Monday, November 25, 2013

Quote for the Week

It seems appropriate this week to post a quote from John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

After Loss: What I'm Still Thankful For

Thanksgiving is often hard for me because it was Ralph's and my favorite holiday.  He always cooked the turkey (I still have never cooked one--guess I never will learn how) and I made everything else.  Our family was together.  We always had to say, "Ralph, this is the best turkey you've ever made."  We laughed about the year I used some spoiled orange rind in the sweet potatoes and everyone was polite about it until my son-in-law spoke up.  Since Ralph has been gone, my daughter-in-law's family always include me in their Thanksgiving plans, and I'm grateful.  I'll forever miss Ralph, but I still have many things to be thankful for.  Here's a partial list:

My children and grandchildren
My friends
My cats
My profession--I love being a speech pathologist
The beauty of nature
Books to read, enjoy and discuss
The pleasure of learning new things
My Women in Transition group and its subgroup, Death, Dying and Dessert
The joy of travel
My memories

Sunday, November 17, 2013

First Grade All Over Again

Friday was the groundbreaking for the high rise I will be moving into in 2015.  Rain was forecast, but it was a beautiful day with sunshine and clear skies.  After the requisite speeches, board members for the high rise dipped their shovels into a pile of sand (That's not them above--it's a generic picture).And then we got in line for a buffet lunch.

 I only knew one couple in the crowd and I didn't see them until after I'd filled my plate, so as the line inched forward, I glanced around.  Suddenly I felt as if I were in first grade all over again, surrounded by people I didn't know..  Which of these current strangers would end up being my friends?  Who would I spend time with, chat with, confide in?  A whole new chapter will be opening up, and I wonder how I will fill the pages.  I'm pretty shy, so the thought is exciting and scary at the same time.  Well, I tell myself I made it through first grade; I'll navigate this change, too, and pretty soon I'll feel at home.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quote for the Week by Carl Sandburg

Life is like an onion:  you peel it off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Plastic Surgery, Yes or No?

Tomorrow evening my Women in Transition group is discussing plastic surgery.  The question is whether you would choose cosmetic surgery to make yourself look younger.  My answer:  Huh uh.
I have had two experiences with plastic surgery.  The first was when I turned 50.  I decided to give myself a present and get rid of the lines around my mouth.  Ah, how fondly I look back on those lines.  They were so faint, hardly visible.  Today, from years of smiling, of course, they're a lot deeper.  You can't miss them.  Anyway, I went to a dermatologist for collagen injections.  Ouch!  But I figured they were worth it.  I'd be able to pass for 40, maybe younger.  Not exactly.  I was apparently allergic to the collagen and instead of erasing my lines, it caused bright red, ugly marks around my mouth.  The doctor advised leaving them alone.  She assured me they would vanish.  Stubborn little things, they stayed right where they were.  I remember attending a workshop and running into a professor I'd had in graduate school.  She took one look at me and shrieked, "What happened to your faa..ace?"  Now everyone was staring.  I wanted to disappear.  The next week I saw another dermatologist, who solved the problem with steroid injections.  Cosmetic surgery?  Never again.  I will embrace my aging face and tell myself it shows my wisdom (even if I don't believe it).

I did have another experience with plastic surgery, but this one was medically necessary.  I had an eyelid lift to improve my vision.  The doctor, who specialized in  ophthalmic plastic surgery, was writing a mystery and I knew people in his critique group, so we had a nice chat while he worked on my lids.    Afterward, for the first time since I was four years old, I didn't need glasses.

So here's my take: if it's medically necessary, go for it.  If not, don't take the risk.

I'd love some comments.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Books of September and October

A fictionalized version of Edith Wharton's life plus that of her assistant.  I enjoyed it, although as a romance author, I thought Edith was a bit wishy-washy when it came to romance...just saying.

Autism, as explained by a 13-year-old boy with the disorder.  Perhaps this will get me a lot of criticism, but I have spent much time working with autistic youngsters and I found this a bit hard to believe.  It's hit the best seller list, however, so judge for yourself.

What life might have been like for Anne Frank's older sister, had she lived.  I enjoyed this book a lot.

My book club is reading this because the movie about Salinger just came out (Alas, none of us saw it)).  I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it.  Well worth re-reading.

Five people are haunted by an incident that happened in the woods one night long ago.  Enjoyable read.

Why, you may ask, am I reading The Iliad?  Because I love Greek mythology and because I took a course at Rice University's Continuing Ed program on the Iliad.  It was one of the best courses I've taken at Rice and I enjoyed the instructor's interpretation.  Sadly, Hector died this time, too.  I keep hoping the ending will change, but it doesn't.

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