Monday, March 31, 2014

Sound and Fury

Went to the symphony in Sioux Falls yesterday.  Bus trip.  Mostly geezers like us.  The music, as always, was awesome.  The second part was Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream, an interactive presentation with the Augustana drama department and an amazing chorus.  It SHOULD have been an absolutely enthralling experience.  It was, instead, as the title suggests, sound and fury.  The sound system at Washington Pavilion was once again incredibly bad!  I could barely distinguish the language much less the nuances necessary for enjoyment.  The acting, although at times way over the top, even for this comedy, was consistent and for several, amazingly well done.  (I'm sure I should play Puck in another life!)  Now, if I had only been able to understand what they were saying!  Such a shame in a place touted for its acoustics. It truly reminded me that we listen with our ears and our eyes.  The visual was fun.  The music was fun.  And while I wouldn't say I'm furious about the sound, I ain't happy!  So it is.  A little Monday morning rant to start the week.  "Ah, what fools these mortals be."  I hear that!  And you are loved!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday morning random

Supposedly, we are currently enjoying the balm before the storm.  Ran sans coat--even took off the gloves!

No one is as happy to see you as a hungry cat.

I'm not sure whether it speaks to my eye for detail, or my shape, but I didn't notice I had my running pants on backward until I tried to put my gloves in my pocket.  Hmmmm.

64 ounces of water seems like a lot more coming out than going in.

Why is it something you don't anticipate with joy usually turns out to be okay?   Lower expectations yield higher emotional results?

One should retire one's running clothes after two sojourns.  The third time is not the charm.  Of course, they're easy to get ready for the wash.  Simply stand them next to the machine!

Onions, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise should not make an absolutely phenomenal hot dip.  They do.  8 oz. cream cheese, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup mayo.  Mix together and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  YUM!

Why do you always want to read to the end of my blog?  To get the surprise recipes!

In a world that goes too fast and at times is hard to fathom, rest assured that there is one constant.  You are loved!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The simple things

I consider myself a man of simple needs...a comfortable home, tasty food, a pet or two, and a woman I love with whom to share these things.  Simply put, I am amazingly blessed.  Why then do you suppose it is impossible for me to keep a clear path from the bottom of the basement stairs to my computer six feet away?  I am well intentioned.  Every time I clear a path, I vow to keep it that way.  Yeah, right!  Life happens, we get busy doing the things we enjoy, and quietly, surreptitiously, something small gets left out.  Then, during the night, someone feeds it, and like Gremlins, it self propagates and turns into a plethora of animalistic items precluding safe passage.  So today, I take my basement taming whip and chair, and come Helen Highwater, I shall reclaim!  Already this morning, I can get to the shoe rack.  It took 35 minutes and two garbage cans, but the beast(s) have retreated!  Of course, small victories must be celebrated, so it's time for coffee and puzzles in my comfortable porch, complete with breakfast, the dogs, AND the woman I love!  As I said, simple!  And you are loved!

Friday, March 28, 2014

There are many shades of gray...

In the car.  Headed north from Brookings.  Everything is the same color.  Gray.  The sky, which was bright and radiant when we left home is now gray.  The snow in the ditch allows glimpses of growth underneath, turning the overall hue to gray.  The asphalt is gray.  I understand now the root word of monotonous!  One starts to look forward to the breaks...the brilliant green of the mile markers.  The golden yellow of the left shoulder paint warning us that we have been lulled into a stupor by the sameness.  The bright reflectors to announce cross overs.  The welcoming bright blue of the rest area signs.  And the vibrant splash of color announcing Jean's bridal shop.  But the big picture?  Gray!  Even the cars we meet...gray.  I search the horizon.  I spot a farmhouse.  It has a barn.  It must be....  You guessed it.  Steel building gray.
On the horizon, I spot a school bus...all a bright yellow loaded I imagine with children excited to be done for the day, planning their weekend, and reveling in their youth.  The imagined exuberance, the remembered excitement, and the knowledge that if Annie is right, the sun will come up tomorrow, shifts my mood.  And while I look ahead to the gray sky, Cathy points out some burros along the way.  Now that, as the gate keeper of Oz would say, is a horse of a different color.  Two literary allusions in one paragraph?  That's pretty colorful prose, somewhere between the extremes of black and white!  You bring color to my life, and you are loved!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Do I? Don't I?

Infinite variety my aunt Mabel's behind!  Tease? 
Perhaps.  Disgusting?  Definitely! Enough? 
On a scale of one to ten, that would be an 
affirmative response at a 12! I speak to the 
rain.  I speak to the sleet.  I speak to the 
snow.  I speak to the wind. Knock this crap 
off.  Ordinarily, I'm the "at least it won't 
last long" kind of guy during bad weather in 
March.  I realize I have no direct control 
over it, so why let this stuff bother me? 
Because I am old and cranky.  Because I think 
I suffer from Seasonal Attitude Disorder 
(looking outside I am definitely SAD!). 
Because this has been the longest fricking 
winter in my long and rose colored recollection. 
And I have these garishly green shorts that I 
want the whole world to enjoy!  But no.  It rains.
It sleets.  It snows.  It blows. 
What, you might ask, does this have to so with 
the title of this blog? We're supposed to host 
bridge club tonight, and none of us is young. 
Will this quit in time to be safely on the road? 
Should I call and cancel?  Dilemma!  I know!  I'll 
let Cath decide!  Finally, a forecast I can live 
with!  Stay tuned for more ranting, 
raving, and reassurances that you are loved!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A different drum

On our way to Sioux Falls for the first of two appointments this week for Cath.  Today, it's a second opinion on why she is still having knee pain.  Friday, it's checkup time at the otodontist.  I'm sure that's more information than you cared to know, but we're old and infirmities are discussable.  Not the reason for today's opine, however.  The radio, as it is want to do, just took me back 44 years.  I'm  a junior/senior at Moorhead State, and planning my mid-term unit for Teaching English in the Secondary Schools (one of the three times I made it to class!):  The American transcendentals and the concept of traveling to the beat of a different drummer.  It strikes me...why not a wedding of Henry David Thoreau and Linda Ronstadt?  (Bizarre conceptualization has never been a stretch for me...perhaps. It's because I do indeed hear a different...). While one speaks philosophically and one speaks romantically, both espouse the fact that we are all different, and rather than see those differences as divisive, we should see them as positives.  It is, after all, the differences that excite and attract, and while we may not agree on all things, see things in the same light, or at times even be in the same book not to mention on the same page, we need to encourage the difference and embrace the diversity.  If we simply surround ourselves with like images, the cadence may be harmonious, but extremely predictable (translate...boring!).  Henry would tell you to let them follow their beat (and you follow yours) and according to the radio (and that lesson plan from so long ago) Linda would encourage you to wait until you can blend rhythms into a unique and wonderful beat!  All this because we're in the car!  Amazing.  And you are loved!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Don't you wish you were in Drama Study Club?

What do they say?  One picture is worth a thousand words? 
I have four words to add.
Lemon, left.  Coconut, right.
And you are loved!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The proof is in the crust!

The coconut cream pie crust is baking as I write.  The lemon meringue pie crust is cooling on top of 12 cans of dog food (one of the more unique cooling racks to be found in a kitchen!)  How do I know which is which?  Because the coconut cream has coconut extract and coconut oil in the crust.  The lemon meringue has a hint of lemon extract and a little lemon rind in the crust.  63 years it took me to figure out that if you flavor the crust, the pie will have a richer flavor as well.  The vodka in the crust doesn't hurt, either.  But here's the deal.  I have made pie crust for more years than most people care to admit.  I have tried a variety of recipes.  I have tried a variety of techniques.  I now have the recipe down.  I now have the technique down.  And yet, every time I make a crust it turns out differently.  Some roll beautifully.  Some have to be pieced together like a patchwork quilt.  Some seem amazing dry.  Some are moist beyond belief.  And the recipe is the same.  The technique is the same.  It amazes me.  But regardless, it ends up in the pie plate, and holds the most flavorful of custards, fruits, creams, and even ice creams at times.  You see, the crust is truly the supporting player when it comes to pie.  Most people even eschew eating it, doting on the innards.  Egotistically, I believe my pie crust deserves an award for best supporting structure.  Even though it goes in the plate in a variety of ways, it always seems to come out tasty and even flaky at times.  The tough part is getting the people to eat it.  Apparently, they've been burned by tasteless tart crusts.  More's the pity.  Judge not the pie by its filling.  Judge it instead in its entirety.  Sort of like the humans you meet.  Don't give up on part of them just because parts of others have left a bad taste in your mouth!  When it comes to life, go for the gusto.  Eat the crust!  And know you are loved!


or, perhaps more appropriately, sweat.  Just got in from playing in the snow.  Okay, I went for a run while it was snowing, but playing sounds so much more exciting.  Worked up a glow!  Now it's time to cool down, shower down, and get ready to play some bridge.  The sweet part?  I get to do these things.  The body beautiful tolerates the exercise, the mind enjoys the challenge, and the pocketbook allows us to do them.  So we're not as fast as we used to be.  So parts of my body have gone south for the duration.  We continue to carry on, and that guessed it!  Know you are loved!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My three sons

Over the years I have had the fortune to have amazing children (and adults) in my classroom.  When people say we are childless, they are literal, but certainly not figurative, because several of these outstanding individuals have allowed us to "adopt" them and claim them as our own.  Their love and support are the foundation of our lives as educators and people.  Today, however, I will speak to three of said individuals.  They are genetically brothers and the progeny of an amazing couple.  Biological dad is a lawyer and amazing roll model.  Biological mother is the lady with whom it was my pleasure to share a classroom and a friendship for more years than either of us is willing to admit.  First let me say, as far as I'm concerned, they are the parents of the century.  They raised three amazing boys...unique unto themselves, but indicative of their parental guidance.  I speak first of the eldest.  For the sake of argument, we will call him Jeff.  No other word need be mentioned in the description of this lad than gentleman.  As a high school student, he showed care and concern for those around him.  His quiet manner exuded trust.  He was an excellent student and an amazing mentor--not only educationally, but humanly.  He is now a lawyer (like his father), married to a doctor, and passing on amazing parental love to the apple of her grandmother's eye.  Middle child.  We'll call him Scott.  Oh, how still waters run deep!  One need only look into this young man's eyes to see a well-developed sense of mischief..  But NEVER at the expense of anyone.  Scott had an amazing ability to have fun and still show respect for his fellow beings.  His cleverness was/is amazing.  I'm not sure how, but his parents managed to control it and at the same time encourage it!  This pharmacist is living the life.  Youngest son, surprisingly was not named Ernie (and you have to be really old to catch that referent!). Today, we'll call him Joe.  Joe was Mr. All-around.  He was/is an excellent student.  He was willing to put himself out there for the good of the group.  (Some day, ask me about his lip-sync activity!)  He made others feel good about themselves.  This pharmacist recently married a pharmacist and has just returned from that wedding in Hawaii.  What might you ask prompted this blog this day?  On my run this morning, I noticed a car from Minnesota in the family driveway and made a leap that one of the kids was home.  I didn't get to see him, but the vehicle certainly brought back great memories.  They are the kind of children anyone would claim, so we do!  And as their parental wannabe's, might I add to our lawyer, doctor, pharmacist, pharmacist, pharmacist children, we are so proud!  Know you are loved!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


marks the 41st anniversary of our engagement!  It was the first time I was taking Cath home to meet my folks.  We were sitting at the intersection of Kemp Avenue and highway 81 at the stoplight.  I had placed the ring in a Kleenex box and since we were waiting at the red light, I asked her if she would get me a Kleenex.  Two green lights later, she said yes (and gave me a Kleenex, too!)  To this day I'm not completely sure it wasn't just to get me to move the car...and I don't care because it obviously was the right answer...hopefully for both of us!  Five months later, we began an adventure that can only be characterized by the song sung at our wedding...Together Forever!  We have always enjoyed each other's company.  It seems so much more fun when we do things as a couple.  We don't do things with "the girls" or "the guys".  We do things as a unit, and I can truthfully say it works for me!  The trite thing to say would be we seem to complete each other.  Trite be damned!  We complete each other.  We've taught each other.  We've learned from each other.  And when it comes to that choice 41 years ago, I'm so glad I asked the question!  The most important choice one can make in life is choosing the person with whom you shall age!  I was brilliant.  The second most important choice is sharing yourself with others.  Thanks for sharing me!  Know you are loved!

Friday, March 21, 2014

astir versus awake

It was one of those nights with the elderly dogs.  No one got to sleep, although we all wanted to.  One of the pleasures of aging--for all species.  Anyway, when I was roused from my fitful attempt by a puppy who wanted to go outside, I decided whilst I was up, I may as well make coffee and run off the puzzles.  Scooped the coffee in the filter, placed the filter in the maker, poured the water in the pot and went to print the puzzles.  As I was catching up on facebook, I thought the coffee sounded a little strange--more dripping that usual--so I go to check on it.  Seems as how you need to put the pot under the drip spout or the coffee container fills up and spills out onto the cupboard, the heater sitting next to the cupboard, onto the floor, through the paper bag sitting on the floor in its inexorable ooze to the sewer drain.  And of course, as the container fills up, the grounds float to the top and join the morning elixir on its way to the sea.  Mess.  Crap.  And the frightening thing is, it ain't the first time!  Guess this two legged old dog can't learn new pay attention to details!  Several paper towels and a few wrung dishrags later, pot number two has just finished, so it's time to attack with fervor USA's morning addition to our ritual.  Perhaps I will nap instead.  Know you are loved!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Foodie alert

If I remember correctly, I have not spent one whole blog extolling the merits of a particular foodstuff.  That comes to an abrupt halt this morning.  Allow me to set the stage.  Growing up, we were told the truly perfect food was milk.  It contained nutrients that made our bones strong and hair glisten.  At times, when I would pass on the milk, mom would encourage by saying, "Drink it.  It will put hair on your chest!"  Apparently I drank too much, as the chest obviously spread to every other part of my body, but surprise, I digress.  I would now posit the very most perfect foodstuff would be chipotle pepper sauce!  It started like this...
We were sitting at Carlos O'Kelly's in Sioux Falls and they had a menu option called chicken diablo, a chicken breast covered with a chipotle sauce.  It was truly love at first bite!  Thereafter, it was my to go to menu item every time we ate there.  Now the sad news.  Carlos left Sioux Falls, leaving me without an outlet for my craving for this devilishly good sauce, so being the tenacious individual I can be at times, I starting experimenting, and have what I think is a close approximation (if egotistically speaking, perhaps a little better) of the chicken dresser-upper.  But here's the upshot.  It works with just about every imaginable food.  It is amazing on pork.  It's my go to for omelets.  And it makes the world's best grilled cheese sandwich.  It keeps in the refrigerator for at least two weeks, and if you are entertaining, saves a meal that might just be ordinary!  Now, for you calorie counters, you may want to eschew a few other things if you plan on using this, but I will personally endorse it by telling you I would gladly run an extra block or six rather than give this up!  Puts it in perspective, right?
What's that, you say?  Will I share the recipe?  Of course I will.  The link to my web page appears below. Try it.  Let me know what you think!  And know you are loved!  (By the way, it's great with a glass of milk!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


So, I'm fulfilling that which can only be described as oh crap, I have to run!  I like to eat, ergo I run.  It was on a downhill portion of the run that I realized I was not thrilled with what I was doing.  I was  dreading the hill that lay ahead.  It then struck me that this running crap kind of replicates life, at least for me.  I find that when things are "easy", instead of enjoying the slide, I worry about what lies ahead.  Why can't we just enjoy the parts that are good?  As in running, the hills are inevitable.  And while I don't like them, they can be scaled.  So it is in life.  So after today, I'm going to consciously enjoy the trip down, enjoy the fact that historically I have been able to conquer the "heights" and continue to eat up everything that comes my way!  The hills will be alive with the sound of bz enjoying the result while hating the process!  Know you are loved!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

50 years separate them

It's the eternal human struggle.  Actually, it's An eternal struggle.  I speak not of life or death choices. I speak not of good versus evil.  I speak to the struggle that we all face every day...especially those of my generation.  I speak to mind over matter!  My mind?  Well. Somehow it atrophied at 14.  I snicker at seemingly innocent comments that have to me obvious sexual connotations.  I interrupt for fear that my cleverness will be missed!  I swear.  I drink.  I am still impressed by the female anatomy, especially the part between the neck and the waist.  (This may well explain my favorite piece of chicken, but I digress!). I am, as all 14-yer-old boys, mentally invincible!
But then, there's the body.  Most every part has headed south.  My chest is closer to my waist.  My love handles have sunk to my hips, and my knees at times suggest that they have carried more than their share of weight over the 64 odd years!  I used to be able to spend an entire day working on my feet.  Now, I have to "work on my feet" if I'm on them too long.  The mind says "Run!"  The body says "Up yours!"  (Apparently there is one thing that the mind and body have in common...inappropriate language.).  Arthritis has claimed a thumb, gravity has claimed the knees, and time has claimed the short term memory.  Face it...the body beautiful?  Isn't!
But here's the thing.  At least for a while, the mind is winning.  Just this morning, when it heard an old familiar tune, it told the body to get up and dance...and it did.  If you saw me, I hope you didn't mind.  Last night, my mind told me to sing some old show tunes while cleaning up after the banquet...(Understand, the voice isn't bad, but I have a tendency to change keys in the middle of songs, frequently, and there is no volume control!) I hope they didn't mind.  And if I hear a really good off-colored joke, my mind says it must be shared...and I do.  Now, if any of this matters to you and you think I should act my age, you'd best be specific whether you refer to mental or physical years, because quite truthfully, if you mind, it doesn't matter, because old people get by with anything!  Mind this, however:  to me, you matter, and you are loved!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Feet up, job done!

A busy two days, capped off with the feeling of accomplishment!  After bridge today, we completed part two of our part of the banquet.  We heated and served the food we prepared yesterday.  Of course, there was no hot water, one of the ovens went out and wouldn't relight, and we were missing serving utensils, but it all came together, and the simple thank you from so many of the diners more than made up for any sore feet and/or bags under the eyes.  There is no doubt that doing for others returns good feelings twofold!  Great help from the kids and community members.  Great to work with Linda and Roger again, and good to have it done and my feet up!  Know you are loved!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Cath's church is in charge of the banquet tomorrow.  Since it's St. Patrick's day, the youth pastor decided it would be cool to do shepherd's pie and pistachio salad...a truly Irish main dish with a little green salad.  The preparation fell to Cath and me and another couple from the we have known for years, having had their kids in class and been lucky enough to get to know as real life adults.  That being said, the four of us spent the afternoon getting ready for tomorrow.  It was an amazing experience.  It was as if we had worked together our whole lives.  We moved seamlessly between tasks, never at a loss for something to do.  The similarities in work styles were amazing.  The ability to see tasks that needed to be done and do them went unsaid and assumed.  What could have been an uncomfortable division of labor turned into a delightful afternoon of good humor and good work.  We're tired, sore, and happily ready to warm and serve tomorrow.  With the luck of the Irish, every thing will go as planned.  Regardless, today was one of those rare days that will remain a positive memory and an experience for which we give thanks.  Hopefully, you will find the same symbiosis today, and you know you are loved!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sometimes you just gotta!

So, I'm taking something to the recycling bin, look to the east, and see the full moon, just over the horizon.  I revert back, and without compunction, raise my head and howl!  It felt good!  Then I remember that my folks used to say, "For all the good it did, I could have just howled at the moon!"  Little did they know the absolute joy of doing just that!  May you find joy in the strangest places, and always know that you are loved!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh, the things one learns...

Who knew cooks for ages actually did know the difference between cooking in metal and cooking in glass?  For years, I have read and ignored the suggestions on baking temperatures for different baking mediums, oblivious to their accuracy.  Well, shame on me.  Yesterday I made two loaves of Irish soda bread and baked them together in a 350 degree oven ( by now you have discerned one was in a metal loaf pan and one in a Pyrex loaf pan).  Since they were meant as a treat for our retired teachers' group. I made up some cinnamon honey butter and cut into the glass baked loaf to serve the thundering hordes!  While it seemed a bit crumbly, I was obliviously intent on serving it.  Come to find out, it must have been quite dry because there was lots left on plates.  Drat.  The upshot of the story is this.  The loaf baked in the metal pan was served that evening, with a bit of temerity, and it was moist and wonderful.  Even better this morning when toasted.  Two things were ascertained from this experience.  First, lower the temperatures when you bake in glass containers (or, put another way, believe those who have gone before you!), and two, when you're serving food to a group, be sure you taste before you serve!  But of course, the good loaf is ours, so....  This may or may not be a lesson for you to learn from my experience, but at least you know the true secret to food service.  It truly is a matter of taste. Know that you are loved!d

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tempus fugit

It was one of those days...filled with eventful experiences and time spent with amazing people.  You know the kind...where you want to wring the clock to see if you can squeeze out just a little more time in the day?  The weather was perfect.  Things went as they should, and all is right with the world.  As the evening unfolds, there is promise yet of fun people and good cards.  And then, sleep!  All in all, the last thing to be hoped for?  That tempus fugit a little more slowly!  Enjoy everything you can and know you are loved!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I've got the fever!

It's been above freezing three days in a row!  That means ezbz has the spring fever!  In fact, I just got back from buying 44 packages of flower seeds.  Okay, I plan to give them away at the retired teachers' meeting tomorrow, but the very thought that we could see a time to plant again just sends tingles up and down my spine.  (Of course, so does sitting too long in one position, but that, as they say, is a different story entirely!)  Rebirth.  A glorious thought.  And then it hit me.  If it hadn't been for the end of a season, a new season never would have developed.  Had plants not aged, seeds would not have formed.  Had seeds not formed, the eventuality exists that life would not continue.  That pretty much means that we who are quickly approaching the winter of our years are responsible for distributing the seeds that will allow things to grow.  (I suppose you could say we need to spread the fertilizer, but by nature, most "mature" people do that anyway!)  No, we need to spread the "wisdom" that we have garnered.  We need to share the mistakes that we have made, the accomplishments we have enjoyed (they are quite frequently flip sides of the same story!), and the love that we know exists.  There is obviously a purpose to aging, and we need to embrace it.  While I don't have the gettyup in my step I used to, I more than make up for it in the tenacity to continue until I get where I'm going.  While I don't have the memory I used to, I don't have the memory I used to!  (There ain't much you can do about some things!)  Most importantly, however, I have things to offer, ideas to cultivate, and more than enough love to share.  And face it, now that spring is springing and I don't have many months left to shovel, life is good!  And about those seeds?  Well, it is my philosophy that we may not be where we want to be, but we can certainly bloom where we are!!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

on the box...again

It is unusual that I can ascend the soap box with a smile on my face!  Today is that exception.  Let me set the stage. It was the first day of over 40 temps since the seventh day of creation.  There was pavement, uncovered with snow or ice.  While to say running was inviting is a gross overstatement, it seemed like the right thing to do under the circumstances.  So dressed in the finery you can see in a previous blog, I hit the road.  About 3/4 mile into the run, I noticed two young boys come out of their house with a basketball in hand, headed toward the basket in their driveway.  Cool sight.  As I approach, I greet them with a hearty "good morning", to which, to my surprise, they both responded with the same greeting and then the older of the two further surprised me by adding, "How are you?"  (I'm not sure whether he thought at my age I should be suffering a coronary because I was running, but I prefer to think he was just being nice.)  I responded with my usual, "Amazing!  How are you?"  This set the dog into a frenzy of barking, but when he was quiet, the young lad said, "Fine.  Have a good day!"  I continued on my run.
Here's the point.  I now have new heroes.  These two young men were polite enough to acknowledge me.  The were caring enough to converse with me, and they were two reasons that my run was easier, my breath was fuller, and my attitude matched the weather, even though I was still running!  It is obviously true that a simple act can change the world.  They changed mine for the better, and for that I am eternally thankful.
You will notice that I said heroes.  I do not mean to demean the impact of what transpired with the two boys, but I do know that they didn't spring polite from the womb.  I know that genetics is an amazing thing, but so is nurture, and these two have been raised by parents who know the simple rule.  Kids will listen to what is said, but model what is done.  Mom and Dad, you have done an amazing job of raising two young men of whom you should be very proud.  You obviously have demonstrated the impact of kindness.  You have shown these two the meaning of caring.  And you have changed the world by doing so.  They are our future, and you have been amazing architects in their design.  Bravo!
Today on my run, I'm sure the boys were in school.  I'm assuming their parents are out demonstrating what being caring individuals can do.  And I?  I'm smiling once again, even though I am....  Perhaps I can model that age is simply a number, not an ability inhibitor.  And you are loved!

Monday, March 10, 2014

And the answer is

Bright and early Monday morning.  Okay.  Early Monday morning.  Daylight savings time has hit and bright won't come for an hour or so.  Yesterday's post was an experiment...on a tandem level.  First, I was interested in seeing whether I could pick up a comment or two addressing the quiz.  Nada.  Second, I wanted to see if I could still write a question in such a way that I could give hints as to the answer while asking the question.  For those of you who are dying for the answer, it lies in a man's name.  First name?  Roy. Middle initial? G.  Last name?  Biv.  The presence of all color is white, like the lettering on the sweatshirt.  The absence of all color is black, like the sweatshirt.  There's red in the hat, the shorts are orange, the cap is yellow, there's a green stripe on the tennis shoes (!), the shoes are blue, there's a stripe of indigo on the socks, but there ain't no violet!  Now the question is, was it worth two days of blogging?  Of course it was!  I will buy a violet bandanna to complete the outfit, and you got a picture to hang in your garage to ward away rats!  Win,. win!  Have the most colorful of days, and know you are loved!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The quiz

The absence of all is indicated.  The presence of all is indicated.  But one is missing.  Can you name it?  And the answer is not "a buff body!"  Stay tuned tomorrow for the answer!  Know you are loved!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hot tub perplexities

Tweener, at least to this 64-year-old, is the time between supper and dessert.  On a good night, following an experimental supper ( recipe you don't want to have to eat forever if it doesn't turn out so you offer to share it with friends!) it is time spent in the hot tub with friend Scott, solving the problems of the world, commenting on the state of the weather, and spending enough time so the ladies can clean up!  Last night, amid discussing how best to blog and address social media concerns, the question of  "professional" arose.  We both agreed we had been professional educators.  It was, after all, what we did and who we were.  Now, both enjoying encore careers, he, a photographer, and me, a speaker, we wondered at what point we could call ourselves professional.  First thought...did we charge for our services?  The answer was yes.  This of course led to a discussion as to whether it is the amount we charge that makes us professional?  Then there was the question of knowledge base.  Does that make us professional?  Perhaps it is the demeanor in which we transact business?  The consensus?  We're not sure!  Any ideas?  By the way, you can see Scott's work at, a photo a day!  It's worth a look!  And you can get by any experimental dinner offering with a guaranteed dessert.  Nothing like cherry cheesecake to finish an evening of perplexities!  Know you are loved!

Friday, March 7, 2014

This is a tease...

And only a tease.  If this had been an actual warm up, it would have lasted for more than half a day!  And it wouldn't have covered every available outdoor surface with a glistening layer of ice.  Not that I would complain, since I have taken the pledge to quit witching about the weather.  I'm just sayin'!  The really amazing thing is how clever Mother Nature is!  To avoid the ice from damaging her trees, she has astutely instigated a "brisk" north wind to move the branches and free them from her frosting of solid water (obviously I am trying to use the word ice again!).   In my continuous effort to find anything positive about this weather, I believe I have stumbled on the one thing that is incontrovertibly a positive.  Everyone agrees this winter sucked!  (Yes, my former students, I really used that word!  And you were right.  Sometimes it is irreplaceable.)  But Pollyanna believes that while teasing can be negative, it can also further whet one's appetite for what is to come.
Whet away, and know you are loved!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Absolutely fabulous, and I speak not of the tv show!

Photo courtesy of twitpic

Sometimes two forces collide, and the resultant image is absolutely amazing.  By now, my readers have ascertained my affinity for giraffes and their ability to see from a different perspective.  Now, thanks to an e from my niece, I have the ultimate example...a giraffe in a different perspective!  Awesome!  Take two of my all time favorite concepts...attitude is everything and don't let someone else determine your attitude, and you have my friend pictured above!  I understand there are times when fitting in can be important, and as long as it doesn't compromise basic principles of honesty and fairness, go for it!  But we are a uniquely diverse people, each holding in our physical and emotional makeup, differences that make us who we are.  We need to celebrate, nay flaunt those differences!  We are each in our own way, fabulous, and it is YOUR fabulosity that allows me to tell you that you are loved!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Birthday card philosophy

I love birthday cards.  I love to buy them.  I love to get them.  There are times I stand in the card aisle and laugh out loud, thinking to myself, who among my friends would not find this offensive.  Of course, the answer is always the same.  None would find it offensive for they are, after all, my friends!  My favorite card was one I never had the opportunity to give.  It was a birthday card for my sister that I had purchased months before her birthday.  (I hate to miss the opportunity to send the right card just because the event is a long time away.  This time, however, I held on to it...unfortunately too long.)  The card simply said this:  "Happy Birthday."  On the inside it said, "Maybe this will be the year mom and dad love you as much as they love me!"  Unfortunately, WA died before I could send it, and it kind of lost its impact.  But, I digress (imagine that...a first!)  Some years, a theme emerges in the cards I receive. This year, I believe the count was 10.  10 of the cards I received addressed themselves to flatulence!  Really!  There were enough comments on my gaseous emissions to fuel a hybrid car for a year.  Problem is, they were spot on.  These, however, are not the reason for this commentary.  One card stood above all others this year.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First it was from very dear friends who keep us grounded and help us enjoy fine food and an occasional dip in the hot tub.  Second, the point was ever so spot on.  It was the picture of a man, riding a bicycle, with his hands in the air, balancing for all he was worth.  On the top of the card was a quotation by Pablo Picasso.  Simply, it said, "It takes a long time to become young."  Inside, it said, "You're off to a great start."  Light bulb.  Eureka!  Truth at last.  As I have aged, I have discovered that the magnet on the refrigerator is right.  Life IS too important to be taken seriously.  I remember the exuberance of youth.  It slowly returns.  I remember that wide-eyed wonder of youth.  It returns.  (Of course, sometimes it's wondering where I left something, but it's back!)  I remember the ability to become so completely absorbed in something that I lose track of time.  It returns. I remember the overwhelming realization that friends make all the difference in the world.  It returns.  And I remember how funny it was when someone mentioned or performed a release of methane in a loud and odoriferous manner.  It returns.  The joy of youth need not be wasted on the young.  May you find your whoopee's (cushion or celebration) as you continue to grow toward youth.  And know you are loved!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

As I sit here...

The snow falls.  The dogs bark.  The television is turned to ESPN (that should be a sure hint that I'm in the woman cave upstairs), having just finished a recorded episode of NCIS Los Angeles.  There are days when it is just so apparent how lucky I am.  We are warm.  We have pets to care for us and the time to watch what we want.  It probably shows that the trip to Florida was successful!  The weather will change.  We will endure, and we will enjoy each other!  As I said.  Lucky!  And you are loved!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Just in case ... Tomorrow's blog tonight!

It's the skeleton song.  The knee bone's connected to the shin bone.  The shin bone's connected to the ankle bone.  Or, the Baton Rouge flight's connected to the Sioux Falls flight, and if the Baton Rouge flight doesn't have a captain, the Sioux Falls flight doesn't fly.  That would explain why we are still seated in the Atlanta airport, having no idea of whether South Dakota is in our immediate future or not!  It's simply one of those things over which we have no control, so we also serve who sit and wait!  Of course it is 70 degrees here and -3 in Sioux Falls right now!  That may explain part of the reason we're not completely flummoxed by the turn of events!
Good news.  Baton Rouge has been upgraded to maybe soon!  It could happen yet!  We are thankful we are connected to you!  You are loved!

They say that all good things must...

Our last day in the Sunshine state...and today promises to definitely explain from whence cometh the name.  It has gone all too fast.  Waking up without the sound of a snowblower has been amazing.  Dressing without covering every square inch of flesh has been amazing.  Eating fish that hasn't been frozen is amazing.  Sitting on the porch watching golf has been amazing.  Walking and running on dry pavement has been amazing.  Reconnecting with friends has been amazing.  Knowing that all this has certainly adjusted my attitude...thank you Jesus!  (That would be my new imaginary Hispanic friend I have created in the wee hours of the morning, but that's a totally different blog!). I can now make it to the end of this abominable winter season.  I can once again smile.  I can quit hooching at every opportunity.  And I can continue to celebrate the fact that you are...amazing!  And you are loved!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blue on blue

There's something about blue flowers that always captures my attention.  Let's face it, at this time of the year, any flowers capture my attention.  But the blue ones are so unusual.  Perhaps, it also explains my choice of friends.  I tend to look for unique.  I always gravitate toward the unusual.  If you were to put my friends into categories, you would have as many categories as you would have friends.  Granted, they share characteristics.  They're all respectful of individuality.  They all share a love of learning.  They all share without compunction.  And they're willing to put up with strange, unique things in return.  Like flowers, they exist to add beauty and purpose to life...especially mine.  And isn't that why we bloom?  Know you are loved!