Saturday, March 21, 2009


"Optimism is the foundation of courage!" Don't you love this quote? I have spent my many years as an optimist, but never connected it with courage. It takes courage in life to set goals, to focus on your journey, work hard and to experience success and accomplishment.

I am optimistic that I'll recover from this pneumonia that has "clipped my wings!" Those of you who know me, know that I really don't like to be down. I feel like the energy bunny who's batteries ran out. I trust I'll be back to normal soon, as I am a high energy person who has places to go and people to meet.

I'm in between classes and will start April 14Th again with another "How to Write Your Personal History Class" at B-W college. My "Watercolor Art" classes will also restart next week in Strongsville, I am working on a piece (hopefully a masterpiece) that will be shown in my very first art show! Imagine that? . So I will think positive and hope and pray for wellness so I can get back into the mainstream of my life.

Always be optimistic, think positive and appreciate your wellness in life! Make yourself a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Feeling of Accomplishment

I feel so good today, as I have completed a project that has been weighing on my conscience for the past 3 months. Why did I procrastinate? We had 77 inches of snow for Pete's sake and I had many opportunities to do it. But yesterday and today -- the spirit moved me and I did it. It feels like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I can get going on my next project.

What did I do? Well, I finally finished my photo album from our 50Th Anniversary Party, which was held on October 10, 2008. I used an acid free album and I assembled it into categories, I had 275 pictures, and I relived the special moments and the joyful memories of that special day. I proceeded to add embellishments, although not scrap booking style, to make it look a little professional and I'm happy with the results. I can feel proud of what I have done and now I'll be able to show my completed project to my family and friends.

As I proceeded to work on the album, memories were bouncing around in my head and I relived that weekend all over again. Oh the joy I felt -- every time I would pick up a picture I would relive another memory. I started with arrival of my sister and her husband from Reno, her daughter and family from Canoga Park and my nephews from Reno.

I then started a section on decorating the ballroom with the help of my sister, girls and granddaughters. Everything was so beautiful with the purple napkins and the linen chair covers with the gold bows and the vases of white roses floating in a lighted bed of purple marbles. Setting up the ballroom was quite a bonding experience and so much fun.

Then a section where Donna presents us with corsages and boutonnieres and waiting for the limo bus to arrive. The moment when my husband presented me with a beautiful "bling" ring called "yesterday, today and tomorrow!" This was a shocking surprise, as I didn't expect it at all. We were all dressed to the hilt and God knows when we will all look so good at the same time again. I love my Cannon digital camera, as we were able to capture these moments and memories to go down in history (it was a gift from our children).

We had a reception line at the ballroom and almost 200 people attended. What a tribute to us, that so many people loved us enough to join in our celebration. The food was very good, the disk jockey was fantastic. She made sure there were no lulls in the evening. Of course, we pre-planned everything with her and she was like a wedding planner and did a fabulous job. We have pictures of so many people dancing on the beautiful ballroom dance floor -- all evening. It got pretty wild, and there was Nick leading the samba line. People thought he came with the DJ and was part of the entertainment! By the way Nick, thank you for that you were great! At the end of the evening to the tune of "Goodnight My Love," we ended a beautiful memorable evening and weekend. Although very tired "a good tired" as my mother always said, we all headed to my daughters house the next day for a fabulous spaghetti dinner and gift opening and we have pics of that.

I can't explain it -- my heart was so full of love and joy and I was on cloud nine I have never felt so fabulous in my life!. So every time I get out my album, I can relive this wonderful feeling of love and joy forever. That's why I had to finish my album!

May you experience the feeling of accomplishment and memories of love and joy in your life.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Love At First Sight

It was a spring day, I was 17 and my girlfriends and I decided to go to a dance at the Irish American Club in Cleveland, after all we were invited by a very popular sorority from the West Side, who would want to miss that. I remember the dress I was wearing a deep v-neck princess, a-line, linen ivory background print with light turquoise images or faint flowers on it. In those days I had a 23" inch waistline and felt really good about myself, but now that I think of it that dress was God awful!!

I was having a very good time, enjoying the music and dancing and the music ended and it was time for us to leave. However, 2 Irish boys who thought I was pretty and cool, wanted to take me home. Ummm! My mother would have never approved of this, it was 1955 for Pete's sake. In those days you would be considered a hussy! Wait there is more.

Well from across the dance floor I spotted a very good looking (20 year) older man, tall dark and handsome, who looked to me like "Dean Martin!" "Oh my gosh he is walking over to me", well my heart started pounding and palms started sweating -- this guy was awesome. I have never felt like this before." In today's language they would say he was really hot!

Tall, dark and handsome (who was actually there with a date), came to rescue me from these 2 Irish boys who he said "had a bad reputation and that it wouldn't be a good idea for me to let them take me home." But would I like to go up on the rooftop with him? Ummm! The night was beautiful and the stars were shining brightly and there we were together and he kissed me and asked me for my phone number. Bells were ringing and it was like rockets exploding on the 4Th of July! Could this be "love?" Love at first sight? Have I met "Mr. Wonderful?" Somehow in my heart, I knew I would marry this man one day. After all I was dating someone else at the time!

So I didn't go home with the Irish boys and went home with my girlfriends like a good girl. I found out later that Mr. Wonderful took his date right home and never saw her again. He called me the next day and asked for a date and took me to his old neighborhood called "Little Italy."
We drove around and he showed me all his favorite haunts, where he was born, his school and hangouts and also took me to see his family ---- on the first date, imagine that. It was history from that point on, as he told me I reminded him of Kim Novak -- what a compliment, she was a movie star, she was a "hottie"! What a boost for my ego. Could I be so lucky that I was HIS "love at first sight?" I found out later and yes, I was!

I invited him to my senior prom and showed him off to all my west side school friends. Prom was an event I'll never forget and very special. The dancing, music, flowers, prom dress the whole nine yards. After high school graduation I landed a very good job working in the office of an oil company downtown. We continued to date and fall deeper in live and our favorite restaurant was in Little Italy, a place called Roman Gardens now called Trattoria On The Hill, and is still there. We had "our" special table to the left as you walk in by the bar.

The next year, 1956, I was devastated to say the least. My family moved to California, as my Dad got a job at Hughes Aircraft in Culver City. I also worked there as a secretary. I didn't want to leave the love of my life. We corresponded daily (by US mail) for a few months and he couldn't wait to fly out for a visit. I knew that if it was meant to be, our love would last in spite of the distance and miles between us. That Christmas he came out to fetch me and bring me back to Ohio to marry me. However, things were not so good for my Mom, as she got so homesick for her mother Dad decided to move the family back to Cleveland, lock stock and barrel. Wow I was so happy to return to my Mr. Wonderful, and so was he.

Guess what? A year later my family wanted to move back to California! Mom was better and Dad got a job at Litton Manufacturing. I didn't want to go and leave my Mr. Wonderful. He didn't want me to go either and it was then that he asked me to marry him and within 3 weeks, we planned a wedding for 250 people, purchased a dress, 2 bridesmaids dresses, booked a hall (from a cancellation), hired a caterer and planned a honeymoon to Niagara Falls. Everything went smoothly and without a hitch -- it was truly meant to be! After a memorable wedding reception, it was great by the way, as we were leaving for Niagara Falls in his new 1957 Black Ford Contractible Hardtop, it was the happiest day of my life and the saddest, as my family was leaving me to hit the road to California the next day.

Fifty years later, an accomplishment in this day and age, we have had many lovable moments with it's many peaks and valleys as I said in my first blog called "Life Is Good" and have created 3 beautiful children who have produced 7 wonderful blessings, our grandchildren -- the joy of our lives, our legacy! Dean and Kim are alive and kicking!

I hope you can experience your "Love At First Sight" someday. Make yourself a wonderful life!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ambiance in the Car Wash

I'm sorry for not writing for the past couple of weeks. After one week with a virus, I'm battling a back injury - I think a pulled muscle. I really miss my time at the gym, yoga, water aerobics and Curves. We all know how lousy we feel when we don't work out! This to shall pass as they say.

Last Saturday my husband and I decided to journey out. After all we have had 44 days of snow out of 50 for the month of January and it was now the first week of February, the temps were up to 40 plus degrees (a heat wave) and we had errands to run.

Our errand for that day was to research a special gift for our granddaughter, we call her Deena Beena, who was reaching her sweet 16th birthday this month. Five years ago, we started a precidence for our 5 granddaughters by buying them a birthstone ring for their special day. A remberence, from us, that they would always cherish. So we head to our local jeweler, who has the reputation for the 3 "C's" and quality and got an idea of what we were going to present to our Deena.

Since we were going to the jewelers anyway, I decided to take ALL my "bling" that I have acquired over the past 50 years and have it cleaned and checked, as it is an investment just like a car. I had bling on every finger, wrist and ears. We concluded our research at the jeweler and decided that we would drive thru Mickey Dee's and have our annual artery clogging filet of fish sandwich, fries with a 3 point (weight watchers) ice cream cone and take it home. I said to my husband "why don't we go home the back way and I'll have my ice cream cone finished by the time we get home." On the way home, the back way, we approached the laser car wash. Well it had been over 50 days since our car was relieved of all the salt and brine from the roads and the backsplash of the messy melting snow. We knew our car would really appreciate the bath.

Well, everyone else had the same idea and we had to wait in a looong line. So I had time to finish my ice cream cone and we looked at each other and said "Oh well, we may as well eat our lunch too!" So there we were me in my "bling" eating our drive thru unhealthy food while driving through the car wash. We started to laugh, for this was a "first" in our 50 years of marriage that my husband ever took me for lunch in the laser car wash! We had the music playing - Tony Bennett singing "San Francisco" one of our favorites (talk about ambiance) and it was actually fun. What more could you ask for? So you see it is these little things and moments in your life that matter and can make a good story to tell your grandchildren. Take the time to appreciate the little moments in your life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Is Spirituality?

I've not blogged for several days but today I have something to share. I'm taking a class at Baldwin-Wallace College, ILR program named "Spirituality - Write On!" I have always wondered what spirituality is, so when this class was offered I decided to jump right on it.

What did I find? So far I have learned that spirituality is instinct and yearning for more than your mind and body -- and recognizing it. There is something deeper and richer going on within yourself. I have found that I can get into this state with yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques, and living life, which I have been practicing for years. It is the relaxation into the mystery of your life no matter what is going on. The power of positive thinking helps!

My teacher also told us about the "bicameral mind." Bicameral meaning your left and right side of your brain. The right side is your intuition and creativity and the left side is analytical and your thinking. I took the Meiers-Briggs Psychology test many years ago and was told I used my right side of my brain more, 7 points (the feeling side). This week I took the same test and I have grown and changed to be using the left side of my brain, 10 points (more thinking and analytical). The numbers were very close. I was surprised and thought this to be very interesting to know that I have grown within myself as an individual. I always thought my feelings got in the way of my thinking, especially when I was in management and had to review my secretary!

I shall learn how to discover myself and not what others think of me, or their perception of me, build my self-esteem and figure out who I am, what I am and what I'm all about. Boy I have allot of work to do in the next 4 weeks of this course. I bet your saying well if she hasn't figured it out by now -- forget it, but -- oh no -- I need to continue to learn and explore my being.

The teacher gave us a reference book called "Broken Open" -- which will present to you a grounding awaking in order to open your "rosebud" -- petal by petal to blossom to the fullest in your life! Isn't that a great scenario?

Those of you interested in cooking might be interested in my WORD FOR THE DAY!

QUINOA (pronounced keenwah)
Quinoa has been hailed as "The Mother Grain" in South American cuisines for thousands of years. It is just beginning to take off in the U.S.
This powerhouse food has more protein than any other (about 22g per 1 cup serving, compared with only 5g per cup for white rice). Like meat and soy, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids our bodies need to function and it is also high in fiber and iron. It has less fat than either meat or soy. Costs less too!
Quinoa has a mild flavor and a pleasant crunch, which make it an easy way to add protein to vegetable soups, stews or chili. Quinoa also offers a great alternative to pasta for salads. Best of all, prerinsed quinoa is as easy to cook as couscous and faster than rice. It is like a very small pastina and a little smaller than couscous.
How to cook: Rinse raw quinoa until water runs clear. Combine one part dried quinoa with 2 parts of water or chicken broth and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
I have used it as a side dish (you can add veggies and seasonings) and cooked it in chicken broth and I also added it to my chicken soup today. I purchased it bulk at our local Mustard Seed Organic Market, in Akron. I say this sounds like a healthy eating tip, don't you? Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Overload Is A Blessing

How can one be retired and experience "overload." I've gotten myself involved in so many things that my desk looks like a cyclone hit it. Okay now, I have to focus , stay grounded and get organized. It is important for me to do a super job at any task that I pursue, after all I'm a "coordinator and leader of many things and I like to have fun!"

I think you already know about my gig at Kent State University. The Women's Basketball Team is honoring the red hats. Pregame we will be in a hat contest and march around the court and the winner with the best hat will win a prize. Get this --- half-time, we will be in a "hoop shooting contest" and will also win prizes. Yours truly has been practicing at our local rec center and trying to excell in her "underhand oopsie daisy" shot. This oughta be good! I don't mind telling you I have never played basketball in my life and my muscles are aching to prove it!

Let's see the Red Hats are going to take a dance class in "Boa Burlesque!" Ummmm this should be very interesting. We shall head up to the Islander and toast to our accomplishments, maybe even practice a little. Wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall?

We are going to the IX Center to the Home and Flower Show to strut in the Victorian English gardens with our big picture hats and long lacy frilly dresses. We'll have to act very ladylike.

The Bunco party is scheduled for February and is always a hoot, with many prizes, allot of food and laughter. The endorphins will really be flying!

My red hat sister Sandy is a member of the "Grindstone Players." This is a local theatre company, which continued under a new direction, after awesome Bill Allman, (producer/director at B-W College Summer Theatre) died. Sandy periodically does acting parts in this company. We will attend one of her performances soon.

The family "girls" only (nieces, aunts, great nieces) are getting together at Cleats on wing night and I'm really looking forward to catching up and just being together. I should warn them we're coming.

We are going to a theatre production of "Butterflies Are Free." This comedy is produced by Coffeehouse Productions, and the theatre is located in Broadview Heights. This 1972 film originally starred Goldie Hawn.

Tomorrow, we will be attending our second "Ethnic Gourmet "Arabians" Dinner. Six couples have decided we would each take a turn and cook a gourmet meal from our ethnic background.
Our first dinner in November, was Hungarian, tomorrow it will be Irish. Don't you think this a a great idea? These are friends we have known since we were 17 and 21 (a lifetime ago).

So you see I don't have time to get bored or let "moss grow under my feet" and all this is before the middle of February. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't have something to look forward to and isn't this a blessing? I must remember to thank God for a full life!

Make yourself a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Food For Thought and Tips to Bring You A Beautiful Life

I'd like to start out by telling you about my day today. It started with yoga, then 2 of my friends and I practiced shooting hoops at the gym. We are trying out for the Kent State University Women's Basketball RH Half-Time "hoops contest!" Okay, I have never ever played basketball in my life, but to shoot hoops with my grown sons many moons ago, and 2 grandsons playing pig and horse! Well we did more laughing, acting silly and carrying on than making baskets. My grandson Vinnie, age 14, had finals today and got out of school early and he agreed to meet us and be our coach! He was such a good sport and I love that kid so much. I amazed myself by getting about 12 baskets out of 48. Of course this is standing by the closest (kids) line and shooting my famous "underhand oopsie daisy shot!"

Okay, after this 45 minutes of mayhem, I decided to work out on the weights and the nu-seated stepper and advanced my weights in the machine which is called the "torture chamber." This machine is good for the hips and thighs called abductor something or other.
Walked for a half mile and boy was I tired. I did my body a big favor today!

I'm going to get serious now and write about something that inspires me, helps me cope and I feel brings my life more meaning I hope you enjoy it. By the way, I'll be reciting this in my writing class next Monday:

  • Take a 10-30 minute walk every day and don't forget to smile.
  • Make a purpose for each day.
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remember the 3 "F's" Faith, Family & Friends, and the 3 "E's" Energy, Enthusiasm & Empathy.
  • Spend more time with people over 70 and under the age of 6.
  • Dream more while your awake.
  • Try to make at least 3 people smile each day.
  • Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn, pass all your tests. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear to fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  • Life isn't fair --- but it is still good!
  • Life is too short wasting time hating anyone.
  • Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does.
  • Make peace with the past, as it won't mess up the present.
  • Don't compare your life with others, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • Burn the candles, use the nice linens -- Don't save them for a special occasion --- Today is a special occasion!
  • No one is in charge of your happiness accept you.
  • Forgive everyone for everything.
  • Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  • Your job won't take care of you when your sick, but your family and friends will.
  • Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  • The best is yet to come -- Believe!
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up!
  • Do the right thing.
  • Call your family often.
  • Each night before you go to bed complete the following statement: "I am thankful for ------ and "Today I accomplished --------.
  • Remember you are too blessed to be stressed.
  • Enjoy the ride and remember life isn't always Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. Make the most of it and enjoy the journey!

These passages might be for more seasoned folks, but this says it all.

Make yourself a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Proud To Be An American

Well after many days of sub zero weather, like minus 15 to minus 25 and me being under house arrest for 2 days, I had to get out. I actually enjoyed grocery shopping, they call it "going to the market" out West. The winter doldrums have set in and my artificial knees, being that they are made of plutonium, catch the freeze pretty darn quick. We have had 14 straight days of snow and sub zero temps and 44 days out of 50 with some kind of precipitation. Wish I was in CA, PX or FL. I know I can't do anything about this so I'll have to accept it and be grateful for my health. I guess I can dream of a beautiful day in the sun -- about 3 months from now! "Don't worry be happy" - right?

Sunday my son Vince, and grandson Vinnie came over and plowed the foot and a half of snow out to the barn ( about 75 feet) so we could get the boxes out and undecorated the tree and the house. Don't you think it was about time? I had to bribe them with my famous sloppy Joe's, potato salad and from scratch brownies! I'm so grateful they came even though the weather was still not to great. They also plowed our 24 x 24 ft. deck, as when the thaw starts we possible could have water damage in the house. We are so lucky to have our children live so close and be willing to help. We are truly blessed.

Monday, I started my first class in writing. It is called "Spirituality -- Write It Down!"
I'm going to try to get in touch with my inner self and be able to write it down and use it in my attempt to write my "Personal History - As I remember it!" (I've been working on this for 2 years now). The teacher is a retired minister and she is a very good speaker, a bit depressing. Although her thoughts on meditation for healing, ties right in my my yoga class. It's always refreshing to get rid of the toxins in our body with the realease that yoga and meditation gives us. I'll give the class another chance next week. I have homework -- we have to bring in a saying, poem, sentence, sonnet-- something that really grabs us and/or rocks our boat! We have to tell how it might affect us personally. I'll let you know what I picked later.

Today is the MOST enlightening day of my life in this great country of ours. We have a leader who is giving us hope, is planning for peace, restoring the economy, health and education and guess what --- after watching him dance with his wife at the "Neighborhood Inauguration Ball" , to the tune of "At Last", he really knows how to treat his woman! It was fabulous! This has been a joyful day for all of our country, the combining of all races and ideas. As I wipe my tears, I feel so proud to be a part of this great day -- the making of history. I taped the whole day on our DVR so I can relive every moment again. God Bless America!

Tomorrow, after a meeting and yoga, I'll attempt my basketball practice, I guess you could call it "hoop's" practice. Getting ready for Kent State University, Ladies Basketball Red Hat Half-Time Hoops Contest. I'll be using my famous "underhand oopsie daisy" shot. If I'm standing in the right place I can usually sink it.

They say we need eleven (11) hugs a day -- hug someone today! Remember to stay positive in your lives and the 4 "L's" -- Live, Love and Laugh. Make yourself a Wonderful Day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life Is Good

Life is good and when you live long enough to experience the peaks and valleys, you find out that it is the peaks you cherish and remember. I've accomplished everything from getting married, having 3 children, working for 30 years, experiencing the joy of 7 grandchildren, college in my 40's, belly dancing, latin dancing, disco dancing, line dancing, writing my own personal history, watercolor and oil painting, yoga, water aerobics, travel. I have found that the grandest, greatest and most important thing in life --- is love of family.

However, the best is yet to come, as I have so much in life I would like to experience and learn. I am truly blessed with many, many friends and a loving family and I love them all from the bottom of my heart. My motto is "Make New Friends and Keep the Old, one is Silver and the other Gold!"

Make yourself a wonderful day!