SYW: Majestic Animals, Potato Chips, Scammers, and a Sun of Gratitude

Monday means Melanie’s Share Your World.

In your opinion what animal is the most majestic?
Since I love all animals, it’s hard to pick one. Perhaps the elephant. Elephants are so large, yet gentle. However, they can be formidable foes when threatened. They are intelligent and experience happiness, sadness, grief, joy. The females are excellent mothers.

What seemingly innocent question makes you think “It’s a trap!”?
A telemarketer that asks a question that invites the answer “yes.” I have heard that some scammers record people saying “yes” on the phone and splice it onto an offer or commitment for something.
Telemarketer ma obowiązek poinformować, że na pokazie odbędzie ...

What weird potato chip flavor that doesn’t exist would you like to try? (NOTE: Potato chips are called ‘crisps’ over the pond in the UK and Europe, I think. Thanks to Sandmanjazz for reminding me we all don’t speak the same English! )
Peppermint chocolate chip.

Gratitude Section (optional)
Share some gratitude with people if you like. Images are certainly appropriate!
I like this one, done in the form of a sun, and I am grateful for most of these things too. (Except Kira – since I don’t know her, I would substitute my own siblings: Julia, Mary and Allen. We have lost our other sister, Alix, which makes me appreciate them even more.)
 Seven Ways to Cultivate Gratitude — Mindsoother Therapy Center

SYW: Stress Relievers, Strange Creatures, Creepy Russians, & Appreciating Life

It’s Monday and Melanie is ready with a new set of Share Your World questions.

What do you do to get rid of stress?
Different things – coloring, drawing, reading, taking a walk – sometimes it just takes fresh air! Writing – either a journal, my blog, or whatever I can think of. It has to be something I am fairly good at, otherwise it would cause me MORE stress!

19-10-15 glitter gel pens

Mandalas are one of my favorite things to color.


I took this photo on one of my walks in my old neighborhood.

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?
art supplies, a notebook or journal, camera

What’s the opposite of a koala? (this is strictly for fun. I know what I came up with as an answer, but it was nonsensical. Alaok. See? It’s okay to pass on this one too if you want). An alaok is a meat-eating land dweller, fairly large, and it can be aggressive. Also, it isn’t at all cute!


Maybe an alaok looks something like this! (early artwork by my son)

What’s the creepiest tech out there? (My interpretation of “tech” is app or program. If you know what “tech” is supposed to mean, hey! Great! Educate us. The Internet Resource Agency (IRA) – this is where young,  hip, techie Russians go to work. Their job is to learn all about the culture of another country (such as the United States), find out what the people of that culture value and what their weaknesses and conflicts are. With this information, they infiltrate social media in order to spread fake news, get people riled up, such as using white supremacist memes, and promote conflicts within that society. Some of them specialize in hacking. The IRA is what messed with our heads and our social media during the 2016 campaign season, disseminating lies, preying on people’s fears. It is especially creepy, because it was very effective and they are still doing it.

What method are you using to find your smile right now? Please explain in detail so others might utilize the same ideas. Some bloggers have shared a daily (weekly sometimes) method that they are using to keep their spirits up right now. I’d love to hear from anyone who does and is successful at it! Have a great week and stay safe!
1. Noticing the miracles of nature – flowers opening, birds singing and making their nests, trees flowering or budding leaves. Looking at the sky to see the clouds – whatever that looks like, it will never be exactly the same again. Maintaining a garden and appreciating the fruits of my labor. 20190515_152403dDelighting in a sunset (or sunrise, for those who rise early). And for me, watching our community’s swans. Right now the female is in the process of laying her eggs – last I heard, she had five but there must be more by now. Her mate fluffs up his wings to make him look bigger and more threatening – he swims around the pond, scaring away geese and approaching the shore where he sees a human.

8-two swan eggs

Our female swan after laying her second egg.

2. Connecting with friends and family – Zoom and social media are at the center of our lives now. Last week, our family had a virtual birthday get-together for my nephew. Today I spent two hours with a group of friends – virtually, of course.  Also seeing friends during walks – we can talk if we stay 6 feet apart!
3. Engaging in my stress relievers (see my answer to the first question.)

I heard an interesting quote today: Think of this day as your first day and your last day on Earth. 

SYW: On Covid-19, Spoiled Surprises, Accents, and Swans

I’m just in time for Melanie B. Cee’s Share Your World 3/9/20!
Are you a sweet, sour, tangy or other type of person? Take that as you will!
All of the above at one time or another. I also like foods with these tastes.

Does the whole coronavirus phenomenon worry you? Or are you more a “meh – it’s just another severe flu scare” type of person?
coronavirusI do worry about it, because I am in one of the risk groups (I have heart disease and also I am over 65). However, I have always had a strong immune system and have never gotten the flu or pneumonia. I get a flu shot every year. My husband and I and the community in which we live are taking precautions recommended by the CDC (frequent hand washing, keep distance from other people, wiping down equipment before and after use, etc.). I am also using a jacket sleeve or other article of clothing to hold onto railings and using my knuckle instead of a finger on touch screens. Our senior community has canceled virtually all activities, meetings, etc. – only the fitness classes are still in session. The libraries are also closed around here, so it’s getting a bit boring. However, we get together with close friends and relatives to watch movies or play Scrabble at someone’s house.

When was the last time you were snooping, and found something you wish you hadn’t?
I’m sure it has happened more recently than this, but I remember when I was about 12 Beatles-covers-Freeman-2years old and trying to see through the wrapping paper of Christmas gifts under the tree. My mother selected tissue paper to wrap a record album in – its shape was very distinctive – and it was possible to see through the two layers of paper she used by pressing down and looking closely. Even though I was curious, I really didn’t like spoiling the surprise of receiving the latest Beatles album on Christmas morning!

What’s the most pleasant sounding accent in your personal opinion? Everyone has a pleasing accent to someone!
British, Scottish or Irish, followed by Portuguese speakers (speaking English – although Portuguese is very pleasant too!)

I am grateful that, in the midst of this crisis situation and the cancellation of so many things I enjoy doing, at least the swans are back! Our senior community rents two pairs of swans, which arrive in March and are taken back in October. They will lay eggs, hatch cygnets, and we get to share in their lives for 7 months of the year!
This is one of the pairs, on one of the ponds…
and here is the other pair, on the other pond.

SYW: Adjusting, Resolving, and Following My Passions

Image result for 2020 images

What was the single best thing that happened in your life this past year?
Moving to a senior community – I have been participating in many new enjoyable activities and making new friends! Everyone here is very friendly. I love our little house – two bedrooms, no stairs, everything easy to access. Our washer/dryer are in a closet off the kitchen so I only have to carry laundry a short distance (and no stairs!) and also, everything is new and modern. If anything malfunctions, we call maintenance and they take care of it! We have a screened porch, which we didn’t before and I am looking forward to having a garden!


The back of our new house!


Our community’s resident swans and ducks

The most challenging?
Moving to a senior community – the move itself/downsizing, and getting used to a new way of life. I’m one of the youngest people here so that’s an adjustment for me, too. I used to live near downtown Des Plaines and could walk everywhere – now I have to drive to go anywhere off campus. Regulating what I eat is harder because we eat in the dining room, so I have less control and there is more temptation – I’m struggling to lose weight.

One thing you learned in 2019?
That I like eggplant if it’s prepared Middle Eastern style (in a tomato base)!

Given all your experiences, insights, and lessons learned in 2019, what’s the best advice you could give yourself for 2020?
Follow my passions and don’t worry about pleasing others. Exercise self-control in my eating habits. Do what is best for my mental and physical health.

What’s the best meal/food you ate in 2019?
Middle Eastern food! In both Egypt and Israel, there were lots of delicious things to eat!


Jerusalem bread vendor

What are three activities you plan to use in the coming year to relieve stress?
1. Be a hands-off parent but communicate my wishes to my kids, who are adults. (i.e. Don’t give advice unless asked and then don’t react if they don’t take it; let them know what you expect of them, and expect them to be able to figure stuff out.)
2. Exercise more regularly.
3. Draw.

Gratitude Question:
What brought you the most joy and are you going to do more of that?
Traveling abroad and yes, I hope to, if we can afford it!

Lastly – Any resolutions you’d care to share?
I did – the three activities I wrote above.

Share Your World, 12/30/19

Image result for 2020 images


SYW: Animal Talk and Questions to End the Holiday Season

Share Your World is a weekly set of questions hosted by Melanie at Sparks From a Combustible Mind.

Do dogs ‘talk’ (communicate) with their own species? (credit to Marilyn of Serendipity)
Not just dogs – I think the members of every species communicate with each other. It’s not necessarily with their voices. Dogs are known to leave their “calling cards” by peeing on trees and lawns. Doing this is like sticking a post-it-note up on a public bulletin board for all to see. Anyone who has a pet knows the different kinds of sounds they make. If my cat hears the sound of a cat fight, she is immediately on alert – her tail and fur on her back puff up. Dogs bark, whine, growl and make other sounds to express themselves; cats meow, caterwaul, purr and make funny, soft noises at animals outside; loons have a variety of calls. Many people have heard recordings of whale “songs.” So yes, I think dogs, like other animals, communicate with their own species as well as with others.


Photo courtesy of Google Images

Have you ever had to work on Christmas Day?
No, fortunately not! I have never been in a job that requires someone to be on call all the time. Our daughter, whose birthday is on Christmas, is not so fortunate – I told her she was lucky never to have to work on her birthday, but in fact, she did used to when she had less seniority at her job as an apartment building manager.

If someone gifts you something that you immediately loathe, do you pretend to really like it anyway or are you brutally honest about your opinion?
I don’t loathe any gift and always try to show my gratitude for receiving it. I received, this Christmas, a gift from a friend – it is a small wood burning set. Original, I’ll give her that! She said it’s because I am “branching out” in my creative crafts – I’ve been drawing and painting more lately, that’s true. But don’t give me anything to burn! I will either cause an accident to myself or others, or at the very least mess it up. What I usually do with gifts like this that I have no use for is to keep them to give to someone else later, someone who doesn’t know the original gift giver!

Which popular drink, found during the Christmas season most often, is called “milk punch?”
Spiked eggnog perhaps? I have never heard the term “milk punch” so I’m just guessing.

How many ghosts show up during “A Christmas Carol?”

Are you all about the holly and jolly or more about remembering the alleged ‘true’ meaning of Christmas?
Both. Christmas, like other holidays, is a time for celebration with friends and family. So that’s jolly, at least among my family and friends. The holly – decorating. Yes, I do that. But I also always put up my main creche along with all the small ones I’ve collected from around the world. Right after Christmas, I put away all the wrapping paper and cards, but the creches stay up until January 6. This is a remember that Christ is the reason for the season.

Please share a memory or thought about the holiday season if you’d like, whatever kind of celebration you may observe.
In spite of my husband being Jewish (and we do light the menorah each night of Hanukkah), s
omething we, like many people, do is the tradition of driving around looking at lights. We actually haven’t done this for a couple of years, but this year we did, just Dale and I. We moved during the summer so we now live in a different community, and we decided to check out the holiday lights of Arlington Heights.


The entrance to North School Park in Arlington Heights, which has a lot of things that are lit up for Christmas.

North School Park also has dreidls and Hanukkah decorations on display!

Some Arlington Heights house decorations

This house is near where we live and is really over the top! They fill their yard (in front and on the side) with those blow-up figures, of every type and description. I think they add more each year. This year, they had three dragons alongside their house!

We (Dale, me, and our kids) used to always go to a neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago called Sauganash, but after doing that for several years in a row, we realized that although the rich people who live there do decorate their houses and yards lavishly, they don’t change them much, so year after year we saw basically the same decorations and we stopped going there. While we are driving around, wherever it is, we tune our car radio to a station that dedicates about 6 weeks (just after Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s Day) to playing holiday songs, mainly popular tunes, not religious ones. We sing along with the ones we like and complain about how often they play the ones we don’t!

During my childhood, my family used to drive around our home town to admire decorations. There was one street that was famous for its original decorations, particularly one house, which did something different every year, so it was always a surprise. One year we went there and saw that that house had no lights up on the house, or any other decoration except a big lit up sign in the front yard that said SCROOGE. I’ve never forgotten this!

SYW: Christmas (and Hanukkah) for all the senses

These are the holiday-themed questions for this week’s Share Your World.

Do you enjoy receiving Christmas cards through snail mail?
Yes, very much, although I don’t get many anymore. This is partly my fault since I am always late with my cards and sometimes I don’t send any at all.
Peppermint-Candy-Cane-BarkDo you like the taste and/or smell of peppermint?
OMG, peppermint is my favorite! Since it is associated with Christmas, it’s sometimes hard to find peppermint ice cream at any other time of year. So I savor it when I can! It’s especially good when combined with chocolate.
What is your least favorite holiday side dish?
Creamed onions or anything with raisins in it
What is the coolest (best) gift you ever gave someone?
When I inherited some money and felt flush, I paid for a trip to Israel for a friend of mine, who wouldn’t be able to go otherwise. The trip was quite a bargain, cost-wise. We were going as a church group – it was Christian-focused, and I knew that it was her dream to go to Israel, regarding it as a spiritual journey. She was raised Jewish, but converted to Christianity as an adult. She had never been out of the United States except a couple of times to Canada, and with her income, she would never have had the opportunity to go abroad.  While in Israel, she was (re)baptized in the Jordan River. Here she is afterward – this is part smile of happiness and part grimace because the water was so cold!
dsc06901.jpgBonus question because I thought it was nifty: What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe? (Please insert the word “Holiday” for Christmas if Christmas isn’t your thing or bothers you or something)
When Melanie asked this question last week, I posted the lyrics of a dumb song we had to sing for our community’s choir performance. I would say this is the same song that makes me cringe. I also am really not fond of Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. I know it’s supposed to be funny, but Grandma dies!! I’m sure there are others that make me change the station on my car radio, but I can’t think of any right now.

Please share some of your favorite music around this time of year.
This is my favorite from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. It’s seldom included on antholologies or “selections from the Nutcracker.”

There are lots of versions of O Holy Night, one of my favorite carols. But I didn’t want a typical “pop” rendition, so I chose this one by Celtic/Classical Trio. I love Celtic music so I really enjoyed this version with harp, violin and a backup boys’ choir!

Angels We Have Heard on High has been one of my favorite carols since childhood. Here’s a beautiful version by Libera.

Here is my absolutely favorite song by Celine Dion, The Prayer, which on her album of Christmas songs she sings with Andre Bocelli. This is with Josh Groban, who is excellent too! This song invariably brings tears to my eyes.

Finally, here’s a popular tune – Mele Kalikimaka – with (the incomparable) Bing Crosby and gorgeous scenes of Hawaii. When my son was in preschool, they did a holiday show and this was what his class sang. They could barely pronounce the words, but they looked so cute swaying in their grass skirts!

I could post more videos because there are so many wonderful songs and carols for Christmas, but, in honor of my Jewish husband and the fact that Hanukkah starts tomorrow at sundown, I will end with a Hanukkah song. Added bonus: It has a latke recipe!! (Check out the Maccabeats on YouTube – their songs are upbeat and funny!)


SYW: On Plagiarism, Pets & Pet Names, Dancing and Thanksgiving

Is copying and pasting images or information off the Internet plagiarism? Do you credit those whose work you ‘borrow freely’ or do you think the idea is repugnant? (Credit for this question goes to GC and Sue)
It’s not plagiarism if you specifically state that the work is not your own. Ideally, you should credit the author and web site from which the image or info came. When this is not possible or feasible, I will at least caption or tag the image as having been downloaded from Google, for example. I use a lot of web sites when researching information for a post and I will always link back to the URL I got it from.

Do you let sleeping dogs lie?
I don’t have a dog, but I do have a cat and mostly I DO let a sleeping cat lie! If she’s lying on my computer chair, I’ll sit elsewhere and do something else. If she’s on my favorite armchair, I will actually sit somewhere less comfortable to accommodate her. MOST of the time. Sometimes I’m ornery and then she has to leave! If she’s on my lap, I usually will use this as an excuse not to get up to do something. However, if she feels the slightest movement from me of getting up – some muscle in my thigh tightens a little – she’ll get up and jump off. So she also accommodates me!
What’s the strangest pet name (for adults) that you’ve ever heard someone called?
My son’s last name is hyphenated so he’s sometimes been called “Hyphen Elf.” Or “Fro” when his hair was large and curly!  My former mother-in-law had the nickname “Baby.” (This might not be too strange for an English-speaking person, but she was Brazilian.) She liked people to call her that, but did not like it when someone thought it was “cute” to give her childish gifts, such as cutesy balloons or toys. (Yes, someone actually did this to her!) She got the nickname from a boyfriend in her youth, so her husband was not too pleased with it. Yet he also referred to her as Baby!


Me (left) dancing at a niece’s wedding (2013)

Do you like to dance? If yes, what’s your favorite and if no, why not?
I like to dance but I’m a lousy dancer. I can’t dance with a partner at all. If the guy tries to twirl me, I get all mixed up! But I do love salsa and other Latin dances. I used to be pretty good at dancing samba but now that I’m older, I get worn out very quickly! For years, I took a Zumba class at our local park district and the instructor was dynamite. Because of this, I still listen to Latin dance music on my headphones when I am working out. It really gets me going!

Gratitude Question:
November brings Thanksgiving to Americans. I know Canada celebrates Thanksgiving too, but I believe it’s in October. Does your country celebrate a similar holiday? If you’d like, share some traditions you observe around Thanksgiving or if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what are some traditions you have?
Since I live in the USA, I celebrate Thanksgiving, which has always been one of my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving was the day that traditionally a lot of our family would get together, rotating houses each year and people traveling to the hosts’ house. We’d have a big, noisy crowd and it was a time to talk to family members I rarely see! Although we still have a get-together with family, it’s usually only with one branch of the family, while others in my immediate family will have their own celebration, even if they are only a few miles away. Anyway, I am grateful for having the large, happy family I have – we all get along; we love and support each other – and that seems to be getting more and more rare these days. I am also grateful to be able to pass the torch to the younger generation to host Thanksgiving dinners – we just have to show up, with a bottle of wine or some other no-work item!


Much of my extended family at a Thanksgiving gathering in 2017

Share Your World 11/11/19


SYW: On Facebook, keeping old stuff, holiday decorating, and gratitude for my life

Melanie B. Cee’s Share Your World this week has some interesting questions.

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of both?
I have to say a mixture of both. Isn’t this blog part of social media in a way? I love posting and sharing my photos and thoughts, and reading/viewing others’.

For me, Facebook – and to a lesser extent, Instagram, which I rarely look at – has been a good thing. I should start by saying that I have steadfastly refused to use Twitter or any other social media platform, because I don’t have the time and, because I have ADHD, I can’t have the temptation of such distractions. Facebook, however, has been a way for me to stay in touch with people I rarely see and in a few cases, has helped me reconnect with friends I hadn’t had contact with for years. Yes, it can be polarizing, because a lot of political sh** comes up and I do forward it sometimes, but I try to stay positive and personal as much as possible. For example, on a day that Trump or his cronies have done something particularly egregious, I will cheer people up by posting photos I’ve taken of flowers or other nice things. And I love cat videos!
FB Bring Together

If it weren’t for Facebook, I would barely know some of my nieces. Through their posts, I’ve found out about their pregnancies, seen the first photos of their babies, learned how they feel about their jobs or their love lives. When I attended the wedding of one of them two years ago, I felt like I knew her – otherwise I wouldn’t have known what to say to her, since she had grown up so much since I had previously seen her. I felt I had bonded with her and her sisters, as if we had been living near each other.

Similarly, I got in touch with a couple of friends – actually several friends – from high get-facebook-likesschool who live all over the country. I reconnected with my two best friends through FB 15 years ago and as a result, we arranged to attend two reunions together, Dale and I went to visit one of them who lives in Texas, and we are still in touch. In a way, FB has been a lifeline for me. Another friend I had fallen out with a few years ago also “friended” me and we’ve since had a couple of lunch dates. People I know but never see anymore I sometimes find on my favorite online game, Words With Friends – so I connect with them that way!

Several of my friends and family members have met their significant others on social media, usually dating sites, but some on sites of mutual interest. Our daughter met her soul mate on a site for “foodies” – someone she would never have met as he lived in Florida and she in Chicago. A really good friend, who had had a long-term loveless marriage, met the man of her dreams after her divorce on OK Cupid. I know several examples of this.

Even with friends on FB who are very conservative politically I manage to stay on good terms with because of interests we share – animals, travel, etc. If they post something I disagree with, I just ignore it, but many times we can find common ground even there – such as support for veterans, troops overseas, etc.

All that said, I know social media is not always the positive thing that it is for me and my husband. Our son, for instance, has been going through a lot, suffering from depression and inactivity because of it. He sometimes posts long, rambling posts which are mostly negative about himself. Some of the comments he gets from his “friends” are helpful, but many are not. He obsesses over their criticisms of him, and I think this happens to many young people for whom social media is a much bigger part of their life than it is for me. A few times, he has posted that he is feeling suicidal, and then someone who reads it calls 911 and he has ended up in a psych ward very unwillingly. Two of my nieces have had to block him because they are mandated reporters (one is a therapist and the other is a doctor) and they really don’t want to have to report him to the police, because they know he is usually just bluffing or crying out for help.

Unlike my son, who mainly depends on FB for support, some kids have committed suicide after going through the anguish of cyberbullying. Some young people use social media to break up a relationship. It is though they are not able to talk things out in person. Social media occupies too big a part of their lives and they are obsessed with it. Someone I met overseas referred to people constantly on their cell phones as being in a “monk” pose – their heads down looking at their hands as if they are praying!

Are you camera shy or do you pose for the camera with confidence?
I’m not camera shy but it seems that most photos of me – especially those taken without my knowledge – show me at a moment that I look terrible! I’m slouching, or my hair looks bad and I look fat, or I have my mouth twisted in a way that looks ridiculous. My husband loves to take those “tourist photos” when we travel, telling me to pose in front of some monument, which I don’t like to do. But at least I have a chance to compose myself and stand up straight!


I don’t like myself in this photo but my son looks great!

Is there anything you’ve kept from younger years for sentimental reasons alone?
Yes, several things. I keep a lot of family heirlooms which somehow end up with me because I’ve become the “family historian” since I’m researching and writing a book on

Laurie Hunter, Valerie Carlson, Debbie Winsauer - in back of 1526 Tyler St, Janesville

Photos from my oldest photo album

one branch of my ancestors. But I would have to say my photos and photo albums. When my mother died, my brother took a lot of her photo albums and scanned many (but not all) of the photos, then threw the physical albums away. Perhaps someone will do that to mine when I die, but meanwhile, I’ve lugged them to our new – much smaller – house and made room for them on two book shelves. I rarely look at them, but I spent a long time making them and am proud of what I have done, even though I don’t make them anymore since all my digital photos are on my hard drive or flash drives. Besides the albums, I have boxes of photos from the 1980s and 1990s, when I was too busy to make albums which slowly I have been going through. I scan many of them and then throw away the originals but I worry that the scanned photos will become “incompatible” with whatever software I have – it happens sometimes – and I’m afraid that some of those will be some of the best photos of my son’s childhood or whatever. I still have photo albums that I made when I was in elementary school!

Do you like to decorate for different holidays?
Yes and no. I used to try to decorate for the major ones – Christmas, Easter, Halloween – but over time I got lazy and didn’t do much unless I was having guests over for the holiday. I stopped decorating for Halloween when the squirrels took bites out of my pumpkins and made off with my Indian corn, neighborhood punks smashed my jack-o-lanterns that I had carved with my son, or something I put outside got stolen. So I stopped decorating for Halloween altogether, which didn’t much matter because as the kids in the neighborhood grew up, we had fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters each year.

However, I’ve always liked having a Christmas tree and getting out some of my Christmas decorations. I have several bins full of tree ornaments, strings of lights, and small Christmas-themed things, such as pretty stockings I’ve gotten as gifts, which I hung under the mantle over the fireplace, a few door decorations, and my creches. I have one “main” creche that was made in Portugal, very folksy style, and a collection of small ones from around the world. I set the large one up on the mantle and the smaller ones I scatter around the house. My son has always enjoyed putting up the creches. It’s his favorite family tradition. Since we’ve moved, I am not going to be able to have a 7-foot tree anymore. I’ve left my tree with our daughter and son-in-law who have taken over our old house and we’ve agreed to divide up the ornaments when it comes time for decorating. I will have to buy a small tree for our new house and figure out where to put it!


Our decorated Christmas tree, 2014

Do you feel you’re a strong person character-wise? Also, if you do have a gratitude thought or picture you’d like to share, please feel free! The world can always use more positive vibes!
I have a strong personality, that is for sure! Not sure about character. I am grateful for many things – the wonderful family I’ve been blessed to grow up in, the fact that I have never had to worry very much about money, and the opportunities I’ve had for a variety of experiences, from hiking in the Grand Canyon in high school and spending two weeks on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, to traveling to many parts of the world – four continents so far (five if you count Israel as part of Asia)! I’m grateful to have intelligent and kind children, and a husband who always supports me. I got lucky – at least the second time!

SYW: On being old, rainy days, why I don’t play golf, and love of flowers

It’s time for Melanie B. Cee’s weekly Share Your World!

When you’re 90 years old, what do you suppose will matter most to you?
I think it will be whether I am healthy enough to have a good quality of life. I’d like to be able to travel, but if not, I would want to be able to look forward to something. If I am in pain or suffering from a disease or health condition that isn’t going to improve, at that point I would rather die.

old person eating ice cream

When I’m 90, I want to still be able to eat and enjoy chocolate ice cream!

What’s the best way to spend a rainy afternoon?
I know this sounds cliché, but I like sitting on the porch reading a book. I love the sound of the rain and the smell of fresh earth; I find it very relaxing. If I don’t have a book, I am content to just sit there and watch the rain coming down. Thunderstorms can be awesome to watch!

What is one thing you don’t understand about yourself?
Why I am competitive. It’s something I don’t want to be and I don’t admire it in myself. I want to win and if I am playing something (a sport, a game) that I can never win, I lose interest and give up. Logically, I would rather be the type of person that just enjoys what I’m doing regardless of whether I’m good or bad at it. But instead, I compete, even if it is with myself. Then I am hard on myself when I don’t succeed.

Cute Little Girl Playing Golf On A Field Outdoor

I never liked golf because I am lousy at it; therefore, I refuse to play it.

When was the last time you tried something to look ‘cool’ (hip), but it ended in utter embarrassment? Details?
Unfortunately, it’s unfit to print!

This is an opportunity to share a picture, a story or event that shows your gratitude.
I am grateful for flowers:
to be able to appreciate them
the eyes to see them
and hands to draw or photograph them.


First three photos: downloaded from Google Images.

SYW: Re bake sales, cops, fungus and, like, other stuff too

Here are my answers to Melanie’s Share Your World this week.


(the last two are courtesy of Teresa of The Haunted Wordsmith)
1. Is it wrong to sell store-bought pastries at a bake sale?
No, not if you acknowledge that.
2. Have you ever interacted with the police?
Yes, I have gotten a few tickets – in the days before cameras were installed to catch people speeding, etc. wcophen the cop actually stopped me in person to tell my I was over the speed limit. I also have had “conversations” with police officers who called about my son or came to my house to bring him home, mostly regarding acting erratically or possession of marijuana. I dreaded those interactions!

3. What will you remember most about this past year (this question will show up again, in late December, just FYI)
The wonderful trips my husband and I took – to Egypt & Israel in Dec. 2018/Jan. 2019 and to Europe in June-July 2019.

Also the embarrassing and shameful behavior of our so-called president, Trump. It never gets better and his lies just keep mounting. I think lying is default with him – it’s so natural to him that it’s the first thing that comes out of his mouth. The Mueller Report – which everyone seemed to think was anti-climactic because he refused to indict Trump but in his hearings last week he made it clear that he considered Trump guilty. Every day Trump says something outrageous – either racist or defending some of the sleaziest characters in America.
trump is a ra-ist
4. Is it better to have fungus on your toes, your tongue, or your pizza?
None. Mushrooms are a fungus, and often found on a pizza, but I am not fond of them. But at least on a pizza, I can pick them off.
Weird mushrooms at Park Ridge farmer's market
5. What is one slang word that makes your skin crawl?
I have two:
I have never approved of the word “suck” to mean awful or terrible, yet I occasionally say it myself now because I am so used to hearing it in everyday speech.
The word “like” used several times in a sentence or to denote someone’s speech or reaction to something – it’s so lazy. Can’t people come up with a more descriptive word for a reaction to something – “I was like…”? Or what’s wrong with the word ‘said’? “I said I couldn’t believe he did that” is proper English; “I was like, I can’t believe he did that” is lazy and so – teenager-ish, yet people keep saying it well into adulthood. But once again, it has become so pervasive that I hear myself using ‘like’ that way myself. UGH!!

Something I am grateful for this week…
My son was in a serious car accident, which completely wrecked the front of his car, but thank God, he was not injured, nor was the other driver involved. I am grateful for the airbag that probably saved his life!