Monthly Archives: November 2017

A Royal Engagement!


Ever since I was a little girl, I have tried to image what it would be like to have
been able to marry into the Royal Family! I was a child when the Beatles came
along and that fed into my fantasy in such a way that when people asked me who
I wanted to marry, my pat answer was always: “I want to marry an Englishman.”

Fast forward to Prince Charles and Diana’s engagement and I believe I couldn’t
shake the notion that she was getting into a marriage that wasn’t going to make her
very happy. A man so many years her senior and not very handsome at that, regardless
of his position, education and her prospects. But I suppose I was thinking of my own
situation back then. I had married a serious man many years my senior when I was in
the prime of my youth and very pretty, educated and with many more prospects. Only
I didn’t see myself as particularly pretty, educated or worth more than what I settled for.

So now many years later, Prince Harry has met and proposed to the love of his life: Meghan
Markle. I felt surprised at my own shock! Like Ms. Markle and Prince Harry really care
what I think! But today I realized what a great story it is, how Diana would have been so
proud of her son and that mostly, I wish them much happiness.  In fact, I am so inspired
by this story, I am going to pretend that I will be a guest. Since I would not like to be
photographed at my current weight in a dress that will look like a tent, I have become
very motivated to do something about that! Hey, who knows??? public domain image


Black Friday turns into Black weekend?


Thanksgiving came and went. All those hours of preparing, all the traveling, all the
internal anguish about seeing that rude relative and perhaps being the object of their
lude and crude behavior, anticipating before eating how full and sleepy you’re going
to be has ended! Now of course, the marketers are out there and have turned what used
to be a relaxing Friday and weekend into a bizarre frenzy of shopping, shopping, and
more shopping!

As I get older I find that I am drawn to reminiscing about the first few Thanksgivings I
can remember. My very first one was when I was 9 years old because prior to that I lived
in a (developing) country.  We had no television and I was not aware that any other world
existed but the simple one I inhabited or the fantasy one that inhabited in me. Late 1963
my family moved to New York but it was December so we missed Thanksgiving that first
year. By 1964 we were armed with the ability to speak English, owned a television set and
worked hard to assimilate into our adopted country.

My mother was captivated by the many different holidays we never celebrated before. The
holidays (St. Patricks, Easter, Fourth of July and of course, Thanksgiving & Christmas)
took on different meanings and of all, Thanksgiving was my favorite. I figured out the
other day that it was not only about the whole day of gratitude or the wonderful aromas
wafting through the house. Rather, it was the fact that on this one special day, my mother’s
attention did not focus on what or how much I was eating. She concentrated on baking her
turkey, on making sure the table was set and ready for the many guests we would receive
year after year, and once the food was served and her speech was made, she relaxed and
enjoyed the day.

I have kept up the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in a big way. I cook up a storm, I
bake, I invite many people to join us and I know myself blessed and grateful year after year.
Since our children are grown and live far away, my gatherings have become very reduced
but we still manage to relish the opportunity to put all negativity aside for a day and become
totally aware of the many gifts our life offers us.

This weekend will see madness all around me as people from my community brave the
traffic so they can spend their money buying the latest gadgets or begin doing the shopping
for Christmas. I am glad that I have never been much of a gift giver so no one expects any
gifts from me but the gift of my time (which is not nothing) and cakes and cookies that I
bake each year.  These are things I enjoy making and love to give away and share with my
loved ones. In the meantime, I can shop from the comfort of my home since I have become
very good at spotting good deals on the internet. Life is good, and I find that technology
used wisely, is a wonderful thing.

Have a great weekend! image

Pies Galore!


I don’t remember ever eating pies in my early childhood. I think I started doing
so only when we arrived to New York and perhaps on the first or second Thanksgiving
in the mid 1960’s.

My mom was not a baker. She wasn’t really even a good cook but Thanksgiving got a hold
of her and she relished the holiday year after year because it gave her an excuse to gather
together the small number of family members we had in New York and the large number
of friends she and my dad had made over the years.

I remember Thanksgiving as always being special. The aromas, the large amounts of food
and most of all, the fact that Mom was not paying any attention to how much I was eating.
On this one day, she forgot all about my being overweight and was perhaps thankful for
everything she had, including her fat daughter!

It’s really odd. I always knew I was fat but I never really thought about it until or unless
someone commented. But I guess someone always did. My well-meaning aunts, my mom
who saw my “condition” as an physical reminder of my neediness…teachers, friends, etc.
The ironic thing is that I was never really that fat and if left alone the fat would probably
have disappeared naturally eventually.

By the time I was 14, I had a couple of close friends whose family celebrated Thanksgiving
in a big way, with lots of different foods from my own family.  It was not unusual for me to
partake of two other feasts after or before my family’s! I have nothing but wonderful memories
of this special holiday which remains my favorite till today!

When our children were old enough to help, they did so. Our daughter put together the
packages of flatware in their Thanksgiving napkins, our sons cut up broccoli and cauliflower
florets and trimmed the ends of the green beans. Everyone participated and the atmosphere
at our home was always positive and loving.

My children are all grown up now and they have been celebrating on their own, with their
friends and loved ones for several years. The distance between us (and the cost of travel at
this time) makes me miss them very much but I am grateful for today’s technology and what
it allows us to do in terms of communication.

I am about to start making my list for the small gathering I will host on Thursday. It will
include traditional and non traditional foods and of course, lots of pies.

Happy Thanksgiving to us all. image


Random musings…


I am the eldest of the two middle children of a four sibling family. Does that make
sense? Of course it does, just take a little time to think it over if it doesn’t at first.

Being a middle child has many drawbacks but it also has a lot of advantages. The
first child is an experiment, the last child is, well, the last child. But middle children
are often benignly neglected because other things are going on. Middle children just
know instinctively how to act so as not to cause too much attention to be focused
on them and therefore, often become more successful than the bookends!

I have long been analyzing my personality and have come to the conclusion that
many of my deeply held habits and prejudices stem from my placement in the
family.  I observed how my older sibling behaved (usually rebellious and mean)
and the reaction my parents had (scolding, grounding, silent treatment, etc.) to
it and I decided I didn’t enjoy the chaos and yelling so I made sure my behavior
was as different as it could be. I did my chores (often mine and my siblings), got
decent grades, and generally got ignored except when it came time to go shopping
and my mother would despair over my being overweight but that is a blog for another

The creators of Facebook had no real idea of how far their social media application
would come and that, again, is a subject for a future time. However, there are many
positive things that have come out of the social media giant, not the least of which
has been the way the regular folk are engaging in the issues of the day, including
politics and religion.

I use my account mainly to inform people of what is going on in our neighborhood
as part of the self-imposed activism I feel is required of anyone who is alive and part
of a community. Aside from that, I use it to connect with friends by commenting on
a picture they have posted, or by uploading my own pictures if I feel they are relevant
or want to share a particular event or part of my life.

In the years I have been using FB, I have been hacked once but it didn’t have any really
negative consequences and I have since learned to be more careful about passwords and
about who I befriend and what I share.  I am very wary about commenting on any odd
phrases a friend or family member has posted because I have been “conned” into games
or chain letters that really don’t fit with what I want to do with my time and are a very
embarrassing imposition on friends.

The last few weeks have had an activity on FB that I actually did like. It involved posting
“a black and white picture, no people, no explanation, of every day life for seven days and
challenging a different friend each day to do the same”. When I first saw this activity, I
wondered if anyone would think of me to “challenge” and was actually very happy when
a dear friend across the miles highlighted me!

This is where my being a middle child, and an efficiency aficionado comes in. I know that
I have hundreds of pictures that fit the requirement so when the challenge came in for me,
the first thing I did was to look through my pictures, pick out favorite every day things,
convert them to B&W, label them Day 1 through Day 7, put them in a file and go on with
my day. It didn’t take me longer than 10 minutes to do all that and I began to think about
the friends I would challenge, taking into account what I knew about their personalities.
Not everyone enjoys having a little fun and this is one activity where all that is required
is a tiny bit of motivation.

I was shocked then to see how people did or did not respond.  One person did it but had
people in every one of her pictures and an explanation of where picture was taken! Another
friend completely ignored me. A third one said “remind me because I am very busy”. One
challenged me back by asking me to guess where the pictures loaded had been taken (I have
not seen this person since grammar school!).

Tom Waits is credited with saying that the “way you do anything is the way you do everything”.
I have to say no truer words have ever been spoken and I find that as I get older, I have a
tendency to observe people and their behavior long before I ask them to do anything for me
or to become friendly with them. The FB activity that I engaged in just for fun has shown
me more about my friends and myself than if I had actually asked them to describe their
personalities. It was quite eye-opening and I am glad that I was asked to participate.

black and white image of hologram from free to use images


A short story contest


About a week ago, I noticed a short story writing contest was being held by one of
the local newspapers just in time for Halloween.  Although they offered a very modest
monetary prize, that was not my motivator when I sat before my computer and began
quickly writing the maximum 1200 words before the midnight deadline.  I wasn’t even
sure what I would write about, the topics were pretty broad and the rules rather loose.

I amazed myself by accomplishing more in that few hours than I have had the discipline
to do each day to get a bit further on my “novel”. This is NANOWRIMO and many of us
are in someway participating. I hope I can do a little bit more this year, I belong to a
tiny writers group though we have not been able to meet for a while and we don’t write
during any of our meetings anyway so it’s not like I’m going to advance there!

Anyway, I did not win the modest monetary prize but it was nice to see my name in
print and know that when the pressure is on, I actually can sit and write. My story was
not terrific, too many characteristics mirrored my life closely and I was somewhat worried
that my friends would see themselves reflected but from an editor’s point of view, it was
a good job.

Keep writing!


pixabay image




November has always been my favorite month. Ever since I was a little girl
in the U.S. I enjoyed the fact that it was still not THAT cold, that Thanksgiving
(and all that wonderful food) was going to happen and that the extra day meant
I could enjoy sleeping in a bit.

About 5 years ago, I decided that I would join NANOWRIMO and try my hand
at getting a novel written by the end of the month. I don’t really remember what
prompted me to do it (sign up, that is). It seems that as soon as I signed up, my
motivation, inspiration, and just “sit down and write” attitude vanished. I wrote
less that November and subsequent ones than I had ever done before. In the
ensuing years, I receive an email (well, many emails) reminding me that it’s
coming up, that it’s here, that there are lots of ways in which I can find the help
I need, etc. and yet nothing really serves as a motivator. Today I read from a person
whose blog I follow that she is afraid of getting published and that’s what keeps her
from writing. Sort of like being afraid of “success” rather than of failure. I am not
sure where I am right now. I have two potential books started but I spend most of
my time reading other people’s works. What’s with that.

I don’t really like Mondays but I do my very best to get through them productively
by taking care of the laundry, trying to organize my agenda for the week and generally
catching up on things left undealt with over the weekend. Today is no different although
I feel like I’m running late. It’s already 1:30 p.m and I have only completed two of the
4 loads of laundry I must get to (changing sheet day!).

Have a good week.

Pixabay image


A lovely Sunday


I just received my first Social Security deposit! I feel like a completely different
person for some odd reason…like I am getting paid just for being alive…I never
had that kind of treatment before. I’ve always gotten paid for doing something
and I know that breathing is something but still…

It is hard to believe how quickly the years have gone. We all know how time seems
different (and to drag on) when we are children or when we are anticipating that
something is about to happen, etc. I was feeling like the three months preparation
time were dragging on but that month of October just flew by and when I saw the
deposit show up in my account, I actually took a picture of it, lest I forget.

I deserve it just like the millions of other people who actually do count on it to
live day to day. It overwhelms me to even begin to consider that it might not be
available for my children or grandchildren (if ever I have some!).

For all of us who still have some faith in politics and politicians, let’s hope that recent
world events make us pinch ourselves and get back on track.

Have a good Sunday.


pixabay image