Monday, January 30, 2012

I was just 30 yesterday …

… or at least it feels that way !

The picture on the left is of my mother. I believe it was taken on her 80th birthday. On the right is me … age 78 (until the 15th of February!) It feels very strange to see the resemblance and to realize how very OLD I thought she was when that picture was taken.

My mother outlived her husband by over 30 years and “ruled” well in to her 90’s. Even when she became bedridden I knew I could pick up the phone and call her … relying on the advice that would always be there for me, for life-shattering moments or just to be reminded of the ingredients for a favorite recipe.

It was many years after her death before I was able to really let her go. Even now, after gray hair, a college degree and 78 years of experience I find myself every once in awhile reverting to the little girl that dwells within. I still want to pick up the phone and hear my mother’s voice assuring me that “everything will be OK.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

NEW DRUGS for women only …

DAMNITOLTake 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

FLIPITOR Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, 'You make me want to be a better person. '

BUYAGRA Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

ANTI-TALKSIDENT A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators..

Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases libido, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

Monday, January 23, 2012


The “Good to the Last Drop” slogan to advertise Maxwell House Coffee started in 1917 and continues even to this day, although they recently unveiled a new campaign touting “Good Just Got Great”… but why would this be of sufficient interest that I’d write a blog entry about it? Well here’s why:

I never hear those words, “Good to the Last Drop” without thinking of my father. It was in the 40’s and our whole family would gather 'round the big wooden radio in the living room to listen to our favorite shows like “Maxwell House Coffee Time”, better known as the “Burns and Allen Show”. We never missed an episode which always began with Gracie Allen saying "Another cup of Maxwell House coffee, George?" and George Burns replying, "Sure. Pour me a cup, Gracie."

Maxwell House was also the sponsor of the radio version of “Father Knows Best“. Each episode began with the youngest daughter Kitten asking, "Mother, is Maxwell House really the best coffee in the whole world?" to which her mother would reply, "Well, your father says so, and Father Knows Best!"

And I always thought that MY father knew what was best too, so, to this day every time I hear the words “good to the last drop” I recall his chuckle and the way he’d say “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE LAST DROP???”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A musical “MAN CAVE” …

Isn’t this a great room? It’s my middle son’s music room and I’ve always thought that it was a big factor in why he chose to buy the house that he did. This is part of the very large garage and workshop that he’s converted into this dream space… complete with sound proof walls ! The picture shows him on the guitar and the fanciful painted drum set belongs to my oldest son.

One definition of a “man cave” is that it recreates some of the space and freedom of bachelor days … maybe like a college dorm room where people could come and go as if they owned the place. It’s also where a man doesn't have to be on his best behavior and usually is devoid of females.

Tuesday nights find the band … all “boys” in their 50’s … practicing and playing to their hearts delight. It also includes a fabulous female singer so, in actuality, it’s doesn’t match the definition for “man cave”.

The other big attraction in the music room is the Fooz table that
vies for their attention. There is a constant competition going on and my daughter is often the winner … once again proving that this specific “man cave” includes the ladies, too. Whatever it’s called it’s a wonderful haven and a great break from the stresses of everyday life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A fond memory …

I found this plaque hidden among my Christmas decorations and it took me back to the day that it was given to Dick, my husband. He had helped a friend out of a difficult situation and this was his friends way to express his thanks, knowing that it was one of his favorite sayings. Dick passed away in 1990 but every time I hear this quoted it jolts me back to that summer day in the ‘60s in upstate New York.

Robert Kennedy has been credited with saying this first but I felt sure that wasn’t correct so I did a little research and, sure enough, it is a quote from the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (July 1856 - November 1950).

The actual wording is… “I hear you say Why?, always Why? You see things, and say Why? but I dream things that never were and I say Why not?”

While I was researching I became enamored with some of the other quotes attributed to Shaw and thought I’d share my favorites with you. Here they are:

**The first prison I ever saw had inscribed on it CEASE TO DO EVIL: LEARN TO DO WELL; but as the inscription was on the outside, the prisoners could not read it.

**The secret of success is to offend the greatest number of people

**The sex relation is not a personal relation. It can be irresistibly desired and rapturously consummated between persons who could not endure one another for a day in any other relation.

**No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means.

**You must not suppose, because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living.

**Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

From Wellington, New Zealand to Vass, North Carolina

Some of you may remember this picture from my June 2nd, 2011 blog. I wrote then about my late and dear friend Jimmi G. and the store that she had in Manhattan in the 60’s that she named “Fur Flyers”.

Now fast forward to a few days ago and share with me the joy that I felt when I received the following email:

“Hello Ginnie:

This is John, Jimmi’s son, (writing from Wellington, New Zealand). My cousin found your post …about Fur Flyers and my mother. She forwarded it to me (as well as about 20 other family members) just a day or two before Thanksgiving.

It was such a wonderful treat and blessing to read your fond remembrances of my mother and her many endeavors. We all enjoyed it more than turkey with stuffing (especially her sister!). So, we all owe you an enormous debt of gratitude for that. The Internet is truly an amazing tool, if that is even adequate to describe such a special moment of serendipity and unexpected levity.

I can only hope someday I am able to reach across time and come back to life in the same way you brought my mom back to us.

Thanks again. With sincerest gratitude, John”

Isn’t that wonderful? It’s just another example of the wonders of blogging and why I love it so.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Chapel Hill, NC … “UNC hires Larry Fedora as new football coach.
The school's trustees approved a seven-year contract worth more than $1.7 million annually for the coach to become the permanent replacement for Butch Davis.”

Chapel Hill, NC … “UNC approves $2,800 tuition increases. It took the Board of Trustees less than an hour … to approve tuition and fee increases for all UNC students. It took even less time for the Board … to completely ignore students’ concerns.”

So, once again, the 1% reigns supreme, even in our colleges where the students (WHO ARE THE FUTURE OF AMERICA) struggle to meet their financial obligations.

The standard answer to justify this disparity is that athletic funds are separate from academic funds.

Really????… and why is that ???? It beats me.

On a happier note and concerning my last blog entry ... I thought you might be interested to know that Erin Morgenstern, the author of "The Night Circus" sent me this email after I wrote and told her how much I enjoyed her book.
Dear Virginia, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the book! It is indeed my first novel and it's amazing that the response has been so strong. I am working on another when I have time (which isn't as often as I'd like!) so eventually there will be a second novel, I'm just not sure how long it will take.
I hope all is well with you and happy new year!
Cheers, Erin

Monday, January 02, 2012

There are few things that I enjoy more than reading a book that I can’t put down. Such was the case with “The Night Circus” and it was by sheer luck that I was reading it. It was on display at our little library and I chose it simply because I loved the illustration on the cover !

This is a debut novel for Erin Morgenstern and I was blown away by her imagination. It was a challenge to keep up with it at times but that just made it more interesting.

Basically the plot revolves around magicians Prospero the Enchanter and Mr. A H who have been competitors for years. They hatch a bizarre plan involving a duel between two young magicians who they plan to train. They call it a “game” and little do their students know that the only way their instructors will crown a winner is when one of the two has died.

At the center of the novel is Le Cirque de Reves, the night circus. It is a traveling circus that arrives without warning in fields around the world. The tents and interior sections are all in black and white and admittance is only between the hours of dusk and dawn. This becomes the unusual setting that serves as the dueling ground for Marco the orphan and Prospero’s beautiful daughter Celia.

This is just a brief synopsis of “The Night Circus” and it leaves out all the imaginative sub-plots; but I hope it’s enough to whet your appetite.

Here’s the author, Erin Morgenstern:

It looks like she’s taking off on her own magical journey and I can’t wait to see where her imagination will take us next !