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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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

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An Attitude of Gratitude

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It’s 2022 but I have a 2021 hangover. I don’t know whether to celebrate the end of a weird year with optimism for the future, or not.

It’s like waking up from a bad dream, uncertainty lingers and you’re afraid to fall back to sleep.

Please don’t misinterpret my angst, we had a great New Year’s visiting our friends in Lake Wales, Florida. They live in a gated Recreational Vehicle community with a private lake. We watched fireworks explode from their boat when it grew dark, and after a delicious dinner, enjoyed a move written by the buyer of their house in Pennsylvania, The 100 Foot Journey.

We all agreed the movie was a better choice than countdown to midnight TV shows.

The highlight of our visit was completion of a puzzle while my husband stayed in his new PJ’s and binge watched football with his friend, Ed.

Read the print carefully; I’m Grumpy . . . Deal with It!

Now that captures an attitude.

Gratitude? Well we’ll get to that.

When we arrived, my good friend Kathe was working on a puzzle she’d received as a Christmas present from her niece. I hadn’t done a puzzle in ten year. Kathe is a master and why she was gifted this puzzle. It was a find from the 1930, only 300 pieces but NO PICTURE.

The only clues were the title and shape; color matching was confusing at best. We eventually figured out Interlooking implied and in fact meant the pieces slipped apart. They did not lock together.

The two of us accomplished the impossible. We completed the puzzle. However, I’m sworn to secrecy and will post a tease, not the completed puzzle with one piece missing. thumbnail

Gratitude? Well, it is a different time in my life. A time when simple things give me enormous pleasure. Like good food, good friends and completing a 300 piece puzzle.

. . . . just saying

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. . .

Christmas In Florida

By Gosh By Jolly

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Christmas In Florida

It’s far from cold today in Florida; not even chilly. The temperature will climb to the mid-eighties.

I miss the snow.

Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas when I’m wearing shorts and sandals.

My poinsettias won’t get the recommended sunlight inside our house so they are spending time outdoors. However, they might experience wilt since they prefer air temps between 65-70.

 The local newspaper gave detailed instructions on how to care for the plant and suggested that, with a bit of work, they would bloom again. It sounded like a lot of work to me.

I’ve never had them bloom again, in Florida, but was successful in New Jersey, when I threw them off our deck.

Miraculously sometime during spring cleanup they were in bloom

. . . just saying

 

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Politically Correct and Then What

“Come Back as A Country Boy”

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The television show “The Voice” is a favorite of mine. It is entertaining, and in my opinion, stress free. I’m more likely to hum a Tony Bennett or Michael Bublé tune but found myself singing along to Blake Sheldon’s new release “Come Back as A Country Boy.”

The lyrics, “When I die, I want to come back as a country boy,” are upbeat and catchy.

Since I like to travel, I’ve imagined coming back as a bird or flight attendant.

However, after learning there is a pecking order surrounding drinking from a water fountain for birds, and realizing being a flight attendant might involve marshal art training; the country boy idea is appealing.

I’d drive a truck, sleep under the stars. drink beer and sing along. Although, to be politically correct I’d be a country girl, or . . . country whatever person.

Well, I’ll be dead and someone else will have to figure that out while I drink beer.

It’s a catchy tune.

. . . just saying

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Good Grief; there are 34 days left in the year!

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It Is. . .What It Is

“Today is Saturday, November 27, the 331st day of 2021. There are 34 days left in the year.” Like other newspapers, our local paper reports this information, and includes significant events from previous years, i.e.; Macy’s first Thanksgiving Day parade took place in 1924 and the release of the Beatles album “Magical Mystery Tour” in 1967.

Only 34 days left in the year! Good grief! Thirty-four days to achieve the goals I committed to 331 days ago.

Oh well, . . . it is what it is.

This expression, one of resignation, is included increasingly in conversations.

Why?

We never catch a break from mayhem.

So, I’ve been watching Lifetime Christmas Romance movies late at night and was thrilled not to see any uniformed police officers during the televised Thanksgiving Parade.

I’m thinking of sending a personal thank you note to Tom Selleck, you know the Police Commissioner of NYPD.

I know. . . I know, he’s not really the police commissioner in New York City. But you may agree, he should be.

. . . just saying

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Thanksgiving Holiday

Happy Thanksgiving to family & Friends

Thanksgiving Preparations

“I bought a young turkey,” said my husband.

It was difficult to find a small ten-to-twelve-pound bird and he had been on the lookout.

“Thank you,” I said kissing him on the cheek.

“If the label said Old Turkeys would anyone buy one?” He wore a humorous expression.

“Isn’t an old turkey a Tom turkey?” I visualized Old in bold letters.

“No, a Tom turkey is a male turkey.”

“So, if a male turkey is call Tom, what’s a female turkey called?”

“Gertrude?”

This is how we amuse ourselves.

I went on line. Sciencing.com to confirm what to call a female turkey.

“Wild female turkeys, or hens, weigh from 5 to 12 pounds and range from 30 to 37 inches long. Hens bear less colorful feathers than males, with rusty brown, white or gray-tipped breast feathers. Their heads are either white or blue-gray, with small feathers on both head and neck. Their wattles, snoods, caruncles and spurs are small. Hens make vocalizations such as yelps, clucks and cuts. Approximately 10 percent of hens possess a “beard,” or elongated chest feathers. Hens do not strut or fan their tails. Females can lay from nine to 13 eggs, which they incubate for around 28 days.

Yesterday, I transferred the turkey to the refrigerator to defrost, arranged the flowers and made cranberry sauce.

It’s a very forgiving recipe. I boil cranberries in orange juice, add raisins and diced apple. Sometimes I sprinkle sugar during the cooking process to counter the bitterness.

Today I’ll make the pies, stuffing and roast vegetables.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

. . . just saying

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Poetry; How I’m Doing?

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Some Explaining to Do

Zipping along, writing without a clue . . . The words flew

A minor dental procedure was the first undo

Follow by pain in my hip, x-rays and a walker too

Then vertigo . . .boo-hoo . . . once the crystal where out

There was something else to do

Physical therapy not to walk like a drunk

Add to the stew . . . cataract surgery.

And . . . there’s still more explaining to do?

But I’m not feeling blue and please don’t you.

. . . just saying

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Halloween Pictures

Linwood Ave

I remember Halloween Parties at our home on Linwood Avenue in Newton, New Jersey. The kids lined the walkway to view the adult only arrival. The partying probably started in 1984, and continued for about ten years.

The pictures are in no order and some of the best may be missing. Where are you Clark Kent?

My favorite of Bob, my husband as Mr. T cannot be found.

We had party crashers, one who in costume scared several women and was asked to leave unless he revealed his true identity.

Some day I’ll make a photobook.

. . . . just saying,

Happy Halloween

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