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...

Friday, March 14, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION No. 6


It has been several months since my last post in the on-going series, Countdown to the Presidential Election. The November 18, 2016, election is fast approaching – only 970 days away as of Friday, March 14, 2014. It is time for an update.

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton remains a viable, much-talked-about candidate, although she has yet to announce her intentions. In a recent poll 73% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents named Clinton their first choice. VP Joe Biden came in a distant second at 12%, and MA Senator Elizabeth Warren third with 8% of the votes.

Both Clinton and Biden have been in the political arena a long time. The public often gravitates to fresh faces, and less political baggage means the opposition finds fewer things to criticize.

No doubt there are fresh faces lurking in the wings. Names thrown out include MD Governor Martin O’Malley, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, MA Governor Deval Patrick, CO Governor Hickenlooper, NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former MT Governor Brian Schweitzer, Cory Booker of NJ, Mark Warner of VA, and Amy Klobuchar of MN. Others will emerge…

Oh, Hillary, please tell us what your plans are! If running, good luck. If not, well, let the games begin!

Meanwhile, Republicans Party

A slew of Republicans gathered last week for their 40th right-wing gala, otherwise known as the CPAC convention (Conservative Political Action Conference). The gathering of like-minded conservatives was a great time to ask about their favorite Republican Presidential candidate. The results of the straw poll:

#1 – KY Senator Paul Rand – 31%
#2 – NM Senator Ted Cruz – 11%
#3 – pediatric surgeon Ben Carson – 9%
#4 – NJ Governor Chris Christie – 8%
#5 & 6 (tie) – Former PA Senator Rick Santorum and current WI Governor Scott Walker each received 7%.

Dr. Ben Carson? I do not like to publicize my ignorance, but was unfamiliar with this dude, so researched the man. He is a renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric surgeon, author and public speaker.

Of the 250 speakers scheduled over the CPAC three day conference, 15 were black, 18 Latino, and 71 women (Carson is black).

Ted Cruz has yet to renounce his Canadian citizenship. I think if he does not get the Republican Presidential nomination he is considering crossing the border and running for Prime Minister of Canada.

Other Republican Presidential contenders include former FL Governor Jeb Bush, FL Senator Marco Rubio, LA Governor Bobby Jindal, TX Governor Rick Perry, and ex-AR Governor Mike Huckabee. Additional candidates will surface.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit I would have trouble voting for any of the current potential Republican fools candidates. My favorite Republican on the list – if forced to answer the question - is my governor, Chris Christie

Christie has been working hard on his image. He has made progress...



Christie walked arm in arm with President Obama, a scandalous occurrence to conservative Republicans but a blessing to Hurricane Sandy victims. But the Port Authority/George Washington Bridge traffic jam scandal tattered his reputation. His political personality as a partisan bully eager to reward or, if not destroy, damage opponents, was crudely revealed. His star plummeted, but the American public has a short memory. On the other hand conservatives never liked Christie. He is not conservative enough and hails from a blue-leaning purple state.

Don't Book Your Convention Hotel Yet... 

So where will the candidate of the Republican’s choice be chosen? Eight cities are on the short list for the 2016 convention: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the chosen site.

And the Democratic convention? No official list has been released. The DNC invited thirty cities to bid for the convention. Cities vying for the event include Philadelphia, Miami, Nashville, St. Louis, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus – others will bid for the honor before a final list is whittled down.

Updates…

I know some of my readers are sitting on the edge of their chair, wanting to know what happened to politicians mentioned in previous posts. 

Mayor Bob Filner of San Diego resigned in August, 2013, a result of sexual harassment charges brought by three women who previously worked for him. Filner received three months house probation, three years probation, and partial loss of his mayoral pension. He announced his engagement was off (it would have been his third marriage – two prior marriages ended in divorce). His ex-fiancee cited verbal abuse and sexting as reasons for the breakup.

Liz Cheney bowed out of the Wyoming Senatorial race. Apparently visiting the state occasionally was not enough to win the good graces and votes of the state’s Republicans. There was wide resentment of her primary challenge of a well-respected Republican Senator. In addition her comments in opposition to gay marriage provoked a lot of publicity and did not play well within her own family. I wonder if her sister still speaks to her?

I would discuss the shenanigans of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, but I am limiting comments to American politicians.

That wraps it up until the next major political announcement or scandal or madcap development splashes across our TVs, smart phones and computer screens… 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Le Film Le Week-End

Interesting connections are made via the Internet. I received an email a couple of weeks ago asking if I would like to preview and write about a new movie. I answered “sure!” although uncertain what was expected.

I am not a professional movie critic, or a critic of anything. I doubt I could be a food critic, for instance. If someone else cooks I love it! It is not often other people’s cooking or restaurant food sends me running back to my kitchen. But I digress…

Hub and I watched Le Week-End on our computer (a nice-sized 21” screen). It was not ideal – certainly not equivalent to theater viewing – but it worked.

Le Week-End is a British film about two boomers seeking to rejuvenate their marriage – or not – with a weekend in Paris, the City of Light and Romance. British actors Jim Broadbent (Nick) and Lindsay Duncan (Meg) play the pair celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.

Nick is the conforming, satisfied partner. He just lost his teaching job at a university, forced into early retirement, and is in emotional turmoil. Meg is the take-charge, is-this-all-there-is? spouse seeking more. She is unsure exactly what that might be.

The camera veers quickly between Parisian street scenes, the Eiffel Tower, Saint Chappelle, restaurants and cafes, run-down lodgings, high-class hotels, and an upscale apartment. The cinematography is terrific and the settings present a stunning backdrop to the couple’s physical and mental wanderings, and their incessant bickering.

Nick and Meg run into an old friend, Morgan, played wonderfully by Jeff Goldblum. Morgan’s pretentious, artsy friends, pot-smoking son, trophy wife, and seemingly successful urbane life contrast with the couple’s angst.

The British accents were sometimes difficult to understand, and Meg tends to whisper and swallow her words. A big screen viewing and theater quality sound might mitigate these issues.

Le Week-End reminded me of a 2012 American movie, Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, another boomer couple seeking to revitalize their marriage. They (actually, Streep’s character) seek marriage counseling, their therapist played by Steve Carrell.

Another British movie exploring the ordeals mature men and women face is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Seven English pensioners travel to India seeking an affordable retirement and satisfying lifestyle. All arrive with emotional baggage, including a married couple with very different ideas on how to spend the rest of their life.

These movies portray a modern phenomenon - older couples experiencing relationship discontent.

Divorce rates in the U.S., soaring for years, dropped from 50% to just over 40% - except for the over-50s age group. Fewer than one in ten over-50s divorced in 1990. By 2009, one in four 50-plus couples divorced. The increased divorce rate among older couples is not an American anomaly. The British divorce rate for over 50s also climbed over the past couple of decades. 

Theories abound on why baby boomers continue to divorce. Boomers grew up amidst political and social upheaval. Men and women have more options than in the past. Women need not stay with a spouse because of monetary and other concerns. Boomers live longer and remain healthier longer than previous generations. If one partner wants to be an active retiree and the other is satisfied as a homebody, the couple confront challenges. The pressure to stay together, strong in the past, no longer exists.

Revisiting Le Week-End, the movie highlights the major social trend of older couples facing marital dilemmas as their children leave the nest and careers wind down.

I enjoyed the movie, but quite frankly hub was a bit bored. Le Week-End is all about relationships, and women tend to like relationship stories more than men. There is a lot of dialogue, and no guns or car chases or physical fights or sex or extra-terrestrials.

My kind of movie. Watch for it (official opening March 14th).

Go and enjoy. And drag bring your guy with you.

Or make it a girls’ night out.

Add a glass of wine for a perfect evening.

Disclaimer: I was not paid cash (American dollars or British pounds), bitcoins, or any other monetary compensation, and received no food, stock tips, goods or services, to watch the movie or write this article.

Next time, some chocolate would be nice… 

Friday, March 7, 2014

My New Nom de Plume

By Marcel Borfes

The byline is me. I have decided to use it from now on as my pseudonym. And I have John Travolta and his abysmal Oscar Night appearance to thank for my new name.

Travolta’s Oscar performance will rank as one of the worst ever. But as a result of his faux pas a new term, named in his honor, has been coined – Travoltify - the mispronunciation of a name.

Travolta looked awful, by the way. Walking onto the stage, I just stared at this individual, so cute and awesome in his younger life as a wiseass teenager in Welcome Back, Kotter, star of Saturday Night Fever and Grease and a few years later, Pulp Fiction. He worked in more recent movies, and his family made headlines in 2009 when his son died.

Nobody stays young-looking forever, but the 60-year-old Travolta hit a new low as the product of Hollywood hell - the wrong side of a plastic surgery knife.

Apparently Travolta does not admit to any surgical procedures, but I cannot believe the natural aging process would make him look so – so – unnatural.

Anyway, for those who missed his brief appearance Sunday night, he introduced the singer Idina Menzel. I did not understand what he said when he announced her name, but figured I was not listening carefully.

But I was wrong. He totally messed up her name.

Everyone – specifically, the media - immediately jumped on his outrageous mispronunciation. Now several websites offer to Travoltify a name.

In other words, how would John Travolta pronounce your name if he was on stage introducing you? You can go to this site and find your Travoltified name!

My Travoltified name is Marcel Borfes.

There is one problem. Marcel is a male name. I am female. Always was, always will be.

But I like the idea Marcel is a French name. Gives me an aura, a foreign flair, an exotic, mysterious and refined air. My new nom de plume imparts a whole new personality.

I do not particularly like the last name, but guess I am stuck with it.

Now I must transform myself into a Marcel.

The first step is to review my wardrobe, discarding items that do not measure up to my new name and personality. I doubt Marcel would wear sweatshirts, sweatpants, or white socks.

I look forward to heading to the outlets and buying some tight-fitting tops and leggings. Black, of course. Marcel would not wear lose or colorful clothing.

On the other hand, I strongly doubt Marcel would be caught in an outlet store.

And makeup – I may have to begin wearing dark eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara, and red lipstick. I have never worn red lipstick, preferring pinks and naturals. Marcel, however, is bold and expressive. The redder the better.

This is going to be difficult. I did not realize how much time and money it would take to morph this 60-something Grandma into a whole new urbane, sophisticated person.

On second thought, maybe I will stick with my given name. And wardrobe. I like most of my clothes.

My clothes and my name have suited me fine for over 60 years. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winter Woes Begone!

One pedestrian walking on a usually busy main street.
I am spending too much time indoors. Not by choice, but by weather. I attempt to go outside, dressing for the elements – socks and boots, warm pants, sweaters, jacket, hat, gloves – and venture outdoors.

I walk briskly the few steps to my cold, cold car. It takes several minutes in single digit temperatures to warm up that hunk of steel.

In theory I like the idea of bundling up and staying outside. But my blood thins as I age. I am not fond of cold weather, and once outside the cold and wind discourage me. I dash back inside.

Today (Monday, March 3) hunkering down is mandatory. We are in the midst of yet another winter storm.

 A weather alert from our city early this morning warned everyone to avoid driving. The rain began last night, and then the precipitation turned to ice and snow. Underneath the pristine snow is a sheet of ice. Not only on the roads, but also on sidewalks.

I do not want to end up on my butt, sore and bruised, walking outside.

And so I stare out my window as the swirling snow produces a beautiful picture of pure whiteness. White roads, sidewalks, lawns, roofs, cars – everything is gently being covered with white stuff.

The landscape is enchanting – from a warm, indoor distance.

Then my eyes wander from the outdoor scene to my indoor surroundings. I like my house, but it is wearisome spending long hours within its walls.

And I am beginning to notice things I usually ignore.

Like dust on tchotchkes scattered around, dust balls strategically located in corners, and minor dents, scuffs, and other marks on walls.

A mound of stuff on the coffee table in front of me slowly but steadily rises, composed of bills, newspapers, TV remotes – there are four, two of which are needed (don’t ask) – coffee cups, two computers, one iPhone, books and magazines, pens, and assorted other buried odds and ends.  I work on the pile, but mysteriously it never shrinks.

I notice tiny bits of food debris on the bottom of the refrigerator, the dust on top of pictures hanging on the walls, and realize the windows need washing. I have a feeling it would look a lot brighter outside if I peered through clean windows.

And then there is the issue of food. The cold weather presents urges hibernating humans (at least this particular one) find difficult to resist. Comfort food beckons. If I do not stop the caloric inflow spring clothes will not fit. It is reaching crisis proportions. Actually, I probably already have bigger proportions, but am too terrified to get on the scale to find out.

Days spent indoors have not all been long and tedious. A list of to-do’s put off indefinitely can now be attended to. Except, to be honest, few get done. I discovered being home does not necessarily mean non-essential tasks are accomplished. Putting off undertakings becomes an art form.

I have read books previously collecting dust for weeks, some for months, patiently awaiting my attention.

I watch daytime TV - news channels, old movies, and MeTV, a station our cable company recently began carrying. It is a gift to baby boomers. The station airs old series – Gilligan’s Island, Dragnet, the original StarTrek series, the original Hawaii Five-O, Bonanza are examples – what a combination of trash and nostalgia! Weeks of viewing and my brain will be mush.

And I am spending far too much time watching Facebook videos.

Enough is enough. I am ready to go outside and stay outside. And I want to stroll briskly past my houseful of dust collections and other imperfections, ignoring them and not feeling guilty.

The hibernation period must end. It is time to spring forward and march (pun intended) on the road to a warmer, sunnier season.

Hopefully very soon.

Meanwhile I have to go out and brush the snow off my car… 
View from my window.