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.