Friday, November 25, 2005

A Disappointing Thanksgiving in Plymouth

Back in our traveling days, one year we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. We loved going to Plymouth during the warmer months to visit the Mayflower and Plimouth Plantation and thought nothing could be better than spending Thanksgiving there.

We arrived on Wednesday evening and found the weather to be a bit sharper than it had during earlier visits. (Ocean breezes in summer tend to be more pleasant than ocean breezes in winter in the northeast.) On Thanksgiving, we were more than ready for a big turkey dinner. Restaurant #1 did not serve turkey. Restaurant #2 did not serve turkey. Restaurant #3 did not serve turkey. By the time we arrived at Restaurant #4, we were becoming desperate. Again, no turkey. And the maitre 'd explained that the only way to eat turkey in Plymouth that day was to go to the town-sponsored dinner; there was a gentlemen's agreement that the restaurants would not compete with the town. At that point, we were too tired and weak to move on so we ate steak for Thanksgiving----in Plymouth, of all places.

By the time we returned home on Sunday evening, I was craving leftover turkey. I wanted my husband to pull over so I could run up to an unsuspecting homeowner. With my finger in my pocket, I would shout, "Your leftover turkey or your life!" My husband wouldn't stop.

At work the next day, I told the story to my co-workers. One of them invited us to dinner the following weekend. We sat down to a full-blown turkey dinner. It was the best turkey I ever ate.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

After Thanksgiving Dinner

This is how I feel after our big dinner. I was sent this photo in an e-mail. I would say that this cat has little trouble relaxing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dear Departed Sam

On September 1, 2005 I wrote about Sam, reportedly the world's ugliest dog. Sadly, Sam who was nearly fifteen has now passed away. He certainly gave his owner love and devotion and the rest of us from afar thought of Sam with many different emotions. No matter how you thought of Sam, he will be hard to forget.........

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Day of Challenges

Today has been a day of challenges for me and all of them involved our newly enlarged storage shed. For most of the summer and fall, we waited for an Amish team to "redo" our storage shed. When we bought this home, a very small shed was included. Naively, we thought we would just replace it with a larger one. Finally, we realized that there was no way to get a larger shed moved in. So we decided to make our shed larger by adding three feet on the back and to raise the roof one and a half feet. This expanded the storage volume enormously. While we were at it, we had the exterior dressed with vinyl siding to match our house. No more painting as we continue to grow older!

Challenge One: What we didn't have done was the interior because I wasn't able to envision how I wanted it set up. I finally decided to build a loft for general storage, a loft for lumber (at a lower height because it's easier for me to lift) and a series of shelves for current projects, power tools, hardware, etc.

Challenge Two: So off to get materials to complete the interior. Oops. We no longer have minivans or full sized station wagons. One itty-bitty sedan coming up. I folded down the back seat, etc. but still had to make two trips to get the lumber home.

Challenge Three: Being sixty-six with arthritis and assorted ailments. Lifting was horrible. Nailing was terrible (sometimes I had to hold the hammer with both hands). Even using the power screw driver was tough. Shaky hands and vision problems made lining up the screw and the driver head nearly impossible. The pain wasn't so great, either.

I'd hang up my tool belt for good except I already gave it to my nephew.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anna Quindlen's Article "Bedroom vs Courtroom"

In this week's Newsweek Magazine, my favorite columnist, Anna Quindlen discusses the abortion issue in the context of Judge Alito's appointment. To try to paraphrase Quindlen is like printing a dictionary with no words in it; her use of language is so melodic and precise. So here are the last two paragraphs of her article:

We’re in a real mess here, trying to fit a profound and intimate matter into a system more suited to tax codes and property issues, like trying to solve the mysteries of literature using formulas in math class. That’s because abortion is unlike any other matter and pregnancy is different from any other state of being. The situation in which an embryo is permitted to grow over time into an independent human in the body of another is just not comparable to anything else. Yet analogy is the lifeblood of both lawmakers and jurists.

Imagine how it could transform the landscape if somehow abortion were absent from government intervention or interference. Those who believe it is a moral wrong could fight through hearts and minds, not laws that would resurrect the Lysol and the garden hose. Those who believe it is a woman’s personal decision could choose either to end a pregnancy or to continue it and have a child. How much money could be raised for safe abortions for poor women and for prenatal care, too, if it didn’t need to be poured into the incessant pinball game of partisan politics. And judges could return to those issues that lend themselves to jurisprudence instead of puzzling out the singular fact patterns of the womb.

Perhaps that is the answer; remove government from the issue altogether. This act would require great courage and insight of the part of the lawmakers. Rise up, America. Insist that a matter so personal should remain personal.

You don't think it can be done. Look at Prohibition. The government stepped in on another personal choice issue, realized it couldn't control individual drinking and/or, enforce the law, and repealed the laws from the books.

Oops. That's an analogy. Sorry, Anna.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Some Great Put-Downs

A great web site contains Brain Candy. Here are some put-downs and insults with which to arm yourself:

0 A demitasse would fit his head like a sombrero.
0 A sharp tongue is no indication of a keen mind.
0 All that you are you owe to your parents. Why don't you send them a penny and square the account?
0 Anyone who told you to be yourself couldn't have given you worse advice.
0 As an outsider, what do you think of the human race?
0 Converse with any plankton lately?
0 Do you have to leave so soon? I was about to poison the tea.
0 Do you want me to accept you as you are or do you want me to like you?
0 Don't you love nature, despite what it did to you?
0 Has reached rock bottom and shows signs of starting to dig.
0 He does the work of three men: Moe, Larry, and Curly.
0 He'd steal the straw from his mother's kennel.
0 He's so dense that light bends around him.

Source: Brain Candy

Friday, November 04, 2005

Bet You Didn't Know This

From the Netscape Community site, I have copied the list of 12 Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know:

Did you know...
1. It is impossible to lick your elbow.
2. A crocodile can't stick its tongue out.
3. A shrimp's heart is in its head.
4. In a study of 200,000 ostriches, over a period of 80 years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand.
5. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
6. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
7. More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received a telephone call.
8. Horses can't vomit.
9. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
10. If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. And, if you keep your eyes open by force, they can pop out.
11. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over a million descendants.
12. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.

How Old Am I?

My eighty-nine-year-old mother (shown above) is in a nearby nursing home. She often has panic attacks and when that happens, she has the home call me. I received such a call late this afternoon. When I got to the nursing home, she was still waiting for me by the nurse's station. I wheeled her back to her room. As soon as we got there, she asked, "How old am I?" and I knew immediately what had caused her panic; she couldn't remember her age.

I have been trying to figure out how I would feel if I couldn't remember how old I was. Knowing our age seems to be very important to humans. One of the first things a child learns about himself is his age. Knowing our age is a vital part of our being. How scary not to know that any more. I'll probably panic too.