Showing posts from February, 2014

The Day After Washington's Birthday

If she were still alive, today would have been my grandmother's birthday.  I won't say how old she would have been.  She was very private person on that front and she didn't like to have her age announced to the world. I live in the house she purchased with my grandfather in 1924.  She lived here until her death at the end of 1994.  I moved in to the house in June of 1995 and my husband (then fiance) followed in September. We've changed many things in the house since 1995.  Sometimes I forget that this was once her house.  That the room that we call an office (where I sit typing this blog), was once her sewing room.  That the room that we use for storage was once her sun parlor where she would sip her evening cocktail.  And that my son's room was once my mother's bedroom...and is also the room where my grandmother spent the last several years bedridden. But there are still a few things in the house that remind me of my grandparents, or more specifically my

Presidents Day?

What is the point?  Forgive me for being cynical, but who are we honoring here? Initially, the 22nd of February was a federal holiday celebrating the birth of George Washington.  The father of our country certainly deserves a holiday.  And in some states, Lincoln's Birthday (February 12th) was also celebrated.  Again, the Great Emancipator certainly deserves a holiday.  But now, neither are really celebrated (or recognized) and instead we get the 3rd Monday of the month as "Presidents Day". Is it to honor all the men (and hopefully some day women) who have lead our country?  I would think such a holiday would be well deserved and observed. But it seems like very few people get to "celebrate" or observe the holiday any more.  While schools and federal offices are closed, most businesses are up and running.  What is the point of Presidents Day other than to have an extended weekend sale? Please do not get me wrong, I am not anti-holiday.  I just think the

Happy Valentine's Day: So I'm a Little Late

I have been under the weather for the past two weeks with this rotten cold thing that just won't go away.  Makes me miserable and those around me too (because they have to put up with my constant coughing and nose blowing). Valentine's Day was just the other day.  I'm not a big fan of the holiday and never have been.  Don't know if it's because I never got flowers or candy from a boyfriend when I was dating, but I used to send my friends (when I was in college and for several years after) home made "anti" Valentine's Day cards.  They were not very crafty or even very creative:  just fold a standard piece of paper in half, draw a heart with an x through in on the front and inside write something semi-witty like:  You can't have Valentine's Day without VD. While it's nice to get flowers or candy, I think love is shown in much simpler and kinder ways.  Like this past week while I've been feeling horrible, when I come home from work my

438291 Hours

It was that many hours ago tonight (give or take I suppose...I little Google do the math for me) that the Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of their arrival  here in the US. (As  group that is, any good Beatles fan knows that George made the trek to the US previously to stay with his sister Louise who lived in the Midwest.  A devoted fan will also tell you that Louise was in NYC when the George got ill that fabled weekend....either with Strep or the Flu, depending on your source.)  Even if you're not a fan you've probably heard all about it.  50 years later and it's all over the news.  A  pretty impressive feat, even for the Beatles. Fan or not (are there ANY "nots" out there?  How can that possibly be?), the Beatles have made such an impact on our society, our culture that it is impossible to imagine a world without there.  And yet it very easily could have been.  So many stars had to align...and yet they

Once Upon A Time...

...I believed that if you worked hard, be it in school getting good grades or at a job, you would get ahead.  That things would work out all right.  Maybe you wouldn't be a zillionaire or even a millionaire, but that it would be alright.  If you worked hard; if you were a good person (and I'll admit I'm not exactly sure how you should definite "good") that things would work out.  Not that things would be perfect (although that would be nice), but that they would be all right.  That was the order of the world as I thought I understood it. Now I am older...older than I care to admit (I keep trying to convince myself that I can pass for someone in their thirties, but who am I kidding other than myself?), I'm sadly realizing that it isn't that way. I'd like to believe that I've tried my best.  I KNOW that I am a good person, but I've come to realize that isn't enough. It's safe to say that I'm struggling.  Yes, when you look at a

For Pete's Sake

Pete Seeger died last week at age 94. To me, he always seemed to be an old man.  But then again the first time I saw him was when I was under ten years old and he was on Sesame Street.  All adults were old. And it was through this venue that I "met" the man and his music.  At that age I might not have known his name, but his face and his music quickly became familiar. I saw him perform live only once.  It was at one of the Clearwater Festivals.  It was the highlight of the day.  How could it not be?  He sang out with passion.  He was inspiring with his music. Now I don't care what your politics may be.  Maybe you agreed with Mr. Seeger or maybe you didn't.  That's neither here nor there.  No matter what end of the spectrum you might be on, you have to admire the man for his passion and convictions.  He never sold out.  He kept singing for what he believed in.  He never stopped.  Think of all the years, of all the decades that his voice never wavered.  Again,

Snow Day Thank You

I think we've all had enough of the snow, haven't we?  Today's storm wasn't too bad when it came to inches of snow, but the sleet and freezing rain that came after made today a treacherous one.   It's been a long tough winter for so many of us.  As much as I can't stand the cold and ice, and as much as I complain (and I DO complain), I thought it was a good time to count my blessings and say thank you. To the town Board of Education:  Thank you for cancelling school today.  I usually hate when we have to call a snow day, but with today's ice this was definitely the right call.  With the storm coming, they were proactive by calling for a delayed opening and promising an update if needed by 7 AM.  An update WAS needed and was received.  Thanks for keeping our kids safe today.  And... In the same vein, thank you to our Superintendent, who saw what was coming and sent out an email last night modifying the school calendar.  While nobody likes vacation days be

It better not be sunny....

Because I don't want that little rodent seeing his shadow today.  Six more weeks of winter?  Haven't we had enough already?  After an early winter, aren't we due for an early spring? Also, if that little sucker sees his shadow because some cameraman is shining his little in Mr. Hog's tiny face, I'm going to be pretty miffed. Isn't there any way we can get him up early, before the sun?  Then there would be no shadow...and then, maybe, just maybe there would be an early spring. So be it  Punxsutawney Phil or Essex Ed (who is practically in my backyard), please hid your furry face from the sun.  We've already had more than our share of winter in our part of the woods.  (And I suspect most of the USA feels the same way).  Look for no shadows and bring us to an early spring. Update:  Well, Phil has let me down.  He saw his shadow.  Six more weeks of winter and according to tomorrow's forecast, despite NJ's spring like conditions today, winter wil

The Souper Bowl

You know about the Superbowl, but do you know about the Souper Bowl?  The Souper Bowl of Caring that is. This organization has been using the Superbowl as a way to getting people involved in helping those in need. As their website says:   A simple prayer: "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat" is inspiring a youth-led movement to help hungry and hurting people around the world." This prayer, delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, gave birth to an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting dollars and canned food for the needy? Youth could collect donations at their schools and churches in soup pots, and then send every dollar DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice. The senior high youth of Spring Val