COME ENTER THE WORLD OF MY IMAGINATION


ADULT AND JUVENILE FICTION


Welcome to my world and its sometimes twisted imagination 

   

​​​                                        

                                         Good morning blog world!


              By way of introduction to anyone who is checking me out for the first time, (now that has a stalker-like ring to it, doesn’t it?) I want to start out with a welcome greeting. To my faithful followers, who have already read my day-to-day stream of consciousness posts, bear with me. It was suggested by some of my readers that I reverse the order of my posts so that the current day is first. That way they don’t have to scroll all the way through the previous ones. 

                Duh, why didn’t I think of this? Why? Because I truly have no experience in this world of blogging and don’t have a clue. This is completely un-chartered waters and the mechanics of it, to be honest, baffle me. 

                So I’m going to re-post Sept. 20, Day 1, which explains why I’m here in the first place. And just to confuse you further, it will also be Tuesday, Oct. 10, Day 22. From here on in, this will be the opening greeting, (along with Day 1) so newcomers will hopefully understand what the heck I’m doing, (despite the fact that I don’t.) So now are we all on the same page? Doesn’t all of this just compel you to come back every day?

                                                         Yes? Awesome! 

                                                  No? I don’t blame you. 

                                   There are days I don’t want to either, lol.



Sept. 20 - Day 1


Okay, so bear with me. This is my first time out into the world of a million and one blogs and I openly and honestly have no idea what I'm doing. So why then am I doing this? Because someone (who will remain nameless,) suggested it. Not that I always listen to or follow suggestions. Actually, the reality is that I rarely listen because I have a somewhat rebellious and suspicious nature and have to test the waters for myself.

So the first and foremost question I asked myself is...what on earth do I have to say that anyone in their right mind would want to hear? Even my blessed husband of 49 years who listens to everything I have to say, because he knows what's good for him, asked me "What's a blog? Why do you need one? And what the heck would you talk about? And who on earth would read it?" Now there's a vote of confidence and a shot in the arm, don't you think?

Why am I taking the plunge? Well, one of my favorite movies, the one I've watched so many times I can voice the dialogue right along with them, is Julie and Julia. If you haven't seen it, without going into the details of why, Julie starts a blog, and her initial reaction is that no-one is ever going to read it, so it really doesn't matter what she writes. So I'm taking my hat off to Julie for the notion that no-one will ever read this. Q.E.D. I can blog my little heart out because there isn't anybody out there reading this anyway.

So greetings to all of you, or more likely none of you. This is the first of either many posts or the last of them. Tune in tomorrow for something I might just have to say...or nothing at all.

So how did I do blogworld? Actually? I don't think I want to know.

                                               


JUST A REMINDER

Unfortunately, you can not post comments on this site. If you have any feedback or comments you wish to post, you can do so on my FB page @authorjudithsessler or use the contact form on this site.



Sunday, Nov. 19 - Day 61


This morning I was standing in front of the refrigerator, door wide open, perusing the contents, trying to decide the perfect breakfast choice. My usual fried egg sandwich didn’t seem to be screaming out to me, mostly because it would require the monumental task of actually cooking.


So the next likely choice, because it required nothing more than opening the container and scooping some out into a bowl, was some greek yogurt.


And so that’s where today’s post is going to go.


You’re probably asking yourself, what on earth is there to be said about the subject…yogurt.


Well, as I sat eating my plain, non-fat greek yogurt onto which I have sprinkled a liberal amount of Madagascar cinnamon, I thought back to the very first time I was introduced to yogurt.


It was in the mid 1950s when I was only six or seven and I watched my mom eat it everyday for lunch.


One of the flavors and the one my mother ate on a regular basis was…wait for it…prune-whip. Of yum. For some reason, my mother had somewhat of a love affair with the dried-up plum fruit known as a prune. Every morning, she served us a little bowl of stewed prunes with our oatmeal.

I suspect that it had to do with the touted nutritional benefit of keeping our little family ‘regular.’ I do not feel the need to expound on this subject any further and I’m sure you appreciate it.


Because I really don’t wan’t anyone to be fully uninformed, I’ll give you a brief history of yogurt in America.


It was introduced in this country in the early 1940s by a company that is very familiar to us all. Dannon.


When it was first introduced here, the tart, unfamiliar, custard-like product wasn’t a big hit. But then Dannon introduced a new version that included fruit on the bottom to make it sweeter and more appealing. Well, that did the trick and before long, it became a popular food item.

There was a very limited number of flavors, one of them being prune-whip.


So, now back to breakfast.


When I was growing up, yogurt was yogurt and Dannon was it. End of subject.

Not so anymore.


Today, the yogurt situation is one of gargantuan proportions, and I don’t think I am exaggerating (at least not by much).


In most supermarkets, the selection of yogurt takes up almost and entire wall of the dairy section, and a walk down the aisle could send a rational, sane person into a catatonic fit.


Dannon is still there, but now it’s one of hundreds of other brands. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but not too much of one. 


Aside from the many, many different brands, there are hundreds of different flavors and gourmet options. 


You can have exotic flavors such as mango, key lime and chocolate-coconut. You can have the fruit mixed in, on the bottom, on the top, on the side. 

You can have it with nuts, granola, dried fruit and even candy. You can have it nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole milk, Greek-style, Icelandic-style, from a cow, from a goat, and even from a soybean. 

You can have it smooth and creamy, rich and thick, or whipped and fluffy. You can have it in the original, boring containers, or skinny, conical ones, or short flat ones with a sidecar of nuts. You can have it in little tiny cups that come in a six-pack or skinny, squeeze tubes, and even little bottles of the liquid for an on-the-run nutrition boost.


I think you see my point.


What used to be a simple run to the dairy aisle to grab a strawberry yogurt, now has become a day-long excursion.


Last week, as I stood in front of the vast selection, an older gentleman walked up beside me and stood shaking his head. He seemed completely overwhelmed.

“Used to be easy,” he said as he picked up an old standby, Dannon blueberry.


As I watched him walk away, I thought, yes, you are so right.


As I there stood pondering my own choice, I suddenly I found myself with an overwhelming yearning for prunes.


Today’s inspiration


“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Christopher Reeve


Saturday, Nov. 18 - Day 60


Wow, I’ve even amazed myself - 60 days - 2 months of worthless trivia to share with you good people. Now there’s only three hundred and five days left to go…EGADS.


On my ten minute drive to my caffeinated destination, (and we all know where that is) there wasn’t much coming to mind. But when I was handed my red and green ‘happy holiday’ coffee cup, it woke up a few brain cells and spurred on a few thoughts.


If you haven’t noticed, the Christmas season seems to be upon us. And it has been for many, many, many months.


Christmas decorations started popping up in the stores long before halloween.

Everyone complains that it seems to get earlier and earlier every year, with the retail stores getting in full swing, long before Thanksgiving.


This year I actually heard them playing Christmas carols several weeks ago. It seemed to be disturbing some people and others took it in stride. They actually did a poll on one of the national morning talk shows for people to weigh-in on the subject. Yay or nay to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. The results are in and it seems split down the middle. Half said, yes, ring out the bells, the other half said, pleasenot yet!


Personally, I think they could just cut to the chase and start with Christmas in July so you’d have a full six months of holiday cheer and retail madness.


The concept of Christmas in July actually originated a long time ago and

here’s a snippet of its background taken from wikipedia.


“The earliest known occasion to make the phrase Christmas in July literal was in July 1933 at Keystone Camp, a girl's summer camp in North Carolina, which celebrated with a Christmas tree, gifts, and a visit by Santa Claus.[ In 1935, the National Recreation Association's journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl's camp, writing that "all mystery and wonder surround this annual event."

The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in July in 1940.”


So why don’t we just go for it and start the Christmas preparations in July and give the retailers a full six months to gift us with a Black Friday.


The original Black Friday started out as one crazy day... the day after Thanksgiving, when stores opened early at 6am with ridiculously enticing deals to bring hoards of people rushing through the doors. They pushed and shoved and trampled over bodies left and right, after having stood out in the cold since three am to make sure they were one of the first 50 people to grab a color tv for $50.


It was such a huge success for the retailers that they realized, perhaps they should open a little earlier. Maybe 5am, maybe 4am. 

Awesome. 

People started camping out at midnight. Not so much a problem if you lived in Florida and could lie in a lounge chair with a glass of lemonade, but a bit more challenging if you lived in Maine wearing triple thermals wrapped in a down- comforter, sipping hot soup from a Thermos.


But the success continued and the retailers thought…maybe we should open at the stroke of midnight? Think how much more money we could make? And so they did. Technically it was still Friday, but what about all the employees who wanted to celebrate a nice Thanksgiving, who enjoyed the holiday and then had to come out of their turkey-coma and get to work by midnight?


And still, more success. So if the stroke of midnight on Black Friday is good, wouldn’t 4pm on Thanksgiving be even better? Let’s get a real jump on it, and to hell with Thanksgiving, altogether.


But it gets even better. For people who are not crazy enough to brave the elements, the lack of sleep, the pushing, shoving and actual violence, to get that last Darth Vader on the shelves, they created Cyber Monday. Yes, so you can get some of the same deals without even leaving the comfort of your own home. 


It’s kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?


Couldn’t get much better. right?


Well, never underestimate the ingenuity of Madison Avenue.


If one Black Friday is good, then two…three…ten, a hundred is a lot better.

Aren’t we all inundated, day after day, with catalogues in the mail touting this weeks Black Friday deals? And some of them are Black Friday sales that start on Tuesday, or Wednesday or Thursday and last through Sunday.


Does anyone else see the folly of this? Am I the only one who sees the sneaky, tricky, advertising practice going on here?


It’s a retail advertising frenzy out there and if you’re a shrewd enough shopper, you can use it to your advantage. But what they’re counting on is the consumer being gullible enough not to realize the bait and switch items, or the two-for-one deals that they mark up in price before the sale and drop them back down after the sale.


So, buyer beware.


So, to all you shoppers, Thanksgiving is only five days away, with Black Friday hot on its heels. So put on your running shoes, get out your lounge chairs, down- comforters, and ear muffs and hunker down for a long, cold night.


Or do yourself a favor, and head out today for the “Saturday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday sale.”


Or better yet, stay in your pj’s, have a cup a coffee, sit at your computer and have it all delivered tomorrow without ever leaving home, like I do.


Today’s inspiration


“Being a traditionalist, I'm a rabid sucker for Christmas. In July, I'm already worried that there are only 146 shopping days left.”

                                                           John Waters


“When people come to my act any time after Thanksgiving, I usually say, You shouldn't be here. You should be shopping. Our economy depends on you! You should be out there buying stuff.”

                                                      Lewis Black


“Recreational shopping is the shortest distance between two points: you and broke.”

                                                            Victoria Moran


“There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.”

                                                                 Mahatma Gandhi



Friday, Nov. 17 - Day 59


It’s been a long day with some big ups and downs and I admit I don’t have many brain cells left firing. The day has left me with some big disappointments, but I’m resilient and have already bounced back. 

It takes more energy for me to dwell on the negative than it does to refocus on the positive.


And that’s really all I have to say today.


Today’s inspiration


“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

Elbert Hubbard


“Disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air.”

Friedrich Schiller

(I can honestly say, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds very profound, doesn't it?)





Thursday, Nov. 16 - Day 58


The only way I can describe today is one of rising to the mountaintop, only to be flung into deep despair.


Okay, that’s not even close to what really happened, but I thought a little dramatic flair might pique your interest. By the way, I always thought it was peak, and only recently discovered it is piqued.


Anyway, to bring it all back into the realm of reality.


I have been homebound for several days (no Starbucks, boo-hoo), so I sat in front of my fake fire, with my fake Starbucks and took the opportunity to catch up on a British series that I recorded over the summer and was waiting for an appropriate time to binge-watch. And today was the day.


Now I’ve shared with you before that almost all of the tv series we watch are of British origin. It started back in 2010 with the discovery of Downton Abbey. I had heard the hype from friends and family and everyone couldn’t stop talking about it. It didn’t really pique my interest, there’s that word again, but eventually I succumbed to the pressure and started watching. Luckily, it was still within the first season so it was on demand. After we watched episode one, we, too, were hooked. We watched an episode a night and were mightily disappointed when we discovered that there were only seven episodes. Seven. What were they thinking? Some American television series run as many as 20, 22, 24 episodes.

So seven? Here we are, totally engrossed, and left with a cliffhanger for…a year!

Inexcusable, but we had to hang on with all the other D.A. groupies and wait. 


And wait we did. For one long year.


Then it came. Season two. Eight episodes and done.

Wait. Another year. Season three. Eight episodes and done.

Wait. Season four.

Wait. Season five.

Wait. Season six…the final season. And what a season it was. It brought everything to a completely exhilarating  conclusion.


It was an agonizing six years, long and drawn-out, but well worth it.


And since we are binge-watchers of reruns, because we can’t remember from one season to the next what happened, we invested in, and bought the whole set.

To date I have watched all 52 episodes…eight, yes, count ’em…eight times.


So what does any of this have to do with today?


Well, last year a new British series called Home Fires was broadcast and we watched it week after week for six weeks. Yes, this one only had six episodes.

So, when the second season was broadcast earlier this year, I decided to record all of it and then save it to binge-watch all at one time. I hate suspense and am the queen of instant gratification. So today, I settled in, to spend six glorious hours to watch the second and final season.


It is the story of a small rural, English village in 1940. You immediately begin to feel as if the characters are part of your family, and since two of the main characters acted in Downton Abbey as well, it felt like family indeed. Basically, it’s the story of the villagers left to keep the ‘home fires’ burning until the war is over.


Luckily, they gave a synopsis of the first season before the episode one and it sparked enough of my memory to jump right in.


So for six hours, except for several bathroom breaks, I sat glued to every episode. It became more and more involved and I was fully invested in every character. I almost couldn’t wait for the last episode to find out how it was all going to end.


And then the unthinkable happened. I was in shock. I was practically in tears. 


As a British fighter plane crashed and burned into the house where the doctor who was dying of cancer was delivering a baby, I realized that this wasn’t the end. Cliffhangers on every front, every family, every character…season two couldn't be the last. 


I was going to be strung along again for a whole other year!! 

Nooo! This can’t be. I can’t take it. I need to know what happens now!!


 Does the doctor die? Does the baby live? Does the abused wife catch up with her Polish lover before he’s shipped out? What does the wealthy widow do, now that she’s found out her husband had a ten year affair... resulting in a child that she’s now caring for... because his mother was killed in a car crash... with his father - you know, the widow’s husband - Are you getting all this?


So you can see my problem? Can you understand the monumental frustration that all these unanswered questions.... will have to wait another year!!


And here’s where I was flung into total despair.


 I googled when season three was going to air, and I discovered


there... is... no season three!  It was cancelled. 


Despite the popularity of the series…it was not renewed.


I am not prone to swearing, but all I can say is..wtf??????


Seriously, there was not one single resolution at the end because the writer and producers didn’t know it was going to be end. Therefore, they didn't write one.

 

I wan’t to get a lawyer and sue.

 

As a writer, I would never do such a despicable thing to my readers - leave them hanging, guessing the outcome of the characters they became so invested in.


 Despicable, despicable, despicable!


I was not the only one enraged. Everyone who had become hooked on the story felt the same. So at the end of the article, it said that the writer, Simon Block, was going to write a four book series to give us the answers.


Swell.


 Just published this year are the four books I now need to buy and then find the time to read.


I’m sorry for the ranting and raving, but I’m not one who does well being left hanging on a cliff. A little dramatic I know, but after all, I did invest six hours of my day.


And I don’t know when I’ll have another downtime to binge-read four books.


But I tell you this, I’m so traumatized, I may have to give up watching tv for good.


Well, at least until tomorrow.


Today’s inspiration


“I’m having as much fun as a colorblind person playing twister.”

                                             Unknown





Wednesday, Nov. 15 - Day 57


 I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a flood of comments about my stimulating subject yesterday, but I’m sure it was info you’ve tucked away for your next game of trivia. Or maybe not.


I had to think long and hard for another subject that could be as equally stimulating.


So as I was checking my Facebook feed, my Twitter, my LinkedIn and Instagram accounts, it came to me. I realized that I’m hooked…and I’m assuming that most of you are, too. Otherwise, how would you even know that I existed and enticed to ‘read me’ everyday?


When FB appeared on the scene, I swore I would never participate. I prided myself in being a ‘real live’ person and not just a social media groupie.


I was remembering back to before FB, and what it was like to actually talk to people I knew. I certainly didn’t have 950 ‘friends’. I was lucky to have 2 or 3. 


We’d meet for coffee or lunch and share what was going on in our lives at the time. We didn’t tell each other what we made for dinner the night before, complete with cell phone pictures of the plated entree, and the twenty pictures of the entire process from grocery store to finished product. We didn’t huddle together and take a distorted picture of us smiling, to show family and friends what a good time we were having. We talked, we laughed, we cried, and we hugged before we left. We actually hugged in real-time, no little hug emojis or smiley faces.


Now, I can ‘hug’ or ‘like’ or ‘love’ 950 nameless, faceless people who will like me back and share some intimate details of their lives. I know what their political persuasions are, where they went on vacation (complete with 50 or more cell phone pictures), what their dog looks like when he gets out of the bathtub, what their newest dress looks like (from 50 or more different angles,) or what stupid thing their husband did while trying to ride their kid’s bicycle in the rain. 


I will read their jokes, their funny anecdotes, and their thought-provoking wisdom from one of their 950 friends. 


And I admit it…I will ‘like’ it, ‘love it’, or ‘hate it’ and then do the ultimate…share it. I confess I carry on the cycle and contribute to the endless expanding social media community.


There are still my 2 or 3 friend I have coffee with, laugh with, cry with, share with and I cherish the time together.


But most of all, I cherish the emoji-less hugs.


Today’s inspiration


“I have no idea how to get in touch with anyone anymore. Everyone, it seems, has a home phone, a cell phone, a regular e-mail account, a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and a Web site. Some of them also have a Google Voice number. There are the sentimental few who still have fax machines.”

                                                      Susan Orlean






Tuesday, Nov. 14 - Day 56


Today’s subject is far less serious than yesterday’s and perhaps a little whimsical.

The subject is…toilet paper. Yes, toilet paper.


I know, I know, why on earth would I find one-ply, two-ply or three-ply paper whose primary purpose is, well, best not to be described in detail, a fitting topic of discussion? It was spurred on by a commercial I heard on the radio yesterday.

But first, I feel it only fair to give you a brief history of the subject, because I wouldn’t want anyone to be uninformed with incorrect toilet paper facts.


Don’t laugh.


I mean, what if you ended up as a contestant on Jeopardy and the category of Double Jeopardy is…toilet paper? These insights into its historical background might just result in a $100,000 windfall. You wouldn’t be laughing at me then, would you?


So, let’s begin.


One would think, as I did before my extensive research on the subject, that the origin of using paper for, well, you know what, is a 20th century invention.


But, surprisingly, not so.


The history is extremely extensive and I don’t think any of you want me to expound on pages and pages of info. So I will give you just a brief history and if you are clamoring for more, which I am sure many of you are, you can look it up for yourself.


The first toilet paper dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China and in the year 851 AD, it was known that the Chinese

did not wash themselves with water when they were done their necessities; but wiped themselves with paper.

paraphrased from Joseph Needham’s, Science and Civilization in China (1986)


Who knew that it was the subject of such extensive study.


So now on to the modern version of toilet paper.


Joseph Gayetty's commercially produced paper was first introduced in 1857, and the original advertisements for the product used the tagline "The greatest necessity of the age!”


Now ain’t that  the truth!


After that, there was many refinements to the product including one that proclaimed it was splinter-free.


And thank God for that!


Manufactured toilet paper sheets started out larger than today and over the years became smaller with varying sizes, weight, softness,quality, absorption.. and the most important…'finger-breakthrough' resistance.


Now there’s a visual for you.


Now here’s something that is near and dear to most if us, and the source of contention in many households - the  two choices of orientation. Should the toilet paper hang over or under the roll? The choice is largely a matter of personal preference, dictated by habit. In surveys of American consumers and of bath and kitchen specialists, 60-70% of respondents prefer over.


And for those who have two differing orientations in the same household, I personally think the only solution is to not to put it on the holder at all.


I could go on and on in more detail with the other uses of the product such as decoration and recreational use, but I’ll leave that to your own imagination.


So back to my original reason for the topic…the commercial I heard yesterday. 


There is now a new and improved TP product. It is advertised as an “ultra, super-mega” roll (because ultra, or mega, or ultra-mega aren’t big enough). Apparently, it is equal to six, yes, six, rolls of a regular toilet paper. SIX!


I just can’t fathom what a roll six times bigger would look like. And who except for a family of forty, would even need so much on one roll? Have we become so lazy that we can't replace a roll every two or three days of normal use?


All I could think of is, there is no way it would fit onto any toilet paper holder known to man. So where could you possibly put it? On the towel holder? On the windowsill?


Logistically, I can’t really think of an answer , but I think it would definitely solve the 'under, over' problem. Because I think it would be more likely that the mega-giant would end up rolling across the bathroom floor, leaving you bare-butted, chasing after it.


With that visual, I think I’ll stick to my triple-ply, quilted, super-soft, luxury, single roll and just leave it at that.


Today's inspiration


“Don't let yourself fall into 'empty.' Keep cash in the house. Keep gas in your tank. Keep an extra roll of toilet paper squirreled away. Keep your phone charged.”

                                                 Gretchen Rubin


“Don't keep excessive amounts of anything. Those glass vases that come from florists. Those ketchup packets that come with take-out food. A house with two adults probably doesn't need fifteen mismatched souvenir coffee cups.”

                                              Gretchen Rubin




Monday, Nov. 13 - Day 55


Okay, so my day of rest is over. Let the work week begin.


But, I must explain that my “work” week has really nothing to do with the conventional definition of work. Today my “work” revolves around the busy, sometimes frenetic, activity of my family, and my payment comes in the form of handmade construction-paper cards, clay paperweights, and most importantly, hugs and kisses. There may be days when I’d like to curl up and read a book, but the call of duty remains - whether it’s babysitting, running errands, chauffeuring, doctors’ visits, or just plain spending time together, it’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything. Not for a life spent on a tennis court in Fort Lauderdale or golf on a course at Myrtle Beach. Not that tennis, golf, or anything more strenuous than knitting is anywhere in my repertoire, because I’m hoping to keep a broken hip at bay for as long as I possibly can.


It’s been nine years since I’ve retired from the ‘real’ world of my profession as a NICU nurse and at times I miss it terribly. I miss the privilege of having a sick newborn baby entrusted to my care. I miss the closeness and trust that develops between the parents and a nurse who cares for a baby whose life often hangs in the balance. I have retired from that world, but the feelings attached to it live on and have been played out in my own family.


Over the years we have had more than our share of illness, particularly among my grandchildren. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching a child suffer when there is nothing more you can do but offer comfort and love. 


But that is where my training can come in. Sometimes I’m able to help navigate through what seems to be unsurmountable challenges in the health care world, But sometimes I’m not. 


There are times I can do nothing more than hold one of them in my arms when they are scared or in pain. It’s something I’ve done hundreds of times for someone else child, and empathized with their pain. But I must admit how much harder it is when it’s your own grandchild looking up with tears in their eyes looking for comfort.


I hadn’t planned on sharing anything more personal than my own crazy thoughts and stuff,  but our family is facing some particularly difficult times and I guess I needed to get it off my chest.


We all have our own personal struggles, some more difficult than others, some truly grave and tragic, and I pray that there is someone, or many someones, to hold your hand and walk through the darkness with you.


If you need someone who will just listen and let you pour your heart out, unburden your soul to, I am only an e-mail away.


Today’s inspiration


“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” 

                                                    Desmond Tutu


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

                                     Lao Tzu


“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” 

                                                          Barbara Kingsolver




Sunday, Nov. 12 - Day 54


It’s almost 5:30 (pm) and I’m staring at this screen, my fingers not motivated to dance across the keyboard with their usual wit and rapidity.


It’s been a day of rest, as Sundays are supposed to be, but never seem to be.


 Sundays are usually a day for me to catch up on all the things that have slipped by me during the busy week. The things I mean to do when I get home everyday, but inevitably put off until tomorrow…and tomorrow…and tomorrow.


Until Sunday, when I awaken with good intentions of accomplishing all I have postponed during the week.


Good intentions and all, this morning I compiled a long list of everything I intended to do by the end of the day. One look at the list and I was already exhausted. 


I started a dialogue with myself, since I was the only one home at the time. I’m quite a good conversationalist, you know, so me, myself and I had quite an edgy conversation about the philosophical necessity to do anything at all. I mean, how important is it really…any of it? 


If the world blows up tomorrow, would it really matter if my towels are folded and stacked neatly according to color? Would it matter if my cleaning products under the sink are methodically aligned according to size and purpose? Would it really matter if the stacks of junk mail on the dining room table are sorted through, opened and put in its proper receptacles?


So the three of us discussed it, and with rational arguments and a renewed perspective, decided that it could all wait one more day. Or week, as the case may be.


After all, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. Amen.


Today’s inspiration


“I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it.”

                                      Samuel Goldwyn


“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.”

                                  Mother Teresa


“Sunday, for me, is all about being home with the family with no plans.”

                                John Lasseter




Saturday, Nov. 11 - Day 53



In light of yesterday being the Marine Corps birthday and today being Veteran’s Day, I want to take a few minutes to talk about something that weighs heavy on my heart.


Unless you’ve been directly affected by a family member in the military, either now, or in the past, it will be impossible for you to understand what true, selfless sacrifice means. Unless you’ve watched a loved one fly off to foreign soil to protect our country, perhaps never to return, you’ll never know the level of commitment it takes for a young man or woman to risk their lives for others…for many nameless, faceless others who take for granted the freedoms they fight and sometimes die for.


I believe that the majority of Americans go about their daily lives, without a thought to how different their lives would be without the sacrifices of the soldiers who fought and sometimes died on the front lines of a distant war.

We go to the drive-thru every morning for a fancy coffee and breakfast sandwich. We go to the mall and shop for an abundance of things we don’t need. We sit and play our video war-games ‘pretending’ to be soldiers, but not risking more than the loss of a few leisure hours. We live lives that people in some other countries can’t even imagine.


So today is a holiday designated to celebrate the service of those brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for us to live as we do. They are acknowledged by pages and pages of patriotic posts on Facebook and free meals and coffee at local restaurants.


It’s a day, a single day, devoted to thank them all.


Somehow, it just doesn’t seem enough. Tomorrow, all will be forgotten and we will go on as usual.


But perhaps we can stretch it out to an everyday appreciation and keep it in our hearts enough to say, “thank you for your service,” every time a soldier, or veteran crosses our path.


It’s such a small thing to do for someone who has given us his all...someone who has given us everything


Today's inspiration


"We owe our World War II veterans - and all our veterans - a debt we can never fully repay." 

                                   Doc Hastings


"But this Veterans Day, I believe we should do more than sing the praises of the bravery and patriotism that our veterans have embodied in the past. We should take this opportunity to re-evaluate how we are treating our veterans in the present."

                                    Nick Lampson




Friday, Nov. 10 - Day 52


I believe I’ve mentioned it before, that twenty years ago I was diagnosed with ‘abnormal sleep architecture.’ To refresh your memory, that means that I very rarely drift into or stay in stage N3 and REM sleep, the alternating cycles of restorative sleep and deep dream states.


The upshot of that is that every morning I awaken groggy and tired, feeling as if I haven’t slept at all.


Now this is not a complaint to gain anyone’s sympathy . It just is what it is, and I’ve learned to live with it for 20 years.


The only reason I bring it up here is that for some unknown, but incredibly wonderful reason, I slept like a normal human being last night - like a rock, as I’ve heard it described, but never been able to identify with.


I awoke with a sensation I haven’t felt for 40 years - completely rested and energized, feeling like I could conquer the world.


I awoke with razor-sharp clarity. My brain was alert and fully engaged. My vision was clear and focused. I was energized.


Instead of my usually dulled senses and sluggish movements, I jumped out of bed, (okay so jumped might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the general idea.) Then I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth, fluff up my hair, and smooth moisturizer on my face to give it ‘the appearance of diminished fine lines’ as all the commercials for youth-altering facial creams declare.


It appears that winter temperatures are here to stay, so I pulled on my jeans, long-sleeve t-shirt, sweatshirt and color-coordinated scarf - you know, the scarf that women wear, to attempt to disguise an aging turkey-neck.


So now I’m pretty much ready to head out to Starbucks to begin my writing for the day. All I need to do is to grab my glasses.


And I can’t find them. My glasses. I can not function without them, because everything is blurry. I can manage to do my early morning routine because it is just that, a routine, and I can do it in my sleep (which is pretty much how I do it every morning anyway.)


I search everywhere. Nightstand, bathroom counter, the floor by the bed in case I accidentally knocked them off during the night. Nowhere. I fish around my purse, knowing that I never put them there, but I’m desperate. I really can’t see without them. Besides not being able to read, I can’t even drive because everything is so blurry.


So now I’m in a complete state of shear panic. What am I going to do? It’s so blurry, I can’t even find my spare pair because I can’t see in the junk drawer where I might have put them.


Hell’s bells.


Here I was having such a fantastically alert morning, one that promised to be a great day. I was beginning to feel the energy drain out of me as the discouragement set in. All this energy and clarity going to waste.


All that razor-sharp clarity going to waste.


I reached up to brush the hair out of my eyes and there they were. My glasses. I was wearing them.


Idiot.


Feeling ridiculously foolish, I realized I had been wearing them all along. Not only that, apparently I had fallen asleep with them on.

I was crushed.


Perhaps that razor-sharp clarity I awoke with had nothing to do with a good nights sleep, after all.


Bummer.


And not to forget to mention...today is the Marine Corp birthday. Semper Fi


Today's inspiration


“My poor vision gives me a soft-focus morning. For the first half hour, I kind of wander through my house, and everything is a blur. I put my contacts in when I'm ready to deal with the world.”

Carrie Ann Inaba

“Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious.”

William Feather

“The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.”

Robert Frost



Thursday, Nov. 9 - Day 51


Well, it’s a freezing, cold day up here in the Northeast - 26 degrees! And as we say, “there’s frost on the pumpkins.” And on everything else as well.


If you remember, a few days ago I went through my closets and stripped them bare of all the clothes that were just itching for new owners.


Well since I was on such a roll, I was motivated to organize and minimize the clutter that has accumulated over time in my office. I call it my office, but in reality, it’s a combination, spare bedroom/man-cave/art studio and repository for all my book paraphernalia for my author events.


But really, it is my room. My husband has pretty much been inched out of his man-cave until his possessions now reside in a small corner of our bedroom. This may sound a bit inconsiderate or selfish, but in reality he had barely anything that warranted an entire room. I, on the other hand, am overflowing with the need for more and more space. And on the rare occasion when someone sleeps over, I have an inflatable bed that I can squeeze into the room. Needless to say, no-one’s knocking down our door to sleepover except for our grandchildren, and they come fully equipped with their own super-hero or princess sleeping bags.


I was going to go in a different direction today, but the discussion about my husband’s man-cave brought back some memories I would like to share. I can talk about today’s planned subject tomorrow.


My husband is a collector. He always has been. The most cherished of his possessions is his miniature soldier collection that he started before we were married.


He has a wide variety of war figures that range from the French Revolution, to the Civil War to WWI and WWII.

They are not the inexpensive plastic toy soldiers, but realistic intricately made lead soldiers. They are not the ones that come 200 in a bag for $0.99.

They are quite pricey and it has taken a long time for him to grow his collection. I have to admit that I’ve never had any interest in anything historically military, but even I am impressed with the artistry and realism of his collection.


Oh, that’s right, man-cave. Well, in addition to his impressive miniature soldiers, he collects other things, like pads of paper, bookmarks, and stickers - the kind that come free in the envelopes asking for financial support for a variety of different charities. Because we donate to the charities, they continue to come, every month or two, without fail. So he has stacks and stacks of them taking up valuable space on the desk that could put to far better use - my use.


The other thing in his cave was a television…a television he never watched, because we have two others and there are only two of us who live there! Do the math.


So I found a lovely, little cabinet to house his soldiers in our room, tossed out all the paper and bookmarks that he’s never used (the ones that will continue to come with annoying frequency) and took possession of the room.


One of the reasons we’ve been married for 49 years, is that he has learned to bend with wind and flow with the current tide.


His mantra…and it has served him well is...

"yes, dear."


Today’s inspiration


“Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.”           Groucho Marx


“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.”

Jim Carrey



Wednesday, Nov. 8 - Day 50


As I have mentioned before, I’m an old-movie buff, the older the better. And if it’s not in black and white, then it’s just not in my repertoire.


But every now and then, there’s a movie that touches me, even it’s as ‘new’ as the 70s or 80s.


So at 3am this morning when I couldn’t sleep, I was about to turn on Mrs. Miniver for the hundredth time, when such a movie popped up.


The movie was The Whales of August from 1987 with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish. Both of them were iconic actresses and Lillian Gish was 93 and Bette Davis was 78 at the time.


It’s a beautiful, touching story of two elderly sisters spending what will probably be their last summer together at their summer home in Maine. Davis plays Libby, the sour, cranky, blind sister who has suffered a stroke and Gish plays Sarah, the kind, gentle sister who cares for.


They are both very fragile and frail and their relationship isn’t easy to navigate, particularly for Sarah, who deserves a medal or sainthood, for putting up with Libby’s coldness and bitterness. There are flashbacks from their childhood when they were both happy and vibrant and it sets the stage for the closeness they still have despite the strain in their current relationship.


I’m not going to give any more information about the movie because I don’t want to spoil it in case you ever have a chance to see it.


The reason the movie touches me so, besides the privilege of watching two such incredible actresses at the end of their careers, is that it is such a realistic portrayal of the physical and emotional struggles at the end of life.


I’ve always hoped I would be able to grow old gracefully, as these two sisters have tried to do, but the movie gives a glimpse of what happens to relationships when the end of life is harsh and strained despite the beauty of their life-long love for each other.


Having been a hospice nurse at one time, I’ve had the privilege to be present at the end of many lives and this movie tugged at my heart to remind me how precious life is at every stage, and how the most important thing at the end are the relationships of those we love.


Today's inspiration


"The harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessing previously secured."

                                                      Marcus Tullius Cicero





Tuesday, Nov. 7 - Day 49


I really have only one thing to say today. Please vote in your local elections. If you don't make a choice and vote, then you can't complain about the outcome.

 

Today's inspiration


"Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation." 

                          Simon Sinek






Monday, Nov. 6 - Day 48


After yesterday’s mini-marathon, I’m soooo glad the weekend is over. Even though I’m thoroughly exhausted, it’s Monday, and Monday is the beginning of my serious writing work-week and I have a lot on my plate.


I’ve had to focus my daily writing on this blogging-challenge adventure that I, perhaps foolishly, began 48 days ago. But 48 days down, and I think I finally have the hang of it.


But in the meantime, I have totally neglected finishing my two current projects - THE ESCAPADES OF THE SASSY SENIORS SOCIAL CLUB ( poor Jeanita has been left stranded on a caribbean island with no-one to save her until I send someone to rescue her) and the fourth Travel Kids book ( leaving poor Eva lost and wandering around the frozen tundra). How very irresponsible of me, leaving my family in such precarious situations.


I call them family because that’s how I regard all my characters. I can’t help but have love for each of them because they have been created from somewhere deep down in my psyche and therefore they are a part of me.


Of course, that’s a scary thought because that means the dark and twisted villains in my stories live down there too. But even they have a tender place in my heart because they are mine, all mine.


My husband…because he is an avid reader…and because I’ve given him no other choice…has been assigned to be my beta reader, which for those of you outside the writer’s realm, is someone who scours the rough drafts to see the story from a different perspective and give constructive criticism. So basically, he’s my first test dummy. Then it’s passed on to another beta reader - one of my writer friends,  because I know my husband tip-toes through his criticism, because at the end of the day…he has to live with me.


But the thing that amuses me most, is when he’s finished one of my villainous or supernatural stories, he has a blank look on his face. He often asks me where these dark characters come from, because they truly can be pretty twisted. It’s a side of me that I think scares him just a little bit. After reading the very first one I had written, he admitted he was a little afraid to go to sleep next to me that night, just in case I dreamt up a hit-man or murderous malcontent in the middle of the night. I used to sleepwalk, and I think he was concerned I might wander into the kitchen for a carving knife. I assured him that my characters were safely contained on the pages of my stories and wouldn’t get out.


So there you have it. I’m pretty confident that I have this blog thing down well enough to go back to my projects.


Eva is waiting anxiously for me to bring her back home to a nice warm place. And poor Jeanita…well, sorry Jeanita, I’m not sure if you’re going to get out of there alive.


You just never know, who’s lurking in the shadows of my mind. And frankly, I don’t either.


Today’s inspiration


Dedicated to my courageous husband who has conquered his fear of sleeping with me.


"There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment."

                                                Hunter S. Thompson


"Never trust anyone who doesn't drink coffee." 

                    AJ Lee




Sunday, Nov. 5 - Day 47


Happy Sunday to y’all.


It’s been a very busy day and I’m not finished yet. But I decided if I don’t sit down to do this now, I’ll be far too exhausted later.


So what have I been so busy doing?


Well, I don’t know about any of you, but every now and then I get a surge of energy and inspiration. These episodes are far and few between so I know that if I don’t jump right in, both the energy and the inspiration will be gone in a flash.


The focus of my inspiration was related to the fact that the temperatures are dipping into the 30s at night and 50s during the day. So I knew I should be pulling out the winter clothes and putting away the summer stuff. 


I am the absolute queen of efficiency, so I have everything neatly packed away in big plastic containers. One for me and one for my husband. So I pulled mine out, put it on the bed and began. 


Being the obsessive-compulsive organizer that I am, I neatly took out the winter shirts and pants and put them on one side of the bed and then started to neatly pile the summer tops and shorts on the other. Everything was going so well and it shouldn’t have taken any more than a half hour or so. The operative word is shouldn't.


But as I started to examine each piece, I decided I should really get rid of some of the things that had never seen the light of day…which amounted to more than half of everything. You know, those tan shorts you thought would go great with the green and tan t-shirt. Or the turquoise button-down that would look so cute with the white shorts.


Okay, I’ll stop right there, because I know you are scratching your head and saying, “what the heck is she talking about? She only wears black.”


Exactly! 

After all this time, you know me, oh so well. You know that I only wear my black workout capris and black t-shirts…except for the ‘dressy occasions’ where I change into a ‘dressy’ black t-shirt.


But every spring, I make the dreaded trip (because you know how much I hate shopping) to my go-to store (Walmart) to buy my summer wardrobe. And as I’m tossing some black t-shirts into the cart, something might catch my eye and in a delusional state I think, I can wear that to a bbq or picnic or out to lunch with the hubby.


Delusional to say the least. It sits in my closet, and every now and then I glance at it and think, hmm, maybe today. But today has come and gone…many, many times.


So back into the summer wardrobe container it goes, only to be brought out again next year to take its place with any new acquisitions that I might purchase.

I really do have full intentions of wearing them at some point, or I wouldn’t have bought them in the first place.


Delusional, delusional…delusional!


So back to the bed.


As I pulled each thing out to pack away, I made the monumental mistake of trying everything on to see if it should go in the donation bag.


But you see, our family has had an extremely difficult and painful year, and as I’ve talked about earlier, my drug of choice is food, and during the worst and most stressful of times, I resorted to what I knew would get me through, at least temporarily…my best friend, chocolate.


The reason I bring this up is two reasons. #1 - you know by now that transparency is my middle name, and #2 - it explains the extra 15 pounds I’m packing.


Ok, so back to the donation bag. As I said, I tried on everything to make sure I didn’t want to hang on to it, (just in case) until next summer when it would again gather dust in the closet.


There is nothing so devastating as trying on something that fit well one year only to make you look like a beached whale the next. D.E.V.A.S.T.A.T.I.N.G….

You see, black on black disguises almost everything and deludes you into thinking…it’s not that bad. But white shorts and a turquoise blouse?


Egads!!


So I spent the next three hours trying every piece of clothing. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. and by the time I was finished, I had four big trash bags full of things I was never going to wear. I gained great comfort in knowing they would all go to happy homes and some very grateful recipients.


So now, my half empty plastic bin was ready to be put away, and my half empty closet was neatly arranged.


As I slipped the bin into its place, I looked at my husband’s container which I was going to tackle next, shook my head, and mumbled to myself…


Oh, honey... you’re on your own.


Today's inspiration


"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' " 

                                              Eleanor Roosevelt




Saturday, Nov. 4 - Day 46


I’ve discussed it here before about my lack of trendy fashion-sense and my monotone, everything-the-same wardrobe.


So last Christmas, my husband gave me a gift card to an upscale, expensive clothing store - think there was a hidden message there?


Anyway...I tucked it away because #1 - I hate clothes shopping (or shopping of any kind) #2 - I already have my one pair of dress-up jeans and my two dressy tops (one black of course, and one pretty, print flowy thing) so as far as I’m concerned there wasn’t anything else I needed, and #3 - the store he chose was one of the ones where you could easily blow the whole thing on two or three items - items that I would never buy in the first place.


But a few months ago, I had a book signing coming up and I thought, “what the heck, I’ll go check it out and see if there’s anything I like.”


So gift card in hand, off I went. I knew that the only thing I wanted was either a black flowy thing, or maybe another print flowy thing, similar to the one I had at home.


I spent one and a half hours walking around and around and around the store, going through every rack with absolutely no luck. I knew exactly what I wanted and it just wasn’t there. Frustrated beyond belief (because by now, I was on a mission to find something) I started mumbling to myself.


“Seriously? Not one single top? How can they not carry the style I see everyone else wearing?”


I must have been mumbling out loud because I was getting some very funny looks.


And then…eureka! There it was. The only one on the rack, jammed between two very dissimilar tops. I hit pay dirt. Perfect style, perfect blend of colors with just a tiny touch of bling, perfect fit. AND it was on sale! I felt like I hit the lottery.


I was so proud of myself that I had persevered, and I knew that my husband would be very pleased that I finally used his gift.


When I got home, I rushed in, pulled out my treasure, put it on, and came out to show him.


“Voila!” I exclaimed proudly, twirling around.


He cocked his head to one side, and with a puzzled look on his face, he said, “don’t you already have that one?”


Silly man. But then again he’s a man, so how observant is he really.


“No,” I laughed.


I went to my closet to show him that the other top I had was nothing like it.


And guess what? (if you haven’t already).


I stood there in exasperated belief, shaking my head. I had spent nearly two hours combing through the racks to find the perfect top, only to come home with exactly the same one.


Well, it just goes to prove one thing.


I know what I like.


Today's inspiration


"A woman should be like a single flower, not a whole bouquet."

                 Anne Heid




Friday, Nov. 3 - Day 45


So excited. It’s my first day in almost a week that I was able to get up at my usual time and drive to you-know-where. And I must say, I felt like a celebrity. As I walked through the door I heard, “Sandy!!!!! Where have you been???”


 I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but my knickname is Sandy. Judith is my legal name and the name I write under (for no other reason than it’s just easier to navigate legally).

The story behind the knick-name ‘Sandy’ is too long to tell here, so I’ll save it for a later date.


Most of us, at some point in our lives, end up with a knickname or two. Some are endearing, some are cute, some are funny, some not so funny, and some can be downright cruel.


My very first one was an endearment my dad tagged me with when I was very little. I was a cute, tiny tot with curly hair and a smattering of freckles across my little upturned nose. My mother dressed me in little frilly, dresses most of the time except when I was out playing in the dirt, which admittedly was pretty often. But most of the time, I loved playing ‘mommy’ to my Tiny Tears baby doll. Her name was Tina and she cried real tears when you laid her down. She was my very own real baby. My parents let me use my baby pram (if you aren’t old enough to know what that is - look it up) which was a bit cumbersome for a little six yr-old, but I managed to push Tina around the neighborhood every day. I dressed her in her pretty, little white dress and covered her with a soft, pink blanket that was once my own. No doubt about it. I was her mommy, and that was what I wanted to be when I grew up.


I was pretty much your average little girl growing up in the fifties with pretty, pink dresses and ribbons in her hair.


So where was I going with this train of thought? I wanted to give you a mental picture of me before I shared my father’s pet name for me.


It wasn't Sweetie. It wasn’t baby. It wasn’t Pumpkin. It wasn’t Peanut. It wasn’t Princess. It wasn’t kitten.


It was…Butch. Yes, Butch.


I had two older brothers, so it wasn’t like he had been denied the opportunity to have a rough-and-tumble boy child.


But for whatever reason, I was Butch.


Luckily, he was the only one who called me Butch, and no-one outside my family had gotten wind of it. I was grateful for that, because kids can be cruel and I was already a set-up to be taunted because of my freckles. “Judy didn’t wash her face today. Look, Judy fell in the mud, Judy fell in the mud.”

Rotten kids - picking on a cute, little kid like me. Imagine.


So fast forward.


When I was 12 my mother bought me a sweatshirt with a picture of Cleopatra and a gold snake on it (I really wish she was still around so I could ask her why she would do such a thing). But it was actually somewhat fashionable at the time, and I loved it, and it gave me the idea to give myself a knickname that maybe Dad would like better. So at first, I was Cleo, but that didn’t seem to go over well. So then I tried Charlie, because my middle-name was Charlotte. But that didn’t seem to work for him either.


So Butch it was, and Butch it would remain, until I grew up, got married and had kids of my own. Then, for whatever reason, he started calling me babe. Finally, for him, I had outgrown it!


My dad has been gone for many years now, but every now and then when I think of him, I remember him tousling my hair and calling me Butch.

 I remember being at his bedside at the last, and him saying, “I love you, babe.”


But when I think of it now…I wished he had called me Butch.



Thursday, Nov. 2 - Day 44


So today I am finally feeling well enough to get up and make my usual breakfast - an egg sandwich: one egg on toasted Ezeziel bread with one slice of turkey bacon. I’ve never quite been able to envision how a thanksgiving-worthy bird can be transformed into a piece of sizzling bacon, but there you have it. Modern science at work.


Anyway, as I am happily watching my egg turn crispy-brown around the edges (just the way I like it), the smoke alarm starts blaring. You know, that ear-shattering, heart-stopping sound that sends your heart into your throat and your dog quivering under the bed? In my weakened condition, I forgot about the alarm. 

 You see, I've had a running, longstanding battle with the thing.


At this point, I feel I should give you a little background information so you’re not thinking I’m a little irrational having a grudge against the battery-driven device that is supposed to prevent me from ending up like a piece of turkey bacon.


The battle goes way back to when we moved here. The house was equipped with a wired-in, battery backup smoke detector and every night when I went to bed, I felt safe knowing that I was being protected in case of a fire.


Until…until the night when the blaring shrill of the alarm cut through me, my heart pounding as my husband and I jumped out of bed and ran to the front door. In grogginess, I realized that Princess, (you remember her, don’t you?) wasn’t with us. She is always at our side and I panicked. Where is she? Taking our life in our hands, we ran back into the bedroom and we could hear her whimpering under the bed. We knew we had only minutes, maybe only seconds to rescue her, but to our horror, we found out that she was cowering in the dead center of our king-size, low-to-the-ground bed and there was no way we could reach her. And again, to our horror, she wasn’t about to budge. What the hell were we going to do? As we were both on our hands and knees trying desperately to coax our petrified little baby out from under what would for sure be her deathtrap, we heard a quiet, sultry voice say, “there’s a fire...there’s a fire.” It stopped us long enough to gather our wits about us and decided to check for the fire. Ours is a very small place and took less than 30 seconds to check the rooms to discover…there was no fire.


So we hit the reset button on the alarm. Once we were finally somewhat calmed down, we had to address the terrified little fluff-ball under the bed. It took hours of coaxing, but eventually she came out, jumped on the bed, and fell promptly to sleep, and all was well with the world.


Until a week later. “There’s a fire...there’s a fire,” the sultry voice quietly proclaimed through the blaring alarm.


Not again! This time, even though our hearts were racing, we knew enough to check before panicking, and low and behold…no fire.


My husband pushed the reset button and again, Lola, as I affectionately started to call her, shut up.


But, unfortunately, by this time poor Princess was suffering from ptsd and no amount of coaxing would bring her out. We decided to let her recuperate under the bed and went back to sleep.


Two hours later…"there’s a fire…there’s a fire."

Really?? Lola…SHUT UP!


Another trip to the reset button, but alas…no luck. It wouldn’t stop. The alarm is blaring away, Lola is seductively trying to warn us, and Princess, well, she’s never going to be the same.


Finally, my husband did the only rational thing he could do and ripped the damn thing out of the wall. With wires hanging and the alarm in his hand, Lola was still talking. Of course! The battery. He pulled it out and there was finally silence.

By this time, dawn was breaking and we were both too riled up to go back to sleep.


So now what? Replace the battery, replug the wires and hang it back on the wall, of course.


Easier said than done. Battery no problem. Wires no problem. Getting it to reattach to the wall…problem. Try as we might, we just couldn’t get it to snap back in place. So we did the next best thing. We let it become a 3-D sculpture hanging from the wall.


So we felt very proud of ourselves. We fixed the problem, and despite the minor wall attachment issue, we now has a properly function alarm.


Two days later…”there’s a fire…there’s a fire…”

You have GOT to be kidding me!


This time, my husband ripped the thing, wires and all, out of the wall, pulled out the battery and flung the thing in the trash.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

So now what?

Buy a new alarm, of course.


Do you have any idea of how many different choices there are?

As I stood at Home Depot in front of all the rows of choices, a very nice gentleman came up and asked what I needed. I told him that I needed a battery smoke detector (since our wires were rendered temporarily unavailable by an unnamed source - namely, my husband).

He handed me one that looked to fit the bill, until I read that it included a voice alert feature…Lola! 

No way, Jose. She belongs in a strip club.


So I chose your average, run-of-the-mill, plain-old ordinary, no frills alarm.

And it works like a charm. Except for one teensy-weensy little problem.

It goes off every time I boil water for tea, or cook, which admittedly isn’t that often. But still…every time! Apparently, it is so sensitive, that it goes off to even the slightest increase in temperature.

The only solution is to put on the oven fan and open the window every time before I turn on the stove.


Well, the good news is that Princess seems to have recovered from her initial alarm trauma and doesn’t go running under the bed any more.


But I think she misses Lola.




Wednesday, Nov. 1 - Day 43


In my mind, I feel 40, maybe even 30. But today, my body feels like 80. Not that I know what 80 feels like.  I'm only 68 and most of the time, I don't feel like a day over 67. I told you that I've been sick for the past several days, but good grief, it's only a cold! 


So, it occurred to me today, as I remain on the couch for the third day, that the

reason I feel like death warmed over, is my age. At 50, 60, even 67, I could take it like a man, get up and function.  


So is this it? Is 68 the tipping point, the age where the downhill slide is greased and at a 90 degree angleIs this the end of my run as the tough, old matriarch who would get up off her deathbed and carry on...no matter what?


I certainly hope not.




So here are a few witty remarks that made me chuckle.


I don’t plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet. 

                                                       Rita Rudner


We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. 

                                                    Will Rogers


The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. 

                                                            Erma Bombeck


Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving. 

                                                                 Author Unknown


An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her. 

                                                            Agatha Christie


My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands and two of them were just napping. 

                                                     Rita Rudner


Old age is when you resent the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read.

                                                        George Burns


A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, ‘“At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.” 

                                                          Claude Pepper


I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. 

                                                            Andy Rooney


I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do. 

                                                            Phyllis Diller



There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine. 

                                                                  P.G. Wodehouse


I’m at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I’ve just had a mirror put over my kitchen table. 

                                                                         Rodney Dangerfield


You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.

                                                     Bob Hope


He’s so old that when he orders a three-minute egg, they ask for the money up front. 

                                                            George Burns


Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age — as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight. 

                                                            Phyllis Diller



True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. 

                                                                 Kurt Vonnegut 


You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, “See if you can blow this out.”

                                                              Jerry Seinfeld


The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. 

                                                                Jerry M. Wright


People ask me what I’d most appreciate getting for my 87th birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit. 

                                                             George Burns

It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.       Woody Allen



Tuesday, Oct. 31 - Day 42


My apologies, again. I became ill last night and still wobbly this morning. The best I can do for today is a few more bits of wit. Here’s hoping I’ll be back on my feet tomorrow.


Teacher: "Kids, what does the chicken give you?"

Student: "Meat!"

Teacher: "Very good! Now what does the pig give you?"

Student: "Bacon!"

Teacher: "Great! And what does the fat cow give you?"

Student: “Homework!"


Boy: *calls 911* Hello? I need your help!

911: Alright, What is it?

Boy: Two girls are fighting over me!

911: So what's your emergency?

Boy: The ugly one is winning.


Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. Jim Carrey

My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them. Mitch Hedberg

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific. 

                                                   Lily Tomlin


I haven't spoken to my wife in years. I didn't want to interrupt her. 

                                                                  Rodney Dangerfield


My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is. 

                                                            Ellen DeGeneres


Monday, Oct. 30 - Day 41


 I  always have all my electronics fully charged, in case of emergencies, but for some reason I failed to charge my computer last night and unfortunately, I have almost no juice left.  Due to high winds and heavy rain, we keep losing power. And since I can't fail to meet my daily commitment to post something, I figured I would just copy and paste a family-friendly joke from a humor site, before my screen goes black.

I hope you're all safe and sound out there, and hopefully, power will be restored later today so I can get back on my blogtrack for tomorrow.

Have a sparkling day.


There was an elderly couple who in their old age noticed that they were getting a lot more forgetful, so they decided to go to the doctor. The doctor told them that they should start writing things down so they don't forget. They went home and the old lady told her husband to get her a bowl of ice cream. "You might want to write it down," she said. The husband said, "No, I can remember that you want a bowl of ice cream." She then told her husband she wanted a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream. "Write it down," she told him, and again he said, "No, no, I can remember: you want a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream." Then the old lady said she wants a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top. "Write it down," she told her husband and again he said, "No, I got it. You want a bowl of ice cream with whipped cream and a cherry on top." So he goes to get the ice cream and spends an unusually long time in the kitchen, over 30 minutes. He comes out to his wife and hands her a plate of eggs and bacon. The old wife stares at the plate for a moment, then looks at her husband and asks, "Where's the toast?"




Sunday, Oct. 29 - Day 40


Okay, so apparently I hit a nerve yesterday because I received a lot of feedback from people who could either identify, or they knew someone else who could.


And that’s the key to the entire thing. I am not alone. You are not alone.


No-one in this world is terminally unique.


By design, we are all born perfect, but we don’t live in a bubble. It’s impossible to grow up and not to be affected by the world around us or in us. At some point in time, whether it’s early on or later in life, we get broken.

Sometimes a little broken, sometimes, very broken - and like it or not, we all suffer, in some shape or form, with some kind of soul sickness.


Back in the olden days, being broken wasn’t something anyone understood. If you were having a hard time, you were told to knock it off, grow up, or ‘I’ll give you something to cry about.’ It wasn’t that there was no compassion. It’s that it simply wasn’t in the mindset of society to understand that people had a soft inner-core that was easily bruised and if bruised enough, could be broken.


So  for what it’s worth, (which isn't much, I know) that is my commentary on the social ills of the world. I fully realize that it is purely my own  view on things and has absolutely no validity other than my own personal experience.


Wow. I had no idea that any of that was going to spill out. But then again, I never have an idea of what’s going to spill out, until it does.


So let me get back to where I thought I was going to go regarding yesterday’s post 


I left off with the 'confessions of a chocoholic’s addiction.' 


I’ve heard it said, you’re as sick as your secrets, and from experience I know that to be true. My secret life of food addiction led me down a slippery slope of guilt, humiliation, anxiety, depression, despair, and, eventually, even hopelessness. This may sound very dramatic, but again, if you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. If not, it’s okay. I have no problem with you thinking that I’m rowing with only one oar in the water.


So, how have I survived and come out the other side, relatively sane? Is there any hope? Absolutely. 


Yes, I suffered from a soul sickness. My glass wasn’t just half-filled. It was empty. I was spiritually dehydrated and the only answer was to reach out for help to fill that empty cup, that black hole, within me.


Misery loves company and my healing came from finding others who suffered as I did. Together, we could share those secret hurts, those grievous wounds and begin to heal. For me, it meant finding a spiritual connection to a power greater than myself. I knew I certainly couldn’t heal myself and admitting it was my first step to healing.


Anyone who suffers with fear, anxiety, depression, addiction - (which can be anything from substance abuse, to the less, seemingly innocuous, obsessive - compulsive behaviors such as shopping, dieting, exercise, and such) must find their own path out of the darkness, and I encourage them to do so.

That path can take many forms. There is no right one, no wrong one. But there is a path.


I was not alone, and neither are you.


Today’s inspiration


“What do we live for if not to make the world a less difficult place for each other.”

                                            George Eliot


“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”

                                      Unknown



Saturday, Oct. 28 - Day 39


As you might have surmised by now, I’m a relatively transparent person. My life, for better or worse, is pretty much an open book. And I welcome any questions you might have - about anything. Well, about almost anything.


So today I want to talk about a very personal struggle I’ve dealt with almost my entire life.


One of my earliest childhood memories is having my very first banana. I was only three years old, but I remember very clearly the sweet taste of the creamy, velvety fruit in the bright yellow jacket. It was so delicious I asked my mother for another. When she said no, I took it upon myself to take the matter into my own hands. 


When she left the kitchen, I discreetly pushed one of the kitchen chairs over to the counter, which was no small feat since I was a tiny, little thing. Then I climbed up on the counter and sat very quietly, while I peeled and ate every one of the bananas in the bunch. I can’t remember how many there were, but there were enough to make me sick to my stomach. My mother came in, yelled at me and lifted me down from the counter. With tears in my eyes from being ‘found out’ and yelled at, I promptly bent over and threw up all over her. I vaguely remember her putting me in the bath, putting on my pjs, and putting me to bed.


 I don’t remember anything after that, and I’m only guessing, but I must have felt humiliated, (not that a three old would feel humiliation). But looking back at it, that’s how I would feel now, because it’s a situation that has repeated itself over and over, ever since then.


Only three years old and I was hooked.


And there began my lifelong love-hate affair with food.


What that experience taught me was that #1 - food was delicious, #2 - I would always want more, #3 - I could eat until it made me sick, #4 - I would need to eat in secret…and most importantly, #5 - I would feel humiliated.


Yes, I became a food addict. It is my drug of choice.


And of course, like any true food addict, I never sought after lettuce, green beans, or broccoli.


I craved the gooey, cheesy, greasy things, the crispy, crunchy, salty things, and most of all, the sweet, creamy chocolate things.


I had a friend in high school with a similar bent, and every Saturday, I would ride my bike into the center of town to meet her at the pizza parlor to start our quest. Every week, it was the same thing. We’d start with a slice of cheese pizza, then bike over to the candy store where I would buy a 1/4 pound of milk chocolate, almond bark, and then over to Baskin-Robbins for a two scoop cone of pistachio, and jamoca almond fudge.

We didn’t even have to ask. They would see us coming and scoop it up as we walked through the door.


Sad. Tragic, really. That at the ripe old age 14, I was already recognized as a food addict - although back then that label didn’t exist. They just said you had a ‘sweet tooth.’


Every day, my mother would give me money to buy a hot lunch at school. She never found out that every day I bought one vanilla-chocolate ice cream cup, (you know, the kind that comes with the little wooden spoon), and I would pocket the change for my after-school treat.

On my way home, I would stop at the local soda fountain, which is what they were called back then, and order a large, chocolate malted.

Then each night, I would sit on the couch with my parents to watch TV, and we would each have a bowl of ice cream and a bowl of potato chips.


It amazes me, that with all the calcium I fed my body, I’ve ended up on the cusp of osteoporosis.


So basically, my nutritionist food came from a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, and a dinner of whatever meat my mother prepared, potatoes or rice, and canned peas, carrots, green beans, or for variety, mixed peas and carrots.

To this day I can not stand the taste of canned vegetables.


Sunday dinners were my favorite meal, because we would have slices of rare roast beef, which I loved then and still do to this day, baked potatoes, the dreaded canned peas, and thick slices of soft, rye bread that still had that fresh-baked bakery smell.

It was that bread that made its way onto the list of must-have foods.


And so it went. Year after year, until I became an adult, and had the freedom to buy and eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Now I don’t want you to think that I passed this lack of nutrition on to my family. I gave them their cereal and o.j. for breakfast, made them pbj sandwiches for lunch, and made relatively healthy dinners (with fresh or frozen vegetables - NEVER canned).


I didn’t want to set a bad example, so being the good mother, I did what any self-respecting food addict would do - I hid my booty. I had stashes of chocolate in the trunk of my car, on the top shelf of my closet behind winter scarves and gloves, behind the cleaning products and laundry detergent because I knew no-one would ever look there.


Chocolate - hidden. Stashed away like any good alcoholic would do with their liquor bottles.


And if anyone was home when I needed my fix, I would take it to the bathroom, run the water so they wouldn’t here the wrappers open, and eat…and eat. Until I felt sick.


The only thing I was grateful for, was that I never resorted to throwing up.


And then if I was caught in the act, which wasn’t very often since I was very careful and the queen of stealth, the humiliation would set in. And I would take a silent oath that it would never happen again. But I could never keep that oath.

Because I was an addict, an addict with an addiction as strong as any nicotine, alcohol or heroin addict.


I know that sounds dramatic, but if you can relate in any way, shape of form, you will understand.


But, if you’ve never had the misfortune to have unquenchable cravings, you will be shaking your head saying, how ridiculous, just don’t do it. Just stop.


But an addict can’t just stop. Not without help.


Okay, so I’m going to stop here and pick it up again tomorrow, because there’s a lot more to say and I'm tired of hearing myself talk, (type).


Today’s inspiration


“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

                                    Thomas Jefferson



Friday, Oct. 27 - Day 38


It's a well-known fact among my friends and family that I am not a snappy dresser. Never have been. Never will be. 


I just don’t have that inborn, innate sense of fashion like my granddaughters do. They have closets full of stylish clothes, and without any effort, and in a heartbeat, they can pull together a fashionable, magazine-worthy outfit. They follow all the current fashion trends of what’s ‘in’ and what’s not ‘in.’


And without doubt, nothing I wear is ‘in.’


And quite frankly, at this stage of the game, I really don’t care. I mean I’m almost 69, and who the hell cares what an elderly, old woman looks like?


Reading that back, I think I need to clarify, because despite the advanced years, I don’t by any means consider myself elderly - except for those days when I feel like life has beaten the crap out of me.


I’m a relatively energetic, full-of-life, kind of a gal with the mindset of a 40 yr-old. I’m frequently told that I don’t look nearly my own age. When I’m out with my daughter, I’m often mistaken for her sister. That works for me, but not so much for her. She thinks, ‘does that mean I look closer to my 60s like my mother?’

No, she’s not happy about that, at all. But then again, people mistake her for her own daughters’ ages who are in their 20s.


Okay, so where was I going with that?

I think I forgot.


Oh, that’s right - my fashion-sense, or lack thereof, and my ‘I really don’t care, attitude.’


But even though I don’t care…the female members of my family do.


“Nana, you’re not going to wear that are you? Nana, you’re not going to go out like that, are you?”


Oh, yes I am, because it’s not that bad, really. It’s just that comfort is priority #1 with me, and, pardon the slang, but

…if it don’t feel like pjs, it just ain’t gonna get worn…


So in the warm weather, my daily attire is black workout capris with a short sleeve black t-shirt that covers my ample butt, and in the winter, it’s ankle-length, black workout pants and a black, long sleeve t-shirt (that again covers my butt). 


See a pattern here? Comfort, yes. Black, yes. Butt covering…definitely.


You see, I subscribe to the popular theory that black is slimming, so if it ain’t black, it’s not in my closet - except for the very few pretty, print shirts I’ve bought over the years, with every intention of wearing them someday - but never do.


So back to the female members of my family, young and old, regarding my style. I seem to be a great source of amusement for them.


You see, I have a specific mindset. If one is good, six is better.


Be patient. I know, you have no idea what I am talking about.


On those very rare occasions when I go clothes shopping, if I find a t-shirt or blouse that meets my requirements, (comfortable, black, and covers my butt) I buy it…but not just it. I buy six, because if looks remotely flattering, I will want to wear it every day. And obviously you couldn’t wear the same shirt every day. That would be just gross. So I buy almost a weeks worth. This cracks my family up. Six black shirts exactly the same. They know this is my modus operandi and tease me incessantly about it.


“Are you wearing the same shirt, again, Nana? Again, Nana? Again?”


But that’s okay, because they know how quirky I am, and love me anyway.

And besides, they have long-since accepted I’m not a snappy dresser.


And never will be.


Today’s inspiration


“I’m not into fashion, but I like design. I wear the same shoes every day.”

                                             Tyler, The Creator



Thursday, Oct. 26 - Day 37


It’s a cold, wet, autumn day here, the kind of day where you want to stay bundled in a cozy blanket, sipping tea by a roaring fire, and Mozart playing in the background. But with great resolve, I have braved the damp chill and made my way to Starbucks. So instead, I sit drinking my dark roast, no fire, (actually, for a reason unbeknownst to me, the air conditioning is on) and Justin Beiber playing in the background.


And I did it just for you, my faithful friends, lol.


In a previous post, I shared that this is the only place I can write, so here I am.

Yet just the other day, I explained what CAPD is and how it affects me. So how can I tolerate this noisy, sometimes frenetic, environment?


For some reason, despite the comings and goings of the mini-hoard of people and the pop music playing, it is just like white noise to me.

Strange, I know, considering that the clinking of a dish in a sink two rooms away is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, but the cacophony of noise in Starbucks soothes me.


Go figure.


Anyway, back to braving the weather.


I have a friend from high school who lives in Alaska with her husband. Yes, Alaska.


I am in complete awe, that anyone in their right mind would choose to live in that frozen tundra of an environment.


Yes, I have seen pictures, and it is beautiful. A majestic sight to see - the blinding, white, snow glistening, and crystalline icicles hanging from the towering evergreens - truly a magic, winter wonderland.


Magnificent place to live - if you ignore the fact that in June, the sun rises at 3am and sets at midnight - twenty hours of daylight. And in January, the sun rises at 10am and sets at 3pm - five hours of daylight.


So for me, the nineteen hours of night would be heaven. But to a person who’s unable to sleep in the daytime, I’m sure that I would be checked into the nearest mental hospital for the criminally insane, because after a week or two of total sleep deprivation, I’d be likely to kill someone.


And let’s not forget the temperature. In January, the average high is 1 degree Fahrenheit. Yes…I said the high is 1 degree. And the low? A balmy 16 degrees below zero.


No thank you.


I have the greatest of admiration for my friend Barbara, who not only withstands the harshness of the environment, she actually loves it and wouldn’t live anywhere else. God bless her.


“You’re a greater man than I am, Gunga Din!”


But I must admit, the frozen wonderland of Fairbanks, Alaska does have one redeeming quality for me.


There is a Starbucks.


Today's inspiration


"Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of."

                                                 Bethany Hamilton




 Wednesday, Oct. 25 - Day 36


I’m feeling a little nostalgic today and remembrances of my childhood are drifting in and out of my thoughts. Perhaps it’s because my 50th (yes, I said 50th!) high school reunion is this weekend. I live only three hours away so there’s no logistical reason not to go. My reasons for choosing not to go are emotionally motivated, reasons I need not go into today.


Growing up, we lived in a huge apartment complex with hundreds of garden-style apartments. There were twenty-four apartments in each brick building, divided in each half, twelve on each side - three floors, four apartments in each. Under the staircase of each floor was a recessed area where kids could meet to play board games, or use as a hide-out where they could pretend to be pirates or bandits. It was a secret little hideaway where imaginations spirited them away to distant lands and faraway adventures.


Each building was far apart from the next, with sprawling grass and park benches. There were playgrounds strategically located between clusters of buildings, and needless to say, there were hundreds of kids.

For most of them, it was a great place to grow up.


Not so for me.


I wasn’t a particularly outgoing child. I was quiet and shy and just didn’t seem to fit in. I had only two friends and very few acquaintances. 


I spent most of my time in my room listening to my classical music collection that my older brother bought me for my tenth birthday. He was nine years older than me and he was my idol. He took me to the ballet and opera when I was no more than six or seven and from that exposure, I developed a lifelong love affair with music and art.


I would sit at the desk my father fashioned from a plank of wood balanced on two sawhorses. I would listen to Beethoven or Bach while I sat and sketched horses and flowers, or wrote little poems and stories. It was my own little private world where I needn’t pretend to fit in.


When I was a young teen, I had a friend named Ann. When we were together, we would spend most of our time at her apartment because my mother was very ill and she eventually passed away just after my 16th birthday.


Going to Ann’s home was like entering a magic world to me. In her living room, there was an entire wall, floor to ceiling, of exquisite fish tanks. Each was aglow with brightly-colored lights which illuminated the water and the breathtaking salt-water fish. I had never seen anything like it. Sure, I had a goldfish in a bowl at my bedside, but this…this was magic.


I could sit for endless moments being mesmerized by the exotic fish swimming in and out of the sea grass and the enchanted stone castles in the tank.

This was her father’s pride and joy, and he loved that I was so entranced by it.

And then there was Ann’s mother. She was an artist and Ann was embarrassed by her eccentricity. She just didn’t understand. I thought she was the most wonderful woman I had ever seen.


Every day, all day, she stayed holed up in her bedroom, dressed in a brightly flowered kimono-like robe…and painted.


She was like someone you would see in a movie about Monet, or Degas. With her dark, raven hair with a streak of white that framed her face, she would stand at her easel, palette in hand, and create beautiful paintings, paintings that no one would ever see.


You see, her mother suffered from depression, a deep-rooted depression that tends to plague the creative - the artists, the musicians, the writers of the spoken word. I remember watching the movie Lust For Life about the tortured life of Vincent Van Gogh and thinking, I know how he feels. I know what it is like to paint or write from your soul and never feel it is of any value, that you can never capture what is deep within the depths of your soul. And I truly believe that’s what Ann’s beautiful, talented mother felt like, secluded away from the world standing day after day, dressed in her silk robe at her easel, creating the beauty that was within.


I heard that she had died years later, and it is gut-wrenching to me that the world never had the opportunity to know this truly magnificent woman.


But she is a woman I will never forget.


Today’s inspiration


“People are like stained-glass. They sparkle when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

                         Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Tuesday, Oct. 24 - Day 35


I apologize if yesterday’s information regarding CAPD was a little confusing. After I posted and reread it, I was a little confused myself. My train of thought seemed a little disjointed, even to me.


First, if you will bear with me, I want to explain a little further about the CAPD, then go on to something else.


As I said yesterday, before CC, watching TV was just an exercise in futility. The best I could do was infer what the storyline was.


The reason I bring this up again is because it explains to my kids and grandkids, (and even to me), why and how I can watch the same old black-and-white movies over and over and over, again. I have all my favorite 20 or 30 movies on DVR, and with no exaggeration, I have watched each of them hundreds of times.


Besides the fact that I love old movies for their quality acting and lack of violence, I know now, that each time I watched them, I managed to pick up and understand a little more. So by the time I’d watched, Now, Voyager with Bette Davis, or Mrs. Miniver with Greer Garson, a hundred or more times, I finally figured out the dialogue that went along with the story. It was so much more enjoyable.


What a concept.


Okay, so now that’s the end of that, and onto my life after the discovery of CC.


My husband and I are addicted to British television. We love the actors, most of whom are classically trained on the stage. We find that the acting and storylines  have more substance. It’s not all flash. It's not all sex and violence.


I know, I know, we sound like old fogies, and I suppose we are.

Night after night we sit watching reruns of Poirot, Midsomer Murders, Father Brown and the likes. We particularly like the whodunnits because we like to try and figure out who did do it.


Once we’ve watched one of these series, we go on to the next. And then when we’ve finished them all, we go back and watch them again.


Now here comes the part that I find amusing, (or perhaps just a little sad).


The reason we can watch them again, is because from then until now, we can’t remember ‘who-dunnit’. So we have the enjoyment of trying to figure it out, all over again. And usually, we get it wrong.


Yeah, I guess it’s more sad than amusing, depending on your perspective.


The good news is…at this rate, we will never run out of shows to watch.


Today’s inspiration


“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone.”

                                             Anthony Burgess


Monday, Oct. 23 - Day 34


Welcome back to those of you who weren’t scared away by yesterday’s mini pity-party Mac and I are back on the right track and ready to roll.


So the other day before I got completely off on a tangent, I said I would talk about CAPD. But first before I disclose its meaning, I need to tell the story of how I found out about it and discovered that I have it.


For years and years my family has complained, because when I watch TV, I have the sound turned way up. They thought it was because I couldn’t hear it. And so did I. Turned out that wasn’t the case, at all.


One day I was babysitting my granddaughter’s children, ages 2 and 4. I was sitting next to them while they watched Jake the Pirate, a show I had watched with them many, many times. They always sat, quietly mesmerized, even though they might have seen that episode a dozen or more times. I, too, had seen it just as many times and sat just as mesmerized. I would never subject their tender little ears to loud volume, so I would just watch the cartoon without hearing any of the dialogue.


Well one day when I was watching something miraculous occurred. I actually knew what was happening on the show. Somehow, I knew what they were saying.


I couldn’t understand it. The volume hadn’t been turned up, so that couldn’t be the reason. I just didn’t get it. And then all of sudden I realized that we were watching it in closed caption. I didn’t realize that I had been reading the words at the bottom of the screen and for the first time, I actually understood what was being said.


What a revelation! When I got home, I turned on the closed caption feature on my TV and it was as if the world suddenly came alive to me. I know that I tend to lean towards the dramatic, but I’m serious. It literally changed my life. It was as if I had been blind and now could see.


So let me now explain CAPD to you. It stands for central auditory processing disorder.


I had never heard of it. But after some research, it turns out that I have suffered, and I mean suffered, with it since I was a child.


Normally, when sound reaches the eardrum it then travels to the brain to be processed. With CAPD, there is a delay in that processing. So as you are speaking to me, my brain is trying to play catch-up, and failing miserably. I have a great example which explains it perfectly.


I tried to go to secretarial school when I was younger to become a stenographer. I was in my shorthand class and the teacher was dictating the lesson for us to transcribe. While my classmates were busily scribing away and finishing their first page, I was still on my first sentence. The teacher knew right from the get-go that I obviously didn’t have the ability to succeed and let me know it in front of the entire class. I was asked to leave and not come back. Embarrassed and ashamed, I skulked out of class never to return.


I couldn’t understand it. I was an excellent student and test taker, but for the life of me I couldn’t keep up with the class.

You see, when he was dictating the fourth, fifth and sixth words, my brain was still trying to process the first one. I had heard it right, but by the time my brain processed it, he was pages ahead.


I suffered from other hallmarks of the disorder, but didn’t find out about them until I was diagnosed with it when I was in my 60s. But it explains so many thing that have frustrated me all my life (and driven my family nuts).


I read lips. I always have. It is the only way I know what you’re saying. Now I know its because when you speak, I can hear your words, but not understand you. I’ve always been self-conscious about the fact that I never look anyone in the eye when they’re talking. I’m watching their lips. And if I look up for just a moment, I get totally lost in the conversation. So I’m not hiding a secret or trying to be shifty when I don’t look you in the eye. Honest. But until I discovered I had CAPD, I just didn’t know why.


I know it irritates the heck out of my grandkids when I tell them that if they want me to hear what they’re saying, they have to be standing right in front of me. They just think I’m trying to teach them a lesson about not being rude, (which wouldn’t be a bad thing) but it’s really that I just can’t understand a word they are saying.


The other thing that is very difficult (and annoys others) is that I can not filter out background sounds during conversation. Even the slightest noise from another room sets my teeth on edge. If I’m reading your lips and there’s someone putting dishes in the sink or closing a door in another room, or kids playing outside, it drives me up a wall. It’s like fingernails scraping on a chalkboard. To me, everything sounds louder than it is and try as I might I can’t filter it out and I can’t concentrate on anything. Music in a restaurant completely distracts me. The smallest of noises that other people don’t hear or take notice of, set me completely on edge. So I’m really no fun at a party.


I’ve always hated talking on the phone and have avoided it at all costs. Everything sounded garbled to me and I thought it was just a bad connection. But, no. It was CAPD. When texting became an option, I thought I died and went to heaven.

So there you have it. That’s pretty much it, except to say that that day watching TV with my great-grandkids opened up a whole new world to me and changed my life.


Thank you, Jake the Pirate!


Today’s inspiration


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

                                             Robert Frost




Sunday, Oct. 22 - Day 33


It’s day 33 and for the first time since starting this adventure, my creative juices are not flowing - they're not even trickling. For the moment, I’m afraid they’ve dried up.


And in all my years of writing, this has never happened. Just the opposite. I’ve never been able to stop them flowing and at times I’ve almost drowned in them. 


Writer’s block has never been a problem, so at first I was stumped. Has the dreaded brick wall presented itself and am I to abandoned what seemed like such an inspired idea, my daily challenge? Am I to give up, give in, and admit that I am defeated? Am I to hang my head in shame that I’m staring into the abyss?


Hell, no.


All day I’ve been holed up on my couch, wrapped in my cozy comforter just staring at my laptop, telepathically trying to will it to spring to life. 


Come on, Mac. Speak to me. 


I call him Mac. I know, it’s not a particularly innovative name - I mean an Apple by any other name…but Mac is my constant companion and I am never without him. He is never more than a few feet away, because I might need him at a moments notice when the mood strikes and the words need to flow.


If Mac is not open right in front of me, he is safely housed not more than a few feet away in his very spacious, waterproof bag with its padded shoulder strap. The bag has enough compartments for the essentials, that if got stranded on a desert island, Mac and I could survive nicely until all my extra battery packs ran dry. And I mean the essentials. Aside from all the chargers, flash drives, etc, you would find a few other necessities - a small packet of almonds, a bag of freeze-dried cheddar cheese (you know, the kind astronauts take into outer-space), a small can of tunafish and plastic spoon (because I never know when I might need some brain food when I’m on the road) and a spare pair of underwear. I’ll spare you the details.


Most women carry a purse. I carry Mac. He is never out of my sight. I lug him in and out of the grocery store, the mall, the doctors, everywhere, because what if an inspiration struck and I had left him home all alone? 


Unthinkable.


Okay, so I guess there was a little trickle after all. It’s a little scattered, but it was all that spilled out, take it or leave it.


And if you’re wondering about the promised CAPD subject matter for today, I promise, come hell or high water, I will discuss it tomorrow.


Today’s inspiration


"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."

                                         Og Mandino



Saturday, Oct. 21 - Day 32


Yesterday’s post was devoted to texting acronyms which are used as shorthand for kids to communicate with each other.


Many of them were innocuous, others not so much. It was eye-opening for me, to say the least. Hopefully, it was information you might be able to use to spy on your sneaky little devils.


Just as a refresher from high school, acronyms are a set of letters using the first letter of each world as an abbreviation and the world would be chaotic without them.


Can you imagine having to say, “I’m a card carrying member of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations” every time you were referring to the AFL-CIO?


Or telling someone they need to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation instead of CPR. Those extra few seconds could be the difference between life and death.


Okay, maybe that’s a bit overly-dramatic, but you get the idea.


Our fast-paced world needs to expedite everything, from fast food to drive-thru funeral parlors. Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus, and a drive-thru funeral parlor. But I mean just think about it. You wouldn’t have to find a parking space in a crowded lot and then stand on a line that extends out the door and around the corner. Far better to sit in your car, sipping a latte and listening to Mozart, don’t you think?


So back to the acronyms. They are so commonplace that sometimes we think that they are actually the word they stand for.


Example. I always thought that scuba diving was just scuba diving. But no, S.C.U.B.A. stands for, self-contained, underwater, breathing apparatus. I mean really. Can you imagine having to say that every time you wanted to book a vacation?


So in case you've never thought about it, and because I'm sure there’s nothing else you’d rather do on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, here's a lesson in some common acronyms.


NATO - Nat’l North Atlantic Treaty Organization

DOA - dead on arrival

COPD - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid. Now that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

IBM - international business machines

FBI - federal bureau of investigations


You get the idea. We’re so used to them that we don’t always know what they really mean.


And then there are those that can stand for more than one thing.


So a friend suggests you go to D.C. Does that mean you need to go check out the Washington Monument or go have your spine adjusted? (District of Columbia or Doctor of Chiropractic.)


Now, this one could be really interesting if misinterpreted -

A.I. Amnesty International, Artificial Insemination, Artificial Intelligence. Don’t get those mixed up.


And then there are several that I’ve never heard of, but I can’t help but include them.


FEMALE -  formerly employed mothers at loose ends.

BOHICA - bend over, here it comes again.


I couldn’t find them in Webster’s dictionary, but I think they should be.


And I’ll leave you with this.


CAPD. 

Feel free to try and find it on a list somewhere, because it will be the subject of tomorrows post.


Having a sparkling day, my friends.


Today’s inspiration


"We are all born ignorant, but we must work hard to remain stupid."

                                                   Benjamin Franklin



Friday, Oct. 20 - Day 31


Okay, so back to the generation gap and how hard I try to stay abreast of what’s current - what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’.


I watch in amazement when I see kids texting a thousand words a minute on their phones, their fingers flying at light speed without a pause. While I’m on my third word, they are on their twentieth. I don’t know if it’s the arthritis in my fingers or my inability to think coherently at a hundred words a minute, but it’s not in my skill set, and I suspect it never will be.


So I asked my granddaughter Bella, who is 12 going on 30, to explain the meaning of the acronyms they are texting. I know I’m way behind the times and the only ones I know are lol and omg.


But in my defense, there’s no reason for me to know them. Most of the time, when I want to converse with a friend, I do something practically unheard of these days…I call them on the phone and actually talk to them. What a concept.


So here is a list of some acronyms that kids (and by that I means anyone under the age of 30) use. Forgive me if I include some that are slightly offensive even to me.




4YEOFYEO - for your eyes only

AAMOF - as a matter of fact

BTW - by the way

HF - have fun

noob n00b - (now this one cracks me up because it’s shorter just to type the word) newbie

NOYB - none of your business

ROTFL - rolling on the floor laughing

LMAO - laughing my a** off

TTYL - talk to you later

WTH - what the heck/hell

WTF - what the f***

WFM - works for me

2nte - tonight

B3 - blah, blah, blah

CUS - see you soon

CYT - see you tomorrow

IDC - I don’t care

J/K - just kidding

KMN - kill me now

TMI - too much information


Okay, so those are relatively harmless.


But there are some that disturb me and I suspect they would, and should disturb parents.


KPC - keeping parents clueless

p911 - parent alert

PAL - parents are listening

PAW - parents are watching

PIR - parents in room

POS - parents over shoulder

ASL - age/sex/location?

MoF - male or female?


In today’s world, where there are many deviants and stalkers, these texts to keep conversations ‘secret’ from their parents, are terrifying and I included them in the hopes it will alert parents to be watchful and mindful, for their kids sake.


So until tomorrow,  FWIW - HTH -CYT.

LOL


TODAY’S INSPIRATION


“My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.”

                                                           Quentin Crisp


Thursday, Oct.19 - Day 30


I can hardly believe it. I managed to come up with 30 days worth of nonsense to post. One month down, only eleven to go. Eleven months of more nonsense to come up with. Well, anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m so filled with nonsense that I could probably go on for years.


Well, have no fear. I won’t subject all of you to that. I’ll reserve that for my friends and family, because they know how to tune me out and ignore my rantings.


No, when this year is up, I will sigh a big sigh of relief and be done with it.


At least when Julie Powell finished the year, she had learned how to cook (ala Julia Childs), wrote a book about it, and that book was turned into a movie.

I somehow feel that my blog will not be book-worthy, and certainly not movie material. Hmm, movie…I wonder who would play me? Glenn Close? Diane Keaton? Meryl Streep? Jane Fonda? Yeah, probably not. Maybe, Peter Fonda.


No, I think I’ll stick to writing kids books, sci-fi, historical romance, short stories that run the gamut, from tender-hearted to dark and twisted, and funky mainstream fiction. That appears to be my niche and more up my alley.


You see, I’m a watcher. A watcher, not a stalker. 


I am addicted to watching people in their natural habitat. Like monkeys in the zoo, (sorry if that simile is offensive) watching people interact, captivates me. The intricate workings of the human brain in relationship to other people is fascinating. I just sit quietly and listen, well, eavesdrop actually. Whether they are close friends, business associates, secret lovers, college students cramming for an exam, every one of them has a different story - a different set of values - different perspectives - different agendas - different backgrounds - different emotional temperaments. And every single one of them gives me fodder for a new storyline.

 

Let me reassure any of you who will now be conscious of someone sitting quietly near you with their head cocked in your direction, that they are probably just  a watcher like me.


But then again...who knows?


Today's inspiration


"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening"

                                                         Ernest Hemingway


"If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk."

                                                            Robert Baden-Powell

 

Wednesday, Oct.18 - Day 29


For those who don’t know what it means to be old-school, it refers to something from a previous era. So admittedly, I am old-school.


But let me preface this by saying I’m not totally loopless (out of the loop). I pride myself on being tech-savvy - I’m packing an iPhone and make no mistake, I know how to use it. I text, I e-mail, and use it as my mobile computer wherever I go. I write on a macbook, use a G-Drive to back it up and I can google with the best of them. I Facebook, I Tweet, and I Instagram.


But that’s pretty much as far as it goes in relation to the ‘younger generation’. God, that makes me sound absolutely ancient, doesn’t it? It sounds like something my parents would say - the ‘younger generation’. It conjures up memories of them shaking their heads at the ‘younger generation’ (my generation), and our music - The Who, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones: the ‘younger generation’ and our fashion - mini-skirts, go-go boots and disco dresses: the ‘younger generation’ and our counter-culture life-style: bra burning, Woodstock, and flower-power.


And as always, I digress.


My grandkids think I’m cool, (all though they tell me the word ‘cool’ just isn’t ‘in’ anymore).


In my 50s, I became a black belt in tae-kwon-do, a certified personal trainer, and competed in an international, body-building, transformation contest, receiving an honorable mention certificate - (that, and $2.50, might get you a cup of coffee). Cool, huh? I won’t expound on why I did all those things because that’s a story for another day.


So, I’m cool. I don’t cringe when they tell me they are going to get another tattoo, or body art as it is called today. I don’t cringe when they get another piercing, in a place where, in my humble opinion, no needle or bejeweling should go.


So, I’m cool. I don’t voice my opinions unless I’m asked, and they don’t ask because they already know that I probably won’t approve.


So, I’m cool, because unless it’s illegal, I don’t criticize their life-styles, political persuasions, or personal relationships.


And I’m really cool, because they all know that I believe it’s none of my business.

When I became an adult, I made my own choices and reaped both the rewards and consequences of my decisions, and I firmly believe that they have the right to do the same.


But I’m cool, because they know that they always have somewhere to go and cry if things go awry, because there will never be any judgement, just empathy and love.


Okay, so this train of thought took so many twists and turns that it made me dizzy. It never ended up where it was supposed to go.


So I guess I’ll just have to start again tomorrow and see if I can stay on track long enough to get there.


Todays inspiration


“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

                                                          John W. Gardner


“The only source of knowledge is experience.”

                                                      Albert Einstein

Tuesday, Oct.17 - Day 28


As many of you do also, we have a dog. She is a neurotic little, bichon that we named Princess, because that’s the position in life that has been assigned to her…by her.


Princess came to us nine years ago after we lost our beloved, twelve yr-old golden retriever, Max.


So we went from a 120 lb. big, teddy-bear of a retriever to a 5 lb. little white, fluff-ball. There was no adjustment for me, because Max was really my husband’s dog. He was a man’s dog - one my husband took for walks, with his heavy, brown leather leash and sherpa dog-jacket to protect him from the snow and rain.


Then along comes Princess. She wasn’t his choice, she was mine, because it was time I had a cute, little puppy to snuggle with. Needless to say, it took my husband a little time to adjust. He was completely de-masculinized to go from walking his big, hulk of a retriever to an itsy-bitsy, pink-leashed, little dog named…Princess.


“Come, Princess.” Pee, Princess.” “Do your business, Princess.” My hubby felt completely demoralized walking her in her pink, velour jacket with fur trim.

I knew that she would eventually win his heart, but it took far less time than I expected.


Every night, she’d curl up next to him in bed and lick the bald spot on his head until she fell asleep. Don’t ask me why, but that was how she endeared herself to him.


Now all of this was just a preface to today’s subject…dogs. But not just dogs in general. One dog. One very special, heroic and inspirational dog named Hogan.

On Saturday at the book fair, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to Connie Bombaci, and her beautiful service-dog, a dalmatian named Judea.


Connie is the author of HOGAN’S HOPE, the true story of dalmatian who was born deaf and doomed to be destroyed because deaf dogs were considered worthless. In 1992 Connie and her husband rescued Hogan as a malnourished 4 month old puppy whose early abuse made him wary of new situations and locked him in a world of silence. Gradually he learned to trust them as they painstakingly taught him sign language so they could communicate with him.


Deaf dogs are often destroyed, mistreated or abandoned and Hogan became a legendary, deaf canine hero who overcame many challenges and prejudices to bring awareness to a world that so easily discards the imperfect and broken.

Hogan was the spotlight of many public appearances, TV interviews and news stories, to bring the plight of deaf dogs to light.


“Through his lifetime of determination, Hogan’s journey offers the promise that we are all capable of achieving an amazingly “ordinary” life and a life away from isolation. His tale of valor reveals that dreams come true…” Connie Bombaci.


Sadly, Hogan passed away in 2008, but he lived a full life and left a legacy that lives on still. Connie’s book HOGAN’S HOPE is a tender tale of unconditional love that brings inspirational hope to a world that so desperately needs it.


It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s an unforgettable story that will touch you deeply and leave you filled with hope.


Today’s inspiration


“There are none so deaf than those who refuse to listen.”

Mathew Henry


                                                Monday, Oct.16 - Day 27


This morning, upon reflection, I realized I had a few more things to share with you about Saturday’s book fair.


Being an author can be a lonely thing. You think alone. You dream alone. You create alone. And you write alone. Your writing is a deeply personal, private thing that is yours, and yours alone - until you put it down on paper for someone else to read.


And at that moment, you know that the secret place within your soul, the place where the magic of your creativity lives, will soon be laid bare for all to see.


Many of my fellow writers live with the intense doubts and fear of discovery - discovery that they are not really a writer at all. At least not a writer of any merit. We are deeply critical of our talent, even to deny that we have any talent at all. We cringe when someone says, “I’ve just read your book,” thinking that they’ve discovered our secret. The secret that we are a fraud.


We know what they are thinking…


…you call yourself a writer? Who are you kidding?…


…my eight year-old can write better than this…


…my, God…this is awful! Who ever told you that you could write?…


…you don’t think that anyone is going to read this crap, do you?…


And of course, those are the very same things you say to yourself every time you finish writing your next story.


Because you know you are a fraud.


Then the miracle happens. Someone tells you what a wonderful book it was, how much the enjoyed it and can’t wait to read your next one.


But then again, we know in our heart that they don’t really mean it. They are only saying it because they don’t want to hurt our feelings or crush our spirit. We know that they’re shaking their heads in private, thinking…poor soul, she should really find another hobby.


Hobby? Oh, if only that were true. If only it was just a hobby - something that you could put away in a box and store it in the basement, never to be opened again.


But, no. It isn’t a hobby. It’s the equivalent of a soul sickness that has invaded the innermost recesses of our heart and brain. It is a thing that can’t be denied. If we try to ignore it, it will rise up in our unconscious thought and nag at us. Words will course through our minds relentlessly, and haunt us until we have no choice but to release them and set them free.


I think of writing as both a blessing and a curse. I consider it a blessing, that I can create something that has never existed before, and deny it or not, something that can bring enjoyment to someone who reads it. Even with all the doubts and self-criticism, there is a part of me that believes someone can be touched, in some small way, by my words.


I said I also consider it a curse… a curse because it never stops. Story ideas stream through my head day and night with no reprieve. There’s a voice in my head that never stops talking (and no, I don’t need medication for it). It’s just alway watching, observing, listening to the world and coming up with new ideas for another story, another book, and I couldn’t possibly live long enough to write them all.


I said I had a few things to share about Saturday, but I think this is enough for today.


Tomorrow, I will share what I really wanted to talk about today before I got off on this tangent. It’s an inspirational story of hope and heroism that I was privileged to hear about. I touched me deeply, as I know it will touch you, too.



                                                 Today’s inspiration


If there is a special Hell for writers, it would be in the forced contemplation of their own works.

                                                                  John Dos Passos



                                                Sunday, Oct.15 - Day 26


I had the most wonderful day yesterday and like it or not, you get to hear about it.

It was PUMKIN FEST in our town, the first one ever, and it was a huge success. Hundreds of kids came out to “pick” free pumpkins from the pumpkin patch on the Green and helped to carve and decorate them. All the jack o’lanterns were arranged on the Green, and then at dusk, with musicians playing in the background, all the kid’s pumpkins were lit up and on display. It was magical.


Throughout the beautiful, sunny day, the Green was filled with crafts and music and vendors and fun. The streets were lined with decorations and scarecrows to round out the festive mood. It truly was a fun, Fall fest.


Now with that as the backdrop, I will share why it was a wonderful day for me.

As part of the festivities, there was a building set up for the local artists and authors (of which I am one). Beautiful artwork hung on the walls and each of us authors had our books on display. Because it was a kid’s event, donning a huge pink sequined cowboy hat, I made a fool of myself, as usual, and dressed up as a cowgirl to showcase my TRAVEL KIDS series. I was so pleased that my books were a hit, because the main reason I write them is to get kids to read.


I am sad to say, that kids just don’t read the way they used to when I was young. Back in the ‘olden days’ - there were no video games, no Iphones, no tablets, no nintendo’s. Our entertainment came from non-tech activities that are foreign to many kids today.


We rode our bikes from dusk to dawn, played on the swings until dinner time, played for hours in the snow until we were frozen and wet-through.


At night, we sat together and watched wholesome, family-friendly television shows. Then off to bed by 8 or 9 o’clock.


But the thing I remember doing the most, was reading. Every week, I scoured the local library to find a new treasure.


Back then, large-chain bookstores didn’t exist and even if they did, buying books wasn’t an option in my house. We simply didn’t have any extra, disposable income. If I wanted something special, I had to work to pay for it. So when I was twelve, I started to babysit every weekend to fund anything I might want outside the staples my parents provided.


So, yet again, I digress. Back to the books.


I loved to read. I loved getting lost in the world of make-believe. I could be transported into someone else’s imagination and their words were like a panacea of magic.


I read two, three, even four books a week. My favorites were mysteries like Nancy Drew, and The Hardy Boys. I loved to solve puzzles and it left its mark on me. Many of my own stories have a hint of the mysterious. Although sometimes dark and twisted - in my adult books, not my kids books - I usually leave you hanging until the end, and then hit you sideways, leaving you with…what the hell just happened?


Sorry, got off topic, again…the lost art of reading.


I don’t know if it’s genetic or not, but all of my grandchildren love to read. It’s why I started writing juvenile fiction, writing books for them to read.

Actually, I started out to write just one book - BOTHERSOME BOBBY AND THE TRAVEL KIDS. And that’s what I did. I wrote one book. For my grandkids. I repeat…one book.


But when my 11 yr-old granddaughter, Isabella, read it last year, she said… “Nana, you have to write a TRAVEL KIDS series.”


And I said, “no, Isabella. It’s just this one. I don’t want to write a series.”

I was in the middle of writing an adult novel at the time and writing more kids books wasn’t anywhere on my agenda.


And she said, “but Nana, you have to write a series!”


“No, Bella.”


“NANA, you have to write a series!!!!!”


And as you can see on my home page, she won, (because you just can’t say no to Isbella). At least I can’t.


So book #2 and #3 were born, with book #4 in the works, to be released in the Spring.


But the outcome of Isabella’s persistence, is that there are kids, lots of them, who are reading them. Reading! And it thrills me to death.


So that’s what I’m going to do. Write for kids until the day I die.


Selfishly, I’m hoping I’ll be able to write at least 20 or 30 more books.


Being as wordy and prolific as I am, that should keep alive for at least another few years.


Well, here’s hoping, anyway.


                                                Today’s inspiration


Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those to dare to make dreams into reality.

                                                                               Jonas Salk


                                        Saturday, Oct.14 - Day 25


Every morning, I crank up the radio and listen to my “oldies” from the 60s and 70s. It’s the music that I came of age to, and wherever I am, my body can’t help but move. And I mean move - much to the embarrassment of any friends or family who might be in close proximity.


So this morning in the car, it was Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf, and my apologies to any drivers who passed me, thinking I was having a seizure.

In 1968, Born To Be Wild was on the top 10 hit list, and as I listened, my mind wandered back to the 60s which was one crazy time in history, but that’s a story for another day.


So I thought, what a great idea to take a walk down memory lane and see what was happening at the time in 1968.



I’ll start with all the “firsts” that happened that year.


Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant.

Air bags were invented.

The first ATM (which stood for automated teller machine, in case you ever wondered) was installed.

The first Boeing 747 took flight.

The Big Mac was created by McDonald’s and cost $.49 cents

The emergency #911 for round the clock emergencies was created.


Now, for economy of the day


Average income — $7,850 per year

Average home — $14,950

Minimum wage — $1.60

Rent — $130/month

Car — $2,822

Movie tickets — $1.50

Gas — $.34 cent per gallon

Eggs - — $.53 cents a dozen

Stamps — $.05 cents

Milk — $1.07 per gallon


Current events


President Nixon was elected

Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis

Martin Luther King was assassinated

Robert Kennedy was assassinated

Yale University admits women for the first time

John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrested in London for possession of marijuana

The Honk Kong flu raged


Pop Culture


Top TV series — Mission Impossible

Get Smart

Laugh-In

Beverly Hillbillies

Green Acres

Top Movies — Planet of the Apes

The Graduate

Bonnie and Clyde

Popular songs — Hey Jude, by the Beatles

Tip Toe Through The Tulips by Tiny Tim

Popular toys — Talking Barbie

Twister

Mattel’s Talking Phone (rotary, not cell phone)


Sports 

 

 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers

World Series: St. Louis Cardinals



Well there’s a look back 50 years ago and I hope you enjoyed the walk down memory lane.


This was so much fun, I've decided to  write down what’s happening in the world today and put it in a time capsule for you teens and young adults to look back at 50 years from now when you’re old and grey. I bet it will be quite interesting for you.


All I can say is, I’ll be way past my expiration date by then so I won’t be around to see it.


                                                    Today’s inspiration


                          History repeats itself. So you may wanna pay attention.

                                                                                                Quavo

                                                   Friday, Oct. 13 - 24


And a good (chilly) morning to everyone.


It’s a balmy 35 degrees here in the Northeast, and as the saying goes, “there’s frost on the pumpkins” - and also in my house.


There is a rule in my house - and since I am the almighty keeper of the budget; that rule is mine. No heat until November. No matter what.


Our New England winters can be brutal…and long. And heating costs being what they are, and being as frugal as I am, (although my husband has another word for it), the heat doesn’t get turned on until November and it’s turned off in March…no matter what.


I’m not really heartless, really I’m not. But the budget stretches only so far and I figure the one area I have a little wiggle room is with the heat. And sometimes you have to wiggle to stay warm.


It’s not really that much of a problem. At least for me. You see, if you remember, I have my own built-in furnace. I create my own heat, which is brutal in the summer, but comes in mighty handy in the winter. The problem arises because my husband has no such furnace. But he’s a former marine ( I say former, because there no such thing as an ex-marine…semper fi) so I figure he’s survived far worse temperatures in the jungle. Of course there it was brutally hot, not brutally cold, and that was almost fifty years ago when he was young, and marine corp tough.


So, knowing that the temperature was going to drop into the 30s last night, I took pity on my poor hubby and slept on the couch in the living room. It’s cold enough in our bedroom as it is, (because if you remember, we live out in the woods and the sun doesn’t shine on our house for more than a few hours) without turning on the overhead fan and air conditioner. Yes, I said air conditioner.


My family thinks my hubby deserves a medal because he’s subjected to sleeping in the tundra every night, in the summer and especially in the winter. But again, I say I am not heartless. My side of the bed has only a nice, cool cotton sheet and his half of the bed is covered with a flannel sheet, heated blanket and two down comforters. I mean what more could he ask for? He also knows to dress the part - thermal tops bottoms, sweatpants and a heavy sweatshirt.


But I decided to take pity on him last night. I felt it only fair to ease him in to the winter chill, so I took my sheet, turned on the air conditioner and took up residence on the couch. What a good wife. Yes?


So this morning at 5:30 when he came in from taking the dog out, I asked him, “so is it cold out?” (knowing it was in the thirties.) He just shook his head, kept his jacket on, sighed and said, “not as cold as in here.”


So being the loving, understanding wife that I am, I turned off the air conditioner, made him a cup of hot coffee and told him…

                                      “Honey, there’s only 18 days to go.”


His answer… “honey, you know I love you, but can you sleep on the couch until then?”


                                                        What a wimp.



                                                     Today’s inspiration -

He is a wise man who does not grieve for things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

                                                                                    Epictetus

                                        

  

                                       Thursday, Oct.12 - Day 23

Since this blog seems to be evolving from the pre-school, entry-level “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” to the kindergarten-level “Can I ask you a question teacher?” to the realization “I actually have followers, so maybe this isn’t that bad, after all.”


So with shaky confidence in hand, I carry on towards the goal.


This morning it came to me, (and I don’t know if this applies to anyone else) in order to start my day off on the right foot, I will need a little help - somedays, a lot of help - a little inspiration - inspiration to be a nice person.


I need a little inspiration to be a nice person - a person who smiles and nods patiently, as the little old lady at the grocery store tells the cashier, in great detail, all about her cat’s mischievous ways and unusual bathroom habits.


I need a little inspiration to be a nice person. You know, a nice person - a nice person who doesn’t give an angry, impatient driver an unladylike hand gesture when he rudely cuts me off to get ahead and then slams on his brakes at the stoplight. You know, the one who has to get somewhere fast, but still ends up no farther than I do. Idiot!

.

I need a little inspiration to be a nice person - a nice person who doesn’t scream the appropriate profanity out the window at the raving lunatic who speeds past me in a school zone, thinking the 15mph speed limit is just a suggestion. Idiot!!!


I need a little inspiration to be a nice person when the guy in front of me starts heatedly raising his voice at the poor, young thing who got his drink order wrong because he changed his mind three times when he ordered it.


I’m basically a nice person. But sometimes the world can really tick me off with its unkindness and stupidity and suck the niceness right out of me.


So all of this leads up to my original thought I need a reminder. Before my feet hit the ground running, I need a little reminder and inspiration to help me remain a nice person throughout the day when the unkindness and stupidity of the world raises its ugly head and hits me smack dab in the face.


And perhaps you do too.


So, here’s a potential solution. I’ve decided to post an inspirational or humorous quote every day, to start the day off on the right foot - so I have a shot at checking off the niceness box at the end of the day.


I know that on most days, I will need all the help I can get.



                                                     Today’s inspiration -


            Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known -                                        

                                                                                  Sharon Begley

 

                                     Wednesday, Oct.11, Day 22



              I thought long and hard about today’s subject. Well, in actuality, it was only fifteen minutes in the car ride “out of town.” As you know, I have taken up residence at my local Starbucks just about every day for the past years to write my books, arriving at the crack of nothing when they open and not leaving until my brain says…stop!…four, five, or even six hours later.

                So today, it felt like a complete betrayal as I got in my car and drove away. But as betrayed as my barista family will feel, they will gain comfort in knowing that I am still at a Starbucks, just two towns away.

               I don’t know why, but I have always suffered from wanderlust…definition - a strong yearning to wander. And the older I get the stronger the pull is, to just get in my car and drive away.

          I am drawn to the serene beauty of nature, whether it be crystal clear, mountain streams of rushing water; misty, purple hills that arise in the distance; or mile-long stretches of pure, white sand on a deserted beach.

Yes, there is an overwhelming longing in my soul to be transposed from here to there…alone.

              I know it may sound selfish, but the fact is that I’m a loner. I am completely at ease being in my own company. I don’t get lonely. I don’t get bored. I don’t get annoyed. I can laugh or cry or or do anything else I please. I am perfect company for myself. Occasionally, there may be some heated arguments, but by default, I always win.

            But the reality is, I have a life - a full life - a full life that is overflowing with family. And as much as my soul may yearn for solitude, I wouldn’t trade one minute of the busy, hectic, sometimes frenetic life, with a family that I love beyond measure and who loves me back.


            So, every now and again, when the wanderlust is too much to bear, I get in my car and drive away, to a faraway place, peaceful and serene.

       

                                          …a Starbucks, two towns away.




                                        Monday, Oct.9 - Day 20


        My husband and I have been together for almost 50 years. We’ve grown up together, been through tough times together, weathered some mighty rough storms together - we’ve spent a lifetime together.

         You become rather introspective when the years ahead are far fewer than the ones behind. You look back on all that has transpired and realize that what you once thought were insurmountable barriers, were just blips on the radar screen. The things that seemed so important at the time, were things that, 30, 40, or 50 years later, weren’t very important at all, and they are long since forgotten. It’s only in hindsight,(particularly when that sight is 50 years in the making) that you realize the toughest things you’ve been through together - the things you thought would have torn you to pieces - are the things that created the glue that held you together.

        I must tell you, I did not sit down to write a serious, nostalgic, life and love introspective as the subject of today’s post. It was to be a light-hearted peek into what 50 years together looks like - the light side of it. But there is a great distance from the thoughts in my head to the fingertips at the keyboard.

         What started out as an amusing snippet of our time together last night, morphed into something very different, but in my opinion, far more important. It’s the stuff that hopes and dreams are made of, hopes and dreams that life can beat out of you if you let them, hopes and dreams that are sometimes abandoned along the way, but hopes and dreams that can be rekindled and recaptured, if you put on your seatbelt, hang on tight enough, and above all else, don’t give up.

       So, there - I have given you the wisdom of the ages (my ages, all 68 years of them) and it is a far cry from what I meant to write about today.

Well, come back tomorrow... if you dare, because, as Forrest Gump said…life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

JUST A REMINDER

Unfortunately, you can not post comments on this site. If you have any feedback or comments you wish to post, you can do so on my FB page @authorjudithsessler or use the contact form on this site


                                                   Sunday, Oct.8 - Day 19


THE GRANDMA CHRONICLES - PART THREE


        I hadn't planned on writing an ongoing grandma saga, but when I get up in the morning and sit down at my computer, my fingers take on a life of their own. I'm still getting comments from grandparents who can relate to what I've posted so far about the joys of grandparenthood. So I guess I'll drag it out one more day.

Yesterday I shared that I'm blessed with 14 grandkids (ranging in age from 27 to 5) and 4 great-grandkids (from 7 to 4.) Every one of them is special in their own unique ways.

         There's not a throw away in the bunch.

        I don't like to brag about how cute and smart they are, (although, I know every grandparent is prone to think the same,) but this morning I want to share a story about my grandson, Charlie who's seven. Remember, yesterday my post was about the monkeys on steroids? Well, that's Charlie. Perpetual motion. If he isn't air playing with his empty paper towel roll as a Jedi sword, for an hour or two, (fully equipped with battle sounds,) he's practicing his tae kwon do sparring moves. The boy doesn't stop moving...all day. It's exhausting just watching him. Occasionally, when I want to deny that I've grown too old for it, I'll join him. Bad move. My hips just don't move like a seven year old's - or thirty year-old's...forty...fifty...or even a sixty year-old. I used to be limber, even in my fifties. But long gone are those days. Now, getting up from my recliner can be a challenge. But I still want to be a cool Nana and despite the consequences, once in a while I'm motivated to give it a shot.

         But yet again, I digress.

         In addition to being an overly-active child (to put it mildly,) he's a riot, (to put that mildly, too,). The boy just cracks me up.

       As a preface, two things he loves are pizza and The Minions. If you've never seen the Minion movie, the little critters sound like The Chipmunks (Theodore, Simon, and Alvin) on fast forward. Last week, when I was baby-sitting, he put on Minion music. Not the music from the movie, but from their album. Yes, they have a music album. When I walked in, the song YMCA was playing and I was laughing so hard I almost wet my pants, (which is not an unusual occurrence for a woman my age with a weak bladder- I know, tmi.)

         So a few days later, Charlie tells me he's made two decisions about the future.

Number one - he's going to open a pizza shop when he turns eighteen and he's going to have a special pizza just for me, with mariNANA sauce.

And number two - he's going to play Minion music....at my funeral. Did I mention, he's a long range thinker?

       I laugh every time I think about it. Leaky bladder, and all.

                                                                         JUST A REMINDER

Unfortunately, you can not post comments on this site. If you have any feedback or comments you wish to post, you can do so on my FB page @authorjudithsessler or use the contact form on this site

  

Saturday, Oct.7 - Day 18


THE GRANDMA CHRONICLES - PART TWO


                So I received quite a few comments from yesterday’s post regarding being a grandparent and it warmed my heart. The statement that grandmas are just moms with frosting seemed to hit a chord. The immediate love you feel when you become one, strikes right to the heart.

         However, with that being said, there is a slight caveat. Yes, the joys of snuggling and loving the little ones is beyond compare. But there is also another side to that coin.

             I am blessed to be the grandmother to fourteen and great-grandmother to four - and yes, I was only 12 when I got married, (just kidding.)

               I am truly blessed to have the privilege of babysitting, frequently, and having sleepovers with my precious little ones when they were little. And even when they got older, amazingly, they still wanted to hang out with their “cool” Nana.

I have enjoyed every moment of my time with them, and yes, I was, and am the frosting.

             But as any grandparent who spends time with their beloved grandkids knows, it sometimes comes with its challenges. Especially, the older you get.

I thought it only fair to share some other quotes that explore all sides of the subject.

                            So, here you go - from those with experience.

I always give my grandkids a couple of quarters when they go home. It’s a bargain.- Gene Perret

My grandkids believe I’m the oldest thing in the world. After two or three hours with them I believe it, too. - Gene Perret

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly - Gene Perret

I don’t intentionally spoil my grandkids. It’s just that correcting them often takes more energy than I have left. - Gene Perret

I wish I had the energy my grandchildren have - if only for self-defense. - Gene Perret

(I don’t know who Gene Perret is, but he gets it.)

I have a warm feeling after playing with my grandchildren. It’s the liniment working. - Author unknown

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby’s grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida. - Dave Barry

               So, yes, being a grandparent is the best thing in the entire world. It will fill you with indescribable love that makes your heart sing.

                But all grandkids are not created equal. There are those sweet, little things who are content to sit on your lap and snuggle, or sit quietly on the floor, self-entertaining themselves with their toys. The most strenuous things you’ll need to do is feed them lunch or tuck them into bed.

             But then there are those sweet, little things who will have you spinning in circles and crying out for mercy at the end of the day. You know, the ones who want you to be a jedi in battle, until the battle is won - two or three hours later - the ones who won’t let you catch your breath before they’re on to bigger and better things - like playing king of the hill on the playscape at the park, climbing and jumping like a monkey on steroids. You have been entrusted with their safety, so it’s your job to chase after them and keep them from ending in the emergency room. But by the end of the day, it’s you who needs the ER.

          Yes, your heart will be singing with love, but your body will screaming…UNCLE.  I just can’t do this again!          

                                        …Until the next time…



Friday, Oct.6 - Day 17


THE GRANDMA CHRONICLES - PART ONE


                   You might have heard the saying, - if I’d known how great it was to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first. ( Lois Wyse - paraphrase.)

                     And if you are a grandparent, you know it’s absolutely true.

              As much as you love your children, you were responsible for clothing, feeding, nursing, disciplining, and most importantly, you were charged with molding and shaping them into responsible human beings. Human beings with a sterling character and unquestionable morality, ones who would, one day, make valuable contributions to society…and make you proud.

            It was a daunting task, to say the least, watching their every move, disciplining them for their own good, molding them into something other than little juvenile delinquents. You’d sit up nights, worrying they were getting into the trouble, ( the trouble you knew they might be, because you’d done it all yourself when you were their age.)

                 You had to be the bad guy, for their own good, and you were on pins and needles until they became adults…and moved the hell out!

                  Now, they have kids of their own and what a gift they’ve given you. You’ve never known what complete unconditional love was until a newborn grandchild was placed in your arms. Yes, you loved your children, but you have to admit, it wasn’t always completely unconditional. Don't you have just few conditions? like — "don’t throw a screaming, kicking tantrum at the mall when you have only an hour to hunt down and buy the perfect dress for a function that night"; "don’t get expelled from school for using the “potty” words you never heard at home"; "don’t decide to play hide-and-seek in the grocery store when you had a cart full of melting ice cream in the wagon"; "don’t announce to a roomful of friends and relatives that “mommy threw a big plate at daddy last night,” or “mommy and daddy go in their room to talk about Christmas and tell us not to open the door or we won’t get any presents,” — you know, those times when you would love to strangle your beloved, little monsters and put them up for adoption.

                 But grandkids…ah, they can do know wrong. They are perfect. And if they misbehave, you think it’s adorable. When you hear the stories of the mischief they’ve gotten into, you just smile and nod knowingly.

                  Been there done that, my darling child…and now it’s your turn.

                As a grandparent, you get to give those sweet, little cherubs who could do no wrong, cookies before dinner, let them jump on the beds, and play in mud puddles up to their eyeballs. You get to love and spoil them with complete abandon.

                 And then you get to go home.

                        Remember, grandmas are just moms with frosting.



Thursday, Oct.5 - Day 16


          I’m a researcher. I always have been -not the kind that gets paid beaucoup bucks to research scientific data for the aeronautics industry, or altruistically collect social information for the betterment of mankind. No, my research is purely motivated by an inquiring mind for the truth. The truth. You know, the word that is opposite to fake. The word that gets such a bad rap.

        They may say it (you know - the elusive, unseen “they”) but in reality, I don’t know many people who really want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The phrase ‘brutally honest’ comes to mind when someone asks my opinion and says ‘be honest.’ What they really mean is, please tell me something nice. Tell me what I want to hear.

         I was raised with the old-fashioned mantra, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If that were the case today, I think society in general, and the world as a whole, wouldn’t have very much to say at all.

This is by no means meant to be a social commentary, because one of the things I avoid like the plague, is to openly voice an opinion in a forum where I could be torn to pieces by a pack of wild dogs. You know - the rabid stalkers of social media that pounce with savage intent when some poor unsuspecting soul posts something as innocuous as “I saw the most beautiful sunrise this morning.”

                                  Let the social media attacks commence.


“Are you kidding? How could you even see through the pollution that is choking us to death?”


“Don’t you know how global warming is destroying us?”


“Don’t you know there is no such thing as global warming?”


“Of course, there is. How can any sane person deny it?”


“How could any sane person believe it.”


“There are thousands of studies. Just read for yourself, dummy.”


“It’s people like you who will believe anything, moron.”


                                          And on and on and on.

        Their rants will be joined by droves of social media stalkers whose verbal attacks become a frenzy of heated remarks against people they have never seen, scattered around the world, fueling the seeds of anger.

          All because someone looked out their window, saw something beautiful and wanted to share it so they could brighten someone else’s day.

           It is so sad, but true, that this is the state of the world today. 

     

                                 But remember, you didn’t hear it here.



                                   Wednesday, Oct.4 - Day 15


                 Good morning to my cyber-space friends. I hope you awoke to the greeting of a beautiful sunrise, birds singing, and a gentle breeze rustling the curtains to awaken you in perfect peace.

              But like the majority of us, probably not. You most likely were awoken by your unmercifully obnoxious alarm clock, kids fighting in the background - “get out of the bathroom,” it’s my turn,” “I’m gonna tell Mom,” “where’s my blue sweatshirt?” TAKE IT OFF!” “I’m gonna tell Mom!!” ….all the while, mentally trying to organize the million-and- one things that are on your to-do list.

               Don’t you just love the mattress commercials, where a beautiful woman with long, blonde, unruffled hair, leisurely yawns and stretches in her sleek, sparkling white bedroom, wrapped in her crisp, white cotton sheets? Without a care in the world, she smiles as she runs her hand over the bed, as if thanking it for her glorious night’s sleep and blessed awakening.

           There used to be a mattress commercial where the woman stood up and jumped joyfully on the bed as if on a trampoline. I won’t share the expletives I mumbled, hoping she’s fall off and break her neck.

               I mean really, have you ever bounced on your bed with delight because you had a good night’s sleep?

             But sorry, as is my custom, I digress. The subject - sleep - is still the focus, but I somehow got off on a bit of a tangent.

          I believe that in an earlier post, I alluded to the fact that I have difficulty sleeping. It wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time, I slept like a rock. Then, in my early thirties, I went back to school to become an RN. With three kids, a husband and part-time job, it was pure hell - for all of us. But that’s a story for another day.

           Back to the beginning of my sleep aberration. As is the case with all new nursing grads, being at the bottom of the totem pole, you begin your career working the dreaded night shift. And dreaded it is. You have to learn to stay awake and work through the night, while everyone else in the world is cozily, curled up in bed. Most of my classmates had no problem adjusting to their schedule, because they were mostly young girls (not even old enough to be called women,) who went to nursing school right out of high school. They were, by virtue of being young and having a social life, used to staying up all night. I, on the other hand, was not.

           So it was a great shock to my system and I did not adjust well. It was actually downright ugly. Sleep became the most precious commodity to me and I have to admit I became quite irrational. This was before the advent of black-out shades. I made my husband duct-tape black, plastic trash bags on the bedroom windows. I wore earplugs, but to no avail. I could hear every sound. I could hear the quiet closure of the downstairs bathroom door. I could hear a kitchen cabinet door open and close. I could hear coffee being poured. I could hear people breathing.

         My body clock just couldn’t adjust. It was daytime, for god-sake, and it knew that I was supposed to be awake. So when I stumbled through the door at 8am, after having driven home, not remembering a single mile of the trip, I collapsed into bed knowing I could sleep forever. Not so. By noon, my eyes would pop open and that was that. Four hours…not eight, and I was in a panic. If I had to work that night and didn’t get back to sleep, or at least get an afternoon nap - not trying to be dramatic - I was simply going to die. At least I felt like I would.

          So in the late afternoon, I would get into bed with irrational hopes of drifting off. Knowing that I more than likely wouldn’t sleep anyway, I would have the kids come in, sit on the floor in the almost pitch-black room to watch tv. Family bonding at its best.

They were actually very good about not making any noise, and the tv acted like white noise. They would, however…move occasionally. If they were sitting close to the bed, I could feel the almost imperceptible movement and it would almost bring me to tears. Please, please, I would pray to the elusive sleep gods, let…me…fall…asleep! Unless you are naturally a morning person and been forced to work nights, you won’t be able to understand. You might sympathize, or empathize, but you will never truly understand that you would trade every prized possession you own (including your husband and kids) for just a few more hours.

         Not a pretty picture, at all. It was, as I said earlier…really ugly. I’m sure that some of the childhood scars my children bear are a direct result of something that seems innocuous enough. A chronic lack of sleep.

            I apologize if I have ranted on and not made much sense.

            My only excuse is…boo hoo…I haven’t slept.



                                        Tuesday, Oct.3 - Day 14


           Tuesday at my house is trash day, and today being Tuesday, I feel compelled to tell the tale of the kale chronicles.

           On Wednesdays when I go shopping, the sight of those tender, green leaves of baby kale hold such promise for me. I pick out the freshest, largest container because I know I will need every last leaf. It is the come-hither look of those little green powerhouses of nutrition that call out to me. Just looking at them, I can feel the vitamin A and C coursing through my body, nourishing and healing all that ails me.

You see I’m a health food nut, emphasis on the nut. I celebrate the incredible power that the rainbow of fruits and vegetables can have on the body. I’m a firm believer that you are what you eat. I’m a firm believer that when I put carrots, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, avocado, and almond milk into my blender, I am making a miraculous concoction with supernatural healing powers. The satisfaction I feel watching the ingredients pulsing and whirring away, fills me with the anticipation of the end result. A thick, green smoothie that every cell of my body will welcome, and cry out…thank you. Thank you for caring so much for us that you will go to all this trouble, and expense, (for you see, if you want to get healthy and stay healthy you will have to take out a second mortgage on your house.)

             So why this elaborate, expository prose about kale?

       Well, it’s because it’s Tuesday, and every Tuesday morning, I go to my refrigerator, take out the unopened container of rotting kale and dispose of it in the big, black trash bag that contains the equally as rotten spinach and Swiss chard.

           Yes, every week when I buy my greens, I have the very best of intentions and swear I will make and drink the vile, green slush every single morning for the sake of my health, and every single morning, something far more appetizing wins out. Green slush…or blueberry muffin… I mean, really? It is only on Tuesday mornings as I discard the once cherished kale that I remember my decision to take better care of myself. And on Wednesday mornings, there I am again, in the vegetable section, making the same promise and picking out the freshest container. Because I’m a health nut, you see - emphasis on the nut once again.


                                      If only kale came in chocolate.



                                       Monday, Oct.2 - Day 13


             Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, no-one escapes this life unscathed. At some point, somewhere down the line, “it” is going to smack you squarely between the eyes and knock the stuffing out of you (whatever “it” might be.) Or in some cases…many “its.” Something, or someone, is going to break your heart.        And more than likely, it won’t be just a one-time experience.

           Last week, on day 10, I wrote a sensitive, insightful, up-lifting and encouraging post that shared how I’ve of walked through the darkest times and come out the other side - how I persevered, hung on, didn’t give up no matter how much I wanted to. I even included some words of wisdom from Churchill, FDR, and Emily Dickinson. I shared some of my deepest, innermost, feelings and was told by my readers that it was inspiring. Then next day when I went to share my daily thoughts, I accidentally erased and deleted my “inspiring” post. Gone like the wind, sucked up into cyber-space as the cyber-gods chuckled, it was gone forever and there’s no way I would be able to recreate it.

                    So with all that being said, this morning I decided to share my —

                    TEN FOOLPROOF WAYS TO HEAL A BROKEN HEART

                                         #1 - chocolate

                                         #2 - chocolate

                                         #3 - chocolate

                                         #4 - chocolate

                                         #5 - chocolate

                                         #6 - chocolate

                                         #7 - chocolate

                                         #8 - chocolate

                                         #9 - chocolate

                                        and finally - #10

                                             chocolate


              and if that doesn't work....repeat steps 1 through 10…until it does




                                      Sunday, Oct.1 - Day 12


             Happy October to you all. Another beautiful day to wake up to. And as the saying goes..."any day above ground is a good day." And amen to that!

               So an idea came to me during the night, and as I drifted in and out of sleep, I knew it would make a great subject for today's post. With prolific, poetic prose, I composed practically the entire thing - and if I do say so myself, it was quite an entertaining one that I couldn't wait to share with you.

             So...here's the rub. I can't remember one blessed word of it. Not even what the idea was about in the first place. As I slipped from dream world to stark consciousness, I felt the words melt away into the rabbit hole and disappear like Alice and the Mad Hatter. Damn.

             This isn't the first time it's happened. Actually, it happens quite frequently. I've written at least five books, including the great American novel, all while I sleep. And I'm sure at least one of them would have been a bestseller...if I could only remember it.

         Whenever I awaken from one of these nocturnal writing marathons, I curse myself for not having a pen and pad of paper at my bedside to at least write a word or two down that would rekindle the general idea when I woke up. But, no - I tell myself, this won't happen again. Next time, I'm sure I'll remember. Idiotic denial at its finest.

For me, being a writer is both a blessing and a curse. I consider it an extreme blessing to be able to create something that may bring a measure of enjoyment to someone when they read it. It especially brings me pleasure when that someone is a child. I was an avid reader when I was growing up and the stories I read, took me on many wonderful journeys that I remember still. A book was always a doorway to a magical world of the imagination for me, and I feel it is a privilege to create a doorway for another child to open and explore.

           That is the blessing part. The curse is that my writer's brain never shuts down. And I mean never. Characters and scenarios to write about seem to appear from nowhere, wherever I look - in the frozen-food section of the grocery store, on a jogging path at the park (not that it is me doing the jogging), at a stoplight, an ATM, a drive-thru...you get the idea. I'm looking at you...and you have become a hero or heroine, or an evil enemy of the state, or kidnapped princess in distress, or one of a hundred other things in my, sometimes twisted, imagination. So if something seems a little too familiar to you when you're reading my stories, maybe Big Sister was watching you.

                                     12 days down -- 353 to go!



 JUST A REMINDER

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                                     Saturday, Sept. 30 - Day 11


                                         Good morning to all.

            It is a crisp, autumn-like day here, probably because it is autumn - my favorite time of year. Hard to believe summer is over and fall is here. Halloween just around the corner, Thanksgiving in sight, and Christmas will be here before you know it.

           For those of you unfortunate enough to have never experienced all that a New England autumn has to offer, you have my deepest sympathies. It is an experience like no other. Leaves turning vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow-gold - the crisp, fresh air with the smell of seasoned wood burning in brick fireplaces - walking through apple orchards - trees heavy-ladened with luscious, ripe apples ready for the picking, leisurely drives through the mountains to maple-syrup country - stopping for thick stacks of pancakes at a roadside shack that looks like it would collapse under the foreseeable winter snow, but has been there forever and withstood decades of winter assaults.

       If I close my eyes, I can conjure up the mouth-watering aroma of blueberry pancakes and hot apple cider mulling away. I can envision the thick, freshly-tapped maple syrup slowly flowing like lava, covering the pancakes and dripping down the sides, leaving them in a sticky puddle of liquid gold that you want to dip you finger in and lick it off.

       Then back to my breakfast reality. I open my eyes to the sound of the toaster popping up a pitifully, flat, frozen excuse of a pancake with artificially-flavored blueberries and the aroma of...nothing. The syrup that awaits bears little resemblance, actually, no resemblance, to the real thing and pours out like water from the tap.

       Yes, I know. I could have taken out the fixings to make my own thick pancakes, but you don't know me. I'm a grab and go kind of girl - I have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare anything more elaborate than a piece of toast or bagel in my hand on the way out the door.

       But this morning, I wanted to herald in the arrival of fall. So I made the supreme pancake effort. And although it bears absolutely no resemblance to a mountain sugar shack, my pitiful pancake breakfast (and I use the term very loosely) is as good as it's going to get.

                              Maybe tomorrow, I'll try waffles.



                                     Friday, Sept. 29 - Day 10


           My deepest apologies, but my post from this day has accidentally been deleted (by me)!

                And it was the first serious, thought-provoking one I've done. Perhaps that's a message from the almighty blog gods.

             If anyone was so inclined to have saved it, I'd be eternally grateful and will give you my first-born child, no questions asked.



                                        Thursday, Sept. 28 - Day 9


                                Part 2 of the espresso run from hell --


                Like many cities and towns at this time of year, road construction is an all too familiar and dreaded state of affairs. In my town, it seems that at every turn you are confronted by orange cones, detour signs, one lane markers, 12 inch-deep ruts, and traffic jams where you are at a stand still surrounded by choking clouds of sand.

             I am not privy to the inner workings of the departments responsible for making our town a better place to live, but I have to question the logic (although I use the term loosely) of doing major construction on all four roadways into town at the same time. There are basically four roads in and the same four roads out. And it's not like I live in a quiet, sleepy little town that has a population of 50 where this wouldn't be an issue. There are over 40,000 residents that must daily traverse in, out, and around town. So being blocked at every turn is not just an inconvenience, it is a disaster. Being the ridiculously patient person I am (largely due to the fact I am retired and not on the clock,) it is not a disaster for me, but my deepest sympathies go out to all those who are on a time schedule and are at the mercy of the DOT gods. So what does any of this have to do with what I started telling you about yesterday? If you remember, I was on my way to my 2 minute ride to pick up my coffee. As I turned the corner to the main road, I remembered that my Starbucks was right smack dab in the center of that construction. No way in...no way out. The parking lot was totally blocked and the detour was ridiculously out of the way. And I chose today of all days to pre-order. Still, being patient person that I am, I had a dialogue with myself...it's only a coffee...not a big deal...all these other poor people are trying to get home for dinner, or get to work, or a soccer game, or the doctors...In the scheme of things, mine? Totally unimportant. I can wait the extra 3 or 4 minutes. Well, all well and good, until the reality of logistics came into play.

      I was at the stoplight intersection that was being regulated by traffic police, so I knew it wouldn't be long before they signaled me across the dusty, rut-filled road to accomplish my mission and get my cold coffee. But for some unknown reason, they only let traffic going east to west go, and the north/south (where I was) was stopped for 17 minutes. 17!! I was third in line, and waited patiently...3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, checking my watch with each passing minute. By the time it got to 6, then 7, my patience began to wear thin. What the heck were they doing? I could see that there was no reason not to let us go. 10 minutes, 11 minutes...this was getting ridiculous. I could see the gentleman in the car in front of me tapping his fingers impatiently on the roof of his car. 12 minutes 13...14...Okay, as Moses said...let these people go! 15...16... The man in front of me had enough. He started wildly waving his arms and shouting words I couldn't hear, but suspected they were ones that might be offensive to some. At that point the police officer looked over and with a shrug of the shoulders stopped the traffic to let us go. I must admit, at this point my patience had long since disappeared and by the time I walked into Starbucks I was a ranting and raving - well, lunatic might be too strong a word, but you get the idea. Danielle, one of my favorite baristas, took one look at me as I picked up my little paper cup of ice-cold espresso, turned and quietly made me a hot one. I know it seems a little thing, but at that moment of turmoil where I uncharacteristically lost my cool, her act of kindness shot straight to my heart. It put it all into perspective, and it wasn't the new cup she handed me that was the gift. It was the sympathetic look in her eyes and gentle, understanding smile of someone who knew me well. I'm sure she has no idea that I really do consider her (and the others who see me there every day) as my extended family. I might just have to adopt her. So the culmination of all this...simple lesson learned...don't ever pre-order. So goodbye for today and I wish you all a sparkling, construction-free day.

 



                                       Wednesday, Sept. 27 - Day 8


           I need to make an exception to my statement yesterday that said my brain shuts down at 2pm, because I actually wrote this at 4 - and to my surprise, I believe it’s relatively coherent.

          On my way home yesterday, I decided I needed a little boost and I knew a double shot of espresso would do the trick. After my many mugs of fully-caffeinated, dark roast at my “office” (by now, you know where I mean) every morning while I’m writing away, I often drive-thru later in the day to get a quick, double shot (or doppio, if you want to impress someone.). It’s just the boost I need to keep me going a few more hours. The irony is, is that it’s decaf. Yes, decaf. Now you may be asking yourself, how could two swallows of a non-caffeinated, albeit strong, coffee have that effect? Don’t ask me. Purely psychological, I’m sure. It does seems to be an oxymoron - decaf espresso, but it works for me.

         Now, nothing of what I just said has anything to do with the rant I wrote yesterday at 4pm while I sat and chugged it down. Let me get back to that now.

Many coffeehouses now have a mobile app to order your beverages on your phone and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Personally, I’ve never really understood why you would pre-order a drink that you would have to get out of your car to get anyway, and would likely be cold by the time you get there. But then again, I don’t ever order the complicated - grande, venti, half-caff, full-caff, one pump, two pump, mocha, pumpkin, full whip, no whip….Mine is just 2 pitiful shots of liquid, black gold.

           So, I don’t know whatever possessed me to do it yesterday. Why would I not just go through the drive-thru where, as soon as they hear my voice, they “pull the shots” in espresso lingo. It took me 8 minutes just to figure out how to place my order. By that time I could have already been there and downed it. But no. Stubborn to the end and determined not to be defeated by the process, I finally managed to place my order. Yay, for me. I knew that in just a few minutes (because I was only about a 2 minute drive away - which in itself makes the whole thing ridiculous) I would park, get out of my car, and walk in and find my tiny cup awaiting me.

        But as we all know, things don’t often go as planned. So fast forward 2 minutes…I couldn't believe it….are you kidding me?

           You know, it just occurred to me that this prequel to the end of the story has been rather lengthy and I shouldn’t take up any more of your valuable time if you’re getting ready for work, or school, or anything more exciting. So, I’ll end it here, which means if you want to hear the rest of the rant and end of my story, you’ll have to come back tomorrow. I know, crummy thing to do.

           And to Danielle, I'm sorry. They'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what an angel you are. It will be our secret until then.




                                         Tuesday, Sept. 26 - Day 7


                Good afternoon to my loyal followers. Apologies that I'm posting so late in the day. Perhaps not late in the day for some of you, the ones who don't go to bed until 11 or midnight. But to this early riser whose eyes can't stay open past 8:30 and whose brain shuts down from any intelligent thought process by 2pm, it is truly late in the day. Well now there's a long, run-on sentence which only proves my point.

               And since it's almost 3pm, I am tempted to just use that excuse to let this be the entire post for day #7.

             But being a people-pleasing, over-achiever, the guilt would simply overtake me and send me running to the nearest store for a box of chocolate chip cookies and a pint of Ben and Jerry's chubby hubby ice cream (the flavor choice is no reflection on my husband.) Well it would be a good excuse anyway.

              So what to do? There is simply nothing formulating in my mind - but perhaps that is because I'm sitting next to my grandson who is repeatedly bopping his R2-D2 action figure in the head who is making screeching, whistling R2-D2 sounds over, and, over, and over...and over again. If you don't have any idea what I'm talking about, consider yourself supremely lucky. I wish there was audio so I could give you just a little taste. I love this little boy to death, but at the moment....

        Well, that's really all I have to say and you have my apologies. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully there won't be anything that prevents me from composing and posting in the early morning when I should be able to be far more coherent. One can only hope.



                                      Monday, Sept. 25 - Day 6


                Good morning to you all, and for my friends down South - y'all.

             I already had a subject in mind for this morning's post, and there was going to be a slightly derogatory mention of the aforementioned squirrels from above, but on my way here another thought popped into this sometimes scattered brain.

              Last night, my husband and I watched the new 'Mummy' movie on tv. He had rented it the night before and said it was great, even better than the last one, and even better than the original Boris Karloff one from 1932, (no, we are not that old, but we watched it on tv as kids, and it scared the bejeebers out of us.

I am not a fan of bloody, gory, action films, at all, and he is fully aware of it. So, when he suggested I watch it with him (because it was so good he wanted watch it again) I asked him if there was any knife-slashing, blood-spurting, bone-crushing or facsimile of the same, and he said, no - it just had a very good plot line and great acting, and he knew I would enjoy it.

           So, why would I not believe him. After 49 years, I knew I could trust his judgement.

                Wrong, wrong...wrong!

                Yes, it did have a great plot and great acting. He did not fib about that.

               If you have not seen it and don't want to read a very slight spoiler, skip this and tune back in tomorrow.

           Somehow, my husband didn't think that the mummy slashing her father's throat and black blood came spurting out, or violently driving a sword-like knife into the chest of her beloved, was gory. I suppose he thought that because the blood was black it wouldn't gross me out.

                  Wrong, wrong, and yet again, wrong!

                 I will not reveal any other movie details so as not to ruin it for you, except to say that it was only mildly scary, but exceedingly stomach-churning.

               I will say, that if you took out all the disgusting parts, it was a very good movie and the ending was a great cliff-hanger. If these kinds of movies are your right up your alley, you will love it.

               But leave me to the old black and white tear-jerkers and modern chick flicks, and I'll be a happy woman.

          If you're wondering if I made my husband sleep on the couch...keep wondering.




                                       Sunday, Sept. 24 - Day 5


          I awoke to the gentle sounds of nature and lazily arose from the luxuriant tranquility of my bed. Leisurely prepared myself for the day ahead, the day fraught with the promise of new and exciting things to come. Drove down the beautifully bucolic tree-lined street, looking at the majestic, orange and purple-streaked sky in the distance.

             Lovely sight, lovely thoughts. Are visions of lush, green foliage turning vibrant shades of red and yellow in the autumnal light dancing in your head? Can you hear the cheerful sound of chirping robins? Are the tranquil environs filling you with serenity and hope?

            Well, back to reality then.


5:26a.m. - awoke to the god-awful, scratching sound of the family of squirrels that have taken up residence in the attic.

5:35a.m. - struggled to extricate myself from the damp, tangled mess of bedsheets, the sheets winning the fight.

5:40a.m. - finally free - dragged myself to the bathroom. Looked in the mirror. Ugh. What did I expect? No magical, mystical transformation has occurred. Same old, same old. Brushed the teeth, washed the face, plumped up the hair and ready to go.

5:56a.m. - carefully removed the downed, dead tree limb from the roof of my car that fell from one of the hundreds of scraggly, scrub pine trees that surround us. Watched as the chipmunks and squirrels scurried out from beneath my car, praying none of them were holed up in one of the wheel wells.

5:58a.m. - drove down the street trying to avoid hitting any of the aforementioned vermin (secretly harboring the thought that ridding the world of one or two of them might be heralded as heroic by anyone else at the mercy of the screechy, little critters.)

5:59a.m. - nearly hit a stop sign as the unmerciful orange glare of the sunrise shone directly in to my eyes, blinding me completely.

6:20a.m. - finally arrived safely at my 'office' and sitting with my mug of dark-roast, laptop in front of me, typing away.

         And you, my faithful friends and followers, are the lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) recipients of my squirrely (pardon the pun) thoughts.



                                      Saturday, Sept. 23 - Day 4


           Woke up this morning to find that 21 people have been curious enough to check out this blog. What a great way to start the day. To those 21 people, you have my deepest gratitude and if there's anything I can ever do for you...mow your lawn...shovel your driveway...give you my first-born child (although she's 50)...message me and I'll see what I can do.

             So, if you're on this site and clicked on the HOME page, you'll know that I'm an author of fiction books for kids and adults -- no, not that kind of "adult" books. Although the title of my book FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN OR COFFEEHOUSE CONFESSIONS OF THE UNCOMMON JOE, might be a little misleading, so perhaps I should clarify it.

            All of my writing is done at Starbucks every day. I don't know why it has to be that way, but it does. I simply can not write anywhere else. Even on vacation, I have to seek out the local Starbucks to write. I am standing at their door every morning before they open, laptop bag slung over my shoulder, anxiously awaiting one of my favorite early morning baristas to unlock the door. Then I plop my portable office down in the corner that has a big, comfy leather chair and wander to the counter where my mug of dark roast is already waiting for me. They are my 'barista family' and it seemed only right to write about them. So that inspired the FIFTY SHADES book.

         As I sat there every day, busily typing away on my second book SAINTS AND SINNERS, I stealthily (if that's a word) watched and listened to the conversations of the customers sitting around me, and the busy baristas as the prepared latte after latte (decaf, hal-calf, full-fat, non-fat, one pump, two pump, no whip, and so on and so forth) I got the idea to write about it. I had to assure them that the stories were purely fictitious and bore no resemblance to them, because some of the stories were just a little dark and twisted.

         It truly warmed my heart that when I had my book release for the book at a local bookstore, all my green-aproned 'family' were there and it was a great hit. So much so, that a sequel was requested and therefore FIFTY-ONE SHADES OF GREEN - THE EMERALD INN or BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was born.

       So here I am this morning at 5:30, sipping my coffee, typing away, sharing the experience with you.

                                     4 days down, 361 days to go.

                                   Have a sparkling day, my friends.  




                                         Friday, Sept. 22 - Day 3


               So, I am not unaware that I start many thoughts using the word “so” which is not particularly ideal in a writers world. There are ‘do’s and don’ts’ and too many literary faux pas to list, but there are also certain words that don’t convey the message as well, so, pardon moi. When I rattle on with the nebulous thoughts in my head, words just spill out and have a life of their own.

              So, that being said, it’s day 3 and I just couldn’t seem to settle my brain down enough to get a good nights sleep last night. Not that that is an unusual occurrence. Since the dreaded “M” at the age of 56, sleep has become an elusive thing of the past. Oh, how I long for the days (nights, actually) of climbing into a nice warm bed, with crisp white sheets, pulling the covers up and drifting into a lusciously peaceful sleep that wasn’t disturbed until that unmerciful cricket chirping of the alarm. But at least that was the only complaint I had — crickets from the nightstand. Oh what I wouldn’t give for them to return. Now, it’s tangled, damp sheets and matted hair from tossing and turning in an internal oven. My poor husband is used to the dilemma and has adapted himself accordingly. Wisely, ten years ago, after hearing the horror stories from his friends about the “change” in their wives, he foresaw the future and persuaded me to purchase a king-size bed. No more snuggling, no more spooning (not that there had been all that much of that after 40 years of marriage). But still, I always felt safe and secure when I could reach over and know he was next to me. From the moment we started sharing a bed all those many years ago, I had a habit (comforting to me, not so much to him) of grabbing hold of the waist of his PJ bottoms until I fell asleep. He is an incredibly patient man and he knew that he was stuck in one position until I fell asleep. But back in those days that meant a matter of minutes. Now it was hours.

                  So,now, back to the current bed status and nightly ritual

               First, I put my white, cotton comforter on top of the sheets and comforter that are already there. I accidentally stumbled upon a cotton fabric that stays blissfully cool during the night as long as it doesn’t touch my body. Then, I pull it out and fold it over to the cool other side. Bliss. It’s kind of like turning a rotisserie chicken on a spit. Then, no matter what season it is, I turn on the window air conditioner. My husband has long-since given up the question of why I need it on in winter when the room temperature is already 65 degrees (since our bedroom doesn’t heat very efficiently.) I can’t really explain it either. I often wonder myself why 65 degrees in the summer feels lovely, but just the opposite in winter. Makes no sense to me at all. But there you have it. He goes to bed in thermal pajamas and sleeps under two blankets and a comforter, while I slip into nothing more than cotton panties (sorry for the distasteful visual) and sleep on top of my best friend (the aforementioned comforter, in case your mind conjured up anything more disturbing.) Then I surround myself with five pillows. Two king-size ones to separate me from him because the heat from his frozen body radiates

                 “So,” there you have it. I know I am far from the only woman in this position and their husbands far from the only recipients of nightly distress and what possessed me to write this in the first place?

               Oh, yes — last night. I have much more to say on the subject, but that is best left for another day, another blogpost. I guess it turns out that I have more to say than I originally thought.

                  If anyone is out there, I’m signing off until tomorrow.




                                       Thursday, Sept. 21 - Day 2


            Okay, so I'm back, day two. Surprise, surprise. Maybe not to you (the 13 wonderful people who read yesterday's post), but certainly to me.

As I referenced yesterday, in the movie Julie and Julia, Julie started a blog to chronicle her way through 365 days of learning to cook every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook. She set herself a goal of one year because she never finished anything she started.

             So in thinking about it, except for writing all my books, I have a tendency to give up relatively easily, and the thought of a year-long commitment seems like an insane idea. Who in their right mind would want to tie themselves down for 365 days. I mean after all, who can predict what twists and turns life will take in one day, one week, or one month for that matter, much less an entire year.

               That being said, a little voice whispered, "what the heck, go for it."

               "Go for what?" I whispered back.

               "C'mon. Go for it!"

            Seriously? 365 days, blogging every day? No way. I might make it 3 or 4 days, maybe even a week, but sorry to say, my track record doesn't bode well for anything much more than that.

               "Chicken!"

               That did it. Goading is one thing, insults are another matter altogether.

               So what's a girl (a very old girl) to do?

           Take on the challenge, of course, knowing full well that I'm never going to make it. I simply don't don't have enough to say (although friends and family seem to think I have more than enough to say. Usually more than they want to hear.)

I figure I need as much motivation as I can muster up, so I decided that if I do make it, I deserve one heck of a gift. So I throw it out there -- any suggestions? - to prop me up during those days I'm on my deathbed during flu season, or in the middle of a book deadline, or just feel like pulling the covers up over my head because things aren't going my way, or it's raining, or it's snowing...or because I just don't feel like.

So come on people, help me out -- think of something that at the end of a year would make me sing -- something that will keep me going, today, tomorrow, and every day after that until Sept. 20, 2018.

         If you're up to the challenge, I'd appreciate it if you would please post your ideas on my FB author [email protected] authorjudithsessler.

      Of course, if no one reads this, then I suppose I'm off the hook anyway, because you'll never know the difference, lol




                                      Wednesday, Sept. 20 - Day 1


                  Okay, so bear with me. This is my first time out​ into the world of a million and one blogs and I openly and honestly have no idea what I'm doing. So why then am I doing this? Because someone (who will remain nameless,) suggested it. Not that I always listen to or follow suggestions. Actually, the reality is that I rarely listen because I have a somewhat rebellious and suspicious nature and have to test the waters for myself.

                So the first and foremost question I asked myself is...what on earth do I have to say that anyone in their right mind would want to hear? Even my blessed husband of 49 years who listens to everything I have to say, because he knows what's good for him, asked me "What's a blog? Why do you need one? And what the heck would you talk about? And who on earth would read it?" Now there's a vote of confidence and a shot in the arm, don't you think?

                 Why am I taking the plunge? Well, one of my favorite movies, the one I've watched so many times I can voice the dialogue right along with them, is Julie and Julia. If you haven't seen it, without going into the details of why, Julie starts a blog, and her initial reaction is that no-one is ever going to read it, so it really doesn't matter what she writes. So I'm taking my hat off to Julie for the notion that no-one will ever read this. Q.E.D. I can blog my little heart out because there isn't anybody out there reading this anyway.

               So greetings to all of you, or more likely none of you. This is the first of either many posts or the last of them. Tune in tomorrow for something I might just have to say...or nothing at all.

                  So how did I do blogworld? Actually, I don't think I want to know.


 JUST A REMINDER

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