Monthly Archives: March 2014

5 Cheers for Sesame Street!

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I went to see “Sesame Street Live!” with my oldest daughter,

who turned 34 years old and my youngest grandson, Micah.

It was amazing, filled with little lessons, dancing and singing.

I could not believe that the “Letter of the Day” was “M” and

later, we found out, in their performances, the “Number of

the Day” was “5.”

“M”icah who turned “5” on February 27th was thrilled! I was

speechless, trying to concentrate on capturing a photo of the

flashing lights that were saying, “5, off, 5, off, 5!”

I finally got those three 5’s in a position that their red

color stood out, in contrast, from the deep blue of the

surrounding framework of the stage. Then, again, capturing

our special, favorite characters, when they weren’t moving

quickly, jumping or gliding across the stage, was my next goal.

Micah was shouting, “There’s Elmo!” and “There’s Grover!”

When we weren’t laughing, looking across Micah’s head, my

daughter and I were grinning from ear to ear. Carrie said,

“I hope that Grover comes down the aisle, Micah, so you

can give him a hug! I wish I could give him a hug, too!”

Turns out, she would have had to crawl over or run over,

multiple little tykes to get to Grover. Micah was able to

maneuver and squirm through, (hopefully not pushing too

much!) to get a big hug from not only Grover, but Cookie

Monster, too. It was dark and several rows away from us,

but we saw him do this both times.

The crowd was very responsive to any suggestions to clap

or answer questions. There were a few songs that I would

like to mention. One I loved the imagery of the whole cast

of Sesame Street with their yellow slickers or raincoats

on, with video images of cookies falling from the sky,

and the song was, “It’s Raining Cookies!” (To the melody

of “It’s Raining Men!”)

Another song was one I had covered as one of my favorite

children’s songs, in a post about attending Lara and

Landen’s elementary school for Grandparents’ Day. It is

called, “Sing a Song.” The line that is so simple but

sweet that tugs at my heartstrings is “Don’t worry about

whether you can sing or not….” and has the lines,

“sing it loud, sing it clear!” This was very nicely acted

out and the whole gang did it very well in the show.

My favorite special moment was when Bert and Ernie were

sitting side by side on a bench. Chaos was happening

all around them, characters running around in circles,

music and dancing. They were sitting quietly watching.

It was a lovely moment, indeed. I love those two guys!

Do you remember the Golden Books post, where an author,

who had been the editor of Golden Books shared lessons

learned by reading or being read to Golden Books? Sesame

Street is part of the Golden Books’ line of books.

These book and television show characters are very much

part of my family! My children and grandchildren all have

their beloved books but by far, their favorite book is

“The Monster at the End of This Book.” In the ending, the

monster ends up to be, “lovable old Grover.”

I felt that there were valuable lessons in the show I saw

with my daughter and grandson. Here are some of the morals

and values imparted through songs and interactions.

I thought I would do a version of lessons I gathered

from going to see the “Sesame Street Live!” show.

Lessons that “Sesame Street” Teaches (or Taught) You:

1. Give back anything you “borrow” or take something.

Elmo “borrowed” a little girl character’s fairy wand.

2. The words, “I’m sorry,” go a long way in making

forgiveness easier. The person should be gracious, in

return. The little girl could tell Elmo didn’t mean to

be ‘bad’ and she answered back to his apology,

“Everyone makes mistakes!”

3. Be kind to one another. When Big Bird is doing laundry

for the messy duo of Bert and Ernie, he is cheerful and

there is a song that makes you feel that helping someone

out makes it easier to do chores.

4. Everyone is ‘lovable,’ even a Grouch! I was very

impressed when the Grouch stuck his head back into his

trash can, but he pushed upward and did a dance with

just his legs showing.

Micah exclaimed, “How cute is that?”

Both my daughter and I hugged him at the same time after

that ‘precious’ comment!

5. Every day is special! You may have a special word, letter,

number or feeling that is shared. They may talk about

“being friends.” The characters may talk about “sharing.”

Sometimes it will be a serious subject but it will always

end with it all working out okay!

6. Learning is fun! If you wish to learn Spanish, you can

recite the colors, red is “rojo,” white is “blanco,” blue

is “azul,” green is “verde,” and yellow is “amarillo.”

When you learn to count, the Count will use his best

Dracula voice, making it another way to enjoy numbers.

7. Singing and dancing should be part of your everyday

routines. I already mentioned the “Sing a Song,” but

do want to emphasize it is very hard to be ‘grumpy’

or ‘blue’ if you are dancing to the music!

8. Whenever possible, cookies can save the day! If

you are vegan, you can choose a healthier recipe, but

always remember that cookies make children smile! They

make them want to eat all their dinner, too!

Works for adults, too! For my Mom, ice cream is her

choice of ‘treats,’ to motivate her to eat her broccoli!

9. Owls truly are the birds of wisdom. The old, gnarly

tree on the dark scenery set with stars shining in the

sky, had a male owl wearing glasses. Also, there were

three little baby owls who popped their head outs out

of the tree’s knot holes. The characters asked him for

advice, which he intoned in a somber, scholastic way.

10. Families everywhere love their children. The way

they used the number five was to have five penguins

who went behind the curtain, coming out in different

international costumes. One time, the penguins wore sari’s

and silk sashes (Asian/Indian), another time they had long,

blonde braids with horned helmets (Scandinavian), the

maracas and straw hats with frayed ponchos, (Spanish/

Mexican) and other cultures were represented. The audience

cheered quite often during this presentation, along with

clapping five times.

It seems I am always telling you about something that is

very exciting and fun, happening to me, my family or my

friends. This is one thing that I cannot help doing,

sharing happy moments and imparting small ‘bits of wisdom’

gained along the way. I wish to bring you smiles.

Now, this last part is to be saved and savored for April

First. You will understand this to be my early ‘trick.’

After the program, we found our way behind the stage,

looking to get a photograph with my oldest with her ‘hero,’

Grover. We thought this would be a ‘full circle’ moment,

since that was one of the first books I had read to her,

including Grover. Once we were backstage, I requested

this usher to find out if there were any job applications.

I really was motivated to become a member of the traveling

“Sesame Street Live! entourage.

The man who hurried over, was still wearing this tall,

lanky yellow outfit, his “Big Bird” head of his costume in

his hands. Micah didn’t seem the least bit surprised.

My daughter could not believe that I was going to leave our

Delaware, Ohio home for 28 years. I was so enthusiastic that

I asked for a pen, then starting to fill in the past

employment section, right on the spot!

Can you believe I figured out a way to be around people of

all ages, dancing and singing, along with the great aspect

of traveling the country included in my future paychecks?

I mean, this would be a far better experience than joining

the circus!

Let me be the first to tell you, pre-April Fool’s Day:

“Surprise!!”

Did I have any of you thinking I would follow through on this

dream of ‘fame and fortune?’

April’s Variables

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April is a month that is one that makes me smile. It

is associated, right from the beginning, with FUN!

I mean, don’t you remember all the silly pranks done

in the name of “April Fool!” Also, since this year,

Easter lands within April, we get the double extra-

cute items that make it an adorable month. Baby lambs,

chicks, ducks, baskets, colored eggs, chocolates and

other brightly colored images come to mind, when I

think of April!

Here is a cheerful quotation from Brazilian theologian,

philosopher and poet, Rubem A. Alves:

“Hope is hearing the melody of the Future.

Faith is to dance to it.”

Springtime melodies ring in renewal and hope.

APRIL CALENDAR

Birthstone: Diamond

Flower: Sweet Pea

1- April Fool’s Day

2- National Walking Day

Did you know that 3 walks weekly after 3 meals

are better than a once a week 45 minute walk?

A fifteen minute walk after dinner, can lower

blood sugar for hours. Along that same line of

thinking, it will significantly lower or reduce

the risk of diabetes.

April 6-13 National Volunteer Week

7- First Quarter Moon

On 4/13/64, Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award,

making this a historical event, as he was the first

African American male, to win. He won for his role

as “Homer Smith,” in “Lilies of the Field.”

April 13- Palm Sunday

I remember going to church and the wonderful song,

which includes the words, “Hosanna” in it. There

would be a parade of people, in one church the

children, in another the choir, all carrying big

palm leaves. In Sunday School, we learned how to

make them into crosses and also, to braid them.

If you wish to know more, you may look farther

into the subject online.

15- Don’t forget to file your Federal taxes,

if you live in the United States.

On this evening, look out to see the Full Pink Moon!

This also is the first day of Passover.

18- Good Friday

This is celebrated by many Christians, including Roman

Catholics and Orthodox Catholics. Some may commemorate

Jesus’ Last Supper, in some religions.

20- Easter

If you celebrate, enjoy the family, loved ones and

neighbors. Hope there is an Easter basket and egg

hunt, along with some fun activities. Do you color

eggs with vinegar and dyes? I like that acidic,

pungent scent. It leads me to memories and nostalgic

moments, along with present days with grandchildren

getting excited about these simple crafts and use

of crayons to make the dye show patterns.

My daughter in law makes the best deviled eggs

while my son makes the juiciest ham, with the

pineapple, brown sugar and clove combination recipe

that my Mom showed me how to make. My daughter bakes

a yellow cake with marshmallow crème frosting and

coconut sprinkles with jelly beans. I used to like

the lamb or bunny cakes my Mom brought home from

the bakery.

If you have a special tradition or recipe to share,

please feel free to place these in the comments’

section!

22- Earth Day

Anywhere you live, internationally we all celebrate

Earth Day. In the schools around here, they will

sometimes go out on hikes to look for nature. In

the parks, sometimes a mayor or official will dig

a hole to place a new tree to celebrate our love

for nature. Other placees, recycling projects may

ensue, cleaning up creeks and paths where paper gets

picked up, along with the mess from winter’s winds.

Also, on April 22, the last Quarter Moon will be out.

23- Administration or Professionals Day

I have an older calendar, where Secretaries’ Day is

mentioned. I used to give the women in our Principal’s

office, little pots of violets in appreciation for

all they put up with from the students and teachers.

25- Arbor Day

This may be an even better time to schedule digging

a hole to place a new tree! I like to have little

seedlings to give to homeowners. I, also, have had

someone buy miniature trees to give to friends.

29- New Moon, it will be dark tonight!

The Paralyzed Veterans of America consider the month

of April to be Veterans’ Awareness Month. Check out

your community and see if there are any ways that

are planned to help Paralyzed Vets or if there are

any ceremonies or projects. This month is to help

raise public awareness of the unique challenges

that paralyzed veterans face on a daily basis.

I like to end with a couple of positive quotes from

Thomas Kinkade:

“True simplicity begins when you learn to enjoy the

amazing abundance of what is already yours.”

“No one can decide how you spend your time, but you.”

Collectibles and Memories

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Coins, stamps, trains, toys, dolls, books, antique or

Matchbox cars, comic books, glass menageries, art, music,

or salt and pepper shakers… all have a common denominator

of being sought after, collected and sometimes, even being

part of a traveling Americana museum collection. What do

you seek out, cherish and collect?

When I was young, there were dolls with the name of Betsy

and Cathy. Did you ever have a “Betsy Wetsy” or a doll

named, “Chatty Cathy?” I always enjoyed the magazine

called, “McCall’s.” Inside this women’s magazine, my Mom

after reading it cover to cover, would allow me to cut

out and paste onto cardboard, a paper doll named Betsy

McCall.

The popular paper doll named “Betsy” soon had her mother,

father, cousin, friends and pets added to cut out. The

fashions on these dolls was always of interest to me,

too.

Can you believe I had an album of over 60 magazine

issues’ worth of Betsy McCall, carefully cut out and

pasted onto cardboard and put between sheets of plastic

film?

I tried to sell it, hoping to make some money on the

album. Alas, no one wanted to purchase this. I gave it

to an antique shop, where the man had been so helpful,

showing me current values of items using the internet,

Craigs’ List and e-Bay.

This shopkeeper, Henry, is the husband of one of the

‘cafeteria ladies’ where my kids attended school. Due

to heart and health problems, Henry lost his career of

being a race car mechanic.

Henry was always honest and sympathetic to my concerns

of giving up things. He sometimes purchased items, close

to “auction” or “market values.”

He was such a sweetie, not getting upset, as I carted

boxes into his shop. I ended up giving him quite a few

items, including NASA ash trays and a book of matchbook

covers. He had found a ‘lucrative’ buyer, splitting

costs with me, as he would send them off via UPS, then

receiving payments through the mail.

I kept only one album of matchbook covers of Ohio places

that I had actually been to. Apparently, it is quite rare

to find matches sold in their little folded-cardboard

state or the staple taken carefully out of the cardboard

packet and kept in albums. I did not keep any matchboxes.

These used to be, in my basement, in a large fish bowl on

the bar. We had a “Max and Erma” or “TGI Friday’s”

theme.

Henry had paid for a lot for the few dolls I had, a

couple of my Mom’s gifts of dolls to my daughters.

He also had given me good advice on what to save in

my tight “new” space in my one bedroom apartment.

I think about stopping in to re-buy the different

items that may still remain on his shelves, since I

have more money these days, after 8 long years of

pulling myself out of debt.

Long and boring story, you may have heard this before.

My ex-husband had stopped paying bills and debt incurred.

(Three years of his unemployment just didn’t keep the

bills paid, while I worked as a teacher and server at

Cracker Barrel.)

But, what would I do with my reclaimed items? Do I

really need more clutter to collect dust with? I am

happy with my choices, overall.

I still have the Little Women, Madame Alexander dolls,

two Ginny dolls, a Tammy doll, an Alan and Skipper doll,

plus her adorable little sister doll, Tutti.

I have no regrets!

Collectibles in my birds’ collection were few and far

between. I ended up saving less than ten of them. The

ones who were given to me over all the years, robins,

cardinals, blue jays and roosters were sold for $1-$3

at my huge “Moving Out of the House Sale.”

I am surprised and proud that I have a Lenox robin and

a Hummel/Goebel robin, too. Instead of big cabinets

with much too many odds and ends tucked inside, I have a

little black, wooden-edged box, about 2′ by 2′ in size,

with four glass walls, a mirror on the bottom set on top

of a dresser.

This holds the littlest and sweetest items from my ‘olden’

days of antiquing with my parents and brothers.

When I saw an old article tucked into a book about Betsy

McCall, it made me nostalgic for that album. I wanted to

at least give it “tribute” in a post. It is interesting

to find out that the first Betsy McCall paper doll was

illustrated on a page of the magazine in May, 1951. The

first doll was designed by Ideal Toy Co. in 1952. She

was a 14″ doll with a vinyl head and what is called, a

“saran” wig. The doll was marked, “McCall Corp.” on her

head and on the back, labeled “Ideal Doll P 90.”

In an auction, the Ideal Betsy McCall doll with her

little tag still attached to her wrist, sold for $210.

Later, in 1958 (I would have been 3 years old by then),

an 8″ Betsy McCall doll was made by a company called,

American Character. Several other Betsy McCall dolls

have been made since the 50’s and even into the 90’s.

My friend, Bill, collects rare finds of guitars and

other musical instruments. He is no longer a band

member, but still plays a variety of musical styles,

which includes flamenco Spanish songs, old style

country music, and rock and roll.

My brother, Rich, collected miniatures of porcelain

dogs and a horse. He still has them in the same Ethan

Allen shelving cabinet, from childhood. This also has

a fold down desk, in his bedroom with his wife. He

never became a veterinarian. (He’s a professor of

education, addressing special needs, with Master’s

degree students.)

My other brother, who aspired to be a pharmacist,

collected mortar and pestles. His are probably long

gone. (He has accomplished a lot with his career of

murals, sculptures and other art pieces.)

What dreams did you have when you were young that

caused you to save or collect particular items?

Did you put together and paint model airplanes and

suspend them on threads from the ceiling of your

bedroom?

Nostalgia comes in many forms,

all such wonderful memories…

Lessons Learned

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When my mother’s parents, born in Sweden and Germany,

lived in New York City, intergenerational living was

not only common, but served valuable purposes. I liked

two black and white movies, from the era of having

different family members living together. One is called,

“I Remember Mama,” and the other is, “A Tree Grows in

Brooklyn.”

Just in case you like to read the books first: “A Tree

Grows in Brooklyn,” was written in 1943 by Betty Smith.

It is a great read, along with the 1945 movie adaptation

being very well done. “I Remember Mama” was first an

engrossing book called, “Mama’s Bank Account,” written

by Kathryn Forbes, in 1943. A few years later, the book

was translated into a play in 1948, by John Van Druten.

When I was growing up, I liked to hear stories of my

parents’ and grandparents’ past. The history of their

love stories are here on my blog, three generations’

worth!

In Delaware, Ohio a man named Phil Powers was a junior

at Ohio Wesleyan University in 1940. He was painting

the walls in a dormitory called, “Austin Manor.” It is

located, still to this day, beside a beautiful garden

and Music Hall, both of the same name of Monnett. Not

to be confused with the impressionistic painter, Monet.

Phil Powers would never have imagined that he would

someday live in this dorm in his eighties with his

wife, Pat. He may not have even imagined who would be

his bride, at the time, daydreaming while painting.

Nationally, there are universities who serve and reduce

their rates for people over 50; or over retirement age.

The University Linked Retirement Community system is in

place at Penn State and Notre Dame, along with over 50

more colleges and universities. If you are considering

this richly diverse living situation you may check out

ULRC’s in your area of the United States. I wonder if

Europe or other countries have such a wonderful system?

OWU’s Austin Manor is the only one of its kind to offer

rooms for persons of any age, as long as they are enrolled

in at least one class. The title, “Dorms Beyond the Norm,”

was featured, in a 2008 article, in “AARP Magazine.”

When I toured the Austin Manor for their Christmas Open

House last December, I was so impressed with the fellowship

and open mutual admiration between the generations living

there. The rooms looked so clean, decorated and inviting,

that I kept the brochure about future living arrangements

while pursuing interests in diverse subject matters.

Phil and Pat Powers were not present at this Open House,

I did not ask where they were, if they were still residents

there. I was just amazed that their story, its profound

message of “never stop learning,” made a big impact on me!

The rooms are arranged so that there are two bedrooms, a

small living area. kitchen and bathroom. Enough space to

compare to an apartment.

The residents in this unusual dormitory all pitch in to

have Halloween “Trick or Treating” for neighboring homes

with children. They also have a wonderful, large garden

with almost every vegetable included in the neat and

orderly rows. The residents have regular potlucks,

gatherings and guest speakers in their community room.

The dorm also allows public meetings to be held, if

reserved ahead of time.

Intergenerational interaction allowed children in many

big cities to gather around tables together. Listening

to their elders spinning tales of where they had come

from and learning stories to be passed on from generation

to generation. Along with these positive experiences, there

were shared family recipes and saved expenses.

Pockets of different ethnic groups had their own grocery

stores, their own meetings and sometimes even became known

as “Little Italy” or “China Town.” The benefits for college

students of the same way of living, learning about others

from different parts of the country and ages, allows more

freedom to become accepting adults.

You know that this positive influence would not be every

college student’s ‘cup of tea’ but choosing to offer this

building to juniors and seniors is a great idea! Who knows?

Maybe the elderly will enjoy sharing a cup of tea with the

student.

In a comment from the 2008 article in AARP, Pat Powers gave

this opinion:

It’s the best move we’ve made (to live in Austin Manor). You

don’t have that feeling of everyone being old and talking

about their ailments. Instead, they discuss classes and

other interests.”

I am like the Powers, not wishing to stay stagnant or

sit on a porch in my rocking chair too soon!

Hurray for intergenerational living situations!

Life should move forward, always expanding our minds and

lives, creating power within networking and generations.

Greener Choices

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In only a few days, April holds two important ‘green’

days: Earth Day and Arbor Day. I thought it may be

pertinent to make a list of progressive choices for a

healthier lifestyle. They may make the world a better

place, too!

While the Spring sales are still going on, you may wish

to stock up on cloth towels and cotton sheets. Cloth

towels to wipe up things are much better for the

environment than using lots of paper towels. Cotton

sheets are able to be dry quicker, reducing energy

usage, than ones that have polyester fibers.

Once you have stocked up and chosen which ‘rags’ to

discard, consider the following places who welcome old

towels, along with old blankets. Homeless shelters and

battered women’s shelters appreciate clean towels, as

well as ones to wipe up spills. They are happy to receive

donations of clean sheets and clothing items, especially

warm coats in the winter, as well as cotton t-shirts that

are clean for summer wear. Check on their ‘needs lists’

and you may have some of the necessities around the house

going to waste. Local animal shelters also are happy to

receive towels and cloths that look a little ‘raggedy.’

They also appreciate other donations of pet food, kitty

litter and unused leashes. I mentioned this to a friend

who is insisting that she will ‘never own another pet,’

since her beautiful golden retriever died of cancer.

Another ‘switch’ from good choices to better choices,

is to replace your toothbrushes with more eco-friendly

ones. There are ones now on the market made of castor

oil plants instead of petroleum (plastic ones). Look

for BPA-free and recyclable on the label.

I could not believe this figure that I found in the

Central Ohio “Natural Awakenings” magazine! Our library

has them in a stack, labeled ‘free.’ The statistic that

had my jaw drop open, thank goodness too early for a fly

to be caught, was that Americans use 500 million disposable

straws in ONE DAY! The founder of the Be Straw Free Campaign,

Milo Cress, accumulated this horrifying data. As you may

know, at parks, zoos and other natural wildlife preserves,

you are requested to not even drink out of plastic straws.

This is because they have accidentally flown out of trash

barrels, been dropped or otherwise gotten into the beaks

of animals. They can be caught and not able to be dislodged

by the animal, sometimes causing death or horrible pain.

The Ocean Conservancy has straws on their Top 10 list of

debris littering beaches. Paper straws are an alternative

since they do compost within 45-60 days. Otherwise, using

a sippy cup for kids and a twist up or down lid for adults

can keep animals and sea life ‘safe’ from harm of plastic

straws.

Of course, we have covered this in other posts of mine,

where I mention that I walk to the local Delaware Community

Market and also, during three seasons of the year, go to

the Farmer’s Market that is on the sidewalks downtown during

business hours on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings.

By purchasing locally grown foods, whether they are fruits,

vegetables or baked goods, you are supporting the farmers

and you are saving the environment. You carry a cloth bag,

which eliminates plastic or even, paper bags. You also are

getting healthier food choices, which is good for the body.

The planet appreciates your efforts to buy local, since

there is no need for shipping, warehousing, and boxing up

these products. Local purchases save gas!

A great and easy way to go ecological is to buy several

power-saver energy strips. They can be turned off when

machines are not being used. Also, unplugging things like

the toaster, coffee maker or blender can do a lot of good

by such simple actions. Completely shutting down computers

saves more energy than using sleep mode.

The Appliance Recycling Centers of America, in conjunction

with your local electric company, will come and pick up your

discarded appliances. You may find yourself purchasing a

more energy-efficient refrigerator or freezer in the

future, or your old one may just ‘conk out.’

In the states of California, Connecticut, Maryland,

Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont have

pledged to increase production or construction of the

charging stations needed to use for battery powered

cars, plug in hybrids and other ‘clean’ burning vehicles

by 2025. Consider buying one of these, when you have your

old car ‘bite the dust.’

There are companies that can help install solar panels

in your home, making renewable home energy cost-effective,

along with increasing your home’s property value.

There is a company that you may find on the internet,

that incorporates a “1% for the Planet” logo. You also

will find participating ‘green’ companies at Tinyurl.com/

OnePercentPlanet.

Some green tips for cooking are always helpful, sometimes

you may have already read them somewhere else. This can

help remind you of better eco-friendly kitchen processes.

Slow cooked soups and stews, a meal within a pot or pan,

covered to use the heat within the structure, is both

ecological and saves energy when it comes time to wash up.

This can be helpful to the budget, too, since you can use

a less expensive cut of meat, while it tenderizes in the

slow-cooking process. If you are a vegetarian, it is also

a delicious way to bring out the flavors of the foods and

softens root vegetables that need time to simmer.

Lastly, it is also a really nice way to come home, the

aroma wafting through the entryway to your house. In my

case, the hallway leading to my door. I adore smelling

the food that has been cooking on low heat while I have

been away at work!

I sometimes use a covered dish in the oven, which has a

similar economical and ecological purpose.

A company called Microban Europe, UK, has been testing

produce and finding it challenging to keep them fresh.

Unfortunately, I found this fact quite gross! our average

refrigerator harbors millions of bacteria! Yikes! There is

a eco-friendly product, called “The Berry Breeze” in-fridge

automated device. This circulates activated oxygen to

prevent mold, keeping produce fresh longer and reducing

spoiling to save your grocery money.

Another interesting ‘take’ on buying food that is healthy

and ecological, is to eliminate canned goods. I was not

sure I could get ‘on board’ with this plan! I have a limited

budget, so canned goods are more economical for one person.

Instead of a whole bag of potatoes or the singular, more

expensive one potato, I buy canned potatoes and rinse them

twice for the salt and metal taste to be rinsed off. I

then proceed to recycle my cans. There is a woman in the

Natural Awakenings magazine, Hannah Helsabeck, who is

president of WildMintShop.com, who shares “can-free”

meal tips online. Her quote is a positive and thought-

provoking one:

“It takes a little planning, but we can now avoid all the

toxic chemicals used in processing foods and making cans.

Let’s kick the can!”

I say, “Go Green!”

and

“Let’s get become a little more aware of how our actions

affect the environment and consequently, the world.”

Are We Okay?

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While watching the movie, “Silver Linings Playlist,” I

noticed that the character that Bradley Cooper plays,

enjoys analyzing where words come from. I also like to

look up words, find out variations of definitions and

usages of words. The idea of investigating the ‘roots of

languages’ is another way I feel I am ‘playing detective.’

When the slightly crazy character, that Bradley Cooper

plays, asks about the word, “okay.” He finds out from

Jennifer Lawrence’s wacky character that “o.k” comes from

the period in history when President Martin Van Buren

was president.

Van Buren’s presidency lasted from 1837-1841. He was a

member of the “Old Kinderhook Club.” President Van Buren

and people who originated from Kinderhook, New York, may

have considered and weighed people’s ‘value’ as they met.

Thus, if newcomers were ‘good enough’ to join their “O. K.

Club,” they were “O.K.”

It was also easier to say, “Vote for OK,” while referring

to Martin Van Buren.

I thought this was rather interesting, finding out from

a movie, how a word came about. But, when I went to look

this particular word up, I found a whole different story!

It is a much more complicated and rather bizarre,

convoluted ‘story’ that several sources used. So, here

goes another way to find the roots and history of the

simple expressions, “Okay” or “o.k.”

In the late 1830’s, Boston newspapers’ articles were full

of abbreviations. Some made ‘sense’ and others needed a big

leap of understanding or a stretch of your imagination!

Apparently there was a ‘fashion,’ or ‘fad,’ that included

this use of ‘shortcuts.’ The craze went so far as to

produce abbreviations of misspelled words. The way that

the words became misspelled, seems to be rooted in another

language entirely. These ‘old fashioned’ expressions from

everyday usage evolved into different combinations of

letters with a kind of acronym style.

Let’s see how this goes…

Such ‘popular’ at the time expressions were:

“No go” = N.B.

“All right” = A.R.

“Know go” = K.G.

“Oll wright” = O.W.

and finally, the one you all wished to know why we got this

abbreviation:

“Oll correct” = O.K.

Several of these abbreviations with seemingly nonsensical

misspellings became popular while speaking, not just in

the paper! Can you imagine saying the following?

“That lesson was a K.G.” (Know go.)

“Our plans for going to the movies are a N.G.” (No go.)

The most widespread of this fun speaking trend, was the

use of “okay” or “O.K.”

The Boston Morning Post newspaper got the credit for the

‘first’ use of the word, “O.K.” in 1839.

The use of ‘shortcuts’ reminded me of how I learned to

text faster on my cell phone. By using abbreviations, and

some of the common ways people encapsulate words, I felt

like I was learning a foreign language!

Let’s have some fun with wordplays using the word, “O.K”

as a verb. In this use of the word, the definition is

considered to mean, “approve” or “authorize.”

1. The architect ‘O.K.’d’ the draft for the job.

2. The supervisor ‘okayed’ the idea of a potluck.

In the present verb tense,

3. “Will you okay the document?”

There are two directions, for the same word, that

you can go with okay.

Here is a negative way to interpret the word, “okay.”

Which uses the definition of “mediocrity,” as an

adjective.

When you have eaten something that you like only

a little or really don’t want seconds…

1. The soup was okay.

If you feel the server was only “adequate” you

may say,

2. “She did an okay job.”

Now, here is a positive ‘spin’ on the word! in our

American culture, we use the word ‘okay’ to mean,

‘Way to get things done!’

You are using an enthusiastic tone in your voice, you

may even raise it up a notch, by exclaiming after a

great play in sports:

1. “Okay!”

When I am asked if I would like to go to a concert,

the ticket is being paid by my friend or date:

2. “O.K.!!!”

As an adverb, okay is also used well and has different

ways to interpret it.

While shopping in a crowded store and someone bumps

into you,

1. “I am okay,” you may respond.

When your friend arrives late to lunch and is profusely

apologetic,

2. “It is o.k., don’t worry about it.”

In an accident, while the paramedics are trying to get

your reaction,

3. “Are you okay?”

By nodding your head, you are validating that you are

okay. By shaking your head, you are showing without

words, that you aren’t doing very well.

Back in 1967, Thomas A. Harris, MD. wrote a self-help book

that was called, “I’m OK, You’re Ok.” This was around for

awhile, sharing communication skills, along with the way

you can observe verbal and non-verbal communication. At

the time it was published, Harris found the idea behind

T.A., Transactional Analysis to be fascinating. The book

has gone through several republishing and remained on

the New York Times Bestseller List for two years, 1972-

1974. I could not resist including this in this essay,

since it incorporates one of the most popular uses of

the word, “OK.”

In current relationships, our newest way of finding out

if we are ‘on the same page’ or getting along is to

ask these meaningful words,

“Are we o.k.?”

Who would have thought 2 letters abbreviated could be

interpreted in so many diverse ways?

I may now wonder whether or not this essay on the usage

of the word ‘okay’ was o.k.

Your response could indicate a rather blasé reaction or

it could be a very excited one!

“Cleveland Rocks”

Standard

Since I wrote this back in December, when the movie, “Draft Day,” was calling it a ‘wrap’ I thought it is more newsworthy to reblog this! The movie release date is April 11, 2014. I hope if you missed reading this, amidst the holiday season, you will enjoy finding out what Cleveland and Ohio ties this movie has. The movie includes the wonderful acting skills of Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner. Along with a look at his band, which played at the Brothers Lounge in Cleveland. . .

witlessdatingafterfifty

I have a follow up post about Kevin Costner and his friends,

the band he performs with, “Modern West.” When I wrote about

Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner and the movie, “Draft Day,”

directed by Ivan Reitman, I did not have the “whole story”

to share with you! I had started by writing one post about

the movie being filmed in Cleveland and its “calling it a

wrap” around Thanksgiving!

The Brothers Lounge in Cleveland hosted Kevin Costner and

Modern West to a packed audience, all enjoying the music

with a few brews being consumed by members of the band,

actors and the “general population” who assembled there. I

am glad to say that Kevin Costner consumed a pop, Coke,

instead of partying like the others. It is always “refreshing”

(not to just drink a Coke! See advertising placement! No

money being exchanged, though. Darn!) to have a famous person

sharing…

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