Archives for category: Uncategorized

The week off is finally here! Last week was a scurry of week long training of a years worth of information crushed into a week. The traffic pattern was long but I had some time to check out some interesting places for lunch and meet a few new faces.

I have a few doctor appointments next week but am looking forward to enjoying the holiday, watching a few new tv shows including “Ghosts” and the new episodes of all my favorite shows. I have a few good books to read including a new author to check out: Belinda Bauer. I am reading “Exit” which has an unusual plot and is allowing me to escape to a new world. The author lives in Wales and has published seven other books!

How did I get through a challenging week of training which was highly interactive from 7:30-3:30 with an hour commute and heavy traffic patterns? I treated myself to a matcha latte at Dunkin Doughnuts which is green tea chilled promising energy and weight loss. It got me through along with a trip to the German deli where I met another participant in the training and we had lunch and chatted. I learned that at a German Deli you should not order a croissant as the meat and cheese was delicious but not the dry croissant. I brought my odd lunch habits including packets of Hellman’s mayonnaise to spread on deli crackers which seems to get me through.

I am looking forward to a laid back week with the husband, enjoying the gym if I feel like going and just breathing without running around crazy. Doing nothing and doing a few things I enjoy and we enjoy together. And my newest pet peeve was googling keto goods in my area and seeing the owner perform a Tik Tok of herself in front of her little bakery. I wondered is this a trend or what exactly are we buying?

So, yeah I might whip up a couple of keto desserts this week but no Tik Tok will be performed as the show is only for me and my household. Thanks for listening! Enjoy your holiday.

You know that I am a big fan of cats. I grew up with cats on a farm, harbored an indoor cat on the Bayous in the small cottage named ‘Raisa’ after Raisa Gorbachev, and took in Sheba from infancy until she passed on. I remember our neighbor saying when I found the nest of kittens, “That was no accident.”

Someone recently asked me what kind of costume I wore for Halloween when I lived and worked in South Korea throwing a Halloween party for my class. With little time for pause or memories, I said ‘A cat.’ I thought of going on safari while living in the Middle East to Kenya and researched the different cats I would see. I adopted a little Siamese kitten to visit at a small computer repair store in the United Arab Emirates and sometimes fed the feral cats as not everyone was a fan of them.

That is why when my goggle reader on my phone came up with articles about cats that I was not surprised. Perhaps I insinuated through talk or research my interest or maybe they were searching. Who knows? I was happy to read that cats are very intelligent and are among the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom. They have 300 million neurons compared to dogs with 160 million neurons. I think of Ms. Sheba and how as our previous dog became older that she would swat him on the nose to lead him safely around our backyard.

Cats watch and they are able to perceive things we cannot. Often I watch with great curiosity a cat which visits our yard and hunts for small animals. Besides keeping rats away, they can also know when someone is near them. If you are living alone with a cat, and you open the apartment or house door, they might be able to softly tell you someone is inside. Of course, I love our pug but the next alternative is Le Chat. The cat. I find the research interesting. Perhaps because of this, “Cats are more impulsive than dogs and have far less patience. They don’t easily tolerate frustrating situations for long periods of time. …..cats can solve harder cognitive problems, if indeed they feel like it.” (Berit Brogaard, “How Smart is your Cat?” at Psychology Today (2013). Who hasn’t felt the cats attitude when they march off or sit idly watching you from a distance. They are masters of their own domain.

Meow. I feel like I have more in common with cats. Looking forward to Thanksgiving Break! Enjoy the weekend.

In an alternate reality there are no robo or spam calls and there is no one alerting you “I am moto” by your phone. There are only transactions in person as there is ‘for real’ stuff as I used to hear in the past. ‘Is this for real?’ Yep. In an alternate reality, I wake up and am whisked away as my breakfast is prepared with carb count automatically registered. I do not have to turn on my phone to alert me to the carb count or how many steps a day I take. I am present in the moment.

I don’t have to browse news on my phone because I can walk to the corner and pick up the paper. There are no scores I need to follow or people I need to contact through the cloud or texting as I meet them in person. There is little texting because I can speak with them face to face, most of the time.

I pick up a hardback book to read. What am I reading? Sara Paretsky “Shell Game” or Michael Robotham “The Wreckage” thrillers. With Wreckage, I can read about the Middle East and travel to London, Baghdad, Iraq to view the manhunt for one person. With Shell Game, I am following Middle Eastern archaeology trail. In between, I can access my computer to information I need to review. Is my alternate reality inhabited by the computer or techie?

No, my alternate reality is how we create our own concept of reality. We all see the same things but how do we interpret the results is different. When people disagree with my view of reality, should I get mad? Maybe, maybe not: if I can block them by visualizing something like the next week when they are hit by new realities or different perspectives of a situation. The Urban Dictionary defines alternate reality is ‘where what you think is real is completely different from what the majority of the population thinks is real.’ The definition continues ‘a common symptom of politicians, (un)reality stars and musicians.’

‘Thinking that they are often great at everything, despite all evidence to the contrary.’ I sigh with relief: not I or my definition. I get mad when people don’t see what I see but I move forward knowing that things change quickly and if I can see some things, so can others. My writing: in my alternate reality my book focuses on characters with traits similar to myself and my friends but would I perform the action and complete the task they must once the scenario is set and moves forward. Most likely not, but then again my book is writing my alternate reality as is my life choices. I dream a short scenario in my imagination thinking of how I want someone to realize the truth about a situation or watch a movie like “Going in Style” a comedy about a trio of retirees planning to rob a bank after their pensions are cancelled. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine will act out my alternate reality and in some ways mirror my book and characters decision after a crime is committed involving a significant sum of monies. Would I act the same as my characters created by my book? Most likely not, but I can have some fun with writing about it.

And that is what I enjoy about alternate reality: no cell phones, robo calls, texting as the only technology is part of my DNA creatively imagining scenarios. Now if we can just hook up our thoughts to technology but others reading our mind is what happens with ‘cookies’ and other techie things. Sometimes it is just better to be real and finish the day without technology. Enjoy your weekend! Make the most of it.

Do you ever wonder about what people don’t say in person, on blogs, over the phone, in an interview? Today was the last day for city workers in New York for Covid Shot or to be send home without pay. They shut down 150 ambulances, a dozen fire stations were closed and police precincts are being consolidated because of the number of workers who will not get the shot. Many of them are moving our way my husband told me happily.

It is interesting that many police from Chicago have moved our way. I wonder how they are handling the crime and how they will curb it: their city experiences are well received, I believe as they bring a different viewpoint to the venue. Some bloggers from these areas don’t talk about these things. I am not sure why.

Is it because it is better to ignore what is happening or to bide the time until things may change? What if thing don’t change? What if grocery prices continue to rise along with rents and owning homes become a dream for the new generations…can we exist in a void. Many of us continue with our jobs, our daily life and sometimes we don’t have time to notice what is happening around us because we are at work or at school or busy, busy, busy. In this case, we need others around us to notice. My husband notices. Sometimes I pick up on details through noticing those I work with, hearing stories, keeping my ears open. Sometimes a commute and reading the news on the weekend will help me pick up the slack.

The things we don’t say and need to say. I hope we all have someone in our life who reminds us of events happening outside our community, so we pay attention and not exist in a slog of one. Thanks for listening and reading! Now, I think I will do like a former student of mine mentioned revert to a bad habit: reading a piece of fiction to take the edge off reality. In this example, I still think this bad habit is not going to get me in trouble anytime soon. It beats waiting for bloggers from the Chicago and New York area to relate to us these realities and how the shortage of essential city workers will affect their life. What about when they call 9-1-1 and no one picks up? Enjoy your weekend!

I was writing this blog in the early a.m. this morning visualizing reading the hard back newspaper. Do you remember those days? As an English major at college, I read newspapers: since I was on Long Island, there was the college newspaper, the New York Times, the Daily News, local papers. I remember sitting in coffee houses with friends tearing apart the paper into sections: sports for you; cultural events for me; not so much politics but the daily calendar and people of the day. I read for writers. The Times had some excellent writers and I devoured them reading voraciously of people, places, and events.

Through time, this event of newspapering seemed to fall by the wayside as the news became more and more political but still I searched out those writers I liked to read. When I first moved to the Gulf of Mexico, my family knew a good Christmas stocking present was the New York Times or even better, the Post which never failed to publish the absolute truth with bold shocking headlines of things people never knew or wanted to talk about. I was very pleased to discover some of our regular customers at our store years ago were Post readers and would arrive with the Post under their arm ordering a cupcake and sipping a coffee.

I asked my husband for a stocking gift one year to buy me gossip magazines: you know the kind they sell right before check out with shocking headlines of celebrities, and events in the news. I am not sure they even position them in the same place anymore. In the check out line lately, I see a magazine about “Cooking and living light” or is is “Living Simply?” Anyway, I loved the moments away on vacation and laughs these magazines gave me. My life and concerns seemed simple.

My life lately has been busy with training for the new job and getting accustomed to a busier schedule. It is new but I find that I still relish in reliving some of the good old days which is why when my husband mentioned going out for breakfast this weekend as my training class is downtown and it might be a good idea to find the location before the week arrives: I thought of newspapers, I thought of writers, I thought of news published and how much fun with old friends I used to have eating breakfast and reading/dividing the paper. Now, I go to the computer and we pull up news or watch on the tv but somehow it is not quite the same because once something is in print it is easier to share and to return to and you can cut it out. For years, I kept a magazine article my mom shared with me about “Cowboys on the range” in Wyoming. Because it just sounded like something I might like to write about or perhaps visit one day in person to see the ranches and the wide open spaces.

Those wide open spaces are still there but we just have to find them in different ways and readjust. Just as I adjust to getting up at 5:15 a.m. my husband is cleaning out the garden spending hours pulling weeds and making it more simple to take care of. We have a new neighbor who bought the house next door for a family member and is revamping the house. The house is identical in many ways to our house it is interesting to hear of all the improvements they are making inside. Times are changing and we change with the times.

Do you remember reading newspapers? Do you still read them? What is your favorite to seek out?

It is rewarding to see how many return to this song-almost 40 years old. When you have a challenging day, week, month it is rewarding to watch the dancers working together-“no one wants to be defeated….” I love the songs which keep us going and evidently so do many. Think of “Survivor” Eye of the Tiger and take a few minutes to read the comments under the song.

“Almost October 2021, lets see who is listening to this masterpiece.”

“I feel like fighting someone whenever I listen to this song.”

Isn’t this the point-feelings don’t change-times change and lyrics become more pc but do we really change? A few of us through the years but good songs always get the point. In 100 years, which songs do you think will still be around?

What will inspire you to move forward or who will inspire you to move forward? Will it be a good movie, book, song, or a person? Will you be reminded that it showed alternate viewpoints or perhaps more simply, just the feeling it made you feel? We are not all that complex or deep thinkers-sometimes just dancing and watching those dance in tandem is enough to realize ‘we are in this together.’ Never give up the fight.

Enjoy your weekend.

I am reminded sometimes of the age we are living in. While I was recovering from my stomach flu which was nasty and lingered, I watched a few movies on Netflix and listened to this interesting beat introducing the movie. I wrote it down because it reminded me of the dance of the grasshoppers or the chirping in our garden. I wrote on my blackboard and reviewed it for the past 3 weeks. Finally, feeling better with a few things taken care of, I googled the lyrics and YouTube brought up Frank Sinatra and then came up the Glass Animals Tangerine Lyrics It’s 2:23 you got friends on repeat, on repeat, on repeat, on re-…..and it continued

I tried to think-when I was delirious with fever and aches-were the lyrics playing or just the melody with the lingering beat which was catchy. I tuned in to Frank Sinatra and then the inevitable YouTube asked me through Amazon would I like to subscribe and get the first 30 days free of something?

Nah, sometimes living in the moment suffices. And then I erased the board to get on my way. It is a beautiful day out there and I am feeling good! Thanks for listening.

Update: we just spend 4 hours in the garden. I helped move 8 packages of river rock 40 lbs. each, so guess what my bone density test in November might just show improvement. No mirrors or music to watch my progress just me joking with husband, “Isn’t it much easier just to talk?” and so the simplification and update of the backyard to be continued….

I won’t deny that the past two weeks have been tough. We have a fantastic 2019 car running and no worries about getting to work but ever since we bought the car I have had severe abdominal cramps. For the past two weeks, I have had a stomach virus serious enough to make me consider visiting Emergency Room but I haven’t. I don’t want to overreact, so I have stayed true, yelped, eaten lots of soft foods, and taken lots of hot showers and emailed my doc at the VA.

While they have found no indication of a tumor, there will be more tests over the Thanksgiving holiday to determine what is wrong with my thyroid. I have managed to work the appointments into my Thanksgiving holiday and time in the afternoon. In between, I have been learning a new job, taking a few new classes with the job, and surviving.

Some days I am very well and some, not so. Finally after 2 weeks, I am getting rid of what was in my system and moving forward. I will never take my health for granted again. Thank you for listening. Stay healthy, and cherish those who help you survive, sometimes with a laugh the hard times.

List of “Don’t Forgets” and “Remembers” We are still Standing.

We were eight.

Before September 11th, we would wake up with a list of “Don’t Forgets”
Don’t forget to wash your face
Don’t forget to brush your teeth
Don’t forget to do your homework
Don’t forget to wear your jacket
Don’t forget to clean your room
Don’t forget to take a bath

After September 11th, we wake up with a list of “Remembers”
Remember to greet the sun each morning
Remember to enjoy every meal
Remember to thank your parents for their hard work
Remember to honor those who keep you safe
Remember to value each person you meet
Remember to respect other’s beliefs

Now we are nine.