Category Archives: trees

Summertime Serenade

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This poem was written last summer

to celebrate the 2014 season.

It will be my “encore” serenade to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~*x*x*x*~~~~~~~~~~

Let’s hear it for Summer, 2015!

If you are in another season…

Hope it is a wonderful time for you.

~~~~~~~~~~~*x*x*x*~~~~~~~~~~~

Summertime Serenade

by Robin Oldrieve Cochran

Shimmering sun shines through haze,

“Shoo!” to flies, bugs and mosquitoes.

“Sh-h-h” – settling down – naptime now.

Silent respite, serene moments.

Sensation of peace surrounding home.

Skinny-dipping, slippery babies,

Slide smoothly into cool water.

Swing soars high into the sky,

Shoes kicked off, sandals flipped. . .

Splashing sounds, as hands release!

Sprinklers shifting, swishing rhythmically,

Sprays of warm water change.

Shivering, cold droplets follow: “Br-r-r!”

Soaking grateful kids, dogs and grass.

(Cats hiss!)

Shrieks ring out:  joy and sheer delight.

Sensational salads whet appetites.

Sliced fresh vegetable from garden,

Savory spices of basil with sprigs of parsley,

Soaked with slippery vinaigrette dressing poured,

Sizzling barbecue aromas, family gathering,

Should I bring something?

. . . Satisfaction!

June 28, 2014

Conversation With Cliff

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We were talking about his boys, Cliff and I. It led into a new subject

for me to research. He had suggested in the 1800’s, President Ulysses

S. Grant had been one of the founders of the idea for National Parks.

We had had a few recent conversations about President Theodore

Roosevelt, his past and the post I had written. This was the one about

his personal tragedy of losing his wife and mother on the same day.

Which took Theodore out West to find an ‘escape’ and tranquility. The

area he had chosen to find refuge in, led him to his pursuit of natural

wonders and supporting National Parks.

 

Hiram Ulysses Grant was born on April 27, 1822 and lived until July 23,

1885. He had throat cancer and died at age 63 years old.  He was born

in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He met his wife from a classmate during the

years after he attended military school. He had four children and his

legacy as President and during the times of Civil War and following

peaceful times, is with mixed reviews.

 

Time has slowly improved and healed some of the negative aspects

of President Grant’s memories. Historians and biographers have

become kinder over the years.

 

As a boy, Hiram’s father had Abolitionist sentiments. The family

did not have slaves. Later on, wife’s family did. When there were

times of financial hardship, Grant released his wife’s slaves. This

was despite the fact he could have made money by selling them.

He had enlisted their services on the farm they had owned and they

participated in helping to care for the land. Grant named his family’s

home, “Hardscrabble.”

 

While young, Grant did not attend the family’s Methodist church,

since apparently he was the youngest and did not have to. He chose

to pray privately all his life. He had a sensitive nature, shown in his

taking art courses from Robert Walter Weir. This artist’s paintings

were from the Romantics period. There are nine artworks of Grant’s

still surviving.

 

Hiram had a knack for handling and training horses. He was what

we would now call a, “Horse Whisperer.”

 

Another aspect of Grant’s softer side was when President Abraham

Lincoln was assassinated, he stood alone at the funeral and wept.

He said of Lincoln:

“He was incontestably the greatest man I have ever known.”

 

The only quote I could find from Lincoln of Grant was during the

Civil War, while Grant was very rough on his troops, trying to keep

them in line and some of the bloodiest battles were ones he led,

Lincoln said when others complained of Grant’s determination

and grit:

“I can’t spare this man, he fights.”

 

Going back to how Grant got his name accidentally changed. . .

When Hiram was only 17 years old a congressman who knew his

father, nominated him for the U.S. Military Academy in West

Point, New York. The friend knew his middle name was Ulysses

and his mother’s maiden name was Simpson, so he chose to write

his letter of recommendation for “Ulysses S. Grant,” to become

a military student at West Point.

 

At school, since his initials were U.S., some of his friends started

to call him “Sam” as in “Uncle Sam.” What a patriotic name this is.

Just imagine how it came to be and I like to picture him so much

more as the boy named, “Hiram.” When he went off to school at

West Point there are records of his weight and height:

He was 5′ 1″ tall and he weighed 117 pounds.

 

He was an average student who liked mathematics and geology.

 

A good friend and classmate at West Point introduced him to his

sister, Julia Dent. They became engaged and four years later,

“Sam” and Julia married.

 

At the time after the Civil War, Grant and his family traveled to

Washington, D.C. He was in Cabinet meetings and was given the

authority to be in charge of cotton and its sales in the district

where he and his wife’s family lived.

 

Grant was invited to join President Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd,

for an evening at the theater. Instead, Grant and his wife and family

went to Philadelphia for entertainment and a vacation. When he

was called back to Washington due to the assassination, Grant

was bereft.

 

Some of the negative reports about Grant include that he may have

had a drinking problem during his academy and military career.

 

Grant also made a ‘bad decision’ in judging the Jewish people who

were involved in the district he was responsible to monitor cotton

sales in.   He “threw all the Jewish cotton dealers out” and this

Anti-Semitic decision has been often listed as one of the worst ones

he made.

 

Positive relationships with the African Americans post-Civil War

and the Native Americans have made President Ulysses S. Grant’s

memories and tributes less harsh over the years. When he threw

himself into the Civil War battles, Grant “found renewed energy in

the Union cause.” He led volunteer army he tried to rally and

discipline the Northern troops the best he could.

 

While President, Grant chose to create a position in his Cabinet

and nominate someone to be the “Commissioner of Indian Affairs.”

He wanted Peace among the tribes and Grant publicly ‘castigated’

Custer for his massacre of the Indians in the battle known as,

“Custer’s Last Stand.”

 

Cliff is my coworker who has two sons who are on the precipice of

being teenagers. He is struggling to find ways to continue family night

and enjoying all sorts of activities together. His wife is often ‘left at

home’ but he insists she prefers her personal space and encourages

the boys to spend time with their Dad.

 

Cliff has been trying to capture their attention by taking them to

parks, renting canoes, hiking in various places around the four states

of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. He has been considering a

trip to Pennsylvania, but has not decided if this is where they will go

for a summer vacation.

 

Cliff is the one who told me about Grant’s positive decisions to help

Native American relations and also, the Gold Rush. While people

were out West, panning for gold, some stumbled upon the lovely

Geysers and other notable natural beauties.

Cliff was also ‘sure’ that Grant helped to denote the land around the

Geysers out West, as National Park. He was also ‘sure’ that Yellowstone

Park was part of President Grant’s plan of becoming a National Park.

 

Cliff is a ‘simple guy,’ but an extraordinary father. I give him plenty

of positive encouragement, while not flirting or trying to take too

much time away from my order filling.  He is in Cycle Count, so is

often ‘in my way’ and  by talking to him, he follows me while I pick

the warehouse products and place them in the bins or hampers.

 

I had written a post some time ago, last winter I believe, talking about

his interest in the cartoon which had content for young people, “Johnny

Quest.” There were no copies of the series in his local library. He found

some, I believe on YouTube. He ended up showing his boys several

episodes and getting them hooked on “Scooby Doo.”

 

So was Cliff right? For someone who admits he only got “C’s” in  his

high school Geography and History classes, he has come a long way!

 

On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant passed the legislation

for National Parks in an area about the size of Rhode Island and the

state of Delaware combined. “Yellowstone Park” and all of the area

is intended to be held as a National Park, preserved and protected

by the United States Government. This law that was passed into a

Bill made the Northwest Corner of the Wyoming Territory part of

the beginning of many other areas known as National Parks.

 

Some quick facts about Yellowstone National Park of note:

~Home of 1/2 the World’s geysers.

~Large mountainous region.

~High elevation lakes.

~Numerous species and abundant game and wildlife.

All are protected and preserved, due to President Ulysses S. Grant.

 

Just for extra information, Cliff shared with me that in Ohio we

only have one National Park. It is called Wayne National Forest

and is located in the Southeastern part of Ohio. It is an area of

240,101 acres. It is located on the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau

and is part of a ‘reforestation program.’

 

Isn’t it amazing the things you can learn from a coworker?

 

Hope the research and information about President Ulysses S.

Grant showed you a different picture than the Civil War leader,

making him a more well-rounded character.

Art, Environment and Health News

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“I loved the title for this short entry in the “Natural Awakenings”

magazine: “Looking at Beautiful Art Bumps Up Brain Activity.”

At Japan’s Oita University there were outstanding research results

and I will share them with you. Another part of this article will give

you some natural choices to replace antibiotics in fighting those

winter illnesses. While looking at locally grown foods, the pesticide

levels are less in those choices over the ones found in stores. Also,

an interesting find that I came across had two ecological and ‘green’

facts to make sure we contribute to a better world.

How did they measure the increase of brain activity ? You may have

guessed that in the Japanese study of MRI scans, (which are magnetic

resonance imaging screenings) were the source for the scientific

results found in this research study.

I enjoyed the comparison of slides shown of still lifes and landscape

paintings to the actual real artwork of paintings in a museum. The

39 subjects were shown slides of art and later, presented with the

paintings. Another element they were researching was asking them

to express their feelings of the element of beauty in the  slides and

then again, what degree of beauty they felt the actual paintings were.

The most “beautiful” in the subject’s ‘eyes’ of ‘real art’ were rated

significantly higher in the pre-experimental phase over the slides of

paintings.  They called the slides of the paintings, “corresponding

photographic analogs.”

“The MRI’s showed that during the experiment, portions of the brain’s

frontal lobe, related to emotions, memory, learning and decision-making

were activated.” (November, Central Ohio; “Natural Awakenings.”)

Final significant results were that when the researchers compared the

“positive effects of aesthetic appreciation of the art paintings versus

the photographs, they noted more activity at the back of the subject’s

brain.” Which means both areas of the frontal lobes and back part of

the brain were stimulated but the back part was raised at a higher level

of activity.  The location in the back parts were in the bilateral cuneus,

which is a part of the occipital lobe and the left lingual gyrus or ridge.

This means the basic visual processing location and the visual memory,

logical ordering and dreaming areas were the most stimulated with

it being verified on the MRI’s.

When we eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables, we need to make

sure we are getting them from a ‘safe’ source. I think this is a fact we

are all aware of but the interesting facts were presented once again,

which prodded me to share this information here. Conventionally

grown foods contain pesticide residues that are 3-4 times higher in

organically grown foods. This was found in the “British Journal of

Nutrition,” where they conducted 343 research studies and published

last June. Since from the farm to the market is a continually growing

industry, it is nice to have facts that support this movement. The ones

grown on organic farms also were found to have higher levels of healthy

nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and antioxidents. Ones that are

grown with phosphorus fertilizers and not including mineral nitrogen

in their practices were found to contain higher levels of cadmium. The

study’s results confirmed this in the following statement:

“Results indicate that switching from conventional to organice crop

consumption would result in a 20-40 % increase in crop-based anti-

oxidants and polyphenolic intake levels.

The emphasis on Honey and Ginger being such healthy and natural

curative power sources even fought the drug-resistant bacteria which

have a list of long names:

“Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E Coli) and Klebsiella

pneumoniae.” Also known as “Super bugs.”

* Further clinical examination is needed to standardize the amounts

in these two ingredients for cold, flu and germ fighting. The research

was conducted at Ethipia’s University of Gondar College of Medicine.

I concluded, we may as well include healthy doses of honey in our

diet, along with including ginger while cooking. I love sauces where

the sweetness is balanced by the spice ginger, along with making a dark

black tea, with some ginger added for flavoring, honey for sweetening.

India’s green project to improve their environment, is focusing on the

areas along their 62,137 miles of highways. India’s Rural Development

Ministry is following their kind of “Johnny Appleseed,” America’s

noted man of  spreading apple seeds along different areas. India’s

hero is named Jadav “Molai” Payeng, an Indian man who. all by

himself, planted 1,360 acres of forest.

This project has three focuses: to help provide jobs for the rural poor

people, include youth in employment and improving the environment.

The country of India has been suffering from severe air pollution.

The World Health Organization released unfortunate statistics of India’s

youth unemployment rate being 10.2 percent and #6 on a list of World’s

Ten Worst Cities with air pollution. The Prime Minister Narenda Modi

has announced a goal of spreading electricity to every home by 2019,

which will rely largely on solar power. Other areas of health concern are

also being targeted for cleaning the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.

 

Merry Christmas news for environmentally concerned:

“The Greenest Tree” is supporing buying locally grown trees,

preferable ones that will be grown outdoors, with a close

second being ones that are cut down in tree farms that are

purposely evergreens growing for resale.

Here is the reason:

85% of artificial trees are sourced from China and often contain

toxic chemicals.

Looking at the carbon trail is also important, meaning how much

effort and use of power and resources was used to get the tree to

your home.

Temporary sidewalk or street corner tree lots may be getting trees

where pesticides are used to create the Perfect Tree. These are not

good fro homes, again, comparing this to the natural sourced trees.

Sometimes, home-grown products are just about what we put into

our body for food, but what we breathe for a month while it is in

our living areas.

According to National Geographic Green Guide, Americans actually

discard 30 million cut trees after the holidays. Oh my goodness!

The wood is ‘wasted’ in landfills.  One state that is leading a better

way to go with old Christmas trees is in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

where they collect them to combat coastal erosion. Way to go!

Locate tree growers by state and learn how to dispose trees responsibly.

There are great places and resources to check up on facts:

http://PickYourOwnChristmasTree.org

http://GreenPromise.com

http://Tinyurl.com/65oqh9

There are detailed steps for care and planting potted trees at

http://WikiHow.com and other locations of the Tinyurl.com

website.

Do you mind letting me know if any of these facts were helpful

or ones you learned today? Also, any other Green Choices or

healthy suggestions are welcome here.

 

 

Saturday Sillies

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The next few jokes were sent to me by my Mom. I threw a couple jokes

out, due to poor taste. My Mom’s California friend, sometimes is not

as ‘choosy’ or careful to be appropriate for all readers. I presented some

to my lunch mates and orally delivered one to the group at break time.

I asked what they thought of these jokes? They agreed these were funny

along with being acceptable and some were laughed at a lot.

 

Hope this satisfies your Saturday Sillies. It may be like your childhood

‘cartoon mornings’ or just plain give you the giggles at their absurdity.

 

Here is a series that may have been used in the old days. While I was

growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland and the fine late Saturday night

humor was dealt out by “Big Chuck and Houlihan.” Later Houlihan went

off to Florida, so it was then called, “The Big Chuck and Little John Show.”

Little John had been a ‘sidekick’ to Big Chuck and Houlihan. Then, he got

his ‘lucky break’ and got his name in lights!

This was a set of comedy sketches, perfectly timed during commercial breaks

while Grade C or Grade D movies were being shown. Sometimes, silly sound

effects like glass breaking or a woman shrieking not at a scary part, were

inserted. I am wondering if you have ever had a local television ‘program’

with a host or set of hosts, creating comic relief, during scary or ridiculously

plotted shows?

The program’s time slot was after the Saturday night news show. My parents

would sometimes sit up and watch with us, especially if we were in middle

school.

Once upon a time, longer than when I was watching television as a teenager,

this time period was filled by an even older program called, “The Ghoul’s

Show.”

Then “Ghoulardi” took over from the “Ghoul.” This memorable television

is played back, remembered with nostalgia by many older Cleveland

people. Around Halloween every year, they have some of these shows

“re-aired” or “replayed” on one of the Cleveland, Ohio’s networks. There

is also enough of these fans, to fill a convention hall with the theme

of “The Ghoul” and his predecessor,  “Ghoulardi.”

Maybe these people are in their sixties? I am not quite sure, but I have

two Cleveland friends who always ask me if I have any articles about

the convention, taken from my Mom’s newspaper.

I have heard that somewhere in Ohio, teenagers laughed at the skits

on “Chiller Thriller Theater.” The Big Chuck and Houlihan show would

aim their jokes at “Polish” people, so we had jokes about Polish high top

jeans and wearing Polish white socks with black shoes. Then, the mirror

balls in gardens and pink flamingos were aimed at, too. (They considered

this to be so ‘out of style.’ You can still see these in yards and also, added

to this ‘mix,’ sometimes a goose with different holiday costumes.) They

narrowly missed the censors, with several ‘edgy’ Polish sausage jokes, too!

 

Anyway, since my youngest daughter is a ‘blonde,’ who is kind of ‘spacey’

we have changed these “Polish jokes” over the years, to Blonde Jokes. The

next ones will be labeled, “silly man” or “silly woman,” and you may decide

if there needs to be a different label, when you go to retell them! This series

was a ‘hit’ among the break time group, including Melvin, Tammy, Corey,

Felda and Trevinal. Felda said in the Philippines, their way of making fun

of someone is o begin the joke, “The Tourist. . .” (walked into a bar or

whatever.)

 

A ‘silly man’s’ dog went missing and he was frantic.

His wife said, “Why don’t you put an ad in the paper?”

He does, but two weeks later the dog is still missing.

“What did the ad say?” The wife questioned her husband.

“Here boy!” he replied.

(Instead of ‘silly,’ he is ‘clueless!’)

 

A ‘silly woman’ is in jail.

The guard looks in the cell and sees her hanging by her feet.

“Just WHAT are you doing there, missy?”

The ‘silly woman’ responded, “I am hanging myself.”

The guard told her, “It should be around your neck.”

The ‘silly lady’ says, “I tried that, but then I couldn’t breathe.”

(Groan!)

 

A ‘silly’ tourist asks a ‘silly’ tour guide,

“Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”

The guide who was ‘pulling the tourist’s leg’ answered,

“If they fell forward, they’d still be in the boat!”

 

This story is called,

“The Light Turned Yellow.”

The light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk,

even though he could have beaten the red light.

He could have accelerated right through the

intersection.

 

Behind him, the tailgating woman was furious and

honked her horn,

she yelled out profanities,

as she missed her chance to get through the

intersection. She ended up dropping her cell

phone and makeup, too.

 

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap

on her window and looked up into the face

of a very serious police officer. The officer

ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

 

He took her to the police station where she was

searched, fingerprinted, photographed and placed

in a holding cell.

 

After a couple of hours later, a policeman approached

the cell and opened it up.  She was escorted back to

the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting

with her personal effects.

 

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled

up behind your car while you were blowing your horn,

flipping the guy off in front of you and cussing a ‘blue streak’

at him.

 

Pause.

 

“I noticed the nice bumper stickers on the back of your car. You

have “Choose Life,’ “Follow me to Sunday School,” a “Be Kind to

Animals” emblem and you have a ‘Baby on Board,’ sticker also.”

 

Pause.

 

“So, naturally I assumed you had stolen the car!”

 

The last story of the day may offend a few people, but remember my 85

year old Mom thought this was “worthy” of putting in my blog. You may

just want to skip it!

 

“Nature Lover”

 

A woman who was a ‘tree loving, tree hugging, anti-gun possession’

native of Los Angeles purchased a piece or plot of timberland up north

in the state of Washington.

There was a large tree on one of the highest points of the tract.

She wanted a good view of the natural splendor of her land, so she

decided to climb the majestic tree.

 

As she neared the top of the tree, she encountered a spotted owl that

attacked her.

In her haste to escape, the woman slid down the tree to the ground.

She got many splinters in her crotch, and in considerable pain she

drove to the nearest hospital.

She went into the ER and told the doctor that she was an environmentalist,

anti-guns and anti-hunting person, who had recently bought some land

in the area. She described the spotted owl incident and proceeded to tell

the doctor how she got all the splinters in her crotch.

The doctor listened to her story with great patience and then told her he

would be right back, to wait in the examining room #1.

The woman sat, read magazines, got up and sat back down. She used the

restroom and finally, three hours later, the doctor reappeared.

 

The upset woman exclaimed, “What took you so long?”

 

The doctor from Washington State, where he enjoyed going out in nature

and hunting during the appropriate season, but also was not pleased with

her views said:

“Well, I had to get permits from the  Environmental Protection Agency,

the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.”

 

The angry woman shouted, “Why on Earth did you have to do that!?!”

 

“These were the contacts I had to get permission from to remove ‘old

growth timber’ from a ‘recreational area’ so close to a ‘waste treatment

facility.'”

 

Now, that was funny after all, wasn’t it?

I am chuckling and I knew the punch line, anyway!

Do you have a ‘safe’ and non-derogatory ‘label’ for the one who is the

‘brunt’ of your family jokes?

As I mentioned, we used to tease my youngest daughter who took after my

Swedish Grandpa M. with blonde hair. She seriously was in high school  one

time when over a holiday we were playing Rummy 500. She asked this ‘silly’

question: (We don’t call our own family members ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid.’)

“How many cards are in a set and how many cards are in a pair?”

 

In the old days, I enjoyed the Road Runner, Poor Wily Coyote, Mr. Magoo, and a

puppet show called Kukla, Fran and Ollie.  These days, I would recommend the

NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons, with “Zou” a zebra with an intergenerational

family, “Chica,” the “Costume Shop” and “Noodle and Doodle.”

 

Have a fun-filled weekend, my friends out there, wherever your ‘sillies’ take you!

 

 

 

 

 

“Be still, my heart”

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Stop, breathe and exhale! I am almost ‘breathless’ in anticipation…

for the new Pierce Brosnan movie to come out: “The November Man.”

I can say that he is happily married, so I won’t try to be too silly about

my ‘crush’ on him. I never would dream of trying to take away a happily

married man.  Nor could I! Since his wife Keely Shaye Smith is simply

gorgeous!

She has been his wife for over 13 years, the mother of his two younger

daughters. They live on a tropical island in Hawaii. Their life style is

what he considers a calm, simple life. He claims that he and his family

are content to just bask in the sun, swim, boat and lead their ‘out of

the limelight’ life.

I believe him. He and his wife are rarely seen, except during Academy

Award shows and other special events.

They don’t seem like ‘party-goers.’ It makes him even more special

to me! Also, additionally positive about this couple, Keely and Pierce,

is that they are environmentalists, supporting many causes for the

natural world.

 

Oh, and that expression, Be still, my heart!” comes from a shortening

of a phrase, in some resources. The original one was, “Oh, be still,

my beating heart.” This was from Victorian days, where a person

may be describing or thinking of someone who took their breath

away or made them, “swoon.” It also can be traced back as early as

when Virgil in 1697:

“When from the Goal they start,

The youthful Charioteers with beating heart,

Rush to the race.”

Sting (the musician) wrote a song, “Be Still My Beating Heart,” and

gives Shakespeare credit, but not sure of the source. One source,

gives a passage from “The Tempest.”

 

I don’t talk about my birthday very often, and don’t mention it on

my blog, as in ‘today is my birthday (it’s not!)’ But this man, Pierce,

who has my Scorpio birth month’s name in the title of his next movie,

is simply, extraordinary.

Since he hit the scene of television, on “Remington Steele,” he has

been in my vision and dreams. No offense, ex-boyfriends and

ex-husbands!

I would like to share some facts that I have acquired from a few

sources. No, I have not been stalking him!

Pierce is over 60, he looks like 45 or 46, tops. His birthday is May 16,

1953. He is a wee bit older, by only 2 years, than I am. He is a Taurus,

which is compatible with my sign. How do I know? Well, there was a

period of time, where he was a widower with three boys. I was a

single mother with two girls and a boy, at around the same time.

Back to some of his childhood experiences. Pierce admits to being

teased as a child. He was raised by a single mother who took him

from his birthplace. He was born and lived a short time, along the

River Boyne, in Ireland. His father left his mother and him when

Pierce was only 2 years old. It was tough on his mother, since the

Catholic Church ‘shamed her’ due to her divorce. She chose to move

to where her parents lived, in England.

Once there, Pierce was called all the mean words for Irish immigrants,

“Mick, “Paddy” and later, “Irish.” If you can find a photograph of him

while a young child, you will see a sweet boy who was a little more

husky than his present lean self, displays now. His mother was taking

nursing classes, quite busy and unable to afford child care. So, she

chose to leave him full time with his grandparents.

Pierce’s first love was for drawing and painting. He loves art still and

continues to practice painting in the back yard of his island home. He

wanted to be a graphic artist, his dream and ‘escape’ from some of the

name-calling and torments of his childhood.

Once Pierce entered high school, he was drawn to the drama department,

where the theatre students embraced him. It was such a wonderful, new

experience. A ‘change’ from being an ‘outsider,’ helping him to become

more confident. He left ‘comprehensive school at age 16, ‘ still seeking

education in the field of commercial illustrations.’ Once he determined

there were other options, he did change his interests back to what he had

followed in high school. Pierce studied acting at the London Drama Centre

for three years after his stint with drawing.

Interestingly enough, in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, (8/10/14),

mentioned his first movie he ever saw was James Bond’s “Goldfinger.”

It was a thrill for him to see the character of ‘007’ played by Sean Connery.

It also was a fortuitous, possibly foreshadowing, event of his life.

Pierce had his ‘first call’ after drama school for the movie, “The Long Blue

Friday.”

Try-outs for the casting of this movie, meant they suggested for the male

leading role to bring a bathing suit. He jokingly says in his interview, that

he showed up in a Speedo and got the part. He played a killer/assassin and

this role made an impact on the studios.

Another interesting fact is that his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was in a

Bond movie, with Roger Moore cast as ‘007.’ They had three sons together,

along with her daughter. They shared acting as one of their interests, as well

as their desire to keep their personal lives out of the tabloids. Unfortunately,

Cassandra developed cancer, dying at the age of 43.  Another sad event in his

life years later, his close step-daughter, who he had raised with Cassandra,

died also of  cancer, at age 42. It was hard on Pierce, reliving the tragedy of

the loss of his wife and then, later someone he considered to be, his oldest

daughter.

It took many years for Pierce to get through the stages of grief. I think this

is why he seem devoted and grateful for his present wife, Keely and their

serene family life.

As part of a spy agency, with the assisting role that Stephanie Zimbalist

played, Pierce Brosnan came into our homes, as”Remington Steele.” The

television series lasted from April, 1982 until October, 1987. This was a

form of escapism, since my first child was born in 1980 and my last one

was in 1985. Television, once the children were asleep, kept me engrossed

in the interesting plot twists and guest stars.

Pierce became a popular name and more familiar to all audiences. This

role of being the suave and debonair spy, led directly to his being cast

as ‘007’ in his first role as James Bond. Along the way, he was cast as

a thief, in the remake of “The Thomas Crowne Affair.” The original

characters were played by Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

One of the many humble comments that Pierce Brosnan mentions in

CBS Sunday television interview was that he is ‘grateful’ and is filled

with ‘gratitude’ for his wife and family, his mother, grandparents and

being cast as the famous character that Ian Fleming created. He was

in four popular James Bond movies.

He also mentioned that his life has been ‘easier, more relaxed’ since

he met Keelley. He has acting in his ‘blood,’ always thinking about

the next movie, whether he may produce or direct it, too. A man of

many talents, who has still the quiet presence of a kind man.

The most ‘fun’ movie I ever saw Pierce Brosnan in was “Mama Mia!”

I enjoyed the singing, the way the plot twists went, with Meryl Streep

playing a woman who could potentially have three prospects for

her daughter’s father. The daughter invites, without informing her

mother, all three of the men to her wedding!

Which man of three is her father? I’ll never tell!

It has ABBA music throughout, lots of atmosphere on a beautiful

Greek island, with the sweet voice of Amanda Seyfried. There is also

the British actor, Colin Firth, as one of the potential fathers. The

third possible choice is played by Stellan Skarsgard. Seeing Pierce

Brosnan belt out, “S.O.S” with Meryl Streep filled me with an

inexplicable joy.

Pierce mentioned in the CBS interview, that his two younger

daughters got ‘sick’ of him singing it everywhere he went, trying

to practice while listening to his Ipod with ear buds in. If you

just want to enjoy a carefree, musical movie, this will be one of

your favorites, trust me on this!

Another lighter movie that Pierce made was, “Mrs. Doubtfire,”

with Sally Fields and Robin Williams; now 22 years ago. He

has posted recently and spoken about who he considered the

great and close friend’s death. I enjoyed seeing Pierce Brosnan

“lose” in the movie, to Robin Williams, in the battle for Love.

If you ever want to see a unique plot and interesting character,

check out Pierce Brosnan in the film, “The Tailor of Panama.” He

is a tailor who is asked to be a British spy, based on the novel by

John Le Carre. The other actors in this movie, Jamie Lee Curtis

and Geoffrey Rush are fascinating in their roles. I have watched

this film more than once, high praise indeed!

Coming Soon! . . .

“The November Man.”

Is it your kind of movie?

Will you watch it at the movie theater, rent it or skip it?

In “his” shoes

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I was ecstatic! I could give my oldest daughter a nice pair of shoes, either

Fila or Dr. Scholl’s work shoes, and get any pair of either brand for just

one dollar, for myself! Don’t you love BOGO? (Buy one, get one for $1 is

almost as good as free!)

At the beginning of last week, I had purchased a pair of Fila Memory Foam

Utility Work shoes, for her,  at Kohl’s and guess what?

Unfortunately, they lasted only 4 days! While working at her place of

employment, Kroger Warehouse, she wore those poor ‘suckers’ out!  So,

getting my Kohl’s credit card a credit added back on, thanks to the wonderful

Kohl’s return policy, and (sad face here), giving back my $10 Kohl’s bucks

back, we headed over to Meijer’s.

 

Dr. Scholls Company was created by William Matthias Scholl, a podiatrist

from Chicago, Illinois. He started his company in 1906. It is now owned

by the British, who manufacture the United State’s designed foot-wear in

China.

My oldest daughter has money, but like me and other parents out there,

puts her children first.  It is just a plain old ‘fact of life!’  I was, like her,

needing a good pair of shoes. I hadn’t had a new pair for hiking or exercise

shoes, since my good friend, Bill, had given me a ‘forced’ pair!  He had

tricked me into going into a store, looking presumably for himself. This was

over 3 years ago, during the ‘Day Trips’ period of our friendship time.  That

beloved pair of Dr. Scholl’s shoes is made of brown suede leather with pink

edging and pink smooth leather stripes near the heels. Those dear shoes are

starting to fall apart from wear! There are stitches coming out and the nice

comfort ‘support’ system is definitely lacking any ability to pad the ‘bounce’

in my feet.

(By the way, I had one of my 10 photo albums of Bill’s and my trips, over at

the dentist’s office. Since staff were considering a team-building trip. I

recommended going down south on I-71 to a great corner of three states.

Madison, Indiana, Carrollton, Kentucky and Clifty Falls, Indiana, also the

Ohio corner meets up, where you can see the two state’s rivers from near

Carrollton, up on top of a gorgeous overlook. Seeing that confluence of the

two rivers, is an amazing sight! There are regatta races in Madison, so we

were able to see cool speed boats. I would recommend the restaurant at

Butler State Park, (where you can climb to see the confluence of the Ohio

and Kentucky rivers.) It is appropriately named, “Two Rivers.” There are

lovely natural sculptures and artwork in their dining room. You can see out

walls of windows, into the forests of this national park.)

 

Anyway, I need to tell you about my ‘affair’ with Dr. Scholl. I have had

his shoes upon my feet, for many years. As a server from age 15 until into

my forties, I wore his shoes. To help fill in gaps in my economic budget,

I could always serve people and make a small salary and big tips.

I can tell you Dr. Scholl ‘really gets me!’ (And my feet!! ha ha)

My new tan shoes have the adorable name of “Nikki.” They have orange

edges and laces, along with cute little tab things to hold my laces in

place. I cannot wait to walk to the library in them, oh I just did! They

felt so light and I felt so bouncy in them!

This is not a silouquiy on Louis Vuitton shoes, nor is it a rhapsody about

other high heel stiletto’s.  I have not gotten into tall shoes, for several

years. I have 3″ heels that are pulled out of my closet, in their protective

box, dragged out to put on, for forced situations where comfort and its

sister, durability, are not appropriate. The last time I got dressed up

was for going to that place, the LC Pavilion, where my youngest daughter

had to parade down the runway, with the likes of one famous Bachelor

and another wild and friendly Bachelorette. It was a Central Ohio fund-

raising event called, “A Date to Remember.” I believe my idiotic shoes

may have been made by Rampage company. It is definitely youth oriented!

Now, when I was in my twenties, I did not mind the look of Dr. Scholl’s

while I waited tables and served others, at Cedar Point’s Breakers’ Hotel,

the two country clubs, on to the North Olmsted German restaurant where

I wore lederhosen with my Dr. Scholl’s! And at my last job, I wore them

with a brown four star (****) apron at Cracker Barrel.

Dr. Scholl’s “comfort technology,” includes this wonderfully soothing

and cushioning gel pad at the heel.  No ‘heel spurs’ for me, so far!

The gel cushion ‘technology’ includes what they describe as a, “Gel dome,”

to absorb shock and provides cushioning comfort, with adjustable laces

for easy removal of shoes.

Definitely, in my teen years, I had several coworkers try to make fun of me,

using their teasing tactics. They ended up using those insistent singsong

chants!:

“Those Dr. Scholl’s shoes were made for Grandma’s, Robin!”

 

I ignored the intentional ‘jabs,’ and laughingly joked back,

“I haven’t met a grandmother I haven’t loved!”

 

Another job and different episode of teasing I responded by saying,

“My grandmother is quite comfortable in “his” (Dr. Scholl’s) shoes

and so am I!”

 

 

Childhood book verses (Summer)

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I have mentioned this little book, from my years of elementary school titled,

“Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Book.” I like to read the names (Susan, Sandy,

and Allison…) of ones who I knew back then and when their birthdays were.

I enjoyed reading and choosing little verses to share with you.

The pen and ink drawings, with watercolor details, were created by Kate

Greenaway. The verses in this timeless book of collected short poems, one for

each day of the year, were written by “Mrs. Sale Barker.” This book was published

first in London, England, followed by New York City, NY,  by Frederick Warne

Company, LTD.

Summer is a time to enjoy nature’s restful places.

All kinds of activity choices I remember from my childhood like. . .

climbing trees, sitting by a brook or creek, seeing fields of wild flowers

with bees and butterflies flitting above them. The luxurious feelings

of  being filled with a combination of warm sunshine followed by cool

shade.

It was a time of innocence, play and learning from everything around

us.

Hope you enjoy this collection of six Summer poems. After reading

through about 90 days’ of Summer verses, I feel these are the ones

you will enjoy the most! They fill me with memories and nostalgia.

 

~First One~

“I’m rather idle, as you see

I sit upon the ground;

And all the world seems made for me

As it turns round and round.”

 

~Second One~

“I lie beside the running stream,

And watch the clouds, and rest and dream:

A jug with water by me stands,

Which I have filled with my own hands.”

 

~Third One~

“Blossoms, blossoms on the trees

Swinging in the Summer breeze,

Lending sweetness to the air,

To be shed on children fair.”

 

~Fourth One~

“A pretty tree, a shady tree,

Just casts its shadow around:

And we can go and sit beneath,

If we don’t mind the ground.”

 

~Fifth One~

“Little flowers of the field,

To me you tell a tale,

Of blooms upon the hill side,

Of blossoms in the vale.”

 

In this fifth one, I remember how we would say we had traveled

up hill and down, ‘hills and dales.’ But, I had to pause a moment

to remember that “vale” means, ‘valley.’

 

~Sixth One~

“How I love the field flowers,

Blooming bright and gay!

How I love the green, green fields,

To wander there all day!”

 

I remember making rings of daisies for bracelets, necklaces and

“crowns” in elementary school. Later, in high school, when I was

not working as a babysitter or at Lord Nelson’s Restaurant in

Westlake, Ohio, I remember plucking daisy petals off, one by one,

saying the silly words, “He loves me, he loves me not. . .” while

throwing them into a creek. The field flowers I loved the most

were those blue cornflowers and Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

Did any of these quaint verses bring back any memories for you?