Friday, July 23, 2021

Really, You NEED a Roomba


I never knew that we needed a Roomba. Now, we have two. I’d seen ads. A few friends had one of these little robotic vacuums. My Pilates studio engaged a Roomba to keep the floor clean. But, it seemed like one of those cute but ineffective products that one purchased for entertainment value. 

I don’t know what caused me to start reading online  reviews and explore  which model provided the most bang for the buck. Perhaps, it was the realization that I really avoid vacuuming. That, and the fact that our Ragdoll cat, Mindy, has been molting everywhere this summer. Clumps of white fur changed the colors of the area rugs.  And... the kitchen floor felt perpetually gritty. Yeah, I’d rather read a book than clean. I’ve lost my obsession with a pristine environment over the years. But, the clumps of white fur began to disturb me.

Initially, my husband laughed. Then, he downloaded the App and programmed our Bot, named after favorite cats of yore, and scheduled daily activity to begin at 7:00am. Within a week, he forwarded a link for a refurbished higher level model to tame the upstairs. 

Now, we have two programmed for daily cleaning. The house is cleaner. The cat is entertained. Our allergies have lessened. We are hooked.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

My Guilty Pleasure - The Daily Mail

Sometimes in the middle of a particularly challenging workday I take a short breather, sit on the screened in porch, listen to the carved stone hosta water fountain, and indulge in the juicy tabloid style reports of low brow news reporting. Yes. The British tabloid The Daily Mail is immensely entertaining. 

I really never considered The Daily Mail Online until we were notified that this unapologetic news source ‘borrowed’ a story from NPR about my husband’s recreation of Alexander Gardner’s stereo images of Antietam/ Sharpsburg commemorating the 150th anniversary of the bloodiest single day battle in American history. The Daily Mail ‘borrowed’ from NPR the photos, text and audio. It was actually fine with us because of the international exposure. But additionally- I was sucked in to the mind- candy.

So now, my indulgence is centered on the train wreck that is the ungrateful Prince Harry and his  paramour that allegedly want ‘privacy’ while exploiting their ‘royal’ connections. 

These lightweight stories distract me from the mind numbing hypocrisy of American politicians. Do I care about a whinging privileged rich kid crying about his angst? Not at all. But... I would rather read this entertainment than read the alleged ‘real news’ promoting Hunter Biden’s ‘artwork’ 🤣 And, the link is still there!!! Check it out🥂

Monday, July 19, 2021

How Have Your Life Priorities Changed With Age?

 When I was much younger, the things that mattered were so often ‘things’ or the perceptions of affluence to feed my ego. As I’ve gained ‘wisdom’ or years on this planet, what feels important to me has changed. Yeah, year, yeah... I still desire fabulous footwear, a nicely appointed kitchen with state of the art appliances, an endless supply of luscious red wine, furry feline friends, locally roasted coffee, the occasional ‘broiled not fried’ crab cake, organic skincare and really lovely coats, but... my vision for retirement has changed. 

Now, relationships take center stage. Finding a community of people that share common interests. We want a brew pub, access to good healthcare, walk-ability, a nearby airport, Costco, a fishmonger  & butcher shop, accessible internet, and a place where plants actually grow without vermin deer munching everything . (Not where we currently live). We want to downsize our profile, but upgrade amenities. I need my water fountain! 

What is important to you as retirement approaches? Really! Share! Respond! We all want to know😎

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Gratitude For Life’s Blessings As I Approach 62

 I turn 62 this week! How can this be? It seems impossible that so many years have gone by since my first memories of looking out my brother’s bedroom window, gawking at the school busses across the street and dreaming of starting Kindergarten. It feels like I’ve lived several lives since then: childhood; high school when I dreamed of a brilliant future; college days when I played a bit of the wild child; early work life in the 1980s when anything seemed possible; my first marriage which took me from Indianapolis to Dallas to Taipei & then Hong Kong~ when I experienced international travel, playing bridge, enjoying cocktail parties & lounging by the pool at the American Club; returning to the States under a cloud of ignominy due to my ex-husbands addiction; rebuilding a career; diving into another idiotically toxic relationship; followed by peace, happiness, serenity & contentment with my current 15 year marriage.

So as I write this, I’m sitting on my rustic screened porch while listening to our glorious water fountain contemplating my good fortune.

Despite those  Shakespearean slings & arrows of outrageous fortune, the painful losses of loved ones, my frustration with the ineptitude of those who fail to embrace the good fortune they have to live in the USA, I celebrate these blessings:  a partner that I love, lots of furry friends, a challenging career that recognizes my talents, retirement savings, a peaceful retreat on a quiet ridge in rural Virginia, my father, a kind hearted brother who cares for our father, a few very good friends, access to books, a lovely house with heat & air conditioning, clean water, nourishing food, reliable transportation, education, the ability to dream, flexibility, common sense, and the freedoms that derive from my being born & raised in the most diverse, beautiful, equal opportunity driven, country in the world that stands for the belief that we are all created equal. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

If You Are Representing the USA, Respect Our Flag or Withdraw from Tokyo


Despite my intentions to avoid the leaping into the  toxic political fray, I can no longer sit back and ignore the ungrateful, disrespectful, misinformed, vitriolic athletes that seek to sow hate and dissent at the Tokyo Olympic Games while representing the country they purport to disdain.

The Bill of Rights amended to the U.S. Constitution affords all of us  the right to free speech, including protest. This is among the most treasured freedoms that we in America hold dear. As such, I am perplexed why any individual that hates the USA so much that he or she looks for opportunities to show disregard for the American flag would even consider representing the USA at an international sporting event. 

If you cannot love the USA and the flag that represents our nation, I do not want you competing under my banner. Those who allege the Stars and Stripes is a racist symbol either forget,  have never been taught, or just don’t care about the sacrifices of the men and women who have fought, suffered grievous physical and mental injuries and died under this banner. Did you know Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native American descent was the first casualty of the Revolutionary War. What about former President John a Quincey Adams representing the captives of the Amistad slave ship in court? 

During the American Civil War 364,511  federal soldiers died while fighting for preservation of the USA and to end slavery. Add to that number the 288, 881 wounded for a total of 646,392 individuals who  found under the Star Spangled Banner. If you can’t respect the flag for which these Americans fought to give you freedom, then leave. Move someplace where you think life is better. 

What about the American nurses, volunteers, Red Cross workers, ambulance drivers and soldiers who got on ships, sailed to Europe, and fought to preserve freedom in World War I? What about the Americans who fought in Europe and Asia during World War II to liberate prisoners in concentration camps, to save people from Japanese atrocities in China, who kept Hitler from killing all who did not fit within his view of the Aryan race? Does anybody truly believe all of these Americans fought to save white people only?

Most people I know believe in the proposition that all men and women are created equal, should be afforded equal opportunity under the law, and judge people based on their character.  Celebrate the progress we have made. Work within the system, but respect the flag.