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

dry tree twigs with small berries in autumn
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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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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Something to Think About

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

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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. . .

Remember When

Christmas Card by Meredith aka Merf

Christmas Cards

Remember when we decorated doorways and arches with Christmas Cards? It was a simpler time. The tree went up on Christmas Eve and an evergreen scent, hard to described, filled our hearts and minds. Today I shop for a fragrant candle  to duplicate the scent unsuccessfully. The reality of a fresh Frasier Fur tree is short lived, needles drop quickly and the tree is so perfectly trimmed it appears to be a fake.

Over the years I’ve saved cards that were too pretty or special to toss and tuck them inside the branches (fake or real) of our tree. They bring me a smile. Below are some of my favorite ornaments. I have many birds on my tree.

. . . just saying

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