Monday, December 18, 2006

Learning To Love Ourselves

I see it has been more than one month since I've written anything. I received an e-mail from someone who read my blog. She, too, has been in an abusive relationship. Good for her that she has escaped! It truly is an escape because the abuser is so conniving and constricting and controlling.

My heart aches for her because she is alone in a new city and has no one to reach out to her. So somehow she was lead to my blog and reached out to me. I hope I hear from her again, there are so many things I can tell her. The more she reaches out to people, even strangers, the less she will think about her abuser.

I suggested she try a woman's shelter. Not only for counseling but for volunteer work because as we give of ourselves we find so much inside that we didn't even know we possessed. It is important to remember that "God made us and God doesn't make junk", that is if you believe in a higher power. If you don't then it is enough to believe that we all deserve to be treated well and if someone doesn't treat us well, shame on them.

They are the ones with a problem and we need to remember our worth and that no one, NO ONE, may ever treat us badly. If people in our lives are negative...get rid of them. Only keep the people around who treat you kindly and with love. It is amazing when one starts to think more of oneself, how many wonderful people are drawn to us.

So keep thinking good thoughts about yourself. Put into the universe what you want to come back to you and, surprisingly, it will. In a season when no one wants to be alone there are places to go and volunteer your time and you will find that not only are you not alone, but you will find a happiness and peace within yourself that you didn't know existed. Remember we are only alone if we allow ourselves to be. There are so many people who need comfort and help at this time of year...give of yourself and you will fill your soul with magic.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Life Changing Experiences

We can't have enough life changing experiences. They are what make us who we are. Our struggles forge our souls...sometimes better, sometimes worse. My last post told you a little bit about my ex-husband. He is an alcoholic and worse, a verbally abusive man.

However, when I examine my life, I realize my father was a verbally abusive man. He belittled all of us. My mother, all my siblings, actually anyone who got in his way. This type of abuse is soul changing. One starts to believe what is being said to them and about them. It is what becomes the foundation for every relationship in our lives.

It was normal to have screaming and ranting in our home. Therefore, I grew up thinking this was normal. I didn't like it, but there is a comfort level in sameness. Even when the sameness is crazy. I always wonder if we are doomed to constantly repeat the lessons we've learned as children.

Fortunately, I was not a verbally abusive parent. But the only men I was drawn to were verbally abusive. That was my comfort zone as sick as it was. As I moved into my 50's I realized this was not a normal way to live. That is when I started to move away from the abuse I had lived with my entire life. It took until late in my 50's to realize there must be a better way to live. That one didn't have to be abused, either verbally or physically to exist. Even when that is the only way one knows.

There are days I wish things had been different. There are days I long for my ex-husband as sick as that is. There are those days when I wish, I wish he had only said "please tell me what to do and I will do it"! He never said those words, he dug in his heels and said "you want a divorce, fine".

It wasn't fine, it isn't fine. Love just doesn't shut off like the faucet at the sink. Love lives in our hearts even when our hearts have been ripped out of our chests. It took courage to divorce. I had been with him for almost 26 years. What would my life be without him. For even though he was very abusive, he was funny and charming sometimes.

Extraordinary how evil people can be so charming. But he was and there are days I miss him so much I ache. That in itself is so sad because I have a wonderful life now with a wonderful man who is sweet and kind. For the 1st time in my life, I truly believe I deserve to be treated well. We all deserve to be treated well and if we aren't, we need to ask why are treating me badly?

There truly can be a happy ending, we just have to search for it no matter how elusive happy can be.

Constantly changing,

Saturday, November 04, 2006


My son Mark, who lives in Northbrook, IL with his beautiful wife, Marguerite, their 2 daughters, Nicole and Brooke (my wonderful granddaughters), came to visit today. I haven't seen Mark since August when we were in Chicago. Once again, time flies!

Mark directs commercials. We knew he had talent when he was young and could draw anything. To see this talent develop the way it has, is truly remarkable. When I look at him my heart fills with so much love I almost feel as if I will explode. He is such an extraordinary man. He is the most amazing father to his girls, a terrific husband to his wife and a wonderful son.

Mark has a biological mother who raised him until he was 16. At that time, he came to live with his father (my former husband) and I, along with his younger brother Cary. To say our house was chaotic would be the understatement of the century.

Living in our home was my ex, my son Aaron, our Saint Bernard, Bernie and our cat Precious. Soon Mark, Cary, Sunshine (a sheltie) and Rascal (a rascal of a cat) moved in. Life was not the same and hasn't been since. It's better.

My former husband was an abuser. Not with his hands but with his mouth. Verbal abuse leaves scars just like physical abuse. However, while verbal abuse destroys your soul, it leaves no physical marks. Just scars all over your psyche.

He abused our children as well as me. However, the children were the innocent victims. I walked in with my eyes wide open. The pity is I didn't pull them away immediately. I am not certain why we stay with people who abuse us. In my gut, I believe we just become so accustomed to the abuse we don't know any other way to live.

Now that I am older and (I hope) wiser, I realize what a mistake it was to stay. I see what the abuse has done to my sons. What is amazing is that they are all so SANE! They, unlike their father are not abusers. The legacy does not have to continue.

My son Mark has proven that. He is the kind of father that every child should have. His oldest, Nicole, 11 years old, knows there is nothing she can't talk about with her dad. She knows he will always love her, even if he has to discipline her. She knows his love will always be there for her. He makes her feel safe.

He does the same for Brooke who is 3 now. Mark may not be my biological son but he is the son of my heart. I look at him with pride and thank the powers that be that he has become a Man! A wonderful, loving human being, in spite of the abuse that was piled on him.

Mark has a talent for bringing out the best in everyone. Whether they are acting in one of his commercials or students in one of his spinning classes, Mark makes them feel special. Mark makes me feel special and I'm the Mom.

How wonderful, that no matter how old we are, we can learn lessons. Especially loving ones from our children.


Friday, November 03, 2006

The Joy of Giving

It is important to savor the small moments in life. Those times when we truly feel satisfied. It helps us to feel validated as humans. For years I was a docent (speaker) for Lyric Opera of Chicago. As such, I would go around the greater metropolitan area of Chicago and had the extreme joy of telling the stories of the Operas of the season while playing excerpts of the music the audience would hear.

It was an extraordinary 15 years of my life. As much as I thought I knew about Opera, when I was doing the research on the Operas being performed that year, I always learned something new. My greatest joy came from teaching the children through a program called "Opera in the Classroom". We would go in to classes from 2nd to 6th grade.

One week at a time with various teaching tools that allowed them to hear the sounds of Opera. The last 2 weeks of the 4 week program involved the telling the story of an Opera while playing short excerpts of the music. The following week the children would dress in costumes (generally things we found at the Salvation Army, Husband's old shirts and ties, Skirts and bonnets for the girls. As well as all the accessories needed. Fans, muffs, swords (play of course) guns ( plastic) and whatever props were necessary for the performance.

Frequently, the Principal of the school would make it an event that the entire school would get to see in the form of an assembly. It was the most wonderful thing I have ever done with time next to raising my children and running a very successful business. For many years, after I retired from the program, because my business grew so rapidly, I would see these young people who were now grown.

They would run into me in airports around the world, restaurants or at trade shows. The immediate response was, "do you remember me"? You came to my 3rd grade class, or 4th or 5th, etc., and taught so much about the Opera that I am now a season ticket holder.

At the end of each class there was "immediate gratification". However, years later when I would see these young people and know that they were enjoying something so wonderful because of the few hours I donated a week to teaching them, that was "everlasting gratification".

It seems the most wonderful times we have in life in when we are giving of ourselves. We receive so much more back in return.


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It seems that persistence can be a good thing. You can now find my blog quite easily at under Livestyle. It took me awhile and 3 attempts. But they finally listed it. They are correcting the spelling to "Lifestyle" as it should be. You see we are not all perfect...most of us not even close.

And who would want to be perfect. Imagine how difficult life would be. One couldn't leave one's home unless we looked "perfect". Our children (if we had them) would have to "perfect". Nothing could ever be out of place and life would be no fun at all. We'd be too busy trying to be perfect.

My belief is that we all have parts of us that are perfect and that should be enough! Remember life is meant to be lived as well as we can live it. Warts and all! Laughter and joy should be our mantras.

For without laughter and joy we are truly poor. With these 2 qualitities we can achieve anything we want, because we will look at life differently. Just always remember you are a ''STAR". We all are. We don't have to be celebrities, but we do have to STAR in our own lives. (In other words, be present).


A New Home

I know I've told you all about Ricky and Lucy our 2 goldfish. She is a redhead and he is dark and latin looking, ergo their names. Yesterday they got a new home. Their move was almost as difficult as my last move in January.

They didn't have to do any of the work. I did! I moved them from a 20 gallon tank, which they were rapidly outgrowing, to a 33 gallon tank. It is quite gorgeous. This tank is a cube, rather than a long rectangle.

Of course, they have the premier spot in the house. Directly under the wine rack and over the wine cellar. So anytime they feel the need to have a drink they either reach up or down, but only in my or their fantasies, since we know they cannot breathe out of the water. Besides, they have no thumbs or fingers for that matter. How would they open a wine bottle. They couldn't even manage the new screw tops.

Moving is a trauma for anyone including the fish. I was exhausted after hauling out the water and plants and gravel from the old tank, up and down the ladder and then cleaning out the old tank. Then, of course, you have to wash the gravel, put it into the new tank and then refill it. Move the gravel around so it looks beautiful, put in their plants and their new home inside their home.

I think the place is very stylish. Apparently, they do too. They were still alive this morning and seem to be enjoying the additional space.

So, it seems, moving isn't all that bad after all. We just get used the "sameness" of things. We think about the hard work of a move, the packing and getting rid of junk we haven't used in years...but it turns out to be really good thing.

Life is always a series of change in one way or another, whether for us or the "fish". We feel as if we won't survive and are then surprised by how wonderful it is and why it took us so long after all. As has been said before, change is good. It's good for the head, the heart and the soul. If only we didn't fight it so hard and just went with the current, we would see, we almost always end up in a better place.

Changing daily,


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Change Is Good

Oh how we resist change. For the last year, we have been driving back and forth to Ft. Lauderdale every other week. We have been making this 1 hour drive each way to go to the beauty shop. I always said, I would stay until my manicurist left.

Last Tuesday, she left. Wednesday I went to the beauty shop 5 minutes from our new house. It is a wonderful, full service salon. Thursday, Jimmy and I had manicures and pedicures (the pedicure chairs have a whirlpool massage). I asked if we could rent them by the hour our feet felt so good.

We had terrific manicures and pedicures. Today was the true test, hair! Not that my hair takes any great doing. I wear it so short and get it cut every 2 weeks. But you know how we women are. If men don't get a good haircut, they put on a hat. We girls complain and cry about it for a week. Fortunately, I received a good haircut. It may take him a couple of weeks to get it right, but it's who cares.

Everyone at the salon is so nice. They offer every service imaginable and make it very homey. Who knew change could feel this good.

So the lesson for today is, even though we may want to resist change...why not try. It frequently turns out better than we expect.

Feeling great about myself,

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Grandkittens

My adopted daughter Liz (she adopted me much to my delight) found 5 baby kittens in one of her window wells, 5 weeks ago. The mother cat had abandoned them. Of course, the mother cat has had a number of litters in this same window well. Perhaps she just got tired of taking care of them.

So Liz and the girls have been caring for them. Liz went to the pet store and got baby bottles with formula for the babies. Their little eyes were still closed and they weren't even 1 lb. She stayed up at night to feed them and care for them.

When Jimmy asked her if she felt like Grandmother, Mom or Midwife, Liz replied, "No, just like with my kids, the maid"! She has been a wonderful mommy to the kittens, unfortunately 2 of them were just not strong enough to make it and now lay in repose in the backyard under their own little headstones.

Every day brings new and exciting stories about these wonderful little creatures. I remember when my son Aaron, was little, we brought home a black kitten. Next door to us lived a Rabbi who came home and saw Aaron and I with the kitten on our porch. The Rabbi said, "isn't it wonderful". "God makes all babies adorable so someone will take care of them". He was a pretty smart Rabbi.

Back to Liz and the kittens. Last week the Vet suggested she introduce food other than formula to the kittens. There are 2 girls and a boy. One girl is black, the other boy and girl are Gray. The big boy took some of the kitten chow with milk and then lay in the milk. Now all 3 are eating the kitten chow and lying in the milk. Obviously, it makes them feel good, or they heard that a milk bath is good for your skin! When they finish eating or when Ms. Black Kitten, finally moves so the other 2 can eat, they are so dirty, that Liz immediately puts them in the kitchen sink where they luxuriate in a bath...who says Cats don't like water. These 3 do!

Every day brings a new kitten story. I think it's time to name them and have suggested the black one be called Tabitha, the other girl Endora and the boy Darren. Liz said after looking at him, that he did remind her of the original Darren on "Bewitched".

Emily sent me a picture that was taken with her cell phone of her holding 2 of the kittens. They are so adorable...just like the Rabbi said, "who wouldn't want to take care of them"!

Bubby to 3 kittens,


"Time Goes by so quickly"

Do you ever wonder how we got here so quickly. Yesterday I met a little girl. When I asked her age she said, "I'm 7-3/4". Can you imagine saying, "I'm 55-3/4, or 42 -1/2, or 90-1/4"! When we are young time moves so slowly. Yet as we just flies by.

We moved into our new home January 7, 2006. We have been living in the house for 10 months already, yet it seems as if it were yesterday that we closed on the house and then moved in.

Probably none of us would trade our years for the knowledge we now have to have the bodies we once had or the faces we had before time took its toll. But just for one moment wouldn't you like to go back to one special day, one special hour and relive it?

Do you suppose it would be as special as it is in hindsight or was it just the memory of that moment? Remember the book "The Time Machine" or the movie "A Moment in Time". What is your favorite memory?

Doesn't it make you feel all warm inside when you think of it? Was it your 1st kiss, your 1st love, your 1st day of school, the birth of your 1st child? Or is it the memory of love lost, never to be found again.

I look at myself at 18 and wonder if I knew the woman I would become or how my life would play out? I wonder if I've played my hand well or if there are still many hands to yet be played? It appears I'll just have to take it one day at a time and try to make the most of it.


Saved by Google

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

It is amazing that the older I get, the more impressed I am by the younger generation. So many people criticize the young people of today, however, all it took was one young programmer with Google to get my ads up and running in less than 4 minutes, by just pointing out that I am now using the "beta" version. Actually, much easier than the old version.

I didn't have to copy and paste HTML code. All I had to do was click on a couple of buttons. I'll tell you those people at Google. Not only do they have the most amazing search engines, the people who work for them are bright and quick to answer any e-mail.

Amazing, I was born just a little bit too early. Would I love to work in an environment that encourages bright people to be even brighter and yet able to help those of us who are technologically challenged!

What a wonderful world and how lucky we are to be living in it.

Oh, and since it's football season, the boys are showing off their helmets. Of course, Bullwinkle wants a Bears Helmet now that they are winning again. So I guess we'll just have to get him one.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Idiot "Again"

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

It seems I spent most of today trying to get my "ads" back up on my blog. They were there 2 days ago when I was trying to put on that link. Somehow the HTML for the ads from ADSENSE were me, not by me. I'm not that smart. The only thing I know about HTML is it means HYPERLINK something...I'll hyperlink something.

I just read someone else's blog. Boy is she a mess! Poor girl. Seems to be problems all over her life. She has just got to turn that around or life is going to seem very looooonnnng!!! Not for good reasons.

I can tell her that just when you think something awful has happened, life turns around faster than you can blink. But you have to be positive and not dwell in your misery. There are just people out there that only know how to be miserable. Call me a "Pollyanna" if you will, but if you don't have a positive attitude and believe magic will never will! For me, magic happens every day. Even on a day like today when I don't know anything about HTML.

I better write this girl and tell her "life is short". Change the things that are bad now or you'll never enjoy anything. She will just dwell in her misery. What fun is that. Waiting for something to happen to make you happy. You will never be happy. You must find your joy every day.

Perhaps her blog is just the way she vents. We all need an outlet to vent. I have one. We hung a wonderful gong in the house. When I need to vent...I just bang that gong. It releases all my tension and leaves me with a wonderful sense of peace. That must be why the Buddhists use gongs. What an extraordinary feeling when you hit the gong. The sound it makes is wonderful and magical...there I go again, magic. I tell you it happens every day.

BTW, do you like my new template. I think it is much more in keeping with my "elegant" self.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carpe Diem

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

"Sieze The Day". Very important to do. When my children were small I used to tell them, "yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn't promised, today is God's gift to you and that's why it's called The Present. Every day should be looked at as a present. A new day to do anything we want with. Like a present it should be unwrapped with great abandon.

We should do everything with excitment. For only then will we truly experience real joy. It seems that too many of us go through life looking sullen. Remember what you think is what shows on your face. So go out into the wonderful joyful! Even if you don't feel that way to begin with, the simple act of putting a smile on your face, will make you feel joy.

There are so many things in life to be grateful for. Our health, our family, our work (hopefully you are doing what you love), our friends, the roof over our head, our friends. You get the picture.

All you have to do is turn on the television and see the misery all around the world. So here we are, comfortable without misery....let's be grateful.

My friend of longest duration, Renee had a new grandson yesterday. He was born in Israel to her youngest son Dovid and his wife Elouise. How wonderful! A new life in a land so torn by strife. So even though the news every day is so full of misery, the young people have hope for the future and continue to reproduce.

How lucky we are! Let's try to remember that.

Carpe Diem,

Not So Dumb After All

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

Well, it seems I am not as dumb as I thought. The link for the gentlemen in the U.K. is up. It was incredibly easy after all. So I guess, old age didn't stop me from being able to do this. Fortunately, I didn't have to be 16 after all. My age had nothing to do with it!

You know, I've often said, "Old Age Is Not For Sissies". Well this just proves it. One doesn't have to give in to the years that have passed...Remember we are not getting older, we are truly getting better. Exercising our brains is good for us, it keeps us from getting Alzheimer's. At least that's what the Doctors say. Who am I to argue with Doctors...

Remember, we may get old, but we don't have to grow up!


Old Fool

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

It seems that a gentleman in the U.K. has seen my blog. For the life of me I don't know why. However, he would like to put a link for his business on my blog. One would think this would be fairly easy to do. WRONG. I have printed out the instructions from the site.

He was nice enough to send me instructions...if only they matched my dashboard! It has been a very long time since I felt this stupid. I think the last time was when my new crystal chandelier was delivered and the lighting store asked me "do you have a chandelier dresser"?

What the hell is a chandelier dresser...oh, I didn't say that to him. I simply replied, "why no, do you have someone?" Little did I know chandeliers of this sort come naked and truly need to be dressed (that is have all the crystals hung by a professional with white gloves). Glad it wasn't me.It took the professional 6 hours to hang all the crystals. Definitely worth it. The chandelier is gorgeous.

If I were 16 I would probably have no problem putting this link on my blog. So if there is a 16 year old out there...HELP! Now if I can only figure out how to put this link on my page. Perhaps, I will not feel stupid any longer.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Fish Tale

Project Red is not a charity, it is simply a business model. You buy Project Red stuff. (Motorola, AmEx, Gap, Armani, Converse, Apple) Project Red gets the money. It then buys the pills and distributes them. Sick people in Africa take the pills, stay alive. And continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

I hope you remember Ricky and Lucy. She of the Red hair and he is dark and handsome. Oh no, not that Ricky and goldfish. She has a Red head and therefore we named her Lucy and he is dark and handsome. It has been awhile since I wrote about them. If you notice, they have grown considerably. See their picture in April.

We didn't have to worry about Lucy doing him in, because he was bigger than her. When she would go after him, the way she did the 1st Ricky, (rest his soul), he fought back. He used to chase her around the tank so he would get more food.

To defend herself, she just got bigger. They were moved into a 20 gallon tank and soon are going to need a 30 gallon tank. I simply refuse to put them in the swimming pool. It is bad enough they swim in their own waste...I will not!

It is amazing how relaxing it is to watch fish. He is very funny. I have never seen a fish do cartwheels, but he does. We think it's because he is so big that when he tries to turn, he ends up, upside down and then has to right himself. Much like those of us trying to live our lives.

We frequently find ourselves in places we never intended to be. Life just took us there, much like Ricky trying to right himself. When we finish school, we truly believe we have a course set for our lives. How wrong we frequently are.

Life, like the tide, moves us to places we never thought we'd be. However, we frequently find when we get to our destination, that it is a good place to be. Of course, this does not preclude ambition or the desire to be more, to do more, to have more. I believe these are inate qualities we have.

In our youth, we always seem to be swimming upstream. But, I think, that's the way it should be. This passage prepares us for what is to come...aging. Not easy! But it beats the alternative. My friend Ellie said yesterday, "it's the mind that matters"! I believe her, without a great mind you have nothing.

So here's to keeping our youthful mindset and continuing to go about this journey of life full of the same kind of hope we have when we are kids. After all, that's what we are! Kids, who have just gotten older.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

I used to be "HOT"

Well, I see it has been a long time since I've written anything. It appears in July I vowed to get off my couch and move. Hasn't happened! However, I look great....see my picture. I did have the worst experience the other day. I remember the days when a good looking man would look at me and then the car. Now they look at the car and then me.

Yesterday, this very handsome man walked past my gorgeous new 2007 Red XK with the top down and said "great". Of course, I thought he was talking about me. Once inside my destination, there he was again. He walked right up to me and said "what a fabulous car".
Now in the past, great looking men would say "beautiful woman, beautiful car" when did this change and how did I not see it happening. AARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! Here I am thinking I am still "hot". Apparently only the car is now hot. The downside to aging, I guess I better get off the couch, LOL!

I'll keep you posted,

Sunday, July 30, 2006

60 Somethings

O.K. there are 20 somethings...why not 60 somethings. After all, we're something too! Today is a new day for me. I started, once again, a new diet. This time healthy food only and water when I feel hungry. I will let you know how long it lasts.

Oh, I forgot...I now need a new motto. My old one, "if I feel like exercising, I sit down and wait for the feeling to pass" has to be replaced. Why you ask? I'll tell you, because knitting no longer counts as an exercise. I have to move my body to lose weight and that is what I am going to do. We are on track...I am going to be back! It may kill me, but I'm going to be back.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's A Dogs Life

Rocky and Bullwinkle are my 2 maltese dogs. They are 6 years old now and as cute as the day I got them. To say they are spoiled would be a gross understatement. However, it is impossible not to spoil them becaue cute is what they do best.

For the first 6 years of Rockys life and the first 5 1/2 years of Bullwinkles life they lived in a condo on the beach. Of course, they were not allowed either on the beach or at the pool.

In January we moved into our new house which has much more room for them to run. We have a large yard and our own pool. They are free to roam anywhere. Which brought with it new problems. Bullwinkle is the alpha dog in our house and the moment the front door would open
he would feel obliged to run across the street to the house of the Zoe and Jax, the 2 Bedlington Terriers.

This usually got him into trouble either with me chasing him or the women with the GIANT DOBERMAN kicking at him. Bullwinkle, who really believes is a 180 lb Rottweiler had no fear of anything, people, cars, big dogs or neighbors. Rocky, on the other hand, is our timid dog. However, that didn't stop him from bolting either.

The 2nd weekend we were in the new house, my neighbor Barry rang the bell and asked, "are you missing anything"? I replied, "not that I'm aware of ". At this point, Barry stepped aside and who was standing quietly behind him, Rocky. He had been out exploring the neighborhood. Obviously, he felt obligated to look at his new surroundings.

These exploits led us to consider an "invisible fence" which we promptly had installed. It took 2 weeks to train them. Bullwinkle, of course, had to really find out if he would get a little shock. He did! Now, we can't get them past the front door. They are really quite funny about it.

They will both go out in back and play around the pool. Bullwinkle will not go through the fence into the yard. Rocky, however, always feels compelled to go through the fence and into the yard. Once he is in the yard he goes around to the front door and barks to come in. He is truly goofy.

Bullwinkle doesn't like the yard at all. If I am out in the yard picking up or gardening he will come out, however, he hugs the walls of the house like a thief in the night. He runs behind the air conditioning unit to the safety of the pool heater and runs behind the pool heater to the safety of the fence and then back into the pool area.

Our once, brave, fearless 5 lb. dog now will not move past the front portico. If other dogs are outside, he will make several attempts to move toward them and then thinks the better of it and simply turns around and goes back into the house. You can almost hear his little brain saying, "crazy I am, stupid I'm not". Bravery is still in his soul though, as long as he is in the house he will bark at every one that passes by. That's my boy!


A Fish Story

The saga of Lucy continues. Even though she looked very happy yesterday (why not she had the whole place to herself after doing in Ricky) her surroundings were not very attractive. We took her out of the bowl yesterday and put her in a storage bin because it was bigger and afforded her more room to move around. However, we knew it would only be temporary quarters.

Today we bought an apartment fitting her regal highness! A 10 gallon tank with lights and a filter. New gravel was added as well as plants, they really dress up the place. Oh, we also bought her some company...A new Ricky (of course, no fish can truly replace the original Ricky).

However, this guy is a HUNK! Even Lucy thinks so...she is all over him like white on Rice. Perhaps, it's because he is the same species of Goldfish that she is, a Ruykin. He is beautifully marked and has the most gorgeous tail...I think Lucy is going to let him live. We also added 2 fish to keep the tank clean, Tom and Jerry.

Tom is, of course, a Catfish. Jerry is what is called an Algae Eater. No, he doesn't look like a mouse. But Tom chases him around the tank nevertheless. For the moment it appears that all is well in the new house. Everyone looks happy, but only time will tell.

If Ricky is floating in the morning we will know that Lucy simply doesn't like to share her space and, alas, we shall have to consider her a "serial goldfish"! Hopefully, it won't come to that, since I'm not certain how we would "book" her! Can A goldfish ever be a perp?


Friday, April 21, 2006

A Death In The Family

Sad as it is, a death in the family always makes you realize how very short life is. It should be a time of reflection as well as a time to tell all those we love, just how much we love them. This death really brought home how very short life is...poor Ricky lived less than a day!

He was a Lion Head Goldfish that I brought home yesterday with a red-headed Goldfish that we call Lucy. There names seemed very appropriate. He was dark and latin looking and as I already told you she is a red head. But, alas, poor Ricky didn't make it through the night.

We don't know if he was sick when we bought him yesterday or if Lucy did him in!!! Then again, we're not really certain if he was a he and she is a she...but you know what they say, always look at the spouse first. So we are highly suspicious that she had something to do with it.

You see she is very happy today, she has the whole bowl to herself, not to mention the food!


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Approval At Any Age

Why is it that at 61+ years we still need validation from a parent? How hurtful it is when our parents don't appreciate or recognize what we do. It doesn't matter how old we get or how old they are now, there approval seems to matter, even when it shouldn't!

How old do we have to be before the disapproval stops hurting? I'm not certain. What I am certain of is that we need to shut off that voice in our head...their voice, that tells us what we do is not good enough. I would like to say I know my mother means well, but it doesn't feel that way and why should I still care? Beats the hell out of me.

I guess getting older doesn't necessarily mean we get any smarter, at least emotionally smarter. Those people who have always been able to push our buttons, still do. And I wonder why we lack usually tracks back to a disapproving parent. One for whom whatever we did, was not quite "good enough".

Who tracks "good enough"? It is enough that we have gotten older and really need to put our past behind us! Something I used to tell my kids was "your past is like your ass, it's filled with shit and follows you around. So get over it! I'm getting over it. No longer am I going to allow a parent or anyone to push my buttons.

I'm having all my buttons recovered, so no one will know where they are. Besides, it really is time to get over it.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Jewish Penicillin

My adopted daughter Liz made Chicken Soup yesterday and Matzo Balls today. It is the 1st time she has ever made Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls. The timing couldn't have been more perfect as her youngest daughter, Emily, was diagnosed today with Strep Throat. What better medicine for a sore throat than a hot bowl of Chicken Soup. I gave her the recipe on Saturday for the soup and matzo balls. Not only did she go out on Sunday and buy all the ingredients, but she actually made the soup. Her daughters said, "it s delicious"! This was a great accomplishment for Liz, one that made here feel really good about herself.

I was on the phone with Emily when she told me "Mommy is making Matzo Balls right now". I said, "wait until you taste them, they are fabulous". Emily replied, "I know they will be Aunt Neen, because it's your recipe and everything you make is delicious". What a compliment! Isn't this what life is about. Validation.

All we do is important, it makes us feel good about ourselves when we accomplish something as simple as making a pot of soup. Our accomplishments are what add up to who we ultimately are. They don't have to big. These small validations help us through the bad days and make us feel warm and incredibly happy. Isn't this what we all want, just to be happy? To have people like what we do and more importantly, that we like what we do, that it makes us proud.

Life is a journey or it should be. An extraordinary journey! We don't always know where we are going or even how we are going to get there...but the journey, that's what helps to shape us, to make us who we ultimately become.

When we get older, it is the journey and the fun (even the days that aren't so much fun) that we should remember. Some of us are smart enough to keep a journal of our days. Others, like me never have. Fortunately, I remember most of my journey through this world and the 61+ years that I've been on my way.

Now that we have this tool called the internet and blogging I get to share some of journey. It doesn't matter if anyone is reading it...I'm enjoying the telling of it. Stick around...we've only just begun.


A Little Goes A Long Way

My friend Pat said today, "God must be a woman, because she makes our near vision bad as we age so we can't see our wrinkles". I do believe their is a truth there. Think about it, we need BIG magnifying mirrors just to put on make-up. When we look in that can truly be a frightening experience! I usually take a shot of Vodka 1st. It makes looking at myself in that magnifier easier. I strongly suggest it to any of you who have to look in the magnifier to make ourselves look reasonably like we used to (at least when we squint).

Aging really isn't so bad. Not when we look at the upside. We get to do what we want when we want. We can say almost anything and get away with it. If we laugh too hard, we get to play "did I just pee in my pants or not"! I guess that last one isn't so good. But it is true. Remember when we were babies our mothers kept us in diapers...we get the chance to experience them again. All you have to do is turn on the TV and watch a couple of commercials and see all the spots for "Depends". What does it depend on?

Almost all our jeans now contain a percentage of spandex. Do you know what spandex really means...EXPANDS! Bet you didn't know that. Now you do. Think of all the knowledge we have gained in all the years we've lived. Most of it is useless trivia, but what the hell, at least it's knowledge and you know what they say "if you stop learning, you might as well not go on". I say, "let's learn something new everyday". Even if it is remembering our phone number.

Forget remembering the important things, such as what did I do yesterday. That's why we have calendars. We can look back at yesterday and what we did is usually written on it. Remember when we went from one room to another and knew what we were going for. Think of how often we get from one to another now and completely forget what we wanted in that room.

I like to think it's not because I'm slipping, but rather it is because of all the KNOWLEDGE I've learned that is crowding my brain cells. Of course, it could be the shot of Vodka I take before I look in the mirror...those shots can really add up.

So the thought for today is, it doesn't matter what we remember as long as we remember our name. That's a very good thing.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Life Is Short

The most amazing thing about aging is that unless we look in the mirror, we don't realize we've aged! In our heads we are 18, 22, 24...whatever the age we are in the picture in our head. Then one day we walk past a mirror and glance over. Who is that old woman in the mirror? The revelation that is me, is extraordinary.

How can this be? How did I get to look like this? It might not be a bad look, we may have aged well, but we have aged nontheless. It happens in a flash, in a blink of an eye. That's why I say, all the time, DON'T BLINK! But we do anyway.

I can remember with vivid clarity, my girlfriend Renee and I. We were 20 years old and each had an infant. She a girl, me a boy. We were sitting around the table in my Mothers kitchen. I can close my eyes and see us there. Renee said, "do you realize 10 years ago we were 10, 10 years from now we will be 30".

Little did I know how profound those words were...those 10 years flew by and the next 10 and the next and so on. Here we are, Renee is going to receive her 1st Social Security Check. That's the good news! The bad news...I'll be getting my 1st check in July.

So, once again I ask "how did I get here"? Will somebody please slow this world down or as was so succinctly said many years ago in a Broadway musical "Stop the world, I want to get off". I don't want to get off, I just want it to slow down.

Life is like a "bowl of cherries", we just have to remember to stop long enough to eat a few and then some more. We have to savor more of each day, pick our friends with care and love each other more. Other than that, I guess we still have to grow old or not grow at all...just don't ask me to GROW UP!


Never forget to dance

Getting older is probably the best thing that can happen, especially to a woman. Men always seem to have a certain self-confidence, an air if you will...probably because of the package between their legs. It makes them feel superior.

But we woman, we are always so worried that someone won't like us, that our hair doesn't look right, that we're too fat or too skinny (it should only happen to me). When we are in the prime of our life and should know we've got it all going on, we don't! Why is that? We lack so much in self-esteem when we should be tackling the world.

It's interesting that even those gorgeous Super Models have self-esteem problems. I say, "ladies, wake up". "Have you looked in the mirror lately?" Extraordinarily, it isn't until our bodies start their rapid decline to the ground that we begin to have self-esteem. Only then, do we no longer care what people think of us.

You've met the old lady who will say anything! "Honey, you shouldn't wear that color, it makes you look as if you died and nobody buried you." Or, "Honey, your hair, it looks like you used the mix master on it this morning"! The best one, "Honey, what are doing with that outfit on, it makes you look like a Mack truck". You get my drift, we get old and just as we did when we were children we no longer censor what we say.

If only we had some of that freedom in our middle years.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Eat Dessert First

Life is really short! How short? You go to sleep when you're 18 and you wake up to find you are eligible for Social Security. How does that happen? When we are young (under 18) we can't wait to be grown up.

Before you know it, you are 21...yeah! I'm legal! You fall in love, get married (maybe more than once), have children and life scoots by so quickly. I know, you're saying to yourself "what are you crazy"! Here I am with 3 children under the age of 10, I have to work 2 jobs to make ends meet and everyone time they get close to meeting somone moves the middle!

Believe me, before you know it, just a blink away, is middle age and then we become seniors. How do we know we're a senior? We go to the store and the cashier calls you M'am or Sir, or better yet, you go to the store and don't realize that seniors get a discount on a specific day and the cashier says, "you get a discount today because you are a senior". Hah!

Not only is there grey hair, but weight gain! You know you don't eat any more than you did before, however the pounds just keep piling on. When you used to be able to lose 5 lbs. in a week, now if you work out every day (really work out) and cut your food intake to a piece of parsley a day, you might lose a pound or two.

Your hair not only turns grey it starts turning up in the strangest on your chin or under your chin. I'm not talking about tiny hair, but hair that is 12 inches long before you even see it. Which brings me to another problem about aging.

Your eyes, the ability to see and read anything. Not anymore, cheaters are necessary to read anything smaller than 30 pt type. If your lucky it is only your near vision that goes...however, you are also prone to astigmatism. Don't know what that is? Sure you do, it's when everything you see looks wavy. The Doctors tell you it's because the fluid in our eyes starts to dry up, along with every other mucus membrane in our body, except of course our eyes, which even though they are "dry", now water uncontrollably.

Oh well, I guess this beats looking at the grass from the other side!

How did I get here? That's what I want to know...I bet you do to.