Flags, Peace and Pie Ala Mode Month

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July means so much to many people. It is serious, since it includes celebrating,

here in the United States, our Independence. It is exciting and fun, since this is

not June wedding- or graduation- time. Just put some food together and head

out to the beach, park, your backyard and enjoy a picnic. There are lots of

lightning bugs, mosquitoes and lovely flitting moths and fluttering butterflies

in the month of July.

Hip Hip Hooray for July!

Although each month’s post is created with more rhyme than reason, I will

throw in gardening ideas and quotations usually. This month I ‘discovered’

a man many may already have known, Siegfried Sassoon. This was a leading

poet of WWI period. He was born on September 8, 1886 in Heytesbury,

Wiltshire, England. He passed away on September 1, 1967 just a week before

his 81st birthday in Matfield, Kent, England.

Here is Siegfried Sassoon’s poem given to you to rejoice, revel and revere.

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“Idyll

In the grey summer garden I shall find you.

With daybreak and the morning hills behind you.

There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;

And down the wood a thrush that wakes and sings.

Not from the past you’ll come, but from that deep

Where beauty murmurs to the soul asleep;

And I shall know the sense of life re-born.

From dreams into the mystery of morn.

Where gloom and brightness meet and standing there

Till that calm song is done, at last we’ll share

The league-spread, ‘quiring  symphonies that are

Joy in the world, and peace, and dawn’s one star.”

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*************************************** JULY *******************************************

This month’s gemstone ignites poetic words from the society which writes

about jewels:

“Rubies arouse the senses.

Stir the imagination.

Said to guarantee good health, wisdom, wealth and success in Love.”

When purchasing this birthstone, look for the most prized colors of a

medium to medium-dark ‘vivid’ red or a purplish red.

July 1- First Full Moon:  “Full Buck Moon.”

Enjoy this evening, knowing we have a bonus one on the last day of

the month.

July 4th- Independence Day

Home town parades, fireworks displays: Enjoy!

July’s flowers: Larkspur, Delphiniums.

July’s flowers are diverse, two are similar but can see differences while

observing the Larkspur is more open in its shape, while Delphiniums

are more ‘trumpet like.’

Here were some interesting ‘other’ nicknames for Larkspur:

“Knights Spur”

“Lark’s Heel”

“Lark’s Claw”

I was very pleased to read those born in July may also celebrate

Water Lilies as their birth flower. When I think of water lilies, I

picture Claude Monet’s art work. I savor Monet’s great series of

paintings with these lovely flowers lying on his beautiful, private pond.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has an entire wall with their largest

Impressionist’s piece (Water Lilies). You may sit on a bench and feel

tranquil and transported into the past over to France. You’ll feel the

warmth of the sun on your face, as you gaze at Monet’s Japanese-style

garden he had carefully cultivated for his yard.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

July 8- Last quarter moon.

July 9- Nunavet Day (Canada)

In 1982, this special section became a district separate from the

Northwest Territory.

July 12- Orangemen’s Day, traditional (N. L.) This is a celebration in

Canada, incorporating Newfoundland and Labrador in this holiday.

On this date, Norther Ireland has a “Bank Holiday,” due to celebrating

the Battle of Boyne in 1690. It says U.K. include this in their holidays.

Let me know if this is true, dear Brits.

July 15- New Moon.

June 24- Pioneer Day (Utah)

July 26th- The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed on 2/26/90.

July 27- National Korean War Veteran’s Armistice Day.

July 31- Second Full Moon:  “Full Thunder Moon.”

Not a blue moon by definition has to be the 3rd of 4 full moons in a single

season. (If you get this, please let us know more about this in the comments

section.)

Here are some Independence Quotes:

~*~*~* One *~*~*~

“You can’t separate peace from freedom

Because no one can be at peace unless

He has his freedom.”

~ Malcolm X

~*~*~* Two *~*~*~

“Liberty means responsibility,

That is why some men dread it.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

~*~*~* Three *~*~*~

John Adams, (1735 – 1826) on Fourth of July celebrations:

“It will be celebrated…

With pomp and parade…

Bonfires and illuminations…

From one end of the continent to the other.”

What will you be celebrating this month?

What will you bring to our large blogging community Picnic?

I plan on making an Italian layered pasta salad, olives both

green and black, pepperoni slices, onions, banana peppers

and generous handfuls of grated parmesan and mozzarella

cheeses.

When I Was an Activities Director

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Someone was interested in my life experiences, a friend who has only known

me as a Bin Order Filler at Advance Auto.

A man had overheard my talking to a past nurse’s aide who had been there

at Arbors. He and his wife had worked one long hall every night together.

We would “loop them in,” for Activities trips, while they enjoyed the break

from their routines, they also were amused at our fishing trips, restaurant

“Lunches Out” and they came with us to see the Columbus Clippers.

I had written an article about my Activities experience for a church newsletter

years ago. I had updated it within a year and submitted it for a contest. This

may be of interest to some of you. I am wondering if anyone will comment

about my writing “voice.”

When I left babysitting behind, also substitute teaching, I had a friend,

Jane, from my church who worked in the business office of Arbors

Nursing Home at:  2270 Warrensburg Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015.

I met a lot of wonderful people during the period I worked there:

Fall, 1994 until Summer, 1999.

I took a series of Activities courses, which raised my pay at the time,

from $8.50 to $10.00.

Do I sound like I have the same way of writing as of this time period?

Do I have a more relaxed tone these days to my writing “voice?”

Once Upon a Time:

My Story about My

Experiences in the

Activities Department.

“There are times in the days of being a member of a nursing home activities

program where there is great joy and humor.

At those bright moments I could say I live a vision of excellence.

I enjoy engaging residents with reminiscing. This sometimes comes naturally

while we are in the ‘kitchen’ with Robin. We once a week gather a group of

men and women who are interested in eating what is made, along with the

processes of chopping, cutting, stirring and sauteeing foods. The memories

that our elderly friends focus in on are varied, from their favorite receipes

to what traditions their families engaged in while they joined together in a meal.

The stories are heartwarming and richly laced with humor, details and zest for

having an audience interested in really listening to them.

After the ‘good old day’ are re-lived while making homemade noodles or rolls,

all made ‘from scratch,’ I can live serendipitously in the past with them, part

of their family and new memories being made. An example of an activity some

teachers like to do with young students, as well as I did with the older folks I

came to love and adore, was to take simple ingredients to shake a mason

jar until they turned into butter. One man I remember said these simple but

poignant words:

“It never tasted better than when you churned butter knowing it came from

cows I had milked at dawn.”

Another gentleman ‘pitched in’ by adding the kitties dancing on their hind

legs, were his favorite part of milking his Jersey cows, since he could point

an udder and let a stream of fresh, warm milk go to the kitties. He added,

“Why their whiskers would be coated with creamy white milk, their tongues

a-licking and their little bodies shaking from excitement.”

There were also serious and sad moments where tears streamed down my

cheeks. Quiet moments where the older adult would put his or her hand in

mine. Sometimes the wish to ‘Leave this Earth’ would be spoken, with the

loved ones or Hospice worker close by. It was especially painful the first

year of working there, so many new and special people did not make it

to my second year.

It was so easy to get attached.

I was very careful to wear gloves while visiting with food, taking them off

to give human touch to someone.

Holding them (both in warm embraces and also, in our hearts) is part of

daily living for workers at our nursing home. To move someone from a

wheelchair into a seat on the bus, you lean forward, they put their hands

together weaving their fingers together, making a bond. Then, you use

your back and neck to help pull them forward out of their wheelchair and

you carefuly loop your arm around their neck, walking them side by side

down the aisle between seats on the Arbors bus. You pivot and help them

to get secured with a seat belt, once they are seated. It makes me smile

to think of the ones who are like little kids, asking if they can have the

much coveted ‘window seats?’

Living with high expectations of yourself, encompasses not only the highest

goals of fulfilling the job roles but also knowing which moments to slow down,

listen, comfort, cry and laugh out loud.

Sometimes there are ‘breakthrough’ moments where someone who was not

able to do much more than point, somehow will say a sentence.

Lean in, put your ear by their mouth, trust it will be precious, like you may

have heard a child’s first word.

Another will exclaim, unexpectedly while looking out the window,

“There’s a squirrel!”

“There’s a little girl pushing a baby carriage!”

Or, in a strange twist on this last one, seeing the baby carriage and

child– “I used to take my baby pig, Hermoine, on walks in a

perambulator!”

If you are like I was, you may need clarification for this old-fashioned

word for a baby carriage.

Nothing better than those endearing stories and breakthroughs. . .

A lady who had been through some dark days, time had passed

since she had been a ‘regular’ to our activities. When I had gone

past her room to announce, “Coffee, tea and doughnuts offered,”

she had turned her head. I went past the nurse to ask her if she

could swallow or did I need any thickening mix to bring with her?

I asked if she had a hair appointment, but they said if I wanted to

get some cash out at the front desk, Cinda would give her enough

for a ‘wash and set.’

We had a light classical radio station on, which brought some bits

of conversation about commercials. The woman who had been in

a ‘fog’ for weeks on end, looked around and said,

“This is the most beautiful room I have ever been in!”

Later, after tea, a half of a doughnut and some small strands of

conversation, her nicely set head was starting to droop. I told

Lori I was going to take Ethel back to her room. She came around

from the other side of the activities tables, where she had been

‘doing manicures,’ to give Ethel a hug. Ethel called her who I believe

to be her daughter. Lori ‘rolled with it,’ saying, “I love you, Mom! See

you next week.”

When  I took her down the hall to her room, I sang my usual song,

“My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” It is a calming and familiar song,

which helps to notify them of a transition back to their rooms, if they

had been around me for awhile.

As I saw her door approaching, I said in a singsong voice,

“Home again, home again, lickety split.”

Ethel nodded.

When I got inside the room, I put her wheelchair facing the television,

bent down to give her a hug.

She patted the side of my cheek, she looked into my eyes and

said the sweetest whisper of a “Thank you.”

Her bright shining eyes with the light inside on, would have been

enough gratitude for me.

Nursing home residents become more than people to take care of,

they become friends.”

Robin Oldrieve Cochran, July 8, 1999.

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I received a Surprise going away party on this day. I was given a

beautiful large rectangular cake with a train on it, it had blocks of

“A, B, C.” There was a clown on the caboose and a conductor

who reminded me of Mr. Greenjean’s from Captain Kangaroo.

The cake read: “We Will Miss You, Robin!

Please Come Back, Riding the Crazy Train

Back to Arbors.”  :(

I became a teacher again, with preschool classes with integrated

enrollment. Children diagnosed by a team, during each summer,

completing tests and task, then a meeting with parents to develop

a plan of action called an I.F.S.P. Later, when they were older, an

exit test and set of tasks were carried out, to determine if there were

still needs to be met. Anything from psychological, emotional, motor

(gross motor and fine motor), language, daily living skills and goals

were set for each child who needed them. If the child was on the

border of needing or qualifying for school, we would suggest they

attend as a ‘mentor’ or ‘typically developing peer group member.’

We had a total of 12 students, comprised of 8 Special Needs and

4 Typically Developing.

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I urge parents of children who don’t see their grandparents

often, to take them in and ask for a Calendar of Events.

Choose something your child enjoys, maybe it is cooking,

singing or listening to music, or coming over to a nursing

home during Exercise Time. (We called it Motion Time.)

I also liked when we had pen pals from classrooms at

school. I would read the letters to the more cognitive

and aware patients, then would write a return letter back

to the children. It was great with 3rd or 4th grade, and we

would invite them to meet at the beginning of school,

and then  again at the end of school, our facility would

give them a picnic. This was a very popular activity, which

led me back to teaching when a nurse from our home was

going up to Morrow County to Whetstone River Family and

Children’s Center. (WRFCC.)

***************************************************************************

Here are the special names of ones my family and I loved:

Bernie, whose daughter in law was Suzy at the Columbus Zoo.

Daisy, who bonded with my oldest daughter and talked with

her about her grandmother who had a flower name, (My Mom

who is also known as “Rose.”)

Charles, who my youngest daughter would push his heavy

body in a wheelchair which seemed to have no ability to

move forward, rubber wheels were worn. He told her she was

the, “Prettiest little thing I have ever seen. Those puppy dog

eyes will get you anything you want. . . within reason!”

My son liked to go down to the rehabilitation area, where he

‘took’ to a man who had had a serious motorcycle crash.

This man looked ‘rough around the edges, with a multitude

of tattoos, one completely nude woman, included. His name

was Chris, he and Jamie would talk about his favorite subject,

football. They also would scan pages in Jamie’s Guinness Book

of World Records. Jamie would go down two long halls to go

‘fetch Chris a sweet roll and coffee with cream and sugar in

it from the closed dining room.’

Chris recuperated after 6 long months in a body cast.Chris

brought a lot of hearts fluttering and excitement when he finally

wanted to come down to Wednesday Night Bingo. Jamie would

get two cards for himself, since the prizes were a quarter for

every 5 in a row, “Bingo!” and a whole dollar for the complete

card filled out. Chris and Jamie would be joking the whole time,

which did disturb the ladies who really concentrated and liked

it quiet! Most Bingo games at nursing homes are happy to have

guests, since it brings a feeling or air of expectancy to the night.

We always served treats and beverages, to also get more people

involved.

Last but not least, most places have Halloween Trick or Treat

nights, Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas Parties, where guests

are encouraged, especially since little ones bring smiles and

more fun reactions.

Have you tried this with your children or grandchildren yet?

Any other philanthropic projects which you and the kids do?

Postscript: Don’t forget to tell me about my past writing compared

to my ‘present’ style.

Also, I am heading to Cleveland to spend time with my Mom,

after we finish a half day of work on Friday. I will check using

my super-sensitive cell phone and also, try to read and respond

to posts. See you after July 5th for a post about all of Mom’s and

my adventures. The huge thrift store on Lorain Road in North

Olmsted, meals out, unexpected silly comments will be noted and

reported, while spending my summer week’s vacation with Mom:

“Priceless!”

Friendship Means. . .

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My sweet friend, Neha,

who writes Forgotten Meadows

Along with her newest blog,

Quote and Lyrics for the Soul

tried to Challenge me to post

Three days in a row, with quotes.

It is called appropriately,

Three Day Quote Challenge.

There are rules to follow,

Will someone else like to pick

up the Gauntlet and Take the Challenge?

I admire the beauty in her writing and photographs.

I admire her caring and asking how I am from time to time.

I am pleased she has gone far in her blogging, adding fine readers.

I hope you will check her blog out and enjoy her beautiful original

poetry and see what she has posted for her “Three Days of Quotes.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

********************************* FRIENDSHIP *********************************************

Check her posts titled, “Solid,” “Summer Dreams,” and “Essence in a Drop.”

Recently, she included a Midsummer’s Nights Dream

in her “Lilac Dreams” post.

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com

http://quotesandlyrics.wordpress.com

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~ONE~

“The language of friendship is

not words but meanings.”

Henry David Thoreau

~TWO~

“Friendship is the only cement

that will ever hold  the world together.”

Woodrow T. Wilson

~THREE~

“Don’t walk behind me,

I may not lead.

Don’t walk in front of me,

I may not follow.

Just walk beside me

and be my friend.”

Albert Camus

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What’s Happening?

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I feel there is enough ‘fodder’ to use today for a post. I  have a few fun notes

and something about my upcoming court case, too. Usually I call these posts

“Bits and Pieces” or “Loose Ends.”

I had a message from the Potter recently and he used the words, “I am

freaked out, busy and scrambling making more pottery for the next show.”

He then added, “This expression is from the past, another generation.”

I have to tell you I whispered in my head, “Whoa, this is not true! You are

57 years old and this expression is Our Generation’s!”

What do you think? Are we the ones who started this or were we in the

middle of the period of time this expression was used?”

At the end of this post, I will “Reveal” three things:

The sex of my next grandchild.

The time period when we started using, “Freak out” and “Freaking out.”

The upcoming court details about the man who took my purse.

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This short story I read in Reader’s Digest filled my heart with such joy and

hope for people reaching out across borders, cultures and finding friends.

It was out of April, 2015’s edition of the magazine and the story was written

by Naomi Shihab Nye. You may wish to read more of her experiences in

her book, “Honeybee.”  The excerpt was titled: “Cookies at Gate A-4.”

Naomi was helpful to a woman wearing a traditional Palestinian embroidered

dress. Since Naomi knew Arabic, she was able to decipher the woman’s

meaning in her words flowing out, she was on the ground crumpled up and

crying. She needed to be somewhere for a medical treatment and thought

that her flight was cancelled. It turned out, it was only delayed.

The amazing story reflects upon Naomi’s patience and upbeat personality.

She helped the woman to contact her son, then due to the time still slowly

passing, they called her other son, then Naomi decided to call her Dad, too.

While on the phone with her father, the woman chattered away with him in

Arabic, determining they had 10 friends in common.

Later, Naomi decided to call some Palestinian poets to help ease the woman’s

nervousness. These moments, each laid out in her story, make me smile and

as mentioned, think about connections and how we still need to believe we

can join together and make our world better.

The final part, Naomi describes as sharing crumbled homemade “Mamool”

cookies. These were “mounds stuffed with dates and nuts and topped  with

sugar.” When offered people surrounding her all ate them, their was no

hesitation. I thought of it as a sense of ‘communion,’ while Naomi called

the cookies, “sacraments.”  The ones who accepted cookies were from

Argentina, California, and Laredo, Texas.

Naomi described people’s faces as,

“We were all smiling, covered with the same sugar.”

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Speaking of “sugar” . . . out of sequence . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sunday. Radio Time~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While fortifying myself with coffee, sitting in the kitchen of my son and

daughter in law’s house, some of the kids still asleep, having had a

barbecue, company from Kentucky and catching lightning bugs in jars.

Casey Kasem featured my high school graduation year on Sunday

morning. You realize this is a pre-recorded program from the past. I so

loved the songs on the “Casey Kasem Countdown” for 6/22/1974.

It was fun to listen to on 6/21/2015.

You may remember my talking about his passing away last year in June,

(June 15, 2014.) He was 82 years old and is buried in Oslo, Norway.

If you wish to set your alarm and go out to your garage or go for a ride

in your car, the next “Live” American Top 40 Countdown will be at 11a.m.

on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

I am not going to write them all down but here are the ones *I loved*:

#1 hit- “The Way We Were,” Barbra Streisand.

#5 hit- “Dancing Machine,” Jackson Five.

#6 hit- “The Loco-Motion,” Grand Funk Railroad.

#8 hit- “The Streak,” Ray Stevens.

(We had a streaker go across the stage of two of our high school

productions, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and”Take Her, She’s

Mine, plus** we had someone streak across the outside platform during

my 1974 graduation from high school. )

#9 hit- “Bennie and the Jets, ” Elton John.

#12 hit- “Jungle Boogie,” Kool and the Gang.

#17 hit- “Rock On,” David Essex.

#18 hit- “Sunshine” (“on my shoulder makes me happy…”) John Denver.

#22 hit- “Band on the Run,” Paul McCartney and Wings.

#25 hit- “Annie’s Song,” John Denver.

#24 hit- “Time in a Bottle,” (see our class yearbook and this is on one

of the first pages….) Jim Croche.

#28 hit- “Sundown,” Gordon Lightfoot.

#31 hit- “You’re Sixteen,” Ringo Starr.

#33 hit- “Dark Lady,” Cher.

#34 hit- “Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me,” Gladys Knight and

the Pips.

#40 hit- “The Joker,” Steve Miller Band.

*WARNING: The next songs may become ‘earwigs’ or earworms.’*

Here are the ones I sort of liked; but they become annoying over

time:

#2 hit- “Seasons in the Sun,” Terry Jacks.

#20 hit- “Hooked on a Feeling,” Blue Suede.

#21 hit- “Billy, Don’t Be a Hero,” Bo Donaldson and the Haywoods.

#26 hit- “You’re Having My Baby,” Paul Anka.

#29 hit- “Rock Me Gently,” Andy Kim.

Finally, on a longer extended Top !00 list, I found one that is still

catchy and so politically incorrect these days:

#44 hit- “Smokin’ In the Boys’ Room,” Brownsville Station.

Two More Outstanding Women Singers were on the list:

Aretha Franklin singing, “Until You Come Back to Me.”

Roberta Flack singing, “Feel Like Making Love.”

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At the Movies~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday saw “Inside Out,” with Carrie, Micah and Skyler. Wow! It is very

deep and yet, very lively, colorful and emotional. This covers the five

emotions of Joy, Anger, Disgust, Sadness and Fear. I love how Anger

blows his head up and fire bursts out of it!

Here is the ‘break down’ of the fine and comedic cast:

~Amy Poehler is so sweet as, “Joy.” There is a point where I literally

shed tears due to Amy’s voice which is so upbeat throughout until

when she begins to feel hopeless to help the little girl she is, inside

her head.

~Mindy Kaling is so great as, “Disgust.”

~Bill Hader is pitiful and a big ‘fraidy cat’ as, “Fear.”

~Phyllis Smith (I truly don’t recognize her) was really good and so

pathetic, sometimes lethargic, as “Sadness.” I love when she lies

down and allows “Joy” to pull her around by her foot.

~Lewis Black does a fantastic and memorable performance as,

“Anger.” I can get to chuckling all over again when I think of his

animated self.

Last detail, my grandson, Skyler is only 10, but as soon as they

mention “Puberty” as a future place for the emotions to go crazy

in, he started laughing out loud. I heard a few adults start laughing

due to my grandson’s outburst. When I asked him later why he

chose that moment to laugh out loud, he exclaimed,

“You know I have a teenaged sister, Breanna? She is like so up

and down, wild and then mad, Puberty is really not a good place

to be when you are the little brother of a teenager sister. Believe

me, Nana!”

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~At the Park~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While at the park with only Micah, over the weekend, between rain

storms, we were playing on what is a metal ‘stagecoach’ with rungs

to swing on and seats to sit on.

A man who was talking to his boys about his Marines military service

and what made one of the men cry perked Micah’s ears and he stopped

talking to me to ‘eavesdrop,’

The man said, “While we were high in the sky in a helicopter, with our

parachutes on our backs, we were getting ready to jump. There was

some turbulence, which was scary, and this man started to cry. The

Sergeant went ahead and pushed him out the door, “You’ll do fine

once you get the hang of it.”

Then, the man was talking to Micah and me, wondering if we were from

here. He was the children’s uncle and had come from California. We

listened to his story of his life there. When the man mentioned he was

65, I told him he looked good for his age. Micah nodded. I also added

that I wondered was he a “Great Uncle” instead of an uncle? He looked

like he had never heard of such a thing so I continued by saying my two

brothers were Great Uncles to Micah since I was his grandmother.

Micah interrupted and interjected: “You are my Nana, which is better

than a grandmother.”

I smiled and the man said I could ‘pass’ for Micah’s mother.

Micah (before I had a chance to say I would be 60 this year) said in

an extra loud and enthusiastic voice: “That’s because she dyes her

hair!”

We all started laughing, including a younger mother whose little girl

was using the top rungs and hanging upside down like a monkey.

It’s true.

I do dye my hair.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sunday. Father’s Day, 2015~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Father’s Day, I spent time with five of my six grandies. We played

in my son and his wife’s back yard,on the trampoline and swing set,

while we threw toys for the dogs to chase, checked out the huge

vegetable garden and weeded a little, along with our singing songs

about watermelons, ducks, a peanut on a railroad track and five

little monkeys.

All the kids made their Daddy a card. Micah made a robot card,

Marley made a house with a family on her card, Makyah (Kyah)

made flowers and a barbecue grill. It looked like a box, I asked

her to describe it so I could put a note on Daddy’s card ‘explaining

it.’ I remember a few times trying to guess the picture and upsetting

children. The barbecue grill had red circles which represented I am

sure, hamburgers. Lara made something about the Cincinnati Reds

since her dad is a fan of theirs, while Landen made my son a card

which had the Cleveland Indians on it. I reminded him that he needed

to make another one for Kevin, his ‘real’ Daddy, so he made a big

tree. I asked him if I could describe it, so his father could grasp why

the tree? He said, “I have been asking him to help me build a tree

house, this is an empty tree with nothing on it.” Okay, then!

We ate corn dogs, chips and yogurt for lunch and veggie pizza while

watching a movie. We walked to the nearest elementary school and

played on their Big Toy and the swings.

I have written three character studies, practicing and honing my craft.

I wrote them about visible homeless people and then, I used my own

imagination and some ‘creative license’ to create their background

stories.

I am proud to tell you that I have spoken to these two Ohio Wesleyan

students, Olivia Lease and Courtney Dunne.

I hope when you get a chance to see their video and see the website

about their homeless people study in Delaware, Ohio you will find out

more about the ones I see here in the library and over at my apartment

building, where if you put shoes or boots with laces tied together over

the post on the dumpster or bags of  empty pop cans so they can turn

in for money, you may feel like I do, compassion for their situations. It

has winter and snow flying around in this video, too:

http://blog.owu.edu/delaware-oh-homeless/

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# 1. The use of variations of “freak” in this particular slang usage began

around the time period between 1956 – 1970.

http://www.freedictionary.com

It means: “To be or cause to be of heightened emotions, such as fright,

anger or excitement.”

# 2. My son, James and his wife of 7 years, Trista, are expecting a boy!

She has two children who are part of their combination family, a boy,

Landen and a girl, Lara. They had two girls, Marley and Makyah. The

unplanned or “Oops!” baby will be born in August.

# 3. The man’s name is on the papers. I have to fill out any compensation

or emotional reparations on three pages of forms received in the mail.

He does still continue to come to the library, I found this out from my

girlfriend, Marty, who says she still is unable to point him out. “Innocent

until proven guilty” practice continues.

He is ‘up’ or charged with Fifth Degree Felony.

No date set, just have to send back the forms and hope I make them

realistic enough so he is held accountable for my trauma and upset,

nervousness and lack of sleep. Much less time spent at the library and

no DVD’s taken out, since I don’t like the narrow aisles where you feel

the persons are too close now. This did change my attitude, but I am

moving forward.

*******************************************************************************************

Did you ever watch the situation comedy called, “What’s Happening!!” ?

It ran from August, 1976 until April, 1979. I liked it a lot, since it was

about three working teenagers and how they handled funny and

sometimes bizarre situations. The young people were considered

black or African American but I felt they had similar things happen

to them, girl problems and boss irritations, like I had boy problems

and annoying bosses, too. They liked to hang out at a local diner and

I liked to hang out during this age at Friendly’s or at Denny’s. We

also had a local pizza parlor “on the other side of the tracks.” (Bay

Village was a ‘dry’ town while Westlake, Ohio we were allowed to

drink “3.2” beer. I was in college from 1974 until 1978, while the 3

teenaged boys were in high school and handling life, but not social

issues. Just like in the movie, “Cooley High,” which it is loosely based

on.

If you have any nostalgic memories of your high school days please

let us know. . .

If one of the songs on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 List is one of

your favorites or least favorites, it would be fun to hear about them.

9

Some Things Stay the Same

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This was fun to discover this weekend, that good old-fashioned magazine for

Boy Scouts. “Boys’ Life” has not changed very much, although there was one

article about computer usage. The magazine is published in Irving, Texas.

They still recommend watching upcoming animated films. The June, 2015

magazine suggests checking out Pixar’s “Inside Out” movie that is about

how to handle emotions. The five emotions are “Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear

and Sadness.” It will be in our ‘neighborhood’ small town theater: The Strand

on June 19th. The article also suggested youths to consider asking questions

of their parents if they should be confused about their own emotional concerns.

This led me into a great article titled:

“Be Safe and Nice When Online: No Bullies in Scouts.”

Next article harkened back to the 1800’s.

This must have been meant for Pilgrim Scouts.

Seriously.

It had a “circle” pattern and explained using a jigsaw cutter that would cut around

this pattern two times, after having drawn it on wood. The wood can then be sanded,

also drilled two holes and a connecting thin post or rod put to make a “homemade

toy”. . . .

Project outcome:  “Wooden Yo-Yo.”

This did give me the giggles for quite awhile.

A very serious article was featured on the cover, a team of Boy Scouts were going

on a “Canyoneering” trip. It is an expedition which takes you to Zion National Park,

where the young men would be having exciting explorations. I will summarize the

article in this awesome sentence:  This Canyoneering article takes scouts into

the rugged wilderness where they rappel, climb, squeeze through narrow passages

in rocks, scramble over ledges, wade and then swim in winding creeks and streams.

The youngest member of this scouting expedition was 13 years old. He made the

cover of “Boys’ Life” and is certainly a brave young man.

The three canyons are called: “Keyhole Canyon,” “Orderville Canyon,” and

“Creek Canyon.” The location of the cliffs and canyons is north of Arizona, in Utah.

A new “Healthy Treat” featured in the magazine is marketing for young people.

It is called, “Clif Kid Bar”  and comes in Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Chip.

I like Clif bars and also, Kind bars. I would say they generally do include some

fiber and less sugar than a candy bar. Sometimes, they add some protein for

those mountain climbing Boy Scouts. :)

When I was growing up and my brothers, who are now ages 58 and 56, liked

to read the jokes section of “Boys’ Life.” They would tell them at the dinner

table, sometimes coordinating a magic trick or Randy liked using his Danny

O’Day puppet and would give us a lively take on something he found amusing,

using his best effort to “throw his voice.”

Did you ever feel that it was fun to come up with entertainment to lighten up

your dinner hour? Not sure when or why we started this, but we even did

continue it through my Dad’s having a cancer. You were expected to make

him laugh, so my way would be to buy the “Big Mouth Frog” which was sold

during this time at Cracker Barrel. I could get my 40% discount and have

him listen to the corny song, “Take Me to the River.” My brothers got better

than I ever did at telling jokes. We try this from time to time at holidays.

Anyway, I thought you might like a few “corny” jokes from the current issue

of “Boys’ Life.”

~~ One ~~

“Five cats are on a boat. . .

One jumps off.

How many are left?

None! They were “copy cats!”

~~ Two ~~

I really do wonder if this next one was recycled for my generation?

“What did Batman’s Butler, Alfred, say when he saw Batman didn’t

fit in his utility belt?”

(Silent Pause)

“I don’t know, what did Alfred say?”

“What a waist!!”

~~ Three ~~

“Did you hear what happened when the red and blue

ships collided in the ocean?”

“No, what happened?”

“They were marooned!”

~~  Four ~~

“If all the punctuation marks got together and had a race,

which one would win?”

(Wait for this, or try to figure this one out, authors and writers!)

Answer: “The Dash!”

I was pleased at my grandsons who have enjoyed this magazine,

Skyler is age 10 and reads it to Micah, age 6.

Good, clean “Retro” style jokes and articles, including a project

they won’t be able to complete since they don’t have a jigsaw

or drill, but they were looking and studying this article. Maybe

a trip to Michael’s Craft Store or the Boy Scouting Shop.

My favorite magazine during this age group period, which would have

been in the 1960’s, was my Mom’s “McCall’s Magazine.” I would cut out

Betsy McCall and glue her to cardboard, to make a paper doll, then I

would carefully cut out her wardrobe for that month. This magazine had

the cut-out patterns for Betsy from the ’50’s up until 1995. I did not realize

this! I did sell my collection of paper dolls and their clothes, since I had

kept them in clear pages which had “pockets” so the dolls were not ‘stuck’

on those sticky photograph album pages. The book was treasured and I

had already shared it with my teaching co-workers and two daughters.

Sold in 2006 for $50.

Although I did like reading some of the articles, I did not know that Eleanor

Roosevelt wrote a column from the June, 1949 up until 1962 when she

passed away called, “If You Ask Me. . .”

What magazine did you like getting or reading while in elementary school?

Did you receive “Highlights” magazine in the mail or did you read it only

when you went to the doctor’s office when you were sick or your annual

check-up?

When my brothers got older, they loved “Mad Magazine,” but had to use

their own money to purchase this one. I liked “YM” magazine and got this

for an annual subscription. (Parents’ approval.) While I would pick up with

my babysitting money, “Tiger Beat” magazine. My girls liked “Seventeen”

magazine and my son loved reading books, but I would say his ‘guilty’

pleasure were the annual “Guinness Book of World Records.”

“Green” Style

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For years, I have found buying clothes others have decided to sell at garage

sales, thrift stores or ‘hand-me-down’s’ given by my friends to be my way of

being a good recycler and also, a ‘green’ customer.

I thought:

“What better way to show my choice of not being a mass product buyer

or following a rampant need to have ‘more’ and consume new products?”

Little did I expect some great new recycled clothing and other products

to capture my interest and need to help others know about them.

“Reborn as accessories, old tires, used sails and paper get a new lease

on life.” This is a fashionable quotation taken from Family Circle, June, 2015.

Kenneth Cole collaborated with “Rebuild Globally” to create lovely choices.

One~

A whale tote from the company, sold for $150 can be taken for years to the

mall or store to pick up groceries or purchases. I liked the design, also the use

of an old sail from a boat. . . but not necessarily the cost:

http://seatotes.com

Two~

Dahlia Necklace, for sale with lovely recycled materials, again a higher price

presumably due to the effort of producing this out of recycled paper ($72):

http://31bits.com

Three~

Love Haiti sandals, sold for $69 made out of rubber tires dyed into a tan

base with blue straps, shown in the magazine.

http://kennethcole.com

** I do think this is a worthy project and also, am thrilled with playground

materials which seem to have a bouncy flooring made of recycled tires.

I may just keep on going to my favorite resale shops and hope to purchase

more for less cost. Maybe not the best use of ‘green’ but the best my budget

can afford.

Songs to Enjoy

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I sometimes cannot resist writing about music. It is a part of my life, having been

in band as a clarinet player, along with listening to simple songs sung by parents

and grandparents.

Isn’t music part of everyone’s memories?

Don’t certain songs just represent different unique experiences?

Are there ones which simply resonate with a message?

One~

To listen to at your next BBQ, according to a recent article in “Rolling Stone,”

while also heard on my alternative rock station out of Columbus, Ohio.

(105.7 FM, which used to be an ‘oldies but goodies’ rock station.)

The group, Disclosure, singing “Holding On” may be one to put on your

list of exercise music or ones to lift your spirits.

As “R.S.” magazine so aptly puts it about “Holding On”:

“If you can’t get down to this latest bubbly groove song, we don’t know

what to tell you!”

Two~

James Taylor’s album has a collection of songs I enjoyed listening to,

from “Before this World” CD.

A. “Today, Today, Today.”

This song has simple lyrics but it tells a story starting with general

message and leading you to know how a life passes quickly and

all it entails.

Here are a few passages:

“The bird is on the wing,

The bell is about to ring

The big girl, she’s about to sing.”

******************************************

“The world will open wide

And I’m running with the tide

Its time to cut this side

And I must not miss my ride.”

*******************************************

It also shows his pride; planting a flag for America in Taylor’s lyrics.

(Try this one, for fun and reveling in Taylor’s vocal rendition of a song.)

B. “Angels of Forever”

(A tribute to the Boston Red Sox who had James Taylor’s grandmother

as one of their biggest fans.)

C. “Far Afghanistan”

(A tribute to American soldiers carrying on their military duties in far

off lands. The part which captures your listening and resonated with

me, was Taylor’s old Irish Celtic roots shining through.)

Three~

Have you heard a less played Sir Paul McCartney song called, “Temporary

Secretary?” This has some weird but sweet lyrics and shows Paul’s talent

in the 1980 song. Did not hear of this until recently, wondering why it is

“back” on the radio? So glad someone put it on their ‘play list!’

Four~

“Dream Lover” sung by Bobby Darrin. A great memory song, also once

sung by Mariah Carey. Now listen to and then compare to the Destroyer

song, where there are sexy and romantic “vibes” being reverberated into

your heart. Maybe it is the saxophone artist who will capture your heart.

Five~

The U.K. has fantastic music, we have always been grateful for their

ability to get us up and dancing. This folk group called Ultimate Painting

is unique and needs to be listened to be appreciated. The song I heard

recently is “Break the Chain.”  Must be an early radio station ‘reveal’

since it won’t come out until August, 2015. Keep your eyes peeled for

this new CD and listen if you have a chance to this!

So, what is on your recent “play list?”