Day Three of Vacation

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Fort Collins

Friday morning, cool temperatures in Fort Collins were a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of Florida. We walked their dog, sipped coffee and read the newspaper while our friends were at the hospital.  Things went well.

Because Yellowstone was closed due to heavy rains and flooding, Betsy and I spent several hours cancelling and re-booking, hotel , dinner reservation and excursions a year in the making, and found accommodations in Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons. The original plan was to drive to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, an eight hour trip. Spend one night. Then Grand Teton Hotel (one hour away) for one night, and three nights inside Yellowstone.

We worked side by side with two computer and two cell phones, hoping Yellowstone would open on Wednesday.

It was exhausting and . . . time to go shopping.

Money Magazine, named Fort Collins the “Best Place to Live” in the western United States among small cities in 2006. Old Town is its main core where the city’s history began. The Fort Collins Museum, which was created as the Pioneer Museum in 1941, retains the first settler’s hut and two other historic structures in its courtyard. The Avery House and a section of the old city center are on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is a beautiful college town with flowers everywhere.

Families sauntered about, their children splashed in street ponds and the dogs were well behaved.

. . . just saying

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Day Two of Vacation

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Yellowstone was closed! My friend had phoned the day before to explain there were additional sidesteps. Her husband needed an unanticipated medical procedure the day after our arrival and her air conditioning was on the fritz. Always the optimist, I said, “We haven’t seen you in ages and there is lots to do in Colorado.”

Our flight was on time and arrived as scheduled. We visited the Gaylord Hotel, a spectacular lodge rising-up in the flat plains close to Denver International Airport and had lunch. It’s about an hour drive to Fort Collins and Bill insisted we take the scenic route father than Route 25 to avoid construction, traffic delays and vehicle accidents. And we did see some sights; housing construction competing with fracking fields. However, in the north the brown flat lands turn green with flowers and lakes.

The men retired early and the women watch “Being the Riccardo’s” staring Nicole Kidman. I loved everything about the movie.

The air conditioning repair person was scheduled for the next day and we slept comfortably with a ceiling fan and the windows open.

Things might work out just fine.

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Day One of Vacation

A chartreuse pillow similar in shape and size to a to a large dog bone sat on a purple couch in the hotel lobby. The clerk was all smiles telling us we were early. So, we sat on the purple sofa and waited, mesmerized by a carpet cleaner. The bubbling steamer was pushed back and forth by a housekeeper determined to suck up its remains. The noise and disinfectant smell quickly drove us outside into the Florida heat and sun, which was worse. So, back inside. . . we stood, as the lobby was now crowded. An audience of turning heads as though attending a tennis match watched silently, and I wondered if they would applaud.

Upstairs, I loved the room and fantasized about living in a Tiny House before we headed out to dinner. The restaurant was with-in walking distance, but we decided not to walk hearing thunder, once downstairs.

So, my husband took the elevator to get his car keys, but returned saying the room key didn’t work. He held out the key to examine and discovered he was using a hotel business card to open the room door.

The sky opened-up with what is called “Big Rain” in Florida, as we drove to the restaurant and although wet, we eventually we had dinner.

Day one of the vacation from hell.

. . . just saying

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Happy Fourth of July

Bob and I have returned from a “vacation” in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. It is a long story that I am working on. In the mean time I hope you enjoy my poem, written some time ago. Its a favorite of mine.

The Itsy Bitsy Bug

Red White and Blue

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
His red, white, and blue symbolic,
A political view
Understand freedom . . . be equal too

Like a school age kindergartner
Raise his hand to hold the flag
Chosen, glad with honor
Knows to say a prayer

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?
Puff his chest, recite the pledge
Listen to a voice within
Battle for the helpless, or let the bullies win!

Stand side by side with those who care
Silently and stare
Misty eyed while taps is played for those who dare
Think America is beautiful

Can an itsy bitsy bug be patriotic?

. . . just saying

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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

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Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Gamze Nur on Pexels.com

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

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