Auld Lang Syne

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When I was in Kindergarten the teacher used to play the piano and we would sing her repertoire of songs. It was a pleasant time of day when the music surrounded us and our voices rang out with joy. I looked forward to hearing the joining of piano and voices. That joy would not last long enough for me to paste it in the indelible file. I must admit that I was a curious child and always talking and squirreling around. I’d make noises trying to sing along. Being tone deaf is offensive to those who have perfect pitch.

One day the teacher was again miffed with me for something or other. She shook her whole body and then made a lunge for me. My big bow ripped at my hair and my teeth bit my tongue. She shoved me in the little space behind the piano and the wall. She began to bang out my favorite song, Auld Lang Syne. When I say bang out, I mean a hard, loud hammering and a shattering sound effect was created as she pressed her tiny feet on the pedals and her fingers on the keys. That was the most beautiful song and I loved to hear and sing it, but now it has become loud smashing, devastating sounds ever since my stay behind the piano and between the wall scenarios. The space behind the piano and the wall, in my mind has become a personal prison. Some things we never forget and some things continue to effect us in various ways for all of our conscious lives.

With all of that said, sing and be happy. Why not?

Stop, Become, and Start

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Stop comparing yourself to others. This is generally a source of much unhappiness. Become aware of choosing negative thoughts and change them to positive affirmations. Okay, how does one achieve turning negative into positive. The key: Start to recognize positive side of thinking vs. negative thinking. You are there! Congratulations. In recognition there is grand achievement.

I say Start today with Fragments of Yesterday.

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There is something to be said about starting a new day. You know how you sometimes spend hours planning in the dead of night what you will take on into the new day of tasks not completed in the day passed. I say start today with fragments of yesterday. They keep you glued together and slip into cracks you cannot otherwise fill. All is well and good, but if you do not need to take yesterday, don’t. Baggage is baggage on any given day. Baggage will get in your way. It will slow you down and cause you to drown in the past, which actually is unknown in the future. Tomorrow is the future. You can’t live in it until it comes, so do not dwell too long getting there. Perhaps pack a few fragments on which to build, or not. Just bringing it to mind.

You say how can you live in the future? You can’t, but you can clean up as much of today as possible and let the new dawn begin as much anew as possible. Think new day, new opportunities, fresh start filled with the freedom, plus the power to choose new possible strengths, advantages, and new prospects to heal yourself of past hurts and regrets.

I am the kind of person who takes bits and pieces of other days along with me in case I need to mend together the new day. Adding some of yesterday seems to add strength. So, perhaps, do not be too strict with yourself and carry just a pocket full of the past to sprinkle and share in the future. Power is knowledge, so keep your facts, data, and wisdom near by.

I write to help myself.

THE STARE OF EYES THAT HAVE BEHELD

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My eyes have seen crystalline hues

As well as myopic views

Foggy sights do not bewilder them,

And lonely stark, dark nights they do not condemn

Sometimes I remember not day or night

Going all kinds of places in my mind

Let me go and enjoy being kind.

My friends are all gone

And I am alone

It is a new dawn.

I live with song and rhyme

Gives me reason to climb

Heights I can still reach

In my mind are never far behind.

I made promises to my family

And the truths all came forth

And I kept them all to the best of my ability.

None lost to futility.

When I lay me down

All gather round

Put a tiara around my head

And know that I am finally dead.

By: Sheila Clapkin

I’m the Leftover Queen: Are you, too?

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Fancy meals evolve from our out to dinner take home boxes. I doubt whether I would be able to come up with a tasty meal without the spices as well as gentle flavorings of our take home leftovers. When you doubt something, or shall I say when I doubt something, I try to prove myself right and if by chance I learn from the encounter, all the better.

Oh no, I have a refrigerator full of food and shall try to mix and match the ingredients from a number of days of collecting bits of leftover foods. So here we go to making a meal of mix and match.

First I grab the ingredients for a soup. The soup was going to be a medium to small size, but low and behold it became a bigger and bigger pot. This is a yummy sweet soup with a giant satisfying flavor.

Next a little side dish of old fruit that was going to perish if not cooked immediately. Cooked fruit is a delight as a side dish with a dollop of ice cream, yogurt, or sour cream on top.

Next is left over Pad Thai noodles and certainly enough for guests, so guests are invited. Added to the mix warming in an extra large frying pan are the noodles, parsley (fresh), extra seasonings, a tad of leftover rice cooked with onions, added curry seasonings, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and finally add chopped up chicken from take out. Cover frying pan and cook until ingredients are cooked through and through. Then crack six whole eggs in order to decorate mixture with whole eggs all around the pan. Cover and cook until yolks have turned white. Add a little sprinkle of seasoned salt.

I know, where’s the bread? I have leftover bread and cookies from a Hawaiian Restaurant. I mixed biscuit flour, hammered a few leftover cookies, and the bread into a bowl, added Almond milk to desired thickness. Sweet dinner muffins popped out of the oven. Our guest had arrived, and were sipping wine and spreading cheese. The cheese leftover from over a week ago was still bright and cheerful looking.

 

Leftover Dinner Delight: Menu.

 

Wine

Cheese and Crackers

A yummy stew like soup is used as a starter

Cup of cooked fruit topped with Vanilla yogurt. The cup is made out of a small cabbage bowl. Looks lovely and is very filling.

RE-developed Pad Thai Noodles with Eggs and Chopped Chicken

Sweet Dinner Muffins

Coffee

The meal for me was gratifying in the fact that leftovers can make such joyous eating, plus fulfill a nourishing need, and to have created a pleasing meal from leftovers.

 

 

 

 

I’m an Old Lady; Leave me Alone Already!

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Oh for heaven’s sake, stop with the hormones to be replaced forever more. Honestly I believe if God wanted female hormones to race through our blood streams forever, it would already be in the process.

I know big bad and loud criticism for what I think will come booming in, but I have to say what I have to say and forever more I shall be mute on the subject.

Oh yes, you have demonstrated a great loss in bone mass and you will have to take a supplement. Ok, so I did take one dose of Foxomex and became terribly ill. So no more of that, right? For the last 40 years and more I have been chastised for not taking big doses of Calcium, plus all of the new shots being made available. Gosh if you are allergic to the one that lasts a year, you could be conceivably very ill for a whole year.

I think the body when it ages, knows what it is doing. If you fill it with hormones when it is trying to slough them off, you are going against what your body is showing and telling you.

Whole Foods opened near me, so I decided to go for the recommendation of Raw Calcium, nice size dose and low and behold, I received one of the most vicious face break outs and for weeks now I have been pealing. My scalp is covered in a cap of dandruff and it is painful to comb my hair. Quit the large, extra large doses of calcium and vitamin D3, but there is no rest or relief from this female aging thing. I knew this volatile blog is going out to you and I feel relieved and very peppy this morning. Thank you for this opportunity to share.

Now large doses of Premarin have been prescribed and not taken. You are howling, not taken, you went against your doctor’s orders? Yep, I did and do. Why?

Why, because I am going to take a few moments and write to you some of the side effects of taking Premarin, and if any one of them is a pick for you, let me know which one. Heart attack, stroke, Blood clots, Dementia, Breast Cancer, Cancer of the lining of the uterus, Ovarian Cancer, High Blood Pressure, High blood sugar, Gallbladder disease, Liver problems, Enlargement of benign tumors of the Uterus (fibroids) and a severe allergic reaction. Here are a few of the less common side effects. Also, Swollen lips, tongue and face, Headache, Irregular vaginal bleeding, Nausea and vomiting, HAIR LOSS, Fluid retention and or vaginal yeast infection. And in ending this list they state that these are not all the possible side effects of Premarin and if you want more call 1-800-438-1985.   I’m convinced once again. Thank you for reading thus far.

I want you to look up the side effects of Fosamax and do not tell me all of them, but they neglect to mention anywhere about your shinbones shattering for no reason and your jawbone begins disintegrating.

I write as the elderly lady who dyes her hair black that my doctor sees as he/now she is still prescribing drugs I have refused. You want me to ingest this poison, inject it, shove it up my female reproductive organ and surely what I do have left will fade away as well. We will whither whether we take this poo poo or not. Is this what you are thinking or are you worried, what if I get too much of this and that and keel over in death? Well, let us discuss this in the comment section.

So if I do or do not use these drugs I will dry up and blow away? I only hope it is that easy. The natural process of female aging is to reduce the productions of hormones and reduce the bone mass. Do you know doctors are still comparing your bone mass and numbering the gain or loss with 30 year olds bones and looks like they intend to forever? I am an old lady going in the direction nature proposes, so leave me alone is all I can muster. Any which way you want to look at it; you are going to the great beyond, sooner or later. You want to go kicking and yelling, or do you want to lie down and let someone else make your choices?

Our doctor retired, so we have a new doctor. I’ve never met her, but requested and took a blood test to have results ready when I go for my appointment with her. Her office called three times and to their despair I was not home. They finally told me in the morning that I have to start on a statin immediately. Really? I want to say, Go to hell, but I see where you are reading a 220-cholesterol level and forgetting to see that I have 70 HDL. When did that stop counting? My doctor for years has been telling me that I have a 4% chance of a heart attack and NOTHING has changed. For a 4% chance, you take the Statin and I’ll take my chances. I have been informed that I am a year older now and that raises my chances to 15%.

There is also the other side of the coin isn’t there? You are the ones who hope the present fight against aging works for you and so do I. But in the meantime, I believe I am on the right path for me. Aging is a crapshoot and who can predict how you and I will proceed.

Before you go off half-cocked, let me tell you I know very little about drugs and their importance. But I do know many of them are so very important. Seriously you and I might be rolled up in a ball not able to function without them. I am only spouting my fear and thoughts on Hormone Replacement Therapy and now looking into Statins for a person with a 4% chance of a heart attack.

God Bless all of us, old and young alike.

 

Catherine Dunn

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How we Met:

Catherine and I have been writing to each other for approximately 25 years or more. I met Catherine on a trip to Nebraska. Our destination was Fargo North Dakota. Ilene and Bob were over one night and we wanted a destination, so Skip took out a map, put it on the coffee table, closed his eyes circled his finger around and it landed on Fargo, North Dakota. Then, we began to plan. That trip took us up through Nebraska,

We landed in Omaha, Nebraska, traveled up through Nebraska, South Dakota, stopped in Fargo, of course, up to Winnipeg, back down through Minnesota, Iowa, and then back to Omaha to travel home. Between those travel days we have many memories, but the memory of Catherine is most vivid.

Bellevue Nebraska was on our map and as we drove around the lovely little quintessential small town we went off the main road and happened upon a travel scene. There were huge brambles rolling down the street, and to the side of the road was a little thrift type of shop; perhaps it said collectibles. Its doors were swinging and smacking in the wind and those sounds called us loud and clear to come in, and we did. There, sitting in the corner of the store, was a beautiful Nebraska woman quilting a lovely quilt. I asked her if she had more and she motioned that she could not hear me, so I wrote my question. I desperately wanted her quilt. She wrote in reply,” I can’t finish this one in time, but I have one at home and if you wait a few minutes I will get it for you. We waited. She scampered up the hill and shortly thereafter, returned with the finished quilt. I paid, we exchanged addresses, and we were off. I did write to ask her to send the finished quilt and sent the money along. The quilt arrived a week later and this is how Catherine and I have become friends and have written back and forth all of these many years.

Letter asking Permission to post Catherine’s letter:

Dear Catherine,

Maybe I have read your letter 10 times or more. I read between the lines into your soul. You are a beautiful woman sharing so much hope and pride. I just love you and your spirit. Your letter gives me a step up each time I read it. Thank you.

I hope it will be ok with you if I share it with some others I know that they would love to read the beauty in your thoughts and help to get to 95 or much more. If you say Yes, I will share it.

Do you have a photo of you? I would love to have one, but if not you know all the nurses and helpers have phones with cameras in them. Ask if they will take a picture. Have them keep taking until you like or approve. Then ask them to email it to me if they will. It is easy and I would love it!!

You will see how easy it is to take the photo and email it. Electronics are a wonder. I am into some of it, but each new step is a giant one.

Have to get a new doctor. Our oldie but goodie is retiring. How sad. I had a little girl doctor for an appointment and she talked so much, she got all out of breath and left. I didn’t even get to say anything. Gosh I surely don’t want a little talkative girl for my doctor, all said and done, she did her job well.

Love, Sheila

Catherine’s Letter

Dear Sheila,

Thank you for the money. I don’t really need it, but will probably use it at the Good Will.

I am still sewing, but don’t know for how long. My eyes are going bad and there is nothing they can do.

I am on the 25th row of this quilt for a nurse that went to the hospital with me when I had a reaction to too many shots too close together. I will soon start your quilt and go as far as I can.

Yes, I know my writing is getting bad too. But what do you expect at 95? Then again, I am not the oldest one here. On this floor there are 5 over that. One is 99 and one up on the 3rd floor is 105. I hope I don’t live that long. It’s just too lonesome alone.

The weather has finally gotten to spring. It was quite cool till now and it gets over 80. I’m enjoying that. I will walk about 1 1/2 hours every day outside when the weather permits. I do need a walker for balance. I love the outside. I like to eat so have to keep my weight down some how.

You really made a splash with your writings. Keep up the good work.

I have a friend here in town that will take me almost any place. She took me to the cemetery on Memorial Day. Then we went to the Senior Center for lunch. It was the only place open to eat. It is usually full of people I know, but this year very few.

My niece is a cook there and she called a nephew close by and he and his family came in and we had a nice visit. It was a very nice trip.

We do get out of here some, but right now we are short of help so they are quite limited. I sign up for just about everything, even if it is just shopping at Walmart. It’s an outing when I don’t even need anything.

Another friend of mine here in town does embroidery work on denim jackets. Beautiful work. We get the jackets or vests at Good Will. She has a son-in-law who is quite an artist and he draws flowers, birds, and butterflies on them. They are really nice when she finishes them. She then gives them away. I told her to sell them, but she has too soft a heart.

It’s almost dinner time so had better close for today.

Take care.

Love,

Catherine.

 

PROVERB: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS” PLANTS A SHADOW IN MY MIND

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I was having a difficult decision to make and a friend said, “This too shall pass.” I thought well, whew! Then I looked up the meaning, saw both sides of the quote, and thought to myself, there really is a lot more to think about here.

“This too shall pass,” means, not only will this rough patch pass, but along with it so will your joys and the good times. This quote is a double-edged sword with more than one side to ponder.

Say to your self on a bad day, “This too shall pass.” This saying gives you such comfort; such solace. When you say the same quote for good happy times, “This too shall pass,” now instead of giving consolation and support, it gives you angst and fear. At least it does for me.

Every situation is temporary. Nothing lasts forever. So whatever you are doing whether it is good or bad is subject to, “This too shall pass’, but don’t we usually use this saying for bad times? No one wants to hasten the passing of the good times. I doubt very much that when I am having a good time, I will use, “This too shall pass,” but I assure you, it will from forever hence be a shadow in my mind.

A Walk at Dusk

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The wind has calmed down and the walking in the parks nearby has resumed. It seems as if everyone is on his or her way somewhere, but the walk goes nowhere, just round about. A man slowly drags his tired body along, and around as fast as he can go. He stops to gaze at the softly swaying blossoms and kicks around in the petal carpet. Why in heaven’s name am I following him? I don’t know him, never have seen him before, and when he turns around, he stares straight into my eyes. It becomes a magical stare and his eyes turn into flowers full petal. We stood starring, my eyes into his eyes, and his into mine. I wondered slightly if my eyes were full of flower petals as well. I didn’t ask.

He asked why my right shoulder was drooping along with the right side of my smile, which drooped down as well. Immediately I decided to run from him, but my shoes stuck as if they had been super glued. He laid his arm across my shoulders and said these words, “definitely a believer.” I stood paralyzed and grateful for his touch. He sounded like he was praying because nothing made sense and I knew he was not talking to me. He began to point at my right lower lip; the one that sags and then, he said, “I believe in a divine recovery.” I will follow you for a few moments and then I will be gone.” So be it. He is gone, my shoulder is straight, and my lip sagging is nearly invisible.

Have faith in a “Divine Presence.”

 

A Tid Bit

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During a trip to the Dermatologist this morning, the piano player in the entrance lobby was playing very relaxing music. People drag themselves into the hospital entrance hunched and wracked. The minute they start walking in step to the music you can visually see the change. They perk up and unravel their hunched bodies. On the rest of the trip to the elevators, folks nearly end up prancing and dancing through the corridors.

I usually use a particular restroom before continuing the distance on the main floor and before taking an elevator to my appointed destination. The middle stall is mine, usually empty and waiting, I suppose for me. The stall to the left always has someone with heavily jeweled sandals, taking her time, and by the way, I assume it is she. I’ve never seen her, because no matter how long I prolong my departure, she is still doing her business.

Today she was not there. Why do I miss her, wonder about her, worry about her? Perhaps she represents some intangible but meaningful reality to me. A silent, unknown friend just by being there, as well as not being there becomes a worry or a joy.

Dear Owner of the Heavily Jeweled Sandals,

Gold Bless You.

Dear Self,

When you start talking to Heavily Jeweled Sandals as being your friends, perhaps it is time to see your batty Psychiatrist and do battle for awhile, coming out pretty much the same as when you went in, just less hopeful.

Amen.

 

 

 

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