Thursday, April 17, 2014

Travel Ends (temporarily) and Life Continues After the EBWW

My initial plan this morning was to hit the gym before beginning the day’s activities. I feel guilty and lazy after a travel week without exercise.

But I could not find a bra. All were in the laundry, and I cannot leave the house without wearing one. It is a city ordinance.

Home after being on the road over a week, the weariness of car travel, conferences, and family get-togethers took its toll. Today I plan on unpacking, doing laundry, catching up on snail mail, paying bills, and unwinding.

I am still decompressing from the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop (EBWW).

We drove home to New Jersey from Dayton, Ohio, the long way - via Boston.

Our home to Dayton is 600 miles. Dayton to our suburban Boston destination was 830 miles. Only 230 miles out of the way, plus another 350 miles to our house, detouring through Long Island to enjoy a late lunch and visit with my Mom, sister, and brother-in-law, before heading home and a final stop for groceries.

The extended drive brought us to Boston in time for an intimate, somewhat chaotic but entertaining holiday dinner with 34 relatives and friends.

But I was not cleaning, shopping, cooking, nor hosting!

Before moving on beyond Erma, here are -

A few highlights of the EBWW

Phil Donohue, past talk show host and gentleman extraordinaire, was the keynote speaker the first night. During the 1950s and early 60s he lived across the street from Erma and her family, and Erma appeared on his show several times over the years. He delighted the audience with anecdotes about their days in Dayton and happenings on and off camera.

     FYI – Phil is married to Marlo Thomas, who has a new book out, which I have not yet read but through the grapevine understand is wonderful, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over – Reinventing Your Life – And Your Dreams – Anytime, At Any Age. I intend to read it soon. But I digress…
Phil Donohue and his posse. I am second from the left.
A workshop entitled Chick Wit: Writing the Humorous Memoir, was led by the mother-daughter duo Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. She writes mystery novels, often with women protagonists, a humor newspaper column Chick Wit, and co-wrote four entertaining books about mother-daughter relationships with her daughter. Her Mom, Mother Mary, features prominently in her columns and mother-daughter books. Following the morning workshop and lunch presentation, the two speakers immediately flew home, where Mother Mary was under hospice care. Lisa told several poignant and funny stories about her Mom, who passed away three days later (April 13). But once again I digress…

Eighteen brave attendees performed 5-minute comedy skits at the final evening event. Coached by a professional comedian and participating in a Stand-up Comedy Boot Camp, they were daring and funny performers (I am sure the wine and other drinks consumed beforehand helped warm up the audience!).

A workshop entitled Women Writing Their Lives – Truth telling Wisdom and Laughter – featured moderator Patricia Wynn Brown (“The Hairdo Monologues”), the first editor of Ms. Magazine Suzanne Braun Levine, humorist and English lit professor Gina Barreca, and writer Ilene Beckerman, whose first book, published when she was 60 – Love, Loss and What I Wore – morphed into a Broadway play produced by Nora Ephron. Ilene is now 78. The panel proved compelling, inspiring, very funny, yet at the same time heartbreaking. I believe much of the audience was emotionally exhausted by the end of the discussion.

I could go on, but reality beckons. The dryer buzzer just started whining…bills to be paid on the 15th of the month stare at me (wasn’t the 15th a couple of days ago?)…small bags of stuff strewn all over remain unpacked…dust balls peek out from under the furniture…and I have to figure out what to prepare for dinner.

Life marches on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Top 10 Reasons I Loved the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop

Immersed in writing for 2 1/2 days is a writer's dream, and I was lucky enough to live the dream last week at the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop (EBWW). Although humor-focused - Erma being the First Mistress of humor writing - writers of all genres would learn and enjoy the experience.

My next post details the goings on, the speakers, workshops, and what I learned. This post is a list - in no particular order - of the top 10 reasons I loved the workshop and hope to return in two years (EBWW is a biannual event).

The Top 10 Reasons I Loved the EBWW

* The workshop officially began Thursday afternoon. A large number of attendees arrived earlier and met in the hotel restaurant for lunch. Sitting at long tables, most of us meeting each other for the first time, enjoying the company of other writers, I noticed a phenomenon not common in my everyday life nowadays. The women ordered real food - club sandwiches, french fries, pasta. It was wonderful!

           A note of explanation - the overwhelming majority of attendees were women of various ages.               Rumor was the workshop, limited to 350, comprised 345 women. Men were scarce.

* I did not have the biggest boobs in the room! Or butt.

* Attendees did not don cute exercise outfits - or any kind of exercise clothes for that matter - and bounce out of the hotel at the crack of dawn to jog around the University of Dayton campus or perform yoga on the lawn or do any other kind of crazy exercise routine.

* People actually ate desserts - cake (brownies, lemon, carrot, chocolate, and I cannot remember dessert #5) - for lunch and dinner, placed in front of us by harried but attentive waitresses. I did not have to set or clear tables, wash dishes, or make any food-related decisions. The food, although actually mediocre, tasted wonderful because I was hungry and not shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after the meal.

* The uniform of the conference ranged from very casual to business casual to downright quirky. I loved the bunny slippers, tiaras, hats, and generally independent, fashion-agnostic but comfortable outfits worn by most attendees.

* These were my kind of women! Not counting calories, not exercise consumed, and not fashion focused - at least for the duration of the conference. They were friendly, funny, relaxed, and great company.

* I met blog friends and made new friends. Fellow writers congregating in Dayton Ohio from all over the country were unpretentious and outgoing - often a difficult endeavor for work-at-home, solo introverts like me.

* There was a lot of gray hair and wrinkles. No one cared. Also a lot of very young faces. The youngest attendee I met was 24; the oldest 85.

* Renowned speakers regaled the audience at the three dinners and two lunches. All of them enthralled listeners with their personal history, stories, and anecdotes. Before and after formal presentations they mingled with the commoners (aka attendees), talking with us and graciously spending time answering questions and posing for selfies and group pictures.

* Seminar presenters were talented, interesting, creative individuals with a wide range of writing experience. Various workshops, six each session, some offered twice over the two day period, were chock full of information for writer wannabes, writers with lots of questions, and professionals with years of experience. Deciding which workshops to attend was the most difficult part of the entire conference.

I could go on, but I need to catch up on my sleep.

More on EBWW in my next post.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mingling With Writers

Greetings from the tourist mecca of Dayton, Ohio.

That is right. No typo. I am spending several days in this small city on the western border of Ohio.

I am attending the Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop.

I will write more details about this wonderful event next week when I get home, catch up on my rest, and have time to write.

Meanwhile I am attending a round of workshops and seminars by a variety of speakers and writers. I am meeting people who work full time as writers, some as columnists and reporters, bloggers and book writers, others in marketing and related positions with various companies. Others are part-time writers, many splitting time raising families and attempting to squeeze in as much writing time as possible. Others are wannabe writers. There are young women and older ones - one speaker and writer is 78 - and a very small number of brave men.

Attendees walk around with name tags around their neck listing their name and hometown. The question most often posed to me the last couple of days has been:

"So what do you think about Christie?"

I should have subsidized my conference fee by being a paid rep for the governor, boosting his reputation - which, as we all know, could use a lot of boosting.

And for the record, I am a Democrat. But as far as Republicans go, Christie ain't bad.

More about Dayton, Erma Bombeck, the conference, and the long, long, long car drive from home to Dayton and back home again next week.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aging Not Quite Gracefully

 first in a series

Part 1: A Mental Malady of Aging

Aging is a process, a progression from one stage to the next. In our formative years the process usually means improvement. We acquire basic skills and expand mental and physical abilities, learning to throw a ball or swim or dance, then expanding skills, throwing the ball faster or further, swimming a longer distance, attempting more intricate dance moves.

Somewhere along the way, at first imperceptibly, the rate of improvement slows and the learning curve lengthens. It takes longer to master new dance routines or computer programs or words to a song.

As the decades roll by we succumb, slowly but surely, to a mental malady of aging called CRS - can’t remember shit, sometimes labeled CRAFT – can’t remember a f***** thing.

I have CRS.

I have not forgotten forever information stored in brain cells for days, months, years, and decades.

Most of the time I eventually remember whatever information I am trying to recall. I just do not remember immediately.

I would be the worst Jeopardy contestant ever. Watching the show from the comfort of my couch, I know the answer to lots of questions. But on stage I could not transfer the information from my brain’s file cabinet to the front of my brain, then notify my hand and press the button before my opponents. I would be a miserable failure earning $000.

Sometimes I run into a person I know I know, but my mind goes blank. Do I know the person from work? The gym? A neighbor? Former student? Repairman?...the name escapes me.

I was never great at remembering names. But I have gotten worse.

So I pass a few words of greeting with the individual, move on, and then – Bingo! A few minutes later remember the name. But it is too late…

My Dad had a habit, when addressing one of the women in his family, of saying, “Elyss Harriet Janice Meryl…” Naming his wife, sister, daughters, and maybe another woman or two of his acquaintance before identifying the individual he wanted to speak to.

It is much easier for kids to remember quickly. Decades of data are not stored in layers of files scattered throughout their brains. It is effortless locating information when facts and figures are neatly stockpiled in carefully labeled brain bins. Musty, dusty files are haphazardly strewn everywhere in the brains of older folks. New data intermingles with old records.

I should be happy with a rich storehouse of information at my fingertips, or more accurately my brain cells, compiled over years of living. On the other hand a lot of it is superfluous, taking up space and making it more difficult and time consuming to find important stuff when needed.

There is no pill or medical fix to CRS. I can do lots of crossword and Sudoku puzzles, eat brain-enriching foods, exercise my body, but the inevitable sooner or later occurs.

It might be the name of a person known for years, or the name of an author, a book, a song, a favorite band, or a particular word. The name is on the tip of the tongue, but I do not quite have it…I know it…wait…it’s here…I know I know it…the name is…and sometimes retrieve it in a few minutes. Other times, hours later or the next day or week, the information suddenly materializes.

I guess it is better found eventually than never.

My CRS will only get worse over time.

I make lists so I do not forget to buy milk and whatever else is needed at the store, pick up the dry cleaning, and buy a birthday gift.

Of course I misplace the list, forget about the dry cleaning, and buy the birthday gift on the way to the party.

But I bought the milk and groceries.

And when I cannot remember the name of that band or old TV show, I search Google.

I guess the Internet came along just in time, an effective and valuable tool comprising the new look of geezerhood in the 21st century.

Thank you, Al Gore.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Consumerism R Us

The reason we have such a high standard of living is because advertising has created an American frame of mind that makes people want more things, better things, and newer things.
-       Robert Sarnoff, President of National Broadcasting Company, 1956

Yesterday hub’s e-reader was officially declared obsolete. The company stopped manufacturing and supporting the device. Remember Betamax? Same company.

The e-reader was a gift from our two boys, purchased a few years ago when the e-reader was a new, cutting-edge, hi-tech device. Hub used it a lot – his work entails lots of travels and the e-reader, lighter and taking up less space than books, journeyed around the world, or at least throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.

The reader still works – for now. Tech support is no longer available, and not all books are offered for the old machine. Our local library does not support the reader format.

It is time to think about a replacement.

Which is what we Americans have been drilled to do. Replace things. We have grown accustomed to throwing out the old and buying new. Changing things, upgrading, swapping, and exchanging the old for a newer model.

Spending more money.

There is not a lot we own that still works after years of use.

We could get items such as appliances fixed. Except parts are often unavailable for older models. For those of us not skilled enough to fix our own stuff, costs of service visits, parts (if available), plus labor can cost almost as much as a replacement. And there is no guarantee the repaired machine will work.

Manufacturers and advertisers have spent gobs of money training us – like Pavlov’s dogs - that the latest gadget is a must-have. We salivate when hearing about the latest device, or an upgraded model of a currently owned one, and how it is going to change our life.

Most of us are well taught, although hub and I have somewhat resisted. We do not get excited about buying the latest fad items. People laughed at my outdated cell phone before forced to replace it when it finally died. We drive our cars until monthly repair costs exceed monthly car payments. I still use the Farberware pots and pans received when we married. Dishes, however, have been replaced a few times, not because I got tired of them (although I did), but because they broke or, in the case of the almost-indestructible Corelle used when my kids were young, disappeared over time.

We bought a new TV when moving four years ago, although I have to admit hub is seriously thinking about replacing it. He thinks it is too small for our family room.

My grown kids may laugh at our outdated, out-moded belongings, but somehow we manage to get along just fine.

So what is so great about teaching people, exhorting people, tempting people to want more things, better things, new things?

Our society invented planned obsolescence, the term coined for manufacturers’ purposeful plan to create products that do not last a long time. Consumers have to buy another product to replace the one broken, worn out, unfashionable, or whatever. Supporters initially touted the concept as a positive one because it required people to spend money, thus stimulating the economy. The fact that companies would make a ton of money was not mentioned.

And so was born the modern American supermarket, superstore, supersized society. More is considered better, with more choices of everything from laundry soap to cars. New and improved became the mantra to buy again. And again. And again…

But we – consumers - do not have bottomless pocketbooks. And all of us are not obsessed with the idea of keeping up with the Joneses.

Of course everything need not last forever. My kids usually outgrew clothes and shoes before the items disintegrated. Yet I wanted to be sure the item did not fall apart before necessitating replacement.

So where am I going with my rant? I have no idea.

I just hope hub’s new e-reader, not a cheap item, lasts many carefree years.

Father’s Day is approaching. Boys, are you listening reading!?... 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Neighborhood Health Clinic and Nail Salon

A woman recently gave birth in a nail salon. You may have read the article or seen her picture, along with her husband and now two kids, on Facebook. The birth morphed into a major media event, an upbeat happening appealing to readers and viewers, an occasion the 24/7 news industry endlessly talked about.

Actually, it is not a bad idea. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I like the concept. Why traipse to an antiseptic hospital for a natural event like childbirth?

Why not go to a place with a pleasant environment, a place where women enjoy chatting, drinking tea, coffee and other favorite beverages while getting a manicure and/or pedicure?

A woman should be relaxed when giving birth, but that is not easily accomplished. A few soothing words from her on-site birth counselor and the other women in the salon can go a long way in easing a woman’s anxiety.

Of course women can give birth at home, but let’s think about the implications.

Who should be invited?

Who is going to keep the house in order during the wait?

Who is going to clean up the mess afterwards?

Who is going to cook and feed the expectant entourage?

Women are already at the nail salon. It would be difficult to have a group of women on call at home, 24/7, until the auspicious time arrives.

It is much more fun, feminine, and practical to give birth in a pleasing environment surrounded by women who have already given birth, will soon give birth, who talk about childbirth experiences, or simply like the idea of other people giving birth.

And a woman-centered place like a nail salon fits the description.

After the birth, Mom can return for a post-natal checkup and Mommy Makeover.

But let’s not stop there.

Why not offer other women-specific procedures like mammograms at the salon? Women can encourage each other, laugh with each other, and commiserate with each other about the sometimes painful, definitely unfunny experience.

And what about pap smears and other GYN procedures? A doctor at one end, manicurist at the other, should somewhat mitigate the negativity of the medical activity.

Perhaps procedures should not be limited to women-only ones.

It is difficult in our fast-paced, busy lives finding time to get everything done. Combining activities helps. No reason to keep putting off that doctor’s visit when medical personnel can quickly, courteously and competently complete whatever medical procedure is needed at your favorite nail salon.

Everyone would benefit – the medical profession, the nail salon, and customers.

Discounts can be offered for a manicure/mammogram combo.

Or a pedicure and periodontal checkup. The specialists should be far enough away from each other to complete their tasks without getting in each other’s way.

The possibilities are endless.

How about an eyebrow wax and EKG?

Or botox and a manicure or pedicure – or both?

And why not let men in on the idea? I am sure barber shops are looking for ways to drum up additional business. What about a shave and a prostate exam? A haircut and heart checkup?

I am going to suggest my idea to my manicurist tomorrow. She is always interested in new business and ways of generating new business.

Maybe I could get a commission.

OK, forget the commission.

I will settle for a free manicure and pedicure. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pemberton, Pasta, and a Diet Coke

 I just returned from lunch at the local pizza shop. I did not eat pizza.

My story begins early this morning with a quick breakfast consumed about 8:00 a.m., an English muffin. Then I headed to the gym for an exuberant exercise class. Returning home, I engaged in an activity usually ignored, an activity extremely low on my priority list, an activity I escape at all costs – cleaning.

But house cleaning was not to be avoided today. Construction work carried out over the past few weeks is almost complete. We are updating two bathrooms and the layers of dust were so thick they could be measured.

The dirty work complete, it was time to reclaim my domain.

I diligently cleaned and cleaned for what seemed an eternity. It was not close to an eternity, but feels that way when involved in endeavors not exactly enjoyed. I should have paused for lunch, but was so busy cleaning (sounds good!) the time flew by.

Actually, the real reason lunch was postponed was a lack of food in the house. We have been eating down inventory, reluctant to bring in new, clean, fresh food only to soon be covered with grime.

No amount of covers prevented sprinkles of dust from oozing everywhere.

I arranged with hub to meet at the local pizza joint for lunch. It was 2:00 p.m. and I was starved by the time we rendezvoused.

I decided I wanted more than a calorie-laden piece of pizza. I wanted a calorie-laden bowl of meatballs and spaghetti.

With a healthy salad and low-cal dressing.

And a diet coke.

Which finally brings me to the point of this meandering story. Tomorrow – March 29 – is an auspicious anniversary in the life of my diet coke and everyone else’s much-loved can (or bottle) of coke.

On March 29, 1886 – 128 years ago – a pharmacist by the name of John Pemberton brewed the initial batch of Coca Cola in Atlanta, Georgia in a kettle in his back yard.

Among the ingredients was cocaine.

Do not worry – cocaine has not been an ingredient in Coca Cola since 1905 (or so the company says).

Pemberton knew exactly what he was doing. Wounded during the Civil War, he became addicted to morphine taken to alleviate his pain. He experimented with various drug mixes, hoping to find a cure for his addiction, eventually inventing a wine and cocaine-based concoction that was successfully advertised and sold.

Meanwhile the temperance crusaders of the era succeeded in getting Fulton county, Georgia, dry. This was the center of Pemberton’s business.

Pemberton again began experimenting, this time attempting to develop a non-alcoholic variant of his drink.

Eventually a carbonated version of Pemberton’s product tasted so good he decided to market it as a fountain beverage and not a medicine. The first glass, sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta on May 8, 1886, costfive cents.

A Pemberton employee, Frank Mason Robinson, originated the name Coca Cola and designed its script appearance.

A couple of years later businessman Asa Griggs Candler bought the business from Pemberton and his business partners. There was much behind-the-scenes intrigue and still unresolved controversy over the terms of the sale, who owned rights to the formula, and who owned rights to the Coca Cola name.

But the Coca Cola Company we all know and may – or may not love – was born.

Pemberton died in 1888 poor and still addicted.

Certain people today prefer Pepsi, but Coke rules.

So the next time you imbibe a Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Coca Cola Zero, Coca Cola Black Cherry Zero, Coca Cola Black Cherry Vanilla, Diet Coke with Lime, Diet Coke with Splenda, Vanilla Coke, Vanilla Coke Zero, or a caffeine-free variant of one of the above,

Raise your glass or can or plastic cup high to “Pemberton!”

And now the inevitable can no longer be delayed. I have more cleaning to do…

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Touched Up Me

I recently read an article about the standard of perfection society imposes on women. The article stated 100% of celebrity and model photos in newspapers, magazines, and other medium are touched up.

State-of-the-art software performs magic on photographs. Eyes soften, dark circles are eliminated, the chin trimmed and smoothed, facial blemishes and imperfections disappear, and necklines vanish. That last one is especially important as women of my maturity continue to mature.

Growing up I was dismayed I was not the standard of perfection - tall, thin and blonde. The blonde part could easily be rectified, but the other physical attributes more difficult to remedy. Not that there is anything wrong with being short and not thin.

I want to be touched up too.

Not just in photos. Whenever I go out.

But I do not want to do the work myself. A recent study found women spend 474 days of their lives applying makeup - approximately 3 hours 19 minutes per week, or 28.4 minutes a day.

When I worked in an office I did not spend 28.4 minutes a day applying makeup. Maybe I should have.

Celebrities take longer to put on their face before appearing in public. Katy Perry admitted it takes 90 minutes to prepare her public face. It takes a makeup artist over an hour to complete Oprahs makeup. It takes an hour and a half to apply makeup on women preparing for red carpet events.

Imagine if a professional spent 90 minutes on my face. It would be a challenge, but I believe magic could be accomplished.

Wow, would I look fabulous!

Nowadays I do not put on makeup before starting work in my office my kitchen counter. I do not apply makeup when leaving for the gym at the crack of dawn. My gym cronies do not bother with makeup or primp in any way before sweating.

That allows more time for the occasions I do go out in public. Although I doubt I will ever spend 90 minutes, or 60 minutes, or 28.4 minutes applying makeup.

I am thinking about spending the time I save smearing makeup on my face touching up pictures of me. I can work on the lighting, eliminate flaws, and fix my hair. Then anyone looking at the pictures my kids, grandkids, and eventually other family members long after I am gone, will say hey, she was pretty darn good-looking!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Time to Spring Forward

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: 
when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.
- Charles Dickens

Wednesday, the last day of an endless winter, hub and I found ourselves on a luxurious Spirit plane (I am being facetious, of course - Spirit is the equivalent of traveling on a crowded city bus). Following five days in the sunny south we headed home - for one night.

Thursday, the first day of what will hopefully be a new, warmer, brighter season - a spectacular spring - we loaded the car with snowshoes, boots, ski jackets, hats and gloves, and headed north once more. Our destination: Burlington, Vermont.

Within twenty-four hours we travelled from a place where the sun shines hot to a locale where the wind still blows cold.

We spent a few days in the Sunshine State with the grandkids. One day we visited a water park, one lazy afternoon pigging out on junk food and watching a baseball spring training game (Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets), and one day the girls - Mom, Grandma and the two granddaughters - enjoyed a girls' only day, the highlight supposedly a tour of the Barbie Dream House. Grandpa spent the day with his grandson building a model airplane and gorging on chocolate chip pancakes at the local pancake house.

Let me give Moms and Grandmoms a heads up - Barbie's Dream House is way overpriced. The girls' day out included lunch at a restaurant before the tour and ice cream at a neighborhood ice cream parlor afterwards. Both were better deals.

I was never a Barbie fan anyway.

We are now in the north country, where during the long winter activities center on indoor events such as watching movies or making hot soup and comfort-food cookies.

It snowed in Vermont a couple of days ago, making signs of spring difficult to find. On the positive side snowshoeing and other winter sports are more enjoyable in spring (for many of us, anyway) than during gray, bitterly cold winter days. With more hours of light and the appearance of the sun, the earth begins to warm the land as well as our body and soul. Fewer layers of clothing allow more comfort and freedom of movement. We have more energy, as if awakening from a state of semi-hibernation.

Welcome spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Are You a Short Grown-Up?

Honest, straight-from-the-mouth and straight-from-the-heart questions come out of the mouths of babes. In this case the babe was my three-year-old granddaughter.

I do not know why I am short. The luck of the gene draw, I suppose. Most of my family members are taller than me. OK, to be honest, all of the big people - the grown-ups - are taller than me, except the almost-90-year-olds. They are shorter than me. But at one time both were taller.

Now the only ones in my family shorter than me are the grandkids. And the nine year old is growing fast.

One myth growing up was that smoking stunted your growth. I never smoked, so cannot blame my shortness on smoking.

Disadvantages to being short abound. No one can find me in a crowd. I cannot see over almost anyone sitting in front of me in a theater. If not in the first or second row of a standing crowd I cannot see anything happening in front of me. Clothing designers assume all women are tall.

I am not that short - five foot two inches tall when I stretch. But there are too many places in the average house I cannot reach - like anything on high kitchen or closet shelves. Items placed on my top shelves are those rarely, if ever, needed. And when wanted, hub takes them down for me. Otherwise they would languish in the upper reaches forever.

The top shelf of my closet holds forgotten clothing I might want to wear sometime. The problem is I forget what is up there, cannot reach or see them. They are dust collectors. Should I actually want to wear a particular item it probably will not fit, will be out of style, or I will greet the item with, "what was I thinking when I bought that?"

I should clean my closet and get rid of those top shelf items. I have a friend who throws out anything not worn in a year. I do not have the heart to throw out so many loved but rarely worn items. What if I actually have a fancy affair? One of those wonderful dresses would be perfect...or those winter clothes rarely worn but needed in cold weather. This winter some cold weather items actually got worn several times.

I am getting way off point.

I am forever five two.

Except when I begin shrinking.

It is going to happen. All the exercise and vitamins in the world will not prevent me from becoming the incredible shrinking woman.

By then my great grandkids will be taller than me.

Maybe they will be strong enough to lift me above the crowd so I can see what is happening in the world around me...