4th of July 1950’s to 2016

Happy 4th one and all. I know it’s been a long time since I last blogged, but I’m an expert procrastinator. Actually, one of my twitter followers (of which there are over 7,000!! can you believe it?) asked why I hadn’t written an entry in a while. So, I told her I’d do one for the 4th of July. If you’re wondering how I accrued this vast number of followers, I’m not really sure. I started my account @phillipsayn when I began appearing on BRAVO’s new show “The Peoples Couch” 4 years ago. It’s like “the little engine that could”….we just kept chugging along, and now we’re hoping to be renewed for a 5th season – “god willing and the creek don’t rise” (an old San Antonio saying)

Speaking of San Antonio, when I was growing up in the in our house, a very simple pre-war – That’s WWII- 3 bedroom, 1 bath stucco home on Magnolia. My parents later had a patio laid out the back door. Since we didn’t have central air for years, it was a favorite, cooler, evening gathering place. Every 4th, I remember my entire family coming over (actually, almost all of the “parties” we had consisted of the family.) So, we’d be on the patio with iced cold water melon slices, most of the adults smoking (my Dad’s brand was Pall Malls, no filter), & probably drinking “shnops”. My cousins and I would spit the seeds out as far as we could into the yard; the juice running down our chins. It was so nice! No fireworks (maybe Jewish parents were afraid, god forbid, the kids might get hurt…who knows?). But we did have these little balls that you could thrown down hard on the cement and they would pop! Big whoop. (I didn’t remember them until I started writing this paragraph).

But the biggest excitement for me, and something I looked forward to every year, were the “SPARKLERS”! Remember those sticks, that when lit would fizzles, & shoot out mini shooting stars? Today, most kids would probably say “Is that it?”. But for me, their memory has stayed with me all these years. I tried to buy some once when I was an adult, but I don’t think they make them any more. What a shame.  Oh, and by the way, a week or so after the 4th, we’d see little watermelon plants start shooting up in the yard, but in the Texas heat, they didn’t survive too long. Plus, I doubt I’d ever have been patient enough to wait the time it would take for a full blown melon to actually mature!

Then in the 60’s, my parents joined a “country club”, mainly because it had a private golf course for my father (believe me, we weren’t the country club type). His usual community golf course had a huge waiting list for a t-off. My father, MHRIP, lived for his golf games. I think he even made a hole in one, once! So, on the 4th, the club would serve a sumptuous buffet. For my brothers and I it was an all you could eat dream. We ate it all….especially the desserts. Then with stomachs bulging, everyone would walk out onto the golf course and sit on provided folding chairs to await a fireworks display. All the kids just laid flat on the ground, looking up at the night sky. How magical each boom created a shinning, shimmering blast of colors in various directions. Some were even set up to have delayed extra spurts. Some fanned out into arcs, stars, and arrows; others had spinning orbs. The noise and colors, the full stomach, the cool grass, the oohs and ahs, created a perfect childhood memory.

I don’t remember later 4ths. Except, when I was dating a guy, who was a fellow University of Texas student & whom I would eventually marry, he brought over some fireworks one night, and lit them before throwing them into the sky. I was really apprehensive about the whole thing. The hissing noise and the explosion made me very uncomfortable. I thought, why did he enjoy doing this? But, of course, being the docile, nice Jewish girl that I was, I never said anything about it. Just stood there, seeming to admire his manliness & bravery. Hadn’t thought about that in years, either.

Then at least 15 years later, the man I was “dating” & his kids and mine went to a fireworks display night with a friend of his who had a pick up truck. I’d never known anyone who drove one of those. I really, really liked these “down to earth” kind of people. So we all climbed into the truck bed (it wasn’t against the law back then – just plain dangerous) & joyfully rode out to the grassy, out of the city area. We put out blankets. I felt so good, so relaxed, being with a guy who was nice to me and my kids; and who really seemed to enjoy being with us; he never got angry or upset. It was a peaceful, calm evening. And I missed doing “simple” things like this. I remember though, that for some reasons, pieces of the fireworks would rain down on the spectators below. That was not pleasant. And, being the concerned Jewish Mother that I was, and still am, I worried for my children. But we all survived.

Then many years later, in my second marriage, living in San Antonio once again, my second husband and I would drive out to a college parking lot, high on a hill, overlooking downtown San Antonio, and we’d watch the yearly display from there. Not as memorable, but nice.

Last year, here in Burbank, a group of “women friends” who live in my apartment building, get together, picked up Greek wraps, garlic sauce, bringing bottles of wine, and took it all to the Starlight Bowl, for an outdoor Sock Hop concert followed by fireworks. We at in the park first at typical picnic tables (starting the wine flowing) and continued into our reserved seats, with more wine. Since the music was from my generation & because I’m not a shy person, some of us would stand up and dance in the aisle. The fireworks were probably the best I’d ever seen. We’re going again this year (tomorrow), and I’m really looking forward to it.

So, that’s it for a walk down memory lane. I wish all of you a happy & SAFE 4th. Have a designated driver, if needed; & watch out for those other drunk drivers!

Ayn, The Baby Boomer Bubbie

BTW, if you ever have questions for me, please feel free to ask. I’d love to interact with you.

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Has Elvis really left the building?

5-1-2016 (I know it’s been a very long time since last I wrote. Just refer back to my blog entry on “procrastination”!)

About a year ago, I was perusing FACEBOOK, which I do now and then to catch up on the activities of my family & all my theatre friends I had left in San Antonio when I moved to Burbank.  They were rehearsing &/or appearing in plays, going to cast parties, etc. Oh how I missed them & who I was when I was with them. I was feeling very sorry for myself…sniff, sniff. If I still lived there, I bet they would have included me in their plans. I never usually make snap decisions about anything, but this time I jumped out of my rut! I emailed them and asked if I could join the adventure! Happily they said yes, & after lots of emails, checking flights, hotel costs, etc. I made the reservations! I never usually act on a whim; but it’s time I did that more often. I felt so adventurous….so proud of myself.

We met at the Las Vegas airport. My plane landed two hours before theirs, so I spent that extra time foolishly trying to win $$ at the slot machines. Ya, I’m a big gambler; I play the 25 cents machine that crisscrosses the screen, so it’s actually 75 cents a pop. The machine is a “Wheel-Of-Fortune” type with lots of bells & whistles. I set a limit though – losing, winning, up and back, but at least I stopp when I have reached my limit. After reaching that limit, & before I could justify spending just a little more, I got up and walked away from that “One Armed Bandit” (though nowadays the machines have been technically adjusted so one doesn’t have to pull down the lever; just tap the big button. Wonderful invention: takes the strain off your rotator cuff & helps you loose money even faster.)

To reward myself, I got a Frostie at Wendy’s……LOVE those. But I was quite proud of myself for refraining from purchasing the large size; a small one wouldn’t’ make me feel so guilty. Do you tend to eat a lot in airports? OMG – it’s junk food heaven. And, of course, they have the airport laid out so that all travelers have to walk past every artery clogging fast food trap.  I usually have quite a bit of will power when I’m flying TO a destination; but on the flight back, my attitude turns to “What the hell; I’ll start my diet when I get home”.

But that “food devil” on my shoulder wants me to walk up & down the paths to all the gates, & get stuff at Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Cinnabon, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, McDonalds, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Mediterranean Café, Maui Wowi, Johnny Rockets, KFC, Whopper Burger, Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Whataburger, Arbys, Baskin-Robbins, Ben & Jerry’s, Carl’s Junior, Chuck E. Cheese, Domino’s Pizza, StarBucks, Dunkin Donuts, Orange Julius, Panera Bread, Shipley Donuts, Taco Bell, Yogurtland, Las Vegas Chophouse & Brewery, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Pizza Hut Express, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Pretzelmaker,  Quiznos,  Sbarro Italian Eatery, Starbucks, Vienna Beef, Wolfgang Puck Express, Dairy Queens, Subways, yadayadayada! I could so easily become OBESE!

But then, at the appointed time (Southwest Airlines is usually very good at that) they arrived. What a joyous reunion. Lots of hugging, oohing, & laughing. To me, they all looked the same as 4 years ago when I left .

(About 8 years ago, Laurie, Magda, Susan and I had all appeared together in the play “The Women”. But I was stuck in a different dressing room and all three of them were in the other room. The director wouldn’t let me move. Every now and then, I’d sneak off to their club house to share theatre gossip, etc. Doing theatre with your friends is one of the most important reasons for doing theatre in the first place.

Their characters in the play were vivacious, wealthy, elegant ladies, wearing beautiful costumes. My character was quite manly looking (the word lesbian was never, never used, back then – god-forbid!). But my costume was a brown a-lined wool suit with a matching hat, which sat on top of a buster brown type wig, oh, with grandmotherly lace-up thick soled shoes. Just lovely. Maybe I was cast because of my deep voice? Who knows, but being on stage with all of them was something I’ll never forget.)

Back to Vegas: We had a grand time. I had brought a bottle of wine & we toasted to our Las Vegas adventure. We didn’t see Elvis (real, impersonator, nor ghost – guess he truly did leave the building), but we did go to a Cirque du soleil show that blew me away. I sat there like a little kid at her first circus. Once, way back in 1987, I went to Las Vegas with the man I was dating and would eventually marry. Didn’t tell my parents because they would have thought that “wasn’t right”. Forget that I’d already been married and had two kids. He had surprised me with tickets to go see Barry Manilow – swoon! I still love his songs. Anyway, the girls and I had a great time, eating (a lot), drinking, gambling, yakking, being together again. Ok, so I did get lost on the mono-rail, but that’s par for the course for me. The three day party ended too soon. Then it was time to go our separate ways. I told myself that I needed to do more things like this. Ya, right. Once home, I got right back into my rut.

Fast forward to May 2016, and I will soon be “celebrating” my 70th birthday. I was talking with my group of good friends where I live (I call us “the posse” because we enjoy doing things together). My “bestest” friend, Janet, had recently gone on a European tour with Sharon, another member of the group. They flew to Europe & then got on a cruise ship, where they stopped at lots of interesting ports! As I listened to them, I started thinking about how great it would be to do that, too. The only thing I’m leery about is being tempted by all the food that’s constantly served on the ship. Buffets are especially dangerous. “All you can eat” seems to mean “eat it all” to me. And I didn’t want to spend too much money. Janet told me about a cruise she had read about that was affordable. Also, it departed from Los Angeles! Then it travels up the coast stopping at San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, & Ensenada! Sounded great to me. YES! we made reservations, paid a deposit, and we’re set….but not going for a few months because of our schedule conflicts. I even splurged and agreed to getting a room with a balcony!! The trip is my birthday gift to me! It’s so nice having something so great to look forward to!




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If I’m in such good health, why do I have a long list of medications??

My Mother (may she rest in peace) lived to be 100! All her life, she never took any medications (except I think I remember her taking valium when my brothers and I were preteens!  Don’t blame her for that medicinal crutch to make it through that well-known hellish period). In her latter years, when she was living with me & I would take her to the doctor, they couldn’t believe it she wasn’t on any prescriptions. Maybe her having been born in 1912, the medical profession didn’t overly dispense medications like they do now. Plus, I had to almost drag her to a Doctor. I think that attitude was a result of her upbringing. Who saw a doctor back then? Home remedies were the norm (my Bubbie had a cure for sties – of which I was damned to endure in my childhood. She’d take her gold wedding ring & rub it on the sty just as it was starting to erupt on my eye lid. Shazam, no sty the next day! I used that method well into my teens, & for some reason, it worked!

Women were expected to give birth at home (with the husband pacing outside the door – cringing at the “birth sounds emanating from the Mother)  It also was portrayed that  a “mid-wife” would be rushed in to help (don’t know what qualified them to assist) Remember in the old movies, someone always said “boil some water”. I don’t’ think anyone knew to sterilize things back then, plus did they have instruments to help? Don’t think so; so what the hell was that H2O for? As to the pain,  they’d tell the woman to hold on to the headboard (which had dowels like a jail cell) and pull on them till the contraction stopped. Or better yet (I’m sure a man thought of this one), they would put a stick of wood in her moth on which she could bite down to endure the pain — with my luck, I’d break a tooth!

If the Mom-to-be was lucky enough to give birth in a hospital, there wasn’t an epidural nor opium, maybe just a whiff  of chloroform, to take the edge off. (remember those rubber masks they put over your nose?)

When the elderly got  ill and were dying. They stayed in their bed with a loved one by their side to talk to them, and perhaps dab some water on their parched lips. No diagnosis of why they died; unless it was obvious – like a bullet shot or a bear attack! No one knew about cancer nor heart disease. No such things as autopsies to find the cause of death. If you were old, you were expected to die. Plus, antibiotics nor life-saving surgeries were unheard of.

A “go-to” solution was a vile, slimy liquid called Castor Oil. It was thought to be a cure-all for everything. Don’t think it worked, but it tasted so horrible that I think people just stopped complaining in order not to take it. I remember once, 35+ years ago (decades ago), I had to have a lower intestine exam for something or other, & I was told to drink the content of this little bottle of seemingly innocent stuff, the day before. It was supposed to “clean me out”. Turns out it was castor oil; being the obedient patient I was back then, I did it. Should have held my nose so I wouldn’t have tasted it as it went down. Gagging reflex couldn’t be controlled, but I did the deed. Sure enough, I didn’t come get off the toilet for the rest of the day. So, I guess the doctor was right, but I swore I’d never undergo that again. I didn’t care of my bowels got clogged and exploded! Be warned if it’s ever prescribed for you! I kept thinking, if they could send a man to the moon, why couldn’t they invent a pill to replace this vile tonic. it tasted so horrible that I think people just stopped complaining in order not to take it. I remember once, 35+ years ago, I had to have a lower intestine exam for something or other, & I was told to drink this little bottle of something the day before. It was supposed to “clean me out”. Turns out it was castor oil; being the obedient patient as I was back then, I did it. Should have held my nose so I wouldn’t have tasted it as it went down. Gagging reflex controlled, I did the deed. Sure enough, I didn’t come get off the toilet for the rest of the day. So, I guess the doctor was right, but I swore I’d never undergo that again. I didn’t care of my bowels got clogged and exploded! Be warned if it’s ever prescribed for you! I kept thinking, if they could send a man to the moon, why couldn’t they invent a pill to replace this vile tonic. no such thing as epidurals.

Antibiotics were unheard of; nor were there any vaccinations. Thousands of children died from polio. My cousin, the son of my uncle & aunt didn’t feel well in the morning, but went to school. Later that afternoon, he felt so badly, they sent him home. He died that evening from polio. Another cousin also contracted the disease. She was hospitalized & put into an “iron lung”, which was a large cylinder shaped machine that breathed for the child. I don’t know how long she had to endure that, but when she came out, her legs lost their muscle system for her to walk. That was a common result of polio. But my aunt refused to allow that to happen to her daughter, so she began weeks long massage & leg exercises. It worked; my cousin recuperated being able to walk & lead a normal life.

When we got a cut, there was only iodine to disinfect it. I was or age & inflicted such pain. My Mother had to hold me & my brothers down in order to apply it. Then someone invented mercurochrome which was painless!

Whew! That’s it for now. Maybe next time I’ll relate my other memories of medical remedies from my childhood. We, our children, & grandchildren are fortunate to be living in this age of medical miracles.

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Junk Food Now & Then

I  love junk food; all kinds. The best are those with high sugar, low protein, high fat, low vitamins, yadayadayada. If I had to choose my top favorites, they would be: Pizza (deep dish with extra cheese, black olives, artichoke hearts, & mushrooms), frozen yogurt (peanut butter and pistachio are my favorite flavors), chocolate candy (all kinds – especially with nuts – love turtles & white chocolate “bark”), cinnabuns, apple fritters, malted milk shakes, éclairs, beer batter onion rings with LOTS of Ketchup, chili fries with lots of cheese & bacon bits, pecan pie (with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream – being from Texas, BLUE BELL beats all other brands ), Boston cream pie, yadayadayada — I think you get the idea. But, since I’m always wishing my butt weren’t so, well, getting to be Kardashian-esque (I just made up that word), I try to resist the temptations.
But when I was a kid (back in the 1950’s), I don’t know if the term “junk food” had even been invented. But I knew that if my parents didn’t want me to eat it, then it must be “junk food”. When I would be walking home from elementary school (yes, kids then actually used their feet to move with the addition of skateboards or hovering machines) I often stopped in at the little “corner store” (a wood shack that sold things like you find in a 7-11 today – but on a much smaller scale ) & ate of the forbidden fruit. If you’re my age, you may remember the wax paper sheets of “dots” – little daps of different colored sugar that popped off – & strips of taffy – different flavors swirly stripes with white vanilla swirls. Also ice cream bars on sticks – my favorite was the chocolate coated one: the original version of a Dove Bar. I never told my Mother about those stops, & since I ate my dinner anyway, she never thought to question why I didn’t have enough lunch money.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I  look at pictures of myself back then, and I see this little girl with match stick arms and legs. Guess I stayed thin because of all the walking, biking, and roller skating, & plain old running at recess. This body type continued until Middle School, when I guess puberty hit & revved up my hormones. One of the popular clothes styles was shirt-waste dresses, which I was too embarrassed to wear because I was so high wasted, it was hard to find my thick waste. Others wore shirts & skirts, but I never tucked my shirt in. (Actually, I still don’t to this day; just feel more comfortable with it not drawing attention to my midriff, plus it helped cover my butt.) There weren’t any Weight Watchers back then (just Jack Lalaine’s exercise t.v. show), so I would do the obvious teenage thing: stop eating. Once I went without food for so many days, that when I did eat something, I got nauseous, which worried me, so I would heal this malady by gorging myself. Ah, how the teenage brain worked in those days!)  Also, I remember making a concoction of a huge mound of shredded carrots topped with French dressing. It filled me up. And I would ride my bike more.                                                                                                                                        TIME OUT! I just realized that today is Valentines Day! So, I wish all of you a very happy one. Since I don’t have a “significant other” who, I’m sure, would have lavished me with flowers, heart-shaped boxes of bonbons, & a romantic dinner with candle light & violins, I think I’ll just buy myself one beautiful red rose. Not at all feeling sorry for myself. As a single woman, I’ve learned to do nice things for myself, rather than waiting for someone else to take care of me. As Shakespeare so aptly wrote:  “A rose is still a rose by any other giver!”

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New Year Resolutions!

Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve written this blog. I guess one of my major resolutions for the new year is not to procrastinate about writing.
Come to think of it, there are a lot of things I procrastinate about (very poor English structure, I know).
1) washing the dishes I leave in the sink at night. Even though I know when I see them there the next morning, I swear I won’t do that again.
2) Learning how to use items that I’ve recently bought. Wanted to be able to roast vegetables without having to use my oven (which, by the way is filled with pans I don’t have any other place to store); and it heats up the whole kitchen/apartment. So, using that wonderful 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond Coupon, I purchased the same counter Cuisinart oven that my son has.
It bakes, broils, toasts, roasts, reheats …. yadayadayada. It took me two days, (as the boxed oven sat on my kitchen floor), to even take it out of the box & clear space on my counter. Then it sat on the counter for a full week, while I read the instruction manual. I was intimidated, cause a while back I broke a toaster oven I had when I turned a knob the wrong way. What a blow to my confidence.
But finally, I challenged myself & did it. Now I use it a lot. BUT, I always re-read the directions before I use it cause I don’t want to take a chance I’d break it too. So far; so good.
Oh, and then there’s this neat-o Wet Jet Swiffer floor mop thingie I bought two months ago, after seeing the commercial on t.v. After 1 month of it laying on my couch still in its box, I actually read the manual & put it together. But it’s still in the box, as my “fake wood” floors gather dust & dirt. Maybe I’ll actually use it this afternoon. This would be a good day to be productive cause I put off doing my daily morning exercises & feel badly about that.
3) cleaning out the hall utility/ever thing storage closet. It’s so full (a rod with seasonal clothes, the vacuum cleaner, the rolling carts I use to shlep groceries from my car, or shlep things down to my car, a broom, rolls of wrapping paper I never use. Love those gift bags. So much easier.
The ironing board that I hang from a contraption I bought that goes over the door & from which the board can be hung along with the iron.
All of that (& more) takes up so much space. It makes it impossible to close the double doors & then they bulge open.
(which reminds me, I also procrastinate about (4) actually using the ironing board to iron my clothes! (this is after I’ve (5) procrastinated actually washing the huge pile of dirty clothes that accumulate in this ginormous laundry mesh bag I squish between my bed and the wall next to the bed.)
When I finally do the washing (I need some clean underwear & towels) I have to shlep it all & the soap, softener, those smellum little sheets to be thrown into the dryer, to one of the 4 laundry rooms in my apartment building. Oh, & I now have to sit in the damn room reading cause if I leave my stuff unattended, some one always comes in & steals items! Can you believe it? Ya, I’ve got some real classy people living around me)
So, when it’s all done, I shlep it all back to my apartment, & sort out the things that need to be just folded from the stuff that needs to be ironed. I do fold & put away towels, t-shirts, kitchen drying towels, socks, etc. But the stuff that needs to be ironed, I throw into a pile on my couch which makes them even more wrinkled, cause I’ll iron them later.
Then I’ll open the ironing board, thinking it’ll be a visual reminder of what I need to do. It’ll sit there for days before I can’t stand looking at it any more! (my living room is so small, I have to maneuver around it) I just push the need-to-be-ironed clothes over when I want to sit on the couch.
And then, even when I finally do iron clothes. They never look ironed afterwards. Why is that???
Getting back to my bulging utility closet, I finally “MacGyver”ed a way to keep it closed, using a bungee cord wrapped abound each doors handle. It does stretch out, but it keeps the junk in & the door closed.
Needless to say, when I unhook the cord, lots of things fling out!
Obviously, I also procrastinate about cleaning out that damn closet. Another thing I “put off” is dusting my furniture which always looks like there was a snow store of dust which blew into my apartment. Even when I DO dust, it comes back any way…so…
I should finish this blog entry, but maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

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In Praise of my Son & Daughter


When I was pregnant way back in 1973 & 1976, I hoped each child would be born healthy. I never worried about it though; I just knew all would be well. I conceived my son on the first “try”. My husband, at the time, thought he was such a stud. But when I wanted a second child, months passed with nothing. My gynecologist gave me one of those ovulation CHARTS (remember, this was 39 years ago) and each morning the moment I woke up, I had to take my temperature with this special thermometer and then record it on the chart. Doctor sadly told me I wasn’t pregnant for over 6 months! Finally, he wrote a prescription for those pills that would help me to produce more eggs, but then there was a chance of twins or more. Fine with me; I deeply wanted another child! But before I could even get the prescription filled, turned out, I WAS pregnant! So, I call her my miracle child!

As my son & daughter (4 years apart) grew older, I hoped they would remain healthy, & follow the “standard stages” of growth. I hoped that they would meet the same mile stones as all my friends children did. There was this one woman who kept asking me if my son was talking yet. You see, her son already had a large vocabulary (a little bragging I thought). Yes, that made me a little anxious. But soon after, he did start saying words… IN FULL SENTENCES! Ha! Take that my pseudo friend.

As they became adults, many of my hopes for them remained the same: good health, wise choices, making friends, making good grades, not getting into drugs nor choosing people you wouldn’t want for them to associate with (but, by then, I have no say in that & I shouldn’t–it’s their lives). I did not try to make them into a “mini me”; I encouraged them to take risks, but to know that, as always, they must be aware of & able to accept the consequences – good or bad. Choosing a career that makes them feel useful and accomplished (& earn enough to support themselves!) I hopes they would have the inner strength to carry themselves through the bad time which are sure to come.

As to the possibility of marriage: No butting in nor judgment. I didn’t expect them to marry – if they chose to remain single, fine with  me. I did not lecture them on whom they “should” marry. But mainly, that marriage is not always easy, nor always loving, nor without disagreements, & it comes with doubts about the choices they make. I accepted the possibility that they may not to want to get married. I also know I would accept & support them if they were gay.

If and when they have children (my son has two), I hope they will view their children as “people” – not just kids; to live as an example of what they hope they will become.To realize that divorce isn’t the end of the world, if things can’t work out after a lot of trying! And most importantly, if their marriages produced children, they must vow to “love their children more than they hate their Ex.” To help them realize that doing so, will be one of the most important gifts they can give their children. When I divorced their father, following my own advice was probably the hardest thing I ever did. I’m not being a martyr; it’s just the truth. But I did it for them!

As I get older, I look at my adult son & daughter with such love, pride, & amazement.  They are my legacy that I’m leaving to this world. One day, I was talking with my Mom when she still lived with me (she was about 98). I told her that I wanted her to know, that because of how she chose to raise her children (my 2 brothers & me), she gave me the greatest gift. And that because of her, I wanted to have children to whom I could pass on her amazing Mothering talents. I told her that I felt I had succeeded! How thankful I was for all that she gave me. And that she should know that my son is passing on her legacy to his son & daughter since they were born; If & when my daughter has children, I have no doubt she will be that same kind of Mother. I love my children more than anything else in this life. I hope that when I’m gone, they will carry me in their hearts as they live their lives.

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Ever played “what’s your choice?”

To play this game, you don’t need a game board, nor cards, nor little figures of a dog, boat, house, etc . All you need is the mental ability to fully answer these questions. Make your choice and explain why, OK? Ready? Here we go!

1)  If you had to pick one of your five senses to lose, which would it be & why ? (BTW: Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) is credited with the traditional classification of the five sense organs: SIGHT, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH, & HEARING.)

Such a hard decision, right? & one I hope I never have to make. But after careful thinking, I would choose the loss of TASTE. That way maybe I would’t even want to put the following into my mouth: PIZZA, CHOCOLATE (anything), Mexican Food, Chinese Food, Italian food, all BAKERY items (especially fritter donuts, Napoleons, fudge, cookies), & ice cream (most flavors, but especially chocolate, pistachio, peanut butter, German Chocolate Cake ice cream; cakes (especially “death by chocolate” = had that at my 2nd wedding!), Boston Cream pie, pecan pie,  (& each one with a big scoop or two of Blue Bell Vanilla & chocolate ice cream), & yadayadayada. Slurp: my mouth is dribbling saliva as I write. And here I am on Weight Watchers for the past three weeks (lost 5 pounds so far); hoping to drop 10 in all. Wish me well. I may have to grow older, but I don’t have to be old AND fat! Why am I always trying to lose those same pounds & why do they always end up (unintended pun) finding me again ?

2)  If you had to choose one sense which you could never live without, which one would it be? Easy choice for me: my SIGHT!  I’m such a visual person: I get great pleasure in just looking at things. Always been that way. Like right now, I’m looking out my bedroom window as I type. There are potted plants, “in ground” plants, some climbing geraniums growing up some wires I’ve wrapped around a palm tree. Those  trees are cool looking at the leafy top, but the trunk is blah!

I’ve got hanging baskets with “air plane plants” growing. They are so fragile and artistic looking because of how they regenerate them selvws.  White, thin, long stems emerge from the center of a healthy, well-established plant. Each grows to about 15 inches long & at the very end of each stem grows a whole new plant.  When the airplane plant is grown in a garden, these new plants root themselves into the ground,&  tada… it  becomes a whole new plant. This process will repeat and repeat until it fills up what ever space is around it. So, its an eye catching green and white ground cover. Plus, you can propagate this plant, by snipping off the plant at the end of stem, pot it separately, & replant it in another area of your garden! I have a patch like that. But, my favorite way to grown these plants, is to initially plant some in a hanging basket, where those long stems will be weighed down by the weight of the new plant, so it ends up looking like a living, lush water fall!!  One of my hanging baskets has 15 of these hanging wanna-be plants hanging down. They dance in the wind.

Oh, and then I have several of those Christmas decoration Styrofoam balls covered with little squares of mirror, hanging from the branches of nearby trees & bushes. I make sure they get plenty of light, because then they reflect the sun, creating dancing flashes of light all around the garden … like a disco ball. I can look at that mobile art for minutes on end! (Ok, I’m a little weird that way! but, I like myself!)

3) If you were going on trip to Italy, who would you choose to take with you? Hmmmmm? Good question. I went there many years back, when I was 20 years old, with a youth group of students from the New York yeshiva schools. They are Jewish orthodox kids. No Fonzies in those schools! My Mother arranged the summer trip to Italy & Israel for me because I was depressed over a break-up with along time boyfriend. It wasn’t until a few years later, that I realized she chose that group because, I guess she thought the boys would be “nice, Jewish guys” who wouldn’t hit on her conservatively raised, over protected, virginal daughter ! She was right, but she couldn’t foretell how I would dreamily lust after the swarthy Italians & Israelis hunks (especially the tour bus drivers).  But I just looked; never touched.  Truly, would I lie???

I couldn’t help but think how much better my trip would have been if I had had a “love interest” with me… floating in one of those romantic Venice gondolas, or holding hands as we walked through the breath taking museums &/or Roman ruins. Now that I’m twice divorced, I actually prefer to travel on my own (anywhere). Although, if I could create my dream man to accompany me, he’d have to be my age or younger, in good physical & mental health, disease free, witty, good conversationalist, financially independent ( I wouldn’t say no if he wanted to pay for me! – I know, I know – how can I, and independent woman, say that??? Because this woman has no stacks of disposable money laying around.) So, yes, I would allow myself to be pampered, but that doesn’t mean I’d allow myself to be “owned”. My choice, right?

Oops, as usual I’ve just been typing away, not realizing the length of this episode for my blog. So, adieux my friends (ah, my 8th grade French teacher -the bitch- would be so proud of me!). Until I enthrall you next time with more Baby Boomer Bubbie insights & experiences!




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How many of these 1950’s “fads” do you remember?

Can you picture who you were & what you were doing way back in the 1950’s????

While the 50’s was a decade of many serious changes, there were many pop culture fads that defined the times. (a fad was “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a “craze”).

So many different things define the 1950’s include music, politics, television, food, fashion, and more.  But there were also a number of fun 1950’s fads that made the decade so unique.

One of the biggest 1950’s fads was the hula hoop.  While the practice of using a hoop for fun and exercise has been around for a long time, the modern hula hoop was invented by Arthur K. Melin and Richard Knerr, who marketed the product under their company Wham-O in 1958.  The hoop gained instant popularity and during the height of the fad 50,000 hoops a day were being manufactured. MEMORY: I had one and got to be really good at twirling it around and around my waist, like a gyroscope? it. Guess all the muscles in my waste were more flexible then, cause the last time I tried to show my grandchildren how well their Bubbie could use it. Ha! One twirl around my waste and the damn thing would fall to my ankles. THEY would double over laughing! Then I would tell them “It’s not polite to laugh at your elders!” Then they’d laugh even more!

Another 1950’s fad was a 3-D movie.  With the rapid rise of television, the movies were starting to lose their audience.  3-D movies were a way to get people away from their television sets and back into movie theater seats.  The 1952 movie “Bwana Devil” was the first major box office success to utilize the technology and kicked off what is generally known as the golden era of 3-D.  Other popular 3-D (three-dimensional) movies during the decade included Vincent Price’s horror classic House of Wax in 1953, It Came From Outer Space in 1953, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954.  (I’m really dating my self, but I remember sitting in my neighborhood Woodlawn Theatre wearing those cardboard glasses with the “Plastic Lenses” & being so scared of the way those larger-than-life images popped out at us! Sometimes, during the movie, I’d remove the glasses and wondered where those giant images went!)

In 1953 there were over 5,000 theaters using the 3-D equipment.  Star Vincent Price, who later emerged as a horror icon, became known as “King of 3-D” because of his starring roles in several 3-D movies during the decade, but later the fad lost steam due to customers complaining of eye strain. (I never knew that! I bet it was just those “old folks” complaining! Just like they did about Elvis Presley’s suggestive hip movements!)

Poodle skirts were a major fashion fad of the 1950’s and to this day probably the look that is most associated with the decade.  The skirts featured not just poodles, but also popular images of the time including dice, records, and cars. MEMORY:  mine was made of turquoise felt with a big pink poodle with a rhinestone collar, on the front side. I wore it with lots of starched multi-colored petticoats that would make it balloon out.

Also wore Bobby Socks which were tube socks that were designed to be folded & refolded down until we looked like we had poodle “pom-pom ankles”. I think the shoes were those two toned Black & White “Saddle shoes” that laced up!  I was always scuffing mine! But at least I had a pair!

The Davey Crockett style coonskin cap was another 1950’s fad.  The media and television had a great impact on the culture of the time and the coonskin cap was one example.  The cap was made popular by actor Fess Parker who wore one in his role as Davey Crockett in Disney’s 1954 miniseries.  An estimated $100 million in sales of the cap were spurred by the Disney show. Ya know, I remember boys my age wearing them, but NEVER a girl. Hmmmmm – sexism even back then!

One of the all-time great fads, was “Phone booth stuffing”! Remember those tall wooden boxes with a glass paneled hinged door you could close for privacy while talking on the phone attached to the inside wall? The goal was to see how many kids could stuff themselves in there at one time …. I felt sorry for those on the bottom!

That reminds me of the “Pay Telephones” that were usually found on the walls just outside gas stations, 7/11 ‘s,  or Rexall Pharmacies. Cost a nickel at first to plunk into the “nickel slot” (there were slots for 10 cents coin & even a 25 cent coin – if you were going to make a long-distance call).  Once the coin hit the bottom (remember that sound? … clunk!), you’d hear the dial tone, & could then use the “rotary dial” to dial your number. I remember my Mom giving me a nickel or two to keep in my purse when I’d go out to use just in emergencies if  I were running late getting home from a date.

Now that then reminds me of “curfews”: a specific time determined by your parents, at which time you HAD to be back in the house….or else!! So many of my girlfriends were terrified of what might happen if they didn’t “make it” in time!  I was one of the lucky girls: I wasn’t given a real curfew time, but I knew to always call my Mom if we were running a little later than usual. I always appreciated that!

If you need a laugh today, read these to your children & or grandchildren to see their reactions!

Stay healthy!

Ayn, BBB





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Have you ever been on stage?

My family members were all very outgoing and gregarious. My Mother, not so much, but she was a good “audience” for the rest of us hams. So, being in front of people never scared me – just the opposite, I welcomed it! Must admit, I still do, although I don’t get cast in any plays out here in LA. Actually, I don’t even audition for any theatre because I don’t want to drive 25-45 miles each way to go to nightly rehearsals. Especially now that gas is nearing the $5.00 per gallon gouge level!!

(Off subject like usual: do you remember when gas was like 15 or 20 cents a gallon; the “man” came out and pumped the gas into your tank, AND wiped your windows (front & back) AND checked your tires for the correct inflation. Also, do you remember when “white walled” tires came out….those were so classy! Or when cars were produced in a color other than black, or even better, they could be “two-toned”…like the 1950’s Chevy’s  memorialized in that old song “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie. “Drove my Chevy to the Levee (I always thought they were singing Levy), but the Levee was dry.” Did some research: the  primary key to understanding the song American Pie can be found in the chorus, as the theme of America’s lost innocence is most clearly stated.

“Drove my Chevy to the levee” alludes to a drive “along a levee” mentioned in a series of popular 1950s Chevrolet television
commercials sung by Dinah Shore but the levee was drive.”; I don’t remember the levee part, but I do remember her singing “Drive the USA, in your Chevrolet; America’s the greatest land of all”.
Now getting back on topic:

When we were little kids, my brothers and I would partake in the Cousins’ Talent Show” ( which happened to be the area of our “front room” that led into the hallway to the bedrooms.) I think I’ve written about that before, but you’ll have to excuse this cluttered brain of mine.

BTW, I grew up thinking that what we called our living room (front room) was pronounced “FRUNCHROOM” because everyone ran the two words together. We never called it a “living room” because when my parents were growing up in Chicago, the flat apartments there had a “front room” (same in New York), followed by a dining area, followed by the kitchen. The bedrooms were located on the right of those rooms. Honestly, I don’t know if there was an indoor restroom or if they had an outhouse. Wish I could ask them now. Anyhow, I think that off the kitchen was a screened in porch, that had a wooden stair case going down to the back area (not “yard” – a tree might grow in Brooklyn, but grass didn’t grow where my folks grew up!) The women would hang the laundry out there to dry. You’ve probably seen pictures of that in books with historical pictures of the “old days”.

I remember as a child, we had the luxury of having a washing machine, but not a drying. In the heat of Texas, we’d hang our sheets and towels outside from a clothesline that was attached by a hook from our house to a tree in the back part of our yard. When they dried, the fresh scent was wonderful. No one even thought of using something to add fake freshness, like todays violet dryer sheets. But being the only girl, I often was given the job of hanging and then bringing it all in. Of course I bitched…..to my Mom; never to my Father.

Sometimes when I’m with my children/grand children, I feel like I’m on stage portraying the aging generation. Instinctively, I want to tell them about all my new &/or worsening health issues, but I resist that urge (most of the time), because I know they don’t want to hear it. And I don’t want them to think of me as someone who always complains. I try to keep in mind that no one wants to be around people like that….neither do I!

Many of my friends tell me I shouldn’t dwell on those issues; that I should think positively about all the things I still can do. But, it’s hard to keep that positive attitude when so many of the things I used to do now cause me pain, in some form or another. Yikes, does that mean in the next 5 or 10 years there’ll be even more “ouches”? That I’ll look back on these days and think “I had it so easy”.

If my children are reading this, I know it disturbs you to hear these things.  So, just try to understand that “bitching on my blog” to other Baby Boomers who are probably going through the same shit as I am, is better than bitching to you!

My parting words come from Shakespeare: “All the word’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts. (to read complete thought: it’s Act II, Scene VII). So for 100’s of  years, we’ve all had these same thoughts~




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Are you now living in an apartment complex rather than in your former single family house?

Four years ago, I sold my large home in San Antonio, & moved into a 600 sq ft, 55+ apartment complex that I had found & researched on line, & had even toured twice when I’d come out to LA to visit my son & his family. It was called an “Artists Colony” which really excited me. I imagined I’d be surrounded by like-minded people, who were creative, open to & yearning for a new way of life; plus being a little weird, like me …. NOT!

Maybe my expectations were somewhat naïve. I hadn’t lived in an apartment complex since I was in college. I had forgotten what it was like to live with over 150 people, many of whom were loud, inconsiderate neighbors. But at least, I assured myself, this was an ADULT complex, so there wouldn’t be little ones running around. WRONG. I forgot that it was legal for residents to have their grandchildren visit whenever. Since my apartment is next to the pool, it sounds like a day-camp at times. My grands visit me, too, but I don’t let them run around crazy, ya know?

A major selling point for this place was that a whole bunch of activities were offered for “free” (which in actuality are covered by the ginormous rents) .

1) a heated (at least they claim it’s heated BRRRRR) pool (which actually is the size of a rectangular bathtub on steroids.) It looks very pretty, but is only 4 feet deep from end to end. Maybe the management chose to make it that depth because they believed, that then, there won’t be any drowning’s! You see, most of our residents are near to 4 feet tall (some have to stand on their tippy tip toes) Maybe I should invent & market “Adult Floaties” for those of us who are “shrinking”. You are aware that Baby Boomers do begin to shrink as they age. I was 5’5″ all my adult life; I’ve now lost 2 inches! If only my butt, & flabby arms would also automatically shrink!

The other gross situation is that I’ve seen many residents wearing depends under their bathing suits! There’s one women who comes into the pool every morning, and just walks up and back for 5 minutes, & then gets out. There’s no way she’s exercising. I bet she’s “rinsing off”. Luckily, they have a pool cleaning company that comes every 2 or 3 days to clean & disinfect the water! Still, gross!

2) a mini-gym which has 2 tread mills, 3 recumbent exercise bikes, and one of those multi-functional weight lifting and stretching contraptions. I like using the bike because it helps build up my leg muscles which have also shrunk! Plus doing it fast enough gets my old heart pumping. Of course I procrastinate as long as I can because, for one reason, it gets so hot in there. Yes, it’s air conditioned, but the management has installed a lock box over the controls because too many people kept re-adjusting the thermostat to fit their body’s thermostat! Thus, it broke. Now we all have to suffer.

3) a billiards room, which is hardly ever used, but it looks great when the management is showing the complex to prospective renters. A sauna would have been better!

4) a “theatre” which is given that title only because there’s a small raised platform at one end of a very large room. To make the room more dysfunctional, there aren’t any built in seats for the audience. We have stacks of metal chairs that need to be set up and taken down for each performance.

Plus the “stage lighting” consists of several flood lights hung from hooks on the ceiling, with their electrical cords coiling down to the floor. Each has to be plugged in when needed, thus the illumination quality can’t really be controlled.

The main problem is that there isn’t any audio equipment installed, like at real theatres. What were they thinking? Do you know how many baby boomers have hearing problems? At every production, one can hear audience members loudly saying “What did he/she just say? I can’t hear anything! The performers need to speak up!”

5) Downstairs, there’s an arts & crafts room with another room next to it which is mainly used for those who paint with water colors or oils. One lovely gentleman, Walter, is prolific at the amount of work he produces; and it’s really good. He’s quite talented and spends many peaceful hours doing his thing.

6) A large “club room” with small tables and chairs & a full kitchen. It’s mainly used for our “Happy Hour” at 3:30 every Wednesday. The management puts out a nice little spread, including wine & juice. Although they limit the wine to one large bottle each of white & red wines, which are usually drained within the first 45 minutes. I used to attend, but then I slowly realized it was actually the opposite of a “Happy Hour”; some started called it the “Depressing Hour”: no laughter nor fun. Many of the 70+ women would loudly comment on the amount of food taken by some people. Or they would save seats for their buddies, making other people feel totally unwelcomed!

So I proposed to some of my friends that we create our own truly Happy Hour! Usually it’s 5 of us who walk the few blocks to Don Cucos, where they offer a Happy Hour from 4-7 every day. It consists of a free buffet of various & yummy Mexican food dishes, plus discount prices on Margaritas (my drink of choice) & wines. We sit at a big booth & have such a good, good time! We are truly happy (& quite tipsy!)

7) There’s also a computer room with three old pc’s and one printer, for which you have to furnish your own paper! There are a few “entitled” people who actually commandeer the computer monitors to watch their TV shows!  Since we don’t speak the same  language, it’s impossible to tell them that these are for computer users & to please watch TV elsewhere. Again, this room is a great “selling point” to prospective renters, who if they move in, will likely realize that they better get their own PC.

8) There’s a big built-in BBQ on one of the patio areas that is a potential bomb threat. The last time I tried to use it was so a group of us could have a “weenie roast” to celebrate Memorial DAY. I turned on the knobs & nothing happened, except I could smell a lot of gas fumes. I turned them off & tried again – no fire, just gas. Ten people were attending, bringing stuff to grill. I know it was totally dangerous, but I lit a match, stood way back, & threw it into the grill : poof! No explosion; just large flames reaching up & dancing all around. But at least we had fire!

We put our stuff on the grills, & since the “controls” don’t really work, our choices were semi-raw or charred! I informed management of this potential disaster, & they actually told me that they would be replacing it! Yeah! But when?

Over-riding all these negatives, is the new personal life that I have found here. My most favorite thing about living here is that I have made a group of wonderful friends. I really like them, enjoy being with them, know I can count on them & they can count on me.  Many times it’s like living in a dorm. We’re all in the same building; it’s easy to pop over to each other’s apartments. We can talk about all kinds of things; ask for advice; share problems & concerns. We accept that each has the right to believe the way we do, but cannot judge the way any other of us feel. We can disagree, & it ends there; no arguing. We help each other whenever there’s a need. We do favors for each other without expecting anything in return.

You know what’s funny, rereading the above paragraph, I’m realizing that I had needed, but never received these same qualities in the relationships with both husband #1 & husband #2. So girlfriends are now my support group. They make my life here so enjoyable. I have my own space and can do whatever I want. I don’t have to ask permission. My life is totally my own & I really like that. Don’t have to adjust my scheduled to fit someone else’s

The only down side is that I must admit that when I see “couples”, there’s a part of me that wishes I could have that. But not “the kind of that” that I had before.  So I wonder if “coupledom” is even possible, do I truly want & need it?  The answer is a resounding no. Remember that 1971 song by Helen Reddy, “I AM WOMAN”? So here it is 44 years later, & I still can relate to it!






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Part II: Does Music Act As A Time Machine ??


Last week I titled my post with the same title as today’s: “Does Music Act As A Time Machine?” But as I’m typing along, I got off topic  as I often do, but discovered I  had alot to share about those “off topic” topics too.  (Remember, I told you, my middle name is “verbose”. Anyhow, Today, after a full week of really thinking about my musical journey from a toddler to this Baby Boomer of 69, I realized just how much music has left an impression on my life.

Let’s play a game. With every song I mention & my memories attached to it, I’d like you to see if you, too, have an internal time machine & do these songs act as keys to it’s ignition.

1947: “Manana (tomorrow) Is Good Enough For Me” sung by Peggy Lee.  Since I was barely 2, I couldn’t really talk, but I’d hear it on the radio, & walk around singing something that sounded like “Manyana”. Guess it was popular in San Antonio, Texas where I was born & raised.

1950-1959:  “Your Hit Parade” was one of the most popular shows on t.v. (I was about 4-6 years old.) The show was sponsored by American Tobacco’s Lucky Strike cigarettes. The seven top rated popular songs for the week were sung by the regular cast of vocalists, including Giselle MacKensie, Dorothy Collins, & Snooky Lanson.

I remember sitting with my two brothers right up close in front of our living room black & white TV (the only TV in our house, just like in most houses in America) On the front the TV cabinet, there was a rotating knob that you had to manually turn in order to switch channels. Never imagined that in the future, someone would invent the “remote control”.

Did your parents also warn you to not sit so close to the screen because that could “ruin” your eyes. Ya, that was right up there with the toothy fairy.

At the beginning of the program, they would announce which songs would be sung that week. The three of us would shout out which songs we had “dubs” on, and that person was the only one who could sing along.

But getting back to my time machine songs:

1950’s: Do you remember way back in the 50’s, when we bought those 7 inch round vinyl-plastic, 45 rpm “records, they had a big hole in the middle? While 78’s and the newfangled 33 1/3 RPM long-playing albums maintained their smaller spindle holes, 45’s required a large spindle hole – 1½” in diameter – so that the interior mechanism in the RCA phonographs could drop the records in succession.
Thus began the life of single-use 45 adapters, pieces of metal or plastic that were manually inserted into each individual record’s hole. These geometric marvels were wedged into billions of 45’s.

My family couldn’t afford a fancy/shmancy record player  which automatically dropped each record down & then made the metal lever (with a playing needle inserted on the end) move to the outer edge of the record & lower itself onto the first groove.  On ours, you had to  manually lay the 45 on the revolving plate, & then CAREFULLY lift the needle arm & place it on the record. If you accidentally hit the arm once it was on the record, it would slide across the record leaving a long scratch. Then, if you tried to play it again, the needle would “skip”.

In those days, a song was recorded on one side of the “45” & another song on “the flip side”. Each record was sold in either paper or card covers, generally with a circular cutout allowing the record label to be seen. My “Love Me Tender” 45, had a color picture of Elvis taken when he was on the movie set.

Did your hometown have a music store like mine which had a small soundproof room in it, so you & your friends could take some “45’s” in there to listen to them before buying?

FAST FORWARD about 10 years:

1956: “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog” & “Love Me Tender” & “Heart Break Hotel”: Elvis Presley sang all three songs (hips “gyrating”, girls in the audience screaming) on the Milton Berle show. It was Elvis’s 1st National TV Appearance – Nope, it wasn’t Ed Sullivan (Google it). But when he did appear on the Sullivan show several months later, the camera only shot him from the waist up! Adults felt his moves were lewd & corrupting the youth! kinda like today’s Miley Cyrus!

1957: “Chances Are” sung by the “make-out” idol Johnny Mathis. On the flip side was “The Twelfth Of Never”. What a wonderful, smooth voice he had. He’s still alive & singing!

1958: “Purple People Eater”: a novelty song sung by Sheb Wooly. “It was a one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater”. I had that record, too, and would take our little record player into the living room, and play it over & over & over & over. I was only 12, but it made me feel like such a teenager.

1958: “Splish Splash” sung by Bobby Darin. Loved this when I was kid & began singing it to my grandchildren when I would give them their nightly bath. Here it is 2015, & I get such a kick out of hearing them singing this!

1959: “Theme from A Summer’s Place”: an instrumental from the movie “A Summer’s Place” starring Sandra Dee & Troy Donahue  –  Two teenagers who spend the summer with both sets of parents, in a beach house. The “controversial thing” about it was that the virginal young couple had sex (NOT shown on the screen of course) and they weren’t married! Even today, when I hear that song, I still remember how “tantalizing” it was to have watched that movie. Also because Dee was so perfect in everyway. We all wanted to be like her. Did you know she was married to Bobby Darin?

1962: Everything by Bob Dylan. Born (Robert Alan Zimmerman – I was so proud he was also Jewish), in 1941. Much of his  most celebrated work dates from the 1960’s when his songs chronicled social unrest. He was the main reason why I taught myself to play guitar my senior year of high school. I so totally related to such songs as “Blowin’ In The Wind”,  “Man Of Constant Sorrow, & “The Times They Are a-Changing”, which became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements. When ever I hear his song “Everyone Must Get Stoned”, I’m transported to the back seat of a car with 6 other college friends driving to the big TEXAS vs  AGGIES game while Dylan sang on!

1963:   “Louie, Louie” , by The Kingsmen.  When I was a Freshmen at UT – Austin in 1964, some of my girlfriends and I would meet in one of our dorm rooms, with a record player on the floor, trying to figure out what the lyrics  to that song were really saying. We even tried to slow it down using “78” instead of the “45” in the hopes of hearing the “dirty parts”, which actually were just misunderstood lyrics, cause singers didn’t really care about “enunciation” back then!

1964: (“I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones. It, too was controversial, cause “everyone knew” it was about not getting any sex. And once again, a lot  of the lyrics were “miss heard”.

I’m gonna stop now: my brain is over loaded. But you are welcomed to continue! Suggestions: Songs by The Mommas & The Papas, Elton John, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland ….up till 2015!!

Man, I would love to get up and dance, but my Baby Boomer issues make it too difficult: back surgery, shoulder surgery, loss of balance, osteoporosis, & the damn list just keeps going!













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Does Music Act As A Time Machine?


Like most of us, I have a morning routine: wake up to the alarm (because if I don’t set it, I’ll sleep all morning), & resist the urge to turn it off and go back to sleep. Once my two feet are on the floor, I carefully & slowly navigate my way out of my bedroom cubical to the bathroom, hopefully to not stub a toe or trip over my sluggish feet.

Going off topic for a minute, in past years, I have broken both of my toes that are next to my big toe on each foot, probably more than once. I was always taught that a broken toe can’t be “cast”, so I simply taped it to my big toe for support until it healed. It always worked. HOWEVER, not long after, I noticed that my feet now look like “sloth paws”. I have an obvious open space between the two toes I taped and the other three…kind of like a “V” for victory. I’m always self-conscious of my self-created disfigurement when I wear sandals.

Once there, I first make a “pit stop”. Then I use a spoon-like plastic gadget to scrape my tongue from back to front several times, which removes the “film” that has gathered there over night. That goop contains germs & yuck that gives you the lovely “morning breath” that could wilt flowers. But, I’ve noticed that most movie stars must have been genetically altered to not produce this repulsive aroma so that when they wake up, they just roll over to face their bed partner and go at it! I don’t care how horny someone is, how can they stand that??? (BTW, you can find this gadget at Walgreens. It really works!)

Anyhoo, then I brush my teeth, while trying not to look in the mirror at my troll-like bed-head & sleep-indented face. I also have the fleeting thought of using one of my teeth-whitening strips to lighten the oh-so-lovely yellow pallor. But, why bother since I’m soon going to drink some coffee which 1) would melt the strips & 2) defeat the whole whitening purpose.

After that, I take my myriad “morning pills” (foolishly, I try to put them all in my mouth at once & swallow them with one big gulp of water. Have you even had pills get stuck in your throat & won’t “go down” until they start dissolving? I have to drink hot water to help it along. Does that stop me from doing this? Nope. Guess I’m too impatient to swallow one at a time.

I have another set of “before bed” pills too. Actually, I consider myself quite healthy (except for having had back surgery & most recently a shoulder replacement, & will probably have to have a torn meniscus in my right knee mended one of these days, so I can walk up and down stairs in my former smooth pace, instead of “one at a time”, baby steps. Most of my way over-priced pharmaceuticals are for preventative measures. I’ll let you know in my future if they help prevent more shit or not.

Someone should invent a “passing lane” on our sidewalks for those young’uns who can’t stand to be stuck behind a slow moving baby boomer. Ya see, I have to keep my eyes on the sidewalk so I don’t trip over one of the many bumps. Been there; done that. And having osteoporosis, one fall could create such misery.

(Are you still reading this megillah? OK! Good for you!) Then I put on sunscreen (whether or not I’m leaving the apartment); run a brush through my hair, bemoaning the fact that it’s really thinning; and change out of my pj’s (or not … I’ve been known to happily spend the day as is & then be ready when it’s time to go to bed that night~) I also roll on deodorant. I want to share something with you. For some unexplained reason, I don’t have any underarm hair. Is it possible to “go bald” there?

Then I walk into my kitchen as I sing/talk “good morning fishies”,  & proceed to feed them as they wildly do this “HURRY UP, I’M STARVING!” dance. I have two aquariums on the counter that divides my kitchen from my living cubical. In the small 10 gallon tank, are two long-forgotten-type of ugly grayish fish that just won’t die. In the other mid-size larger one (25 gallons ?), live my two new beautiful 4 inch kois that cost almost $10 each. One is white with black stripes/spots & a gold circle on his head, who I named Clark; & the other is white with gold splotches (like a pinto horse has white & brown ones) who I named Gable. Get it?

Kois, I’ve been told, will eventually grow as big as the container in which they live…like those huge ones you see in ponds at the park or at the  zoo. I eagerly await that day! It would be so cool to have two 5 pound fish sharing my abode. Talk about living art. I wonder if I could keep a baby shark in an even larger tank? (shout out to the “Jaws” musical score!)

Oh, & I also have two small specifically-made for-betas tanks; one right by my computer, & the another right by my t.v./eating/everything stuffed chair with ottoman in the living cubicle. One beta is cobalt blue with a gorgeous plume like tail; the other is a mixture of dark blue with lots of teal running through it, with a peacock like tail. Many times during the day, I will sit down and just watch them do their thing: kinda like stopping to smell the roses. It’s very peaceful. Even my 6 year old grand daughter has one!

Next, I pour a full mug of coffee, adding way too much Coffee Rich (love those flavors!), & three packs of sweet & low. Yes, I said 3. My only-eats-natural-organically-grown-food daughter cringes when ever she witnesses this ritual. I like it really sweet; so sue me. Then I point out that I’ve lived to 69 digesting all the “chemicals additives” & now, genetically altered foods! (she hates when I say that!)

I turn on my U-Verse classical music station, then I walk out to my patio with the mug & my tablet, & sit on the glider to enjoy the view, music, & read emails, face book, twitter, & Yahoo, on-line LA times & Fox News (don’t gasp – all newspapers present slanted news- just that their slant go in opposite directions).  Stopped getting a newspaper when I moved out to CA. Why be an accomplice in the murder of countless forests?

My, my, my. I just looked at my Minnie Mouse clock & cant’ believe how it’s’ almost time for my evening glass (or three) of wine (Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio  in the summer; Merlot in the winter). I haven’t even begun to write about my intended topic (Does Music Act As A Time Machine?) Isn’t it amazing how time flies when you’re having fun? As Scarlet O’Hara once said in the 1939 Gone With The Wind, “Fiddle De Dee! I’ll think about that tomorrow.”


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Are you the “baby” in your family?


When I was born, I became the baby sister to two older brothers: 2 & 4 years old. I can’t remember exactly when it began, but eventually, our relationship became an adversarial one. It probably started soon after I could walk & talk! Was it a natural result of the typical “boys against girls” kind of thing? or “Older siblings against youngest” kind of thing? Who knows the reason why, but I cannot remember one “nice moment” between the three of us as we were growing up. I don’t mean we had physical altercations, but as we all know, kids can find all kinds of ways to make their siblings’ lives miserable. Teasing, name calling, telling on each other, yadayadayada. They succeeded in doing so to me, & I tried my best to repay them in kind.

In our home, my brothers shared one bedroom and I had my own next to their’s. One of the earliest memories I have as a kid, was when I was about 4. I remember being asleep in my bed, when I began feeling something running down on my head and neck. It continued until I woke up and saw my two brothers standing by the side of my bed, the younger brother kind of hiding & peaking out from behind the older, watching as he slowly poured a pitcher of water on me!  I don’t remember the outcome, but I’m sure it involved a lot of screaming and crying. My poor Mother; what we put her through. But I do believe that my older brother was the gang leader in most of these kinds of escapades, & my other brother just followed his lead.

As the years passed, things didn’t improve. But because my oldest brother was 4 years older (which, when you’re a kid, is equivalent to decades), his life took a totally different path than mine. I just remember that he was a tall, handsome, popular guy. I subconsciously idolized him, but of course would never admit it. From his teen years on, we didn’t clash very often, mainly because he just ignored me. It wasn’t done meanly; he was growing up, doing all kinds of things with his friends, so I’m sure I never entered his mind. Then he left for college (I was 14 by then), and that was that. So, all that rivalry & antagonism fell to my older brother.

(To make it easier for you in the future to know which brother I’m talking about, the one that is 2 years older than me, will be called my “older brother”; the other one, 4 years older, will be my “oldest brother”.)

One by one, the three of us graduated high school and went off to college, hardly seeing each other at all. That was fine with me; I honestly didn’t feel any connection with them, except for a lot of bad memories. Writing that statement makes me feel guilty  in a way. But, it was the truth.

But that all changed with my oldest brother about 30 years later. I had already gone through a pretty devastating divorce a couple of years before, when my oldest brother was blindsided with a fairly unexpected divorce. We had never really “talked” to each other, but when I heard the news, I felt I needed to call him, and if anything, just commiserate on how shitty divorce can be. There I was, actually comforting him, hearing his pain & uncertainty. He was receptive to me & appreciative of what I shared. Here was his baby sister giving him advice; telling him that he’d make it through this; that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It felt so odd to be connected with him on this level. But, I honestly treasured the fact that he listened, that he needed me, that I could help him through one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Our relationship was changed forever, for the better. I didn’t feel like the “little sister”; I felt like a  friend.

When our Mother died 3 years ago, I felt that I was totally alone. As one of my friends said, after your second parent dies, in reality, you are an orphan. That’s when I found that my oldest brother became even more important to me than before. He was my connection to my past. I felt comforted when we spoke. It’s such a blessing to know that our brother/sister relationship is now finally treasured by both of us. I know that I can go to him for help, advice, & understanding.

Sometimes I wonder why it took almost 65 years for us to have this kind of relationship. But, like they say, better late than never! I truly love you, my older brother. If you’re reading this, know that I “almost” forgive you for all the shit you put me through when we were younger~





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I am flesh of her flesh.

     Today (May 10, 2015) is Mother’s Day. 69 years ago, I was born on Mother’s Day, though in 1946, it occurred on May 12, as it does every 4 years. More than anyone, my Mother’s emotional support, understanding, & constant unconditional love created a home in which I flourished.

     My Mother, Mary Kadish Eisenstein, was born in 1912 in London, England (& died at 100 in Dallas, Texas) My Mother, her older brother & parents “came over” to America by ship & landed at the now historical Ellis Island, when my Mother was 3. They ended up living in Chicago, where 2 more boys were born.

     Her family had very little money. My Mother had to quit school when she was a teen in order to go to work to help support the family. She was very proud of doing that, & felt she could maybe become more valued & independent, but her Mother always made her turn over everything she earned, never even showing any appreciation.  My Mother was truly brilliant; self-taught in so many subjects. I used to wonder what she would have become if she had been taught that she was smart, good, capable, talented, inquisitive, & worthwhile.

     Her father was a tailor, doing “piece work”, but was a very religious man, going to synagogue every evening to attend services. He also gave a lot of time helping others, & living an orthodox Jewish life. He loved classical music & opera which my Mother also came to love.  At one point, he bought a used record player for his thick 78 rpm records, mainly of historical Cantors chanting prayers. That was his one joy in life.

     He loved his only daughter, and when she showed musical talent, he somehow saved up enough money to buy her an old, but playable, upright piano. My Mother equally adored him. He was killed in a hit & run accident as he was walking home from synagogue one evening when my Mother was in her late twenties. She was the one who answered the phone call from the police notifying them of his death. My Mother gave me the black, velvet yalmaka he had been wearing that evening. I keep it as an invaluable testament to this man, Aaron Kadish.

     My Mother was a “good soul”; selfless, giving, empathetic, honest, nurturing, self-educated, compassionate, & artistic. When I was in my 50’s, I finally asked my Mother about her relationship with her Mother. She hesitated to “talk badly” about her Mother (nor anyone else for that matter), but she did share some experiences that had affected her life & self esteem. When I heard them, I felt such anger at how my Mother had been treated. She deserved so much more!

     There’s an old Jewish saying that having sons “is for a blessing”; but her mother often said that “daughters were for a headache”.  My Mother’s Mother (my Bubbie) lavished her sons with love & pride. But my Mother could do nothing right. I believe my Mother became her Mother’s outlet for all her frustrations, angers, & worries.  (You may be aware that I very rarely refer to my Mother as “she”. Growing up, my Father wouldn’t allow it. He must have felt it was somehow demeaning or showed disrespect. To this day, I still try to use “my Mother” & not “she”.)

      My dear Mother grew up believing that she was inferior, ugly, dumb, & unlovable in every way; that she wasn’t valued; that she was more of a burden than an asset as a daughter. My Bubbie even made fun of my Mother for having to wear glasses. Hearing that broke my heart. My Mother yearned for her Mother’s approval, but she soon learned to give up trying, & accept life as it was. Unbelievaby, she didn’t blame her Mother; instead my Mother made excuses for why she was like that (because she was always in “poor health”; she didn’t have a loving relationship with her husband (it had been an “arranged marriage”);  she was very needy in many ways; plus her own Mother (my Mother’s Bubbie) had been a caustic, ultra strong, & domineering woman, who also didn’t value daughters, but lavished love on her sons.

     My Mother told me that most mornings when she was a young girl, she would leave her house crying, because  of something her Mother had said. Hearing that hurt me so deeply. How could a Mother do that to her child, to my wonderful Mother? I began telling my Mother that her Mother had been wrong; obviously vindictive & uncaring. I felt that my Mother needed to hear the truth, to realize that she had, in a way, been a victim of verbal abuse. But I realize that it’s impossible to undo that kind of cruelty & the affect it had on a young girl. My dear Mother had to deal with that all her life. She continued to defend her Mother’s actions.

     My Mother told me that because of her childhood, she swore that if & when she had children, she NEVER would do such things to them. I know that I became the woman I am today, because of my Mother’s determination to be the kind of mother she must have wished she could have had. Amazingly, my Mother began searching for explanations for her Mother’s actions. This was in the 1930’s! My Mother was always a prolific reader, so she turned to books. She stumbled upon some that delved into the study of “psychology”. She told me that as she read about the affect parents can have on a child, she would think – yes, that’s me. She finally understood why her Mother acted the way she did, but more importantly, she came to realize that it had been her Mother’s problems, not her.

     She also read books on child rearing, & actually created the way she would approach Mothering. Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to have children, mainly so that I could be the kind of Mother to them, that my Mother was to me. Passing on her loving ways, philosophies, & traditions is how I honor her. I know that because of the affect she had on my life, my children have grown into very special people, valuable assets to this world.

     It was very important to me that I frequently told her that because of what she over came & how she changed her unhappy childhood into a fulfilling, joyous adult life, she changed the direction of her life. This in turn, outlined the direction my life would take.  Now that my son has children, I see him parenting them with so much of my Mother’s beliefs, tenderness, & understanding. My daughter also has these traits. I would like to believe that my Mother realized the treasured legacy she had left the coming generations, flesh of her flesh.

     OK, if you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know how overly sentimental & schmaltzy I can be. So bare with me when I share some of the lyrics of a song I wrote for my Mother in 1965. I was at UT Austin, had recently learned how to play guitar, & it was the first time I couldn’t be with her on Mothers Day. This song was my gift to her:

“Why was it I?, not some other, to have been born to this one Mother? Uniquely loved; I’m not worthy of this one Mother. She’s given more than wealth; she’s given of herself, and thus has set an example for life: respected woman, Mother, & wife. So, I sing love as a melody, but in my heart there plays a symphony. Blessed in my claim, no other daughter has the same, as this one Mother.”


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I wished I could have held & comforted her as she passed.


     The other day my ex-husband (#2), called from Houston where he was visiting his brother, to tell me that he had had to put down our dog “Dudelle”. I wasn’t really shocked because for the past month or more, he had been telling me how she’d started biting him, for no reason.  She would also do this deep, menacing  growl & bare her long curved teeth, often snapping. She started attacking other dogs.  She was so unlike the “former her”. For so long, she had been a tail wagging, big old softie, ya know? I wasn’t shocked, but I felt numb.

    When I left San Antonio almost 4 years ago, I couldn’t take either of our dogs with me.  But I volunteered to pay “doggie support”, because even though I was divorcing my husband, I wasn’t divorcing my furry children. I wanted to pay ½ of all the vet bills.

     Last year she was diagnosed with some medical issues, & advanced arthritis. The vet thinks it had progressed to where she was always in pain, especially in her hips. She had trouble walking, getting up, etc. That’s probably why her behavior changed.

     When I had found her at the San Antonio ASPCA 12 years ago, I hadn’t really intended to adopt any dog. I just liked “looking”. But when I saw her, I immediately told the attendant “I want this one”. She took her out of the crate and put her in my arms. I swear, that puppy automatically laid her head on my shoulder. I melted. She was meant to be ours. I called my husband & told him to get over here quickly – that I found a furry child for us to adopt.

    The ASPCA requires that before you sign any papers, that you play/interact with the dog. They actually want to see how this “new family” would get along. The three of us were put into a quiet, private room. It felt so normal, so comfortable; it was wonderful. Neither of us had any second thoughts. We wanted her to be a part of our lives! We’re both dog-people, having owned dogs all our lives from childhood, up.

    Also, she was so unusually cute! They guessed she was about 2 months old. She was low to the ground, with a long body, long ears, short little legs, a long snout, & big brown eyes. Plus her head was shaped like a Labrador’s. Easy to see that she had some dachshund in her. But the people there said she was truly a mutt, who was not just a large Dachshund, but had some Labrador, Pointer, Rottweiler (the black body with brownish/gold markings on chest, etc.), birddog, & who knows what else! She weighed about 10 pounds. We asked how big did they think she’d grow to be. They guessed that she wouldn’t grow much taller, but probably would just get longer & wider, topping out at perhaps 25-30 pounds. Fine with us. But she had HUGE paws, which we probably ignored in our bliss of becoming parents to this bundle of joy.

     We had to leave her there so she could be given her shots and also spade. When we went back to pick her up she was bandaged all around her middle. Again, so cute. We carried her to the car & drove home. We had bought a medium size dog-crate for her in which to sleep.  Plenty of extra room, or so we thought.

     Potty training her wasn’t too bad. To make it easier for her & us, & not have to make her wait on us to take her in the back yard, we installed a doggie door in the utility room door right off the den. (the kind that’s a big rectangular cut-out, covered with a piece of pliable plastic, that she could push with her nose to get in or out.) That’s where we put the crate too.

     We taught her how to use the door, by one of us standing out side, in front of the “flap” & and the other inside, at the other side of the flap. We each had some yummy snack with which to entice her. At first the treat wasn’t enough & we had to push her through the opening from each direction. But we gave her a treat and showered her with love each time she “did it”. Finally, she caught on, and she was on her own as far as potty visits. We had her sleep in the crate, cause our large corner lot (almost ¾ of an acre) was often visited in the evenings by racoons, skunks, cats, etc. Just the thought of what might happen with her greeting these nocturnal visitors, made that an easy decision.

     We would take her for walks, but her little legs didn’t get her very far, and she would poop out, so one of us would carry her while we continued the walk. Then I had this great idea: I went to Goodwill (one of my go-to stores for everything I own) & found one of those baby carriers that strap over your shoulders from the front. My husband usually had the honor of carrying her, because some how she had quickly grown to about 25 lbs., which wasn’t good for my yucky back.

     But when we would take her with us to those outdoor craft fairs, I didn’t want hubby to have to shlep her for hours, so I went back to Goodwill & bought a baby carriage! I kid you not. Because it would get so hot in SA, we used the fold down shade to keep the sun off her (we were such conscientious parents). It was hilarious when people would walk by us and peek in to see the “baby”. We all laughed each time. Everyone said she was so cute, & we didn’t argue.

     I had always dreamed of having a dog that would sit on my lap. That worked until she was about 6 months old, when her “huge paws” genes took over. Ultimately she grew to 65 pounds! When we would take her for walks outside (he legs got a little longer, but not much in comparison to her body) every person who passed by us, would stop and ask “What kind of dog is that???” She was that unique; a one of a kind! Ah, parents see what they want to see.

     So, now she is gone. I so wish I could have seen her one more time. I wonder if she would have recognized my my voice, my “smell”. Several times, when I would call my Ex long distance, I would ask him to put the phone to her ear so she could hear my voice. Nope; no reaction. We even tried live chat so she could “see” me, but getting her up close enough to the computer screen didn’t work very well.

     I’ll close with the explanation of how I came up with the name Dudelle. My son had moved to LA in 1997, after graduating from UT Austin, with a degree in TV/Film, with the intention of writing for t.v. & movies. (Ya, like 1,000’s of kids do every year, right?) While in LA (& as a result of some of the writing he had already done there), he was hired as the 1st of a group of writers for a new show to be called “That 70’s Show”. Two years into the 8 year run, he then wrote & sold the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Yes, this Jewish Mother was so proud of her son, I wanted to call our dog, Dude, but to make it applicable to a “female”, I came up with the spelling Dudelle.

    A unique name for a very unique, special & loving dog. I will always remember her.

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Why do I feel like either a cougar or a codger when I visit On-Line Dating sites?


So, next month I’m going to be 69!!! #*Y%Q)^&  My usual quote regarding age is from Willie Nelson: “Life’s a bitch and then you die” (sweet, huh?) but I just found  a new one, “I was born; I blinked; it was over.” It sure seems that way at times.

I looked in the magnifying make-up mirror the other day while trying to apply some eye liner and did a cartoon double take! Leaning closer, I couldn’t believe that staring back at me were three-five black hairs of various lengths on both corners of my top lip. It seems that when I blinked, my estrogen levels plummeted, and the male ones “rose to the occasion” (Could that be a possible result if a woman took one of those “little blue pills”? No, I haven’t gulped one like so many of the codgers must!) ~!

I stopped plucking my eye browns 30 years ago in protest against the male expectations of a woman’s beauty, but I still have a tweezer for any possible splinters. The pain of plucking those suckers was worth it. I resisted the urge to splash on some Aqua Velvet After-Shave. To be honest, this was almost as bad as finding a silver pubic hair!

One of my friends here, who’s about 8 years younger than I am, recently decided to try on-line dating again. She had met her second husband that way, and it was a happy marriage. Sadly, he died just a few years later. So, she moved in here. Nice lady & I’m enjoying her friendship. Anyhow, she decided to rejoin the same on line dating site because, like so many of us in our “later years”, we have a fairly full life, but having the company of a man can often add some spice to the mixture.

She soon found her new spice (he has “salt & pepper” hair), which came in a really nice package: good looking, kind, thoughtful, intelligent & a widower. I admit, I’ve been somewhat living vicariously through their classic stages of dating.

Finally, with renewed expectations, I decided to give those dating services another try.  Only bought a one month membership, just to see if there were any fish out there, looking for bait, that I would want to reel in; and if there were males who would read my bio & might want to “cast” first.

It’s been a month, & so far, only 1 bite.  Actually, it was just a nibble, & then the bobbing stopped. To save my fragile self-esteem, I’m going with the scenario that most men my age, or even 10-15 years younger, only want to meet women in their 30-40’s. Why is that??? Damn it, I already know the reason, cause I feel the same way.

As I was scrolling through the latest possible catches, I saw that that ones I might be attracted to were quite a few years younger than I am. Hey, I could gladly handle that, as would any red-blooded cougar! But, those guys don’t seem to want one of my species. Actually, I shouldn’t hold a grudge; I feel the same about the men listed in my age group: they’re either “alta cockers” (ask someone who’s knows Yiddish for the literal definition), or as defined in the English language, “codgers”. Either way, I wouldn’t want to even lure one. Not fair to me nor them.

So, alas, I’m back to where I started; happily swimming around in my 55 + senior living aquarium. Not looking to jump out of the water & into a desert.

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      THIS past weekend, my son invited me to go on a “camping” trip with him & his family, and about 6 other families who are their good friends.  HAPPY DANCE –  I was so excited.  I’ve always loved to go camping; love being outdoors; love fishing (though I usually don’t catching anything) love eating kosher hotdogs, cooked over the flames until each bursts open, with fat juice shpritzing out! My mouth is watering as I type.

     WHEN my second ex-husband & I were first married, we’d camp using tents & sleeping bags. Yes, we were younger & pain-free back then. But after a few years passed, I no longer enjoyed sleeping on the ground, swatting bugs, listening to wild animals scurry by our flimsy tent, or having to use a flashlight to stumble my way to the public restrooms in the middle of the night.

     A few years later, my “X-2″ and I bought a 26 foot trailer that we would attach to our pick-up truck, and off we’d go to one of the Texas State Parks, near San Antonio.  It was like taking an apartment with us. It had a living area, kitchen area, entertainment shelf (with a little TV & stereo), some closets, a tiny bathroom, and a bedroom with a double bed, built in side tables, etc.  It was tight, but I loved that trailer. Just a country girl at heart, I guess.

    The first thing I’d do after we found our camp site and settled in, was to string lines of clear Christmas lights over our assigned area for their beauty and for their function to light the area. No matter what the weather, I’d build a camp fire every night. In addition to our hotdogs, s’mores, & other “roughing it” meals, I also would bring my blender and whip up a batch of Margaritas! And since my “X-2″ didn’t drink, I gallantly drank his too. Having a buzz while watching the camp fire burn is pure Americana!

     BUT, as I was to find out years later, here in LA, one doesn’t go “camping” – now one goes “glamping”. Our camp site didn’t have any tents nor sleeping bags; no RV’s nor trailers.  They didn’t have TV’s, but at least they had an internet account we could use! Whew!  This “glamp” could have once been featured in Architectural Digest.  All the living quarters consisted of separate cozy, rustic cabins, all in a beautiful park-like area.  This was a huge place – probably 50 cabins spread over 1 to 2 acres. Various cabins could accommodate 1-2 people, or a family of 6, providing single & or double beds, and also Bunk Beds! The one year I went to a YWCA sleep-away camp, our cabins all had bunk beds. Being on the top bunk was heaven, as long as I didn’t fall out.

     MY cabin, just for me!, had a large double bed, my own bathroom, a mini-kitchen area, a front porch with chairs, glass French doors, & off the porch was a “fire-pit” and picnic table. Plus, there was even daily maid service. Not being a snob or spoiled, don’t you think that if it was that ritzy, they would have at least place a piece of Godiva chocolate on the pillows when folding back our bed covers for the evening!

     ON this trip, there were about 12 kids in our group, ranging from a toddler to 11-12. They had a ball! Full of energy, playing games, going on “adventures”; Screaming, crying, fighting, laughing, everything they could think of! My grand daughter and one of her friends put on a “talent show” for some of us. Ah, I was kvelling (being proud & joyful) I liked watching it all, but what made it even better was that none of them were my responsibility. They’d even gather in groups to have sleepovers in different cabins. Many of then got to sleep on bunk beds. As I watched all the excitement, I wished I had been able to take my kids to something like this when they were that young age. But I know that’s an unrealistic wish because my 1st Ex-husband would never had gone on this kind of outing in the first place. Are all attorney’s like that?

      BELIEVE me, when the sun went down, I was happy to tip-toe off to my private abode, which I did at about 9 p.m. each night! But, I was definitely feeling my age & what made things even worse, was that the night before we left, I was going through the miniscule outdoor storage closet on my patio, trying to get down a big rolling duffle bag, and a really comfy reclining camp chair I’ve had in there since I moved here.

      IT’S a very, very tight squeeze inside (things piled on top of each other), plus, I have a glider on the patio that allows for the closet door to only open about 10 inches. Without going into the ridiculous details, it’s really a hassle & could be dangerous. This time, it was! I was maneuvering around to pull that duffle bag through the opening, when I fell…twisting my ankle: OOPS!  As I lay there, all I could think of was, “please don’t let it be broken – I’ve got to go camping!”

     WHEN I could finally pull myself up to a standing position, it all seemed OK. No pain. But an hour or so later, there was a huge mini-bolder size swelling on my ankle. I knew it wasn’t broken; just a hell of a sprain. So I did the usual, checked on Google as to what I should do (can’t live without Google) Instructions included wrapping the ankle in ice & elevating it; plus wrapping it in an ace-bandage thingie. By the next morning, not much change; the boulder was still bulging, but my foot was now a lovely shade of puce! Luckily, still no pain.

     DIDN’T tell anyone about it, cause I didn’t want my son to worry &/or think I’m too old to go on such a “strenuous” trip. I was quite successful at not limping, and the socks covered the bandage. Also, as luck would have it, my daughter-in-love had reserved a “handi-capped” accessible cabin for me … no stairs to climb; a ramp instead. Geeze, it sounds like I’m falling apart, but she knows my right knee does hurt using steps, so she was very thoughtful, w/out even knowing about my new malady. Aging knee; damaged ankle! This Baby Boomer Bubbie is fast becoming just a bag of wrinkles & twig-like bones!

      THERE was a beach about a 15 minute walk down the road. Since I also love looking for shells, I was determined to walk with the group going down there. Once again, my son suggested he drive me to the beach, so I wouldn’t have to over-use my knee. Have I said often enough how much I love & appreciate him?

      WHEN  we returned to the camp site for dinner, I was so thankful I had brought that reclining camp chair, cause that’s where I planted myself, feet raised high, sitting round their fire ring & picnic table.  I noticed that I never had to ask anyone to bring things to me (like drinks, or food, etc), they just did it automatically. Like the Queen Mother sitting on her thrown! Yep, they must have viewed me as this “Bubbie” who, because of her age, needed “to be served”. Hey, I didn’t tell them to stop. I felt very pampered, and realized that maybe age does have its privileges! I was so thankful there were no more “OOPS” on the trip.



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Why didn’t I speak up sooner?

3-24-15  (this is actually the 2nd post I made today. After this, is the original post. But this one is more important.)

I’m sitting here in sunny downtown Burbank, looking out at my beautiful garden, having just eaten lunch, listening to the birds chirping, & planning on running a few errands this afternoon. But I stopped to watch “American Sniper” on CD. OMG. It was gut wrenching; it’s real; it’s heart breaking. So many of us, & I include myself, have taken so much for granted for so long. I want to thank everyone “out there” who served in our armed forces (now & in the past), & their families, friends, acquaintances. To tell you how much your sacrifices mean to me & so many other Americans. To apologize for not acknowledging all that you’ve done sooner.

I am going to contact the war veterans association to see how I can volunteer my help with anything they need; as my Mother taught me, “it’s the right thing to do”.

Our government must NOT decrease the aid to our veterans (I’ve read such opinions in the press) Our government should substantially increase it so that it covers all their medical needs without long waiting periods, at competent facilities, for as long as they need it; that it include assistance for their & their families’ emotional healing as well, that it assists them in having affordable, good living conditions that can be adapted for any physical impairments they suffered, and enough money to live the life they would have had if they hadn’t served their country. Our government owes these veterans all of that & more; for the rest of their lives. You might think that’s too much of a “hand-out”. Just put yourself, or your children, in the shoes of a war veteran & then see how you’d feel. I’d much rather see my taxes go to veteran causes than to so many of the wasteful projects someone in some government committee decides deserves our money.

I can’t imagine myself nor my children, grandchildren, family & friends, having been on the firing line, being injured, maimed, suffering PTS, and how it would negatively affect all of us in every aspect of our lives. I’m emotionally overwhelmed with awareness, gratitude, & sadness. I’m not trying to lecture nor force my views &/or beliefs on anyone; I just wanted to address this issue via my blog. Hopefully, some of you will relate to what I’ve written. If you have a veteran in your life, please forward this to them with my heartfelt gratitude.


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OMG! Could I be a hoarder and not know it?

Have you ever watched that t.v. reality show about people who are hoarders? These are people who never throw anything out-NEVER- newspapers, magazines, junk mail, wrappers, outdated medicine, old clothes, broken furniture, empty cans & bottle, toilet paper inner cardboard tubes, old light bulbs, kitchen appliances, pictures, baby furniture, old dolls & boxed games that don’t even have all their pieces, hospital equipment, mementos, vinyl records, books, clothes from high school: you name it, they have it “somewhere” in their house. They keep literally EVERYTHING anywhere there’s room to “put it”: table tops, sofas, t.v.s, laundry room, closets, basements, attics, some even put things on one side of their beds, while sleeping on the other. Others stack it on their kitchen appliances, counters, shelves. If they order take out food, all the containers are kept also. Some people even buy things like clothes, but never wear them. They just find a place to “save it”.

One episode showed this unbelievable house that when you opened the front door, there was only a little narrow path that sneaked through the rooms, surrounded by 8 feet high walls of STUFF. I think I even read a story about neighbors who kept smelling a horrible odor coming from that house. When they finally decided to check it out, they could barely make their way through the piles. They smelled the odor and followed the narrow path trying to find it. The source was the decaying body of the old woman who lived there. They surmised, that she had tripped and was trapped by a falling wall of books. It became her grave.

Hoarders resist any help, any intervention. They don’t understand what the big problem is.  They NEED every item they save. Those people are crazy, right?

So, am I semi-crazy? Is it possible to be a semi-hoarder?  I don’t stack stuff up to the ceiling or have piles of junk around (except on my miniscule “desk”). But, I do have the tendency to save things “just in case”. I blame it on having been raised by parents who lived through the Depression, and were poor their whole lives (as was I). “Don’t throw that away; you may need it later”. (but did they mean 10 years later? If so, I’ll be ready.) As a child when my Mom wrapped a sandwich in tin foil for school, I knew to wipe it off, fold it up neatly and bring it home to be reused. I always was shocked seeing other kids just wadding their stuff up and dumping it into the trash.

When I moved to Burbank, I went from a 3200 sq foot home (4 beds, 3 baths, living room, dining room, big garage converted into a playroom/work room; big utility room, 1/2 back yard with several tool sheds, yadayadayada. Stop being jealous or thinking I’m some rich diva: San Antonio is one of the cheapest places to live. We had moved from Houston, a small 3 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow. And when we sold it, we used that money to buy the twice as large San Antonio home, so cheaply, we had lots of money left over!)

Then I moved into a teeny-tiny 600 sq foot apartment with 1 bedroom, 1 bath, living/dining room, entry hall closet, and one barely “walk-in-able” bedroom clothes closet. Before we moved, we had an estate sale, gave things to friends & relatives, & then gave left-overs to Goodwill. I didn’t think I took a whole lot to my new home; but once it was all shoved in, claustrophobia set in. So, as I was unpacking and putting things away, I re-packed lots of stuff & delivered it to the Salvation Army. They knew my car by sight.

Even so, it’s a tight fit. I don’t use my dish washer cause I store some pots and pans in there! Never thought I’d put things on top of my refrigerator, but…. My bedroom is the worse (or is it worst?). In order to fit in my queen size bed, I had to take the door off the closet cause it could only open 6 inches. I rigged up a curtain instead. I still have to slide along the area between the wall & the bed togetto it  . I use a tall antique wardrobe into which I put those pull out drawer sets from Target. It’s my dresser.

I couldn’t find any desk that would fit, so IKEA had this long 6 feet by 14 inches deep wall table, which, when next to the wardrobe, takes up that whole wall. On it are my computer, printer, & small t.v. on top of the U-Verse box, my landline phone, which leaves me only 14 inches for actual desk work area where I have to also keep my container of pens and pencils, pencil sharpener, stapler, and scotch tape dispenser! Needless to say its ALWAYS a mess; papers on top of papers, etc. Can’t help it. But every time I walk in that room, I feel stressed.  Know what I mean?

Then UNDER that “desk, on the far left, I have a target 2 drawer plastic filing cabinet, another 2 small sets of pull out drawers, one on top of the other. Then I’ve stuck all the UVERSE equipment-don’t even know what it’s all called-under on the far right. I can barely fit my rolling desk chair into it’s cubby area. Also, along the wall perpendicular to my office, I have an Ikea mini shelf with drawers that pull out. I keep one of my beta fish tanks on top, to sooth me after I look at all the crap around it. I also had boxes of stuff lined up next to it all along the wall. I even have stuff behind the open door. Grrr.

I finally realized that the emotional toil living like that was not good. So, I’m “DE-HOARDING” my entire place. Got a big box – as I looked at every thing, I’d say “Do I really need this? Have I even used any of it in the past 6 months?” The empty space be worth having to re-purchase the item if I ever needed it (I’m talking about things like book ends, magazines, tons of stuff kept in dusty old files, etc.) Into the box it went; had to get 3 more big boxes.

Ya know how cleaning one area, leads you to other areas in all your rooms. So, for three days, I de-cluttered like a woman on a mission.  I DO feel better. My bedroom is as open as it can be. I notice the difference every time I walk in. Same thing with my living room. Now the Karma vibes radiate.

But every day I have to resist the real urge to “fill things up”. When I shop for clothes at Goodwill, it’s agony not to buy all the cute & useful chotchkies they have. But then I think of that old lady rotting away. It works!


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Do I have to listen to all the “Shoulds”or “Shouldn’ts”

March 12, 2015   Post #15

I’m really curious: As you traveled through your years leading up to this Baby Boomer Bliss, did you make all your own decisions? Think about it.

No way for me: The whole time I was growing up, my life was pretty much planned out for me: no decision making needed nor, in most cases, even allowed. But even back then, I couldn’t stand being told what I should or shouldn’t do. Of course, I never talked back (I explained that in a previous post). Examples: as a kid, I was told that I should clean my room without having to be told & retold to do so (I felt that it was my room and I was OK with the mess. So, please, just close my door!) I was also told that I shouldn’t tease my brothers (hell, I never even had a chance to do that. They were the teasers and I was always the “teasee”. I bet they were never told that they shouldn’t tease me!) My grandmother always told me I should be more “lady-like”. Why did she expect me to act differently from my brothers? Guess I was a “feminist” before there were such a word!

As a 14 year old who had just received her first real kiss, I went running into the house to share this momentous occurrence with my Mother, thinking she would be so excited for me. NOT! Instead of the smile I expected to see on her face, there was this veiled look of apprehension. Huh? She sincerely  told me that I shouldn’t be “doing that” at my age. WHAT? Without actually saying it, she definitely made me feel that what I had done (a simple kiss … no tongue) was wrong! Talk about Jewish guilt! Now, maybe you’ll better understand why I was still a virgin when I got married.

After my marriage (I had just graduated college), I had taken it for granted that I should work to put my husband through law school! No one told me I had to do it. I can still remember his driving by where I worked during my lunch hour, for me to come out and hand him my pay check. I never gave it a thought. It was also subconsciously drilled into my head that I should ask him  if I could spend money on something. What was I thinking back then?? This was the money I had earned!

Being a Baby Boomer is a whole new phase in my life. We all muddle through as best we can, right? Some people have no problems what so ever. Good for them! But then there’s those like me. In two months I’ll be 69. When I chose to totally change my life at 65 & did so successfully, I thought I had it made. My new life would be smooth sailing. And it is, basically. I like living in Burbank; I like my apartment (wouldn’t mind a few more square feet!); I’ve met some very nice friends here; I love the view from my computer (looks out onto my beloved garden, bird feeders, and humming bird feeders – I’m a totally visual person. What I see affects me; I’m most happy about being so close to both my adult children and my two grands; I’m very pleased to have gotten a commercial agent, & hoping that one day an audition will produce a booking!; I never would have had the opportunity to submit myself for a BRAVO Reality Show and actually be hired! It’s “The Peoples Couch” and we’ve been on for 2 seasons – hoping for a third! I don’t “act” on the show – I’m just totally myself! I didn’t need  anyone to tell me I should do any of these things. I didn’t need nor ask for any guidance!

But now I’m living in the same city with both my children. They are wonderful people & it’s comforting knowing they’re here if I need them. My daughter and I have always had a close & open relationship. She’s always known that she can  talk to me about anything. I’ve helped her through many different situations. Most of the time, all I did was be her sounding board. She came to her own decisions. My motto for her is “trust your gut feelings”.  I don’t think I’ve ever told her what she should or shouldn’t do; I hope not. At this time my life, I’ve started being more open with them about things I’m going through. But lately, she is telling me what I should or shouldn’t do, not in a bad way. She just wants to help me. I appreciate her concern, and sometimes her suggestions are really good. But there’s still my automatic resistance to those “s-words”.

I’ve been trying to figure out why I still let it bother me. I’ve come to realize that my reaction is probably due to my not wanting to admit that now this Baby Boomer could actually use some “s-words” sometimes.  In other words, I should let go of some of my previous reactions. Maybe I should listen to those who are making suggestions; it doesn’t mean I should do what they say. But most importantly, I believe I definitely should continue being my kind of 69 year old Baby Boomer self. And I should trust my gut feelings!

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3-3-15  Posting #14


Here are the facts: I’m 2 months shy of being 69; my son is 42; my daughter is 38. One of my main goals as their Mother was to raise them to be “menches” (Yiddish for people with good hearts & souls). I wanted to instill in them empathy for others, independence, and the ability to make constructive decisions with which to create a good life for themselves.  Sounds quite righteous & ambitious, doesn’t it? And like most Mothers, I started out with all these lofty goals & good intentions of what kind of Mother I would be. I’m pretty sure I accomplished a bunch of that, or at least, got pretty close.

So, why am I bitching, you might ask? Ah, bitching is too harsh a word; “semi-lamenting” is a kinder verb for what I’m now doing. You see, I think that just maybe, I did too good of a job, and it’s coming back to kick me in my tush. Perhaps you’ll understand my dilemma, when I confess that I miss those days when they would ask me for, & yes, actually needed my advice. They attentively listened to and many times thanked me for sharing my views, my words of wisdom, my “learn from my experiences” scenarios.  At least I thought that’s what they were doing. Looking back, maybe 3 times out of 10 what I said actually got through. Perhaps I wore rose colored glasses with too strong a prescription. Was I a running joke with them? Did they snicker to their friends about “the latest dorky things” I had told them? Did they throw out my “pearls of wisdom” just like they threw out the healthy & carefully pealed carrots & apple slices I lovingly included in their daily lunches, while begging for chips & cookies from their friends whose Mothers were “cool”.

Now when I want to give my opinion on something going on in their lives or make a suggestion, I’m fairly certain they don’t want to hear what I have to say. Even when I absolutely know the solution to their problem(s), I have become very adept at biting my tongue (I’ll probably get hoof & mouth disease from doing that so much). I’m really not complaining; just relating an observation on how my life has changed since I’ve become a Baby Boomer. Wait, come to think of it, that MOTHER PEDISTAL I had stood on for so long, must have been getting smaller & smaller (like Alice in Wonderland’s mushrooms) until “poof”, it had become obsolete & had to step off.

I doubt they have pedestals for Baby Boomer Bubbies. Even if they did, they’d have to keep adjusting mine every few months; for you see,  I’m also getting smaller and smaller. Used to be 5’5″; now it’s 5’3″! Guess I really am fitting the definition of a “Little” Old Lady”.  Thankfully, I live in an apartment complex for those 50+ and not in a shoe (although I think the square footage is about the same).

It’s becoming very clear to me that as a Baby Boomer, my roll in life is becoming a conundrum. I no longer have the status and impact of “Motherdom”. Now, I feel like my children have outgrown me; they have become the parent; they see me as their aging Mother whom they still love and respect, but, alas, no longer need. (this is beginning to sound like a script from one of those “silent movies”, along with the fair maiden being tied to the railroad tracks).

Such a double edged sword: They’ve become what I raised them to be. But no one told me that I would need to “retrain” myself in order to deal with this “trading places”. Maybe my Mother should have warned me of this, could have prepared me, maybe given me suggestions on how to deal with it. But ya know, even if she had, I probably wouldn’t have listened to her either, just like my kids tune me out now.

I wonder how they’ll deal with these things when they are my age, but more than likely I won’t be around then to watch. Hmmm, maybe I should write a book “The Baby Boomers Guide To Forming New Relationships With Their Adult Children” or “Being A Baby Boomer Is What It Is; Live With It”.

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Are you suffering from AAADD ?

2-23-15    Posting #13

SPOILER ALERT: the following post (& probably future ones) may contain certain words that some of you may find offensive. For that, I’m sorry. But, in truth, in my every day life, I admit to using words that, in the past, many had regarded as “off-color &/or crass” & probably still do.  But, you see, being free to choose my vocabulary is part of my personal evolution from the sheltered little daughter to the adult woman who now creates her own beliefs. So, if you choose not to continue reading my blog, I will understand; but I will miss you.

I was just thinking (my brain never takes a Siesta), can you imagine how fan-fecking-tastic it would be if I were able to write this blog using some kind of “live, on-line chat” system, where we could all see & talk with each other! Of course, there would have to be some ground rules: such as, no hogging the conversation; no arguing – everyone is entitled to her/his opinions; eating would only allowed if enough were brought for everyone; wine would always be encouraged (perhaps a margarita – no salt for me – now & then to shake up things!); anyone attempting to post snip-its of our live-blog on YouTube would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (if there is a law covering that); I will not reserve the right to refuse service to anyone if they choose not to wear shoes (I write shoeless!); only close up shots of our faces would be allowed (must keep it PG); formal wear would be discouraged, instead encouragement would be given to don casual & comfy attire; But, need I say, nudity is not an option! Who knows who might walk in on you, or if you’re secretly being taped by the FBI, IRS, or People Magazine.   

Hmmmm, with the way things are changing every day, my idea might become a reality some day.

Now, back to my original agenda.

Remember last week when I was discussing “procrastination”?  You will receive 10 points if you do!  Just a day or two later, I ran across an article sent to me via email a while back by one of my Baby Boomer friends. No name was given as the author, but I wish there had been. I’d love to give her (couldn’t possibly have been a man) credit for describing another classic Baby Boomer phenomenon. It happens to me every single day!! multiple times, actually!

 I edited the original just a little. Please laugh out loud when ever you “recognize yourself”! Enjoy!

“Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. That stands for  Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. You need to be aware of how it manifests in Baby Boomers! Here’s my experience (stop reading immediately if you have forgotten to take your Prozac this morning)

The other day, I decided to wash my car.

So, I got my car keys, and as I’m passing through the entry hall on my way to the garage, I notice that there is a large stack of mail that has accumulated on the hall table. I know that I better FIRST sort through that mail before I wash the car. 

So, I lay my car keys down on the table, riffle through the stack, putting the bills on one side, and all the junk mail on the other.  I pick up the stack of junk mail, intending to throw it into the little trash can under the table. But I see that the trash can is full.

I know I better FIRST go empty the little trash can into the big trash can in the street, before the daily trash pick-up. So I stuff the junk mail down into the little can, pick it up, leaving the bills on the table, and I start walking to the front door.  

But I stop at the threshold when I realize that I’m going to be walking right past the mail box on my way to the street.  So, I decide that, FIRST, I should pay the bills, take them with me, put them in the mail box, & then continue to the big trash can.

So, I put the little trash can back under the table, get my check book, & see that there’s only one check left. But, I remember that my extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I head down there. As I’m walking over to the desk, I find the bottle of coke that I had been drinking earlier in the day, sitting right on the corner of the desk! (I’d wondered where it had gone.) 

Yes, of course I’m going to look for my checks, but FIRST I need to slide the bottle of coke from the corner of the desk to the middle so that I don’t accidentally knock it over. As I’m moving it, I can feel that the coke is getting warm, and I decide I should FIRST put the bottle in the refrigerator to get it cold again.

As I walk into the kitchen holding the bottle of coke, a vase of sadly drooping flowers on the counter catches my eye.  They really need to be watered or they’ll die. So I set the bottle down on the counter, where I discover my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning.

And I know that if I don’t FIRST put those glasses back on my desk where they belong, I’ll never find them again.

So, I pick up the glasses, but as I’m walking out of the kitchen, I again pass the vase of flowers dying from lack of water. I can’t let that happen, so I decide I’d better FIRST water them, and then put my reading glasses back on my desk. So I set the reading glasses back on the counter, fill a watering can that’s under the sink with water, and as I take a step toward the vase, I suddenly spot the TV remote that someone must have left on the kitchen table.

And then I realize that tonight, when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for that remote, but nobody will remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide I better FIRST put the remote back in the den next to the t.v. where it belongs.

But since I’ve already filled up the watering can, I decide to leave the remote on the kitchen table for now.

I  start to pour the water into the vase,  but wouldn’t you know it, I  accidently miss the vase & most of it spills on the floor. I know I better FIRST wipe it up before it stains the wood floor.

So I put the watering can into the sink, get some paper towels, wipe up the water, and then throw the soggy towels into the kitchen trash. Then I turn around and back hurry back down the hallway … trying to remember what it was I had been planning to do when I got there.

By the end of the day: the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, the little trash can is over flowing, there is a warm bottle of coke sitting on the kitchen counter, the flowers still desperately need more water, there is still only one check left in the check book, I can’t find the t.v. remote, I can’t find my reading glasses, and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys!

Then when I’m trying to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m truly baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I’m really tired. That’s when it hits me. Oh my god, the doctor’s diagnosis was right! – I DO have AAADD. I  don’t want it to get any worse, so I’m going to get some professional help for it right now! …. but FIRST, I need to check my e-mail.”

May the week ahead be filled with good health, happiness, yadayadayada.




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Have I procrastinated long enough?

2-15-15    Posting #12

Hello again. Hope your Valentines Day was everything you had hoped it would be. I had no hopes, so mine was great!

Last week I put off answering my own question: is the word “procrastination” in your vocabulary? Today’s posting proves that sometimes I can over come that admitted tendency, & therefore can give myself a pat on the back for delaying only one 1 week!

Procrastination isn’t just a word in my vocabulary, it should be my middle name. Here are some minor things about which I procrastinate: doing my laundry (you know: waiting till I’m out of underwear), dusting the apartment (In Burbank, CA I keep my screened windows open 24/7, so even if I do dust, it’ll just blow back anyhow. Sooooo.

While on that topic, I’m fairly new to CA, but what the hell is that black soot-like “dust” that gathers on my window sills? Am I breathing that shit? If so, why did I quite smoking all those years ago?)

More “I’ll do it laterisms”: shaving my legs. My excuse is that I hardly ever let my legs see the light of day, choosing to wear black leggings, slacks, jeans, etc. Not in order to hide the leg hair on purpose, but because who the hell wears dresses and/or skirts now a days? I know that a lot of fellow women shave their legs while take their shower. That’s all well and good, except for those of us who wear glasses full time. Do you take them off, like you do your clothes, before stepping into the shower? Of course not. So, in defense of my hairy legs, I never actually “see” the hair. And, admit it BB ladies, since no man is running his age-spotted, arthritic hands over my legs, again, why bother?

How many of us BB have things about which we procrastinate (see? I can also refrain from ending a sentence with a preposition! sometimes) Be honest! Examples: “1) really, once-and-for all, losing those same 5-10 pounds hanging off our asses, thighs, muffin tops, yadayadayada;

2) actually walking into the gym (not just packing our gym bag) for which we’re paying through the nose for a membership.


3) Going through our closets, taking out anything we haven’t worn in the past year, or two, or 10, and giving it all away.  I’ve have done that, but it really doesn’t count cause I end of taking lots of it out of the pile and putting (no, stuffing) it back into my closet.

4) going through & organizing all those bills, mail, notices, bank statements, deposit slips, etc., that I put into ever-growing piles on my desk, kitchen counters, side tables, computer desk, night stand. Then actually filing them away in my file cabinette (where they just become organized piles in folders!)

5) Going through all my make up, and throwing out the items that are more than a year old, or 2, or 10. If I actually did that, I wouldn’t have any make up, plus, ya know, I just night need that item “someday”

6) Going through the multiple boxes of old photos, putting a date on them, identifying those people in them, & then organizing them into scrapbooks!

7) Cleaning out my kitchen “junk drawer”: I confess I now have two & can hardly close them. Do I really need to keep those 1,000 plastic twistys from grocery bags? or the corks from every bottle of wine I’ve opened (I have enough to build a floating ark!)

8) Cleaning out the freezer & throwing out anything there over 2 years old! or more

9) Taking everything I’ve “stored” under my bed and do the same thing as I should be doing with unnecessary closet items.

10) Sewing back on all the buttons that have popped off many cloths & sewing up any rip or hanging hem.

11) going through my underwear drawer and throwing away pieces that I’ve had since  my 1st marriage! or longer. Being divorced does not  give me the excuse to wear ratty grand ma drawers. – digressing for a second- do you remember having a set of 7 different colored panties, with each having a day of the week embroidered on them?)

Yes, I’m an artistic bohemian at heart, and proud of it. Flashback to the days after my 1st divorce in 1984. I decided to flaunt my newly earned confidence by not plucking my eye brows! That’ll show my  college sorority sisters, & 1st ex-husband (including his milieu of rich, stylish, shallow, vain, judgmental, “must keep up, or better yet, run ahead of the Jones” crowd). But since I never saw any of these pseudo friends when the divorce was final (ya, guess whose side they chose? Obviously, they didn’t want me as their friend nor even acquaintance. The joke was on them because I didn’t want them either – had never felt accepted nor wanted in their midst. “Don’t shut the door on your way out!”)

Eye brow plucking was a drudgery to me. That descriptive word for pulling out my stray eye brow hairs sounds like I equated myself with a chicken’s feathers after its neck was slashed. Plus, even with a magnifying mirror, I couldn’t see those pesky hairs! So, stopping was a win-win situation. (31 years later, I still don’t pluck – same reason: the later reason, not the former).

Talking about not seeing certain things on our faces because of aging eyes, the other night, as I was actually putting on some make-up so I wouldn’t scare those around the restaurant table (does Don Cucos Mexican Food & Cantina count as a restaurant?), I was dumb founded when I saw, in the magnifying mirror, with the florescent light around it, 2 short black hairs on the right side up my upper lip! I counted them! WTF? When the hell did they sprout? I decided to think about them later – maybe I was just imagining them or they’ll disappear on their own! No such luck.

More mini “procrastinations”: not throwing out my garbage that is collecting on my patio, until the flies and bees have packed their bags and moved in to their outdoor guest room; making my bed (no one sees it anyway, but I feel the need to do so is cause it’s something I can actually accomplish each day – not really well, but thrown together enough); washing any dirty dishes, pots, etc. left in my sink before I go to bed (which I resolve to do every single night – & usually break that resolve within 2 seconds); getting my car washed (in LA? duh, no brainer. No one sees it anyway!); cleaning out my purse, which is also known as my traveling trash can & filing cabinet; filing off that thick, dry, cracking, dead skin that collects on the back of my heels (which other people can actually see cause I like to wear “mules” a lot). I’m a big believer of “If it can’t be seen, consider it not there.”

The worst thing about procrastination, is never getting anything done. Oh, I start a lot of projects, but then get distracted & move on to something else before I’m finished with one. I’ve been told that that doing so can create tension & stress. Yep been there; done that!

Would my life being easier, simplified, more enjoyable if I didn’t procrastinate? Probably, but like Scarlett O’Hara said in Gone With The Wind, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” My kind of woman!

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Posting #11.


Good question & I’ll answer that … in just a moment, but first I want to tell you about a doctor’s appointment I had a few days ago.

I prefer women doctors. Not that I’m sexist, but because I really believe that they understand what women are saying.  Just the other day, I went to see my GP, to discuss Medicare requiring me to have her submit a special form saying I really do need a particular medication.  Duh, why would she have prescribed it in the first place? AND I’d been using it for over 3 years here in LA, and many more in SA. Long story short, we shared a “can you believe this shit?” look as to Medicare’s “hoops they make us jump through” (another sentence ending with a preposition. My 7th grade English teacher would be waving her ruler at me for such sins.)

Not only do I respect & trust her, but I really like her. She’s easy going, empathetic, FUNNY, and she’s older than I am. Ya, I know that’s not a real valid reason to like someone, but it’s valid to me. Nowadays I have shoes that are older than many of my doctors.  Same goes for Rabbis! They used to be bald/balding or white haired little old men. Now you can often find some rabbis who are truly HOT. {Shout out to Bob Dylan “The Times They Are a Changing” — &, getting off topic once again, did you know that Dylan was Jewish; real name Bobby Zimmerman. But I don’t think he ever wore a tallis, at least not when he performed.} And do you remember lusting after Richard Chamberland  in the 1968 t.v. miniseries “The Thorn Birds”. Come to think of  it, it wasn’t until 1989 that he confirmed his homosexuality. Doesn’t matter to me. Lots of gay men are really hot. Watch my BRAVO show The Peoples Couch on YouTube (until we get renewed) & you’ll see one group consists of three guys; they’re all cute, but the middle one, Scott, is drop dead gorgeous!

Anyhow, getting back to my office visit: I was her last patient of the day, and we started talking about age. I told her I believe that some doctors, when they look at my age on my chart, regard me as “one of those older ladies” who blow things out of proportion, or just want to complain, or are unnecessarily concerned about symptoms, all of which, they inform me, are “just a part of aging.” Hell, I want to tell them that dropping dead is “just a part of aging” too!

Then I told her about my kids “making fun” of me for trying to learn how to use new things, like Facebook & Twitter, and even my beginning this blog. (They were amazed when I taught myself to use a computer!) They give me this “OMG look” when I ask them what all the “icons and abbreviations” mean: ie: LOL, LMAO, :), etc. But my son has told me that he’s proud of me. I honestly think neither child can image who would want to read what I’d want to write about (I know, I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but get over it.)

I’m admitting that I want so much for them to be proud of me: to think I’m terrific, to look up to me like they did when they were kids..at least I think & hope they did. Do others of you feel that way too? Or am I the only one who is insecure? Do you think our kids have “out grown us?” One of my Baby Boomer commandments is “Thou shall not make fun of thy Mother”.

Then my doctor told me that the other day she was telling her kids (young adults, mind you) that she wanted to take a “facie” with them. “What???” they laughed. “Are you making that up?” She stood tall to her full under 5 feet height, looked up at them, & said, “You know: a FACIE: where you hold your iPhone out & snap a photo.” After they came up for air, they told her that those are called “SELFIES”! She defended her choice of words, saying it IS a picture of FACES, & therefor, quite accurate & appropriate! “Right on” I thought to myself (shout out to 1960’s Abbie Hoffman & hippies in general.). I told her that from now on I’d call it a FACIE also! OK, fellow baby-boomers, who’s with me? Also, do you ever wonder if we are kept on this earth to act as a source of “humor relief” for our children & grands?

She & I commiserated on lots of “baby-boomer” type topics; feeling more like friends than doctor & patient. She told me that I was looking good, quite young, in fact (she knows how old I am). I mentioned that lots of people think I dye my hair, & give me a “knowing” smirk when I tell them I don’t, & never will! I inherited my Mother’s hair color genes. Just took this 2=8-25 gray coming thru shot of my 68 (69 in May) year old hair. From the top you can see it; from the front, you can’t. Refer to my main photo. Actually, I’m looking forward to being totally silver….”Hi Ho, Silver, Away!!” (remember ??)

My doctor has almost ebony/black colored hair that she touches up as soon as 1 or 2 gray hairs start peeking out. I asked why? Silver is beautiful! I didn’t say this to her, but I’m thinking, does she really think that people believe women with wrinkled faces & turkey necks (not her–women, in general, like me) do not have ANY gray hair? (shout out to John Travolta – although his is a rug; an unnaturally black one…same with his dyed eyebrows. Do you ever wonder if “the rug matches the drapes”.) She explained that it makes her feel younger. I said that we’re both entitled to our opinions! (who am I to lecture my doctor, right? & I was raised NEVER to question an elder – cue laugh track!).

As to my ever procrastinating?, … well, it seems that I’ve run out of time. However, I’ll get to that in my next post, or maybe the post after that.

NEWS ALERT! You can now sign up to receive an automatic emailed notification of new blog posts by clicking on www.babyboomerbubbie.net, and then going to the far right of my post, to where it says “comments”….then scroll way down till it says “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL”. Type in your email and click enter. Then you’ll be told to look for an email from them, which asks you to verify that you truly requested this service. Click yes! and you’re in. Then they’ll send me an email telling me I have a new follower. I get so excited that people really want to read what I have to say!  Try it, OK?

Till next week,




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Ever wish you had a crystal ball ? not as a paper weight, but to use to look into your future?

Posting #10   February 1, 2015


Do you ever wake up and think “What’s it all about?” (shout out to Michael Caine’s 1966 movie character, Alfie.) I know that question is such a cliché, but I’m positive many fellow Baby Boomers have asked the same thing, often.

Just this morning when I woke up, as I’m still in bed “just thinking about random shit” as usual, that damn question takes over my brain like in the 1956 movie “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers”.

Of course, my initial emotional response is totally negative.  Nothing exact nor defined; just an overwhelming feeling of  “why do I keep trying to find an answer, to this unanswerable question, when doing so, only succeeds in increasing my anxiety, depression, & feeling of helplessness?”  I seem to want to project an aura of “All is super great – I’m in control” yadayadayada; when inside, many days, I just want to hide in a corner, pull a blanket over my head, and hang a huge, 3-D “do not disturb” sign. Or better yet, the sign should read, “Will someone please take care of me? so I don’t have to do all these adult things?”. (See, I’ll never get rid of that “inner child”.)

Determined to prove to myself that most of the time, “all is super great – I am in control”, I’ve come up with a mantra, that when repeated, honestly does help pull me out of my funk and gives me the kick in the tush I obviously need quite often to change that fuckin’ broken record.  I’m beginning to accept the fact that somehow I was unintentionally programed to start each day with this automatic self defeating state of mind; kinda like Pavlov’s dogs, but no bells needed.

My mantra? “I Choose To Be Happy”-  just these five words can change my attitude, & thus my reality….really. Spoiler alert, I’m not going to now try and sell you an on-line study course that promises you a self-guided tour to nirvana.

I’m just putting my thoughts “out there”. I’m no expert on this stuff. If you like my blog, great! And if you don’t, hell, you’re entitled to your feelings (as many of my former therapists have assured me.)

I feel like so many of the major chapters in my life have now been written, filled with the typical struggles, happiness, accomplishments, disappointments, regrets – you know: “shoulda, coulda, woulda”.

These are my facts: I’m almost 69 (still looking fairly younger then that – shout out to my Mother, Mary Kadish Eisenstein, whose genes I inherited), married & divorced twice (with absolutely no regrets – well, OK, I’ll admit my one regret: that neither marriage ended up being what I had thought & hoped it would be; couldn’t overcome the roadblocks even after so much effort, etc.); have two adult children and two grandchildren who give me such joy!; have experienced the death of my parents, & most of my childhood immediate family members; my health is basically good but a lot of my body parts are wearing out (I guess the warranties have expired?)

When I was a working Mother, I treasured those intermittent hours of having the time to do things I wanted to do; not had to do. Now, the only things I have to do are pay taxes & die (ya, I know, that’s an old joke – but it’s true!).

The one thing that I really want to do now is get more gigs on t.v. and commercials. Actually, I’ve accomplished being on TV since I moved to LA, by being cast as a participant in BRAVO’s “The Peoples Couch”. It’s not “acting”; I get to be the real me, or as I have dubbed myself “The Middle Glamma!”  The show has been on for two seasons & we’re hoping for a third. If you have nothing to do one day, check it out on YouTube. One day I’ll post a chapter of what it’s like being in “Hollywood Show Business”. With almost 50 years of acting experience (though mostly on stage), I feel I have a lot to offer. I’ll keep you posted of hopefully future opportunities.

I do wonder about my death: when, where, why? If I could choose, I would want death to come when I no longer can live my own life, having to depend on others to care for me, deploring the possible reality of being a burden to my children & grandchildren, knowing they probably would visit me not because they want to, but because they know “it’s the right thing to do”.

I do not want to die in a hospital nor a nursing home. I wish for a painless death. Knowing that its’ very likely I will die without the opportunity to say goodbye to all those I love, I really, really hope I’ve told each of them often enough just how much I love, treasure, & appreciate them.  When I’m dead, I’d really like it if they remember me with loving thoughts. Living on in their hearts is my dearest desire. That way, no one truly dies.

Wow, didn’t plan for this entry to be such a downer! But I bet other Baby Boomers & those older have had these same thoughts. I believe it’s a normal part of aging. However, I’m not going to dwell on these topics. I want to live like that old saying, “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present”. I just have to keep reminding myself.









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Installment #9  1-26-2015

When I lived in San Antonio, Texas, I read the obituary  notices every day because I had lived there all my life and knew many people. Even then, and more so now, I’ve become aware that many of the deceased were  younger than I am (69 in May). Damn! Just the other day, I was a teenager watching Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show. Then, I woke up one day and, shazam!, decades had passed.

Obituaries definitely re-enforce my determination to “stop & smell the roses” as often as possible, rather than rushing through the days, weeks, months, or years I may still have left.

I admit that when I’m out walking the hills of Burbank, I often stop to get a better look at something I find intriguing (houses, gardens, & yes, roses). Many times I will bow my head down to a glorious rose, and enjoy its particular fragrance (In the back of my mind I’m wondering if anyone is watching me do this, and if so, what are they thinking? (My first husband would NEVER stop if we were driving somewhere…no matter what wonders we were flying past. His goal was to get from one place to another as fast as possible…perfect example of someone who viewed life as a destination, not a journey.

Warning, you might regard me as some kind of Pollyanna when you read the following list of things that stop me in my tracks. Believe me, I have my bouts of gloom and doom. But purposely “smelling the roses” helps keep them at bay.

1) Hummingbirds that come to my patio feeder right outside my window, maybe 3 feet away. Did you know that not only do these tiny mystical birds have a long, narrow & pointy beak, but that they have an even longer, thread like tongue, that extends to suck out the nectar.

2) Every morning when I pull back the curtain on my computer window, I let myself enjoy the tranquil view of my hanging spider plants, my raised gardens that I tenderly nurse, & my mini disco ball radiating glimmering spheres as it turns in the sun. This view makes living in an apartment complex almost enjoyable.

3) Sun sets. Ya, this one is really corny. Do lots of other people take the time to even be aware of this phenomenon? Or is it just a signal that night is coming? Think about it: each sunset is a living work of art!

4) The Mountains that I see when I’m walking outside. Having lived in San Antonio & then Houston, which are truly FLAT (great for bike riding), maybe I’m just more aware of them than most Californians? But, “progress” is once again destroying these decades old views by building multi-storied hotels or apartment complexes right across the street from where I live. I feel like yelling “Down In Front”!

5) When I’m taking my walks in the neighborhoods, I literally stop and smell the roses (if they’re close enough to the sidewalk – don’t want to be arrested for trespassing!) I chuckle just imagining if anyone is watching me, and what they must be thinking. “What the hell is that old lady doing?”

6) Watching my new Beta fish as it lazily swims in the mini aquarium on a table right by my chair. I named him “Alpha”: get it? Alpha Beta? I thought that was really clever!

Remember that feel-good saying that “Life is not a destination; it’s a journey?”  Now that my journey is getting shorter, I realize that my Father instilled in me his belief that a person must always work, strive, achieve. Not doing so was a waste of time. Plus, my self-worth was then based on how much I accomplished! I literally had to learn how to take a nap, without feeling guilty. Taking off my self-imposed blinders has calmed my life immeasurably.

What would happen if more people did that?


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Do You Believe That “Youth Is Wasted On The Young”?

Installment #8   1-17-15


As an elementary school kid (1952-1958), I was just plain happy; unaware of the real world (or anything other than what directly affected me); was very active (we played like crazy at recess – pretending we were horses, tag, 4 square), hanging from our knees on the monkey bars – that metal playground equipment shaped like a parson’s table, with metal rungs that ran from one end to the other.  When we hung by our knees, our dress skirts would fall down over our underwear, and the boys would make fun of us. Or we would hang on to the rungs with our arms, swinging from one rung to the next until we reached the other end (maybe that was the beginning to my rotator cuff issue?)

And after school, we played outside of our houses, and didn’t come in till it got dark (I can still remember hearing my father, standing on our front porch, doing that high pitched whistle which meant “come home”, the kind that he had to put 2 fingers into his mouth first – I never could do that). I was curious, courageous (once I jumped off our garage because my brothers said it was so much fun and that nothing would happen to me… NOT.), and dare I say, “carefree”?  To me, everything was great (except for my brothers constantly teasing me, and having to share my room with my Bubbie, and not being able to watch cartoons Saturday mornings cause my Mom always took us to services at the synagogue. Sometimes I’d pretend I was sick so I could stay home and watch t.v., but the down side was that then I had to stay inside for the WHOLE DAY. No justice.)

A big night out for my family was going to an old house about 6 blocks away. It was a corner lot, without any fencing. The owners had turned their backyard into a “Watermelon el fresco café”.  Had those hanging multi-color lights over head. The melons were kept icy cold & crisp by submerging them in one of those huge metal horse water-troughs, filled with ice. They’d cut each of those long watermelons into 4 big slices, and we’d sit on wood picnic benches, stuffing our faces, and spitting the seeds into the grass. My Dad always sprinkled salt on his! Us (or is it “we”) kids thought Yuck!, right? But, I admit, that when I started eating outmeal years ago, I sprinkled on sugar just like I had done on my Cheerios &/or Wheaties.  But it didn’t taste “right”, so I tried salt, & just like Goldilocks, it was “just right” – why? hell if I know.)

A few years later, when I was a pre-teen & teenager, I began seeing my life in a different light. I guess I started comparing my “life style” with those of other kids my age & those on t.v. – My Little Margie, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, The Dick Clark Show, etc. I began to notice a lot of differences! Example: why did my family have only ONE phone, and it was permanently attached to the wall in the hallway, and was kept inside a little 2 feet x 2 feet alcove (ya, lots of privacy, right?) about 3 feet up from the floor.  The phones back then (which only came in black!) consisted of two pieces: a wide “u-shaped” piece that you had to hold the top part to your ear to listen and the lower part to your mouth to speak. That piece was connected to the phone base by an 8 inch curly phone wire that if you tried to stretch it out (to maybe sit on the floor while talking) you could easily accidently pull the phone base out of the alcove. Phones were made out of heavy black metal & could cause major damage if it fell on flesh & bone!

When you were finished talking, you put it back onto its’ holder at the top of the base: that would automatically disconnect the call. (my brothers and I fought constantly as to who could talk on the phone, and for how long! I can’t recall my parents ever using it.)Most people had a little phone stool/chair right under the alcove so you could sit while you talked! And ours even had a little shelf for the phone book! Oh, and it was a rotary kind of dial. Remember those? if you didn’t turn that dial with the holes all the way around without stopping, you’d accidentally call a wrong number! And do remember how aggravating and SLOW it was to dial a full 7 numbers.  Back then there weren’t any “area codes”, and in San Antonio, each phone number started with a LETTER, followed by 5 numbers. I still remember mine (CA 52583). Pathetic isn’t it? – I can’t remember what I just did with my car keys, but I can remember a phone number from almost 60 years ago. You had to put your finger into the hole by that number and rotate it to the right & down, and then wait for it to rotate back to the starting position: “1 ringy-dingy, two-ringy-dingys”… {shout out to Lily Tomlin – although, she used a “switch board”}

Which reminds me, (off topic again) even though I went to UT Austin in 1964, I lived in the “Scottish Rite Dormitory” that was only available to daughters of the members of The Scottish Rite Society (males only). It was built back in the 1930’s: large imposing front lawn and a stately entrance with column. Red brink ivy covered walls, 5 stories with an attic that was a study hall; huge oak trees. I’m sure the whole idea was to impress the parents!  Oh, when you entered the front doors, to the right was a huge living room, with crystal chandeliers, plush oriental rugs over wood floors, velvet sofas & chairs fit for royalty. Of course it was off limits to the girls. All the dorm rooms upstairs were the complete opposite: linoleum floors, metal twin beds & metal desks.

S.R.D. (as it was called) was much more strict than other dorms (which is probably why my parents wanted me there. Never understood that: I was a nice, obedient Jewish daughter whom they thought was going to be living in the heathen land called college.) But every room did have a black wall mounted dial phone right inside the room’s door….the curly wire from speaking/hearing piece, to the wall base was about 2 feet long when totally stretched out.) And it was a “SWITCH BOARD” system. If you’ve never heard of that, google it. They were often included in many of the 1930’s movies! One woman sat in front of a panel that had holes in it, and if a call came in to the main dorm number, the operator would ask for the room number being called, and plug a main cord into the hole for that room, &, shazam! it would ring there. We didn’t have our own phone numbers AND no calls were put through after midnight! Like prison, dontcha think? If you wanted to make a call later than that, you had to go downstairs to use the only phone booth!

All the “cool girls ” lived in the Kinsolving Dormitory (no co-ed dorms back then) just down the street; it was a very modern looking building, contemporary design inside and out, and had real phones that the girls could use any time! I was so jealous.

(Getting back to teenage years) My Father always told me to enjoy this time in my life. Ya, right: I was dealing with pimples, menstruation, flat chest, 2 bullying older brothers, not having a lot of money (I should really say, being poor – as compared to a lot of my friends!), wishing I had nicer clothes as well as knowing what to buy; learning how to deal with boys I liked, wishing I lived in a “cool house” in a “cool neighborhood”, being Jewish in Texas when some people thought we had “horns” – really!, I’m not making that up, and so many other hurdles. Then in my college years he kept telling me the same thing: “Enjoy my youth”. But how could I when I felt emotionally different than most people, was so naïve about many things, feeling insecure about my looks, wanting to be popular. Funny that I never worried about school nor grades: I worked very hard to bring home “A’s” because that’s what my Dad expected of me. I’d often turn down a date (even though I wasn’t receiving many offers) in order to study more!; I also worried about the physical aspect of dating (I knew NOTHING). I’d listen to girls in the dorm and pretend that I knew what they were talking about.

At the beginning of my Junior year, I left SRD & moved into an apartment with a girl friend I had met freshman year when we both I joined the same sorority: Ended up gladly quitting being a sorority girl the next year – but that’s a whole other disappointing story. My biggest worry started late in my Senior year. what was I going to do after I graduated college? Move from Austin to Houston or Dallas? Where would I live? How would I get a job? Earn a living? Deal with managing an income, doing taxes, health insurance??: basically taking care of myself…. for the 1st time in my life. I WAS TERRIFIED.  In the back of my mind, I always thought that I got engaged the summer after my senior year while I was still living in Austin, so I’d be “safe”, wouldn’t have to deal with any of that! Got an engagement ring; got a job  (office worker); got married in 1968; & lived in Austin 2 more years while putting my then-husband through law school (with the financial aid of my parents). I went from my parents’ home to a new home, with a husband.

So, I had dutifully followed the “expected path”, but didn’t really know who I was nor  where I was going! I was such a child blindly entering “adulthood!”  This new phase of my life should have come with an owner’s manual. I was not enjoying this “YOUTH”.

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INSTALLMENT #9   1-26-15


When I lived in San Antonio, Texas, I read the obituary notices every day because I had lived there all my life and knew many people (or, at least, knew of them). Even then, but more so now, I’ve become aware that many of the deceased were younger than I am (69 in May). Damn! Just the other day, I was teenager watching Elvis Presely on the Ed Sullivan show. Then, I turned around, and wham! I’m living on Social Security and fearing that I may outlive my savings!

Obituaries definitely reinforce my determination to “stop and smell the roses” as often as possible, rather then rushing through the days, weeks, months, or years I may have left.

I admit, that when I’m out walking the hills of Burbank, I often stop to get a better look at particular flowers. I will bow my head down to a glorious rose, & enjoy its particular fragrance. (In the back of my mind I wonder if anyone is watching me do this, and if so, I wonder what they must be thinking.)

You might regard me as some kind of “Pollyanna” when you read the following list of things that stop me in my tracks. Believe me, I have my bouts of gloom & doom. But purposely “smelling the flowers” helps keep them at bay.

1) Hummingbirds that come to my patio feeders. Did you know that not only do these tiny mystical birds have those long, narrow, pointy beaks, but that they have even longer, thread like tongues, that extend to suction the nectar. Up until recently, I thought that hummingbirds made a chirp-like sound, but after googling it,  I learned that the noise is made by their wings as they flap at unbelievable rates!

2) Every morning when I pull back the curtain on my computer window, I let myself enjoy the view of my hanging spider plants, my raised gardens, & my mini disco ball radiating glimmering spheres as it turns in the sun. This view makes living in an apartment complex almost enjoyable.

3) Sun sets. Do any of you take the time to really look at this phenomenon? Sometimes looking at a picture or a painting of a sun set seems more true than the real thing. I find that sad.

4) the mountains I can see from Burbank. Having lived in FLAT San Antonio, & FLATTER Houston, Texas all my life, viewing these mountains makes them even more miraculous.  BUT, “progress” is once again unappreciative of natural things like that, instead building it’s own version of mountains (5-8 story hotels) that effectively obliterate those cherished views.

5) an old woman/father being helped to walk down the street or get in the car by their adult child (I assume it’s their child). Brings back fond memories of when I did the same thing for my Mother.

6) I look at many of the old family pictures I have everywhere around my apartment because doing that brings back such wonderful memories. My daughter thinks I shouldn’t do that. But I believe it’s because unlike her childhood, mine was the best time of my life!

7) looking at an old massive tree, that is a work of art in itself. If only builders would dig up these treasures and replant them somewhere else instead of getting rid of them like weeds.

9) take the time to sit and watch my dark blue/teal colored Beta fish, as it lazily swims in it’s aquarium right by my chair. I even talk to him (I think it’s a male) Guess that’s better than talking to myself. I named him “Alpha”…get it? Alpha Beta?

10) enjoy how much I love the way my apartment looks each time I walk in the front door. (when I’ve cleaned it up). It’s definitely eclectic and many people would probably think I have too many “chatckies” all over the place. But they all make me happy & that’s what counts.

I encourage you to take off your blinders! Really see all that is around you. Or not; it’s up to you.


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Are all baby boomers computer-illiterate ?


1-11-15  POST  #7  Are All Baby Boomers computer challenged, or am I just one of the lucky lost souls?

Dear fellow BABY BOOMERS (& those who have the same “defining characteristics”, if not the exact required years),
I’ve just spent another 2 hours trying to figure out why, all of a sudden, I couldn’t get to the “wp-admin” screen of this blog so I could begin the process of writing a new post (this one!). I was able to do  it all those past 6 times, but this time, nada. Trying to keep my blood pressure below boiling, I googled every topic that might help; got bubkis. So, having sworn a sacred oath on my favorite Dairy Queen Blizzard flavor (chunky Reese’s peanut butter cups) a long time ago (after a near-nervous-breakdown experience trying to use  “on line chat” for help), that I would NEVER subject myself to another of those stupid, insipid, ulcer creating live chats, I did just that.

Why didn’t some one strap me into a straight jacket then and there. I might have saved myself another ulcer, as a result of having to WASTE more time & brain cells, trying to get these “agents” to understand what I needed ; trying to decipher their “answers” that didn’t make sense; Losing my cool with the “agents”, asking why they can’t understand my simply inquiries, & just answer the freckin’ question!

I’m so tempted to just STOP using all of these unnecessarily complicated “electronic mine-fields”. Grrrr. Ya buster, you heard me; put all of it where the sun don’t shine! Ah, but then I’d be “cutting off my nose to spite my face”. But, somehow, the computer-fairy had pity on me,  & I did manage to get to the right place (I don’t even know how I did it, & probably will get blocked again in the future, and not be able to get to where I need to be), so that’s why I’m hyper-ventilating & spewing steam out my ears as I write.

I think I’ve told y’all that I’ve given up trying to put a “FOLLOW” button on this blog which would make it possible for those readers who want to, to receive automatic notifications of any new postings. Well, F**k that. Please continue to check out my “post announcements” on my facebook (Ayn Phillips) & twitter (@phillipsayn). That’s the best I can do for now.

You know who can do all this computer stuff like they were born with that link in their brains…it’s kids who still have pimples, and those who even haven’t gone through puberty yet, and more than likely, pre-schoolers who had to stop sucking their thumbs so they could type with both hands  on their “baby Mattel computers”.

I know many fellow baby boomers who won’t even try using a computer – they’re that intimidated by them. My initial intimidation actually began way back in 1980’s when I had to go back to teaching. Schools were just starting to use “them” (they used “floppy discs – if you’re a BB you’ll remember those). So, in order for me to input my grades each semester, I could no longer send in a hand written list: now I had to send it on-line. Damn it – I was forced into this whole unknown territory with my feet dragging, my self-confidence plummeting to a new low, & not understanding how other people were able to become computer literate so damn fast. (were they really being smug about it; or is that just how I perceived them?)

Oh, here’s a laugh: Within one month of our school going totally “computerized”, one of the 6th graders hacked into the system and changed the language to FRENCH! Ya, a little pisher derailed a government run school system. It took over a week for anyone to figure it out. And here I am, some 35+ years later, still feeling like I’m dragging my heels, feeling like I can’t figure out this electronic age…yadayadayada. (OK, time out – I just took a deep cleansing breath to stop my heart from racing. Didn’t do squat, so I tried another breath, and then another. Still no help. So instead, I just downed (not sipped) a glass of wine. That worked better than the breathing thing. Plus, I like the buzz.
By now, if you’ve read my previous posts, you’ve learned that I’m notorious for getting “off subject”. I can’t even remember what the hell I had intended to wax poetic on (dear fellow English teachers: I know I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but right now I could care less about being grammatically correct, when I’m so damned “computerly incorrect”!).

Ya know what? I’m going to take a break and go for a fast paced walk here in the hills of Burbank. Kill two birds with one stone: hopefully clear my mind while working off an ounce or two of the fat that’s accumulated on my butt over the past holidays! (I hate using that phrase about killing birds! I have a huge wild bird-seed feeder and two humming bird feeders that I look at out my computer window every day. The only stones I’ve felt like throwing would be at the friggin’ cats that come and sit by the seed feeder, waiting for their lunch! Oh, the pet rules around this complex will be another subject one day – IF I don’t forget it)  I’m going to try & save this draft to finish later, but who the hell knows if I can accomplish even that!! I feel like a dinosaur trapped in a time warp or, should I say a “tar pit”.

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Do I really have to keep my New Year Resolutions?


The reason I’m asking about whether or not I must keep my New Year resolutions for 2015, is because I never finished keeping the ones from 2014, 2013, yada yada yada. I seem to keep resolving the same things each year and they never get done; or actually, I might do some for a while, but then just go back to “real life”, ya know? But, as with every year, I’m gonna try, again.

In a perfect world, here is my “top 10 list“: IN 2015,  I RESOLVE TO (10) eat healthier foods (admitting that chocolate and Pasta are not true food groups) as well as eat less copious amounts! & cut back on nightly wine – it’s like drinking liquid sugar. Plus after a glass, it leads to 2 glasses, and then I forget about not eating so much, and I crave (& eat) everything. (9) lose those 8 – 10 friggin’ pounds and never find them again; (8) go to sleep no later than 11 p.m., not staying up till midnight, or 1, or 2 a.m., & then sleeping in till 9-10 a.m. the next morning ( you must realize that I no longer work full time, have no husband, kids, nor dogs to affect my schedule, and can always put things off without the world coming to an end – kinda makes you jealous, doesn’t it ?) (7) never go to sleep with dirty dishes in the kitchen sink &/or stuff all over the counter tops (you know how that feels to wake up and walk into the kitchen, look around, and think “what the feck”? BTW, I just did that again this morning, and still haven’t touched any of it yet! (6) to clean up & truly organize the miniscule bedroom corner I call my “office”. It contains my “desk” (which is actually a long, narrow hall table (15 inches deep, 76 inches wide, 28 inches high) on which is piled a desktop computer, & key board, printer, printer stand with areas for extra paper, envelopes, & such, a television sitting on top of the A T & T U-Verse box,  land-line phone & stand, two big holders for tons of pencils, ball point pens, different color high lighter pens, rulers, sharpie permanent ink markers, 2-3  scissors, screw drivers, a mouse pad & mouse, a wall & desk calendar, Plus UNDERNEATH IT,  TWO bursting file cabinets, a trash can, a small rattan stool, a long & wide electrical surge proof outlet with places for 8 plugs, router, and a big AT&T stand up box with lots of blinking green lights,  all the electronic cords & a totally interwoven mess of extension cords to fuel the computer, TV, printer, etc., a framed poster of colorful fish, pictures of my parents. ABOVE IT is the antique gold metal chandelier, hanging from the ceiling (it was original to the 1920’s house’s dining room in which I grew up in San Antonio – There’s another chandelier from my old house  — this was in the high living room ceiling, that I now hang in my itty-bitty bedroom closet.) I’ve schlepped both fixtures with me from when my parents sold our house, back in the late 1960’s. I managed to rehang them in all 3 homes in Houston, and lastly, in the house in San Antonio when my Mom lived with us. No feckin’ way was I not bring them to Burbank~

TO THE RIGHT of desk, at a 90 degree angled corner, is a 4 shelf folding book case which is over-loaded with more plastic drawers full of more office supplies, 2 antique wood file boxes, into which I dump all the things I don’t know where else to put, scotch tap dispenser, stapler, 3 hole punch, dictionary (that I’ve had since college), a thesaurus, several three ring binders filled with more stuff I’m saving and probably shouldn’t be. I truly HATE this disorderly side of me: I get anxious, tense, and feel over-whelmed just looking at it all.

I can barely walk around the queen size bed (I had to remove the closet door cause I could only open it 5 inches before it hit the mattress). Oh, and when I moved in, I bought those 7 inch high, heavy duty “hard plastic risers” on which to set my mattress & box springs frame, so I’d have extra room underneath my bed to put more stuff, where it now lives getting covered in dust & forgotten! I’m beginning to believe that the people who build these “senior apartments” must have determined that we don’t need a lot of space cause we’re gonna die pretty soon anyway! (5) clean out all 2 closets, throwing out everything I haven’t worn or used for the last 6 months, forever ridding myself of that repetitive thought: “I better keep this cause I may need it some day.” If, like me, you were raised by parents who lived through “the Depression”, then you’ll understand why, to this day, I feel guilty if I use tin foil (who really called it “aluminum foil”?) only once & then throw it away. If it’s not really dirty, or if it can be washed off, I’ll fold it up and “put it somewhere so I can  use it again”. Oh, & for years, I could never just tear a gift open. I was taught to gently & carefully unfold the paper, flatten out any creases, and “put it somewhere so I can use it again (same thing with all the all the ribbons”; (4) not get on my computer after 10 p.m. nor start playing on-line solitaire (hmmmm, maybe just one  more game!); (3) do my physical therapy exercises and then go walk for 45 minutes FIRST THING every morning- I have the tendency to put it off and then never do it (like today – I did manage to walk the 6 blocks to the downtown shopping center, around all the floors, and back home,  but didn’t do all the exercises. Grrrrr. (2) do one thing at a time COMPLETELY without getting distracted and starting several other things at the same time, thus never really getting anything done (it feels like I’m busy all day long!)  (1) strongly bug my commercial agent to get me money paying gigs! Living on Social Security & some savings is a joke! Lots of us baby boomers are  having the same problem, right?

Like that old saying, “Getting old is a bitch!”

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