Wacky Wednesday

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Blame it on that silly television show, “Mike and Molly,” with the

indomitable Melissa McCarthy and her husband’s character played by

Billy Gardell! I had the song, “Elvira,” with its quirky words

playing in my ear all day today! “Giddy up, Hi ho, Silver!” and

more of those lyrics are like the “earwigs” that you just cannot

get out of your head! Mike’s mother had an 8 track tape of the song,

stuck in her car. Mike’s car was needing to be repaired. He gets

permission to borrow the car. If there is a youtube clip of last

night’s show, with his two African American friends, one a cop and

another a regular coffee shop guy, you must watch it! Especially,

with Billy Gardell’s character, Mike, voicing the words that include

the “Oompa wow wow’s” and the three grown men, actually acting

like they are riding a horse, you will laugh so hard!

(Thanks to Oak Ridge Boys, who released this in 1981.)

I was going to start with a wish for you to have a “Happy Hump

Day!” Then, due to my being a little ‘off’ today, in a whole

different frame of mind, I thought of a fun set of word plays,

making it more like “Have a Loopy Hump Day!”

Humps are due to our getting up the hill and supposedly, for the

rest of the week, it will be smooth sailing down that hill. I hope

this hump wasn’t too big of a challenge for you to reach! Many of

us were saying we were ‘hung over’ due to too much chocolate and

sugar intake over the weekend!

Humps make me, of course, think of the various animals with humps,

like the camel and humpback whale. Then, my mind wanders off to

rhymes, “Does anyone still ask those polite words, at tea, ‘Do you

want one lump or two?’” (I suppose that the British ‘high’ tea,

still includes good etiquette, but wonder if people still buy sugar

cubes to carry out this practice?)

While minds are unraveling, (or are you ‘unwinding’ yet?) I think of

the poor man who is the “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” I feel for those

who have deformities and see my Mom’s posture slipping, with a small

little hump forming on the back of her neck. I am trying to tell all

around me, to remind me to put my shoulders back and straighten up!

Train of thought is taking me into a dark tunnel and I may just get

‘off track’ completely!

I do think that it is sad when people used to put lumps of coal into

‘naughty’ children’s stockings…

Even though hemp and hump aren’t rhymes or even related, have you

heard they are now able to dispense medicinal marijuana out of new

vending machines? (Of course, you will need a valid I.D. and a

Doctor’s orders…)

I also heard that Willie Nelson claims that by smoking pot, instead

of cigarettes, that it ‘reversed his emphysema!’ Apparently, he was

diagnosed with this disease while in his forties, smoking cigarettes.

Supposedly, Willie got concerned about his singing voice, so he chose

to quit the one bad habit and continue on with smoking weed.

In the pursuit of some smiles and chuckles, I have a few more

entertaining tidbits that I heard recently. Trivia Pursuit always

was one of my favorite family games…

Do you remember the television show, “Wings?” My parents and I liked

it, due to its ensemble cast and ongoing jokes. It was set in a small

airport in Connecticut, where the young, attractive woman who ran the

coffee shop, was played by Crystal Bernard. You may remember one of

her interesting qualities was, she was a talented musician, singing

and also, playing a cello.

“Wings” included the roles of two brothers, one who was responsible

and the other; less so. They were the “Hackett Brothers,” owners of

the fictitious, “Tom Nevers Field” Airport.

You may know that the people, ‘graduated’ and found new adventures

after the show ended. The man who sat in the coffee shop, who was a taxi

driver, was played by Tony Shalhoub. He moved on to have a successful

show called, “Monk.” Then, one of the brothers, the one who was a little

on the wild side, (Steven Weber played him,) was recently on one of my

favorite re-makes, “Dallas.” Steven Weber is playing the governor of

Texas.

Then, I spotted on last night’s funniest comedies, where a female lead

is just hysterical. “The Mindy Project” stars Mindy Kaling, an Indian

woman who is a gynecologist.

Last night, (4/22/14), another celebrity ‘grad’ from “Wings” was on her

show, playing a cop. His name is Tim Daly, who was the dark haired

‘responsible’ Hackett brother.

By the way, “Wings,” ran for seven years from 1990 until 1997. Its

setting was in a small town in New England. Most of the scenes, like

another one of my favorite ‘oldies’ “Barney Miller” (which seemed to

never leave the squad room.) Well, the “Wings’” characters never seemed

to fly anywhere! They were mostly ‘stuck’ in the airport terminal or

occasionally, the hangar.

Pretty good, clean-cut comedy that has a fond place in my heart. There

was a wacky woman who played the ‘reservations’ clerk, who was an elderly

lady. No one could ‘put one over’ on her! She was portrayed by Rebecca

Schull. Thomas Haden Church’s character was the aircraft mechanic. He

left the show in 1995, to be in other character roles, both television

and in movies… like “Spider Man,” “Sideways,” and a really fantastic

movie about life and death, “We Bought a Zoo,” with Matt Damon as the

lead, while T. H. Church is a real ‘character’ in it!

A sports trivia question could include, “What Columbus team may make a

National Playoffs?” It would be the Columbus Blue Jackets!! They have

made it to Game #4 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

Hurrah, for the Blue Jackets! They play the Pittsburg Penguins at 7 p.m.

tonight.

The lovely Sally Field graces a woman’s magazine looking mighty fine, with

a pretty Spring dress on. She had to gain numerous pounds to portray one of

her finest acting roles as Mary Todd Lincoln, in the movie, “Lincoln.” She

is best known for her humorous roles, her acting career started while only 19

years old in “Gidget” and then, “The Flying Nun.” I loved her in, “Places in

the Heart” and her Academy Award winning role as, “Norma Rae.” Single men,

did you know she has been single for nearly 20 years? (Divorced in 1975.)

Sally is only 9 years and 9 days older than I am and I have been so lucky

to have sometimes been told I ‘remind’ people of her, including my little

brother, Richard!

I did a recent post about the famous Pharrell Williams’s song, “Happy.”

I could not believe my ears today, on the radio, hearing David Lee Roth,

of Van Halen fame singing along to “Happy!” I mean, the man is a Rock

and Roll legend, inducted to their Hall of Fame in 2007. Do you expect

the man who made the songs, “You Really Got Me” and “Jump” to sing this

song… Wait! There isn’t much of a “leap” from his song, “Jump” to the

song, “Happy!”

Now, the final smile that will also produce an “Awwh!” from all of you,

is the story about the couple whose house burned down in Connecticut.

It was such a shame, for Megan and Bryan who lived together. But, the

wonderful ‘love story’ with a ‘happily ever after’ ending is that he

confided in one of the firefighters, who stayed and sifted with him,

through all the ashes to find…

The diamond engagement ring that Brian had bought Megan!

Once found, Brian got on his knee and proposed to Megan!

The viewers were neighbors and firefighters, alike!

Even better…

A week after their home burned down and everything in it,

they got married right in front of the house’s site!

Sent you some smiles, while “I served up a plate” of Wacky

Wednesday trivia information!

Revelry

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Just going to fill you in on mostly ‘good’ stuff going on in my

family’s life. The best times are with family!

If you celebrated Easter or Passover, hope you had special times

with family, too.

Sometimes, concerns about health issues can be a little bit of a

drawback to a holiday or any visit. You may be interested though,

to know about things, as they progress in my Mom’s aging process.

Colorful sights and fragrant aromas filled the weekend. There were

delicious meals, from Friday until Sunday evening.

Love flowed all around us…

My Mom had saved a Maxine quote, one that I have to share, due to

its Easter holiday theme. She loves it when I tell her I included

something she found, on my blog.

Maxine is an older woman, who sometimes gives biting commentaries.

Other times, she is just an observer on life, as it is for senior

adults. The cartoon character sometimes is wearing a hat or has

a bushy head of white hair, has sun glasses on occasionally and

her pet dog is sometimes looking rather amused or askance at her.

I am sometimes surprised that the creator of Maxine is a man named

John Wagner. Here’s Maxine’s recent yearly physical cartoon:

“Yesterday I went to the doctor

For my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high.

My cholesterol was high.

I’d gained some weight,

and I didn’t feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right

doesn’t have to be complicated

and it would solve my physical problems.

He said,

‘Just think in colors.

Fill your plate with bright colors.

Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe

something yellow, and so forth.

So I (Maxine) went right home and ate an

entire bowl of bright colors.

And sure enough, I felt better immediately!

I never knew eating right could be so easy!

Now stay healthy,

Eat your colors and have a nice day.”

(Picture is shown of a bowl of M and M’s.

Mom pointed out, it could have easily been

a bowl of colored jelly beans!)

Speaking of Mom, we went on several ‘wild goose chases,’ while I was

visiting.

First of all, she felt the sweet young Hispanic housekeeper in her

wing of the Senior Apts. had taken her little Shih Tzu’s hair brush.

Mom had written two concerned letters to me, the subject being

“Missing Items.”

I found the yellow baby brush, she uses on Nicki, under the

bathroom sink.

I took her to Walgreen’s, upon arrival, to purchase necessities,

having not been able to locate her stamps.

(Which Mom was very adamant on this subject, saying they got taken

by the same girl.)

Believe me, if you have read about my mother’s love of young people,

my parents’ marching for civil rights, and paying for two non-Caucasian

females’ college education, you would know this is not aimed towards

race or age of the young Senior Apts. housekeeper.

It involves a combination of Mom’s way of dealing with forgetfulness

or possible dementia setting in. Mom is not mean-spirited, though.

The young woman has told my brothers that Mom hugs and gives her bags

of candy and other gifts.

After purchasing a few items, while I was putting them away I found

duplicates.

While I was looking for scissors, I found her stamps.

It was more of a chaotic time than at Valentine’s Day, when she had

written notes to my grandkids and had candy in bags, ready to take

back after my visit.

This time, her Easter cards were sitting out, with some notes in them,

not addressed. We searched high and low, found a few envelopes with

addresses of her sister, my cousins and her good friends.

I never found Mom’s “Master Address Book.”

We will tackle that ‘chore’ over Memorial Day Weekend!

The fun stuff and special times began on Friday, after shopping

and searching for lost items had been set aside, for dinner.

Mom wore a nice pink jacket with a signature brooch. Mom has always

liked wearing a variety of pins on her lapels. She had a nice pair

of black slacks on. We had heard from my younger brother that he

and his wife, Susan and a possible friend would be joining us at one

of my Mom’s current “favorite restaurants.” She is like a ‘big kid’

and likes Friendly’s for their clam boats, ice cream sundaes and the

colorful atmosphere.

When you walk in the front door, you see such a majestic brass scale

with old fashioned details on it. There is also a large circus mural.

We went home to watch an older movie, which turned out to be quite

different from what we expected. Sidney Poitier plays a type of ‘playboy.’

He depicts a wild, carefree man, who is involved with some dishonest

activities. He is ‘set up’ on a date, by a young man, played by Beau

Bridges. The housekeeper is going to leave her household, having told

the younger members of the family before the ones who have employed her.

She is played by Abbey Lincoln, with an innocent charm. She shows curiosity

about the wilder side that Sidney’s character offers her. Later, we meet

the head of the household, played by Carroll O’Connor. This was a Turner

Classic Movie, called, “For Love of Ivy,” 1968. It has music by Quincy Jones

and a happy ending. It is a satisfying romantic comedy where I was mostly

looking at the wardrobe and commenting on the dialects. (Nehru collars, Kaftan

robes and “Groovy,” spoken.)

We drank a juice glass full of Sangria, had crackers and cheese,

with a ‘side of cookies’ before bed. Mom and I did our special

Spanish toast.

Our Saturday began with my ‘fetching’ breakfast from the dining

room. Mom loves eating breakfast in her room, in her pajamas. I tell

people who ask why she doesn’t come down, that my Dad and she got

‘spoiled’ while retiring early and became ‘night owls!’

I piled on the dining room tray, a jelly donut for Mom, a pecan nut

roll for me, a big bowl of oatmeal with garnishments of brown sugar,

raisins and pats of real butter. It becomes ‘less healthy’ for me, as

I add so much to it! I grabbed 3 cups of delicious coffee, a juice cup

of cranberry juice for her and one of tomato juice for me. I also bring

back two bananas every trip I make (anytime) past the dining room. Mom

lives (while I am away) on bananas and peanut butter out of the jar,

for her breakfasts and lunches. She only goes to dinner in the dining

room daily at 5:30 p.m. Unless we are around to ‘cancel her dinner

reservations.’

On Saturday afternoon, watched a movie I had brought from the library

called, “The Young Victoria,” 2009. It has an excellent British cast

of Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson.

I highly recommend this love story about Queen Victoria’s childhood, her

growing up years and her courtship by two suitors. The story made both my

Mom and I ‘tear up,’ but it is still a lovely movie. We hold hands, eat

cookies, candy and some maple flavored walnuts that my youngest daughter

had left behind. They ‘roasted up’ in the microwave, tasting quite yummy

while warm. We ‘pause’ the movie to either make instant coffee or to use

the bathroom. I think that I will always drink coffee, since evidently,

she has lived to 85 and other than needing to use the restroom frequently,

no dangerous side effects!

On Saturday, my artist brother, who had been enjoying a night out

at a place that pays him to paint logos, make tables, along with

clouds and headhunters for either “Fat Head’s Brewery” or “Fat Head’s

Restaurant.” We have eaten their numerous times. Even my good guy

friend, Bill has been up to witness the wall designs and murals.

Last Autumn, I wrote after our going to a gallery opening with some of

Randy’s artwork, we and others went to see the actual brewery. They win

awards for their homemade brews, located in Cleveland and Pittsburg.

Randy will be heading West to Oregon, sometime in the near future, for

a new Fat Head’s Restaurant.

Randy bought Mom’s and my prime rib dinners at a railroad station

restaurant, which while we were in high school was called the “Cahoon

Winery.”

It is located on Cahoon Road, in Westlake, Ohio. It is less than a mile

from our home on the other side of the tracks, where we lived in during

our middle and high school years in Bay Village, Ohio. It is now called,

“The Whistle Stop.” We admired the different antique photographs of trains

and memorabilia along with a brass spittoon on a shelf.

Eating out is a different way to celebrate holidays, than our family

used to in the past. We made adjustments and changes once Mom’s ‘home

base’ was moved into the Senior Apts. In the ‘old days,’ I would drive

up from Delaware, when the children were small and Dad would take over

watching them once we got inside the door of their lake cottage.

Mom and I would head to the grocery store in Vermilion, immediately

upon our arrival.

Our ‘job’ was getting a bunch of food to cook. We would have ‘the boys’

use the gas grill, in all kinds of weather, on the covered porch, a

‘carport,’ but never was used for that.

There were always two picnic tables end to end, lined up and some chairs

positioned around the edges. If it were snowing, one of my brothers, or

while my Dad was alive, wearing ear muffs and armed with the barbecue

equipment, would grill steaks, chops or chicken out there, while Mom

and I would make the side dishes.

Onward to Easter Sunday!

This is getting too long and filled with a mixture of nostalgia and

too many details!

I got Mom’s and my breakfast, we ate it with a little bit of

lingering, knowing that our time was going to be cut short. She

always understands I need to get back to see my grandchildren. Mom

had thought of them last year, after Easter, buying gifts at super

discounted prices. I reassured her, not to worry. They remember her,

some had been here for Thanksgiving and others over last summer.

We have a wedding celebration of my niece, which will be held out at

the lake side cottage.

I had found, in the back of the closet, a packed box of Easter glitter

globes, some with bunnies inside, others with chicks and one smaller

one had Tweety bird in it. I was surprised that she had this one

labeled for Skyler, age 9.

The Official Family Easter Egg Hunt in Delaware with the ‘real’

Easter Bunny’s choices of goodies was held while Nana (otherwise

known as Robin, to you) was out of town. The breakfast and fun time

dying eggs was also completed. (Usually done the day before,

but this time, just in time to crack colored eggs and make deviled

eggs for company.)

I arrived to a sunny and warm, outdoorsy scene with children taking

turns jumping on the trampoline. Others were playing on the swing and

gym set. They were all stopping to run in the house, to receive their

gifts from Great Grammie O. and then, to keep their eyes glued on

something other than the windows, while Nana hid her eggs. I specialize

in putting dollar bills in the green eggs, little wrapped chocolates

in the other colored eggs, along with an occasional quarter or

dime in the yellow eggs. I also gave each a stuffed animal that

was chosen over the course of the year, not all bunnies and

ducks, either.

When all the eggs were found, we went inside to eat a delicious

orange, honey glazed ham. My son made the ham and glaze, mashed

potatoes and green bean casserole. My daughter in law made the 3-cheese

macaroni casserole, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and

the deviled eggs.

Yesterday, after I posted my story, I went over to give Micah and

Skyler their gifts from Mom and me. Micah had generously told me

that he “would wait on brother” to open them, since Sky was at

his Dad’s house, while Micah was with his Mom and Dad at my son’s

house. He participated in the egg hunt, meal and trampoline so it

was not a ‘big sacrifice!’

Skyler showed me an amazing gift that the Easter Bunny had given

him at his mother’s house. My daughter, being an artist, had chosen

or suggested to that Bunny, this would be a good year for the two

boys to receive drawing or sketch pads. Sky proceeded last night to

have me sit on his front porch within an arm’s length of him. He

drew a picture of me, with my work shirt on, my worn face none the

worse for wear. He drew in my wrinkles and lines around my mouth, a

good and fairly accurate drawing of me. I was pleased with my oval

shaped head, my neck and eyebrows looked very good. I drew him,

in turn, using a different page, while Micah blew soap bubbles

upon our heads.

We had a lovely and simple, quiet time.

When I got ready to leave, both boys declared they love me, which

is always a happy ending of any holiday! They also pronounced next

Saturday, to be an “overnight with Nana” event. Mom and Micah’s

Dad, Sky’s Stepdad, agreed!

Just Another Monday

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I absolutely love the Bangles’ song, “Just Another Manic

Monday!”

It may not be raining, as it was last week, but I have

heard from a few family members and friends on the

subject of “Rain” and am adding another post to

complete or complement the first story.

It may rain later tonight, but if not, hope you had a

great time out in the pleasant weather!

Here are more ways you hear different variations of

the word rain and other close subjects.

When it is an early morning rain, you may already

think of Gordon Lightfoot’s song,

“Early Morning Rain.”

There were several people who gave great additions

to my first list, including Mike Lince’s one of

“A Hard Rain’s A’gonna Fall.” Bob Dylan wrote and

sang this in 1962.

When we all got together and came up with some more

suggestions on this very subject, we were:

“Brainstorming.”

The words, ‘rain’ and ‘storm’ are included in this!

My baseball-loving brothers and Mom, dislike when it

rains, and there are:

Rain Delays!

When I had a nice, long list that included songs with

storms or rain in them, my Mom came up with wonderful

musical production numbers and made a double contribution

to the list!

1. “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” sung by Barbra Streisand

in “Hello Dolly” musical play.

2. “The Rain in Spain (Falls Mainly on the Plain)” sung

by Julie Andrews in the Broadway production of “My Fair

Lady.”

My sister in law, who is also interested in Native Americans

reminded me of the importance of the custom of “Rain Dances.”

Then, once that subject was brought up over dinner as a

family, Mom said,

“It is lucky to have rain on your wedding day.”

When I was reflecting after I had pushed that final “Publish”

button on wordpress.com last Monday, I remembered a simple

nursery chant:

“Rain, rain

Go away!

Come again,

Another day!”

Then, when you have a surplus of problems, or if you are

advertising for the Morton Salt company:

“When it rains…

It pours.”

Can you believe this famous slogan, accompanied by the

Morton Salt Umbrella Girl, originated in 1911? This must

be one of the longest lasting advertising tools in the

history of sales! The woman responsible is Joy Morton,

the head of the sales team that designed the logo.

One valuable symbolism of rain is~ it is like a cleansing

of the spirits. It could be considered a ‘renewal of life.’

The barren, dry parched land’s cycle includes its period

of freezing cold. Almost like a hibernation.

Then from the ground, once drops of rain fall upon the Earth,

plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables seeds start to sprout.

Spring really gets our attention!

If you ate too much Easter candy and were a little ‘sluggish’

as a result today, I can relate to that! I needed extra

caffeine, at first break, lunch and second break, too.

It is interesting to note, our new D.C. #23′s “CEO,” named

Joe, has implemented, “Free Small Coffee’s (or Hot Cocoa’s)

out of the vending machine on Mondays!

Hope this finds you well, happy and enjoying a wonderful

Monday!

Spring Ball Fever

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Baseball field walls have been adorned with catchy slogans and

advertising posters, practically since they started building them.

With the bigger stadiums, local news and television stations, major

automobile and other products have been featured and promoting,

along with paying money for the advertising. It is nice to be reminded

of Indianapolis’ being one of the first stadiums to display naturally

growing ivy at Perry Field. It sure would ‘cushion’ someone jumping

into the wall, to catch a long distance ball!

The Perry Field ivy is what inspired William Wrigley to decide to

decorate his new Wrigley Field, reaching its 100th anniversary this

year. A great book, written by George F. Will, better known for his

essays on politics was published in March, 2014. Its title is:

“A Nice Little Place on the North Side.” (Crown Archetype, a division

of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.)

The background story about Wrigley Field was they invested an extra

$200,000 to help make the bleachers reflect nature, along with the

idea of having the ivy walls. At the onset of building, they inserted

big cement tree boxes at the ends of the rows, where plans were made

to plant trees in each of these. Once they completed the stadium,

thy tried this, which sounded like a gorgeous natural setting,

with possible shade for some spectators, too. Unfortunately, the

trees were not able to survive. Gusts of wind off Lake Michigan,

repeatedly stripped the bark and leaves off the trees.

In the book, this simple description also shows Cubs’ owner,

William Wrigley’s frustration at the devastation:

“A week after we were finished, the bleachers looked like the

Russian Steppes during a hard, cold winter. Nothing but cement

and bark.”

George F. Will’s explanation:

“The forestation of the Wrigley Field bleachers was abandoned.”

The Boston Ivy was supposed to be planted and growing, when a call

was made to the ones in charge of this duty. They were only given

one day, so once agriculturalists were consulted, they chose to

plant a fast growing plant named, “Bittersweet.” It grew quickly

with lights strung along the wall. The ‘effect’ of green was able

to satisfy visiting guests to view the sight. Later, they inserted

into the bittersweet the Boston Ivy, since the original ‘quick fix’

for the presentation, still needed a more solid and denser growing

plant for the long haul. It took longer but is a magnificent wall

of flourishing ivy.

I have fond memories of going to the old cement stadium in Cleveland

to see both the Indians and Browns play. When they tore it down, to

build what was first named, “Jacob’s Field” I thought I would miss

the old one. It is a beautiful structure and ‘there isn’t a bad seat

in the house.’ I have never personally been to the Indianapolis Perry

Field or Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field, but enjoyed seeing the

photos and reading about the history of the latter’s field.

Happy 100th Anniversary, Wrigley Field!

Congratulations for making it to one hundred years!

Since I know that Columbus Clippers is having a whole weekend of

playing against Toledo Mud Hens, I will say I am ‘rooting’ for my

home team of the Clippers!

I can hear the old song, “Take me out to the ball game,” and imagine

the old Cracker Jacks and peanut shells falling onto the ground…

Have a wonderful weekend and I am now off to Mom’s…

(We only worked a half day today, due to a lot of overtime this

week… Also, my eyes are doing much better, less pressure than

in the Fall and Winter months! Hip hip hurray!)

Scams and Hoaxes

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This morning, Thursday 4/17/14, CBS News featured an interview of

someone who had preyed on innocent senior citizens. There are some

redeeming factors to the interview, though. This ‘con artist’ is

currently giving advice to those who are being ‘scammed,’ his victims.

The April AARP Magazine, that I have received and embraced, since

my fiftieth birthday, featured a more amusing take on the subject

matter, titled: “The Monkey Matisse and Other Great Hoaxes.” I

recommend reading the details of this, I am sure it is available

online, too. There were six stories that were quite amusing, with

the theme of fooling people, in the last fifty years.

The subject matter brought to mind one of my favorite movies of

all time, “Catch Me If You Can.” It is mainly due to 2 different

angles of the movie. One is that I enjoyed the period of time, (the

sities), the famous young man was able to ‘con’ his way into hospitals,

airlines and other professional fields. The character that Leonardo

Di Caprio plays is of that of a real life ‘con artist,’ Frank Abagnale,

Jr., who is currently a securities consultant. The character, who chases

him across American and catches him in Europe, is played by Tom Hanks.

Frank is ten years older than I, so his being able to portray a doctor

while in his twenties, along with a variety of roles, makes this movie

and story quite fascinating to me. I enjoyed the time he is an airline

pilot. During the period where I was growing up, many of my friends and

I thought it would be exciting to become an airline stewardess and ‘See

the world!’ In one famous scene, shown in “Catch Me If You Can’s”

advertising promotional campaign, Frank is walking down the hallway in

an international airport, with a few beautiful airline stewardesses on

his arms. (The current appropriate label would be ‘Flight Attendants.’)

He does fall in love with someone along the way, but while ‘running’ and

‘escaping’ from the law, he is not able to sustain an enduring relationship.

This man, Frank Abagnale, also appeared on one of my family’s favorite

television shows, “To Tell the Truth.” I remember the episode, (1977), along

with the interesting famous personalities who were ‘regulars.’ Some who

portrayed the four ‘judges’ were smoking on set, in the original 60′s time

period!

I felt this show, which ran from 1956 until 2001, was a great example of

how everyone is easily fooled by the outward appearance of someone. The

famous line which was sincerely spoken was, “My name is ______.”

The ‘bad’ outcome of how we can make mistakes in identifying an honest

person from a thief, though, is that elderly and young people are more

likely to become their ‘preys’ or victims.

I remember wearing proudly my American Airlines’s set of wings,

pinned on my jacket. Another time, proudly wearing United Airlines

wings, indicating I was a “stewardess in training.” This was in

the era that transporting children was either ‘free’ or reasonable

cost. Did you ever have a piece of memorabilia that was from a

vacation or travel, that means a lot to you?

My brothers also liked such little emblems of their participating

in such ‘pretend play,’ as in the case of wearing Sheriff’s badges

while touring the Wild West section of Cedar Point Amusement Park,

in Sandusky, Ohio.

The current ‘scammers’ are able through technology and hacking

devices, to not only get lists of senior citizens, but also contact

information.

The real example of a woman, on the CBS Today show, sent off large

checks, unfortunately, to help her grandchild. The caller, con artist,

listed fabricated identification and indicated the call receiver’s

grandson was incarcerated and needed money for a lawyer. The name of

the grandson, his hometown and an address were given to her. Sadly,

she lost quite a large amount of money, believing she was aiding her

family member.

This picture painted in the scenario indicates how high some people

‘fly’ to help and reach others, and how low some people ‘sink’ to

take advantage of caring elderly people. The story of Frank Abagnale

and this new person featured in the interview, trade their knowledge

for freedom. Phone scams are prevalent and the new guy in the interview

gave two important suggestions for aiding the ones being taken advantage

of:

1. Ask the caller some detail or fact about the family member that will

identify the real person’s identity. Something that would not be in the

public knowledge of that person. Not a job or occupation, these are

often easily acquired. A pet’s name, a special hobby or interest are

examples of personal information not available to most ‘hackers.’

2. Ask if you may contact your lawyer or another family member to

verify the validity of the story. I think this should always be true,

whether a phone or at the door salesperson.

“What are your references?” and “Please give me some phone numbers.”

The woman who gave away thousands of dollars to help her grandson

will not recover her money. No one is going to bail her out of the

‘jam’ she got herself into, but she shared her story and the criminal

who has participated in these hoaxes, shared his helpful tips.

If you spot or have a family member who is scammed, or wish to prevent

one that you have had a phone call or visit from someone, call your

local police authorities and here is an AARP online site to contact:

http://aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork

Anyone over fifty may be interested not only in the serious articles,

that include health concerns, financial advice column and political

impacts on the older American citizens but in the great interviews of

famous people. I love the covers of such famous people who now have

reached my fifty-plus age bracket as Kevin Costner, Susan Saranden and

the four handsome men from that fun movie, “Last Vegas.”

Also, you will get with your $15 dollars an AARP card that you may get

attached to your Walgreens or other ‘rewards’ cards. This reduces your

prescriptions, travel and restaurant costs from 1o% to 40%. I am not

employed by AARP, but would love to write a humorous column on dating

after fifty and how relationships reveal our hearts, from generation

to generation. Person to person, we all have needs, we are social

(for the most part) beings who like to help each other out…

One last horrible fact, presented on the CBS report, is that new

technology has allowed savvy people to ‘hack’ into systems. It can

actually invade our ‘Caller ID’ area of our phones. So, the woman

who was called, answered her phone to the scammer, thinking that

this was actually her grandson’s phone number being used!

I am off today and on my way to the eye surgeon for my four month

check up. My Fall optical appointment, with an optician, indicated I

had ‘high eye pressure’ again. I went to see Arena Eye Surgeons’

Dr. Pappas, in December. Now, I hope he will give me another ‘pass’

on the eyes since it has been only two years since I had holes

drilled into both my eyes, below the pupils, with laser surgery to

‘cure’ or temporarily relieve something called, “Narrow Eye Glaucoma.”

Remember to go to your eye doctors and ask them to do more than the

‘puff test.’ He or she can perform a more accurate test to detect ‘eye

degenerative disease.’

It is a shame that I am happy to take a day off to see the doctor!

Anything to get ‘away from work!’

I really wished I could have scheduled my eye exam, with extensive

testing on Good Friday. As in the case of many doctors, they are not

available due to their own personal or staff vacation time. Dr. Pappas

has Friday surgical scheduling in his Columbus office.

I will be possibly writing one more post, before Easter, but just

in case I don’t:

Have a blessed Easter, if you celebrate this holy day.

If not, have a wonderful weekend, my dear friends!

Art and Utilitarian Wagons

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An interesting story I found in a ‘thrown out’ book is worth

listening to. Every year in May, on the second weekend, we have

the Delaware Arts Festival. Along with this activity, since car

loads of people visit our small town, the Delaware County District

Library holds its annual Book Sale and fundraiser.

Last year, May, 2013, I found in a book discards’ bin, a lovely

small book titled, “Victorian Horses and Carriages, A Personal

Sketch Book” by William Francis Freelove.

It is serendipity to have found this book amongst ones that were

no longer serving a purpose on the library book shelves. I feel

a kinship with this man from the 1800′s who enjoyed the pastime

of drawing with his pencil, then detailing with his pen and ink,

and adding watercolors to his drawings. The artist, William F.

Freelove, was a solicitor’s clerk who lived from 1846 until 1920.

He was a Quaker and had six children. One way he liked to relax

and entertain his family, was producing pleasant drawings of a

variety of horses, carts and carriages.

William would observe passers-by in their utility carts and wagons

in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.

By 1873, he had captured over 70 drawings in his fine collection.

They apparently were tucked away, for ‘safe keeping.’

The best part of the story is that one hundred years passed, when

finally the horse drawn carriages, carts and wagons’ illustrations

were discovered; neglected in a dusty old attic. There was a box

found holding his precious collection of drawings. I agree with the

preface of the published book of his drawings that calls this a

“charming collection.”

The book, filled with the ‘found’ illustrations, was finally

published in 1979, by the Clarkson N. Potter, Inc./Crown Publishers.

This was printed by the Lutterworth Press in London, England. There

is no mention of where the book sale proceeds go to. I wonder if

there are descendants of William F. Freelove who benefit from this

publication of his art?

There is a picture of a pocket watch drawing, with William’s photo,

along with the initials, “W.F.F.” and the year of “1868.” Although

the watch’s enclosed date would make him only 22, he has a long,

but neatly trimmed, white beard and his face seems like quite a bit

older man. His face doesn’t seem to reflect his artistic nature,

because it appears quite stern. I have read that intaglios and old

photographs were serious, a tradition of capturing faces not smiling,

during this period of time.

William lived 74 years, with no remarks of his family having health

issues or reason for his not publishing his drawings. They were solely

created to amuse and entertain his family and friends. They never were

framed and put on the walls of his family home.

Thank goodness for attics, dry basements and cubby holes! For art

is found within these places. Sometimes people knocking down walls

will find newspapers and other hidden treasures, too.

I delight in looking at these intricately detailed drawings with

such unique names and uses of each utilitarian vehicle. William

also drew different kinds of carriages, like a “Brougham Carriage.”

(Several include the word, “waggon” with two ‘g’s’ included in

their old-fashioned spellings.)

Each vehicle is being pulled by horses. Here are some of my

favorite ones, which are so intriguing in their specific uses.

1. Miller’s wagon. (This looks like a hay wagon, to me!)

2. Plate glass wagon. (This is a long, narrow wagon.)

3. Tallow chandler’s cart. (I assume the candle maker’s cart?)

4. Brewer’s Dray. (This has barrels of alcohol with “X’s” on them.)

5. Fish Monger’s Cart. (This is smaller.)

6. Piano Cart. (This is larger!)

7. Three horse omnibus. (This is a double decker vehicle with

passengers, including gentlemen wearing tall hats on it.)

His collection has 66 other drawings and would be quite fun to have

copies or prints to put up in a child’s room. They are very detailed

and colorful, too. I am so glad that I found a twice-discarded art

compilation for my own private collection of books!

On the final page of the book, there is a simple verse, addressing

the owners of horses:

“Uphill, urge me not.

Downhill, hurry me not.”

William Francis Freelove gave us a valuable contribution to the

art world, along with depicting the history of utilitarian forms

of transportation. I enjoy the period of time when horse drawn

vehicles, especially carriages, were prevalent. My grandchildren

like the 4 inches by 6 inches’ size of the little book, carrying

it around and studying the drawings. Interesting how it was put

away, first by the artist and his family. Then, the library chose

to throw it in the ‘discards bin.’

Some may say, “Their loss, my gain.”

The Man Behind, “Happy”

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I like to serve breakfast for the M & M girls, while they sit

and watch “Dora the Explorer” and “Bubble Guppies.” This is always

before we head off, with bellies full, for adventures! I sat on the

other side of the room, watching my little dining room television,

sipping on my coffee and eating my hot breakfast.

I like to reflect on this t.v’s history and share with you, it

includes being in my youngest daughter’s old bedroom in the house

we sold, along with her University of Dayton dorm room! I was

watching, CBS Sunday Morning. The next guest ‘up’ for an interview

was Pharrell Williams.

The girls jumped up, luckily with no waffles and syrup dripping all

over them, to dance to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.” I had not

read much about his background, so I was thrilled that they were

going to share personal details about someone who I have admired

since the first Awards’ ceremony held in 2014, along with his

participation in the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration.

This interview held genuine ‘gold nuggets’ to share about his life!

If you caught the broadcast, this may remind you of how far this

man has come! Another great interview, with Oprah, shows more of

his sincere and humble side. The cameras ‘roll’ while he cries

tears of joy, watching how people all around the world, take their

video cameras (or cell phones) and film themselves dancing in the

streets to the song he wrote, “Happy.”

Pharrell was 41 when he was honored to be chosen to write the

theme song and perform for the “Despicable Me 2″ movie. The first

animated children’s film has a great story line about children in

an orphanage and a ‘grumpy’ irritated man and his ‘minions.’ These

adorable children and ‘minions’ bond, long before the older man

realizes how much he cares about the three little ones. I have

covered the first movie in another post but look forward to seeing

the second one, in DVD form.

Pharrell had been singing for quite some time, from early childhood

up through his high school years. He released his first single in

2003 and his first Cd, in 2006. His childhood friend, Shay Haley and

he had formed a band, “The Neptunes.”

It had not worked out at first. Maturity and disparate personalities

held their progress back.

He also has a partner, Chad Hugo, who together they labeled their

production team currently as, “The Neptunes.” They produce hip hop,

soul and R & B musical style record albums. They also have

come up with fashion designer labels, selling clothes that reflect

their unique style.

Now, Chad Hugo, Pharrell Williams and Shay Haley perform as a

group called, “N.E.R.D.” playing rock, funk and hip hop music.

In 2006, Pharrell was noticed and making friends with famous people

like Justin Timberlake. But he still felt his Cd just sat there,

‘spinning its wheels.’

He really wasn’t ‘discovered’ until he sang, “Happy!” I like the

rhythm and blues, easy-going tone that resembles a combination of

Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Any age will enjoy this pleasant

song, no matter what genre you usually listen to.

His fashion statement, wearing a Smokey the Bear hat in all the

Awards shows, became popular. Some people feel that “anything

Pharrell touches, turns to gold.”

His story goes back to a spotted high school career of C’s, D’s

and F’s. He was friends with someone who he tried to ‘play out’

in a band, under the name of “The Neptunes.” Shay and his musical

struggles were not horrible, but he was not an ‘overnight success,’

as he had hoped. The friend and he parted ways, before his solo Cd

came out. Now, they are inseparable. Changes had to occur, within

himself.

When he completed his Cd in 2006, Pharrell wondered what was

wrong? Why didn’t he just make it ‘big time?’ He was not in the

current frame of mind, he was a little depressed.

Pharrell Williams felt his first solo Cd was a ‘failure.”

After much thought and consideration, he chose to become a better

person. He set aside his ‘ego.’ He felt by studying greats, giving

specific credit to Stevie Wonder, it helped him to figure out why

others were successful.

Pharrell saw that Stevie Wonder’s songs carried uplifting messages

and were of a positive nature. Deep contemplation is part of his

new persona. He depicts a calm, thoughtful man in interviews.

This is apparent in his carefully chosen words to answer questions.

The song, “Happy,” floundered until he ‘took it to the streets,’

letting others jump and dance around, while he sang and did the

same. It is a real experience, authentic in its tone. Pharrell’s

video for the cover song, “Happy,” was completed in November, 2013.

He doesn’t mind being called, “The Happy Man.”

There is a little bit of philosophy and introspection by Pharrell

Williams of his ‘sudden’ fame. How he feels about the hard work it

took for him to get to where he is today. Seven years from the first

Cd’s release:

Pharrell considers himself, “so thankful.”

He feels nervous to try and analyze, “Why?”

He considers himself “lucky” and feels his “stars have aligned.”

His words impart newfound ‘wisdom’ to those who have dreams.

Pharrell seems to show a mixture of faith and deep thinking,

along with allowing the universe to flow around us.

“Don’t try to figure out how to make money.”

In other words, do what you love and enjoy. He gives

the thoughts to go after what you wish, but don’t

have expectations of how it will come about.

If you should happen to find things fall into place,

‘embrace it.’

“And don’t give yourself too much credit–

because it is not all you.” (I love this one!)

Pharell W. used a metaphor in his parting thoughts:

“It’s not the kite– it’s the air.”