Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Is problem solving easier in the AM ?????

Recently I heard the results of a new study claiming there is now proof that we, as humans, are more intelligent in the morning … so I decided to research it. Of course that brought up reams of info to the contrary (heavily backed up with “proof”, also) so there seems to be no end to the controversy.

However, I have my own research to fall back on. For many years I have worked on a nightly crossword puzzle. I am hoping that it will stave off Alzheimer’s or, at the very least, help to keep me half-way alert in my old age !
  Anyway, I often find (especially with the NY Times puzzles) that I can get most, but not all, of the answers. It’s frustrating but I’ve learned not to let it become a big deal. I simply put the puzzle aside and hope I can finish it in the morning.

What amazes me is that usually I can ! Those troublesome clues seem crystal clear to me in the early hours of a new day. I will fill in the answers and wonder why in heaven’s name I couldn’t bring them up the night before !

So it certainly does seem (for me anyway) that I am more intelligent in the morning; but, what about you? Let’s have our own little independent “blogger poll” and see what it reveals.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My all-time favorite movie

If you have not seen “Enchanted April” you are in for a treat. It never fails to lift my spirits and I find it a much needed antidote to all the hatred and underhanded business that we are living through right now.

Set in the 1920's “Enchanted April” is the story of 4 women from London who join their resources in order to rent a villa in Italy for the month of April. The women leave a cold and drizzly London and find themselves at a dark and foreboding Villa. They are dismayed to see that it is raining there too.

I love the scene that follows. It is the next morning and we are in the bedroom of one of the girls. She goes to the window and slowly opens the heavy wooden shutters. All of a sudden the room is infused with sunlight and we look out on a view that stretches for miles and ends at the water line below.

This is just the first of the magical moments that make up this gem of a film. I truly did not want it to end and won't give away the plot because you deserve to experience it on your own. The film premiered 28 years ago and chances are you may have seen it but, if not, take it from me that it will
lift your spirits too.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Twinkies get a sales boost from Walmart

I saw an article today that said Hostess Brands, the maker of  TWINKIES,  just got an upgrade by J P Morgan thanks to record sales at Walmart.   I guess this is good for the company but it makes me wonder about us, the consumers.

Part of the sales pitch for TWINKIES is the fact that they are soft and appealing but take a gander at the 37 ingredients that make them that way …

Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Folic Acid)], Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Whole Eggs, Dextrose. Contains 2% or Less of: Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness), Yellow 5, Red 40.

Sugar, water, eggs, flour and salt are about the only ingredients that I recognize. Are the other 32  harmless?  After all, it's TWINKIE, the treat that's been with us since 1930.  

Here's a copy of a 30'S ad for TWINKIES.  Kind of tugs at your heartstrings doesn't it ?

And now to really get your taste buds salivating  Walmarts has added a new delight.  It's 
DEEP FRIED TWINKIES …"flash fried before being frozen"  Yum,Yum, I can't wait 

Monday, May 06, 2019

My '69 Camaro

50 years ago my husband Dick and I and our three children were living in a small town in Dutchess County, NY.  We had a "Mom & Pop" real estate business which basically meant that we did our own listings and when we made a sale the entire commission came directly to us. 

I will never forget the day that he drove home in a brand new Camaro SS coupe that looked just like the one in the picture except that it was a gorgeous shade of burnt-orange.  He'd sold a large farm and the commission was large too.  Evidently he'd had his eye on the car for some time and the car salesman, a friend, offered him a price he couldn't refuse if the farm sale went through.

Dick presented the Camaro to me.  He would use the Blazer for hauling children and clients, he said and I could do the light stuff.  It didn't take long for me to become very enamored of the car.  I got a lot of admiring looks when I drove it.  I was no longer a dowdy old housewife and I reveled in that. I like to think that I was still a good wife and mother then but I have to admit that I loved the attention too.

About 3 months later my husband started to expand the building area of his Real Estate business.  It meant that he was doing a lot of hauling and he was using his Blazer to the max. I'll never forget the night that he sat me down and told me that we had a serious thing to talk about.  He explained that we were in desperate need of a truck and that the only way we could afford this would be to sell my car.

So there you have it.  We sold my gorgeous car and bought a dark green flat-bed truck.  I took over the Blazer and went back to hauling groceries and dogs.  It was a wake up call for me too.  I soon came to realize that it was the Camaro getting all the attention … and not me!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

The Moore Free Care Clinic ...celebrating 15 years !

Here is a picture of my  "boss" Tony Price.  As most of you long time blogger friends know I was in on the opening of the Free Care Clinic back in 2004 and I've seen and lived through the struggles and victories that we've faced over the years. The Clinic was designed to serve the 15% of our counties adults who are under the poverty level and uninsured. It's been a life-saver for so many of them.   

I literally can't believe that it's been 15 years.   I remember so clearly the first three years when the  Clinic was getting started.  We were housed in one room (approx. 20x20’) at the local Health Dept.  It was incredibly short of space and we literally tripped over each other... not to mention that there was no privacy for the volunteer  doctors and their patients.  

4 years after we opened the doors we were able to move to the spacious offices that we now occupy. This came about with the aid of grant funding and the incredible generosity of the owners of a very large warehouse.  Local developers John O'Malley and his son Jim lease the space to the Clinic for $1.00 a year !

I can't remember the date when Tony came on board but I do remember the year that we almost went under for lack of funding.  Luckily Tony saved us from that and his leadership is an inspiration. He is a great fund raiser but is not above handling all the menial tasks too.   Now plans are going forward to double our space from 3,000 ft. to 7,500 ft.  

Yikes … I go in twice a week now to computerize the paper work that gets labeled and put in the patient's charts.  I can barely keep up with it and can't imagine how it will be after the expansion.   I may just have to  "hire" a secretary !

Friday, April 26, 2019

CHIPPER the recycler

I felt so good when I saw this picture of Chipper and then read the article that accompanied it. I think you will enjoy it too.  

Chipper is the pup that Katie Pollak in Mesa, Arizona adopted from a shelter in 2011.  He was so lucky to have a new home in an area where they could take long hikes and they did that daily.  It soon became apparent that Chipper showed a fascination with disposable plastic bottles and that 's where the story begins.

So many dog owners would have looked at that in distaste and told him to "drop the nasty thing", but not Katie.  She took the opposite view and encouraged and rewarded him.  She realized that Chipper was teaching her how recycling works … one plastic bottle at a time.

Now Katie brings garbage bags when they walk and every day they collect the litter that thoughtless people leave in their wake.  And the really exciting thing is that she's started a Pollak's Instagram account and over 28,000 people follow their adventures every day. 

Can you imagine the impact it would make if all the avid dog owners in the world followed Chipper and Katie's example ?  

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hitchhiking to North Carolina 1977

In the summer of 1977 my 17 yr. old son and a friend were hot and restless and looking for an adventure. They came to me with a plan and, after a lengthy discussion, I reluctantly agreed.   They had decided to hitchhike from Dutchess County, New York to Pinehurst, North Carolina … a distance of approximately 750 miles. My Husband and our younger son were already there working on a small building project and the boys couldn't wait to surprise them.

As I watched them trek down the highway the next day I wondered if I was crazy to let them go. They looked like Mutt and Jeff… my son being 6’3” and his friend barely 5’ 10”. With tears in my eyes and trepidation in my heart I drove home and waited for their call. Of course I was a nervous wreck but that call did come 4 days later and they were fine. They’d completely surprised my husband and younger son and the plan was for them to stay for the next two weeks and then they’d all drive home together. I remember being so happy that it was a tame adventure and that my fears were boundless … they were safe and sound. 

It would be years before they shared the actual facts of the trip ! 

They had a little money with them but even that was rarely spent. They concentrated on getting rides to big cities along the route.   Then they’d find the busiest hotel in the vicinity and pretend to be registered there. They’d swim in the pool, which cooled them off as well as acted as a shower and, after lounging for a bit, they’d wander to the lobby and check out the billboards. 

There was always an eating event of one sort or another listed and if not they'd check out other hotels until they found what they were looking for.  Then, with the hubris of youth, they'd wander in and eat to their heart's consent. The amazing thing was that they were never questioned, not even once.  

Then, to add insult to injury, they’d take the elevator to the top floor and bed down on the roof !! One night it rained and they settled for a deserted corridor.  So the only expense they incurred was for food and I’ll bet that wasn't much either. I'm sure they weren’t shy taking  “doggie bags” from those free dinners they attended. 

So, that’s the “rest of the story” and when I think of the “what if’s” I can only agree with the old adage … IGNORANCE IS BLISS !