. However no one has been able to collect verifiable date from those who have floated through this phase of humanity since they aren't ALL THERE for a significant part of it!

Dependently-Dependent Phase: For two exasperating years, humans can't do a blessed thing for themselves. You have to feed, clean, dress, amuse, and soothe them without so much as a 'thank-you' heard...EVER during this second phase of existence.

Yakkety-Yak Phase: After anxiously waiting to hear their first words, you now wish they'd just BE QUIET! But, as our wise old pediatrician used to say, "It's only going to get worse before it gets better!"

Out-the-Door Phase: Yahoo! As you drag them kicking and screaming to their first day of school, you realize you are FREE AT LAST, even if it's only for six or seven hours, five days a week. This phase has got to be a personal favorite for a huge chunk of humanity!

Back-in-the-Door Phase: NOW WHAT? They've graduated already? Seems like only yesterday you dragged them kicking and screaming to their first day of school! Here's an idea, find a job, get an apartment, join the service, see the world, etc.  No, really, just go!

Living Life Phase: Hopefully the longest segment of a human's existence, this is the time they finally get to do whatever they want, when they want, with whom they want, where they want! Yep, now they can work themselves to the bone, pay their taxes, and complain about everything to folks who could care less about their troubles. LIVING LIFE IS GRAND, AIN'T IT?

Not-All-There Phase: Finally, back to where it all began,though no one has been able to collect verifiable data on those floating through the last phase of humanity, they appear to be without a care in the world since they aren't ALL THERE for a significant part of it!

Monday, August 7, 2017

I'VE BEEN HAD!

"Of course I'll take care of your bunny while you both sail away on a 10 day cruise," I say. "How hard can it be to clean out the cage, refill the water bottle and stick a bunch of hay in the boxes?" I ask myself.

Well let me tell you! For the first few days everything went swimmingly. I'd come in about 9:30a.m. let the little fur ball out while I did my chores, entice her back into the cage with a handful of pellets, close the gate and head back home. Around 6:00p.m. I'd do another check to make sure everything was okay. Since the little dear had been confined all day, I'd let her out, give her a few snacks, and watch her hop around enjoying her freedom for about 40 minutes. I'd talk and sing softly to her, pet her when she came up to me, and loved watching her do flips in the air from time to time. Then back in the cage, out go the lights and bid a good evening until the morrow.

But.....upon returning on Saturday evening for the nightly check, to my horror, I found the cage empty, the gate ajar, and Miss Bunny no where in sight! Since I was instructed to shut all the doors in the basement and the one leading to the upstairs, I knew she HAD to be in the designated basement area. I looked high and low but couldn't find the little bugger. I noticed that the cover on the settee had slipped down from the back, so I assumed somebody had been sitting on it. I knew the guy's mom had intended to stop by on the weekend to check on her darling grandbunny, so I assumed she'd come by and decided to take her home since she, too, had a rabbit in the house.

Case closed, right? WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For some reason, I decided to do a morning run on Sunday in case the little devil had returned. When I opened the basement door, much to my surprise and relief, there she was sitting in the middle of the floor looking as pleased as punch! When I asked her where she'd been, she refused to say. Once I completed the morning ritual, I started to leave when I noticed the cover on the couch was more wrinkled than what I'd remembered. Not wanting our friends to come home to a messy basement, I went over to fix it and...... as I removed it I discovered what Miss Bunny had been doing during the night, BITING HOLES IN THE SOFA AND PULLING OUT THE STUFFING! HOLY HOLES!
Now we were both in serious trouble! I went over to her cage and reprimanded her vehemently, so much so she scampered under her shelter and refused to come out. I attached a zip lock tie to the gate and  left her without any possibility of mending our relationship.

After spending the day watching the Pirates, I decided it was as much my fault as hers and went over to give ourselves a second chance. When I saw she was still in her cage, I cut the tie and let her out. In the beginning, she was very tentative and was not eager to approach me even though I had shredded carrots to give as a peace offering. Finally her curiosity won out, and bunny came to fetch her treat. She then hopped around awhile, but wasn't as active as she'd been in the past. I figured she was just worn out from last night's partying. One thing I noticed though was that she kept going over to the recliner and sticking her face in the pillows stuffed behind it. When I went to investigate, she ran away. NO WONDER! When I pulled out the two pillows I discovered she'd also bitten holes in the one and pulled out the stuffing during her Saturday night bash! I immediately returned her to her cage, zip locked it twice, shut out the lights and went home dejectedly.

If you guys are reading this, I do plan to buy you a new pillow and have the settee fixed. I'm very sorry for my bunnysitting ineptitude and promise to do better until your return.

HOPING YOU GUYS ARE HAVING A GLORIOUS TIME! Don't worry about bunny and me because now that I know what kind of evil spirit is lurking in that fluffy creature,  I'm on high alert and security measures have been substantially increased.

love ya'll


Monday, July 24, 2017

A Mother's Love Denied

Early on I realized my brother was my mother's favorite, but since we lived with my grandparents the relationship between my baba and me greatly compensated for any maternal caring that was lacking. When I left home to attend an all-girls high school, again not having any type of bond with my mother wasn't a high priority.  

Years later when I became a mother myself, I began to realize how much the emotional neglect I experienced in childhood had damaged my ability to love. Thoughts of why my own mother never hugged or kissed me crept into my psyche; Was it the way I looked? What I said? How I acted? 
I started to think about any conversations we might have had that would shed some light on answers to my insecurities. It was then that I realized there had never been a meaningful discussion between my mother and me the whole time I was growing up. How sad!

Fast-forward to 1983 when my mother came to stay with us. Her home was in a declining neighborhood then, and unsafe to be an elderly woman living alone. Before offering to take her in, I talked with my brother, wanting to know if he would be willing to extend her the same kindness. He adamantly refused saying he could never deal with her on a daily basis. Her favorite, right? 

Mother lived with us for 20 years, yet our personal connection changed little. I worked full-time while she managed the household. When I was home, she busied herself with mundane activities or stayed in her room talking on the phone to her friends. 

If it sounds like I'm putting the total blame on my mother for not trying to develop a bond while living in our home, I'm really not. Certainly I could have made an effort to get closer to her, but truth be told, that ship had sailed a long time ago. I had squelched a desire for my mother's love, and although I would always suffer the pain of not having it, I just didn't care anymore.

Now it's 2017. I'm a mother of three and a grandmother of seven. Admittedly I've not bonded as tightly with my own children as I would have liked, but I have tried. Since they were little, I've made sure to be active in their lives, been present for all their special events, and surrounded them with family and friends throughout their childhood. Since they've become adults, married and being parents themselves, we've become closer perhaps because we're now on the same playing field. As a 'grammy' in the words of one of the seven, "I'm the smartest, bestest grammy ever"! Without much guidance early on, I think I somehow learned to love myself and show love to those most important to me. 

Why am I telling you about the nonexistent connection between my mother and me now? Frequently over the years in ordinary conversations with relatives, friends, or just acquaintances, somebody would remark about their mother's lack of love for them. Occasionally I've heard terrible stories of how a person was abused physically or emotionally or both by the one who should have been their protector. I now realize that there are so many who have lived without that maternal relationship, and I wonder what kind of folks they turned out to be. Are they stronger, more independent, well-adjusted individuals than those who were seeped in their mother's love? Or are they weak, dependent, maladjusted people because of it?

I've decided to do research on this very topic, and eventually plan to put my findings into a book. If you have something to say, please contact me by email: directorflo2003@yahoo.com. or message me on facebook. Every thing told to me will be confidential, and I will not use anything revealed unless I have your permission to do so.

Realizing how prevalent not feeling love from one's mother is, I believe telling people's stories will be highly beneficial to both the sufferers as well as to those who knowingly or otherwise inflicted such pain. 


Monday, July 10, 2017

THE 'ME TREE!'


First let me say that this post is in no way connected with a particular company or ad campaign. I included the instructions below to merely provide info, nothing more.

I'm at the stage in my life where thinking about my passing pops up now and then in thought and/or discussion. I'm certain I do not want to have a viewing where folks come, exclaim how I  really don't look like myself, (after all, I'll be dead so what would you expect, a glowing, energetic corpse?), shed a tear, say a prayer, and then drop me six feet into the hard, cold ground! Gee, thanks, guys!

For years I've entertained the thought of being cremated and having my ashes sprinkled in the ocean from the Sandbridge, VA. shore. Then I happened upon a bios urn on FB. After reading about how it works, I knew this was for me. Having my ashes converted into a living tree that perhaps for hundreds of years would provide shade, rest, and beauty to so many would be my way of staying alive and continuing to serve others. 

Since I love trees, and have planted more than a few in my time, I figure this method of dispersing my remains is perfect. The only glitch would be as to where to place the 'me tree'. I don't think I want it in my backyard since others would soon buy our home, and have no connection to it's familial value, to them it would be a plain old tree.

Having three adult children with families and homes of their own, I'd be more comfortable with one of them, however I wonder if they'd fight over me, the tree. Two are in the Carolinas, one in Ohio. I guess it would be up to me to stipulate which lucky family would receive my living memorial. I could consider my first born, Joy, but she and her hubby plan to sell their home and travel once their kids are gone. Again I'd be among strangers who have no real connection with that tree in the front of the house blocking their view of the comings and goings of the neighbors.  They'd probably chop me down a.s.a.p! 

Then there's my son, Barry. Although I think he'll stay in his home, he's kind of a fuss budget with the landscaping around his place. There's already a tree in the front, and a bunch of them in the backyard. All are mature and thriving in the Carolina sun so I'm pretty certain he'd be opposed to removing any of them to plant a seedling that may or may not survive in the south.

Lastly, Kristy, my youngest, and the mother of three rowdy boys, will probably be my best bet. She enjoys gardening to a degree, and fortunately for me, her backyard is devoid of much in the way of bushes and trees. My me tree would go nicely there, and as my branches grow wide and strong, her sons will have a natural jungle gym to climb up, jump from, and disappear into its foliage when their dad is looking for somebody to clean the garage.

The only part of my plan yet to be determined is as to what kind of tree I'll be. I'm thinking decorative plum or pear. I don't know how well these types grow in the south, so I'll have to do some research.
 
Hopefully I have plenty of time to decide, but I'm going to hope on it soon since none of us are promised a new tomorrow!

 https://urnabios.com/

How it Works

Step 1:   Purchase Your Living Urn® and Select Your Seedling (or baby tree)
(or purchase the version of The Living Urn® without a seedling and simply pick up your favorite tree seedling, plant, or flowers at your local nursery)
Step 2:   After you receive The Living Urn®, fill the Bio Urn with the cremated remains of your loved one (or, if you don't feel comfortable doing that, have your funeral home or crematorium (or veterinarian for pets) fill the Bio Urn with the remains)
Step 3:   When your tree seedling arrives, follow the planting instructions provided with The Living Urn® to plant a living memory (or click here for an online version)
...pour our proprietary RootProtect™ ash neutralizing agent on top of the cremated remains; then, place the soil mix and wood chips on top of the neutralizing agent

 ...and plant - it's that simple!  

A beautiful memory tree will then grow and keep your beloved family member's memory present in your life!