Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spring is coming! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A little variety

This week I was asked to cover the reception desk at another program. It is a nice thing to have a new place to report to in the morning, and it is nice to learn a new job. I will be there for a week, and then am taking off for Oklahoma to bring my mom home from the nursing center. She is happy to "break of this joint" as she so aptly puts it. We will work on getting meals and services for her at home, and hope that she complys with others ideas of what is good for her. She is of sound mind, and at 96, is a formidable presence. What she wants, she wants.

We will be grateful today, for the nice Boston day, with no snow or rain, and for the beginning of Spring. Mom tells me that in Oklahoma the redbuds are in bloom, and I will have to remember that when I pack and not take my winter sweaters. No one wears brown, or black, there, and those are the staples of my wardrobe. I have to try to remember what 70 degrees feels like and pack accordingly. Spring in Oklahoma lasts for months and is really beautiful. Spring in Boston comes late and lasts about a week, and then it is summer. It goes from too cold to too hot. And that's a fact.

Have a great day. Take time to smell the roses.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Big Gamblers

George and I took a little weekend trip. We drove to Connecticut and stayed at a lovely Hampton Inn in Groton. It was a beautiful, sunny, winter weekend, and we had a lot of fun. On the way on Friday, we stopped in at Mohecan Sun, the casino near Groton. We had never been there before. Mohecan Sun is out in the woods, and the rolling hills are beautiful. And there in the midst is this huge copper building. It was fun, like the Wizard of Oz. We walked in through a huge wooden structure with stretched canvas and Indian artwork. And on through a richly carpeted hallway into the casino.

If there is a downside to casinos, and I'm sure there are many, the big downside for us is the scent of cigarette smoke. I have heard that in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, they have ways of filtering and blowing the smoke out so you really don't notice it. That is not true at the Connecticut Casinos. It wasn't horrible, but it was always there.

George and I galloped into the casino with high hopes. I put in the first twenty dollar bill. Pull, push the button through $10, cash out and move to another maching, pull, push the button for another ten spot....nothing. I would get a cherry or two, and a few extra turns, but basicly, the bad news is that we spent $60 and got...nada.

We went to another casino on Saturday, Foxwoods, and had much the same result. We stood in a line for a "wampum" card, which you put into your slot machine and in some way, it records your wins, and then you get a chance for discounts and a raffle type prize later...something like that. George had the card, he moved to two or three machines, and lost the card. Oh well. I had to laugh. One time on my machine, I had THREE BARS all across...and guess what...I made $2.50. Another time, George had three EXTRA WINS across, but since he had not played three quarters, he guessed it...nada. At that rate, no matter how good our luck, we were not going to leave rich. The jackpots are smaller that they used to be I think. It all seemed a bit pointless I'm afraid.

There were long lines at the buffet and we were tired of the smokey smell so we turned for home. But it was fun to see what other people do, and fun to see people feeding hundred dollar bills into the machines and still not looking happy, and it was fun to leave the smokey den for the beautiful fresh Connecticut air.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Posted by Picasa

If you haven't checked out this web site, give yourself a little treat today. Guaranteed for giggles. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A full moon

Last night, coming back from a lovely dinner out, George and I enjoyed looking a the beautiful full moon. There had been snow squalls in the afternoon, and one minute the sun would be shining, and the next it would be cloudy with icy snow pellets hitting you in the face. It was an interesting weather afternoon, and one of those Northeastern weather days that are so unique to this part of the world.

The moon was bright and the clouds were silver-lined and it was a night to remember. We had dinner at a local diner called The Blue Note, and they had a piano player who played Elton John and Billy Joel tunes. It was fun, and we enjoyed it, and we realized just how talented those two really are. The man at our diner was doing his best. The dinner was terrific and we both needed it after the week we've had.

I don't know if the fullness of the moon had anything to do with it, but this has been a challenging week. At work and at play we have been challenged. Some days I felt like it would be a good day to go hide under the bed. But it looks like we have survived, and today is another beautiful sunny day.

I have especially enjoyed Ebaying this week and have sold several of my necklaces and bracelets, and it has been fun emailing, wrapping and shipping. I love meeting new people, and everyone seems so nice! It has been the fun part of the week.

Have a good day, and keep smiling.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Abraham and Sarah

George and I both work up in the middle of the night thinking about the sermon yesterday and the story of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was 99 years old when God came to him and promised him a child. Abraham laughed. They had a child one year later, and a multitude of nations sprang from his offspring.

I don't know why we were thinking of that. Perhaps because we feel like we are 99? Perhaps because my mom is 96? Perhaps because we ate too much chili for dinner?

Some nights are like that. You just have to get through those early dawn dark hours, when things seem rather insurmountable, and move into the sunshine, where the world gets less scary. I heard the neighbor leave for his work. He leaves at 5:00 a.m. I always feel safe and secure in my bed when I hear him leave, and realize that I have two more hours before I have to get up.

Michael is in the midst of preparing for his upcoming wedding in October, and there is a lot to think about and a lot for him to manage. Like buying a home near Washington DC. I am not going to worry. And I'm also urging he and Michelle not to worry either. "Enjoy", I say. Somehow, like for Abraham, the happy promises will come true, and even things that seem insurmountable now will fall into place. Have faith!

Have a great day.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

George bought this little pillow for my chair. How sweet! Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

A candle holder that I think it especially cute. I'm saving this one! Oh dear, I see a problem. Some things will be difficult to part with--that's why I have so many things in the first place! Posted by Picasa

Treasures From My Home

Today I started a new Ebay business called Treasures From My Home. I am going to sell some of the things I have collected over the years. There is a lot. I have teapots, china, candles, lace doileys, antique jewelry, rhinestone pins, tea cups, beaded evening bags...all kinds of things. It is going to fun to list them and see how they sell. I'm not looking to get rich, but I might as well get a few things out of my house and into the welcoming arms of someone else.

Too busy to write. Have to go photograph a teapot.

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

No news is good news

I talked to mom on the phone last night. She said she had lots of stories to tell me about things around there, but she couldn't write them all down, and that she couldn't tell me on the phone. I told her to keep up her journal and we'd share them when I got there. Living around other people gives her a lot of stories to tell. She tells me what she says to crack up the other ladies at her dining table. She told me that the huge TV set in the main room by the nurses station fell to the floor and broke to smithereens. She said it scared everybody. I wonder how that happened. She told me that someone came and brought her more oranges, so she has them on her window sill. She said she is still working hard at therapy and is up to 2 pound weights on her ankles and arms. At 96, I think she is doing a lot more exercise than I do!

Winter is leaving and Spring is coming and it is time to look outside and see the birdies congregated around the seed feeders and dream of pretty plants out on the deck. Seed catalogs are arriving, and George and I are starting to plan our garden. Each year it is different. Last year we planted butterfly bushes and tomatoes. Soon we will see if Chuckie the woodchuck that lives under our garage is still here. He is a maddening little fellow, and I'm hoping that he has found a new home somewhere else.

No big news today, for which I am very grateful.

Have a good day.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Last week, traveling through Newark from Oklahoma, I saw a couple of guys come to the gate. They were pink necked, (different from rednecks), hung over and blustery. One of them was bemoaning the fact that he really needed a drink and the other said that the drinks at the airport were a "rip off". They looked rather miserable. One was feebly trying to read an old circular about New Orleans. Yep, finally I caught on! It was Ash Wednesday! These two had the ol' Marti Gras hangover big time.

I was reading my wonderful book about Winston Churchill by William Manchester. It is called "Alone", and it is a weighty book that takes a lot of concentration. It also just plain weighs a lot, and I was determined to bring it on this trip home anyway. Mike bought it for mom to read, but she isn't ready for this book yet, so I borrowed it with her permission.

These two party boys at the airport wouldn't even be able to lift the book, much less read it.

All in all, it was a crowded, rather hot, and cramped flight back on an airplane that is really too small for a long trip. But I was reminded again how happy I am that I never drink, and that I can face anything at all and know I won't EVER have a hangover like those two.

Viva New Orleans. Viva Lent.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


A few weeks ago right before our Sunday church service, I saw a young woman go into the sanctuary to talk with Pastor Keith. She had been crying. He went with her to his office, where he talked with her until just before he began the Sunday service. He started the service by announcing that she had come to our congregation to ask for money, because she was destitute, had spent the night outside of a shelter the night before with her two small children, and was cold, hungry and broke. The Pastor announced to the congregation that he would take up a special collection, and people reached into their pockets for extra money.

Since I used to work at a homeless shelter, I went to where this young woman was waiting in our library. I said to her that she did not have to talk with me, but that I would just sit there and keep her company. Actually, I wanted also to see for myself that she would not "bolt" or act out in some funny way. She didn't. She said that she would "like to talk to me". She cried, and talked about the shelter the night before and what a horrid experience it had been for her and her two small children. Another woman in our church who is a social worker came with the money that had been collected and counted: over $500.

The young lady cried and cried, thanked us, hugged us, and I walked her out to the car where she said a "friend she had met at the shelter, whose wife was now watching her kids" was waiting for her. I checked out the car, which was full of clothing and household items, and talked to the man who was driving briefly. He thanked me. I told him to be careful and to watch out for her. I thought that we had done as well as we could for these poor unfortunate...

scammers. Today this appeared in the Boston Globe. These people have been to many, many churches and organizations in the north Boston area, and scammed everyone for thousands of dollars. As it says in the article, they were really good! I never saw anyone cry like that on cue before.

Today our pastor said that we would all feel bad, that he was embarrassed, and that it would be hard for us to not to feel angry. Yet, he said that Christ wants us to take care of others, and that if asked if we had been bilked, we would say "Yes, and we prayed for them." And we did pray. And we all felt sad and unhappy that such a thing could take place right in our own church, in our neighborhood, in our town. But it did. They had me fooled, they had him fooled, they had many others fooled, and in the end...they are still very unfortunate and in need of Christ's, and our, forgiveness.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Nice to be home!

Boy, it is nice to be home! Back to the land of soft beds, Dunkin' Donuts coffee, fresh fish dinners (any dinners at all, in fact, and computer access at my fingertips. I like Oklahoma, and the weather was balmy, but it is nice to be back in the nest of one's own life. Mom is doing well, working hard at therapy, and living where the nurses can monitor her bad heart and her changing blood pressure. She still has fluid retention, which they are watching closely, and she needs round the clock care. I'm happy that she is there, even while I am very unhappy that she is there, if that makes any sense at all.

The high point of my trip was being able to spend time with my mom, and we had a lot of fun. She ran me ragged getting little things that will help her cope with the day. We set her up with writing materials, so she can keep in touch with people, and we got a phone card for her, though it seems unlikely that she will use it. She isn't interested on talking on the phone, for some reason I can't quite figure out. She has a TV and some books, and I got her some $16 magnifying glasses because she doesn't like her new prescription (at probably $500). She has books, and a new subscription to the El Reno paper so she can read the news. She is mentally lively, and capable of making decisions, so that is good. Her balance is very iffy, and standing or walking without her "cadillac" walker is out of the question.

For me, it is back to work this week, and then starting to make some new jewelry to please my customers. Spring is the time for arts and crafts fairs, and my inventory is depleted, so I need to get some new items made. And, I must admit, it is just time to get back to my life, whatever comes. It is nice here in Boston, and I intend to enjoy it!

Have a great day!