Monday, January 29, 2018

THE POST: A Film For Our Times

'Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers - and their very freedom - to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.'
THE POST is the second film my hubby and I have seen in two weeks. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN was the first. Up until now I couldn't tell you the last time we went to the movies but both of these were certainly well worth our time. Any project (THE POST) Steven Spielberg is associated with is excellent, and when coupled with the likes of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, SUPERB, AWESOME, CAPTIVATING, THRILLING are just a few of the words that might do this movie some justice!
Spielberg tells the story of the Vietnam War (
which was one of the longest ever engaged in by our country. Thousands of soldiers gave their lives and thousands more were physically, mentally, and emotionally damaged. The American people were constantly told of how important this conflict was to ensure the freedom of the Vietnamese, and of how dependent they were upon our continued presence.

Unfortunately the data we were fed, beginning with our country's relationship with Vietnam under the Truman administration through that of Richard Nixon's presidency, was based on falsehoods. We were actually losing the war we should have never been involved in from the get-go. To admit this after so many years, so much bloodshed, and so much political manipulation was something Washington would never have even considered. Only when the government was exposed by the New York Times and then by the Washington Post for the gross mishandling of the Vietnam conflict, did Richard Nixon sign a ceasefire in January, 1973.

I believe this movie should be required viewing in every political science class in every high school in the U.S.A. I don't know how much today's teens know, if anything, about Vietnam, but since that war was such a pronounced part of our history, it would be a disservice to them to graduate without studying it as well as its devastating aftermath.

Our young people must realize that elected officials are human beings who make serious mistakes using poor judgement at times. They need to learn to discern what is right and just and true, and be willing to act upon their beliefs no matter what consequences might befall them. Some may even pursue a career in politics, and to those I strongly suggest they consider the past as a precursor of the future unless a different course of action is implemented when necessary.

I ask high school teachers across America to use THE POST as a springboard to initiate discussions on decision-making skills, freedom of speech, foreign policy and what situations warrant an act of warfare.

I was a teacher when the Vietnam War was in full swing. I worked side-by-side with a woman who lost her son in that horrible conflict. I listened to her lamentations and watched the tears roll down her cheeks. She would never see her son marry, have a family, and succeed in his chosen career. And all she wanted to know was "why"!

Blessings and Peace!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Am I Hanging With The Wrong Crowd?

At 73, I hang out with my 55+ crowd. I like to split this group into two different entities. There are those who talk about their aches and pains, doctor appointments, Medicare, cemetery plots, and who inherits their money when they kick the bucket. They believe they already have one foot in the grave and lament the fact that they've missed their chance to do this, that and the other. Fun folks? Hardly, but I've known them forever, love them to pieces, and tolerate their dire dispositions.

Then there are the ones, unfortunately not very many left, who accept that at our age, aches and pains are to be expected and ignored, doctors don't know much, are planning to be cremated, and intend to spend every dime enjoying themselves before they cross over to the other side. Fun folks? ABSOLUTELY! I've known them forever, too, love them to pieces, and always look forward to visit with them to share precious memories and laugh till tears roll down our cheeks!

Recently I've begun hanging with a much younger crowd. And when I say 'much younger, I'm referring to kids in their twenties, thirties, and forties! Sound crazy? In the beginning, I thought so, too. When the house next door went up for sale, a young couple bought it, and before long, they were stopping by just to hang out, inviting my hubby and me to their parties,and bringing us cookies just because. They'll do anything for us that we can't do ourselves, and we in turn, are there for them whenever they need us. Every time we're together, our conversations are upbeat and current. They tell us about their work, their plans to start a family, the many vacations they've been on, and about the ones they still intend to take. We talk about the first years of our marriage, the crazy things we did, and how we've managed to stay together for fifty years! I give them gardening tips when they ask, and my hubby tells the young hubby to ALWAYS make his wife happy. Both couples, we and our sweet neighbors, consider ourselves very lucky to be in each other's lives despite such a wide difference in age. Matter of fact, since we first met, the topic rarely comes up. Besides how could it when we're busy having so much fun!

Then there's this newest crowd I'm hanging with. Five months ago, I decided to take a Zumba class. Since I'd never taken one before, I was a bit hesitant, but since I love to dance I figured I'd give it a try. Who knew what would evolve from that fateful day?

There are folks of all ages who regularly take this class, yet I found myself hanging with those twenty-to-thirty years my junior. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy everybody, and talk and joke around with all of them. However, after a few weeks, it was the young people who invited me to lunch, to tag along to a presentation, and to try out things like ginger shots and smoothie bowls. I truly enjoyed their company and began looking forward to spending more time with them.

When I first told my hubby about this presentation I was going to attend, he was a little leery since I didn't know the girls very well, and was concerned how the evening would go. From the time I hopped into the car though, I felt I had known these three for years. We talked about many things, and never once were at a loss for words. We made a three hour detour to do some apartment renovations, ate at Coscos and then proceeded to the  night's destination. If this seems a little weird to you, I totally agree, it was more than a little weird (10/16/17 blog post), but if you remember yourselves when you were their age, you can easily put it into perspective.

When I told some people about that night, many thought my decision was a bit risky to say the least. Others said I should stick with folks my own age, and more than a few reminded me to act my age! For one fleeting moment I wondered if I was hanging with the wrong crowd. What if I were being foolish and simply trying to recapture my youth? What if I somehow barged in on these young people and they didn't have the heart (or the guts) to tell me to get lost?

Luckily I'm an extremely intuitive person and would definitely know if any of my queries were credible. I believe I'm ABSOLUTELY hanging with the right crowd, and I know this because I have learned so much from them from the very beginning. They are smart, talented, witty, and a little quirky; they are respectful, accepting, and for the most part, nonjudgmental. They say and do silly things and laugh with and at themselves, that's a big one! Sometimes they're a little risque and try to shield me from their devilment, but little do they know I'm well aware of anything that's come down the road in the last 50 years or so! I find their protectiveness endearing, but I guarantee you nothing they can come up with  shocks this old broad!

I don't have the answer as to why I've been blessed with my 'new peeps' at this time in my life and I don't really give a damn. I just know one thing, I AM HANGING WITH THE RIGHT CROWD! And to all the naysayers out there, stop talking about aches and pains, doctor appointments, Medicare and all the rest, and go in search of the right crowd that can put pep in your step, enlighten your minds, and warm your hearts!

Blessings and Peace

Monday, January 15, 2018

Up In Arms!

On a bright Saturday morning nearly eight years ago now, I received a phone call from my brother, Dan, begging me to come to his house, it was an emergency. I quickly dressed, grabbed the car keys and flew out the door. Normally it would have taken me about 20 minutes to get to Homestead, but I swear I was at his back door in ten. Since the door was locked, I peered into the window, but could only see the kitchen table and my brother's empty chair. I ran to the neighbors and asked to use their phone. I called 911 and in very short order the police and paramedics arrived.When they busted the door down, my brother was lying on the dining room floor with the phone still in his hand. He was already blue and nothing could be done to save him. I believe I was the last person to talk to him before he died. 

Since I was his only sibling, his wife in a nursing home, and his son in jail, and me being the executor of his will, it was my job to dismantle his home. After we buried him, my hubby, Barry, and I began packing up everything that could be salvaged. As we cleared out each room, we trashed outdated and unusable items and only saved a few cherished pieces.

While my husband was in the kitchen, I lifted the mattress in the master bedroom and found a 38 revolver. I knew Dan purchased a gun many years ago when his son first started using and selling drugs. He always said it was better to be safe than sorry. Just the sight of the weapon made me nauseous, and yelled for Barry to come to my assistance. We were glad to have found it though, since my nephew was due to be released soon and might have gotten his hands on it. We took the revolver home that day and have kept it under lock and key.

Fast-forward to last week. A friend on Facebook was looking for a few people who might be interested in taking a firearms course. If she could get a group together, the cost for each would be discounted by 25%. Over the years, I had actually inquired about getting the gun registered in my name. Nobody seemed to know exactly how to go about it, so I figured it wasn't meant to be. But when I asked if she had any knowledge regarding registration, my friend suggested I call the place where the course was being offered. I was told that since I was the executor of my brother's will, legally I was the owner and registrant of the gun. There was nothing more I needed to do according to the law.

My first one-on-one lesson with a certified instructor is scheduled for this week. What happened to all the squeamishness I suffered when I found the gun those many years ago? Well, let's just say that after watching the news every single night I've come to the same conclusion my brother did, it's better to be safe than sorry! Immoral people, addicts, and the mentally-ill are up in arms now, carrying guns to wreak havoc on anybody they deem a threat.

My nephew, who has been in state prison for seven years, will be released this November. He used to be a sweet kid with a drug disease, but after all the time he's spent with hardened criminals, who knows what he's become. Since I'm his only living adult relative, although I've made it very clear that he isn't welcome in my home until he receives help, most likely he'll look me up. Sadly this fact alone is enough for me to become adept at using a firearm for my own protection.

From now on, I will be up in arms, but for no other reason that to ensure my safety as well as the safety of the people I love. My home is my sanctuary, and I will not allow anybody to violate it. I plan to learn every aspect of this revolver,  how to handle, load, maintain, and, yes, even fire it if the need arises.

There are those who strongly disagree with my decision, but I think that in today's world, being up in arms is not only a good idea, but a necessity. Possessing a weapon, knowing how to use it, and always being aware of your surroundings is wise in this day and age. To stick your head in the sand and be in denial is foolishness. The choice is yours!

Blessings and Peace

Monday, January 8, 2018

Soup! It's Not Just For Lunch Anymore!

Yes, my New Year's resolution is to lose weight....again! However this time I'm super pumped because my hubby and I are going to Switzerland in September to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, and there's absolutely no way those 'Swiss Misses' are going to look hotter than yours truly!

The biggest problem I've always had when starting a diet was what to eat for breakfast. No matter what I had chosen in the past, it was not beneficial to weight loss. Donuts, danish (just kidding), a bagel, toast with peanut butter, even cooked oatmeal left me hungry at 10:00 and from that moment on I'd opt for high calorie foods for the rest of the day.

About a month ago, I was invited to a juice bar in Irwin called 'The Green Berry' (209 Third Street), and introduced to Jen, the owner and operator of this cozy shop. Jen not only makes some of the most delicious smoothies I've ever tasted, but she's always willing to answer any questions about the ingredients used, the healthy benefits of eating fruits and veggies, and where to go on the web for free recipes to try at home.

Saturday before last, while waiting for Jen to prepare my order, I complained about not knowing what a 'good breakfast' consisted of. "Soup," she said emphatically! Making a pot of vegetable soup with some ginger and turmeric is not only filling, but has the right properties to aid in weight loss."

I'd never ever thought of soup as a breakfast food. I went on 'Medical Medium.' a website Jen suggested, and found the recipe, 'A Healing Broth,' which consists of sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, ginger, turmeric and water. The only thing I did differently when making this soup was to substitute chicken broth for the water, but don't believe any negative repercussions have resulted from the exchange. I made it on New Year's Eve and have lost 5lbs. in seven days.

For lunch Jen suggested smoothies and again provided two terrific websites for a variety of healthy recipes. 'Oh She Glows' and 'Fully Raw Kristina' offer plenty of choices from which to choose so you don't become bored with lunchtime meals.

For dinner I have a protein, lots of veggies, and even a single portion of something starchy.

Around 8:00 in the evening, I'll have a cup of  'skinny popcorn'. I'm never hungry and am delighted with the quick results I've seen on the scale!

I truly believe it's the SOUP, my first meal of the day, that sets me up for success.
According to Jen, there are several cookbooks on Medical Medium loaded with lots of soup and smoothie recipes! I intend to order one or two before the day is over!

I'll keep you informed of my progress periodically, and all I can say is, 'LOOK OUT, SWISS MISSES, because this HOTTIE is coming to town!

Monday, January 1, 2018


You are so lucky to have lived through another year becoming a better person, growing, learning, laughing, and living every single day the best way you know how!

With the arrival of 2018, you’ve been given the chance to live yet another year to become a better person, growing, learning, laughing, and living every single day the best way you know how!

I have faith that you believe in yourself enough to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, and turn each one into a fruitful success.

I earnestly hope you don’t take life too seriously, but rather see the humor in your mistakes and be able to graciously laugh at yourself. 

 And I truly love you simply because you are!

I wish you Blessings and Peace of mind, body and spirit for the ensuing 365 days! Happy New Year!


Beautiful dreams,
Loving relationships,
Exotic adventures,
Spiritual renewal,
Spellbinding surprises,
Intellectual curiosity,
Nature’s best,
Gentle breezes,
Sunshine and roses!


Playful pleasures,
Eventful moments,
Ambitious aspirations,
Calming seas,
Energy of life!

Love ya’ll