Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve 2008

Whew! What a year this has been. Between the politics and the economy we've had quite the ride. Life is meant to be exciting. I just think there has been an overabundance of excitement this year. Perhaps, I shouldn't call the "morons" in Washington exciting. They are anything but. If we thought we had a housing crisis...we now truly have a mortgage crisis. Congress has all of us in this country mortgaged to the neck and up and our children, grandchildren, get the picture.

The Dali Lama was asked, "what is the purpose of life"? His response was wonderful, "to be happy". That should be everyone's resolution for the new be happy. Truly, happiness is where it all starts. When we have a smile on our face it starts endorphins in our brain and our happiness increases.

Even though many of us are feeling the pinch of this bad economy, we have to remember, we've survived many things...we will survive this too. Look at what happened in 2008. The people in our country "grew up". We elected a man President who happens to be black. As the great Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

How wonderful, that we judged Barack Obama by his "character". We, once again, have a President-Elect who is able to speak in complete sentences. When I was growing up, not only did I think I would ever be on the verge of my 65th birthday, I never thought we would finally see people judged by their character. What an amazing year this has been! How incredibly lucky we are to have lived to see this day.

Therefore, in spite of the fact that we are mortgaged to the hilt...we have risen to the top of the mountain!

May we all have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. 2009 has great promise. May we all do our part.

Happy new year,


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Unchained Melody"

If you haven't already noticed how quickly this year has gone, you will in just a few short days. 2009 is around the corner and most of us are still trying to catch up to 2008. However, if we wake up and realize we have a new day, a new 24 hours that belongs to us and we can live it anyway we choose, the year doesn't seem to go as quickly.

You must live each moment. Savor it as you would food you enjoy. Try to capture each moment and truly think about what makes it special. It can be as simple as seeing a bird fly across the sky or getting an email from an old friend that makes you smile. Do you know that it has been proven that if you sing or hum along with a song you like, your blood pressure will drop.

Think about what happens when we hear a song from our youth. We are automatically catapulted back to that moment when we 1st heard that song. For me that song is "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. When I hear that song, I am back in 6th grade. A chubby girl with thick eyeglasses and horrible hair!

In my mind though, I'm beautiful and accomplished and all the things I dreamed I would be. It truly is time travel. One hears the music and immediately you are taken to the 1st moment you heard that music. The emotions that one associates with a piece of music are powerful. A song can make us happy or sad. It can take us back to our 1st love or our last love or to a love we have not yet met.

Always listen for the just might take a "Sentimental Journey".

Living in the now,


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Courtesy At School Part 3

Our mystery man has identified himself. His name is Michael Shall. The wonderful thing is that Michael was able to identify so many of the other members of our 6th grade class. Many of whom I had forgotten. However, once their names are written or spoken, the memories of them come flooding back. Now that I know Michael's name I remember him.

How is it possible that yesterday we were in 6th grade and making a movie for Coronet Films called "Courtesy At School"...tomorrow we're going on Medicare! Life moves so quickly that if we forget to be present in the NOW, today is gone and tomorrow is here. Unfortunately, it isn't always easy to truly be present in our own life because of the wave that comes along and moves us forward or backward or throws us on our tush.

Now, of course, I wonder what has happened to the people that Michael identified. Bob Rauschenberg (all the girls had a crush on him), Dick Luck, Jim Concidine who was also in my high school home room. Then there was Bill Wilke and John Vosnos. John was famous because a member of his family owned a large restaurant in Morton Grove called, appropriately enough, Vosnos. Susie Demorest, Ida Lynn Erickson and Dwight Frindt. He's already made the blog!

Where are all these people, where have the waves of time taken them. I'll have to go to the Maine East Alumni Page and see if any of them are there. What fun it would be to see them all now. I know how very much I have changed since 6th grade. One wonders how much they've all changed.

Hopefully, they're lives have been wonderful and they have achieved whatever they dreamed about when we were 11 and 12 years old. If you are reading this and possibly know any of these people from East Maine School in Des Plaines, IL from 1955 to 1958. Please write to me and tell me what you know or who you know. Perhaps, we can catch up even if it's just an email.

Those years were special. We ran home to watch Bandstand and The Mickey Mouse Club. We had house parties, we were so innocent. The only thing we worried about, "The Bomb"! (Duck and cover) as if that would have helped Truthfully, even that didn't intrude on our lives. We were too busy being kids. I watch my granddaughters with some sadness because they are too busy trying to be grown up.

What they don't realize is that growing up happens so quickly and they've not taken the time to just be kids. Life was so much simpler because we didn't have the constant bombardment of the media. We didn't have computers, we had paper dolls and the boys had baseball. We played real games, not online games. We went to the park in the summer to play and in the winter to skate.

Boys were interesting but we weren't obsessed by them and they may have liked the really pretty girls like Margo with her long blond pony tail and beautiful blue eyes, but they still played games. Our school dances, what a joke! The boys on one side and the girls on the other side. Only the brave dared to dance with the opposite sex.

Yes, life was much simpler and growing up happens much to quickly and now Medicare next year. How did that happen and when did I get old? I don't know...because it is only when I look in the mirror that I realize I have. Grown old that is. It doesn't matter that I've aged because I've never grown up and do not plan to.

Getting younger every day,


Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bailout - Part 2

Here we are again...our politicians spending our money to help companies that have such greedy people at the top who also happen to be inept, pleading for money to save them. Congress passed a "bailout" for the Big 3. Of course, it was not the amount they asked for. It was approximately 1/2 or $14 Billion.

Remember that old saw..."a billion here, a billion there and pretty soon we're talking about real money"! I paraphrase, however it is true. If one has been watching the news and reading all the little blurbs on the internet, we can see the story unfold. In the last couple of days we have seen committee members questioning the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. The crime is that there were no oversights put into the original bailout of $700 Billion. No one put any conditions on how the money was to be spent. No one said, "you must do these things with this money" such as put it into new loans for people not take your execs out on terrific excursions or have $200,000.00 parties.

Here we are, 1/2 the money has been spent and no one seems to know on what. There is no accountability! It is so egregious, one can only shake one's head and question who these people are in Washington? Do they know nothing of business? If any one of us had a bank loan that we couldn't repay, our assets would be seized. The government wouldn't bail us out. Why, we don't employ enough people.

Here we go again. Congress passed a bill that would have given the Big 3 $14 Billion and would name a "Car Czar" who would have to have a blueprint by the end of March 2009 as to how these businesses would change. How ridiculous! The blueprint should be in place prior to the money being lent. After the fact makes no sense at all! Of course, this is Congress. Why should we expect them to be rational.

What most people do not know is what was tacked onto the end of the bill that Congress passed...a raise for Federal Judges!!! This is the same thing as the "pork" of $150 Billion that was added on to the $700 Billion in order to get it through the Senate. No one is telling us where that $150 Billion in "pork" is going. It's just politics as usual. Once again the taxpayer is paying.

The other ridiculous part of this is that Congress (both houses) get a yearly, automatic raise. I haven't heard any of the indignant questioners say they are not going to take their raise this coming year.

As of this moment in time, the Senate has rejected the Big 3 bailout plan proposed by the Congress. We can only hope this bill dies a slow, painful death. It is time for the Big 3 along with the UAW to wake up and smell the coffee. Bankruptcy would help the Big 3 get out from under the thumb of the UAW. I wonder how many of you who may read this know that anyone who is laid off from 1 of the Big 3 companies and is a member of the UAW receives 95% of their pay.

Then, of course, there is the pension program and the fact that the executives of the UAW make enormous salaries. Of course, the UAW did testify before Congress and has agreed to concessions beginning in 2011.

If ever there was a time for peaceful revolution in this country it is now. We've had a small one with the election of Barack Obama. A man who is putting together a terrific cabinet. He is very smart and I believe he wants change. Look at the mess he is inheriting. So now we need a big peaceful revolution! It is time to send a very strong message to our politicians that "business as usual" is not acceptable. I wrote to my Senators, Congressman and the President yesterday with regard to the Big 3. Of course, I write to them consistently.

Amazingly, the only one I ever hear back from is Senator Bill Nelson (D) Florida. He is an honorable, reasonable representative of the people. The rest of them should be thrown out of office and don't get me started on the Governor of Illinois. Therefore, I guess this is a good place to end this diatribe.

Waiting for the revolution,

Courtesy At School Part 2

A couple of days ago I received this email...

"I was prominent in two scenes in the movie. I was the boy who caught the ball and ran into the infield and took the bat. Also, I was the boy speaking in front of the class when Tommy Hawkins interrupted me. Who am I?"

Of course, I immediately sent an email to Renee. You remember Renee who has been my friend since we were 11. Renee is my friend with a mind like a steel trap. Renee forgets nothing. So she watched "our" film, "Courtesy At School" and sent me a few names. I knew all the same people, so that didn't help at all. We looked for the boy (now man) who was speaking in front of the class. Could not see anyone that Tommy interrupted.

Unfortunately, this person did not send me his email address so I could not answer him. I did, however, respond to him asking him to enlighten me. To date, I have not heard from him again. I believe it was Emil Simich who caught the ball and took the bat. However, I'm lucky if I remember what happened an hour ago. How am I supposed to remember 53 years ago.

Susan Frazin had her books knocked out of her arms as she got off the bus. There are many faces I remember, Barbara Coan, Roberta Cass, Renee Rosenberg Krinsky, Camille Berg. Of the boys, Tommy Hawkins, Mike Dean, Bernie Mitchell, Max Moore, George Welter and Emil Simich. Unfortunately, too many years have passed since Mrs. Unfer's class made this educational film.

One may watch the film at If anyone can help with this puzzle or if, in fact, you are Emil please email me at and "enlighten" me. One of the most wonderful benefits of the internet is the ability to connect with people we had a "connection" with so long ago.

Watch the movie! Life was so simple in the late '50's and is so complex in so many ways today. It is nice to go back and remember who we were. This exercise seems to help me be more "present" in today. Remember, life is short, eat dessert first!



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bat Mitzvah

This past week end we were in Chicago for the Bat Mitzvah of Emily Farrell. We are not related but I could not love her or her siblings or her Mother more. I think of her Mother, Liz, as my daughter. Therefore, Emily and her sisters are my granddaughters whether they want to be or not. I think they don't mind. After all, who doesn't need more love in their lives.

She was so amazing. The Temple is a conservative temple with an orthodox leaning. The men and women sit together, however, women are not allowed on the Bema (the altar) during the Sabbath. Emily's Bat Mitzvah had to be after sundown on Saturday. As such, she was able to pick what she wanted to read since the Torah is not read after sundown.

Emily chose to read the story of Esther. This is the story of a strong woman who puts her life on the line for the Jewish People. The story of Esther is not in the Torah. It is a separate book called the "Megillah" and is read on Purim. There is a hero...Mordecai. There is a villan...Haman. There is a heroine...Esther.

I thought it so appropriate that Emily read from the book of Esther because I believe Emily, like her sisters is a strong woman in the making. She will never sacrifice her femininity and will not have to. For a woman can be feminine and strong. In Yiddish there is a word "kvell". Loosely translated it means to be incredibly proud. I kvelled from Emily.

One would have thought Emily spoke in front of large groups of people all the time. She was so comfortable. It seems to me she should consider a career in public speaking. Of course, she is only 13 and one can only guess at where one will end up. Even those of us who are "grown up" are continually reinventing ourselves. So Emily can be anything she wants to be. The wonderful thing about growing up is exploring the many options available to young people these days.

She can even be President of the United States if she wants to! Her sisters, Dana and Jamie are so grown up, I couldn't believe how much they've changed, how incredibly beautiful they have become. I need to go to Chicago more often to see the people I love. They have grown up without me and I feel the loss. When I am in Florida, I miss them so very much. Yet when I see them, I miss them even more because I become aware of the very large hole in my heart where they are supposed to be.

Their Mother, Liz...who is the daughter I never had, is the love of my life. She couldn't mean more to me if I had given birth to her. She is the daughter of my heart and she fills it with her love. I am very blessed and fortunate enough to know how blessed I am. I thank G-d every day for bringing these wonderful women into my life and allowing me to share their lives. My greatest wish is for them to be who they want, to continue to be strong and never settle for less than they deserve.

It was a great weekend in Chicago, albeit much too short. Next time I'll stay a little longer...just as long as it's not winter.

Waiting for next time,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Bailout

One wonders how many of you feel the way we do? Isn't this proposed bailout simply rewarding CEO's who took outrageous salaries and were inept stewards of the ships they were sailing? Who were greedy beyond words, who were all friends and contributors to our fiscally irresponsible President. Who protected these men as their billion dollar companies were going under? How about many of our congressmen and senators.

Would you reward your child for misbehaving? How about if your child stole money from you...would you then reward him/her with a "get out of jail free card". What if you were in business for yourself? If your company had to declare bankruptcy, you would have to turn all of your assets over to a receiver. Do you think your government would have any hand in "bailing you out"? Not so much!

How about Angelo Mozillo the former CEO Of Countrywide Financial. This was the one of the 1st of the mortgage houses that fell. They were also one of the greediest, charging exorbitant closing costs that were added on to the mortgage of people who truly did not qualify for the house they bought. Through spiffy negotiations with mortgage brokers they bought their dream house. They bought the "american dream", even though they didn't truly have the means to pay back their debt.

Mr. Mozillo was CEO of Countrywide Financial (the nation's largest independent mortgage lender) for 10 years. As CEO his average salary for 6 years was $66.4 Million. Not a bad piece of change to take home...however, Mr. Mozillo drove Countrywide Financial into the ground. The Company, when it was ready to go belly up, was bought by Bank of America for $4 Billion. "The rest of the story" as Paul Harvey would say...when Bank of America bought the bankrupt company, Mr. Mozillo made over $100 Million.

I would say that was a very good payday for Mr. Mozillo! Pity Mr. and Mrs. America got the shaft...but, oh well, he's living high on the hog. If we ran our business that way we'd just go broke, there wouldn't be anyone to step in and help us. Remember, the only time a bank will lend you money is when you don't need it.

We could go on and name all the greedy CEO's that got us into this mess, as well as those in Congress that knew what was happening, but kept quiet because they were paid to keep quiet. All in all, this is incredibly sad and once again the American taxpayer...Mr. and Mrs. America, their children, their grandchildren and probably their great-grandchildren are going to get stuck with bill and we won't even get a kiss.


Love Is Never Wasted

I can remember my 1st love, that 1st kiss, as if it were yesterday. It makes you tingle all the way to your toes. Then there is the lost love or the love that should have been but you either weren't ready or you just didn't have the staying power. For those of us damaged folk, generally, the ones we chose were for all the wrong reasons.

However, somewhere in your heart is the one love! The one love that all you have to do is think about and your toes curl. You know the one I'm talking about...we've all had a love like that. That one person you can never forget, that in your darkest moment you conjure up and you're right back there...that day or night...and you remember their touch, the way their lips felt on yours, the way you melted into each other. That's the feeling that we all wish we had every day.

Alas, that kind of love doesn't always last. It's usually to hot to not burn out...but the memories are electrifying. There is also another kind of love...the one you didn't meet until it was too late! Either one or both of you were in a relationship and you are not the kind that strays. Those are the "if only" loves.

If only we had met at a different time, if only my situation weren't what it is, if only...Do you believe in Kismet? I do, it's just that sometimes Kismet (destiny) is too late and the one you should have been with, came along at the wrong time. The right person, the wrong time. What's amazing though, is even though the timing isn't right, just hearing their voice feels like a touch. Hearing their voice takes you to a different of "what might have beens".

This kind of love that reminds us who we are. That we are each unique and special and that perhaps SOMEDAY will come.

Waiting for someday,

Friday, September 05, 2008

Political Junkie

I admit it, I'm a political junkie. I have always loved politics. Not so much anymore. What a country we live in. It seems as if the race for the presidency has been going on for the last 4 years...okay it's only been 18 months. It just seems like 4 years! In spite of the fact that we have been watching these candidates for what feels like a lifetime, we know so little about them. Since I have not been in another country for an election, I don't know if their political ads are as negative as ours.

Is it only me or do you wish the ads would tell us who the candidate is, not what we should dislike about the other guy/gal! I, for one, would love to know who the real Barack Obama is and who the real John McCain is. We don't know. Like children we are spoon fed by their campaigns re: their positions, what they've done, who they are. Quite frankly, they all scare me.

We watched the John Adams mini-series and it seems this type of rhetoric and mud slinging went on even then. Pity! One would have thought they were above this type of campaigning. I guess the adage "what's old is new again" truly applies. We the people don't ask for anything better, so we don't get anything better.

I heard last night that this campaign for President has cost the candidates over $1 Billion. Let's see, the President earns $400,000.00 per year. It appears the perks must make it worth spending that kind of money to get elected. How sad! Of course our congressional representatives also spend a fortune to get elected or in most cases re-elected. We know they have the best health care in the country. Apparently, that alone is worth the millions our senators and congress spend on campaigns.

However, there is another reason they want to be in Washington. Trust me, it's not to represent "We the people". It is to line their pockets. Lobbyists woo them to make certain their agenda is passed. Big business is in the vest pocket of most of our Senators and Congressmen/women. What the founding fathers saw as serving the country for a term or two, has become a lifetime career.

When they retire, they receive their salaries as a pension for the rest of their lives. They don't have to try to live on Social Security or worry about health care. Pretty good job and they only work 4 days a week as long as they are in session. Which isn't often. Even now, in the midst of this extraordinary financial crisis, they want to get it resolved before they recess.

How many people out there know that Secretary Paulson was CEO of Goldman, Sachs and a HUGE contributor to the Bush campaign? I bet, not many. Yet, our President wants to allow Paulson, alone, to determine that we the people should bail out these companies like Lehman Bros. to the tune of $700 Billion with no safeguards. Personally, the greed on Wall Street should not be rewarded by bailing these people out.

If Paulson has his way not only will your children be paying for this bailout, but your great grandchildren and possibly your great, great grandchildren! The mortgage bankers were no better. The reason there are so many foreclosures is the greed of the mortgage companies. Anyone could buy a house. It didn't matter if they could afford to repay the mortgage. All they had to do was come up with the huge closing costs which, of course, were added on to the mortgage. I know 1 person who's closing costs were over $30,000.00. It is shameful and we the people will be paying for their greed for years to come.

My belief is that money and success are a person's right. We all have the right to be rich but not at the expense of someone else! When one earns their living by preying on the naive, they do not deserve a golden parachute when the government bails them out. I've always heard that the conservative Republicans are fiscally responsible...not so much!!!

We have a do nothing congress and a lame duck president who continues to get what he wants from our do nothing congress. Personally, I think it's time for a new "Boston Tea Party". Remember your taxation without representation. Do you believe you are truly represented in Congress?

Truly disgusted,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

This is the day we honor the Veteran's who have served our Country in every conflict. (A nicer word than war). Honor them we should. These fine young men and women, many of whom gave their lives for our freedom, indeed, deserve to be honored. There are parades all over this country in virtually every city honoring these men and women.

However, there shouldn't be just one day of honor. Their memories, their lives should be honored every day! Who's to say what would have happened if we didn't win the big one! You know, WWII. Our flag could be German or Japanese right now. But, we did win it, over Europe and in Japan. We lost many young lives in that conflict. Men who could have grown up to be whatever they wanted. Who may have changed the course of our Country. Of course, that's only supposition.

Both my dad and my husband served in WWII. My dad was a bombardier on a B-17 out of England. My husband served in Guam. Unfortunately, my dad died very young, at age 49. My husband is still with me. He remembers.I had friends who served in Vietnam. A conflict in which we had no business. But ever the saviors of the world, we were there. It didn't start as a military conflict, but rather we went as advisor's until it became profitable for us to be there militarily. Not only did we lose young men and women there, but we didn't even honor them when they came home!

They were subjected to name calling and other indignities. These men didn't have a choice to go to war. We still had a draft and if your number was picked, you went! I remember many who went to Canada to avoid the draft and since have been unable to come home. No amnesty for them. Our presence in Vietnam didn't really change anything. When we left, we ran...we took many Vietnamese with us (that was good). However, we just cut and run.

Personally, I don't think that was so terrible. It was a military conflict we couldn't win similar to the one we are in right now. We are not supposed to build nations...but that's what we are doing...or trying to do. We have since the war began 3/19/2003 lost 4,083 young men and women. In combat we have lost 3,329. Since "mission accomplished" was declared, May 1, 2003 we have lost 3,221 in combat. Of course these statistics do not count the ones maimed for life. The ones whose lives have been changed so completely that they are only shells of who they were.

I read recently, that 20,000 who served in Iraq have committed suicide since they returned home. Once again, war is profitable and so it continues. Even those running for office right now have not promised to simply bring our young people home immediately, should they be elected. By the way, the last casualty in Iraq was today, May 26, 2008. Isn't enough, enough!

Our VA System is deplorable, they don't have the resources to take care of the thousands who so desperately need their help. The VA, like so many government agencies is broken and not one of our politicians has an answer for how to fix it. Yet, we continue to elect these people to office. Our generation were such activists, politically.

It is with amazement that I don't see this new generation being at all the activists we were! Isn't it time for a "quiet revolution"? Isn't it time to "throw the bums out"! The politicians who line their pockets and war chests and do not speak up. Our Founding Fathers did not envision politics as a full time career. One was to go into Public Service for a term or two and then go back to their lives.

One was not supposed to make a "career" out of public service. Yet we keep re-electing the same ineffective people to public office. No one speaks one says, "what have you done for me lately". No one seems to care much. As long as their lives aren't changed. Makes me wonder what is going to happen now.

Now that food prices and gasoline prices are at the highest they've ever been, now that the average family of four cannot go out for a day of fun without the cost being so prohibitive that they end up staying home. What do you suppose is going to change. Probably nothing! It's doubtful that most people know, that in spite of inordinately high food prices, especially staples, like milk, bread, cheese, our elected officials have voted to keep farm subsidies in place.

In other words, in spite of the fact that the Dairy Farmer is making more money than ever...the government is still subsidizing him. Giving the Dairy Farmer additional money...hmm, how come the government is doing nothing to subsidize the family of four that makes under $100,000.00. It wouldn't be hard. All our elected officials would have to do is change the tax code and not require a family of four making under $100,000.00 to pay tax.

But then that would never happen. Not in this country. Certainly not now. It's a pity that so many people are more concerned about overturning Roe v Wade than changing some laws that would benefit the many...instead of the few. Which brings me back to my original topic, Memorial Day 2008.

It appears that in spite of the fact that we lost so many in WWI, WWII our history books tell us we won those military conflicts. So how is it that we won...but they have all the money and industry? Oh, now I remember, we helped them to rebuild and then we stopped manufacturing in this country because it became too expensive. So we became a country of service businesses and then we sent those jobs offshore because labor became too expensive.

So here we are, Memorial Day 2008. Honoring the veterans of all previous wars and current ones. The men and women who have so proudly served our country. The greatest country on Earth many would say, including me. Yet we have forgotten one of the most basic principles this country was founded on...our Founding Fathers did not intend for us to be Nation Builders!

Hoping for a better tomorrow,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Friends Forever

Recently I had a very vivid dream of an old friend and I. In the dream we were laughing hysterically, just as we always did in the past. We have been out of touch the last few years, my fault. There is no valid reason why, it just happened. Life has a way, sometimes, of getting in the way of living! This shouldn't be so, but it happens.

My dream was so real that I immediately got up and found her phone number. As always, one would not have known that so much time had gone by. For, as always, she was just my friend, my sister, the woman I shared so much of my adult life with. We met many years ago when I was trying to make ends meet. She had a business and she hired me. The friendship was instant. We were both single mothers with 1 child.

Every Sunday we would take our children out to the most fabulous restaurants...they would have preferred McDonald's. Our desire was to treat ourselves and, hopefully, the kids. It never seemed to work that way. The treat was for us. At that time in our lives, it was important. Our friendship grew to one that was more like sisters who truly loved each other.

At various times in the years that we have known one another I have disappeared from our friendship. If one were to ask me why, I honestly couldn't tell you. It just happened. The wonderful attribute of my friend, sister, Renee is that she always forgave me and our friendship just picked up where it left off.

There is a saying, "friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends forever". Renee is a Forever Friend. I hope I never again forget that. She is loving, fun and most of all constant. Would it were that we were all that way. As for me, I'll never go away again because she enriches my life in a way that is truly indescribable! Just thinking about her brings a flood of so many memories, so much fun that I am so grateful that she is always there when I call.

Hopefully you will all have a friend like this "forever friend".

Grateful to have her in my life,


Friday, March 28, 2008

Making Each Day Count

Life has never been better! I know that I just wrote about losing a dear friend of long acquaintance. That just gives us a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing. You know, add up the score...when I add up my score my life is amazing. My husband is healthy, I'm healthy, our children and grandchildren are healthy.

You know, I believe, the Universe gives us exactly what we ask for. I always ask for good things. My thoughts are never negative...I guess I'm just a "perpetual optimist" and have been for almost all my life. Even when life was difficult, I always knew it would get better. Those thoughts, that knowing, always made it better. I believe that if you think good thoughts, you get good things! So I always think good thoughts.

If only I had written this down years ago, I might have made as much money as Rhonda Byrne, the author of "The Secret". It seems to me that I have been practicing these principles all of my life. It just never occurred to me to write it down. Imagine if I had. Who knows what life would be like today.

But I don't think it could be any better than it is right now. That's the lesson in life. Live in the moment, because it's those moments that make a life. Whether it's a happy time or a difficult time, all those times make us who we are today. Since we are not promised more than today, isn't it better if you like who you are today.

Many years ago, when life was a little more difficult, I used to "fake it". In other words, I would put a smile on my face for the outside world and amazingly enough, in a short time I would be happier. There is nothing like a smile, it truly makes your whole body feel better. Try it the next time you're down. Just smile, see how long it takes to feel better. You will find it's not long at all.

I've probably said this before, but who cares! Live every day as if it is your last, love truly and deep, always say your sorry and mean it or better yet, don't do anything you have to be sorry for, keep your friends close, you never know when you'll need them and always smile.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm Jewish. My husband however was born Catholic. For the 1st time, his sister Phyllis, stayed here in Florida and made Easter dinner. She did this, I believe, because she and her brother are not getting any younger. (Of course, who is?) Jimmy is 83, Phyllis is 76.

They have good genes, neither look their age. But they are acutely aware of it. Therefore holidays, family time, become more important. Phyllis knows Jimmy will not go up to Boston for Easter or Christmas anymore, so, she decided to stay here a little longer than usual and make Easter. It was wonderful for the siblings to be together this year. One could see how much it meant to Phyllis to be able to share the holiday with her brother and I'm happy that we did it for her.

Jimmy is so over his Catholic upbringing, that he had become agnostic, that is until he met me and my Jewishness. He is amazing, not only does he help me get ready for every holiday (I cook and bake everything), but he goes to Temple with me, because it means so much to me. Amazingly, it now means a great deal to him and he misses it when we miss a Friday night service.

But for today, he was a Catholic again. You know what, it was ok! He had a wonderful time eating the foods that his mother used to make...even if some of them were ordered from an Italian store in Hollywood. (Florida that is.) One could see the joy in his face as he ate the delicacies his adorable Italian mother made.

He does so many things for me, this was the least I could do for him...even if it meant missing the Purim celebration at Temple. I know that G-d understands. I know that G-d said "go with your husband to his sister's...who knows when they will be able to do this again"!

It has been a week of extreme emotions for me. Sadness at the loss of a friend and joy at watching my husband! However, I believe this is what makes life the extraordinary journey it is. The movement of one day to another...the joys and sorrows, the bitter, the sweet. How lucky we are to be able to feel these wonderful this journey is. Every day we get to write a new chapter in the story of our life. Make each day count, we don't know how many we are going to get!

Enjoying each day,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Life IS Too Short!

Today I received the news that a friend died last night. It was just yesterday that we were kids in Oketo Park, not yet in High School. We were the Oketo Park Kids...if we weren't hanging out at someone's house we were at the park hanging out. We did this all through grammar school and high school.

We would meet at the park for something momentous or just to be together. It feels surreal that Arnie is gone! Just yesterday he met Joanne and introduced us all to her. Just yesterday they got married and then had 3 daughters. Just yesterday...and today he is gone!

Our memories are what make us who we are. My memories of that time are so filled with special moments, even when they weren't so special. That is the wonderful thing about looking back. We can put on our rose colored glasses and see a world that we may not have perceived as being magical, but in hindsight contained so many miraculous moments, it can only be thought of as magical.

When I saw the email this morning, with the names of so many of my old friends, my Oketo Park friends, I was right back there, sitting on the park benches or on the swings with all of them. How did we get here so fast and why are we slipping away so quickly. I have lost 3 very dear friends in the last couple of years, but this one is especially painful because of the age we all were when we met and the times we shared. Oh those times...I've probably written this before, I don't remember.

The time that always sticks in my mind is the night at Barbara Coan's house. Al Neuman hypnotized a number of people that night. Howie Debs had just gotten a Moped and Al had him hypnotized to believe that his Moped was being stolen and Howie was unable to get off the steps to stop them from taking his Moped. Then, at the end of the evening, Gary Fox had been given a post-hypnotic suggestion, when he said "good nite" to Mrs. Coan, Barbara's mom, he would faint. Of course, that is exactly what he did and poor Mrs. Coan...she truly did not know what to think. Needless to say, Gary frightened her terribly.

It was a funny night and all the Oketo Park kids were there...tonight we are missing one of us! The sadness has settled over me like a cloak. I know it's a sadness borne of many things, not just the loss of Arnie, but of our youth. If we only knew goes by so quickly. We grow up, we marry, we have children, we move away from one another, but somehow the connection is always there. The memories that we created have bound us together forever, even across the miles.

Life will go on, but it will be a little less full without Arnie and his wonderful laugh. You will be missed Arnie Greene not just by your wife and children and grandchildren, but those of us who knew you when.

Missing you,

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Positive Affirmations

Here we are at the beginning of a new year. I am a new person this year. My life is beginning again. After 10 years of retirement, I became tired of doing nothing but painting...don't get me wrong, I love to paint...but I am meant to earn a very good living. If for no other reason, than I deserve to. For almost my entire life I worked. Sometimes at jobs that were just that, jobs. But for the last 25 years before I retired, it was my business with my ex-husband.

I always knew that if I divorced him, I would be divorcing the business. I knew it, but I didn't want to believe it. So here I am after 10 years, beginning anew. Once again I am my own boss. Once again I get up with joy and cannot wait to get to my desk. It was the fresh start I needed. For once again, I know in my deepest soul, that I will be a success. Why, because I believe it. More than anything, I have always believed that I will be successful.

"If you think it, it will be so." Too many people do not believe they are the creators of their lives. For better or worse, they make their lives what they are...through their thoughts and deeds. You must, however, believe in your soul and your belief must be such that you are grateful for what you have been given, as well as living as if it is so.

The Universe operates on the law of attraction. If you don't believe me, throw a ball up in the air. What will happen? It will come down. Why? Because it is a law. As surely as the law of gravity is a law, so is the law of attraction. We attract into our lives that which we desire most. If our thoughts are always negative, we will always attract negativity. The wonderful part of this law is that if your thoughts are always positive, if you truly believe in the law of attraction, you will attract what you deeply desire.

So that old canard, "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" really true. So always wish for what you really want, because you WILL get it! That's how the law works. One wonders why it's important to write out goals. It's important because, this way your mind and your soul know what you want. It is important to write out positive affirmations that you look at every day. Why, because they will come true. You will, in fact, get what you wish for.

John D. Rockefeller said early on, "I am going to make millions in the 1st half of my life, in the 2nd half of my life, I am going to give it away." That is just what he did. Every great invention, every great painting, every great business, began with one thought. This is going to be the greatest ever and they are.

The energy we put out, we get back. So remember, always put out good energy. In that way, you will always get good energy back!




We had a high school reunion last summer. I was graduated in 1962 from Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge, Illinois. It was our 45th reunion. I didn't go. The reunion was held in Las Vegas this past summer. If you've been to Vegas in the summer you know why I didn't go.

I would have loved to see some of the people with whom I was close in school, however those people I hear from almost every day. Email is, without a doubt, the greatest invention. It only takes a moment to communicate with a loved one or a friend. It somehow is easier than a phone call, although phone calls are a wonderful way to stay in touch. It is definitely easier than sitting down and writing a letter.

The pity is that we won't have anything to save because we won't have letters and notes. We all know that it is impossible to keep all our emails because our email programs generally limit us to the amount of space we have and so we keep cleaning out our inboxes.

In any event, because of this reunion, I heard from someone from my past. I knew her name, but could not picture her face. Therefore, I truly didn't remember her. We have been communicating, a joke here or there, an occasional "how are you". Nothing deep, because I didn't remember her. Without a past, there wasn't a now or a future. That is, until tonight.

Tonight she finally sent me a couple of pictures of her with her beau and one of her beautiful daughter and son-in-law. The moment I opened the 1st picture, the memories came like a torrent. I really remembered her. How wonderful that was. It took me back a very long time to a time when we were truly innocent, even though we didn't want to be.

It was the age when we were experiencing what it would be like to be a woman, even though we were still children. I remembered our Saturday afternoons at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, Illinois. I remembered that we were too young to drive ourselves, so our mothers would drive us and then pick us up. She reminded me that we would go up and down the aisles of the theater looking for the cute boys!

When I think of those days, I can't help but smile. The hours we spent on the phone. Talking about boys, of course. We spent almost all of our time together and yet somewhere along the way, we lost one another. I don't know how that happens. How do we let go of people who are so important to us.

I don't remember how we met...we didn't go to the same grammar school. We didn't live in the same neighborhood. We didn't live far away from one another, just not around the corner. Her name is Darlene and how I wish we hadn't waited almost 50 years to find one another again.

It is true, a picture is WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS! Before I saw her picture tonight, she was just a name from the past...not a memory. Now she is a memory...a wonderful memory. I hope I never lose her again.

Remembering again,


The Life We Create

How is it possible that another year has come and gone. Their are many people I know who were not unhappy to see 2007 out and 2008 begin. 2007 was a year, for many, me included, that was filled with challenges. Fortunately, I look at challenge as a time for growth. It is the way I am made. I've said before, that what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. I know I'm not the 1st person to say that, and I'm certain I won't be the last.

I do, however, truly believe it. Only during those moments that life is challenging, only when we come to the fork in the road, do we know what we are made of. I believe I am made of steel! I know I am made of steel. For when times are trying, I am always able to see the finish line and I always know I'm going to win.

Perhaps, you will say to yourself, how does she know this? I know this because of my soul. I know this because I am one with the Universe. I know this because it is so. There have been many times in my life when it would have been so easy to give up. But what fun would that have been. If one comes for the show, shouldn't we stay for the last act. I intend to be here for the last act and I know it will be great.

Many times in my life I have been called a "Pollyanna". Guilty as charged. For I believe there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I resist falling into the trap of "poor me". The moment one allows that to come into their life, the only thing they draw to themselves is negativity. I am not now, nor have I ever been, negative.

Fortunately, I always see the glass half full. I always see that all we have to do is ask and the Universe will provide. It makes me lucky to be this way because people like to be around me. I'm fun! No one wants to be with people who are mopey. I know I've told the story of my neighbor who had it all, yet always complained.

She had very few people in her life. The ones that were there, I believe, were there because they wanted to go out on the boat she owned. Sad, for them and for her. I would rather be at home, alone, then to be in the company of a negative person. I like my own company. I like being alone.

The life I have created is one of joy and laughter. It makes me happy and allows me to draw happy people into my world. Again, this makes me lucky. The Dali Lama, when asked what the purpose of life is, replied "to be happy". Well, I guess that puts me in good company. For, I am, happy.

Happiness is a feeling that replicates itself in everything we do and in everyone we come in contact with. Have you ever noticed that when you are truly happy, it is impossible for others in your company, not to also be happy. Happiness is contagious. It is a disease that is worth catching.

So for tonight, I wish you happiness and joy. Delight in your life...we don't know what the next one will bring.