Friday, January 31, 2014

Correction: January Ends in a SNOW Flurry!

Wednesday, January 29
Who would'a thunk it?  One day it's 70 and the next there is ice on the ground! When I visited Mama yesterday early afternoon, it was so nice that we sat outside for a while to enjoy the beautiful day - warm, sunny, bright blue sky.  By 4PM the chill was noticeable and by 5:00 it had begun to drizzle.  I had planned to go to Living Liberally; but, the colder it got, the more I wanted to snuggle in!  When I looked out in the morning, there was a shiny ice film covering the driveway and an hour later a little bit of snow had accumulated.  Most of it has gone by now (3PM), but I've taken it as a real "snow day".  I've remained in my PJs and couch pouch (not a pretty sight!) all day and moved at my own pace to make a batch of cookies and a sandwich spread, tidy up the house and clean the floors. It has been a nice balance between being productive and being rested and relaxed.  While I definitely would not want a winter of this, one day every 10 years or so isn't bad at all!!

Friday, January 31
Yesterday Janeen and I got together for a leisurely lunch.  It had been quite a while since we'd been together and we sat and chatted for about two hours....a fun way to spend a cold, windy afternoon.  Today we are back in the 60s, heading for the 70s over the weekend.  I hope that was winter! 

This weekend the madness begins....Super Bowl (or for Colbert fans, Superb Owl!) and then weeks and weeks of winter Olympics.  I used to enjoy watching many sports but, to be honest, the doping as taken all interest out of it for me.  I'm so out of it that I had to Google to find out who was playing in the SB.  I knew Seattle was one team, only because of the recent outburst of their QB that got so much coverage.  Already there has been a security concern of some type, and I can only imagine the possibilities in Sochi.  I hope all will go well, but that has to be a concern for both competitors and spectators....such a shame.  Much more to my liking will be the Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl on Animal Planet.  The only security threat there is possible kidnapping due to extreme cuteness!

I've often been amazed that people can be so uninformed about current events, politics, etc.  I'm sure most of our citizens are much better informed on sports (or American Idol, etc) than politics, and how it can happen was brought to my attention when I realized that I managed to block out all of the Super Bowl hype.  So, I can see HOW it can  happen, but I do think it's worth our (collective) time to pay a little attention to our government, which affects our life every day.  Oh, well, not going to happen!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January Ends in a Flurry

The end of January proved to be busy and interesting.  My neighbor, Ana, and I went to an Artist Uncorked class, which didn't reveal any hidden talent on my part, but it was still lots of fun.  I'm not sure whether the amateurish results were due to too much or too little vino! Ana had been to one of these before and she felt that our teacher wasn't as thorough as the one in her first class.  So, I'm going to blame it on the instructor.....that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

The Artist Uncorked class was on a Thursday and, within a few days of that, I heard of a Live Well - Be Well program sponsored by Gulfstream in Savannah.  I looked it up online and the speakers were Martha Beck (of O Magazine fame) and Maria Shriver.  With it being so close to the date, I was surprised that tickets were available.....and that they were only $10!!  So, I quickly bought tickets online.  The event was on Saturday and was uplifting, motivating and totally enjoyable.  Both speakers turned out to be just as you would expect.  In the case of Maria S, she seemed down to earth, gracious, informed and very attractive......and, yes, her hair really is that gorgeous!  Their topic was how to handle the fast pace of change that is happening to us all, and it was informative and thought provoking.  There were also two breakout sessions, one before the main event and one after.  I was only able to make the one after, which was lead by Susan Hyatt, a trainee of Martha Beck.  It, too, was good.  This was the first time in a long time that I've done anything like that and it was enjoyable and I appreciated being able to participate.  This was actually the last in a four-part series done by Gulfstream.  The others included Dr. Oz and his wife, Suz Orman and Tony Robbins - all top notch speakers.  So, I'm hoping to get on their mailing list for the second series planned for later in the year.

I'm happy to report that my cold is is the best so far.  This coming week there is very little planned and there are a couple of days when the temp doesn't get out of the 30s (Yuck!), so I'm going to try to find a balance between cleaning the house and getting enough rest to feel normal again.

Unfortunately, my Baby Gabby is not feeling so well.  For some reason he stopped eating much/regularly and that threw his insulin out of whack.  He had to go to the vet and stay overnight, and we are trying to get things back in balance. He is eating a little now and is beginning to act more himself, though certainly not 100%.  It is a concern since he was my first kitty and he is the one who shows his affection the most.  He's 14 now and anything could happen......but I hope it won't!

My mother seems to be settling in again, and I will try not to do anything to upset that and I hope she won't have any more falls.  She is getting over her cold, but has been discharged from the physical therapist and the nurse.  The injection in the stomach has also ended.....thank goodness!!  She was not at all bad about having it, but I definitely didn't like giving it.  As you know, the people who have loved ones there quickly become friends.  Over the last two weeks, two residents whom we've gotten to know and like have died.  While it is sad, it is almost a relief for the family, and I think the support of those of us who see one another every day makes it a bit least I hope it does.  Mr. Al, who died day before yesterday, was one of those who always wanted and actively tried to get out, which made it very difficult for his wife.  

In spite of the last few things, it has been a good week, for which I'm thankful.  This coming week I have Living Liberally to look forward to, as well as lunch out with Janeen.  So, it should be a good week.  I hope yours is the same.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Another Birthday....

The news is good......I survived another birthday! As another cold streak arrived, it was perfect weather to stay inside and toasty, which was fortunate as I was suffering a cold, which peaked on the 21st.  Today (Thursday) is the first day I've felt reasonable all week.  In spite of all that, it was a good birthday, made so by hearing from friends and family, near and far.  

Around 2PM (ice cream time!) on my birthday, I took some  mini-cupcakes over to Belfair/Bloom to celebrate with them, not knowing that it was also one of the resident's birthday.  So, Angel and I shared the moment and enjoyed being serenaded.  Every time Mama realized or heard that it was January, she would ask if I didn't have a birthday soon.  Once she asked how old I would be, and when I told her, she said, "Donna, you're not!!!"  I'm sure its my perky, energetic demeanor that has fooled her! (LOL!!!)  Anyway, I got a laugh out of that.....and I responded, "Mama, I AM!"  All in all, it was a very nice birthday.  My last bit of celebrating will be next week when Janeen is taking me out to lunch.  She proposed doing it on the day, but I felt rotten and asked if we could do it when I was rid of the cold.  So, that will be something to anticipate.

Thanks to one and all for thinking of me, being in contact, 
and making it such a nice birthday.

Okay! I promise to stop doing these videos....soon.  But, they are so much fun to do, and in this one I've learned so much....finding and timing the music, combining photos and using transitions, taking screen shots on my iPad, and so on....  I'm sure I'll tire of it soon and stop boring you with my time wasters!

But, speaking of birthdays and aging, I will leave you with something on women over 40.  Since I am WELL over 40, I will say that with each passing decade you can expect to move up on the "I-don't-give-a-s#*t" scale, which makes ladies of my age dangerous!  In any case, enjoy!

Andy Rooney says:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

Note: Actually, Andy didn't have anything to say on women over 40. Well, he might have, but it certainly wasn't the comments above. Those were made by a man named Frank Kaiser back in 2000 in an essay he wrote for For some reason, the essay was attributed to Rooney and went viral. This particular version was recently posted by Victoria Maltby.  I had not seen it in quite a while and thought it a great message for any woman over 40!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winter is Here Again!

Cold weather is upon us again, and it is a perfect day to make a hearty soup and dabble on the computer.  The soup is Eileen's Scotch Broth, which is perfect for this weather. It's simmering away, so I can take some time for updating this site.

(Please expand video for better viewing)

Following the lead of North Carolina's Moral Mondays, I participated in South Carolina's Truthful Tuesday on January 14th, the opening day of the 2014 session of the state legislature.  Both states have refused Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act and in South Carolina it will leave about 65,000 low-income people uninsured.  Both states have also done everything possible to restrict voting rights.   The Sun City Democrat Club chartered a bus and, being on their email list, several of us from Living Liberally were able to go along. I enjoyed making my signs and being in the company of liberals on the way over to Columbia.  The day started dark and rainy but, as we approached the Columbia city limits, the sun peeked through briefly and was welcomed with a cheer from the group.  It was still a bit rainy when we disembarked, but it began to slowly improve, ending with a blue sky and sun all the way home.

Little did we know that the Tea Party would be protesting (Impeach Obama, shut down Obamacare, etc) on the other side of the building, but it appeared that our numbers were greater and certainly more diverse.  The rally only lasted a couple of hours, but the speakers were very good.  It was great to read the signs and learn about various groups that were there.  I always enjoy this type of thing so much and leave feeling hopeful and optimistic, having my faith in mankind renewed....though sometimes I feel that we are a small minority!  I hope that isn't the case.  Anyway, it was lots of fun and I hope it was in some way productive.

We even made the evening news (at least our back-sides, if you are very observant!) in Columbia, which you can see HERE

Otherwise, life has been quiet and very normal, which is not a complaint!  Once again, being ahead of my time, my habit of "binge viewing" has been discovered by others and is now "trending"!!  I don't get HBO or the premier channels, but I do enjoy their good series via Netflix.  At the moment I'm watching Netflix's first series, "House of Cards", a political drama.  Season 2 is about to begin, but I'm watching all of season one, in one fell swoop.  I love watching it all at one time and not stretching it out over weeks, and usually missing some episodes in the process. My only concern was that I watch so much "political drama" around the clock, I wasn't sure I should add it as entertainment, too!  After "House of Cards", it will be Season two of "Enlightened", season one of "Veep", and this past season of "Homeland".......much better than re-runs or news, news, news.

Tomorrow would have been Allan's 61st birthday, and I couldn't help but think of him as I was preparing for the rally.  The fact that I would do such things always bewildered him in a fun kind of way.  At the end of a conversation about some of my upcoming misadventures, he would rattle off his cell number.....for my one phone call for bail money!!  After Cheryl and I protested in DC in ice and snow one January, he insisted I get real boots that would be warm and weatherproof (which I wore Tuesday).  I think he secretly liked it all because it was something he never would have expected me to do. And, on his birthday I always called and sang an excruciating bad rendition of Happy Birthday, without any effort to actually be bad!  He would moan, groan, hiss and boo all the way through. So, I know it will be a sad and empty day.  I think especially of his Dad, his sisters, Margaret and Jean, as I know it will be a difficult day for them.  I will be thinking of them and hoping they get through the day okay, knowing that Allan would not want us to be sad. I send my love and warmest regards to them all.

 One of my favorite photos of Allan
Istanbul, Turkey

Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 2014

Happy New Year!  I hope you got it off to a good start and have settled in nicely....and that 2014 will be kinder to us all than 2013.  

Our first two days of the year were dark and rainy, then the cold set in.  It was only for a few days, but it was the coldest since I've been here.  My walking routine has been set aside since the end of November and this weather has delayed if further.  Even so, I've used the indoor time to focus on food, housecleaning, laundry, putting Christmas decorations away, etc. Things are pretty much to the point that I can begin walking again, guilt free, when the weather cooperates a little more.

The photos give you an idea of what I'm talking about.  The first photo was in the paper and I liked the ice on the birds (herons, maybe).  The fact that camelias were still in full bloom shows how atypical this is for us.

The second photo shows that even the kitties welcomed some cover and consolation.  I was surprised that they stayed under the cover long enough for the picture to be taken, to say nothing of just accepting it!  This was the early morning before the house warmed...  It also shows why my house will never appear in the pages of Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens.  Cat people will know that cats like to sit or sleep on "spots", so I have towels on my bed to designate cat spots.....and, thus, Donna's spot, in hopes of having enough room to sleep without contortion.  I really do have some nice spreads, all of which are cat hair magnets and are packed away.  Needless to say, aesthetics are NOT the first consideration here!

Not a lot else is happening.  My mother is back at Belfair and settling in...I hope.  Since getting out of the hospital, she has to have a daily injection (in the stomach) of Lovonox to prevent blood clots.  The home health service visits only two days a week and Belfair Gardens ( now called Bloom) does not do that, so I do it!  This is not anything I ever in my life expected to do, but.....  My mother is good about it and says it doesn't hurt, but I will be as glad as she for it to be over.

Now that the house is cleaner, the laundry done, and food in the fridge, I hope things settle enough to be able to catch my breath a bit.  I have a few fun things planned and hope everything remains calm enough for them to happen.  Quiet is good!

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