Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Chance Meeting

When I visited my mother today, she already had another visitor. It was my uncle, one of my father's brothers. He is a widower now but there he sat, looking very preppy. He said that he had driven to Dansville to visit friends before stopping in to see my mother and that earlier today, he had raked and rolled his lawn.

We left together and because my arthritis was acting up, he helped me down the long hallway. Oh. Did I mention that he was ninety on his last birthday, March 4?

A Plug for Cheesy Eddie's

The latest issue of my college alumni magazine, Geneseo Scene, featured an article about Geneseo student and faculty involvement with alumni to revitalize the South Wedge neighborhood in nearby Rochester, NY. One of the businesses discussed was Cheese Eddie's, recently purchased by two Geneseo graduates, John and Colleen Baker.

Colleen was my trainer when I was first hired by Unisys (actually Burroughs in those days) and later was one of my supervisors. Still later, when I was the trainer, she returned to Unisys from time to time to work as a consultant. So of course, I found the article to be quite fascinating.

Cheesy Eddie's has an exceptional reputation for cheesecake, carrot cake, wedding cake and all those other goodies that diabetics are not supposed to even think about. If you live near Rochester, stop in and test their wares. And even if you don't live nearby, you can order their cheesecakes to be shipped to you.

For some reason, I am unable to link this blog to their website but it is located at

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Coffee Lovers Everywhere

In the recent past, I started to realize that the cup of coffee I enjoyed most each day was the first one I took from a freshly brewed pot. From that realization, I decided that I could create the same situation (first cup, freshly brewed) as often as I wanted by getting a single cup coffee maker.

So I did (get a single cup maker) and so I do (enjoy the first cup, freshly brewed coffee as often as I want each day).

What I didn't realize is how many other people are out there like me. When I got on-line to order more coffee pods, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices I had. Demand has to be high to support that many companies.

Thanks, coffee lovers everywhere, for making a great selection possible.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Great Reading

I recently completed a very compelling book entitled Daughter of God by Lewis Perdue. It is classified as belonging to the thriller genre but contains enough factual material to appeal to the history buff, the religious buff and the art buff. Even more tantalizing is the theological issue raised: Daughter of God?

Behind the scenes is another fascinating story. Lewis Perdue claims that Dan Brown based his extremely popular book, The DaVinci Codes, on two of Perdue's books---Daughter of God and his earlier novel, The Da Vinci Legacy. To learn more about this controversy, click on the title of this post.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bald Eagles in the Neighborhood

Today's paper also showed a photo of a bald eagle in a tree near Almond Dam (about five miles from our house). Apparently, there is a pair nesting in that locale and possibly others along the Canisteo River. You can read a detailed DEC report on bald eagles in NYS by clicking on the title of this entry.

It is very exciting to know that bald eagles are returning to this area.

Update on Spring

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This photo, taken today by The Evening Tribune staff photographer, Lynn Brennan, was captioned "THINK HARDER"

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Spring 2005

Spring 2005, originally uploaded by Lillian H Russo.

The Look of Spring

This was my view of spring this morning when Spring 2005 was about an hour old. The picture was taken from my favorite chair and looking across the Canisteo Valley to the top of hill on the other side.

If you cannot see a photo, don't worry. After trying numerous times, I checked the website of the software I have been using to post photos and discovered the problem was in the software, not in my execution of it. So I'm now trying to locate another means of posting photos. You'll see my view of spring yet.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Yesterday's Comics

A comic strip called Mutts by Patrick McDonnell accurately sums up my daily outlook. Yesterday's strip shows a dog or cat waking up in his bed and saying the following:

I shtart every day with curiosity!

How will it begin?
What will I do?
Where will I go?
Why am I here?

When's my next nap?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Wild Irish Cat

We once had a cat named Sean McIntire O'Russo and his name fit him to a tee. He had a temper and would brawl with any creature regardless of size. He had a daily routine of visiting selected neighbors; I called it his pub crawling. His best friend was a dog and Sean would stroll along beside whenever the dog was walked. What a sight it was, a little old lady, a scruffy dog and this arrogant cat. I know Sean swore because he was always stomping along, muttering under his breath. And aside from the tough persona presented to the rest of the world, he was a most gentle creature who had to get his cuddles from me before he could go to sleep at night. I miss you, Sean.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Chinese Proverb

Speaking of life, don't you love the old Chinese proverb that says "Wherever you go, there you are."

Life is a Handheld Mixer Or.....

I like the analogy of life to a common household appliance, the mixer. Look at all the ingredients that go into the mix---genes, environment, the people who influence us, the events that shape us, the list is endless. The combinations are endless. And then there is the control of the mixer itself; sometimes the beaters move slowly and sometimes they whip around seemingly out of control.

To me the only question is: is life a handheld mixer or is there something else out there?

What are the attributes of a handheld? A handheld mixer can be used anywhere. It's portable. It has power sufficient to do most things. For my entire married life, I've had a handheld mixer. We've lived in seven different towns or cities. We've moved a dozen times. And look at the rest of the mix---different jobs, different friends and acqaintances, different homes, different times and events. Through it all, we were never given more challenges than we could successfully handle; the power of the handheld mixer was adequate. Of course there were times when we felt we were riding on an out-of-control merry-go-round and times when time dragged. But my old handheld mixer kept working.

So what is the alternative to a handheld mixer? A big, brawny, powerful stand mixer. It never occurred to me to get one as long as I had a mixer that worked. However, I started thinking about a stand mixer that would allow me stir things up without standing there holding the mixer throughout the whole process. I thought about the extra power that would allow me to make bread. Finally, I asked Santa to bring me a stand mixer for Christmas; I got it.

Now a stand mixer is different from a handheld mixer. One has to find a place for it, a large, level, handy, permanent spot. Sort of like what Hornell, New York has become to us. We are surrounded by hills, trees, fresh air, supportive neighbors, friends and family, nearby medical assistance, knowing that we don't have to handle everything alone throughout the whole process, and a feeling of finally being home.

And someday I' m even going to make bread.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Looking for Spring

This picture was taken on our sun porch a couple of years ago. You can see Ryder and Shasta looking out, probably watching the birds. Right now, the porch is littered with salt and other winter debris. Where's spring? As Maxine Younglove used to say:

Spring is sprung
The grass is ris...
I wonder where
The flowers is.
Looking for Spring Posted by Hello

A Visit to the Nursing Home

Today I went to the nursing home where my mother lives. I thought I was going there to give her some change but it turned out that it was for a totally different reason.

My mother wasn't in her room when I arrived and because it was warm, I decided to wait in the hall. At the end of the hall, a comfortable chair sat in front of the wall of windows and doors. As I was sitting there I noticed a patient slowly coming toward me in her wheelchair. A worker passed her and greeted her by name. The patient did not respond in any way. Finally she reached the wall where I was sitting; she parked her wheelchair so that she could look out the windows. I greeted her and remarked that even though the sun was shining, it was still quite cold outside. No response. I let a bit of time go by and then I made another comment. No response. Then all of a sudden, the lady asked me if I knew who owned the travel trailer parked within our sight. I answered that I did not but I had always wanted to take a trip in one. She asked me where I would go on such a trip and from then on, we had a wonderful and remarkable conversation which included both laughter and tears.

That was why I went to the nursing home today.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Pain Vs Pain

I've been thinking about pain lately for the same reason most people think about pain. Popular opinion is that we seem to have more physical pain as we age. You know. Back pain, joint pain, heart pain, whatever.

I wonder if we are given physical pain to detract from the emotional pain that amasses as we get older. The emotional pain grows with each loss of a family member, friend,or pet gone due to death, moving, failure to maintain relationships, whatever. The older we are, the more of these losses we have.

Does physical pain help us cope with emotional pain?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Passage of Time OR Another Sign of Old Age

I finally went to the bank this morning to report my lost check card. I've been putting it off for a couple of weeks hoping the card would jump out of the woodwork or something. In my efforts to locate it, I've moved everything in the house at least once. Before going to the bank, I spent half an hour searching the car. I found an old appointment card, two pens, a pencil, a paint brush and three cashews but no bank card. When I got to the bank with that woe-is-me-look on my face, a teller with a chair in front of her station offered to help. I collapsed in the chair and confessed to losing my card. She was very kind and processed all the necessary paper without smirking once. She didn't say one thing about old people losing things. I was impressed. Or whatever.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


An e-mail from a friend this morning reminds me that life is all about change. We view some changes as good and some as not so good but no matter what our viewpoint, change will happen. What's the secret to survival? Flexibility, adaptability, go-with-the-flow, whatever.............

A clear path to unhappiness is to regard change as an enemy.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

My Buddies

Shown are my two cats; the white female is Shasta and the black and white male is Ryder. They add zest to my life as anyone who lives with cats understands. Ryder runs the household as befitting his regal background while Shasta serves as my sidekick, following me around and generally just watching me. Both came from animal shelters and were acquired as young adults.

Shasta and Ryder Posted by Hello

A Beginning

Recently I have become a fan of some blogs. Even though I have nothing in particular that I want to verbalize right now, from time to time I do want to share experiences and thoughts with others. I know nothing about the technicalities of weblogs (and care even less) so my entries will be quite remarkable in their lack of techno jargon. With that exception, you may read anything here---tales of my retired life, recipes, photos, history, jokes, cat tales, opinions, whatever.........