Eighty-Three Days Remaining in 2021

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Why?

I still read the newspaper and watch a morning news show . . . More accurately, I tape the news program, then fast forward the segments causing me anxiety, and skim the newspaper for stories that interest me. There are a few.

The number of days remaining in the year is always mentioned.

There are eighty-three days left in 2021.

The days are flying by, and highlights another news alert; the short supply of basic items and more importantly items on peoples’ Christmas list. . .  Not holiday, Christmas!

I will be curious to see this news-story’s trickle-down affect over the next two months. The supply shortage will more than likely go away. But what is not going away is vaccination resistance and many are asking; why?

Alan Alda’s interview on his podcast, Clear & Vivid, with author Lee McIntyre addressed the issue.

McIntyre attended the Flat Earther convention in Denver, Colorado, hoping to understand the thinking of those who believe strongly that the earth is flat. Perhaps, like myself, you might think the convention a joke or spoof; possibly a metaphor for a comedy show.

No! It was a serious convention.

McIntyre attended the convention to gather information he hoped would combat disbelievers of global warming and change, his real passion and topic of most recent book.

The experience was eye opening for the author. Attendees attempted to convert him to their belief that the world is flat.

McIntryre was unscathed and determined attendees shared five traits;th

  1. Cherry picked facts, believing only some, i.e., The Santa Marie never returned.
  2. Believe in conspiracy theories, i.e., Queen Isabella wanted revenge.
  3. Quoted fake experts (people who lack legitimate credential’s) and denigrated real experts, i.e., Christopher Columbus needed glasses.
  4. Express illogical reasoning, i.e., the world is flat because you don’t fall off.
  5. Want Science to be perfect,.i.e., Lemons can’t cure scurvy.

. . . just saying

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In the Way

In The Way

It is 10AM on the morning. I’ve been up since seven, read the newspaper, had breakfast, even exercised and showered. I’m dressed and headed to my office with a fresh cup of coffee to write when something gets in the way.

As I pulled my desk away from the wall, ever so slightly, to retrieve a slip of paper, the jewelry holder fell to the floor tangling the necklaces that dangled from her golden arms and stretched neck. I considered throwing the mess in the garbage, but the doll, a collectable figurine by Heriloom Edition was a gift from my mother who is now deceased.

Mercury Retrograde was at it again. I scooped her up, rested the damage on the bed and turned on my computer. I refused to be deterred. I didn’t take the detour, the roundabout way to writing.

Several days later I summoned the fortitude to untangle the numerous strands of necklaces, without yelling, screaming or cursing. There’s some real personal growth taking place here Dr. Trugillo. I remembered to count to ten, take deep breathes and do whatever else needed to behave sane. “I am an adult.” I repeated to myself again and again.

However, it was a reminder that retirement is highly over rated. You think you’re going to do what you want, go where you want, eat what you want . . . all your wants will be cared for.

But no, I wake up to new health challenges, world disasters or situations that need attention, daily.

Staying focused is a challenge. Should I wear a face mask again, get the booster vaccination before or after the flu shot? The increasing concerns make me dizzy and worn out. I wasn’t going to mention the remote situation, but will, briefly. Spectrum had to mail us four new remotes, none of which turn the bedroom TV on.

And then the guilt! I don’t have loved ones near the fires, fighting or returning from Afghanistan, in Ida’s path or battling covid,

But damn it, I’m going to have fun and be happy even if it kills me.

* * * just saying

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What Are You Thinking?

 

Bings Landing, Hammock Florida

A friend phoned to invite me out today, I declined saying I was hoping to have a thought, something to write about, as Sunday is my day to post. I had not had one yet, and explained that these days I have to jumpstart my brain, and in addition, my sister had been visiting and we had been sightseeing. The pictures above were taken at Bings Landing where we had lunch at The Captains BBQ and enjoyed the view.  

The conversation caused me to think about thinking, or my failure to. I take that back, I think but not quickly and grab paper and pencil to write down my thoughts, so I do not forget. It didn’t used to be this way.

Before turning 70 years of age, I could keep a thought or idea in my head to be retrieved later. It occurred to me that maybe there is no more room in my head for new thoughts and perhaps the reason we keep thinking old thoughts, i.e., when I was young milk was 25 cents a gallon is because we have accumulated too many thoughts, many of which are dated.

Is there a way to get rid of old thoughts? Head concussions and strokes cause memory loss although these measures would be drastic. Perhaps we can delete or compress some thoughts to make space for new thoughts by viewing old thoughts from a new perspective. For example, can stale bread be made into bread pudding?

The Daytona Beach News-Journal article, ‘Luckiest guy in the world’ reported on the 100th Birthday celebration for Howard Turner a volunteer ambassador at Daytona Beach Airport. When asked about aging he said, “I’m lucky to be walking around. I don’t have a cane. I’m not in a wheelchair, I’m the luckiest guy in the world.” Who could argue with him. He did not talk about memory loss and says he looks to the future, perhaps that is his delete button.

We know the body slows down and the mind becomes stale with aging, but should we throw the loaf of bread out or make bread pudding?

I am thinking of standing on my head, it is just a thought.

What are you thinking?

. . . . just saying

 

The Horse That Never Won A Race

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Have you heard of the horse that never won? Zippy Chippy is his name. He is a thoroughbred racehorse who ran in one hundred races, has eight seconds and twelve thirds, but never won. However, his tenacity for staying in the race made him a popular horse to watch and voted one of the year’s “Most Intriguing Characters,” by People Magazine in the year 2000.  “Winners don’t always finish first.” became his charge.

I imagine how he felt showing up at the gate thinking; this race can be won, because I also set New Year goals then fail to achieve them, and like him, come close.

I wanted to lose five pounds, travel more, and write every day in 2018. You could say I took second place, losing and regaining the same five pounds throughout the year, but finished the year at the same weight,  somewhat a winner because I did not gain a pound although my underwear feel tight. My vertigo has improved and I walk crooked only occasionally. I spent three nights in Boston and traveled to Washington D.C.  to see the White House decorated for Christmas.  Melania’s “Red Trees” looked spectacular. I dropped the ball on blogging but started other writing projects.

In 2019, I have the same goals; lose five pounds, travel more, and write every day.

Where is the horse that never won today?

Zippy, retired from racing in 2004, had a brief second career as an outrider’s pony at his  home track in the Finger Lakes. Thanks to his longtime owner-trainer, Felix Montserrate, he currently resides nearby at “Old Friends at Cabin Creeks” where this winner still loves attention from fans and appears happy.

Today is January 6, 2019. There are 359 days left in the year to achieve my goals; lose five pounds, travel more and write every day, or at least finish with a second or third place.

Winners don’t need to be first!

. . . . just saying

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Stop Complaining

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Stop Complaining 

Stop Complaining 

My New Year’s Resolution is to start writing and stop complaining, in other words, stop complaining about not writing and start. That was sixty-five days ago, I have not done either, which leaves me on the brink of becoming a statistic, joining the  92% of people making resolutions who fail to keep them, or since we are in the first week of March, part of the 80% who give up. Sounds grim.

But let’s think this through, if there are 365 days in a year and we are sixty-five days into the year that leaves 300 days to turn things around, so too early to give up.  Right?

On the up side, although I have done no writing, zero, zip, zilch, twenty-one days have passed and I am not complaining about it, well at least not aloud.

Twenty-one days is considered a benchmark in establishing a habit, good or bad.

Sounds like progress, but maybe not really, the complaints stay in my head, and find visual outlets, strong ones.

For example, when my husband (aka Mr. Wonderful) reminded me for the third time to return a friend’s phone call; rather than my ranting he had already reminded me several times, and that I had NOT forgotten but plan to do it later; I smiled and said, “Thanks for the reminder,” then envisioned stuffing ten indoor snowballs in his mouth.

Not the best outcome, but I am not complaining, well not aloud.

Will Bowen author of “A Complaint Free World” deviates from traditional views about complaining and touts this popular American pastime as being helpful. I agree but have failed to convince Mr. Wonderful complaining has value.

Bowen says the first step to a complaint free world is to define complaining. The dictionary definition is “to express grief, pain and discontent,” his; a complaint is “an energetic statement focusing on a problem rather than the solution,” and if we stick to the facts, and remain neutral eliminating negative attitudes, we will engage in healthy communication.

So on Sunday when Mr. Wonderful questions, before noon, for the fifth time, if Ellen is coming on Saturday, I correct him without the “tude” and say, “remember we discussed going to the Funky Pelican for Happy Hour on Friday and the Bass Sports Store on Saturday, there is a free lecture on Fly Fishing. She is coming on Friday afternoon,”  feeling I am making progress and understand he has been distracted by the Daytona 500, and Phil Mickleson’s one point off the lead golf performance.

In his lectures, Bowen delivers a strong case that once engaged in discussion that focuses on the solution rather than the problem we will discover how we want the world to really be.

I like his point and realize we do not have to keep quiet about Donald Trump’s tweets nor resort to a strong visual, as Kathy Griffin did, what was she thinking.

The next morning Mr. Wonderful asks again if Ellen is coming on Saturday, I focus on the solution, not the problem and suggest we write her arrival on his calendar.

.  .  .  .  just saying

 

Hack Saw Happiness

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 The Happiness Series

I am standing in the kitchen and Mr. Wonderful, my husband Bob, walks behind me headed for the garage.
“Can you get me the hack saw?” I ask.

“The hack saw?”

“Yes, that small saw with the black handle. Isn’t that what it’s called?”

“Why do you want a hack saw?”

I roll my eyes to heaven.

I have used the electric knife before and know the cord and blade are in the back of the silverware draw. However, it will be quicker if he brings the saw back with him when he is done doing whatever it was he was going to do in the garage.

Now he stands behind me breathing over my shoulder as I explain.

“If you saw this plastic container in half, I’ll be able to get the rest of the lotion out.”
The plastic bottle has been sitting upside down the past three days, and I have been sticking my pinky finger in the opening then applying lotion to my arms and legs.

Speechless at first, Mr. Wonderful says, “Lotion is on sale at Publix, I’ll go buy some.

“It’s not about the money.” It’s more like . . . . children in China have very dry skin, so eat your green beans. And this lotion has sun screen in it!”

“Okay, so you’re making a statement, you don’t want to be wasteful?”

“Sort of. Is recycling a good choice if a million gallons of water are used to clean the container.”

He interrupts, “Johnson’s Baby Magic  is a Bogo (buy one get one free) this week.”

“I feel better using the spatula to remove the dribs and drabs. See it practically fills this jar. It makes me happy.” I look at him and smile.

He smiles back. “Great. So you are on to a new kind of cause.”

“If I wanted a new  cause or to protest something, I’d refuse to show my license to have a mammogram?”

“Why do you need a license to have a mammogram?”

“Well, any picture identification. Some type of mammogram fraud. However, I cannot recognize my breasts now that they almost reach the floor. I do not argue.”

“Claudia, how many people would use a hack saw to get the last drop of lotion out of a bottle?”

I roll my eyes and say to Mr. Wonderful, “A bread knife really doesn’t work.”

. . . . just saying

Trump’s Sweetheart Deal

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I tuned into the ninth Presidential debate late, listened until John Dickerson questioned Trump about his use of profanity, and when Jeb Bush whined, then professed love for his mother, turned the television off. It was not a debate, as in whole wheat flour vs unbleached flour is a healthy choice, but a headache.

As a grammar school teacher I had separated first grade students fighting over bad things said about their mothers. Back in those days each one was sent to stand in a corner. There was no reasoning they never met the women.

Trump defended his use of profanity  as “a way of emphasis.” The man does not smoke or drink, and with his classic no apology look implied; cursing, although okay, not presidential. If only he would do something about his hair I could forget about the fake tan.

John Dickerson labeled the shenanigans as “a race to the bottom.” Thankfully, Trump did not retort with, “Your mama wears combat boots.” He probably has not met Dickerson’s mom.

Sunday morning, according to Nielsen,  the debate was the highest rated with 15 million viewers. Analysis claim;

“Marco Rubio is the clear favorite among Republicans, while independents are largely divided between Trump, Kasich, and Rubio.

But get this;

“Donald Trump is the clear leader on values. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans and independents who watched the debate pick Trump as the candidate who most shares their values, with Ben Carson and Marco Rubio tied for second place, each with 16 percent. Rubio does better than Kasich among Republicans, while Kasich does better than Rubio among independents.”

Today I have been remembering the candidates standing in front of a pink and red CBS back drop, many wearing red ties. My headache became a migraine.

Trump says he is a businessman, not a politician. His goal is to win. When asked how to achieve winning, he say by consensus. He does use the pronoun we.

Obviously, Trump is making sweetheart deals and I am not entertained.

. . . . just saying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Not Getting Younger Series/Understanding Nothing

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Understanding Nothing

      The local newspaper, “The News Journal,” informs readers of the number of days left in the year and quotes a notable person on a daily basis. I usually start my day reviewing these tidbits of information. Somehow, the number of days to the year’s end surprises me. Although I should know without checking, since I always look the day before. The quotes vary from familiar and meaningful to humorous and ridiculous.

     On a recent Wednesday, when there were 247 days left in the year, the quote  was by Edward Dahlberg. Initially I was amused and thought he made sense, then I was perplexed but eventually annoyed.

     Since I am not getting any younger and easily confused, I gave it more thought and made a list of the possibilities.

“It takes a long time to understand nothing.”
By Edward Dahlberg

      • You forgot what you thought you knew, and now understood nothing
      • You never knew enough to understand nothing
      • You are now old enough to understand nothing

     Who was this man giving me a headache? I went online feeling stupid, and searched for an explanation. There was none, but learned Dahlberg, who is frequently quoted, was an accomplished author during the early nineteen hundreds. His words were too obscure to others.

     Getting no satisfaction I turned to the dictionary for a tangible meaning of nothing. Evidently nothing can be a noun, something that is nonexistent or a verb, as in a trivial action. Perhaps I needed more time to think about nothing and went back to doing the laundry. 

     I went to sleep that night ruminating about understanding the absence of meaning in everything.

     On the “246 day left in the year” I awoke smitten with myself, and feeling smarter than Mr. Dahlberg. However, because I was still not getting younger, made a list of other interpretations of the quote, “It takes a long time to understand nothing.”

• Understanding nothing is pointless
• There is nothing to understand
• Move on quickly once you understand nothing

. . . . just saying

PS: Another Dahlberg quote: “Every decision you make is a mistake”

Counting Jelly Beans 101 for Baby Boomers

CANDYLOGOsat“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” 
    Coco Chanel

The YouTube video “The Time You Have in Jelly Beans” has more than four million views and rightly so. The author, Zefrank 1, demonstrates visually how we spend time using jelly beans and the voice of Sad Cat Diary Guy explains the math. The message is effectively communicated, and the end poses provoking questions:

  • What are you doing with your time?
  • How much time do you have left?
  • What if you had half that amount?
  • What will you do with it?
  • What are you going to do today?

In order to answer the questions I did the math, you know multiplication, division and percentages, and it is complicated for Baby Boomers. The statistics are based on a life expectancy of 79 years or 28,835 jellybeans, minus 5,475 jelly beans for the formative years, leaving 23,360 jelly beans to divvy up among must do activities.  This is the breakdown. 

Activity                                   Jelly Beans                    Percentage of time

Sleeping                                  8,477                                      36%

Work                                        3,202                                     13%

TV Watching                            2,676                                     11%

Food, etc                                  1,635                                        6%

Chores                                       1,576                                       6%

Community Service                     720                                        3%

Attending others                           564                                       2%

Personal Care                                671                                       2%

These activities account for 83% of our time, leaving 3,839 beans to spend as we like. The message is clear; it is not a lot of jelly beans so spend them carefully.

Most Baby Boomers have about 5,110 jelly beans left; many are retired, so add the 13% previously allocated to work, to the 17% already designated to the area of do what you like, and life looks exciting, until you do the math.

It is not as difficult as the “New Math” of the 1980’s but it is tricky and there is a learning curve. Here is an example:

Retired, Dave has 5,110 jellybeans left, of which he plans to use 1533 for fun. He is invited to play pickle ball, and with the first serve falls, shatters his hip, and undergoes surgery. He now has a metal pin. How many jellybeans does Dave have remaining for leisure activities?

Please leave your answer in the comment section.

                                                                                          . . . . just saying 

You’ll enjoy this post,Ten Surprises Your Body Has in Store for You

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Q is for Quagmire – The Alphabet Series

Aging & Attitude

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New Thoughts on Words

We call them lose-lose situations, predicaments, or sorry plight. We feel squeezed in a trap; morass, swamp, or quicksand­­­­­­­­­. It is a quagmire. Quagmire is a noun meaning, “soft miry land that shakes or yields under foot, or complex or precarious position.” Both are difficult to get out of.

The joke about the Jewish Mother comes to mind. You know the one; A Mother buys her son two shirts. The next morning he comes to breakfast wearing one of them. The Mother says, “What, you don’t like the other shirt?” The son is in a quagmire, an emotional trap, and wonders how to get out.

As with all types of swamps, cranberry to quicksand, once immersed there are techniques to avoid drowning in quicksand, whether you are dealing with your mother or mud.

  1. Stay calm, panicking or wriggling around will only get you in deeper.
  2. Delay reacting while you think over the predicament.
  3. Slowly pull out one leg, and if the muck is only up to your knees, your best bet is to move slowly.

Now let us practice responding to the Jewish Mother’s question, “What, you don’t like the other  shirt?”

  1. Do not explain that you plan to wear the other shirt to the game on Saturday because it is a pastel color. Guaranteed, she will say, “So it’s not good enough to wear to the office. You’ll wear it when no one sees you, strangers.”
  2. Control negative body language, wait her out and let her keep the discussion going. She will continue with  something like, “Did you try it on? Does it fit? I can take it back.”
  3. This may be a good time to kiss her Good Morning, then respond with a question. For example, “How does this shirt look?” With any luck, she will say, “Perfect!” If her response is, “You look like your cousin Jonathan,” you could be in over your knees. Move slowly out the door saying you have an early office meeting.

 

                                                                             ….just saying