Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Warmest Regards

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I am in the kitchen happy as a songbird at sunrise as I experiment with a new recipe.

I love cooking and I love creating new dishes. Maybe it's my Italian heritage that makes every meal a celebration of life. Whatever the case, I love everything that has to do with food both making it and eating it.

While I am in the midst of cutting the fresh rosemary from my garden, my husband comes into the kitchen.

"Are you ready to help me with tiling the bathroom?" he asks.

I laugh, thinking he is joking. "I'm serious," he says. "I think we should work together."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Today, while I shopped in the supermarket where I usually buy my meat, I was overcome with disgust. I could go so far as to call it revulsion.

Boneless chicken had doubled in price from a short while ago. Even ground beef went up $1 a pound.

The cereal aisle produced more sticker shock when I saw the brand I normally buy was close to $5 a box.

I consider myself a smart shopper. I'm a coupon clipper and I don't do all my grocery shopping at just one store. Instead, I read the ads each week and buy the specials at three different stores.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

When was the last time you got to know someone new?

One thing I've always been aware of is that most people tend to stay around those they already know. Whether it's at a party, a business affair, or a social event, we tend to be most comfortable when we are with people we know.

OK, that's understandable. I certainly realize that when people are out socially, they enjoy seeing and talking with their favorite friends in the group.

I'm the same way. I have certain people in every group to which I belong who are my "favorites." I enjoy their company and seek them out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A long while back, one of the best selling records (remember records?) was "Little Things Mean a Lot."

Decades later, as I savor each day of life, I realize how rewarding life is because of "little things."

It's often the small comforts we take for granted that we miss the most when we don't have them.

Go away on vacation for any length of time and you'll probably start missing the feel of your own bed. A comfortable bed is just one of life's small comforts.

I started thinking about other small comforts that add up to a pleasurable life. These are some of mine.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My heart is aching this week and no matter how much I change activities, I feel dispirited.

I'm hurting for one of my favorite friends. To protect her privacy, I'll call her Fern.

At 71, Fern is losing her house, joining the multitudes of homeowners who can no longer pay their mortgage. Living on social security and savings that have just about disappeared, her money won't stretch enough to pay her ongoing expenses.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

If you want to see a bunch of happy retirees, come to Southwest Florida.

At least a few times a week I hear someone praising the good weather and the wonderful opportunities for leisure fun. Personally, I do that every day.

But for the past six months, I've been hearing a new sentiment: I should have waited longer to retire. And I've been hearing it from those I never thought would run into money problems.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Is there one particular place you always associate with childhood joys?

When you think of your teen years, is there any teenage hangout that stays in your warm memory bank?

For me, the answer to both those questions is the same place – Knoebels Grove in Elysburg.

I grew up in Shamokin, about a 30-minute drive to Knoebels, or, shorter if you drove fast. When we went on rare family outings that were considered a special treat, we went to Knoebels.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We all have favorite months. While I can find something appealing about every month, (even if I have to work at it) September has always ranked as a favorite time of year.

I hang onto September like a drowning person holds onto a life preserver. The last of anything becomes even more precious to us. When we know something is about to end, it's human nature to cling to it more, relishing what we have. I savor September because it means the last of summer and some of the summer activities I love.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One of my favorite things at the gym is the nice variety of exercise classes.

My favorite class combines stretching and strength training with a real aerobic workout. But when I was there this week doing the mat exercises at the end of class, I couldn't do some of the simple exercises. It's not that they were too hard. I was spazed out because I forgot my own mat.

When I tried to lay my head back on the gym's mat, I noticed it was horribly grimy. For that matter, the exercise ball I was using as well as the hand weights and body bar all were filthy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

When I get company to my Florida home, I sometimes take them to a remote island restaurant accessible only by the boat.

To tell the truth, the restaurant's food is only OK, nothing to write home about. But the boat trip is fun.

For years, the same guy operated the water taxi that ferries people from landside to the island. I got to know him well and thought he was good at his job.

Once, he saved my dignity and perhaps even my life. You see, once the last water taxi leaves the restaurant dock, there is no way to get off the island.