Sunday, February 27, 2022

A disgrace beyond imagination.

 I am literally in shock with what is happening to the United States of America ! While Vladimir Putin brings grief and little hope for Ukraine ... a neighboring country that just wants to live as a, (small d) democratic, peace - loving nation … we (here in the US) have an Ex-President (Trump), an Ex Secretary of State, (Pompeo) and an egocentric television host, (Tucker Carlson) all extolling Putin and his manic driven actions and ideas. 

It is a disgrace beyond imagination. 

In the 88 years that I have been here I can not remember a time when I have been as frightened as I am now ! We’d better wake up America or we will find ourselves being governed by a despot just like Putin, or God forbid … maybe even Putin himself.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Finland is #1 four times in a row


Did you know that every year in March the UN releases a World Happiness Report of 100 Countries and in 2021 Finland came in first for the fourth year in a row. As a matter of fact all the Nordic countries were in the top ten.

While researching this I came across a 1987 stamp printed in Finland that seems to demonstrate that they are joyous people.

Finland folks don‘t shy from heavy lifting and their work ethic is high. In many ways Finland seems the last place that would win the Happiest Country award. It is a land of extremes with cold, dark winters that alternate with warm and light-filled summers and they are not ruled by the almighty dollar as we seem to be here in the US. They have no desire to build gaudy and expensive places where visitors will overpay to visit them.

They, very simply, have the ability to accept life as it is and that rules their lives and makes them #1.  They take each day as it comes and I think their quirky sense of humor tells it all. 

Even the pandemic is not a "downer" to them.  When advised to "wear masks and be sure to stand 2 meters apart" their answer was,   

"2 meters! Why do we need to be so close?"

Thursday, February 17, 2022

My Dad, the softie

I know that Valentines Day is over for this year but every time I think about that special day it brings back wonderful memories of my Dad. You see him here at his favorite Sunday task … completing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle … and the accompanying picture? Just one of the Valentine’s cards that my mother saved year after year. I don’t know the exact year of this one but it is obviously from the 1920’s and says “Valentine Greetings Sweetheart”.

It was obvious that my father was a big softy. He tried so hard to be the “boss” of the family, but with 5 girls and my mother he, (to quote him), “didn’t stand a chance”. He absolutely adored my mother and she was the disciplinarian of the family.

I do, however, remember one time that he tried his best. I’m not sure what the 5 of us had done that made him so angry but it was bad enough that he’d called us to “come hear me out and do it NOW !” We 5 gathered in front of him and solemnly listened as he berated us and when he unbuckled his belt and warned us that a thorough belt thrashing was the only way he could think to punish us it actually had me scared. This wasn’t the dad that I was used to.

The 5 of us were holding on to each other and trembling as dad dramatically whipped off his belt and …WATCHED AS HIS PANTS FELL DOWN !!

How awful, how embarrassing, how DELIGHTFUL !   All 5 of us broke into hysterical laughter as we watched our beloved dad pulling his pants back on ! We could hear him mumbling something about “never having had a chance anyway” as he hastily left the room !

(I was about 5 when this happened and my sister Peg barely one year older ... so there's a real possibility this was all a prank thought up by our 3 older sisters and Dad, but you could have fooled me (and probably did !)

Saturday, February 12, 2022

The cycle of life…

Some of you may recall the poem that my son Mark wrote about his dad's workshop. He titled it "Know your mess" and it ends like this:

" It takes a man years to know his mess,

Where all his tools lie, more or less.

My father’s work shop, lots of space,

And every tool, he knows it’s place.”

Mark wrote that in 1984 at age 24  and his dad loved it.  Sadly Dick died just 7 years later at the young age of 59.  That was 32 years ago and our family has made many adjustments, but the one thing I've never given much thought to is aging. 

This Tuesday the 15th I will be 89 and I'm really starting to feel it..  No big health issues but everything is harder to do and I know it's time that I stopped driving.  I have always made it clear that I want to stay in my home and guess what ??


Thanks Mark ... shown here with his daughter Faye 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Someone cut out the crossword puzzle

Growing older doesn't mean that my mental abilities will automatically be decreased. 

Maintaining an active mind is the key to staving off mind loss & Alzheimer's say the experts. 

With this in mind I have 2 favorite exercises that I practice every day.

The first one is reading and I always have at least two books going per day. I've read that

many "authorities" recommend not to read in bed, but I do that all the time and it 

never seems to keep me from falling asleep. 

My second exercise is working a crossword puzzle. I do this in bed also...first the 

puzzle and  then the book. I'm definitely a creature of habit. I don’t like to think that 

I have an obsession working crossword puzzles but an unsolved one, wherever I 

find it, is definitely a lure. That’s why I had to laugh when I saw this cartoon.

I remember so clearly being stuck in a Doctor’s office, waiting to be worked in and 

knowing I would be the last patient of the day. I spied the local paper and was 

comforted by the fact that  I could while away the time by doing the crossword 

puzzle. When I opened the paper and found that the puzzle had been cut out I 

almost cried with frustration.

Joseph Addison has said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”. I 

would add crossword puzzles to that. A daily dose of the two of them present me  

with a mental playground where I can romp to my heart’s content.


Wednesday, February 02, 2022

1973, Roy Cohn and Trump

I've often wondered about the relationship of Donald Trump and Roy Cohn, the ruthless and corrupt attorney of the McCarthy era.  The two met in 1973 and Trump claims that when that happened his life was changed forever.  (Do any of you remember when Trump, as President, was heard to say, "Where is Roy Cohn when I need him?")

The relationship lasted a mere 13 years when, in 1986, Cohn died of complications relating to Aids.  It was also the same year that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of NY disbarred Cohn on charges of "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation". So why would anyone want to emulate a man with this sordid background?

I feel I got my answer when I heard someone close to Trump say that he never had a love that he hadn't paid for.  Aha, I thought ... that is probably true except for his relationship with Cohn !

Always the devious opportunist Cohn had approached the 27 year old Trump in 1973 when he was his most vulnerable.  He showered Trump with the love and adoration he craved and Trump awarded him by hiring him to be his personal lawyer.  Trump had finally found a person who gave him a strange sort of love. Cohn gave him 100% loyalty, adoration and his promise to teach Trump all the tricks and expertise of his devious past, no matter the cost to those he dealt with. It was a triple play that Trump could not resist and the rest is history. 

I can't help but wonder how different things might have been, both for Trump and our country, if the two had never met.