Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NC Senators:

                                                          
                                                                      Richard Burr

                          
                                                                        Thom Tillis

These are our NC Senators, both Republicans. I did not vote for them but am hoping against hope that they will do what Senators are supposed to do … and that's to stand up for the needs of their constituents. With this in mind I've been emailing them whenever I see something that I feel is counter to this. As you can imagine this administration gives me plenty to email about. Today I sent this:

I may be naive but I can't see how Trump proposing and enacting the largest tax cut ever for corporations will help the little guy...as he promised he would do. Losing that tax income will have to be made up in some way and it certainly isn't going to be in the form of Trump cutting back on his regular weekend jaunts or his ridiculous wall. We all know where he will try to get the money and it will be in the form of cutting any and all the programs that are so critical to the poor people, the elderly and the arts. It is becoming exceedingly clear that Trump is in a powerful position to enrich himself and those that he's chosen to surround him. My estimation of the Republican party has hit an all time low and it makes we wonder if there are none of you with the guts to oppose him and get back to caring about us. After all we are the voters that elected you and can easily be the ones to get you replaced.

I thought maybe I was just one small voice “blowing against the wind” but my children are very supportive and that gave me the push that I needed. I've sent off 9 emails so far and am pleased to say that the Senators have answered them all. Of course they're probably written by a staff member but it at least shows that they got there !

Friday, April 21, 2017

“SMOKE ! SMOKE! SMOKE ! THAT CIGARETTE” …1947


That was a hit record for Tex Williams. It had many stanzas but the part that most people remember is the chorus. It goes like this:

     “Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.      Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.

                                                       Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate

                       That you hate to make him wait,     But you just gotta have another cigarette.”

That was 70 years ago but it came to mind last night while chatting with a bunch of AA members. One of the “old timers” compared the smoke filled meeting rooms of the past to the pristine ones that we meet in today and how ironic it is that many got and stayed sober ... only to die of lung cancer soon after.

Another irony is the fact that so many AA members actually find it harder to quit smoking than alcohol. They tell us that the commercial ways recommended to stop the habit, such as nicotine replacement therapies (gums, inhalers, sprays) and medications such as Chantix and Zyban just don't work for them. However, when they apply the One Day at a Time concept, learned in AA, it often works like a charm.

I remember so clearly when I first heard that. I'd complained that I doubted I could quit drinking for the rest of my life and I was confused when I heard them say: “We never told you that.” I thought I was getting a reprieve and then they went on to ask me if I could just not drink for that day? Of course I could do that ! What a relief it was and lo and behold, I've been doing it now, One Day at a Time, for more than 27 years.
 




Sunday, April 16, 2017

GENTLEMAN JIM ...


The Post Office in my little town has a nice feature. They've set up an area where people leave and trade books. My latest choice was the autobiography of Susan Boyle from Scotland, the woman who amazed the world with her show stopping rendition of the song, “I Dreamed a Dream” on the TV show “Britain's Got Talent”.

The book is an easy and pleasant read but what caught my attention was when she mentioned how her dad enjoyed many singers but his favorite was Jim Reeves. This very same comment was posted on my blog a few years back from a reader in Pune, Maharashtra, India. “Wow”, I thought, “For a country singer Jim certainly had an international following of admirers” … and I was among them.
 
The year was 1957 and I was pretty much living my dream in New York City.   I had been hired to write promotional material for WABC Radio. With TV about to take center stage this was a last ditch effort to keep radio alive and our campaign featured an array of celebrities performing live shows weekly. Among the celebrities was Jim Reeves. I only saw him once but was very impressed with his quiet demeanor and his friendliness, a far cry from some of the ego driven “stars” that swarmed our office. 
 
Of course our efforts were in vain and none of the Live Shows lasted long. In the meantime Jim had become a world wide traveler … his trips taking him to such diverse countries as South Africa, Britain, Ireland, Norway, India and Sri Lanka.  In 1964 I was no longer at WABC, or even in the city, when I heard that Jim had been killed in a plane crash. It was a great loss but I marveled at what he'd accomplished in his short life span. His efforts had created a world wide market for country music … and he did it “the old fashioned way”, one trip at a time and without the aid of today's technology.





 


 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Blogger friends …


One of the perks of blogging is getting to know people that I would never have met otherwise. One of these is from the neighboring state of Virginia. She calls herself Possum and her informative blog is “My Little Corner of the World”. A friend and I actually visited her a few years back and were in awe of her gardening expertise, as shown here:
But, as lovely as this is it doesn't tell the whole story. She was in a severe auto accident back in the 70’s and it has greatly impeded her ability to garden. Bending over or sitting on the ground, or even on a low stool, is almost impossible for her so, rather than give up, Possum took it as a challenge and the outcome is what she calls her “Stand-uppidty garden”.
 
She uses a 100 gallon Big Bag Bed from Smart Pots.
They come in a variety of sizes and can be used for any and all of the projects in her amazing garden. The largest bag opens to a diameter of 4 feet and holds as much potting soil as a 4x4 garden. It is extremely sturdy and she can make as many “uppity” gardens as she wants by just putting a Big Bag Bed on top of a sturdy base.
 
And the smaller bags? They come with the complete endorsement of the many cats who roam and relax in this outdoor paradise !


 
 

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Kudos to SAFELITE !!!

Here you see the Safelite truck that pulled up to my house yesterday. A nice young man named Matt was there to replace the window on the driver's side of my car that I thought had shattered three days earlier.

"Thought had shattered?” … well, on Sunday my son and I got in my car and when I shut my door we heard a loud bang. Nothing seemed to be wrong so we drove off and, since it was warm in the car, I opened both windows. The only problem was when I went to raise them only the one on the passenger side came back up. I could hear “broken glass” on the one that I couldn't raise and that is how Safelite comes into the picture.
 
When I got home I did a lot of research on the cost of replacing a window and finally, through my trusty computer and email, I was able to set up an appointment with Safelite in 3 days with a quote of $288.06.
 
Now Matt was here and he went right to work. However, as soon as he got the door frame off he got a surprise … my window wasn't broken at all ! It was the motor that gave out and I guess the bang we heard was it's last gasp. To say I was shocked and embarrassed is an under statement but Matt just took it in stride. He called the office to tell them what had occurred and then I had another shock. SAFELITE DIDN'T CHARGE ME A DIME !!
 
In this day and age where the almighty dollar seems to be the only thing that matters it is such a pleasure to deal with a company that cares. Kudos to you Safelite. You have my 100% endorsement and I can say, from personal experience, that you certainly live up to your TV commercials.



Sunday, April 02, 2017

Spring is ...



When my little girl was five I was inspired to write those words …

             Spring is when your little girl wears pinafores,
             When hopes are reborn and the rent is paid on time.

             Spring is feeling ten feet tall and brand new,
             A fairyland of green on green, where all things are
             possible
.


I can't believe that she will be 56 this October but she still inspires me.  This is one of my favorite pictures:
 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A World War II British Sweetheart

 


A few days ago I was listening to the “BBC America” broadcast and was surprised when I heard the lilting strains of “The White Cliffs of Dover”. I closed my eyes and traveled back in memory to the late 1940's. I couldn't remember the name of the singer but I remembered every word of that song.
 
Some of you long-time blogger friends may remember that my family and I lived just outside of Boston and during those final years of WWII we entertained British sailors who came in to the Boston Naval Yard for repairs on their boats. They would come out for the weekends and some of them became like family and we've stayed in touch. Here are a few pictures of the many that we hosted … including one of me at age 10 !
 
 
 
As I continued to listen to the broadcast I found that the BBC was honoring the 100th birthday of Vera Lynn. She was the singer who gave the troops hope for a better world and they called her “The Forces Sweetheart”.
 
Now she is Dame Vera Lynn and, besides living to the ripe old age of 100, she is also releasing a new compilation album, “Vera Lynn 100”. It makes her the first singer to ever do that as a centenarian.