Actress Granddaughter

a us at Isabella's play

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today I am grateful for our actress granddaughter.  There is something very special when one of your offspring loves doing something that you always loved doing.


We went to our Isabella’s play, “Legally Blond”, last night at Garnet Valley High School.  It was a great production.  For the first time she had a bit of a part instead of being in the chorus.  At least yesterday afternoon she did.  In the evening she would be a dancer in the chorus and this girl can dance!


No matter how small the role is, it’s not easy to be playing one of the parents when everyone else is a kid, especially if you are still a kid yourself.  Most of acting comes from experience.  That’s why we find the older actors so mesmerizing.  They have a lot of experience to pull from.  Still, Izzy did a great job.  So did a lot of the kids, in this high-energy production.  There were times I found the band a little overwhelming, but now that most schools have the students “wired” even that wasn’t too bad.


This girl has more courage than I ever would have had at her age.  With the exception of a silly children’s play when I was a senior, I didn’t really start performing in plays until I was about 25.  It’s so great to have another thespian in the family.  I hope she continues to find her niche in the community of theater because I like having an actress granddaughter.  I am very proud of her.

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Poker Playing Dogs

con-six dogs playing pokerIMG_3671con-dogs tailcon-dogs playing poker

Friday, November 17, 2017

Today I am grateful for poker playing dogs.  Yes, I’ve gone round the bend, but I am not making the trip alone.  I’m taking you with me and also the wacky people in Connecticut who set up the front of their yard in such a clever way.


We drove past too fast to stop.  I ruminated about how I should have stopped.  On our way back the same way, I missed it and had to turn around.  Then I missed it again, but was confused about where to safely pull the car off because there wasn’t room except for their very short driveway.  But I HAD to get pictures of this display.


I love attention to detail in food, theater, decorating and most especially these poker playing dogs.  Don’t turn on the news.  Just look at these characters.  You’ll feel better.


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Gift Cards

a gift card pic

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today I am grateful for gift cards.  I’m sure you are all sick of me talking about the gift cards for the children of Puerto Rico, so I promise that this is my last until I start getting pictures of them actually receiving them.  I will share those, I promise.


I have been blown away by the response.  I’ve extended when I will send the next batch off until next Tuesday because I know there are some in the mail to me.  Please don’t feel this is a pitch for more. You have all done enough and I am truly grateful.


And I’m also selfish.  You see, since last year around this time, I started feeling hopeless and disheartened more than I ever have before.  I don’t like the feeling, but every day the world, my world, the world that I love, is being changed in ways I despise.  How many times can I write my representatives; make phone calls; voice my opinion?  Too many, I fear.  But my concerns for us as a society are real.


The news is rarely good.  Weather disasters are constant.  Lies are more prevalent than the truth.  Bad decisions seem to be normal.  Young girls, young boys, women and men are being sexually assaulted as a matter of course. . .and then disbelieved as quickly.  People are being literally blown away by assault weapons on a daily basis.  Our government is making choices that will affect us and cause us grief in the years where we are supposed to kick back and not worry so much.  I am embarrassed and ashamed of how so many people are behaving, both in the government and on the streets.  What has happened to the world?  And it is all never-ending.  And exhausting.


So when I saw a small opportunity to do something positive, I was thrilled.  We still haven’t won the lottery, so I’m not able to send large sums of money to help people like I wish I could.  But you. . .all of you out there who dug in your pockets. . .and even those of you who were not able to, but offered support anyway. . .you’ve given met the hope I was looking for.


I suspect I’ll bawl like a baby when I send the next batch out, like I did with the last.  The man at Postman Plus was very happy to hear where your cards were going.  On the way out the door I said, “And now you’re a part of it, too.”  I swear there were tears in his heart, if not his eyes.


In this crazy topsy-turvy world, who would have thought that our little project could have that effect on a stranger?  Not me, who needed so desperately to feel like there is still good in the world and probably not you, either, who might also feel that way sometimes.  The gift cards haven’t even been delivered to those who need them most, yet the impact is palpable.  Thank you.


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Talk Turkey

a turkey herd

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Today I am grateful to talk turkey.  I know those pudgy little fowl will be the mainstay of many of your upcoming holidays so it seems timely to share a little story.


Himself and I are total suckers for seeing things in their natural environment.  We almost peed our pants when we saw jumping dolphins in Mobile Bay, Alabama.  I almost sacrificed him by automatically putting his window down so the moose would come closer in the Canadian wilderness.  I can still hear the ground rumbling from the charging elephant at Way Kompas in Sumatra, Indonesia.  Wild deer always give us pause as long as they are not lunging at our car.


Himself has been a squirrel “hunter” for years.   I even got him a costume for it one Christmas, complete with a tiny squirrel sewn to a camo hat.  No, silly, I didn’t get him a real gun.  It was a water pistol.  He’d hunker low at the barely open bedroom window, “pistol” locked and loaded with water, waiting patiently for a squirrel to show up at our bird feeder.  It turns out they appreciated the power washing way too much to let it  deter them from the feeder.  Nice hotel, great spa and the food isn’t bad.  All on my patio.


We had to get rid of our feeder because according to the homeowners association it was too close to our house.  Boo.  So now I’m being stubborn and not putting one up at all.  If I can’t see them from my patio window fuggetaboutit.


So the other day I was sitting where I usually do when I’m on my computer and in the corner of my eye, I see one of my favorite neighbors heading up the slope to fill his bird feeders.  No big deal.  Then I see him run up again only this time without the bucket of food.  Then he runs up again.  And again.  And again.  When I see him the next day I ask if he has a new exercise plan?  “Damn squirrels,” he says.  I would have offered him the power water pistol, but Himself broke it.  He didn’t want the hat.  Too bad.


So what on earth does this have to do with turkeys?  Wait for it.  You know I’ll get there eventually.  Well. . .another friend has a mom near Boston, who is elderly and ailing, so she’s been calling to see how her mom is.  I might be paraphrasing a little, but not much when I share the conversation she told me about between her and her sister.


Her:  Hi, how is mom doing?

Sister:  You should see how many turkeys are in the back yard.

Her:  Okay, but how is mom?

Sister:  I can’t even count them all.

Her:  Is mom still with us?

Sister:  Let’s see, 12, 13, 14. . .

Her:  That’s a lot.   But I’m at work, so how’s mom?

Sister: 23, 24, 25

Her:  I’m going to have to go soon.  Mom?

Sister:  27!!!  There are twenty seven turkeys in the back yard!  Wait, one is trying to get in the house!

Her:  Get the out the pot and shove him in there.  You’ll be ahead of the game.

Sister:  I scared him off when I screamed at him.

Her:  Are you feeding them?

Sister:  Yeah, I had to get more food and I upgraded it.

Her:  Well no wonder they’re hanging around.  And mom?

Sister:  I know.

Her:  But, mom?

Sister:  She’s fine.  Hey!  I don’t have any more squirrels, though!  They don’t like the turkeys.


If I see “wild” turkeys roaming around our back yards, I’ll know my neighbor read this and hired them for patrol.  We love seeing things in nature. . .apparently just not squirrels at the bird feeder. . . unless they can talk turkey.


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Bargain Cards

grateful card

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Today I am grateful for bargain cards.  The absolute coolest thing about writing this blog is all of the amazing people I’ve connected with.  For a people person, like me, that means it’s Christmas every day!


Before I tell you the point of this post, please know that I will not ask for, nor do I expect you to do sometime similar.  I’m just sharing because people are amazing and someone out there really does read what I write about.  I get a kick out of that!   Because most of my cyber and regular friends are a little whacky, like me, occasionally someone will send me something.  Stop!  Don’t feel guilty because you haven’t.  I mean it!  I’ll unfriend you if I even suspect you’re self-flagellating.  I rarely send a thing to anyone because I’m lazy and cheap and I don’t feel guilty.   So there you have it.  Don’t hang out at your mailbox waiting.


Every so often a little package, or a puffy envelop, or a card will turn up.  Himself will say, “Who do we know in. . .”  Wisconsin, Georgia, Australia, New York, Missouri, etc.  No clue.  Not one.


But my bargain hunting friends know me.  So when one or two of them are at a flea market and see weirdo sunglasses, which I love, they send them.  Some are almost too weird for even me.  Almost.  Another sent me a knitted dish cloth when she saw I was making crocheted ones.  Then there was a very cool ring that has an elastic band so it fits.   One got me a subscription to a daily meditation book that I read every single morning.  I don’t remember it past noon, but I read it.  Maybe it’s sinking in and I don’t realize it.  I hope so.


The latest surprise was a card.  Yup, just a card, but it made my week.  Why?  Because the person who sent it is the sister of a good friend and I’ve never met her.  She was at a thrift store poking through the really cheap bin of Hallmark cards and stumbled upon the one pictured.  She thought of me and the daily gratitude blog.  Wrote a note.  Found out my address.  And sent it!  And that’s the best!  BING!  Heartprint!

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Surprise Checks

a check for John

Monday, November 13, 2017

Today I am grateful for surprise checks.  In have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Facebook friends, some of whom I have never met, and also my in person friends, who are sending me or dropping off gift cards for those in such dire need in Puerto Rico.


I used to tell my last co-worker that I had a very nice, kind, White Guy sitting on my right shoulder and a nasty, hateful, wicked Red Guy sitting on the other.  Sometimes they speak to each other and even argue through my head/brain, which is a trip of greater proportions than any drug could provide.   You don’t want to be me.


The White Guy is collecting the $25 Walmart cards.  But the Red Guy has an opinion.  So I joked, yes, just joked, with Himself that with all of those gift cards we could have one almighty Christmas.  Shut up, Red Guy!  The White guy reminds me that I would have to look in a mirror and would absolutely never, ever be able to live with myself if I did something like that.  Then I turned on the water tap and said to Himself, “There!  That’s what we are getting for Christmas!  Water!  Running water.  And that’s more than those poor people in Puerto Rico have!!!”  Yes!  The white guy wins every time.  So far.


Yet when I was opening the mail and determined to keep a positive attitude regarding finances, I said out loud, “I wonder how many surprise checks will be in the mail today?”  Sure enough, there was one!  Did the Red Guy just flip me the bird?


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a walmart gift card

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Today I am grateful for generosity.  My world is full of the most generous souls ever and most of them don’t even realize it.  That makes them doubly special.


I mentioned to my book club that a dear friend of mine who is a flight attendant, has another friend who spends a lot of time in Puerto Rico and has told her how terribly grim the situation is for those still trying to live there.  The cities aren’t bad, but most of the outlying areas, like Lansdale is to Philadelphia, are without water or electricity.  It doesn’t get more basic than that.


My friend and her friend decided to send out a Facebook post requesting $25 gift cards from Walmart, which was the only big store open and accessible at the time and might still be.  Their idea was that because each card was for a set amount they could spread them out further and parents might be able to give their children some sort of Christmas.  Or water.  Or clothing.  Or food.  So far they have collected 300 gift cards.  Wow.  Just wow.


I presented this to my book club and they are coming through like gang busters.  Living on my fixed income, I can’t afford to donate each time there is a need, especially with the huge needs in the last few months.  But I can afford $25.  At least this time, I can.


Then while having coffee after water aerobics I mentioned the plan to those women, too, so waddaya bet I’ll get some from them, too?  The goal is to get them to the people by Thanksgiving.  The kind gentleman who started this ball rolling will deliver them in person and take some appropriate pictures so we can actually see the faces of those we care so much about, even though we’ve never met them.


The goal is to get the cards to them by Thanksgiving.  I am mailing ours to my friend on Wednesday.  I know how tight finances are for a lot of you so don’t ever worry if you can’t participate in something like this.  It’s okay. Really. I also know others of you hesitate to donate to the big organizations because of the overhead expenses.  Me, too.


That’s why I’m happy that a couple of generous people, with hearts as big as Puerto Rico, are taking care of this.  Every card will go to someone who needs it.  No overhead.  No kickback.  If you want to send a $25 Walmart card, too, either get it to me by Wednesday or message/email me and I will get you the address to send it to them directly.   Generosity, even in the form of holding a good thought, or saying a prayer for those still struggling, wins!  This time!  Every time!


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