Monday, October 17, 2016

Update on my political yard sign …

Three and a half weeks ago you might remember that I wrote a blog entry about this sign that I made and posted on my front lawn. I had trepidations that it might be stolen in the night, etc., etc. but that hasn't happened !
However … I've had some interesting feedback. Of course your comments are part of that but I also have a few friends who don't comment on line but have called or seen me and who read my blog and they are all in agreement that it sends a good message.
Also, on the positive side, I have had two women (complete strangers) actually come to my door to give me their input and support. I am in a very pro Trump area so this gladdens my heart. However, just a few days ago I found this on my front porch:
I could feel the frustration of the person who wrote that and I wish I had been home and confronted one-on-one instead of just receiving words written on cardboard. In 2008 I was excited too and looking forward to many much needed changes in our country. In actuality (in my estimation) things did start to change and then we Democrats made a drastic error. We failed to realize how very critical the mid-term elections were and, in 2010, the Tea Party Republicans were able to get a majority of their members elected. That has taught us a bitter lesson as we've watched the past 6 years go by with nothing of import being accomplished because of their constant stone walling.

I think their reign is coming to an end as politicians of both parties have come to see that working together (using that dreaded word COMPROMISE) is the only fair way to pay homage to those of us who elected them to office. I pray that it will be the case.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A night out on the town …

It's a far cry from New York City but it turned out to be a very delightful evening. I'm not a church-goer so I would have felt strange going on my own but with my niece Wendy as my date it made it plausible.

We had seen the signs all over the little town that I live in. They announced the supper and Harvest Sale and it caught our attention. It almost goes without saying that the suppers and desserts are always good at church gatherings and that would have made it appealing even if it didn't include a sale … so we decided to go.

The setting, as you see, is a lovely country church situated quite a few miles from the center of town. We were amazed at the amount of people there. We arrived around 5:30 so can only imagine what it was like at 4 when it opened.

After waiting in line and paying our $8.00 we had a choice of fried chicken or country ham and all the fixins'… not to speak of a huge variety of home made desserts. I chose one called Japanese Fruit Pie which was delicious but left Wendy and I wondering what it had to do with Japan !

Then on to the auction …
Everything for sale was made by members of the church and the highlight of the night was this lovely blanket that sold for $1700. I can't imagine how many hours it must have taken to make it and could only wonder at the devotion the women had who worked together to complete it.

It was a lovely evening and I plan to go next year … even if I have to go alone !

Friday, October 07, 2016

“Only the little people pay taxes.”

That was the famous quote attributed to the billionaire real estate mogul Leona Helmsley. I'm sure many of you remember her.

She was also dubbed “The Queen of Mean” due to her tyrannical behavior with those she considered not worthy of her attention … virtually everyone except her beloved dog, “Trouble”. When she died in 2007 she left a good portion of her wealth to him !

I was reminded of Ms. Helmsley this morning while perusing the political news. She was accused (and thankfully convicted) of non-payment to contractors and using fraudulent means to evade paying taxes. A favorite scheme was insisting that the contractors falsify their invoices to read as business expenses billed to her hotels to avoid paying tax liabilities. 

In 1988 then United States Attorney Rudy Giuliani indicted the Helmsleys and two of their associates on several tax-related charges, as well as extortion. After a lengthy trial she was finally convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, three counts of tax evasion, three counts of filing false personal tax returns, sixteen counts of assisting in the filing of false corporate and partnership tax returns, and ten counts of mail fraud … but acquitted of extortion. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison but with the aid of her attorney Alan Dershowitz she was released in 1994 after serving just 19 months.

I never realized that Rudy Giuliani (a staunch supporter of our current Republican presidential candidate) was so knowledgeable about the inner workings of the tax laws as it pertains to real estate in our country. He must know every trick in that trade that is used to evade paying taxes so I'm surprised that he hasn't advised his good friend to reveal his tax returns. After all, if they do nothing more than show the unfairness of the tax laws we will at least know, once and for all, that “only the little people pay taxes”.  THAT'S US !!!

Sunday, October 02, 2016

..."his brother will be Alex ..."

I'm sure that most of you have seen this heart wrenching picture of Omran, the little 5 year old boy from Aleppo who was pulled from the rubble just minutes before the building where he lived collapsed…

...but have you seen this youngster?
This is Alex, a six-year-old from Scarsdale, New York who not only saw Omran's picture but was compelled to do something about it. He sat down and wrote a letter to President Obama pleading with him to bring Omran to the United States and even offered to give him a home with his family.
...his letter goes on to say:

Park in the driveway or on the street and we'll be waiting for you guys with flags flowers and balloons . We will give him a family and he will be our brother. Catherine, my little sister will be collecting butterflies and fireflies for him. 
In my school I have a friend from Syria, Omar, and I will introduce him to Omar and we can all play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach us another language. We can teach him English too just like we taught my friend Aoto from Japan.
Please tell him that his brother will be Alex who is a very kind boy just like him. Since he won't bring toys and doesn't have toys Catherine will share her big blue stripy white bunny and I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. I will teach him additions and subtractions in math …
...I can't wait for you to come. Alex, 6 years old”

Not only did our President receive the letter but he included it in a speech at the Leaders' Summit on Refugees at the UN on 9/21. Wouldn't it be amazing if a 6 year olds words could actually bring some compassion and love to this world that we live in ?


Tuesday, September 27, 2016


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 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 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