Looking In The Wrong Place

Good Morning World

It is 8AM in the morning. I am wondering what the birds are chirping about. The air is cool and the Florida sun not high in the sky. My husband is vacuuming, because he has been awake since 4:30.

But what I am thinking about is; how does this happen; you pain taking select a food item in the grocery store only to discover you’ve purchased the wrong one, once home?

Yesterday, while shopping for non-fat plain Greek yogurt, I examined the front of the container for the word vanilla IN THE STORE, and never saw the orange band indicating it was such, until I tasted the product this morning at home and said, “Yuck!”

I don’t care for vanilla, nor the 18 grams of sugar it contains.

So how did I miss the obvious labeling?

I was looking in the wrong place. It reminds me of that song, Looking for Love. It never occurred to me to look under the lid and around the top.

I tried hard to get it right. Really made every effort to purchase the right product.

Should I throw it out or eat it?

. . . just saying

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Tangled In Your Underwear

dry tree twigs with small berries in autumn
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Help me here, is tangled in your underwear a metaphor, colloquialism or good advice?

Regardless, it happened to me and I’m wondering. . . .Has this happen to you?

Let me start at the beginning. I lost my balance and things were getting scary. Fear of falling resulted in my sitting down to put my pants on. It was vertigo.

A physical therapist shook the crystals out and explained, that although poor balance is assumed to go hand in hand with aging, behavior changes are a huge factor and the root cause of my loss of balance.

She was right. I was holding on to kitchen counters, walked with my arm tucked under someone else’s and sat down to put my pants on.

She recommended an exercise program.

The good news; my balance was restored, and I set a goal to dress standing up and had success except when my toes got tangled in my underwear.

Pointing my toes provided mediocre results as did wearing socks.

It is a daily challenge, so here are a few tips:

  1. Always have a bench or chair behind you.
  2. Practice standing on one foot leaning against a counter or wall, first.
  3. Graduate to standing on one foot with your eyes closed and then the other.
  4. When you’ve mastered the above introduce the underwear; concentrate hard and one leg at a time . . . go for it.
  5. Expect to wobble but refuse to fall-down.
  6. Continue to do balance exercise, daily, for the rest of your life.

. . . just saying

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Lemons VS Lemonade

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I’m ready to scream, yell and tear my hair out. It’s 10:30 am and I’ve been at my computer for forty-five minutes and accomplished nothing. My first task was to send an email to members of my book club about the next book selection, but I cannot open yahoo mail after waiting patiently and then some.

My computer is new and I have Windows 10, but this morning everything is operating at a snail’s pace.

What I was able to do, was reserve David Baldacci’s new book Dream Town at the library. He is a favorite author of my husband’s, unfortunately, the wait is long, I’m #77 on the list.

Do the math. If each reader keeps the book for 2 weeks, that is 154 weeks away. Realistically we might have the book the end of August. I could buy the book for him at Barnes and Noble for $14.99. It’s something to think about.

Back to the book club selection; we chose Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, because I was reading The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont and commented that it was a decent read but, did not reveal much about her disappearance for eleven days after her husband, Archie, informed her he was having an affair and wanted a divorce. Intrigued by the author’s life we decided on one of her novels, since none of us had read any of her books.

Well, I just checked my email and can read open messages. I no longer want to pull my hair out.

. . . just saying

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Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup

Today, I was tempted to write about Kyrie Irving’s $50,000 fine, or Johnny Depp’s and Amber Heard’s domestic abuse claims; Putin and the war or (don’t even go there) Florida’s political shenanigans, but instead, I decided to make soup.

Lemon, Orzo and Meatball Soup really does help one “Escape the Daily Grind.” The recipe appeared in the October 2013 issue of Southern Living. It takes some time to prepare things and I was thrilled my husband volunteered to help. Bob shaped the meatballs, peeled and cut the carrots; and then asked; what do you want done to the lemons? “Zest them,” I said over my shoulder and leaving the kitchen to write.

An hour later when I returned and found the lemons peeled.

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Would you complain? And all was not lost; I chopped and diced the lemon peel as you would cloves of garlic and the taste and texture was actually better.

There is a note to self at the top because, the soup is better when you follow the recipe. . . that’s the truth Edith-Ann.

. . . just saying

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Easter 2022

scan0019Pictured above, Aunt Carol with leucite handbag, sister Judy, Mother (Pregnant with sister Abigail),  sister Mariellen, Me, Grandmother, and standing at attention sister Martha Gertrude

Easter Hats and Egg Hunts

As Easter approaches I find myself reminiscing about days gone by, holidays I tried to duplicate for my kids and grand-kids that only slightly mirrored mine.

In Florida, the smell of spring and Easter that signaled renewal by a burst of color on Long Island is missing, but memories of blooming Dogwood trees linger. The Weeping Willows wore yellow-green buds to announce the occasion.

We woke to Easter Baskets filled with love made by our grandmother. Hollow chocolate eggs squiggled  with confectionet sugar peeked out of cellophane surrounded by squishy marshmallow chicks called Peeps and jump ropes, jacks, pink Spaulding balls, and socks trimmed with lace, for the girls and for the boys; army men, matchbox cars, baseball cards, and cool shades.

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Great Granny B and 4 month old great-grand son, Tony

My grandmother also baked trays of cookies, some made to look like an Easter baskets, by adding a  handle, shredded coconut, and jelly beans. She used cookie cutters for Bunnies with chocolate ears, and cherry jelly linzer cookies, egg white cookies laced with walnuts and her famous chocolate chips cookies. 

We usually had new dresses and shiny black patent leather shoes, bought by Aunt Carol at Macy’s Herald Square. The shoes fit perfectly because Aunt Carol would trace our feet on card board, cut the pattern out and bring it with her to the store where she and a shoe salesman determined the correct size.

Aunt Carol always carried a pretty handbag and a tasteful hat, similar to  these: 

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After opening our baskets my mother dressed us in order of our behavior, and told to, “Sit on the couch, and don’t move, or else!” And we didn’t.

Drew, the youngest at the time, was dressed, after my mother dressed, and held by the hand until he was in the car and Mass over.

The Easter Bunny  hid real hard-boiled eggs dyed the day before and shortly after  company arrived on Easter Sunday, a whistle was blown, and we ran, desperate to  find THE GOLDEN EGG, a chocolate egg wrapped in gold foil. Little did we know my brother Victor searched ahead  of us, yes cheated, while I prayed to find the Golden Egg . . . . just this once. The prize was one dollar.

Although Easter was about baskets and dyed eggs, it was really about hats. as seen in the above picture and  I remember shopping at Montgomery Ward’s, the day before Easter in a panic then  thrilled, to find the hat I am wearing, an exact match to my homemade celery green coat.  My sister, Judy, was ecstatic with hers, the red band makes the outfit pop, and sister Mariellen’s  perfect in classic white.

Don’t we look marvelous?

Now if I only had that hat.

.   .   .   .  just saying

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What Did You Do Today?

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Nothing

Nothing! I did absolutely nothing. Well, nothing of consequence. That’s retirement.

I didn’t sleep in, although according to my husband, I got up late, 7:30 am.

Late, because he rises at 4am and that makes me three plus hours tardy.

Then my morning routine; coffee and the newspaper and watching CBS Morning. (I’m in love with Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson, and Gale King.) Followed by breakfast and exercise; by the time I showered and flossed it’s was 10:30 and my husband was sitting down to lunch.

Usually writing is next on my agenda; however, since my brain was stolen in the middle of the night, my attention was drawn to Easter decorating and the task of disposing of unwanted items.

You know what I’m talking about. Those plastic bins, packed, labeled and stored in your garage or attic. Ceramic eggs and bunnies you’re emotionally attached and refuse to send to a landfill.

It was exhausting and it isn’t time for bed.

. . . just saying

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April Fools 2022

Flash Fiction

No Fooling

     Today, crisp cool air mingles with a blazing sun as I leave my minuscule apartment on Lexington Ave. The weather has been dreary. This morning is glorious.

     Around noon, I stop for lunch at a typical outdoor New York café; the tables are round and small; the metal chairs look uncomfortable, but are not when I sit.

     A waiter fills my water glass, and announces he will be my server. The menu choices are unexpectedly appealing; fennel quiche, gazpacho soup, and more.

     I take time ordering.

     The man on my left, glances my way. His thick blond hair is sun streaked and he looks familiar, a little like my friend, Sam.

      Groomed brows frame his eyes. Carefully pressed gray slacks, and a wrinkle-free dress shirt complete his polished look.

        I sit back to wait for my meal and people watch; New Yorker’s enjoying the sun, walking and talking loud. A biker babe dressed in leather, pushes a doggie stroller. The dog wears goggles and rests his paws on the bar celebrity style. I laugh aloud.     

       My order comes, and the man who looks like Sam stares in my direction, again. His eyes searching, and as the tables fill up, the man gives a knowing nod my way, and conceals a smile.

He faces me, but, I can’t tell if he is looking at me, or not.

     Behind me a couple seat themselves, and I refrain from turning around. They create a stir dragging empty chairs across the concrete and arranging shopping bags, and I realize the man who looks like Sam is studying them.

     When the waiter takes my empty plate, I order a Cappuccino and the ‘Chocolate – Chocolate’ cake, and listen to the couple’s banter, intrigued.

     The woman protests, “I didn’t make you come here, you said it was your favorite restaurant.”

     The man responds, “Eve, you’re the one who claimed the food was something else.”

      “You loved the zucchini mushroom quiche, and what about the gazpacho soup? You raved!”

     “No, you never listen; I said the quiche was good if you like quiche. And the soup ‘the best’ Gestapo!” His words are slow and deliberate. He gets up. “I’m going to the men’s room.”  

     His voice sounds like Victor’s, and I look.

     Sam rushes to fill his empty seat, firing off questions, “What’s going on? You said you would be at here 12 o’clock, alone.”

      Coyly, Eve removes her Hollywood style sunglasses, checks her diamond wristwatch, leans forward, and whispers, “Oh, my, it is past noon, isn’t it.” Playing with her neckline she continues. “Victor’s golf was cancelled. When he learned I was coming to the city, he said he was coming.” She shakes her head and says misty eyed. “He’s my husband. I couldn’t persuade him otherwise. We’ll do it next time.”

     Sam laughs, “You think me a fool, Eve; there are other restaurants in town! Why lunch here? There won’t be a next time.”

     “Next time . . . answer your cell, damn it!” She shouts after him.

     The husband returns. A tan complements his brown eyes, perfect Roman nose, and romantic lips. Approaching the table, his aloof expression becomes surprise, as our eyes meet.

He is my Victor, and my heart pounds.

     Sitting across from his wife, he tucks in a cloth napkin. “Who was that? You seem upset. Is everything alright?”

     Eve clears her throat, forces a smile, and explains, “Someone who goes to my gym. It’s nothing. I’m tired, and sorry. Sorry we had words.” She reaches across the table to take her husband’s hand, “Can we forget it?”

     Eve appears confident and why not? I’m the other woman.

     I play with the raspberry sauce on and mush the the ‘Chocolate-Chocolate’ cake.

   I stop at the couple’s table when leaving and smile, “Victor, What a surprise to see you and your wife.”

As I walk away, Eve asks, “Who’s is that? You seem upset. Is everything alright?”

. . . .  just saying

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Write Naked

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Write Naked

Write Naked is the title of a Florida Writers Association Blog I recently read and immediately had a visual picture; successful writers sitting at their typewriters nude. It wasn’t pretty.

Then the line, “Would it help?” from the film, Bridge of Spies, came to mind. The character never frets, but inquires if ruminating would help his situation

Could wearing your birthday suit make words flow and bring a place in the sun.

More than likely, I’d just get sunburn.

Come to find out, writing naked means to write from the authors emotional experience and bare ones’ emotions.

Therein lies the problem.

Today’s environment of political correctness has me stymied and frozen in place. I truly do not want to offend anyone and just when we think the worst of the Pandemic might be over, Putin starts a war.

Chicken Little’s’ false news, “The sky is failing,” has become reality.

Would it help if cursed at him in the nude?

. . . just saying

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Happy Valentine’s Day

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What Happened to January

What happened to January? The entire month is a blur. I had cataract surgery, that required doctor visits. Then physical therapy, to regain my balance, several times a week. Now I can put my pants on standing up. I went on a cruise with my sister, my brother came for a visit and my grandson moved to Florida.

All passengers had to be fully vaccinated and we were tested before boarding the cruise ship and required to wear a face mask when not eating or drinking. As long as you had a drink in your hand you were good to go.

Anyway, I woke up this morning in a Super Bowl halftime show dizzy, to Valentine’s Day; hoping to get back to writing, and with appreciation of all my readers.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, sunny, fun filled day.

Claudia

. . . just saying

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Something to Think About

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Circle of Friends

Listening to Alan Alda’s podcast Clear and Vivid gives me something to think about. Recently he interviewed Robin Dunbar, who researched Monkey behavior and why Apes groom each other, constantly. You know what his talking about, the behavior of hunting through their mate’s skin and hair for what not. Bugs?

His investigation expanded to human behavior, termed; Dunbar’s Number and Circle of Friends, and concluded . . . relationships and their quality effect the longevity of life. This comes as no surprise to most of us, however, now data backs it up.

What is Dunbar’s Number?

The anthropologist theory is that the average number of relationships humans can maintain is one hundred and fifty. It is okay to scratch your head and ponder Facebook claims of thousands by some individuals.

His research supports the concept of circles of friends; the closest has just five people (loved ones), followed by a layer of 15 (good friends), next 50 (friends), followed by 150 (meaningful contacts). The outer two circles include 500 (acquaintances, aka people who smile when they see you) and 1500 (those you recognize, but can’t remember why).

Keep in mind, people migrate in and out of these layers and sometimes are referred to as flat leavers. No worries, that makes room for someone else in your circle of friends.

Clearly however, having friends increases the quality and length of one’s life. Especially as we age. It is important to have someone to respond when you’ve fallen and can’t get up, bring you chicken soup if you have the flu, and drive you to a doctor’s appointment.

But we often lose loved ones and, or don’t get along with relatives. So, how do we make friends?

Well, touch triggers endorphins and consequently bonding. Apes groom each other repetitively for closeness. They have smaller brains, fewer friends and grooming activities to attract them. Similarly, humans have behaviors that forge relationships; laughter, singing, dancing, drinking and eating. That’s why people dine, drink, dance and laugh the night away.These activities draw people together, and then something does or doesn’t happen.

Dunbar identified seven pillars of friendship or why friendship lasts. Understanding the Power of Our Most Important Relationships (London, UK: Little, Brown Book Group Dunbar, R (2021) goes into depth.

  • having the same language (or dialect)
  • growing up in the same location
  • having had the same educational and career experiences
  • having the same hobbies and interests
  • having the same worldview (moral, religious, and political views)
  • having the same sense of humor
  • having the same musical tastes

So, if one stops playing golf, or joins a nudist club one might pretend not to know them in the grocery store.

Unbeknownst to them, they have been relegated to an outer circle.

. . . just saying

You don’t need a WordPress account to comment. Write your comment in the box below or click on the caption icon to the right of the title above. Ignore requests for a name/ username and press post or save. Your comment will be posted anonymously. Please follow me  to receive notification of new posts. Thank you, Claudia