Wednesday, January 26, 2011


More birthday messages arrived and I have added cards to the slide-show in the precious post, so please check it out. Thanks again to everyone who was in made my day!  I also wanted to pass this tidbit along to friends in a similar age......and have you noticed that we've suddenly reached the dubious age range of "60+", like it's too high to even count!!.

January has flown by with little recollection of how I've spent my time.  We've gotten my mother's dental work done and she's getting accustomed to her new lower denture.  I have to give her credit, she is persistent, as she was when she got her uppers some years ago.  It isn't easy or comfortable, but she isn't giving up.  She's also gotten some new medication for her digestive problem and it seems to be doing the trick. She has several more follow-up appointments through next month and, if she gets good reports, will be eager to get back to NC......where it will all fall apart again!  That seems to be the routine.

This week has been devoted to setting up my new printer.  I'm really pleased with it on several counts:
  • it is smaller and faster than my old one, with the usual improvement in technology over the intervening years.
  • it's wireless, which set up easliy with my desktop computer (using XP operating system), but didn't speak to my new laptop (Windows 7), which is the one I really wanted it to work with.
  • it's a refurbished product, which means I'm recycling (as in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)....and it's inexpensive.  This is the second refurnished product I've purchased and all have worked well.  As far as I can tell, they are all refurnished by the manufacturer (unless someone has figured out how to scam it) and they appear to be totally new, down to the packaging, exterior, everything.  They also come with the same warranty as new products, so what have you got to lose, except the possible inconvenience if you have to return it. So, my new HP6500 All-in-One wireless was only $89......advertised for $99, but I had a 20% coupon!  That's hard to beat.
My plan is to get rid of my desktop computer, so I had to get the printer set up to my laptop. I did everything I knew to do then read the forums of HP website, which quickly convinced me that it was beyond my capabilities.  So, yesterday was devoted to phone support, which can often be a nightmare.  However, this was the only time I've ever called computer support and gotten right through!!  The nice guy in the Philippines then remotely took control of my computer and solved the problem.  I could sit here and watch on the monitor what he was doing.....that just amazes me!  So, now it is up and running perfectly.

Sharon and I had lunch recently, which was fun.  My mother and I also had a day at the Sam's Club in Savannah.  We had only been there once before and that was around Christmas....not the best time.  This visit was much less chaotic and we had plenty of time to browse.  We then went to Ruby Tuesday's for a late lunch and it was equally quiet.  It was a very relaxing kind of shopping.

Other than that, I'm continuing my walking routine as often as possible.  Yesterday there was a steady rain all day long so we just made it an "inside" day.  Today is a bit warmer but very windy.  Even so, I got out and really enjoyed it after a two day lay-off.  I really miss running into Rhoda and Miss Cleo and have thought of them often, especially wondering how Cleo is doing.  I'm hoping she is also attached to Rhoda's husband and that he will pamper her as Rhoda did.  There was a new guy on the block, though.......a little, long-haired dachshund, chasing all the leaves stirred up by the wind.....very cute!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A question posed many years ago by the Beatles....

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64??

The remaining Beatles were probably as surprised as I to have that age arrive with such speed!  The good news is that it doesn't seem possible, as long as I don't look in the mirror!!  My health is excellent and I'm able to be active as I've ever been in any part of my life.  My days are my own, no longer encumbered by a work schedule, and I'm able to take the time to appreciate so many things that make each day special.  The coming year holds the promise of a few  trips, special visitors and other activities - so there is still a lot to look forward to.  At this moment in time, I feel very fortunate.

The day itself has been very quiet.  We returned from NC earlier yesterday and my mother's dental work was easier than all went well there.  North Carolina was colder, with gray skies, bare trees and even bits of snow lingering.  When we were 50 miles from here, the sun came out, the sky turned a brilliant Carolina blue, with only a few wispy, white clouds.  It was warm enough for me to take my walk, and today was even warmer (63). My mother suggested we go out for dinner for my birthday, but she is not yet accustomed to her new denture and has a slight bruise on her chin from one of the teeth that was pulled.  It was a nice offer, but I knew she really wasn't up to it, so we'll do it sometime later.  All of that is to let those of you who called or sent cards (shown above), emails or FB messages how much I appreciate made my birthday a special one.  Thank you so much for your good wishes.........from your lips to God's ears!

The Thursday before we left for NC, Dennis (cousin), Carol, and their friend Mel stopped by on their way to Florida to visit her parents.  It's always nice to see them and it affords us a chance to catch up.  We had a nice dinner and lots of good was fun.

Upon our return, there was news of a neighbor's sudden death.  You may recall my mentioning a lady with a little fru-fru dog whom I met on my morning walks in the summer.  We always stopped for a chat whenever we met, attended a ladies' luncheon in December and had planned to do the same in February.  We had just spoken a few days earlier, when she died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday.  All of her family was with her at Christmas, and that's a blessing for them.  Her dear little Yorkie was even mentioned in her obituary and I know Miss Cleo, as I call her, will be lost without her attentive master.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is Happening to Us?

The month is flying by and I'm not sure where it has gone.......hope that's not the way the whole year will go.  And I certainly hope the events in Tucson do not portend the remainder of the year for our country.  How many of these mass killings have to occur before we begin to make some changes?  Why does it always seem to befall the most innocent? 

It's been amazing to watch all of the talking heads dance around the use and misuse of inflammatory language in politics, being too politically correct to hit the nail on the head.  Okay, there is no direct connection between Sarah Palin and the shooting ......I get that. But do we really believe that she and those like her who use such incendiary language day-in-and-day-out do not contaminate our culture.......and have no responsibility for the tone set and/or actions suggested by that language?  We are talking about our leaders here, people who, in the past, were expected to set a good example (and usually people who profess to be of deep faith....that always gets me!).   If they do not "intend" the impressions given by the words and symbols they use, then choose different words and symbols that more accurately represent your intentions......there are lots of them!!  Palin, Bachman, Limbaugh, Beck, etc. have built careers on appealing to the lowest common denominators.....fear, prejudice,ignorance.  They are masters of pushing right up to the line and as far over as they can go, without having to accept responsibility for anything.  And I'm not sure which is more disheartening, the fact that they are so unconscionable as to operate like that (on a regular basis) or that there are so many people who support them in doing so.........(And have you noticed the sudden silence now that someone has actually acted with the bravado suggested??  Silence, but no acknowledgment that the tone will be improved in case it might contribute to such horrendous acts.)

And what is our obsession with guns?  How many people are going to have to die before someone has the guts to press from gun regulation??  Is there a rational reason that anyone should have an automatic weapon?  Why do we always have to jump to the extreme and assume that regulation is going to immediately lead to confiscation?  Where is our sense of reason??  The only people I have heard or read appealing for gun control are James Brady and his wife and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy from NY state, all of whom have been directly and seriously affect by gun violence. No one else seems to feel any responsibility to make our country safer and less would mean standing up to the NRA!

Maybe my pensive mood has been brought on by cabin fever.  Our weather has been cold and not  conducive to my daily walks.  The first two days I just enjoyed a break, but I really didn't want to let it go too long.  So, for the last few days I've done yoga. It must have been around the end of 2009 when my mother was going through her health problems that I broke my yoga routine.  For some reason, I was never able to pick it up again.  Surprisingly, I've really enjoyed the few times I've done it.  The walking is great, but so is the stretching, and I hope to maintain them both in some combination.

Part of our Living Liberally group
We weren't able to go to NC as planned.  My mother wasn't feeling well on the day we were to leave, so we are now hoping to go up sometime this coming week.  In the meantime, we have taken care of doctor's appointments, vet appointments, been to a musical show by Al (Rita's husband)......and I went to a very enjoyable Living Liberally group. We are expecting Dennis (cousin) and Carol today through Friday, and I have a few lunch dates with friends. So, January is going quickly and we've been busy.

I send my heartfelt condolences to Pauline and her family on the passing of Phil. 
He was a lovely, gentle, fun loving man and he will be missed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lucky New Year's Day Omen

I made every effort (while lying horizontally in bed) to stay awake, watch the ball drop in NYC and see in the New Year.  After watching all of the so-so entertainment,  I must have fallen asleep 5 or 10 minutes before midnight and awakened at 12:02 by all of the noise made by the revelers!!  I soldiered through all of the hubbub/crap and the only thing I missed was the ball and the stroke of midnight!

On my first walk of the year, I spotted what I hope is a positive omen for the coming year - our resident alligator sunning himself in the golf course bunker!  He had pulled himself up on the sand with only one-third of his tail remaining in the water. They were still out sunning in early December before the cold weather hit, which was very late for them to still be out.  It looks like two warm days in the 70s were more than he could resist.......and I hope he gets many more opportunities to enjoy himself.

Before my walk, we had a leisurely morning before preparing our traditional Southern New Year's lunch/dinner - pork (in Mama's case it was chops) for good luck, black-eyed peas for coins, turnip greens for greenbacks , sweet potatoes (fries) just because they're good, and corn bread for gold and prosperity..  Between all of that and the gator, I hope we've attracted some good luck for the coming year!

On the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year, I suddenly decided to install 3 shelves in my kitchen pantry.  The original shelves are 20" deep and spaced far apart, so there is a lot of wasted space.  It appears organized until my mother comes down and we add her things, and suddenly it becomes difficult to find anything.  So, it seemed that three narrow shelves of 8" depth would create more space and make more items visible.  Naturally, the project required two trips to Home Depot, but I was lucky to be helped by a nice, young guy who looked like he was 12 years old, but he knew his stuff.  He seemed amazed that a little, old lady was going to tackle a project like that!  He helped me find exactly what I needed, cut the boards the length required, and so on....getting me off to a good start.  The only hitch came when I started to put up the first bracket.  They were placed directly above those of the original shelves and I was expecting to attach the bracket to a stud.  It took one screw to realize there was no stud.  So, another trip to HD.  I got some butterfly screws and in no time flat the shelves were up.  I really expected it to take several days, especially since the project was started mid-afternoon.  But, by 8PM it was complete and restocked! Amazing.

And, if you thought I might neglect my civic duties over the holidays, you would be wrong!  Somehow, I managed to receive two letters in one day from my senator, Lindsey Graham!  In an earlier post I mentioned that I was so distraught over the capitulation of the tax cuts for the rich that I had to write someone.  DeMint(ed) is a waste of time as he is in total lockstep with Republicorp, and is now cozying up to the Tea Party.  But, to his credit, I do usually receive a reasonable acknowledgment from Lindsey (we're on a first name basis now).  I can't figure out how I received two replies - except that at the time I was so fired up that I sent a copy of the email to John Boehner, too. He may have passed the buck back to Lindsey.  Anyway, there were some successes after the tax deal (DADT, food safety, 9/11 responders, START, etc.), so I feel better about the state of things at the moment.  I'm going to try to enjoy it until they begin dismantling "Obamacare", a carefully chosen term to instill fear, uncertainly and disdain.....does that cover all of the negative energies??

Off to NC tomorrow for three days to get my mother started on her dental work.  Am hoping that every little thing will add up to good health.