New Page--------New Day

Westminster Dogs

Tonight is the first night of the Westminster Dog Show on TV. You have be a dog lover to get excited about this. We plan to watch it as a family activity, me, husband and  our dog,Cricket. I already told Cricket that we were planning to spend the evening in this way. I offered to make popcorn, but I think a dog biscuit is more appropriate. For Cricket, I mean.

I'm waiting for the toy group.Every year, I look at these high priced, pampered dogs and I know that there are many people who do not live as well as these special dogs do. Bathed, blow

dried, brushed ,walked, given a special diet (you don't see any of these dogs with a weight problem), personal trainers and for all I know, maybe a shrink for those stressful moments when they are being shown to the judges.

They even travel first class and stay in hotels. The last time we traveled with our then two dogs, we were on our way to Colorado from Chicago. We had the two dogs, Bob and me, our daughter and her two children--in a Neon. We stayed in a Motel 6 . Our daughter and the Grandchildren were in the next room and Bob and I with the two dogs were in the adjoining room .The dogs had the double bed by the window and Bob and I shared the other double bed. You do anything to keep peace in the family. From Chicago to Estes Park, Colorado in a Neon. It wasn't that bad. We all love road trips. We were bred for them. We aren't that large,we can sit close, we eat anything and we are house broken.And we only snarl at each other, we don't make contact.

It's never too late to have Cricket share our seat tonight and cozy up as a family of three and watch the dog show.

learning curve

I learned something , besides how to play the violin, when I joined the community orchestra. I learned that music has a cataloguing system similar to the Dewey decimal system. They have actually given numerical order to Beethovin ,Pucchini, Haydn . I never knew that . Now , when our conductor says 100.35, I flip my music pages and there it is. Dona Nobis Pacem by W.A. Mozart . Pretty cool. I haven't asked anyone who it was who came up with this system, but I am guessing that it is a universal way to organize music.

Then, since I am increasing my learning curve, someone was curious about where the word blog came from. I looked it up. It is short for web log--blog. That's pretty cool, too. Did everyone but me know this?

It's never too late to keep learning things, even if everyone but me already knew it.


Now I see from TV that the mature single person has their own dating web site. That's pretty amazing. Who ever designed this company is brilliant. It is also taking a lot for granted. One, the site is expecting older singles, to be comfortable with the internet. Then it is expecting the mature single to be honest in their responses to questions. I wonder what the questions are. Are they ,do you drive after dark, can you sit through a movie without going to the bathroom, can you tell a joke all of the way through without forgetting the punch line, can you remember my name?

The images on the TV ads make all of the mature singles look so attractive. Those people would probably be in the group who when we were in grade school, got picked first to be on the good team, so how hard would it be for them to get a date and then a second date.

If I were single, how much would I fudge my answers to the dating questions. I would want to date the hotty that I see on the TV ads, not the man my age with the wrinkles and pills that come in my age bracket.

It's never too late to be a little cynical about this type of service, but, hey, it's worked with the younger generation, why not mine?

Snow Days

It's another beautiful day in Paradise. I do feel badly for the people getting such predicted storms. But I also feel a little sense of superiority. While they are mostly miserable, I can look up at this blue sky,and gentle breezes, leave the sliding doors open and just enjoy . There was a time when I liked a snow day or two. The kids were home from school, my husband worked at home, so I wasn't concerned about his being on the road . We had a fireplace, so if the electricity went out, we could still be warm.(It never did) . There was something cozy about snow days. Once I managed to get to a yarn shop before the snow hit and I bought enough yarn to make everyone a bulky sweater on large needles. Those sweaters were fun to knit and everyone except me had one.In retrospect, they were dorky looking,but no one said anything and those sweaters were around our family for years.

I always put off doing certain jobs until there was a snow day. Like rearranging the books on the shelves, or alphabetizing the canned goods. Even now I sometimes say that I will do something ,like clean the fridge, on the next snow day. If you are reading this in N.Y.,it's not going to happen. The snow, I mean.

Once it snowed so much that the snow drifted up to our garage roof .We looked out of the kitchen window, and our dog, the late ,great Wally was on the garage roof. it was more difficult to get him down.

The best snow days for us was when we were at our cottage. It seemed to snow more then. I would open the kitchen door after breakfast , the kids would file out with their cross country skies and later that day, I opened the door and they came back in, exhausted.

I know just when we stopped getting these wonderful snow storms. It was the day I bought a new pair of cross country no wax skies. It really never snowed that much after that. I used to xcountry on the golf course in Chicago. It was a workout, but not that exciting.

It's never too late to exchange skies for sun block and just enjoy that the snow is just a memory.



This morning was recycle pick up day. I noticed this as I was walking Cricket and saw all of the red recycle bins around the neighborhood. That's when I decided that there were two kinds of people in this world. There are those who tie their papers in neat bundles with string.


Then there are the rest of us. Our recycled paper is lucky to be all in the red recycle bin. I do break down our boxes, as we were asked to do. I have a suspicion that these neat people just want to make the rest of us know that we are a little careless in how we throw out our recycle stuff. I also have a feeling that these very neat people have very neat closets and very neat drawers.


I can't hope to be this way. I have tried. I do have all of the hangers in the closet facing the same way. And I've tried to color coordinate the closet, but it gets a little color confused after awhile. I do transfer clothes seasonally. And I do clean out the closets and bring my discarded clothes to Good Will, where I probably bought them in the first place. I do believe in recycling. I just don't tie my paper in bundles. Where do you even buy the string to tie the bundles with. And do you store the string in your junk drawer?


Cricket and I are friends with the driver of the big green recycle truck. He is a big, burly guy with a lot of tattoos. He likes Cricket. He always slows and waves to us as we walk on Thursday mornings. He probably doesn't know that I don't tie my newspapers , because I am usually not near my house when he slows to wave to us.


It's never too late to be a responsible citizen and just do my part by getting all of the paper in the correct bin.


I read some where that writing on a recipe page would be a wonderful way for a family to have a food history. I write all over my cook books. My family should have a wonderful history of what we ate and enjoyed. Another way to tell which recipes we all liked is by the food splatters on the pages.

I have a collection of my Mother in laws recipes. When one of our children was in a Library Science Masters program, she took these recipes, written on index cards , and catalogued them. It was so much fun to read them. My Mother in law was not a cook. But at the beauty palor, or in her Bridge group, she would dutifully copy her friends recipes. When we see her characteristic handwriting,on these old index cards, it is very nostalgic. She has at least 5 recipes for Brisket. They are noted by the name of the person giving her the recipe. She has a Leona's brisket, a Joan's brisket, a Mrs. Behrman brisket. They are all the same recipe. She was probably too polite to tell the person giving her the recipe, that she already had it.

My Mother in law had another quirk. She only ate the yolks of eggs. She must have had one of the first freezers, because when I came into the family 59 years ago, she was already freezing the egg whites. She did make angle foood cake. That was the first home made angel food cake I ever ate. I don't remember it tasting that great but it was impressive. Especially since my mother didn't bake. Her parents were bakers in the old country and like the shoemakers children who went bare foot, she didn't like to bake.

It's never too late to keep on splattering those cook book pages and leaving a food history for your Grandchildren.


It is a myth, it seems to me, when it is said that you are responsible for your own happiness. How can that be true, when so many of us are responsible for other people and their happiness. It can be an elderly parent, a spouse, or a grown child who is still dependent on you. So I really don't believe it when I read or hear "experts" who say you are etc...etc. Maybe a single person can say that they are responsible for their happiness, but I bet that they have someone they care about and want to make them happy. After all, no one that I know, single or not, lives in a vacuum.

Would I really like to be only responsible for my own happiness. Sometimes, yes. Just think, eat when I want to, cook when I want to, travel when I want to. But mostly I am made to help make people around me happy. That's what most of us want to do. It's not that hard. A smile, a handshake,a hug, saying yes, when you would rather not, a personal touch that connects you to someone. It's a simple happiness, but it counts. It's never too late to be responsible for your happiness and to include a bunch of others in your happiness. That makes me happy.

Wake Up

I still can't get used to having a dog that sleeps in. It is 7:11 AM and Cricket is under our blanket, with her head on the pillow. What's with this dog. I think she has forgotten that she is a dog. I am also in bed, sitting up and waiting for her to get up so that I can walk her and begin my day. If I do get out of bed, she will look up, see me and then put her head back down and go to sleep. She must have had a rough night protecting us from racoons (true) and things that go bump in the night. Now that it is day, she can relax and sleep soundly. She knows that we will take over the protection of our turf. She trusts us.

Cricket is not a play dog. She will chase the ball but not bring it back. She will go to the dog beach and sit on the picnic table. She really doesn't care for other dogs. She loves their owners. She tolerates the dog because that way she can get close to the owner. They fall for it every time . They are soon talking baby talk to her and scratching her ears, Their dog looks confused. When they stop the petting, she just sits at their feet, looking cute. So they pet her some more. I usually have to break up this love fest. She is a needy dog. I hope this is not a reflection on her owners. We try to give her everything she needs, including food from our dinner, our pillow and blanket and our laps. What more can we give.

I think I will wake her up, I have to start my day. It's never too late to give our dog everything she needs, because I don't have to be reminded that we get unconditional love from her.

Let the Good Times Roll

When our kids were young, and we lived in Evanston ( which is the first suburb next to Chicago) Super Bowl Sunday was a big family event. We would pick the kids up from Sunday School, bring our little TV down from our bedroom, put it on the piano bench in the living room,and stoke the fireplace. Then I would make pop corn and we would let the kids have a Coke.Those were the good old days. No one played foot ball in our family, we were not contact sport people. Our sports were running and gymnastics, and a few years of little league baseball. But the excitement of those Super Bowl games and having all of us around that little TV was special. I think the games were better then. Some really good players played. We even knew some of their names.

Chicago is a sport town. We have the Cubs,the Bears, the Blackhawks,the Bulls and the White Sox ( we didn't go to White Sox games, they were the south side and we were the north side. It's a Chicago thing.), and there were probably some sport teams I never knew about. My first Cubs game was when our youngest was about 10. We went to the game and he brought his mitt. When they played the National Anthem, he put his baseball mitt over his heart. I cried. It was so sweet.

I didn't go to a Bulls game until a few years ago when our daughter had box seats through a friend. That was the way to see a game. Michael Jordan was playing at that time and with that private box, plus the perks that went with it....that was really special. Those were the good old days.

Now we will watch the Super Bowl on our little TV in our bed room because it is being played in New Orleans and I am hoping that they will show some scenes of my home town. It's never too late to be home sick for the good times we had. As we say in N.O. "Let the good times roll".


I live in fear that the conductor of our Community Orchestra will ask me to play by myself. I seat myself between two people who can really play their violins. There are only 3 of us second violins. I am getting better, but I am still a little timid. When I started with the orchestra , I played the first and last notes of a piece. Then I progresssed to about 6 notes in a row and finishing when everybody else did. Now, I can actually keep up with about 5 pieces. On a few pieces, I seem to have a few more notes than everybody else.

Our conductor will often stop practice and ask different instuments to go over a specific section. I can do that when I have my two pretty good players on either side of me. I think I look the part of knowing what I am doing. But I still have that little bit of fright that the conductor will single me out to sharpen my playing. I would have to confess that I am faking it until I can play it. My mentor told me to do this.

It's never too late to keep working at something that gives me pleasure even though I still close the windows I when I play.


I picked up a leaflet at our Doctors office about weight gain traps ! Most of the traps we all know, but the one that caught my attention and I realized that it spoke to me, is the one that says, "Letting your cabinets overflow." I am guilty. Why do I need 4 cans of the same kind of tomatoes, or 6 packages of Ramen noodles. I live about 3 blocks from the grocery store, I have a car, I can drive to the store or even walk. I have good neighbors, that if I run out of something really necessary, I can borrow what I need.

Then there is my freezer. It's the kind that is on the bottom of the fridge. It has loaves of our favorite olive bread. The store makes it every day and they said that we can always call and they would save us a loaf . Bread takes up most of my freezer space. Little mysterious packages make up the rest of the space. I always say that I will remember what is in these packages, but I can't. I have a pen to write down the contents, but I don't use it enough.

My father did the grocery shopping and he had a thing about tomato soup. Cambell's Tomato soup. We had a whole shelf devoted to Tomato Soup. Another thing he collected was toilet paper. I can understand that one. Who would want to run out of toilet paper.

I don't need a lot of what I have on our shelves, and I have multiples of these things. I will work on this, use up what I have and slim down my cabinets. It's never too late to stop blaming my cabinets for any time I think I need to lose weight.



Today,it was raining vigorously and I had to bring my husband for a fasting blood test. We got an early start, so we could come back and have breakfast. I pulled into the lab's parking lot, with the windshield wipers on high. There was a woman, in a nurse outfit, standing in the rain, smoking. No umbrella, no sweater. Just standing there, smoking. How addicted to cigarettes she must be if she has to do that. I came from a family where everyone smoked. When my sister was a teenager, her goal was to weigh 100 lbs. so she could smoke. My parents must have dreamed that one up. I used to go with her to the drug store soda fountain for an ice cream soda, every night after dinner. She was serious. She smoked for 30 years until she went to work for the Cancer Association. She died of emphasima (and a broken spirit after Katrina ruined her home,)


I was never interested in smoking. I don't know why, because no one would have cared if I had.


I have another type of addiction. It's called I can't help it. The books look so inviting, the products shipped so quickly, the return policy so customer friendly. How can I not shop this way. And you have the option , sometimes, to buy used books. That's when I feel the high of a user.


It's never too late to have a "good" addiction that only hurts your budget.

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Latest comments

01.12 | 14:15

Safe travels. See you soon. sally

04.07 | 12:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 12:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 17:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.