Gray, Rain, Cold, AGAIN!

Yes, we have no lilies of the valley.

The traditional day for them in France is May 1st. It is not the same in the U.S., but usually, it is soon after. This year, it is already the 18th and there are no lilies of the valley. I do see the buds on the flower stalks, but given the weather of late, they still have to wait.

Today it is was supposed to be in the 80s. It is gray, raining, and 63 degrees. I got up in the morning and it was pretty cold. I came out of the gym and it was hot. I came home and within a few moments, it got cold again. I have changed from jeans to shorts and then back to long pants again.

I feel like my thoughts revolve around politics, or the lack thereof (perhaps I should not call idiotic behavior politics) and weather. The spring was non-existent and the winter has been really long, to the point of truly being annoying. We had no forsythia bloom, per se, and we have been teased with a warm day here and there, that is often warmer than it should be at this time. It has been a most awful spring, or maybe we should say transition from winter to summer.

I feel like a complainer.

Let’s talk about nice things. Let’s talk about the youngest grandchild sleeping upstairs. Let’s talk about the two cousins drawing and conversing around our dining room table. Let’s talk about my feeling good about going to the gym and doing an hour on the treadmill before a nice steam and shower.

Tonight, is a sleepover, if all goes well. The youngest are for sure, but their older cousin is still a question. At the very worst, we can take her home to her parents.

I need to go and make crêpe batter as I was asked to make crêpes tomorrow for breakfast.

I will also water the plants. Despite the bad weather, the cacti and Norfolk pines are now out of doors.

Okay, the crêpe batter calls…

Posted in Life in general, Seasonal Transition, Thoughts and philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


In talking today to a dear, former colleague and now friend, it occurred to me that so many of us have identities that are totally intertwined with some part of our life.

For many people that I know, after having taught at a school of over four thousand students, the work identity seems to overshadow and overtake their lives. The ramifications are that after retirement, there is a need to continue to connect with the work environment and find out and know what is going on. My friend reminded me of a call she used to get from a former departmental colleague, dying to know the latest scoop. He would call every Sunday evening.

I always thought that my work persona was super important, and it was while I was on the job. Now, however, that I have left that behind and morphed into a different working individual, I find that although I was totally involved in the situation, that now that I have departed it, I almost need a break from it. I realize as well that it was not my most defining moment of life. It made me realize that my true definition was of someone else, mainly a family person, but having outside interests as well.

MK and I, in our pretirement phases, because neither she nor I have retired completely, have endeavored upon making new friendships and acquaintances, and to not letting the grass grow under our feet.

I am not being judgmental here.

Each and every person has to find his or her own way through this voyage called life. I am just saying what I, in particular, need.

My father-in-law, who taught at the same high school as I did, was constantly searching for that information. It used to make me laugh when he would ask about someone or something. When I might chance upon a name that he didn’t recognize, since that person might have not been known to him or perhaps had started working there after his retirement, he would always say, “That person must be new.”

We aren’t all the same and we all have different needs.

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Rudolph Nureyev’s story: White Crow

Rudolph Nureyev was different and not always fitting in. From early in his youth, it was noticed, thus giving him his nickname of White Crow.

MK and I hadn’t seen a whole lot of movies at the movie theatre of late. The Rudolph Nureyev movie sounded intriguing so Mother’s Day was relaxed and ended up with an afternoon at the movies.

We thoroughly enjoyed it.

I must say that it dragged a bit, but it was kind of a nostalgic trip backward to the days when there was a Cold War. Not that that was a good thing or even enjoyable, but we all remember Rudolph Nureyev and the beauty of his dancing and the wackiness of his character and sometimes antics.

I enjoyed, from a language vantage point of view, hearing the Russian and seeing the subtitles as I constantly wondered how good Liam Neeson’s Russian was as he played Pushkin, Nureyev’s mentor and teacher.

The movie seemed long, although it just went a smidgen beyond the seemingly required two hours or so. It was interesting seeing the world through the eyes of the 60s and seeing the Russians’ eyes bug out as they arrived in Paris, knowing full well that there would be unbelievable experiences and a thousand temptations only possible in the West.

Rudolph was not at all immune to them, interested in making up for lost time in all avenues, pushing the envelope at every point. He was 17, at one moment in the film, and requesting Pushkin as his teacher since he felt that he was not progressing fast enough. He knew that he had come somewhat late to ballet, but he was hell bent on learning all he could so that he could be the best.

All in all, a wonderful movie and thoroughly enjoyable.

Posted in Cinema, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

…and the Nightmare continues…

So many of us are trying to move on, trying to cope with the nightmarish situation within which we live. We go on day by day, most of the time acting as we always do and did, and yet periodically we are taken down by the news, by the lies, by the negativity, by the constant attempts to hijack the few things we have truly done to make things right within our country.

We see massacre upon massacre. We see it within our country and within the world. We see inaction on the part of the people we elected to do something about it.

We see the attacks on immigration. It is not easy to see your culture shifting. It is not easy to change. Yet, we are all here in the U.S.A. because our ancestors came at some moment in time in search of something better. How quickly we forget.

Our families (Mary Kay’s and mine) have been in this country for just a little over one hundred years. I still feel great ties to the past, something I try (perhaps annoyingly so) to instill in my own children and grandchildren. We must remember our roots. We must remember the good things and the bad things. We are where we are because of them. I changed our family paradigm by going to college. It changed my life. Yet, I cannot forget that my mother was thrown out of her house as a kid; she remembered bedbugs and lice, and being on welfare. She remembered the Great Depression in which her family did not have the ability to survive easily (along with so many others).

If we are a civilized country, and I do believe we have that within our grasp, we could change things. Perhaps that is why we have this nightmare, perhaps we needed to be shocked into reacting, once and for all.

Let’s find a candidate, let’s run with it, and let’s make the changes needed so that we do what our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution say. Let’s create the best civilization ever with equality and care for all as we move forward and take care of our resources (human and material) and our environment.

It is not as hard as our elected officials seem to say.

Posted in Life in general, The Scandal of the 2016 Presidential Elections, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Clutching my car!

It has been over a month, I think, since my car got a new clutch. The new clutch is amazing, and probably the absolute best one I have ever had on my 2008 Subaru.

Nonetheless, I am still not used to it. I have not stalled the car to my knowledge, since getting the new clutch installed. Ask me if I am driving it really smoothly and I will tell you, probably not. That is my latest little thing to work on.

I have noticed, though, that in the past few days, I seem to have hit a certain level of mojo, not having as many difficulties as I shift. All in all, it is odd as I find that the clutch is perfection when compared to its predecessors, but somehow I did manage to attune myself to the idiosyncrasies of the previous clutches.

My almost twelve-year-old car is in need of some exterior detailing and I am planning on getting some estimates for this as I think it might be a good thing. I have noticed some rust on the bottom that I had never seen before. Never before have I had a car that has lasted this long, both in the area of engine and looks.

Never before have I had a car that saved a life. This is the same car that I had, a 2005 model as opposed to a 2008, even the same color, Subaru Blue, that one of my sons was driving when he came upon some black ice. It rolled over twice into the ditch between opposing directions of the highway. He walked out of it with a cut on his forehead from where the rearview mirror hit, after coming undone. There were no serious issues other than the car, whose interior was pretty much untouched and whose exterior was destroyed.

Subaru commercials at the junkyard are real; we lived that one.

Posted in Accidents, Cars, Life in general, Subaru, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment