Archive for January, 2017

Batteries don’t like water

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

You know sometimes we think we are in charge as we grab the tools we use all day long… Power tools, electric drills and screw drivers, cell phones, portable laptop computers, all the “smart equipment”… but let a little dampness get to them and woooomp they’re dead. I guess I should have been smarter, but I put my phone in the soap dish and it jumped into the sink for a swim. After a soaking in kittie litter for 24 hours the phone worked fine, but the battery was slowly dying. Finally it would not recharge. I took it to a repair store and “Eloy” sent me down a few stores to “Jose” at the ATT store… Oddly enough they don’t sell phones at the ATT store, and they sent me back to Best Buy. A battery can easily be ordered at a battery store which is full of tiny to large, but they were out of mine so I did the next best thing… I used Amazon.com to order a book and a battery. Life certainly depends on technology doesn’t it? When some of us were in college, who ever would have thought we could go to Barnes and Noble and buy a book and a battery, let alone use a small keyboard with a rechargable battery for a thesis?

The morning news shows, including our all time favorite Sunday Morning, eulogized Mary Tyler Moore who moved the psyche of women into high gear! A “girl” can work in a man’s world. She earns a lot less… but she can work and gradually she shines through all the male dust and power! It’s time finally to put the bins of Christmas decorations into the attic. We were a little delayed by travel, but all is organized and ready to be put away. The house is a little bare now without all the angels, holy families and santas!!! God bless you on this happy Sunday.

beautiful sunrise

Friday, January 27th, 2017

God saves such beauty for early risers! This week we have been staying in the downstairs of our rental house (Aunt Trudy’s house) on Big Pine Key. The back porch faces east and I have been up and watching the sky around 645 every day. I used to set up my easel and try to capture this… Mixing new colors every 10 minutes as The sky rapidly changed! The sky can be gold, pink, red, golden-pink… One set of colors replaces another quickly. Makes a person peacefully begin the day with such beauty in the mind’s eye. Later today my friends here will be painting at Aunt Trudy’s; I am sure that pays homage to a lady who really loved Big Pine Key. God bless you. Bless travelers… We will be going back to Miami later today. …

if little Bana is for real….

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

If the tweets coming from a little 7 year old Syrian refugee about the horrible mess in Aleppo are real… If it really is a little child writing to Donald Trump… “Make peace in the world”… Then how can we help? How can America, land of the free, help? The world has changed so much since a white European revolution freed America from English tyranny. What have we become? Better? Richer? Then what do we want to do now? Be kind. Love our neighbor. Stop thinking punish and start thinking forgiveness and love. Screen the refugees and work a better stronger border. Be peaceful. Tell me how? God bless you

Kittie Litter works

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

When I took my wet phone to Radio Shack they told me put the phone in kittie litter for 24 hours. No hair dryer! So… I did what they said and this evening I brushed it off and turned it on! Yes!!! I will try to keep my phone safe from wine and water. God bless you northerners who are coooooold. Angels keep you safe and warm.

Dunking a cell phone in water… doesn’t work

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

In the past, I have drowned 2 cell phones in red wine. You would think I have learned my lesson. Well, yesterday I was waiting for a phone call from friend Linda with important information as to when and where we are going to dinner…. and I wanted to take a shower after a long sweaty day cleaning out the downstairs of our big Keys rental house…. I was also washing out a little sleeveless top I love to wear when I work. Can you see the picture? With blouse soaking in the sink I put the cell phone on the soap dish and got into the shower. When the phone rang…. the phone jiggled and did a little dance as if with joy! “Linda is calling” jiggle jiggle right into the bowl of water. Darn…. I grabbed it on the 3rd ring, but, alas, too late. i rushed it up to our local Radio Shack and they took it all apart, wrung it out and handed it back to me with advice: “Bury it in kittie litter for 24 hours”… It isn’t 24 hours yet and I gaze fondly and foolishly at that little bag full of kittie litter and my cell phone. I hope strongly that it will be OK… I’ve felt it’s loss so strongly today! I was late getting back from church with errands and wanted to call Chuck to tell him I’m OK. Nope. I needed to call about changing our address on a retirement plan that sent our tax info to the PO Box. Nope. Of course I can’t play “word chums” with cousins and friend Debbie. I usually go to the game on commercials when we look at the news. I borrowed Chuck’s phone to make the necessary phone calls but he hung over me like a hawk, mumbling “Don’t put that down!!!!!” I guess I have a reputation for drowning cell phones. So if you have missed getting a text from me (and I do love to text) i’m so sorry.

We have enjoyed our stay here on Big Pine Key, although Chuck had to work awfully hard… His father set up a wonderful work room downstairs, and then when we closed up Aunt Trudy’s house we took all her hardware into the big house workroom, and over the years we accumulated a ton of stuff that men accumulate in workrooms. When we moved to Miami I complained mightily about the 57 knives, 7 colanders, 50 frying pans, mass quantities of measuring cups and tupperware… etc etc… but I have been able to cull through and give stuff away. Chuck on the other hand has just added more to his Miami stores. We now have filled here in the Keys a large trailer full of stuff and bins and I shudder to imagine where all that stuff is going to go in Miami. First, I’ll bet, it will be loaded into our back room in Miami and I will grumble and jiggle until it is all dispatched either to the garbage or to new shelving units (from the downstairs here in the keys). Where those shelving units will go is another story. How do people get along without 6 sheds? And where can we put a 7th? You keep living a good life. Be kind and love one another! God bless you.

OH NO! visitors leaving!

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

We sadly begin to wave bye bye to 2 of our 4 visitors. We sat outside in the sunshine this morning until our legs were burning…. Watching the last turtle, the last bird whisk across the water, the last duck. Kathie came over with the Rottweiler named Harley to say goodbye and even the dog seemed depressed. Going home for this crowd means return to snow or at least cold… I have no curtains so the whole back of the house is open to the sunshine and I thank God for this beautiful, sunny, warm lake house. I opened the windows this morning and we are basking in the last warm breezes the Ohio and Connecticut visitors will enjoy until summertime… Three of us remaining are working on our computers at the dining room table, they are checking in to airplane flights, printing boarding passes, and I am writing… Laundry sloshes around in the washer, and dirty dishes fill the kitchen. Tonight after rousing dominoes we will prepare to bid bye bye to the last of our visitors tomorrow. Lots of projects await! We look forward to a long, fruitful, and beautiful spring. God bless you!

can there be anything such as too much cruising?

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

Home at last! Well, in port anyway! Miami is warm and cloudy. Caribbean was warm, windy and a little rainy … It IS January! Not ice or rain though as so much of our nation is having.. We watched football last night but I fell asleep before Patriots put it in the bag… Looks like Brady made it to the next round… Come on Pittsburgh! What a great time I had in the pool and on the track. Now to get off the ship, get home with friend Diane driving, get to Sunday Mass. All has been good with plenty of pool and track time! Too much food! All day may God bless you!

we are safe

Friday, January 6th, 2017

We are perched on bar stools on board the RCCL Navigator of the Seas in Miami. We are hearing news of shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport. Lives lost. Very startling and sad. God bless Travelers today. Travelers who were coming to this ship may be delayed due to airport shut down. Several minutes ago we noticed the access road to the port of Miami was covered with police cars with lights flashing. I guess we know why. We will continue onward but pray a little more. I might be silent for 9 days with no internet access so you be kind to one another, look up, and thank God.

We three kings of Orient are….

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Today is Three Kings Day here in Miami… All sing a big tribute to the Star!!!! God bless you as you go on pilgrimage!

4 women, suitcases, one van

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Cruise day! The 2 guys each have a bag and the women seem to have 3 each. Not so… I have one bag, but I’ve spilled into a carry on…. I have to have paints, paint book, brushes, all the stuff that goes into my purse….. Chuck has 2 tuxes!!! I imagine among the women we have 25 pairs of shoes but at least 3 shoe sizes. I thought we were going out of Fort Lauderdale so I fussed for a week wondering how we would get there and get back. Finally Barbara said, “Why are you going to Fort Lauderdale?” She looked as if we knew something she didn’t…. We all rushed to get paperwork out and lo and behold! We leave out of Miami! So we asked friend Diane to drive us and she said yes! So off we go to port of Miami on a beautiful, sunny warm day. I send “Sorry” to the north which is being stricken with an onslaught of winter storms. God bless you all with warmth even if the warm is inside next to the fireplace!!!! We’ll be on the ship at noon and set sail into the southern Caribbean around 5pm!!! Love and kisses and God bless you.

4 women to Walgreens

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

I forgot to publish this yesterday!!! This was before our big dinner party yesterday! At this time in our house, Chuck and I have his sister (Thelma) and 3 cousins (Kenneth, Carol, and Barbara)! Chuck and Kenneth are outnumbered 2 to one, but Kenneth seems in 7th heaven as he watches CNN and reads the papers and eats donuts (which Chuck buys faithfully every day! Today all women got on computers and finished cruise sign ins and now we are debating what cash we will need for a 9 night 10 day cruise on the RCCL Navigator. Carol peruses the day trips, Thelma looks over her shoulder and doesn’t want horse back riding or walking “helmet diving” on the bottom of the ocean… Carol will be zip line riding over our heads as the rest of us lounge on the beach. We all will sit together at dinner and I am sure the waiters will love us. Meanwhile CNN is telling of Obama vs Trump in spades. I just heard, “He is no friend of democracy,” I shiver to think who he is talking about… Bless us O Lord… We women are not really listening… we just pray occasionally. We are now off to Walgreens where the women will buy a bunch of travel size goodies, Sue will go to the bank to cash in all the 20s everyone has given me for small bills, to the post office to begin the mailings of 2017 birthdays, and … where else? OH of course the grocery store. It takes a lot to feed this army. Actually we are a vegetable eating family so veggies look out! Dinner tonight will be ham and ziti and family and friends from afar … We are eating like we are on a cruise ship! God bless you!

The message we have heard from the beginning! “Love one another”

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

When I return to the house at 8:30 after morning Mass, Barbara (cousin house guest) always asks what was the message of the day? and today it was easy! Father stood up to give his homily and he said, “Does everyone remember the first line of St. Paul’s letter?” “Beloved: This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11). And so it goes. It’s been written and even though it’s something we don’t understand and find very hard to do… Love one another, don’t get caught up in worldly angers. Maybe even skip the daily news papers and news channels. If we all did that, there wouldn’t be any anger in the world. There wouldn’t be any evil! Life is about love of enemy, love of the poor, love of the rich, love of all of creation, love of God. All of it! The full of creation! Love it, or leave it. Don’t stand around grousing or complaining just raise your eyes!!!!!

I just waved bye bye to cousin Carol as she laughingly rowed off in neighbor George’s kyack! She is loving the lake while Chuck and I rub our arms and utter, “brrrrrrrr.” It’s a little chilly here on Westwood Lakes this morning: 66 degrees, with a high projected of 81. Carol is out there on the crystal clear lake with the ducks. Loving.

Today we are taking down the Christmas tree and picking up all the pine branches I have strewn about as we don’t want any spontaneous combustion while we are gone. We will also unplug all the timers that automatically turn on and off the lights. Today we arrange for mail and newspaper pick up by neighbor Kathy and ask her husband George to put out and bring in the garbage can next Monday. We are off tomorrow on a 9 day cruise. Think gentle thoughts for us, family reunion party off to celebrate 90 years of life for Kenneth on the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas! If I miss a few days… Remember! Be kind. Love one another! God bless you!

“Want it quick? Dial **Quick”

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Have we ever done this? Have we wanted to dial **Quick and get what we want… slim thighs, no belly, well beating heart, more money, successful lawsuit… dial **Quick!!!!! When my doctor tells me I must choose… Healthy eating and exercise or fat and sluggish. I complain, (whine?) “I want ice cream and champagne!!! I want to stay up until midnight! I want it all! I want, I want I want!!!” Do we go like this to prayer? Do we only pray when we want something? I’m reading a book on Mercy which asserts that God wants for us… “only good, only health, only joy… dignity and sonship”, but what do we do? Either ignore Him or even say… “He isn’t here.” Who can look at the many Christmas displays of Baby Jesus held in his loving Mother’s arms, guarded by Joseph… heralded by angels; who can look and then forget? Why do we have to understand everything about the miracle-mystery of creation and Emmanuel - God with us? I have a friend who tells me “a spoon is a spoon… I can bang it and make noise; I can feel it.” “True,” I say, “We can’t see God, or even hear his still small whisper… ” But men and women who lived 2017 years ago saw and felt his touch and they wrote about it… witness and testimony and we have their words today in Scripture. So if you don’t believe, please grab a Bible… any Bible, and look at Genesis (first book), and then look at John (the Gospel back in the New Testament). Look, read… We have a great witness in John. Please read, and remember way back when you were little and someone sang… “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” Listen and believe! Be kind! God bless you!

Can there be something such as “too much football”?

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Football has been on our TV non stop since Christmas! The ‘Canes and the Seminoles won their Bowl games and then it all became a blur of games. Today we all picked Penn State and watched two brilliant teams rack up more than 100 points. Today we have seen 2 freshman quarterbacks play great ball in the Rose and Sugar bowls. Boston Patriot’s Tom Brady didn’t play in 4 games due to suspension for Inflate gate and he is able still to lead the number one pro football team in the country. They sure mopped up the field with the Dolphins… I like football and I’m always on tender hooks about injuries (hate injuries). My nephew plays and we pray for his safety. Such a violent pleasure football is!

We are getting ready to go on a cruise with cousins Barbara and Kenneth from Connecticut (they sure are enjoying Florida sunshine!) Cousin Carol flying in from Ohio tomorrow, and sister Thelma who rented a car and drove into central Florida to find some Seminole fans to watch the bowl game with. We have to admit we all went to bed at half time and we are happy Thelma had someone to play with! I’ve enjoyed our company so far. I have a buddy to walk with and we go shopping and buy pretty things. For example today was a big shopping day at the book barn (a used book store), Sketchers, BJs, and Good Will, actually bought books, shoes, pants and a bathing suit and shirt for Chuck!

It’s time for bed. Tomorrow will be another exciting day as we need to walk 10,000 steps, pick up Carol at airport, and pick up Thelma at the rental car place! Too much excitement so far this year!!! Have you made a resolution yet this year? Tell someone and share your excitement and success with a friend!!! God bless you.

Mixing Memory with Desire

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Last evening, Chuck and I dressed up and headed out to visit Rob and Virginia Klein, old friends from the old law firm. Both look hale and hearty as opposed to Chuck’s and my rather chunky physical fattness…. Both Chuck and I are “living the good life” on the too much calories side, but I’m trying to remedy that with walking 10,000 steps with our visiting cousin Barbara!!! We drove home at 10:30 and cheered in the New Year on our back dock with Barbara and drank champagne! Happy New Year was cheered in with 30 minutes of lake side fireworks. Thanks neighbors!!!

Yesterday morning, as I cooked breakfast, words kept going through my mind…. “April is the cruelest month… mixing memory with desire…” I went immediately to Chaucer, where Chaucer opened his world of stories and poetry (Canterbury tales) with “April with his showers sweet, the drout of March has pierced to the root, and bathed every vein in such liquor of which virtue engendered is the flower… then people long to go on pilgrimage…” The world of Canterbury Tales is situated in an inn when pilgrims gather and are asked to tell stories! Some bawdy by Chaucer’s standards. This is a piece of literature that English majors read in full, and students struggled with as it is written in “olde English”. But the memory and desire stuff also comes from the “Wasteland” by TS Eliot who wrote on a more pessimistic note:
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain;

Chaucer’s tale is for fun, but Eliot is known for his intense pessimism… when the season turns to spring.. we are stirred to move, but many don’t want to move rather stay under the forgetful snow. Desire stirs up memory, maybe of what we didn’t do, can’t do, or maybe of what we have done and shouldn’t have… All that is to be forgotten as the New Year begins. Today will be a day of memory. Sunday morning television is remembering those who died, most recently the beautiful Princess Leia Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds,the beautiful mind Gwen Hall, Edward Albee and many many others, gone. So the memory… Now the desire. “What do I want to do?” you ask? I remember my neighbor Bill who said… First be kind. So let us shake off the covers of the past and go out into that shower of rain (or snow!) and be kind. Surprised and with passion! God bless you!