Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CEDAR ISLAND, NC


Just got back from a restful two days on Cedar Island, NC. A friend owns a year round home there but he uses it only when the cold weather in New England tells him it's time to head south...so my niece Wendy and I accepted his kind offer to visit and we headed out there last Friday night. 

Cedar Island is a very small and lightly populated coastal island in eastern North Carolina. Although it is blessed with a natural beauty it would not appeal to the usual beach combing tourist. There are no overcrowded beaches or seafood restaurants and it would probably be completely left to it's own devices if it were not for the famous Cedar Island Ferry service.. 

Four times a day cars and travelers are ferried to or from the village of Ocracoke, the last leg of the Outer Banks, a string of very narrow peninsulas and barrier islands that are separated from the mainland by the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound. Each ferry can take up to 50 cars or equivalent vehicles and reservations are made well in advance. 

Although it is fairly pricy to go by car it is only $1 per ticket if you just want to go along for the ride ...which we did. It is a 2 ½ hr. trip each way so we'd had our fill of the ocean by late Saturday afternoon. However, that was forgotten the next day and I snapped the picture you see above as we meandered down the deserted and narrow beach strip.

One of the loveliest things on the Island was the pampas grass that grew in abundance, especially around our host's property. I couldn't help but include it with this nice picture of Wendy. All in all a delightful respite and well worth the 4 ½ hours that it took to get there.





Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time to speak up …


I just put this sign out on my front lawn. As many of you know I live in North Carolina and it's a scarey place to be right now...at least for me. My house sits close to the road on a busy street and I felt compelled to offset the Trump signs sprouting up around me.

I wonder how long it will last there before one of the “crazies” decides that I don't have a right to my own opinion. In 2012 my Obama sign lasted about 4 days before it was stolen. I wasn't too upset though because it gave me a great excuse to write a scathing letter to the editor of our local newspaper. They printed it too and I was pleased to see that we got some positive feedback.

I painted this sign because I love the message “Democrats for Sanity”. It's not original. I have a bumper sticker with those words. However, it is particularly apropos of this election season and I hope it will give some of the people who see it something to think about. 
 
November 8th will be here before we know it and a big dose of “SANITY” is badly needed. . 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My “I Hate to Exercise” Exercises

I've posted this before but it was 6 years ago and, since I have achieved such good results from this easy exercise regimen I thought you might want to read about it again. These are the warm up exercises for Tai Chi and I do them faithfully every morning. I have checked with Doctors and Physical Therapy people and they all agree that these exercises are perfect for elders and even those convalescing from injuries or sickness.

These are 18 exercises that are designed to relax and tone all the major joints in the body. It takes me about 12 minutes each morning, and, although they are deceptively simple, these basic exercises have proved to be remarkably beneficial. I found them (complete with illustrations) in a Simon & Schuster book called “Step by Step Tai Chi” by Master Lam Kam Chuen. You may even want to go on and do the whole program but the warm ups do it for me … and I love the colorful descriptions of the different exercises such as “paint the wall”, “circle the moon“, “play the accordion”, etc.

It is now over 15 years that I have been doing this and I can’t imagine starting my day without it. I have severe scoliosis and, although the curvature gets worse each year, I am able to keep it in check with this regimen. On the few occasions that I do miss I can tell it by early afternoon. My back starts to ache and I don’t have my usual energy level...and all of this just because I didn’t devote a few minutes of my precious time to doing what’s good for me!
GOOD LUCK and believe me, if I can do it you can too

Monday, September 12, 2016

Painting a mural … just for fun !



A friend of mine is a retired art teacher and a very loyal once-a-week letter writer. She is known for the amazing flower and vegetable gardens that surround her home and today's letter proves to me that she is still in teacher mode !

Part of her letter concentrated on “what having to plant and tend a garden teaches you.” She goes on to say “For one thing, it teaches that YOU are not in charge. Nature sets the rules.” and “If you don’t have self-discipline, you won’t have a decent garden,” she says. 

I really felt bad as I read these words. I like to have beauty around me but I have NEVER had the discipline to plant and keep a garden going. But, wait a minute. I DO bring beauty into my life but it's with a paint brush instead of a spade. I can't even take credit for the content of the mural that I picture here. It's a copy of a Kandinsky that I've always loved … but so what if it's a copy. I had a great and undisciplined time painting it !!









Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A College Athlete's Act of Kindness


 
 
 
Last week some Florida State football teammates were visiting Montford Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida. One of them, Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver of the Seminoles, decided to break for lunch and when he noticed a young boy sitting alone he asked if he could join him.

This simple gesture could have gone unnoticed except that someone took a picture of them and sent it to the boy's mother Leah Paske. She was overjoyed and posted the picture on the Web. Junior High can be a scarey place for many students but is even more so when that person is “different” than his peers … and her son Bo would fit that description because he is autistic.

This story really touched my heart because my granddaughter Faye has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a type of autism, and she will be going into Junior High this week. She is such a loving and sweet girl but she is not your typical young teen and her folks and I pray that she will be accepted for who she is.

When Rudolph was interviewed he said he saw that Bo was alone so he asked if he could sit with him and he said “Sure”. That was the beginning of a lively conversation with Bo heading it off and telling him how much he loves the Seminoles….and, guess what? The next day Bo was surrounded by class mates at lunchtime.








Friday, September 02, 2016

1907.……MY MOTHER AND HER PET ROOSTER


It's been many years since I first posted this true story about my mother but I love it and felt it was worth sharing again. In January, 1907, this adorable picture of my mother and her pet rooster, Teddy, appeared in the “Boston Globe”, along with the following article:

Roosters are not unknown as pets, but little Ruth P. of West Brattleboro, Vt., has an exceptional rooster, Teddy, in that he will allow her to do anything she may wish with him.


The way this little mistress manages her bird playfellow is extremely interesting. She never punishes him because he never needs a rebuke. She speaks to him in a quiet tone, but there is in her eyes a certain power of the will, a power which is rare in children, which forces him to submit to her kind, though sometimes odd, treatment.


In the morning he struts into the kitchen and with a jolly “crowing” he mounts the low table at Ruth’s command, steps into the washbowl and patiently submits to a sponging with soap and water. After shaking his feathers a bit he is dried off with a towel and then brushed until his coat shines bright and clean.


Then follows another of her favorite pastimes. She hitches Teddy to her small doll-cart and drives her noble steed by “gee” and “haw” out through the woodshed, down the front yard to the sidewalk for a jaunt… both child and bird with tiny white hoods crowning their heads.


Ruth has had this strange comrade for several years and has trained him entirely herself. Teddy shows a great fondness for his mistress and obeys her without the least hesitancy.”

********************

My mother lived to the grand age of 92 and, as one of her five daughters, I can attest to the fact that she “trained” us pretty much in the same way that she did Teddy!




Sunday, August 28, 2016

… the impatience of youth !




While driving home today I listened with interest to an NPR segment that was honoring the    100th   Anniversary of the  National  Park Service. The show  originated from Yellowstone Park and the commentator was interviewing people from all over the world who were there enjoying the sites and, in particular, the spectacular geyser known as Old Faithful.

All of a sudden I was in another year (1956) and another car (my rinky-dink Ford, named “Old Betsy”) heading to Yellowstone with my friend Cherie. We were heading to the east coast and had planned some stops along the way.One place on our list was Yellowstone and the famous geyser. I remember that we parked the car and then hiked a bit until we found the spot. There was a Park Ranger nearby and, after waiting about 5 minutes, we asked him when we could expect to see the eruption. “Oh, not too long”, he said, “it should be spouting off within the hour.”

WHAT? A whole hour to wait ! Impossible ...we had miles to go and no time to be sitting around twiddling our thumbs. To my great chagrin, as I look back on it now, we thanked the man and left. 

Now here it is 60 years later and I have yet to see Old Faithful. I listened as the commentator explained that it is one of the most predictable geographical features on earth, erupting every 35 to 120 minutes. What idiots we were … losing out on this great experience ... just because, like much of the youth today,  we didn't have the patience  !!