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I am so sad

What can I say. My nerves are trembling.I couldn't reach my Grandson who lives and works in Boston. My phone didn't even get a dial tone when I tried to reach him. That scared me more than anything. Not being experienced in the ways of terrorist, I didn't know that all cell phones were being blocked. I don't know the ways of minds that can do what they did. What is stuck in my mind is that a healthy , physically fit person, went to Boston to run a race that is the gem of the running world, and if they were in the wrong place at that moment ,they may now be an amputee.

I can more understand this if I were in Israel now. These horrific things happen there and it is part of the chance you take ,living there.

I still don't know what to say.

I am just so sad .

Use it or really lose it

I am getting more confident in my violin playing. At our last orchestra rehearsal, I attacked a Mozart piece that I had never played. I can now play every third note. And if you look at the score, this is quite an accomplishment. I used to play the first note of every measure and then the last note of the piece. There is so much to learn. More experienced players were throwing words around until I felt that I was in a foreign language lab. Intonation,triplets,dynamics. I nod my head ,like I understand. It works to do this until I really do understand.

I will have to do a lot of nodding when I go to Israel, especially if someone speaks in Hebrew to me. A friend gave me the web site for yet another Hebrew language program. This one is less serious and can even be fun. Each lesson is a few minutes long and is of a practical phrase . Today I learned how to ask where the bathroom was. The instructor remarked that the person asking hasn't gotten used to Israeli food. You hear the student walking away and after a short pause, you hear him washing his hands. That action should help keep that phrase in my head. You have to use whatever tool that works for you when learning something new.

I am amazed at what a wonderful organ the brain is. You can just keep pushing it to do more. Learn the violin, learn a language, learn how to make beer.  Even if you don't do everything well, try it. It's never too late, because you can use it or loose it. I go for the use it part.

Confession time

True confession time.

1.  I forgot how to get to the spread sheet my Grandson helped me with. I'll find it, but not before I probably do damage to my poppa computer.

2. I cheat when I make chicken soup and use canned broth.

3. I put off making phone calls as long as I can.

4. I pay bills so quickly, that a few times I paid twice. Once when the bill came in and the second time when it was due.

5.  I can't understand that every one doesn't agree with me.The wrong-er I am, the more adament I am that I am right.

6.  I am apolitical. I think this means I don't do politics.

7. I think that my five Grandsons are all handsome and above average.

8.  I like to be in the kitchen.

9. I cannot carry a tune. My violin teacher has stopped asking me to sing the notes.

10. I like my own Blog. In case you need to pass it on , it is www.ushouldtell.com.

11. It is NEVER too late. So go. Do it. I will !

HATIKVAH

I can remember singing HaTikvah at Beth Israel Sunday School in New Orleans, every Sunday morning. I knew the words in Hebrew, but not the meaning. That's not surprising because that was the way I was taught everything Jewish. I loved the song. I always did, even before I realized that it had meaning for me. I wonder why that was?  Did I know even then what my heart was telling me? It has to be a soul thing.

My shul was a block from my Grandmothers Kosher boarding house. She was always feeding Orthodox men. Always making sure that the Shuls; kitchen was kept to her Kosher standards.

In the old country, I was told, the family was the intelligencia and owned a bakery. This is from my Mother, who only talked of how wonderful everything was . Denial was good for survival, I think. In the states, with a Grandfather who prayed all day, my Grandmother had a Kosher house for visiting peddlers, or old men with beards who collected money for Jewish causes. I wish I had been old enough to ask questions and not so afraid of my Grandparents. They were so foreign to me. How did they support themselves with a boarding house from people who didn't have any money to start with.?  Answers I'll never have. But I know that I will sing HaTikvah some day as I land at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. It's Never too late to keep the meaning close to my heart.

Game of summer

Too much information. That's what I'm thinking while I watch the Cubs play Milwaukee. It is really cold in Chicago and the players are wearing layers of clothing. The announcer is telling me what he is wearing, down to his long johns. The game is typically slow. That's why I like baseball. Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play, is a beautiful ball park. The walls have ivy that has been nurtured for years.It's too early for the ivy, so at first, I thought that they were playing in Milwaukee.I didn't recognize the field. What kind of a die hard fan can I be ?

I have such a vivid memory of taking our then 5 year old son to his first game. When they played the National Anthem, he took his baseball mitt and put it over his heart. I cried. It was so sweet.

I played soft ball in High School. I had to. It was part of gym. I could never hit the ball. I could hardly get my hand around the 16 inch ball. Maybe it wasn't 16 inches, but it felt like it was. I liked to be in out field. I could just stand around and talk to who ever was also exiled to out field. Why would I want to play a base.? I might have to catch a ball. And then throw it some where.

This was way before I moved to the Chicago area and discovered the Cubs. Our cottage was a baseball game away. Jump in the car, count the kids and dog,turn on WGN and listen to the game as we drove the 211 miles to our cottage.

I loved Little League Baseball. We were well behaved parents and didn't go crazy about what the kids were doing on the field. We were such liberals and Peacenics that we cheered for everyone, as it should be.Those were good days. I still have Aron"s Little League baseball cap.

It's never too late to be watching a baseball game on TV and have it bring up such nostalgia

Snob Appeal

I remembered what it is I was thinking when my memory deserted me. I was telling myself that I am a snob about some things, like where I live. Where I live now doesn't qualify as a snob appeal location. When I lived in a high rise, on the 38th floor and we had a door man along with valet parking, that satisfied my snob appeal and that building spoke to me. Our little condo here in Venice is perfect for us, but it doesn't cut the mustard as far as snob appeal is concerned. That sometimes bothers me,but I get over it.

What really is making me happy is that without even thinking about it, this thought that I had yesterday and I couldn't pull up, came back. I deal with memory loss every day . Only it's not me who can't remember. The frustration from losing a word or a thought is devistating to the person who has the memory loss. I don't have to be reminded of what a memory loss can be like, but it is never too late to just be thankful when the thought you were looking for, suddenly comes to you.

It is-what it is

Today I had an unexpected conversation with the Grandmother of the student who follows me at my violin lesson. She needed to talk. We talked of dementia. She didn't know , until this conversation, that my husband has vascular dementia. She has just put her husband into a memory facility . And she felt relief .Not guilt. Not remorse that she had done the wrong thing, but she felt good that he was being given the group stimulation that he needed, the 24 hours a day subervision that he needs. She could now take care of herself. She was being worn down. She was at peace with her decision. She feels that she still has an adventure left in her . I admire her so. She is facing reality and she took action . She made the most sensible decision that she could. Her children support her and so do I. Meeting her once a week, I hadn't recognized her husbands dementia. He was always so polite, opening the door for me when I struggled with my violin, purse and books. So easy not to see what is there.

I wouldn't have this conversation we two had with someone who isn't experiencing what we are. There are things we talked about this afternoon that I wouldn't share with others. It was raw,non emotional and practical. I am going to make her my role model. It's no longer never too late, because it is, sometimes.

Slow Down

Did you ever have just a perfect day. Today was such a day, at least for me. The sun was shining. I met Cricket's human friends on our walk, and I had no plans for the day. Perfect. It was so nice that we went to a state park for a picnic. It's been a long time since we did that. We watched the birds for a while. A ranger lent us his field glasses and we saw birds we had missed . Then we came home, talked to several of our kids and a Grandchild and then...took a nap. A recipe for a great day. No stress, no plans, no nothing.

I don't know if I would want every day to be like this, but as a break from our usual activities of normal living, it was good.

It's never too late to have this pause in my routine, take that breath,slow my heart rate, and smell what I think is orange blossoms and just slow way down.

Still Planning

Although I haven't written about it, I think every day about how it will be to live in Israel. I read the egroup mails from Nefesh B Nefesh as they are published. It makes me want to go. Not everyone adapts to living there. I think that is why the Government gives new comers such generous motives to stay. It's worth a try. Nothing is written in stone, but giving Israel a try is a good beginning. I think I have a way of keeping my options opened at both ends. Snow birds have already shown an interest in my small condo. I would rent to them (they are Cricket's morning friends) for 2 or 3 months , and then come back to Paradise. It would be a weaning process. If I were happy in Israel, I'd go back and stay longer at another time. If I were not happy, I would still have my second Paradise to come home to. This is what I call, a win-win situation. Canadian's do this every year . I could too.

I read the NBN emails and I wonder why the newbies can't figure out the cell phone problem. There are more exchanges about cell phones than anything else. My prioraties are health issues, where to grocery shop, and where does the bus stop. I did find the name of a man who will take care of my internet problems. That's good, because I can't function without that service. The man I use now to clean up my self inflicted mistakes, refuses to come with me.

I did find an ad for a Granny apartment. Here in the US, we would call it a Mother in law apartment. The Israeli's can be so charming and positive! It's too early to make any arrangements because I don't know when or where, but the units are there for the looking.

I am not ready to give up my comfortable life here, but it is never too late to have another adventure and take on a new challenge.

Position Opened

I have a job offer for a qualified person. The hours are 24/7. The work days are 365 , no time out for leap year. You need a valid drivers license because you will be doing all of the driving.. The benefits are what you make it. The job has no possibility of advancement. It is more or less a really dead end job.There are some benefits. You get to make all of the decisions. You get a lay persons knowledge of medical terminology. You get to always have a companion. You are good at interperting missing words from your companion. This job that I am offering is being a care taker. Not very romantic, sometimes frustrating and several times, even scary. but , the alternative is rather gloomy. No takers? I do understand. It's not a job described in my Kutubah.
It's a job no one wants to talk about because it scares you to even have these thoughts.Your life slows,but it doesn't stop. I read some place that at this point, you have no future, only a past. Dramatic, but true. What keeps your outlook positive depends on the day. Routine becomes the norm, you want routine. Routine means that everything is good , that nothing has changed since yesterday.
I think I will cancel this job offer.The position is already filled. The only one who can answer this job offer is the person who already has the position locked in. There are many of us out there who are care takers and to you I say., it's never too late to know that we are special.


Beer spill

It happened again. I may have told everyone already how our oldest child decide, when she was a young teen, to make mulberry wine. We had a prolific mulberry tree in our yard and I think our daughter may have read a book about dandelion wine. Everything would have been fine, except the wine exploded in her closet. We lived in that house for over 25 years and we never did get the smell of wine out of the walls. The clothes were ruined.

Well, it has happened again. Only it is not wine, but beer.Remember I am making beer. I am storing the plastic barrel that was included in the kit, with it's half filled fermenting beer. I wasn't peeking, but I wanted to see what was happening. We had put the plastic keg in the cardboard box that it came in and then we put the keg in our walk in closet. When I checked, the box was wet. Oy vey, not again. The floor under the cardboard box was a little damp. I thought that the keg had a leak, but on further investigation, it is the spigot. I tightened the spigot and just to be safe, placed a saucer under it in case it was still leaking. I think I saved the beer. My closet smells a little like a brewery, but not too bad. The beer was still aging, so the smell isn't so intense.

It's never too late to sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet in hopes that the beer odor doesn't get any stronger.

Ironing

I am a proud Grandma. I was able to teach my visiting grandson a skill he didn't have. He wanted to learn how to iron his dress shirts ! He said that he has a closet full of washed ,wrinkled shirts. I love to iron. I would iron a years worth of table clothes for my sister when I visted her in New Orleans. She didn't have as many as it sounds. There would be the tablecloth from Passover and from Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur , with maybe one or two special occasion cloths. It was fun. We'd spend time together, talking, gossiping about family, I would iron and she would sit in a recliner chair with her feet up.! There may have been something wrong with this picture, but we were happy. And I liked doing this for her.

Now to teach my skill to the next generation is a wonderful thing. I would have been happy too, if it was words of wisdom or some great thoughts that I could have passed on to my grandson, but something practical like ironing a shirt will do. Now everytimes he gets dressed in a real shirt, it'll be pressed and he can think of me. It's never too late to get your rewards where you can

Bad Choices

I keep buying the wrong models, the wrong electronics. Maybe I don't do my home work, but several times, at least, I buy a model of something and then after I use it awhile, I think that maybe I made a mistake. In particular, I am thinking of the futon I bought a year ago. It is very difficult to open and close. It takes two people, or one straining person to do the job. In fact, I went back to the store where I bought it and took pictures of the closing and opening of this model of Futon. Now I know how to do it, but it is still a job that raises the heart rate. Then I have this new printer.It costs $40 more where I bought it than at WallMart. I just never thought to go to WallMart for an electronic device. (I can tell you now, I will not buy a diamond ring at Wallmart, but maybe I will think about my next computer from Wallmart. ) My new printer is not wireless. I didn't even think to ask about this feature when I bought my printer. Now I am stuck with a printer that doesn't do what my old printer did and it still costs more . I didn't do my homework. My excuse is that I get so excited to be buying something new and not used that I just stop thinking. Maybe I should practice buying more new things. It's never too late to always look for an excuse when I make a bad buying decision.

Canada ,Oh, Canada

My Canadian neighbor came over with a bag of unopened food packages. I know what this means. It came so quickly. I am not prepared for this. It's time for her to make her return trip to Canada. Where has six months gone.? It seems as if she just got here and now she is emptying her cabinets and leaving . She and I are the best neighbors for each other. It is a relationship made in heaven.We are both quiet, we both have dogs, I cook, but prety much, I think she doesn't. We aren't sociable, we don't have a drink of coffee or wine with each other. Her dog hates my dog. It's nothing Cricket said. Poppie didn't like Charlie eihter. Poppie doesn't like other dogs. But she likes me, as long as I don't have Cricket with me. Every walk that Bob takes Cricket for, I say as he goes out the door "watch out for Poppie". But my neighbor and I have a good relationship. She's driven me to the Surgery Center at 6 AM and I would bring over something special that I would bake. We are good neighbors. I've often offered to baby sit Poppie,but not in my house. I'm glad she never took me up on that one. So I guess you can say we'd do anything for each other, except when it comes to Poppie

.I always hate to see this first week of April comes. That's when the Canadians start leaving paradise.It does mean that traffic is less,that the line in the grocery store is shorter, that you can get an appointment at the dermatologist, but it means that my neighbor is going North, far North.

Oh well, that's the pattern of our friendship and it's never too late to be content with that because before I know it, six months will have come and she and Poppie are back.

A beer and Computer

Well, I made beer tonight. The bad news is that I have to wait two weeks, at least, until I can drink it. It was easy to make because I had a beer kit which had all of the necessary ingredients and  I had my secret ingredient--my Grandson. He makes beer from scratch, while Grandma makes it from a kit. Isn't that just the opposite from most things we, the older generation ,does. We are the ones who make things from scratch, while the younger generation goes for instant, quick fixes. Not always true, I am finding.

Another thing that I did tonight was learn how to do a spread sheet. I know that one doesn't have anything to do with the other, but the bar was raised in my learning by having my Grandson patiently walk me through the experience. It was my putting my ego aside, and letting this young man teach me a skill that seems to come so easily to him and his peers. Now I hope I can remember all that he taught me. Maybe I should have waited for the beer to be ready so I could have a beer before tackling the spread sheet.

It's never too late to learn a new skill on the computer or to pick up a new hobby and have a special person in my life, like a Grandson, show me the way.

Smaller

I was just thinking about the electronics that I am surrounded by. Their size is getting smaller and smaller. On my desk I have the poppa size computer, on my lap I have the Momma size , and the baby size is my iPad. If I had a smart phone, instead of the stupid phone that I do have, the size comparison would go down a degree or two.

I'd get the smart phone if it would make me smarter, but I don't think it would. I don't like to talk on phones that much. I think I must have been traumatized by a phone in my early life or even in the womb. I love emails to get said what I need to say. You leave the message, it gets answered or not and you move on. On the phone I have a problem ending my conversation. On the computer, I just say,"thanks,leona" and log out.

I like small things. They seem to function as good as their counter parts. Technology is doing that . I wonder if people will get smaller. Many of us are taller than our parents. If our world is shrinking,because of knowledge shared through the internet, will we shrink, also?  We do evolve and adapt to our environment. It could be happening now, as we peck away at our keyboards. Have you noticed your thumb getting larger because of texting?

I have so many electronics charging that when I have a house guest using my designated office, I have to throw a towel over some of the electronics to block their blinking colored lights. Some people are distracted by the lights. I think of the lights as auxillary night lights.

It's never too late to be on the cutting edge of the electronic revolution, but I really don't want to get any smaller.

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Latest comments

29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

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31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

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20.07 | 13:55

Everything sounds so wonderful Leona. Venice will seem boring . I would want to move to Portownsend where the kids are living. All sounds great . Is there?

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19.07 | 12:33

That lavender sounds very nice!

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