Sunday, December 06, 2009

Once Upon A Life

Last year, at this time, my husband and I discovered that, we, along with many others had lost our life savings in the biggest Ponzi scheme this country has ever seen. We were certain that we had enough money to live on for the rest of our lives with plenty left over for the children. Surprise! In addition to losing all of our money, our 2 year old home had lost more than 1/2 it's value. Therefore, selling it was not an option.

One's first reaction is complete shock and then disbelief and denial. Denial is such a good place to live. I chose to live there for a couple of days. Soon, I realized, denial was not going to pay our bills. Of course, I had no idea how I was going to pay our bills. We were accustomed to living a very comfortable lifestyle with all the toys that go with it. Now, we were going to have to live on our social security checks.

How in the world would we do that? I quickly learned. Fortunately, for most of my life I've collected Lalique and Baccarat. After taking pictures of my beautiful pieces, I posted them for sale on eBay. The pity is that I hadn't learned how to sell on eBay prior to posting all these pieces of art. Unfortunately they sold for very little, however, it was more than we had coming in and the people who bought my little treasures, I believe, love them as much as I did.

Being a quick study, my learning curve for eBay didn't take as long as one would think. We were able to live from eBay sales for the first 4 months of the year. I also had beautiful jewelry. My hope had always been for the girls in my life...granddaughters, daughter in law, step daughter, adopted daughter and her daughters and my niece to inherit my jewelry.

That isn't going to happen. It was all sold! However my foresight served me well. You see, I have always believed that I didn't want to wait until I was dead for my girls to receive the jewelery I loved. So over the years I've given them various pieces of jewelry and love seeing them wear something of me. Once again, we had money to pay the bills.

We have also had the generosity of family to help us out financially. There are not enough ways to say "thank you" to the people in our life that have been so open and kind to us. Since January I have been looking for a job. We know that there are very few openings out there. However, I believed that with the years of experience I have, it wouldn't be difficult. It's not's impossible! 20+ years in my own business, doing every job, hasn't seemed to help! Searching for a position is very different today than it was in the "olden" days.

One cannot call to make an appointment. One has to email a cover letter and resume. I am convinced that if your letter and resume do not have neon lights and dancing girls, it doesn't get seen. Yet, I still send out my letters and resumes and go to every retail store in the area to apply for a job. My experience includes everything from Laboratory Technician (abnormal hematology) to public speaking...from packing and shipping boxes in my factory to selling my products at trade shows...teaching classes in customer service (one can tell I no longer teach these classes, because there is no customer service anymore) to answering phones. I've been an accountant, an assistant controller and a plain bookkeeper.

There is no job too big or too small. I will do anything and have, as long as it was legal. People say "you're overqualified". I believe I am "fully qualified". It is now a year since we realized our investments were gone! This is a tough month. I haven't run out of things to sell. It's just that my Judith Leiber and Kathrine Baumann bags aren't being auctioned for another 5 days.

If you're interested go to and do a search for Judith Leiber or Kathrine Baumann. You'll see the bags I have left. The beginning prices are great for these exquisite pieces of art. Hopefully, they will all sell for a lot of money and in January we will be able to pay some bills. Until then, I will be grateful for my health and that my husband is healthy and count my blessings.

Thanks for listening,


Pass The Mirror

How did I get here? This is a question I ask myself daily when I pass the mirror. Yesterday I was 18. This May I was did it happen overnight? I have a very vivid memory that has been with me since New Year's Eve 1949. My parents had a party at our home.

My bedroom became the coat closet for the guests. Mother or dad were in and out every few minutes early in the evening dropping off coats. With each coat was this statement, "can you believe how quickly this year has gone?" I was 5! The year didn't go took forever. The last Rosebowl parade was a million years ago.

Have you noticed when children are young and one asks their age they always use fractions. How old are you little girl/boy? I'm 4-3/4 or 5-1/2. How many people over 30 have you ever heard use a fraction when telling their age? It would never occur to us to say "I'm 32-1/2". The wonder has gone out of growing older or the need to get there more quickly.

Funny how, as we get older that changes. As a pre-teen I couldn't wait to be a teen-ager. Once I became a teen-ager I couldn't wait to finish high school and go off to college and freedom and my 21st birthday. I know I went to sleep one night when I was 18 and the next thing I knew I received a piece of mail that said "Information for Medicare"!

Medicare information. Certainly not for me. How could this have happened? When did this happen? Aren't I still a kid? Okay my children are in there 40's but whose fault is that...not mine! I blinked and all of sudden they were older than me with children of their own who call me Bubbie. All I did was blink.

I know that if I could just keep my eyelids from blinking the years would not continue to fly by. One of the worst side effects of getting older is that as we age the years go even faster. How fair is that? Just when we are starting to get it right the time goes so quickly that one barely has time to get out of bed, shower and start the day and it's time to go to sleep.

It would be wonderful if we not only could stop blinking but didn't require sleep! We would then have a full 24 hours of each day to now use all the knowledge we have spent years aquiring. So I ask again, "how did I get here"? I know, you'll answer, the same way we all do!

Of course, the good part is that we are getting older and when we wake up we are looking at the grass from this side. The other benefits are the ability to finally say what we truly think, kindly, of course. Honesty can be so gratifying. We also start feeling better about who we are. No longer do we worry about how the world sees us. We can barely see ourselves without a mirror that has a magnification of 16 x or higher. I believe this is one of God's gifts to us. If one looks in the side of the mirror that has no magnification we cannot see what time has done to our face.

On the one hand I say "don't blink"...on the other it appears that aging is not so bad. We now have license to say what we feel and to think much more highly of ourselves. If only the birthdays didn't get here so fast. Remember, life's short, eat dessert first!

Not blinking,


Sunday, July 19, 2009


Websters Dictionary defines addiction as "a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal ; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful". It is a noun. I AM AN ADDICT!

No, I'm not addicted to drugs or alcohol, my addiction is much more insidious! I am addicted to a game on Facebook. It is called "Farm Town". One actually has a farm! It must be planted and the crops reaped and then replanted to make money to buy seeds to plant, buildings and flowers and trees and when one reaches a certain level, one can put in a river.

I have never had an addiction...probably not true. I was addicted to my ex-husband...another story for another day! Now, I am truly addicted...I have a compulsive need for this game. It has become habit forming. I do feel withdrawal symptoms when I am not tending my farm.

My friends and some of my family have come right along with me and we are all addicted! Actually, we are all certifiable!!! None of us can stay away from our farms. We are neighbors, we go to the marketplace to sell our harvests and plead for work to make more money to buy more things for our farms.

We are obsessed with reaching the next level or 2 or 3 so we can enlarge our farms, or buy a better farmhouse or a barn or a watermill or a watertank or a greenhouse or a gazebo!!! We beg for plowing jobs to earn experience points which help us move up a level. As of this moment, the developers of the game only go to level 34. I have a feeling that will change. It seems every week they are adding something new.

One can only imagine the revenue they are making from the advertisers who clamor for a spot next to our farms in the hope that we will click on their ad. It makes me sad that 10 years ago I didn't go to school to learn how to write programs and create something as ingenious as this game. "Farm Town" could be used by college professors to teach business skills. It is that complex while being a simple game to play.

I have made acquaintances around the world because of this game. I have never spent as much time at the computer, other than for work, than I am right now. It is cunning, it gets into your psyche and you are "caught". I'd love to finish this column, however my raspberries are ready to be harvested so I must go.

Reaping what I sow,


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing - Redux

I received a comment on my last post "Much Ado About Nothing". The person who commented said, "Would your outrage be this great if the Governor was a democrat? Just asking." Of course, this was sent by Anonymous! Everyone knows who this is...someone who lacks the courage to use their own name or their nom de plume!

I answered, "I am neither a Democrat or a Republican". When I was 21 (the age one had to be to vote in the old days), my place of residence was Manchester, NH. In New Hampshire, when I was 21, one could register as an independent and still vote in the primary for everyone running.

Here I am, many years later and still an independent! I cannot ever remember voting along party lines. My vote has always gone to the person I felt would do the best job. I find this criteria is more difficult these days. If I had my way, no incumbent in Congress would be voted back into office.Actually, I do have my the ballot box! That is where I exercise this right.

The writer of this comment obviously missed the entire point of the last post. It wasn't about his infidelity (who cares). It was, in fact, about dereliction of duty! That doesn't matter if one is a Democrat or a Republican. Imagine, if you would, taking 5 days off from a job and not telling anyone where you were going to be or asking one of your co-workers to fill in for you. Do you believe you would have a job when you returned? Of course not.

Now imagine that you are the Chief Executive of a State...the Governor. You leave your office, you do not tell your staff, your Lieutenant Governor or even your wife that you are leaving the state and will be gone for about 5 days. Let's continue playing "just pretend"...a category 4 hurricane has hit your state. Who is going to make the necessary decisions to deal with this emergency? It is, in fact, the job of the Governor to make these decisions...The same Governor who was AWOL two years ago when there were wildfires in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The entire point of my last column was this. One cannot expect to be Chief Executive of a State or a corporation or Commander In Chief and simply disappear without letting the next responsible person know that you are going away! So dear the column again. Perhaps you'll get it this time!

Independent forever,


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

Once again a politician is unable to keep his zipper up. However, that should not be what people focus on. We are still such a puritanical society that peccadillo's such as this are more common place than people realize and should not be the focus. When one is unfaithful, only the parties that are hurt should be involved...not the rest of us.

Our outrage should be over the fact that this man, the governor of a state, left that state without anyone knowing where he was. Governor Sanford was gone a minimum of 5 days, leaving South Carolina without a Chief Executive. If a Category 4 Hurricane hit South Carolina, there would have been no Chief Executive to mobilize the people necessary for an emergency.

Governor Sanford was missing in action 2 years ago when wild fires burned up Myrtle Beach. Again the state was without a Chief Executive. No one was home to send out the National Guard or deploy the firefighters necessary to quell this conflagration.

Governor Sanford doesn't believe in telling anyone that he is not going to be "home". He doesn't think it's necessary to put the Lt. Governor in charge in case of an emergency. Additionally, now that Governor Sanford has told the world that he, in fact, met with his par-amour many more times than first admitted. Has anyone asked, who paid for these trips? Methinks the taxpayer.

This is the outrage! What politicians do privately should not affect us, unless their actions are criminal. Governor Sanford should not only resign, he should pay the state back for any trips he took on their dime. If not, he should be prosecuted.

Outraged for the right reasons,


Monday, June 22, 2009

Wouldn't It Be Wonderful Or Not

On Sunday I watched "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". It is impossible to count how many times I've thought or said "how wonderful it would be to start out old and therefore have the knowledge we have as we've gotten older and then become younger"! The adage, youth is wasted on the young is so true!

This fabulous movie, based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (who knew) shows us exactly what it is like to start out old and get younger as the years go by. In theory, it is a great idea...however it works fine until one is about 30 or 40. Then it truly goes horribly wrong.

I know I would not want to be a teenager again. The angst young girls go through (even today) is painful to even remember. We are never enough! Why is that? Boys don't seem to have the same lack of self-esteem that girls have. They seem to have everything under control. At least on the outside.

My 3 sons were more than self assured, they were confident as teens. I remember when Aaron was in high school. If he received a grade he felt was below what he believed he should have gotten, he had no qualms about going in to see the teacher and argue his point. In every instance, the teacher changed the grade to the one Aaron believed he had earned.

It made me quite proud to see him fight for what he believed he deserved. As a teen I would never have had that same ability or confidence! Girls seem to be under so much pressure. We always think we are too fat or too thin or too tall or too short...The experts say it's because of the pressure from advertisers who use seemingly perfect young women in their print ads or on the covers of magazines.

As I've gotten older I have developed a sense of myself. A confidence that allows me to walk into any room or situation and know that I'm enough. How wonderful that would have been when I was young. Perhaps I would be a different woman today! I don't know. Then again, I think I'm enough today.

Always changing,


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life Goes On

This past week-end my cousin Shelley's granddaughter became a Bat Mitzvah. The party was in California. Jimmy and I could not be there, in spite of the fact that we truly wanted to go. All of the young cousins (my 2nd and now 3rd) have all grown up. They are beautiful and fun and I wish I could have been there with them.

A truth is that as we get older, we hold precious moments such as this, closer. We should have been there to celebrate with them. Our time here is so short, we should drink in every happy moment we can. We didn't drink!

Fortunately, Hillary and Julia took pictures and posted them on Facebook. It is not the same as being there with them all, but at least we get to see them and how they have grown up. Fun times are something we should never miss! We don't know when the next family celebration is coming or even if we will still be here to celebrate with everyone.

Life has taken a different direction this year and we have been unable to take part in the family events around the country. It is a pity! For as we know, tomorrow may not come. So I remind you (my readers) and me to never miss a the very least, we should make every day a party. Then we won't miss any...

Party on,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

Two weeks ago I had a birthday. In fact, it was my 65th birthday! My question, therefore, is did I get here? It was only last week that I was 50. The week before that I was 35 and the week before that one was my 20th birthday.

I know I've said it before, but here goes "don't blink". I'm not certain how it happens that as we get older the years go faster, but they do! In fact, my last post was January 20, 2009 and here we are at June 11. Don't blink!!! Before I know it, it will be December 31, 2009 and another year will have come and gone.

It almost seems impossible that my chronological age is 65, for I only feel 18. It is only when I pass a mirror, which I do quite quickly these days, that I think "who is that woman"? I don't know the reflection in my mirror. The only image I know is the one in my head. The one at the top of this post.

How is it that I am old enough for Medicare? Truly, I don't know where the years have gone, I only know that I'm happy that when I wake up it's on this side of the grass...

Growing older gracefully,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day

A "New Day" has dawned in America. There is a spirit of patriotism in our country that I haven't felt since I was a teen ager. The inauguration of JFK provided this type of hope that we are seeing in every corner of America. Once again, the promise of the future is before us.

This President brings into the Whitehouse the hope of every black American. However, he also brings the hope of every white American, every Latino, every Asian...every ethnic group as well as anyone who are not "mainstream" Americans. Barack Hussein Obama brings a sense of hope unlike anything I have felt since I was 16 years old.

How lucky I am to have lived to see this day. How lucky this country is to be rid of the ineptitude of the Bush-Cheney years. The last 8 years have been so self serving to those people President Bush liked to call his "base". We see where that has gotten us. Anyone who believes we are not in a depression hasn't been looking for a job.

The state of Nevada is #1 in Foreclosures. The state I live in, Florida, is #2 in Foreclosures. This hasn't happened by accident. The greed and selfishness that took over this country is astonishing. I know that fruit rots from the top down. The same thing happens with companies and countries. We have had a "rotten" administration fraught with greed and avarice and it was spread far and wide.

Today is a "NEW DAY". We have finally been smart enough to elect a brilliant man who believes we are all personally responsible for what we do with our lives. He believes that in America anything is possible. He thinks before he speaks. He truly believes in the American dream. What a pity that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. isn't here for this day! How lucky are those who fought for the right of a person to be judged by their character and not the color of their skin to be alive today, to witness this auspicious day in history.

Today is a "NEW DAY". Filled with hope and promise for the future. Filled with promise for those less fortunate who live in the ghetto's of our country. Filled with promise for Gays who just want the same rights that straights have. Filled with promise for those suffering from incurable diseases. Filled with the promise of a future that begins with a man who believes that anyone can achieve anything they want if they persevere.

How lucky I am to have lived to see this "NEW DAY". God Bless you Mr. President. God Bless your family and may you achieve all your hopes and dreams and God Bless America and all who live here. We are, indeed, very excited about your future and ours.

Looking to the future,

Monday, January 05, 2009

What's Love Got To Do With It?

I heard a line this week from a movie I'd never seen before. The words were so beautiful they made me cry. "Even If we'd never met I would miss you." To me, these are some of the most beautiful words I've ever heard, as well as the most sad.

Of course, everything made me sad this weekend. I spoke to my ex-husband on New Years Day. His mother had a stroke and was being kept alive, something she didn't want. Our eldest son called to tell me about Grandma and I called Ronnie. Instinctively, I knew he needed me. He did. We talked about his Mom and our children and our life.

We talked about when his Dad passed away. Ronnie and I were still together and I helped him maneuver the difficulties of losing someone we love. These last few days have been as hard for me as for Ronnie. One starts 2nd guessing. I shouldn't have left him. If I hadn't left him, I would be there to help him. Perhaps, our life together would be more peaceful. The 18th of this month would have been our 30th anniversary.

I've always said I didn't want to be an old woman who was still being shouted at and spoken to with disrespect. At the time, I did what I needed to do. But, God help me, I still miss him. He is burned so deeply in my soul that, at times, I miss him and I wish I didn't.

Love should be healthy and ours was on life support. He seems to be very happy with his current wife. He loves her. He is her 1st husband. She has no children, so no encumbrances and she owns a very successful business. He's happy! He said, "I'll never have to work again, she makes so much money."

I know he has a lot put away that he hid before and during the divorce so that I got nothing but away. That was ok...I needed to get away. So why do I still miss him? I don't know that I'll ever be able to answer that question. I just know there is a hole in my heart where he used to be and I don't know how to fill it. So for now, I'll be glad that he's happy and grateful that I was there for him, once again, when he needed me.