Showing posts from February, 2015

The Bluebird of Happiness?

I'm not looking for the bluebird of happiness; although it would be nice if he would settle on my front lawn.  What I AM looking for is a robin. When my grandmother was alive, she would always look for a robin to signify that spring was on the way.  It became a sort of game or a challenge for all of us.  Who would spy the first robin of the season?  And you couldn't just say you'd seen one; you had to give its location (front lawn, neighbor's tree, etc.) Even with my grandmother's passing, my mother and I still keep up the tradition of seeking that first robin.  It's a tradition I have passed on to my son.  A challenge and a competition that is fun for all ages. But this year we are nearing the end of February and I haven't seen one.  (Although I do have a friend who claims he has seen one, but he's not in the same state and I don't know how much I can trust him! ;) )  It's no surprise.  It's been brutally cold this month. (Not the c

Giving Up or Giving?

Lent begins today.  For many people, myself included, it means giving something up.  Not just anything, but something that means something to you.  Which is why I don't give up lima beans, but I do give up chocolate.  Giving up chocolate might be easy for some, but for me, it IS a challenge.  I am a self-admitted chocoholic.  I know that sometime within the next 40 days or so, I will have a dream about eating chocolate.  Yes, that's how much I love it.  When denied, I have chocolate dreams! I try to be hard core about what I am giving up.  I don't give in on Sundays (as I have lately heard that you are "allowed" to) and I am strict when it comes to what I consider chocolate.  Even something that is "chocolate flavored" is off my list.  And since I am usually assigned to make a dessert for the family Easter meal, I do not make it until Easter day because my dessert HAS to be chocolate. I've been giving up for Lent for probably 20 years now.  

By The Numbers

Today we're 48 days into the "new" year.  Just for fun, thought I'd throw a few numbers out there: 1 = number of weddings I've been to in the past 5 months. 2 = number of times my Ford Escape has been damaged by another (unknown) vehicle this year. (Actually it all happened within a 3 day period 2 weeks ago!) 3 = number of funerals I've been to in the past 3 months. (Not a happy number!) 4 = number of books that I've read thus far in my Pulitzer Project.  I've made my way through His Family (the first winner in 1918 and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I also found it to be very relevant; even in today's world), The Magnificent Ambersons (which I didn't like...I just wanted to punch the main character in the face), The Age of Innocence (so beautifully written) and am now working on Alice Adams (which I am feeling very close to; I understand and am more like Alice than I'd care to admit). 5 = total number

Abraham Lincoln and Me

For those who don't know (and you should!); today is Lincoln's birthday.  (Back in the day it was a "real" holiday and you got the day off.  Of course Washington's Birthday was also a separate celebration.  Now we junk it all together for one "official" day:  Presidents Day.  If you want more on that you'll need to return to last year's blog post: Every family has its stories, its tall tales and its myths.  There is lore that is passed down from generation to generation.  My family has the Lincoln turkey story.  How much of it is completely true?  It's a great story, so I ask:  does it really matter? What is most definitely true is that my great grandmother's father, Nelson Tway, a farmer, was a member of the Union Light Guard of Ohio who was assigned to guard President Lincoln.  The Tway family went along to Washington along with Nelson.  It is documented that my

Bfth's Bitchin' or Would You Like A Little Cheese With That W(h)ine?

"April is the cruelest month."  So says T. S. Elliot's classic "The Waste Land."  (Full confession:  I haven't read it; shame on me.)  Perhaps if I was an accountant, I'd agree, but I'm going to have to say that February has it all over April when it comes to cruelty. The cold, snow and ice just make for nastiness all around. (I know: go south young woman if you want some sunshine.  Don't think I haven't considered it.)  My 6.5 mile commute (give or take) has turned into an hour drive!  And not just once.  I thought something was wrong when it took me that long to get home last night (actually to the hospital to visit my dad which is less than 6 miles and took me nearly 50 minutes).  I even gave myself some extra time this morning; leaving 10 minutes prior to when I would usually.  Yet I was still late as I sat on the congested avenue with no movement in sight.  I understand the lanes are narrower.  They have to be to accommodate all

Frustration at 5 Months

It's been exactly 5 months today since my dad got ill (and just two days shy of when he was first admitted to the hospital).  I proudly declared back in January that he was through with his hyperbaric treatments and doing well. I spoke too soon. It started out with a simple scrap (or so it's been assumed) and it continues to be the little things that lead to bigger and badder ones.  This time it was something as simple as a blister on his second toe (next to the big toe that was partially amputated).  Blister opened and got infected.  (How many of us get blisters?  How few of them result in an infection.)  He was started on oral antibiotics and a daily routine of cleaning and bandaging the infected area.  (All done by my mom.)  Weekly they would visit the wound care center as well as the podiatrist who did the surgery.  Earlier in the week the appointment was cancelled due to the snow and ice and rescheduled for yesterday.  Podiatrist took a look at the toe and sent him to

Books That Have Stayed With Me

Big news yesterday:  Harper Lee's got a new book coming out!  It's new to us, but it was Ms. Lee's first attempt at a novel, which was eventually abandoned when her editor liked the young voice of Scout, rather than the adult.  So the novel was dropped and instead Ms. Lee wrote one of the greatest books out there (in my opinion).  Now this "lost" treasure has been found and will be released "as is," which I think is the way it SHOULD be released.  Good or bad, Go Set A Watchman will be what Harper Lee intended when she wrote it "way back when." This news, along with my current project of reading all the novels awarded the Pulitzer Price, got  me thinking and made me realize that what, in my opinion, make a great book is not necessarily a great author (although I think every author listed here is pretty darned great), but a great storyteller.  You can be one without being the other (and vice versa).  the books that have stayed with me and m

What Does The Rodent Know???

With Super Bowl madness (No, I didn't watch the game or even any of the commercials...I did see Katy Perry and was disappointed that she didn't jump the shark) and all the snow/sleet/ice that's hit us today, I'd almost forgotten that today was a "holiday."  (Although I suppose for some the day AFTER the Super Bowl IS a holiday.)  It's the 2nd of February; time for us to let a furry little fellow tell us when spring might arrive.  (Never mind the fact that spring arrives in 46 days according to the calendar.)  Of course I don't know WHICH rodent to believe, the famed Phil (From Punxsutawney) saw his shadow and says 6 more weeks.  Closer to home, Staten Island Chuck DIDN'T see his shadow, so we SHOULD be in for an early spring. (No word yet from Essex Ed who is really close to home.  With all the snow and ice how can he even find his way out of the ground, let alone see his shadow?) I'm no rodent, but I have a feeling that we will have a lat