Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Soul Sisters"

Although born 8 months apart,  in different cities and to different parents, I consider my friend Donna to be my "conjoined twin" of the heart!
We first met in high school (1966) as  members of the newspaper's elite (smile) editorial staff , but we really bonded in nursing school when we became room mates .
Rather like Neil Simon's mismatched duo in The Odd Couple, I played Oscar (sloppy, messy) to Donna's Felix (neat, tidy).
I would get up in the morning and go down to the shared dormitory bathroom to wash up and brush my teeth, and by the time I returned to our room, just like magic,  my bed was made and the clothes put away!
Donna was both my hairdresser and fashion consultant. We went through an experimental phase where we dyed our locks jet black!  Back in "the good old days", I could fit into her clothes and our wardrobes were interchangeable.
We were like the "identical cousins" from The Patty Duke show. ("They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike...")  
And now, some 44 years later, I am still honored to call Donna my "twin" sister!
I find myself awed and humbled in the wake of her recent diagnosis of breast cancer.
She has always been a positive and strong woman, but her brave front and  "let's just do this" attitude is amazing to witness.
I know her strong faith and love for family and friends will get her through the upcoming months of treatment.


Friday, March 30, 2012

"Wii (not so) fit"- pun intended

Sadly, that is not my "before" picture!
But I hope to look like that again some day after I complete my exercise program.
old photo- I would say circa 1990's and yes, "Judi Fonda" I was not!
I used to be called  a "long, tall drink of water" and actually had to resort to high calorie milkshakes to gain weight - long ago and far away.
Now my  weight loss goal  is measured not in pounds but categories.
I strive to be simply "overweight"
as opposed to my present "obese" or  the dreaded "very obese".
It is going to take years and many BMI points to get back to "normal" again.
What happened to kinder terms such as "chubby or pleasantly plump"? 
And why not use more positive synonyms such as "blossoming,  ample, comfy, delectable, generous, sumptuous or robust" to motivate one towards change? 
I began the Wii program last month and find the animated personal trainer annoying and condescending.
Each time I step on the balance board, he gives a  groan of disapproval.
When I attempt my balance test, he further insults me with questions such as "Do you find yourself tripping a lot?"  
And yes, people do tend to mutter "Timber" behind my back.
A heartfelt warning or merely a mocking gesture?
Either way, I seriously consider the pros and cons of  a medical alert system ("I've fallen and I can't get up").
Stay tuned for further progress updates .
With a little luck, you may be seeing less of me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Good friends are like fine Wine"

 "Over the years I have come to realize good friends are much like fine wine. They age well over time, and their company is to be savored, a bit at a time. And the older the relationship, the more mellow and full of flavor it becomes."   

I drove down to southern Ohio (Ashland) this past Tuesday to  celebrate the 62nd birthday of my oldest friend Cindy.
We first met  at Lakewood Lutheran school way back in 1963.
We were 8th graders on the very threshold of adolescence. Together we shared all the milestones and adventures that make up that special world.
Donna hosted the event with her usual style and grace.  Her home should be in "Better Homes and Gardens". Actually, I think it has been on the home tour more than once.  
The beauty of the weather allowed us to dine outside on her lovely patio.  
We ate home made pizza, cheesy dips and the most gorgeous salad I have every seen. 
And saving the best for last,  the cake was the perfect ending to a perfect day!!

However, our gathering was made bitter sweet by an unexpected  announcement.
Donna shared that she was about to begin the "journey of her lifetime".
She had just learned of events that  would threaten her health and well being. 

Please pray for her to receive the strength of body, mind and soul to get through this as gently and safely as possible. 
She has the love and support of many friends and family and deserves the best outcome. 
Donna has always been the "giver" in all her relationships and it is about time she lets us show her some of that same love and attention.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Hole"

Last week while walking my dog, I passed a bird house with a small finch  perched beside the opening.
Her body was outside with her head poking into the birdhouse and she was as still as a statue.
Curious as to why she chose not to fly away, I investigated closer and realized she had her head stuck tight in the entrance hole!!
Trying not to panic her or myself, I approached the bird house and spoke in a hushed tone, thinking that she would squeeze out on her own rather than encounter a human.  Wrong.
I gently tried to disengage her head from the hole. Up, down, sideways ...and all I managed to accomplish was to escalate my  growing anxiety.
I could feel the stretch in her vertebrae and was afraid that I would decapitate her right then and there!
Returning her to the perch, I ran inside like a mad women and after considering everything from Vaseline to butter, grabbed a small boy scout knife.
Supporting my surprisingly calm little bird in my hand, I  began to chip away to enlarge the hole.
Several precarious slices later and the bird suddenly fluttered out of my hand and flew away like a bat out of Hell!
With a sigh of relief, I thanked God and went back inside to collapse on the couch!
But not before I flew around  the yard myself and compulsively enlarged  all the holes on all the birdhouses!!!
I did not want history to repeat itself.
EPILOGUE: The end of the story:   Yesterday, again while walking the dog (maybe I should seriously consider a tread mill?), I saw what appeared to be a pair of wings on my lawn, not attached to any bird!  Was this my rescued bird?  Had I done irreparable damage to her neck?  Did she ultimately die of fright from the experience?  Please, God, no...
But then later in the day as I  passed by a beautiful  tree, filled with new pink blossoms - there sitting on a branch sat a solitary songbird, singing her heart out.
Was that possibly a note of thanks I heard in her song?  Could she be "my" bird instead of that poor wingless one?
In a perfect world, I would like to think so.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I would like to dedicate this Blog site to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Donna Starkey.  (she is pictured on far left in the above photo. I am in the middle, and the other member of our "terrific trio" is Cindy)  We three have been best friends since high school... way back in the "Flower Power, psychedelic , hippie lovin' 60's"!!
Her "Starkey Hollow" is one of the most creative and inspiring blogs out there!  I hope to follow her example  and use her's as my template.  Donna incorporates photography, recipes, and the "good old days" tradition of storytelling to create a blog that is "warm and fuzzy" and a joy to follow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This is my beautiful dog, Madison.  She is a ten year old chocolate lab who brightens my world and makes me laugh every day!

Day 1

Just got my blog page and will try and create my first post!  This is me, the happy retiree enjoying the beginning of the rest of my life.