Being a Senior

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There are plenty of advantages to being a senior citizen, discounted menu items

and movie tickets. I am adding some silly thoughts, thanks to John Wagner’s

creation of Maxine! Mom, my youngest brother and I watched a serious movie,

called, “Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom” and today, my Mom and I just

watched another library DVD, “Betty and Coretta,” telling the stories of the two

women who became widows, their struggles, their speeches and impact on black

women for generations. Betty was married to Malcolm X and Coretta was married

to Martin Luther King, Jr.

What better way to ‘lighten’ our moods than opening Mom’s big envelope of funny

stories and “Maxine” clippings sent from California, Pookie. We laughed at this set

of “Yes, I’m a Senior Citizen” one-liners:

1. “I’m the life of the party…

Even if it lasts until only 8 p.m.”

 

2. “I’m very good at opening childproof caps on medications…

using a hammer.”

 

3. “I’m awake many hours before

my body allows me to get up.”

 

4. “I’m smiling all the time,

because I cannot hear a word you’r saying.”

 

5. “I’m sure everything I cannot find is

in a safe secure place…

somewhere.”

(This was one that directly applied to Mom and me,

while we searched from drawer to drawer for her

Medicare/Aetna insurance card! We found it, just in

time to leave for the ‘first doctor of the week.’)

 

6. “I’m wrinkled, saggy, lumpy,

and that’s just my left leg.”

 

7. “I’m beginning to realize that aging is not for cowards!”

(Maxine says, “Not for wimps.”)

 

8. “I’m having the time of my life, if I only knew which apt.

I live in!” This was a comment from an elderly woman who

was listening to the musical program here last night to my

Mom.

 

This joke made my Mom laugh but she followed it with a quick

comment, “That is kind of gross!”

 

“A man visits his aunt in the nursing home. It turns out she is taking

a nap. So he sits down in a chair in her room. He flips through a few

magazines. He munches on some peanuts sitting in a bowl on the

table.

Eventually the aunt wakes up. Her nephew realizes he has absent-

mindedly finished up the entire bowl of nuts.

He says, “I’m so sorry, Auntie. I have eaten all your peanuts. I will

bring you some next time I come to visit.”

She replies,

“Just remember to bring me chocolate covered peanuts, as I enjoy

sucking off the chocolate. I don’t care for the peanuts part, dearie.”

 

And the last, making this an even ten funnies for this Wednesday…

“A woman meant to call a record store but dialed a private home

phone number instead.

She asked with some enthusiasm,

“Do you have ‘Eyes of Blue’ and ‘A Love Supreme?’

The puzzled homeowner responded,

“Well, no, but I have a wife and eleven children.”

“Is that a record?” the woman inquired.

“I don’t think so, ” replied the man, “but it is as close as I want to get.”

 

 

Happy Hump Day and enjoy the rest of the week!

I hope

it goes

all

d

o

w

n

h

I

l

l

!

 

 

 

 

 

Thrift Store and Road Trip Adventures

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The road to almost anywhere seems to take you much longer than the

trip home. My brothers give me directions around Cleveland, forgetting

my crooked path that began on the lake which I call ‘home’ to the small

towns I have lived in and then back again, to visit again. The total number

of years away are much more than the years I lived at ‘home.’ I had lived 6

years in Bowling Green, Ohio, four while attending college and two while

young, newly married and teaching middle school. I spent 5 years farther

south, in Lancaster, Ohio, and a big chunk of 28 years in my chosen (picked

it on a map) location of Delaware, Ohio.

So, we valiantly set off to a short distance away to go shopping. Mom and I

were off on another one of our adventures, traveling around the city streets,

some I have forgotten their names. “Fasten your seat belt, Mom! Hold onto

your hat, since the windows will be down it is such a beautiful and warm

day!”

Mom and I ate lunch out at a casual location, fortifying for our shopping

expedition. So serious, that Mom had made a list and so had I! We were

heading towards Lorain Road (one town over, North Olmsted) from Center

Ridge Road (Westlake). We located the Dr.’s office we would go to on Wed.,

along with the Dr.’s office we would head towards on Thurs. Then, we were

on Busy and much traveled, Dover Center Road. We passed the church where

my early days of Girl Scouts had met, along with a house of where one of my

Mom’s favorite fellow Westlake (Demons) teachers had lived. They live out

West in Colorado, writing letters and exchanging cards with Mom.

When we arrived on Lorain Road, I traveled East first; nope!  Wrong direction!

I saw an outstanding and extraordinarily low priced familiar gas station, where

there were several people, one elderly man who may have been retired, chatting

by the door of the place. It is one where Brazilian coffee has joined the hot brews,

along with my favorite cappuccino mixes. Having had three days of the Senior

Apartment brewed coffee, a little above average and the Maxwell House instant

coffee my Mom drinks all day, I decided to grab a flavored ice tea for Mom and

pre-pay for some gas. I left my Mom’s windows open and locked her in. We gave

a little laugh, since she knows I worry a lot about her memory and her safety, too.

I was told I was only a few hundred feet to get to Dollar General and only two

blocks away from Giant Eagle, whose plaza has a huge Volunteers of America

Thrift Store. I thanked the men who were gathered on the step of the gas station,

and gave the elderly, very genuinely concerned man a brief but sincere hug. He

laughed and said, “You made my day, Honey.”

Once we got in the doors of the V. of A. Thrift Store, we checked carefully for the

“Colors of the Day” chart. I repeated them twice to Mom, since the color of orange

meant 50% off the price tags of that color, the color of green meant a whopping

75% off.

We spent over two hours searching for our own respective list of ‘clothing needs.’

Which for me usually includes dark and patterned shirts and jeans that are ‘not too

tight’ for my warehouse job. She was fascinated by the Halloween decorations, I had

to insist she had her ‘door and shelves covered with October décor.’ Once I had her

steered towards the relaxed pants and turtle necks part of the store, I could head off

into the misses and juniors areas.  I went back to her twice, to find her cart piled

high in clothes she WISHED she could wear. I loved the attitude coming from her,

really like her sparkling belief that she can still wear pants with belts and shirts

with buttons. We had to put the black pin striped suit she wanted to wear ‘to go to

meetings in’ back. I got her to go back one row over where the pants were elastic-

waisted and the shirts were pullovers.

This time I headed off to the Sundries department. It makes you think of a garage

sale or one of those big flea markets that are set up on fairgrounds. Twice I had to

stop people to ask first, for the frames area and then, for the photo albums area.

I found five albums for my grandkids’ photos, various covers and styles from a

big pile of these. I liked the ones I found for the girls, one with flowers, another

with a geometric design and the ones for the boys, one had a red ‘leather’ look

for my oldest, Skyler and another had a green ‘leather’ look for Landen. The

others will be ‘jazzed up’ like I do with dollar store albums, using stickers and

little bit of acrylic paint designs. So much money saved and I may have told you

this summer I printed out 700 photographs, dating back to Fall, 2013. Yikes!

Blogging has taken me away from my usual careful seasonally printing off the

pictures and individually separating them into 6 distinct albums. My grandies

have looked more into their past, then their recent happenings, when they go

to my four foot stack of photo albums, one for each season of their lives.

The other great find was a beautiful mahogany or cherry antique frame to put

my #86 Birthday Gift to my Mother in. I know how much she loves Autumn

leaves and found a beautiful branched photograph, with multiple leaves of

brilliant shades to place a male red cardinal on and the step below him, a

female yellow cardinal perched on a branch. I painted this in watercolors,

starting in early October. The frame was a ‘firm’ price, not one that will be

reduced by its tag, $3.99. What a bargain! I gave my Mom her gift early, since

we have plans for dinner Wednesday with my youngest brother and his wife,

then on Friday with my ‘older’ brother, just 18 months younger than I. (We

ran around in a ‘pack’ from childhood through high school, 3 born in 4 years.)

Here were Mom’s purchases in a list:

1. Four pairs of elastic waist pants,

*Pink ones made of denim material, brand new condition. Mom’s favorite color.

*Blue jeans, a nice dark denim with large, deep pockets. She acknowledged their

benefits by saying,

“Robin, I can put tissues and my keys in this pocket and the doggie bags in the

other one. Some may call them doggie doo doo bags… but I also put her treats

from my dinner in them, too.” (Not at the same time nor same bag, may I add!)

*Black soft cotton material pants with pockets. They may resemble sweat pants,

but she wears this style to bed and to answer the door in the morning.

* Black sturdier, some acrylic/polyester material pants that look ‘dressy’ and less

worn. Mom exclaimed about her next three purchases that would be worn with

these same pants,

“Robin, look at this beautiful jacket for the holidays, this red turtleneck and this

red cowl necked sweater! You will not believe how lucky I was at finding them!”

 

 

Here is the best part of the red plaid wool jacket labeled, Norton McNaughton,

with its black velvet color and such a Scottish printed plaid:

It was marked “99 cents” and happened to be a green tag, so take 75% off and

Mom paid only one quarter for this jacket, with its freshly dry cleaned tag attached.

 

The trip back home was short and sweet, we sipped our tea, (Mom’s) and coffee,

(mine) quite content to bask in our wonderful purchases. We stopped on the way

home to sit in the woods of Bradley Woods Park, looking at the busy squirrels, the

chirping birds and sun glowing colors of Autumn. I pulled out of my purse two

Milky Way bars and two little dark chocolate Hershey kisses. We felt like we were

almost in Heaven.

 

A flyer in Mom’s door had a religious message but I loved the

quote:

“The Clock

The clock of life is wound but once,

and no man has the power

to tell just when the hands will stop

at late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,

To lose one’s health is more.

To lose one’s soul is such a loss

That no one can restore.”

(Author Unknown, found on a religious tract)

 

*As far as I am concerned,

in this poem, the word,  “soul”

can mean our enthusiasm and

sometimes Grace. ~Robin E. O. Cochran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleveland R & R Hall of Fame: Musical Notes

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Oh, how my brothers and I wished we could have gone to the excellent musical

tribute to the Everly Brothers on October 25, 2014. It was called, “Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame’s 2014 Music Masters.” There were so many famous musicians and

music industry ‘captains’ there that it would have been so amazing to listen to

the tribute for this iconic sibling combination who inspired everyone that followed

them.

Revelry included a large group of musicians from the genres and roots of blue grass,

jazz, country and rock and roll legends. I will give you part of the ensemble list here.

Emmy Lou Harris who paired up with Alfred Lee (Everly’s lead guitarist) to sing the

trademark song which is recognizable across the world, with memories mentioned

by British icons and Irish singers, too: “Bye, Bye Love.”

What brought the audience to tears, Chuck Yarborough of the Cleveland Plain Dealer,

mentioned in his article and the evening news the next day also repeated, was Don

Everly, aged 77, coming up on stage to join them in harmony.

Who else was there, you may ask? Graham Nash, Keb’Mo’, Ledisi, Peter Asher, Waddy

Wachtel, Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, Alison Krauss, J. D. Souther, Bonnie

“Prince” Billie and Dawn McCarthy.

The lovely song, “Lonely Island,” was given a special tribute from the Secret Sisters,

Laura and Lydia Rogers all the way from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. T-Bone Burnett,

musician and record producer had insisted they include this song in their most

recent record.

Keb’Mo’ and Ledisi performed, “Let It Be Me,” which meant adapting the vocals

to their unique talents.

Vince Gill and Graham Nash, (Nash started out in the duo, The Hollies but is more

known and recognized for his contribution in another ‘combination’ band, Crosby,

Stills, Nash and Young.) They sang a great duo together.

Rodney Crowell (musical director) and Keb’Mo’ sang “Wake Up, Little Susie,” which

is an Everly’s favorite. Keb’Mo’ has included this memorable song on one of his albums

and spoke about his affection for the warm and friendly Everly Brothers.

Greg Harris, Rock and Roll H. of Fame Pres. and CEO, mentioned when he toured in

Ireland in the 80’s everywhere he traveled, when a guitar was pulled out to play,

whether in a kitchen with a grandfather and grandson, along with Pubs, Everly Brothers

were being played.  He mentioned a tribute to Phil Everly who had passed away earlier

this year, just days before he would have celebrated his 75th birthday. It was a moment

of bittersweet memories, allowing the audience to again mourn the loss of a ‘brother.’

Emmy Lou Harris’ soprano voice joined Rodney Crowell’s in a poignant song, “Love

Hurts.”

The night of duets continued with Peter Asher (who had been formerly part of the duo

“Peter and Gordon,” which is still considered a great part of the British Invasion)

and Graham Nash soaring voices in harmony in “Hard, Hard Year” followed by

“Claudette.” Wow!

Peter Asher later paired with J.D. Souther in the song, “Crying in the Rain.”

Are you like me? Do you remember the continuous variety of the Everly Brothers’

song and playlist?

When Vince Gill joined Graham in Everly’s huge (most sold songs) “Cathy’s Clown,”

both using their natural tenor voices to blend into a beautiful tribute to the Everly’s

I would have loved to be there but I bet Youtube has captured this. I will hope to

find a disc of this fine duet.

Vince Gill and Allison Krauss performed together, “When Will I Be Loved?” The song

is one I could sing all the words to, since it is a classic and never to be forgotten. It

has been sung by musical artists everywhere, including a few of my college buddies.

 

This is the point I wish to make, there are few people who have not been moved,

touched and honored to have listened to an Everly Brothers song.

 

Just a side note:

Did you notice that Jack Bruce passed away over the weekend?

The days when ‘rock and roll were young’ include Cream band,

where Jack Bruce was ‘big time’ in the 60’s and 70’s in England

and the U.S.

Cream had its own sound, a psychedelic combination of blues,

rock and part of the “Flower Power” age.

Jack studied music while a child in Scotland, became a cellist

and symphonic musician before he turned to rock and roll.

Jack Bruce’s solo albums, after Cream ‘broke up’ were covered by

everyone from Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Ella Fitzgerald.

“Sunshine of Your Love,” is one of the many Cream and Jack Bruce

songs that come to my mind. On the album, it featured Eric Clapton

playing the guitar, while Jack Bruce played the bass and sang along

with Ginger Baker on drums. Worth checking out, if you were not

part of this generation, or worth listening to, just to have that

wonderful flooding of memories that may be associated with thie

period of music.

“Wheels of Fire” spent time on the Top Ten Best Songs for quite

some time, Cream sold 35 million albums in two years. It became

the World’s First Ever, Platinum disc! Wow!

 

As a soloist, Jack Bruce developed a combination of blending

jazz, rock and blues, with less of the psychedelic renderings.

He was successful and toured from the 80’s until 2005, when

Cream came back together to tour and help those who were

part of the generation of “Flower Power” to reminisce, dance

and sway along to the music.

 

One Cream song, “I Feel Free,” will be one that makes me smile,

since Jack Bruce, aged 71 succumbed to cancer, is probably part

of that Heavenly Band, feeling free of the pain he suffered in his

later life.

 

Oh, So Lovely x Two!

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For some reason, possibly my love of musicals, the song,

“I Feel Pretty” comes to mind when I hear the words

“One Lovely Blog” Award!

(Do you remember the movie scene when Natalie Wood is

singing this in “West Side Story?”)

How about another musical reference?

“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” while Eliza Doolittle is imagining a much better

life than being a flower cart girl. This is from another of my favorites,

“My Fair Lady.”

Last but not least, Cole Porter gave us a lovely combination of songs,

one which was made into a movie with Kevin Kline, the actor, playing

the musical composer and lyricist’s life story. “Delovely” makes me think

of how fun the world could be if we thought everything was ‘delightful’

and ‘delovely.’

One Lovely Blog Award nomination was given to me by Soul N Spirit blog,

by Rashmi, who is a sweetheart of a woman, sharing her travels, faith and

perspective on Life at:

http://soulnspirit.com

Kim also surprised me by nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award.

These two women are beautiful inside and out. I am blessed by knowing

them and hope you will enjoy reading their posts.

You may find Kim’s Chronic Conditions and Life Lessons thoughts at:

http://kimgosselinblog.com

 

This post could include two quotes that mean a lot to me. I usually ‘wax

poetic’ when I get nominated for awards, never dreaming when I signed

up to create a “Free blog of thoughts on my wacky dating experiences”

then getting more serious, establishing my real reason for writing,

“Relationships Reveal Our Hearts.” Soon, I was finding humanity in all

aspects of the local scenery, the Midwestern states and finally, the world.

 

“Don’t cry because it is over,

Smile because it happened.”

(This means a lot to me, since I do try to smile despite the different ups and

downs in life. Author not given his/her due, when found this quote…)

 

“We could learn a lot from Crayons:

Some are sharp.

Some are pretty.

Some are dull.

Some have unique names.

(Interesting stories to tell.)

All are different shades and colors.

But they all exist very nicely in the same box.”

(I tinkered with this often passed around quote.)

 

The rules for awards to me, mean you should thank the one who gave you

the nomination. It doesn’t mean in a whole post, just in their comments’

section.

You should appreciate they have hundreds of choices out there, they decided

to choose to pass this one on to you.

 

This is to give you a ‘nod’ and a ‘pat on the back’ to let you know you are

appreciated and noticed.

 

1. Carol

http://writersdream9.wordpress.com

2. Mikial

http://mikialmillard.com

3. Catherine

http://artourway.com

4. Sherri

http://sherrimatthewsblog.com

5. Tokidoki with Jacqueline

http://jacquelinemhadel.wordpress.com

6. Michelle

http://michellemarieantellg.worpress.com

7. Humor:

http://fatbottomfiftiesgetfierce.com

8. find art and spiritual interests, like karma:

http://etherealpaints.wordpress.com

9. Nancy

http://nrhatch.wordpress.com

10. Find journalism and art here:

http://chaptertk.com

11. photos

http://russellrayphotos2.com

12. Ian

http://aussieemu.wordpress.com

13. Dianna

http://thesedaysofmine.com

14. Ashley

http://ashleyomelia.com

15. Emily

http://keysandopenmind.wordpress.com

 

Explore and enjoy these lovely blogs!

 

Combinations

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I think automatically of my locker in high school, when I think of ‘combinations.’

My grandkids like to mix up their sodas, at those dispensers in fast food places,

what we used to call ‘suicides.’ Now, not so appropriate of a label, not one I would

want to try to explain to the ‘grandies.’ Some hodge podge of stuff, arts, music and

strange surprise may interest you in this post.

There have been some fun things that have

come across my path, in the past week, so here goes my silly list of ‘combinations.’

 

1.  Weird Sodas, Soft Drinks or Pops:

*Did you know that Tab still exists? It is still available in supermarkets, along with

being sold in South Africa, Spain, Norway, United States and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Also, it was the number one beverage sold at the place where famous people used

to gather:  Studio 54. Did you know since 1998, Studio 54 has become the home of a

theater called, Roundabout Theater Company? It had been in another location existing

since 1965. Also, if you knew about this, did you know in the basement there still is a

place to meet friends and hope for someone to spot called, 54 Below?

 

*Jones Soda Company sells some wonderful tasting sodas. I like their fruit flavored ones,

often grape or orange reminding me of the days my Dad would bring home a wooden

crate of Cotton Club pops. Crème soda, yummy! Well, did you know Jones Soda Co.

makes a flavor called PB & Jelly?

Also, during the holidays, seriously Jones Soda has sold what they call the “Holiday

Pack” with two flavors you could not pay me to drink: Mashed Potatoes and the odd

combination of Turkey and Gravy. I would like to see the sales numbers for those two

‘sodas!’

 

*Ski Pop, which is like Surge or Mt. Dew, but some consider a ‘poor’ substitute. Here

in Ohio, some recent statistics on this brand have explained that in Vinton County,

chicken farmers give this to their chickens to drink. Huh? Can anyone explain the

purpose of this? I can just imagine those ‘hyperactive’ chickens in their yards…

 

*Dr. Brown’s Soda has a flavor called “Celery” and it sells well in New York City

delicatessens.

 

*Rocket Fizz Brand Sodas produces “Lester’s Fixin’s” with two flavors called, Ranch

Dressing and Buffalo Wings. So, thanks to Lester, you can buy both flavors and skip

the cooking…

 

*Live, fermented soda, Kombucha comes in multiple flavors, like Ginger, Lemon,

Orange, Doctor, Cola and Cucumber Cayenne. That last one may manage to cover the

stinky smell.  Sorry, I have had this homemade version of battery acid and am not sure

I will ever acquire taste for it. I was fascinated, because coincidentally, right after I read

the article about the flavored Kombucha ‘sodas,’ I saw on my most recent favorite comedy

someone who makes this. (It is a nice show, even for families, too bad it is not going to

make it.) “About A Boy” includes Minnie Driver playing a single mother character. This

episode is focusing on her neighbor’s moving away. She makes homemade kombucha

and stores it in the dumb waiter elevator that connects her apartment to the handsome

and quirky neighbor’s, who is her son’s ‘best friend.’ He opens it and accidentally tips

one of her jars of concoction over. I saw in the male actor’s face, exactly my feelings

about kombucha; Yuck!

* Placenta Soda. Gross!

* Leninade, with Lenin, the communist’s name inserted in its product brand.

*Sickenly sweet, but I still like these two flavors that are a little different: Cotton Candy

and Strawberry Watermelon Faygo soda pops.

 

 

2. Robert Landau took outstanding, definitive photographs of the famous billboards along

Sunset Strip, which were on exhibit at Capitol University, Columbus, Ohio. You may check

the iconic and historic photographs of the poster-styled billboards, along with the urban legend

that Mick Jagger ‘defaced’ his own Rolling Stones billboard. There’s a compilation book available

of  Landau’s photos found in a 2012 book of his collection. There were in ‘the day’ people who

specialized in hand painting some of these memorable, vintage billboards. The years they were

most prevalent were from 1960 – 1980. Reading about renowned L.A. photographer, Landau,

was one of the most pleasant parts of the past two weeks of ‘combinations,’ I ran into while

collecting various news items.

 

3. Sour Patch Kids’ gum, flavored orange by Stride, has an interesting inside the pack,

design. It includes a Pirate map with the fun words of:

“The taste of orange boards your tongue and storms your taste buds. Then sweetly

serenades you with a sea shanty and a little pirate-y jig.”

So creative and you may find yourself tearing apart their other flavors of Sour Patch

Kids’ gum, which also comes in ‘red’ and ‘lime.’ (Not sure what flavor ‘red’ is?)

 

4. Jeff Dunham is going to be performing in Columbus, Ohio. Just recently heard about

him while visiting someone’s blog. He is a weird ventriloquist who sometimes uses

skeletons and creepy subjects in his comedy routine. He is seven years younger than I

am which makes it unusual that he became a ventriloquist. Seems it was becoming ‘out

of fashion’ during the time he was able to practice this unusual skill. Danny O’Day was

one of my brother’s ‘dummies’ and he enjoyed trying to ‘throw his voice.’ He is very

talented in his YouTube videos…

 

5. Music Trivia:

*Have you heard Lorde’s song, “Mockingjay?” Do you like it?

*Have you listened to Neil Diamonds’ new album titled, “Melody Road?”

Oh please, someone go with me to see my favorite (individual) musician

while he performs in Columbus, Ohio on 3/28/2015.

I can buy my own ticket, but many of my friends would prefer to spend that amount of

money on a group. Sure, I would like to hear Bob Seger, playing with the J.Geils Band,

(who I heard last in person, at the Cleveland Agora, aged 20 or so…) Or Boston or The

Manhatten Transfer, but Neil!  I really would be so excited to see him in concert…

 

*Buckey Country’s annual Superfest will include Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton,

Rascal Flatts along with a crew of country musicians in the two day event, held

in the Ohio Stadium on June 20 and 21st, 2015. Tickets last year were around

$70 a day, my friend and coworker, Tina shared.

 

*As I was heading to my Mom’s for vacation, I said ‘goodbye’ to many people. Many

were wishing me good times with my family. Which wasironic since after clocking out

on Friday, October 24, 2014,  I turned on my car, to hearthe nostalgic strains of Simon

and Garfunkel’s song playing on the radio,

“Sitting in the railway station. …” Yep, you guessed it. … “Homeward Bound.”

 

6. Art:

* At the Wexner Center, located on Ohio State University campus,  has

a thrilling experience in store for you should you wish to see the exclusive

exhibit titled, “Transfigurations.” It is from Les Wexner’s private, limited

art collection that includes Susan Rothenberg, Willem de Kooning, Picasso,

Giacometti, and Dubuffet. You may view them through December 31st. They

are considered Modern Masters. The Picasso is a reclining woman and is quite

large and interesting. One reviewer had to go back and look at it again, it is

entrancing in its own unique perspective of a nude woman.

 

*The public domain of Frankenstein memorabilia will be on exhibit in the

Homeport Gallery, where artist and filmmaker, Celia M. Peters, shares her

collection. She has different subject matters that are also considered, public

domain, where no need to have permission to reproduce, Shakespeare,

Beethoven and Dorian Gray, for example. The horror film subject matter

seems appropriate for Halloween viewing.

 

* Open Door Art Studio will show in Grandview all kinds of multi-media Halloween

objects. This includes zombies, werewolves, witches, monsters in costumes and

masquerade attire for your interest in memorabilia.

 

 

Okay, tell me:  Which was the most bizarre part of my combinations post?

 

A quotation from Dubuffet,

“Without bread, we die of hunger.

Without art, we die of boredom.”

Dubuffet’s artwork is featured at Wexner’s special show, “Transfigurations.”

 

“Saint” Karen

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My friend, Karen P., was a one-to-one aide at my special needs school, long before I

‘nabbed’ her to become my teaching assistant. She had what I call ”the patience of Job,”

with a little child (age 3) with autism. With this child she worked by using both sign

language and verbal cueing. She learned also, through workshops and the therapists, to

use positive reinforcers. His special pleasure was playing with tractors. Casually, you may

have heard the word, ‘fixation,’ when his parents talked about his tractors. He was quite

an independent child, which was hard to explain to his parents that his ‘shrieking’ was

not because of his being ‘rebellious.’ I would consider Justin’s intelligence level to be

found somewhere on the Asperger’s Spectrum; as ‘higher functioning.’

 

When I think of friends, I remember that old Girl Scout song, which was a ’round’ which

repeated itself. It goes like this:

“Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other is gold.”

 

The nine years I had dear “Saint” Karen by my side, in the ‘trenches, and sometimes

taking all the dirty work, quite literally, make her my Gold Standard of Friend. You will

think we are quite ‘sick in the head’ when I tell you that we still roar with laughter about

one Christopher who threw chairs across the room, we felt he was ‘possessed!’ We were,

in our private moments , just barely able to contain ourselves. Our favorite way to make

light of Christopher, was to say to one another,

“We know that face will be on the “Wanted” posters in the Post Office one day, we just

know it!”

Also, the dirty work, was meant (by me, I reassured her when she came to be my assistant)

to be split fairly. When there were diapers which needed to be changed, we took turns.

But another ‘sick’ sense of humor moment was when “Miss Karen” was stuck with ‘her turn’

AND THE BOY HAD DIARRHEA.

But apparently Jonathan did not just do it in his pants. It went down his leg and into his

cowboy boots! When the expression is “Up to your neck in ‘shit,'” for Karen it had been,

“Up to her armpits!” Poor Karen did not feel well the rest of the day, like she could not

seem to get the odor off her hands. She was incessantly washing until she took the vanilla

air freshener spray and soaked her clothes and hands with it.

 

I would like to tell you a short history of Karen’s life, since she overcame a lot of tragedies

to come out wonderfully.  She taught me many things more than I was able to teach her.

At age 8, Karen lost her mother to an accident. Three of her grandparents were deceased,

the one who was left, did not want her. She was raise by her two elderly aunts. When her

Dad came back and forth into her life, she had to adjust to a wide variety of women, his

alcoholism,  and some verbal abuse. She always ended up calling her aunts, begging them

to come and save her.

She got good grades, wore clean but plain clothes. She met her husband, her only “love

of her life,” while going to community college to be a nursing assistant (STNA). He was

at a bar, he was ogling her, sometimes making loud comments and trying to get her

attention. She was 19 years old, she certainly wasn’t attracted to this wild motorcycle

man,  who appeared much older than she, at the time. The summer she met him, he

pursued her, found her almost each time she and her friends were out in Marion, Ohio.

Karen used a dramatic way to describe Dan: “He was relentless!”

Karen is strong willed, she claims to have broke him of his ‘pool gambling habit’ and

his drinking. Dan, on the other hand, gives her credit, saying that a ‘good woman like

Karen’ can cure anything. They have been married for forty years, raised three kids

and three grandkids.  A fourth grandchild, from their son and his wife, was born this

year. So, this was a new beginning for their adventures, continuing the family saga.

 

On Friday, October 24, 2014, we got together and laughed until we cried. We ate

at the local restaurant, Old Bag O’ Nails. We had numerous refills on our beverages

and ate our ‘fish and chips’ slowly.  We had been apart for 2 years, trying to adjust

our busy lives and schedules to fit our friendship in.

 

Here are some of the subjects covered while we were there for almost four hours:

 

1. Grandchildren, of course.

 

2. “CSI” and cast changes over the years.

 

3. Hilarious episode of “According to Jim,” when both men’s clothes were blown off

when the water pipes in basement explode.

 

4. My divorced husband, what he was ‘up to.’ (She had been with me through 9 years,

through thick and thin,  and only one year, while I was single.) Still no car, working

close to his apartment. Got online PhD in Religion.

 

5. “Camel toes,” when the younger teachers taught us what this expression meant.

 

6. Condoms. My first “Secret Santa” gift as a single woman, in multiple hues and sizes.

 

7. Changing over from my old way of wearing “granny panties,” and our trip to Victoria

Secret. (We had multiple shopping trips for supplies, but our trip to Tuttle Mall was

our favorite.)

 

8. Barney, my famous bachelor gym teacher, who showed up my first Single Spring

Break, in a bathing suit, with a towel and a bottle of baby oil, in hand. We ‘cracked up

all over again when we remembered his announcing, “I’m your cabana boy, Robin.”

I had insisted all the female teachers,  some who were in their twenties,  go out

with me dancing once a month. Somehow, when we ran into Barney, they fell in

love with him. (He looks a lot like Tony Danza, seriously.) Karen was sorely

disappointed in the fact we are not still in ‘touch.’

 

9. The ‘girls’ insisted we attend the football game when Barney coached the

opposition; our main rival. He was on the sidelines when his team played

“our school’s” team.

The Speech Language Pathologist and Trina, who talked me into drinking before

the game. We ran into the Superintendent and hugged him. We ran into 2 parents

and also, a school board member. We found the other girls in the bleachers,

climbing over people to get to them.

 

10. Which of the ‘girls’ have gotten married, which have babies and who is still

single, besides me.

 

Karen will always be my “Hero.”

 

Fred Rogers, Presbyterian minister and the nice man wearing the sweater on,

“Mister Roger’s Neighborhood:”

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.

It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’

Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people, my heroes.”

 

 

Trio of 2014 Children’s Books

Standard

When parents get book order forms from school, sometimes it can be overwhelming

and also, stressful when they have a limited budget. I remember my three kids bringing

home their school picture order forms, their sports group picture forms and then, on

top of all this, Scholastic book order forms. Of course, all school book fees, new clothes

and shoes, sporting equipment also came during the same time of year.

Occasionally, my Mom and Dad may have dropped a check off in the mail, which would

cover some of the items mentioned. I had child support for two of three children, along

with a carefully budgeted babysitting fees from my clients’ list. All of the five children

I watched stayed with me for the seven years I watched them, who were from parents

whose careers were either as professionals or a combination of positions. I could count

on them paying me regularly on Fridays. I had typed up a babysitting contract which

included paying me for sick days or times their children stayed home. Also, for vacations

they chose to take. If I ever needed to call them to ask them to use one of my  ‘back up’

babysitters then I would not get paid, same if I chose to take a rare vacation. I think I

‘called in sick’ on only three occasions in the  7 years, 9 summers  watched their kids.

When we were closely tied like we were, they would tell me when their vacations were

planned. We also would try to have seasonal family gatherings where we would get

our schedules in ‘synch,’ planning sports, extra curricular activities like gymnastics

and jazz dance classes, karate for the kids who chose this outlet. All 8 children, mine

included, took swimming lessons the same 6 weeks, usually in August, hoping the

water would be nice and warm in the morning.

I am rambling a bit, to tell you that my own children fit a lot into their budget.  I did

not expect to receive 5 x 7″ school pictures nor have the joy of seeing the choices of their

Book Fair. My oldest daughter pointed out that the Book Fair is during Parent-Teacher

conference time so you have extra time on your hands. Also, a little bit of pressure to go

wandering around with the kids to check out the books. I reminded her that the boys

have library cards like the three of ‘them’ (my own children) had from early years on.

I also would tell their teachers this, including what I thought was a valuable lesson,

which was to choose books and return them regularly allowed my kids to have many

more books, choosing far more than what we would need to have in our home. She

listened and told me they each were told they could choose one nice book to keep.

The boys, Skyler and Micah, already have a nice collection of hardback books in

their bedroom.

My daughter in law has the children’s book shelves in the play room, which means

they can sometimes need to be reorganized and cleaned up. She allowed the four

children to choose a book, with the two oldest, Lara and Landen, picking chapter

books.

The two little girls, M & M, each chose a book. I felt the ones I was most interested

in viewing would also be the ones you would be curious to hear about. I will include

Micah’s to round this out with a boy’s choice. This ‘trio’ of enjoyable selections is

a collection of picture books that were so endearing and entrancing. Along with one

that is quite dramatic!

 

1. “Flora and the Penguin” is a 2014 book with 40 pages, written and illustrated  by

Molly Idle. Last year, she won the Caldecott Honor for a wordless picture book called,

“Flora and the Flamingo.” The flamingo and little girl dancing in the different scenes

was quite beautiful and artistic.  Makyah chose the newer book since she loves the

movies, “Happy Feet,” and “Happy Feet Two.” It is one which will appeal to both boys

and girls, ages 3-5 years old. The author, Molly Idle,  mentioned the quote, “Actions

speak louder than words.” Since Makyah is the ‘baby’ in her household at age 3, I felt

this was a wise choice. She can tell adults or her siblings, what the pictures mean to her,

using descriptions and  her vivid imagination, to tell her own story about Flora. At her

preschool, Kyah is learning how to find her own voice, letting others know what she

thinks.

 

 

2. “The Iridescence of Birds,” a Newberry Medal winner, written by Patricia Mac Lachlan,

was chosen by 5 1/2 year old kindergartner, Marley. This is a 40 paged hardback book

which has a wonderfully illustrated story about Henri Matisse. The book has the small town

in Northern France, where the little boy and young artist grew up. It is winter and Henri

feels it is cold and dreary. The pictures show shades of grays in the gloomy scenery.  In the

true story of his life, Henri’s mother paints plates. Henri’s mother has him help her to set

out plates which radiate colors. His life brightens up when he puts fruits and flowers out to

inspire her painting. Rainbows shown in the book are like a prism (to his life) has been

added to every scene. Glorious!  This story of Henri Matisse’s young childhood is like an

‘ode’ or warm ‘homage’ to his mother. It is like we should give credit to her for inspiring

Matisse to create his impressionistic masterpieces of color. Of course, I love the birds.

Hadley Hooper is the artist who has brilliantly illustrated this book to match the tone

of the story told in simple prose.

 

3. “Draw!” by Raul Colon was chosen by Micah, my 5 year old kindergartner. I am sure

his eyes were attracted by the bold and vibrant illustrations done by Raul Colon. This

book is 40 pages long, which begins with a boy in his room with a sketchbook. He had

read a large book about Africa. He becomes immersed in the world of being on a safari.

He uses paints and an easel to create drawings from his imaginations. They are of very

lifelike animals- elephants, zebras, lions and a very angry rhino. The scenes seem to come

alive and seem inter-active. He ends the book by showing his drawings to his classmates

in school. This book is appropriate for young adventurous children of  ages 4-8. I also

was excited to find out that “Draw!” is not about guns being “drawn” since over the

phone, I had heard its title, mistakenly picturing it to be a Western.

 

What are some of your favorite children’s books that are more recently published?