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Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Don't Want to Keep Up with the Kardashians

I’ve been Kardashian’ed to death.  Amanda Robb’s article, “Creating the Kardashians”, glorifies Kris Jenner for her marketing of her family of “K named and X-rated’” Kardashians into a mega empire that earned $65 million last year.  The congratulatory-toned article is published in the July / August issue of More Magazine, which describes itself as “For Women of Style and Substance” (Full disclosure: “More” has published a number of my articles online. and I am a subscriber to the print magazine.)  After reading Robb’s article, I am left wondering what is meant by “style” and “substance.”

Kris, the “Momager” for her daughters, Kim and Khloe, not to mention Khloe’s husband LA Lakers star, Lamar Odom, and the rest of the kin, according to the Robb’s interview, is about to further leverage the “unstoppable (Kardashian) juggernaut”, by next merchandising a complete “Kardashian experience” at Sears.

Give me a break and gag me with a spoon.

As Robb tactfully alludes in her article, the Kardashian TV show took off with an “undeniable boost four years ago when a videotaped romp between teenaged daughter, Kim, and her then-boyfriend wound up in the hands of Vivid Entertainment.”  “Momager” Kris Jenner, a former Brownie leader, car pool driver, and room mother, by Robb’s turn of a common expression, decided to squeeze the “publicity lemon into an apparently bottomless glass of lemonade”.  To paraphrase one of Robb’s interview questions, “people think the heavens just opened…and fame and fortune dropped in your laps”.  I don’t think that is even a question.  In any case, isn’t a more logical question, “Have you no shame, Mrs. Jenner?”  “Do you care what your daughters are becoming?”  Or “Is it worth mega millions to throw your family into this publicity soup, more accurately described as foul-smelling rot than lemonade?”

I’m afraid I don’t understand this entire phenomenon; unless it is the fascination we feel when we rubberneck at a car crash.  Why are people standing in line in the Kardashian boutique for a Kardashian experience?  Unless the Kardashians have invented the i-Dress I can’t imagine how they are going to bring style and substance to Sears.  My collie dogs have demonstrated a greater sense of style and fashion, more loyalty, and more morally admirable behavior than the Kardashians exhibit.  And my collies could actually do something: fetch a ball, bark at the back door before defecating, and wag their tails.

I will confess, the only times I have viewed “Keeping up with the Kardashians” was as part of a captive audience at a nail salon while my fingernails were drying.  And my spouse encourages me to admit my unsuitability to criticize others’ superficiality when I waste time and money, not to mention natural resources and possible exposure to poisonous substances, by the sheer decadence of polishing or having others polish my nails.  

While he may have a point on some of these issues, I believe there is a qualitative difference between the frivolity of nail maintenance and the trash that passes for entertainment on the E! Network with the Kardashians.  The Kardashian experience has a far more poisonous impact on our culture than a little nail polish has on our environment.  And if I demonstrate the sin of vanity by having my nails done, watching Kris Jenner and her klan (no racist slur intended; I just can’t resist the alliteration of K’s) is more punishment than a person should suffer for the commission of murder and mayhem.  Far too much punishment for just the little vanity of nail polish. 

Ordinarily, I am not given to discussions of crime, sin or punishment.  Although I should not be confused with the pious “church lady” from SNL, I do have fiercely protective feelings towards my children and grandchildren.  Child exploitation in my mind is something a parent protects his or her children from.  Not something the parent engages in, for money or otherwise.

If Kris Jenner wishes to promote her former gold medal Olympian spouse as a speaker she and he should "Go For It.”  If the Kardashian daughters wish to carry on doing god knows what with god knows whom, that is up to them and their still-developing consciences.  They are young and may still gain some sense of morality and shame.  At least their stepfather, Bruce, has the sense to look vaguely embarrassed by the egotistical and outrageous antics of his family and his wife’s capitalization on them on television.  Maybe some of his brain cells and normal human modesty are still functioning.  But is there not a line beyond which a mother should not go in pimp…oops, I mean promoting her own offspring, even if it is for millions of dollars?

Momager Kris, in response to critics who suggest she is exploiting her children, says she responds “by working hard.  My job is to take my family’s 15 minutes of fame and turn it into 30.  It’s a very rewarding feeling when I go to sleep every night knowing I did the best I could for my family.” I’d say an extra 15 minutes of tawdry fame, no matter how many millions it is accompanied by, is not doing the best for her family.

My purgatory is over, at least temporarily.  The TV at the nail salon appears to no longer be working.  Maybe there is a god watching over all of us. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stealth Drones Againt Cancer and Tornadoes?

Dorothy’s Idea of the Day:

An article I read today concluding there are risks associated with living in any locale was particularly timely, following a string of strange “pop-up” tornadoes dancing in and around the Louisville area last night.  At the whim of the storms, the barns at Churchill Downs were damaged, but Louisville residents dodged injuries.

If it’s not fires, storms, mudslides, earthquakes or floods, our own bodies make life unpredictable.  A neighbor and two friends recently have been diagnosed with brain tumors.  Another friend has had a recurrence of breast cancer.  Sort of makes the tornado warnings last night seem almost trivial.  In truth either may be deadly, or able to be survived, both depending on some known and controllable and some unknown, and at present uncontrollable, factors.

With all the dangers in life, I do not understand why we as a species continue to voluntarily kill, hurt each other and ourselves and destroy the planet?  Isn’t there enough danger inherent in human life to keep things interesting without the need for human-created strife and suffering?  And what could we do if we put some of the energy and resources squandered in destructive ways to use in trying to solve our common problems?

What Are Our Forgotten Dreams?

We just saw “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”, Werner Herzog’s film of the earliest known cave art.  Over 30,000 years ago humans created fabulous drawings in the Chauvet caves of southern France.  Herzog’s film brilliantly illuminates, even in dim light, this treasure.

Like many movie-goers I have been subjected to 3-D technology before.  With the cheesy 3-D glasses and filmmakers’ attempts to pull their audience into chases and fights, or force them to dodge thrown projectiles, even such beautifully crafted films as Avatar left my head achy.  For me, at least, the 3-D technology not only was wasted but a bit annoying.

Not so in “Cave”.  We walked into the film just as it was starting, a result of the wrong show time having been printed in the local paper.  For future reference, the very slow ticket-taker at the theater advised, if there is a conflict between the newspaper and online we should believe the info online.  

I first noticed the screen was blurry as we found our seats in the darkened theater.  Reluctantly putting my 3-D glasses on, the film stayed blurry for a few moments.  Then, sort of like plugging my i-Phone into my new laptop, my brain registered the 3-D glasses as a new device: I suddenly started to see in 3-D.  This film with these glasses was plug and play apparently.

The cave art literally is awe-inspiring.  Very quickly I could imagine early humans dancing by flickering firelight as the horses, lions, bison and bears pictured on the cave walls moved and told stories. The beautiful renditions of a variety of animals had been drawn on the contours of caves so effectively utilizing the shapes of the cave walls that by the shifting lights (the filmmakers had been allowed to use only non-heat emitting lighting for filming the interior of the caves) many of the animals appeared animated and moving.  Maybe this really was the earliest attempt at motion pictures. 

The cave artists from the Paleolithic period lived in what is now southern France when glaciers covered much of that part of the world.  Based on tools and weapons from this period, these early humans very likely hunted many of the animals depicted on the cave walls.  The early humans no doubt dressed in the animals’ fur, ate their meat and used their bones for tools.  But what did they believe?  What did they hope for?  Did they draw the animals out of reverence, for religious rituals, or to entertain during a long cold winter?

The only drawing of a human-like figure in the caves is of the lower half of a woman’s seated body combined with that of an animal’s upper body.  One of the scientists speculated this drawing demonstrated the cave artists’ mythical or religious beliefs that the spirit world and the physical world were easily traversed.

Maybe so.  But I’m not at all sure what the filmmaker was trying to say about the nearby nuclear power plants and albino crocodiles living in a warm biosphere created as a result of the warm water resulting from the power plants.  I do wonder what a future generation 30,000 years hence might make of a wildly decorated Gallopalooza horse or an episode from a reality TV show, if those and humankind survive, that long.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Turn 'Em Off

Dorothy’s Idea of the Day: The loud, no-nothing talkers are not just in restaurants, theaters, and public venues but on TV and radio airways.  And we can do something about those loud mouths quite easily, without even asking to change tables or seats.  Just turn them off.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Talk Loudly Only If You Have Something Interesting To Say

The Seinfeld “soft-talking woman” is not nearly as annoying in real life as the ridiculously loud-talking man.  Who always seems to take the seat at the next table in the restaurant where you were hoping to enjoy a quiet dinner.  

Dinner last night was delightful.  Or it would have been if we could have heard each other.  My husband and I ordered some grilled fresh fish at one of our favorite seafood restaurants.  We were skimming the local paper and commenting on a few upcoming events and articles when a door-rattling voice from the next table shattered our reverie.  

This loud-talking man at the next table either has become a common character, or he is following us.  He appears to be wherever we go.  Perhaps he is kin to the mountain man who usually comes late and plants his ten-foot frame directly in front of us at the movies.
But back to loud talkers.  Do these men not realize how loudly they are talking? Do they think everyone in the restaurant wishes they had been invited to share a meal with the loudest bore in town? Maybe they are hearing impaired and doing their part to see that rest of us soon are too.  Or maybe they think everyone wants to know their views, whether it is on traffic, weather, and sports or politics and the economy.  

In all fairness, it is not only men who are obnoxiously loud talkers in restaurants and similar venues. Not too long ago we dined out with another couple before a musical. Knowing that too many loud concerts in our youth and the ravages of age had left a couple of us somewhat hearing impaired, we asked to be seated in a quiet spot so we could talk amongst ourselves and hear each other.  

Our so-called quiet location turned out to be opposite a table of ten women, dressed in nearly burlesque exuberance, who were attending a competing musical presentation by Lady Gaga.  So much for the “quiet location.”

The differences between the loud-talking man and loud-talking women are three-fold.  Loud women are there for some “event” whether it is a party or as revelers for a Lady Gaga concert.  Loud-talking women are always that, plural, not just one booming voice drowning out everyone else. And, without exception, loud women have had their tongues thoroughly lubricated with cocktails.  

The loud man, on the other hand provides a solo performance, either lecturing or entertaining his group, or even an unfortunate single companion, along with everyone else within a five-mile radius. He may or may not be well lubricated with alcohol. The latter is a good fact to note before deciding whether to ask him to kindly pipe down unless his immediate companion(s) are hearing impaired.  

The one question I cannot answer is why there are no loud talkers of either gender who have something really interesting to say? Invariably, when the conversation at the next table sounds worthwhile the speakers are so quiet you have to strain to eavesdrop. 

 Dorothy’s Idea of the Day: We need to find a way for the level of knowledgeable and interesting discourse of talkers to be directly rather than inversely related to their volume. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What Do You See Looking Over My Shoulder?

Tonight when we went out to walk the dog I spotted a small ginger cat, under the neighbor’s tree across the street.  I mentioned the cat to my husband and by the time he turned to look the cat had moved on.  My husband’s response was, “I didn’t see a cat.” I described the cat to my spouse and he repeated he hadn’t seen a cat. And had I maybe seen the sandy-colored dog, walking on lead with another couple at the entrance to the park. “No,” I said.  “I saw a little ginger cat.”

We walked, talked about other things and my mind wandered to a topic it keeps returning to lately: perspectives. In this political environment, we have lots of different perspectives on everything.  From the far right to the far left and every where in between, people, or at least the noisy ones, seem to be all consumed with their own viewpoint. And have no interest in seeing anything from another person’s perspective.

And taking it to the personal, most obvious difference in perspective, consider how a husband and wife tend to see the world differently. I’m not talking about gender differences, differences in religion or politics, or upbringing. Just the basic, literal differences in viewpoint. 

As my spouse and I went out the door tonight, I saw the cat because I was out the door first.  My husband was holding our dog’s leash, closing the door, making sure it locked. And he when he came out the door he looked somewhere other than across the street where the little cat had caught my eye.

If we had not a long history of believing each other; if I had a history of hallucinations; or if I had seen something my husband had never seen or a totally weird vision, he might have doubted my observation.  

At dinner with my husband over the weekend, we each have a unique dining experience. Not merely because I had the grilled salmon and he ate pasta. I spent dinner looking at my husband, or over his shoulder at the scene behind him. My spouse had dinner with an entirely different view.

We were seated at a window and I found entertainment-watching people walking by. I enjoyed watching what women were wearing for the evening, kids skipping along. A photographer taking photos across the street. I mentioned the photographer to my husband. A car was blocking his view and it required him to watch for a couple minutes before he could see the photographer. But my husband could see, from just the other side of a small table, what the photographer was most likely photographing. Together we had pieced together a story neither of us had figured out on our own.

Dorothy's Idea of the Day: Maybe in the rest of our human encounters we might consider giving the other person a break and assume they may be seeing what they say they are seeing.  Perhaps they just happen to be looking from a different perspective. And maybe together we might see a fuller view of reality. 


Monday, June 13, 2011

Today Was a Perfect Day for a Nap

Dorothy's Idea of the Day: Sometimes an afternoon nap is better than almost anything, even writing a blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dorothy’s Idea of the Day:  Why don’t we share our water wealth in a more efficient manner, inspired by some of the ideas of the ancients?

I’m not an engineer or scientist.  But I’ve read a little history.  Canals, dating back 4000 years were constructed by the ancients.  In ancient Egypt there were at least 80 canals up to 100 miles in length.  In the first century Rome built canals, some of which can still be seen today.  The Chinese built a grand canal 800 miles in length.

Meanwhile, in the western US we have wildfires raging and extreme droughts.  Farther east flooding from wildly unexpected rainfall and unprecedented snow falls are threatening cities and towns.  (Hard to imagine there is not some climate change occurring if you watch or read the news.)
With an unemployment rate of over 9%, there must be at least some unemployed engineers and construction workers who would be willing to try to design a few modern day methods of transporting the excessive water from one part of the country to another part where it is needed.  Maybe they could think of a way to generate a little electricity in the bargain to help pay back the cost of such a project.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vacation Reading

Summer reading is all about escaping to another world.  So how about a trip to Ireland this summer?

What better way to escape than trying to solve an engaging mystery, set in another country, with well-developed, English-speaking characters who use alternative idioms and engage in a few odd customs.  And what better summer book than one you tear through at a breathless pace until you finish, wanting more.  And then find two more such novels by the same author.

Enter author Tana French and her three mysteries “In the Woods”, “The Likeness”, and “
Faithful Place
.”  All are set in Ireland. Each novel involves some of the same characters from the “Murder Squad”, a fictional division of an otherwise authentic Irish detective bureau.  And each provides a distinct sense of Ireland, Irish customs and peculiar idioms, such as the congratulatory remark, “fair play to you”, for a buddy who has scored a goal, won a contest, or just accomplished something praise-worthy. 

As the story unfolds in French’s novels, though many of the same cast appears, the focus is on a different main character in each. French explains her use of a different main character for each novel by her interest in exploring major turning points: “I’m interested in writing about the crucial crossroads in life – those moments when you know that, no matter which way you choose, your life will never be the same.
And those huge turning points tend to be emotional tsunamis: they knock you down, bowl you over and over, rip your breath away and finally dump you miles from where you started out.”

French’s novels are available in paperback or electronically, so they are perfect for packing.  And the three novels can be read in order or not.

I highly recommend a summer escape to lovely Ireland. If you can’t make it across the Atlantic, consider traveling there with Tana French.

And if you want your fellow beach or mountain goers to wonder what you are up to, you need to pack along some humorous reading material. Tina Fey delivers a laugh-out-loud read, with “Bossy Pants”. 

Fey demonstrates, contrary to some claims, that women can be funny.   And she is at least as funny on the page as she is on the big or small screens. To get an idea of her humor, skim the beginning of Chapter One, “Growing Up and Liking It”: “At ten I asked my mother if I could start shaving my legs.  My dark shin fur was hard to ignore in shorts weather, especially since my best friend Maureen was a pale Irish lass who probably doesn’t have any leg hair to this day.”

Or consider Fey’s discussion related to skin care in the chapter, “Secrets of Mommy’s Beauty”: “As you age, you may want to pay someone to shoot lasers at your face.  If you are a fancy lady and live in a fancy urban center like New York or Dallas-Fort Worth, you go to a fancy dermatologist and they cover your eyes and point various machines at your face to ‘promote collagen production.’  If you live far from a city, you can simulate the experience at home by having a friend hide your wallet while you sit close to a space heater.  It will work just as well.”

Whether you are male or female, of pale Irish descent or dark-skinned and sporting shin fur, a senior citizen or not yet of an age to worry about the promotion of your skin’s collagen production, I challenge you to read Fey’s irreverent, self-deprecating humor and not laugh out loud. Fey’s humor may be derived from her particular ethnic, female and off-beat experiences, but she is sure to deliver enough laughs you will have the seat mate on the plane next to you wondering what you are reading.  And isn’t that what a vacation trip is all about?

A Few of My Favorite Things

Not raindrops on roses or whiskers on felines. I am talking about favorite fun items you purchase and are happy to have parted with some of your hard-earned money in the bargain.  Little things.  Such as cosmetics and clothes.  And no, I am not being paid to advertise anything.  This is just my personal, “The Best” column, as seen in the Louisville Courier Journal Saturday newspapers.  Only I am not limiting it to one thing.

My favorite new cosmetic is Almay, “smart shade, anti-aging makeup”.  It has an SPF of 20, comes in several tints, such as “light/pale” (I’m afraid that is me all over, since they do not have a tint of "not quite flesh tone"), “light/medium”, “medium” and so forth.  It goes on as a white cream but then blends to your skin tone so it seems you have no makeup on, your skin just looks smoother.  Almay cosmetics are sold at drug stores and discount department stores such as Target, another of my favorites.  And Almay is much less expensive than the Clinique foundations to which I once was addicted. 

The other cosmetic product I think is sensational is First Aid Beauty “Face Cream.”  The Cream has an SPF of 30.  I don’t think you can add that to the Almay SPF of 20 for a grand total of 50 if you use both at the same time.  You only count the higher SPF and that is if you really put a lot on.  So it probably doesn’t hurt to use two products with SPF. 

The First Aid Cream claims to do the following five actions: “Prevent/ reduce wrinkles; Correct uneven skin tone; Filter UVA/UVB rays; Nourish and moisturize; and Combat free radicals.”  The "5 in 1 Face Cream” may or may not do any or all of those things. But my skin looks better when I use it everyday.  As I age I find it is better to spend more money to protect my skin from sun damage and less to cover it up.

I buy this “5 in 1 Cream” at Sephora, the store I cut through on the way to my Apple computer lessons in the mall.  And the truth is I have cut through Sephora so many times it came down to either I buy something at the store or I declare an access easement by adverse possession.  Since I did not want to litigate with Sephora I chose to poke around the store and find something to buy.  

The Sephora store employees actually are very nice, though perhaps a little too perfumed for my senses.  And they have never suggested I needed to stop cutting through on my way to my computer lessons.  I was just starting to feel a little guilty.
My final favorite for today is a cute, little, all-cotton blouse (brand name is “Two Star Dog”) I recently bought in one of the cute, little stores in Midway KY.  The name of the store escapes me, but there are so few stores in the main drag of Midway you can find it by browsing all of them.  If you do that, recognize you likely will leave a large chunk of cash at the cute little stores if you are not careful. 

Anyway, as to why this blouse is one of my favorites.  As always, I checked to be sure the blouse was machine washable.  Don’t you just hate the clothing labels that say something like, “hand wash, line dry, and press as needed”?  Well, of course it needs pressing if you actually hand washed and line dried it.  If you machine wash and tumble dry it and don’t mind claiming you dressed from clothes packed away in an old suitcase for the last year, you may not need to press it.  

Well this blouse said it was machine washable and dryable.  But after wearing it, I discovered, not only is it cool and cute, with smocking at the neckline and in the back at the waist, but the best thing, the label not only said “machine washable and dryable”, but also “DO NOT IRON.”  Since I always read and follow the directions, more or less, this is one set of instructions I am happy to follow.  In fact, I may need to buy another one or two blouses that command me not to iron them.

Dorothy’s Idea of the Day: Sometimes it is good to be frivolous, as I was today with my writing.  Tomorrow I promise to share some thoughts on something a little heavier, though not too heavy if you get them in paperback or electronically: a few of my favorite books.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Remebering the Doggy Dementia Pills

Some days it is hard to remember what needs to be done.  Even being retired there are endless projects.  Things I start and never finish.  Things I never even get to. Organize files.  Respond to emails.  Keep up with friends on Facebook.

Remembering most of the usual stuff is not too difficult once you have a routine.  There is a comfort to the rhythm of stacking the dishwasher, making the bed, tidying up a little in the family room.  None of these chores is a problem to remember.  Remembering to walk and feed the dog has not been a problem since he always has been good at reminding us.

But one particular memory problem recently has emerged.  The dog, a twelve-year-old sheltie I inherited when my Mom died, recently has taken to sleeping like the dead during daylight hours and then coming alive like a vampire, or a teenager, after dark.

I am lucky.  As a sound sleeper I am impervious to the sounds a dog makes, whether it is whining, or just banging and bumping into doors.  Not so my husband.  We’ve tried all the obvious remedies: extra daytime attention, playing, extra walks (mostly for the dog, not my husband), even an antihistamine and xanax, prescribed by the veterinarian for previous doggy nervousness when traveling (and, yes, imagine trying to convince the pharmacist that the Xanax really is for a dog named Schatzie).  So we resorted to consulting the expert again.

To our surprise, “confusion of days and nights” is one of the early symptoms of doggy dementia.  Thus, in the hopes of quiet nights and sleep for all, our dog now is prescribed a daily dose of an expensive doggy dementia pill.  Who knew dogs stay up all night and sleep all day when they get a little demented?  And that there was a pill for it?  

So now, added to the routine is another daily chore, giving the dog his dementia pill.  But we have found ourselves asking, “Did you give the dog his pill today?  Or was that yesterday?”  Do we risk giving him a second pill?  And at $3 a pill, do we want to possibly waste the pill and maybe even hurt the dog?  Or will an extra dose help even more? 

Or maybe we are approaching this from the wrong perspective.  Perhaps my spouse should just take sleeping pills, or try the antihistamine and Xanax combination.  Even if they did not work for the dog they might work for him.  Then he could just ignore the bumps in the night. 

On the other hand, if these doggy dementia pills really treat early-stage dementia, why are we wasting them on the dog?  If we take them ourselves we might remember all of the other things we keep forgetting.

Dorothy’s Idea for the Day: Do something fun every day, just for yourself.  Then you will feel like doing something fun with, to, or for someone else.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

:The Travel Jacket Goes to Dinner: still "sparkling" after a long day of sightseeing,

I'm On a Roll or How I finally Learned to Pack Light and Still Look Spiffy

Now that I am retired I spend a lot of time in casual clothes.  Planning a trip to see my kids and grandkids on the east coast required me to reassess my old, out-dated work wardrobe.  Since I now have more time to exercise and cook healthful meals, the professional clothes I used to wear also are mostly too large.  Good news, right?

One great jacket to the rescue.  I was determined to pack light: Talbot’s “Twinkle, Grace-fit”, a linen-metallic blend, was stylish, dressed up or worn as “smart casual” with everything I packed.

My east coast trip began in New York City where my younger son, now works.  I felt perfectly dressed, my Twinkle jacket, with sliver jewelry, over a little black dress, I dined in chic restaurants.  Wearing casual slacks, spiffed up by the sparkle jacket, I saw the sights as my son showed me around the Big Apple

After a wonderful visit, I went by train to Providence RI, to see my older son, a graduate student, his wife and my two beautiful grandchildren.  Again my versatile jacket, with dressy slacks, was perfect at the Siddur program at my granddaughter’s school, or with nice jeans touring the Rhode Island Museum of Design with my daughter-in-law.

On to Boston for a weekend of sightseeing with a best friend from high school.  At the “Top of the Hub” Prudential Tower, again wearing the perfect jacket, this time with a colorful top for accent, we enjoyed the view.  The menu was so enticing we stayed for an elegant dinner.  After a day of trolley-hopping from one historic sight to the next, cruising the Harbor, eating lunch at “Cheers”, and touring the JFK Museum, we rounded out our trip with a Boston seafood dinner. Again, perfectly attired in my Talbot’s jacket.

Before my trip, a friend had given us last minute tickets to Churchill Downs.  My new jacket, elegantly accompanied by a bright hat and pin I already owned, went to the “Oaks”, the day of racing before the Kentucky Derby.  To give my sons and their significant others a horse to root for, I placed four $2 bets” to win” on “Animal Kingdom” for the next day’s Kentucky Derby.

On Derby Day, when the long-shot Animal Kingdom roared to victory, I knew I was on a roll.  Wearing my lucky sparkle jacket on this trip, I played forward my luck as I gave my sons and their “best girls” their winnings.
Dorothy’s Idea of the Day: Why don’t we all share our luck?  When you win, play it forward by sharing some of it with someone else.  As hokey as it may sound, it makes us all winners.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happiness Is...

Last year, without fanfare, I slipped into the decade that promises senior citizens discounts, Social Security and Medicare.  Having worked for more than forty years for these “entitlements” I suppose I should be nervous if they will still exist when I am eligible.  And I suppose I should be consumed with my aches and pains, the loneliness of my empty nest, and the shrinking value of my 401 K.

Instead I find I am deliriously happy.  True, I have the luck of being able to take an early retirement.  In turn, the windfall of free time allows me to pursue hobbies for the first time since childhood.

To celebrate my big 60 birthdays I bought an 11” Air Mac.  After all the years of lugging briefcases, bone spurs on both shoulders are just waiting to tear my rotator cuffs should I lift anything heavy.  Hence the choice of one of the lightest computers around.  And I bought myself a year’s worth of “One to One” classes at the Apple store.  I figured I better find out how to use my cute little computer.  Last night after I had written my first substantive blog, I managed to delete it.  So maybe I better keep taking those classes.  I have started over on my trusty old PC, with an ergonomic keyboard, since I also had carpal tunnel by the time I retired.  

Here are my thoughts on the joys of my retirement.

 I started oil painting lessons.  The arm and hand issues give me some problems.  But as long as I am careful with how I set up my easel and don’t paint for too many hours I am fine.

I also am traveling for fun.  With a suitcase on wheels I am a grandma on the go, visiting my sons, their significant others and my grandkids.  I enjoy spoiling them as much as possible and then handing them back to their parents. What grandparent doesn’t?

You might think all these new ventures account for my state of euphoria. But I don’t think that is the whole truth.

The real reason I am so happy is that I have decided never again to wear uncomfortable shoes. During my writing, painting, and travels, my feet are barefoot or clad in Crocs, Easy Spirit tennies, or soft sandals.  In winter I prefer Uggs or Hunter boots, or the Easy Spirit tennies if the weather is not too cold or wet.

I still have a closet full of pretty shoes: suede heels, peep-toed sling-backs, and all sorts of shaped shoes in which I have crammed my feet during my working life.  I never plan to walk in those shoes again.

You may think I should get rid of them.  But they would just destroy someone else’s feet if I gave them away.  And there always is the chance some day I will be invited to sit on a “Talking Head panel”.  One on TV where my feet are shown.  Then perhaps the suede heels will be seen on my feet again. As long as I can walk there in my Crocs or tennies.

Dorothy’s Idea of the Day: Why don’t we hook up all the exercise equipment at the gyms around the country to some contraption to generate electricity?  While we are spinning or running our way to slimmer health we would be doing something good for the planet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


this photo is of one of my paintings, titled "The Jumper"


This is my second post. no new ideas to share with you yet. Just checking to see I have the mechanics of this blog-thing down pat.


Welcome to  my blog. I have a lot of thoughts rattling around in my head, some serious, a lot more funny, and others just bizarre. Here is where I will be sharing those thoughts. Hope you enjoy.