Friday, September 30, 2011
I brought the mail in my house yesterday and tossed it in the catch-all basket where we put junk mail until we both have a look at it. Today, I sorted through the junk mail and found a multi-page catalog for one of those Halloween stores that seem to come and go in the night. You know…here today and gone tomorrow. Or, maybe that is a big city thing…
I glanced through the pages. There was page after page of Halloween costumes for children and adults. The prices range from $9.99 to $59.99. The costumes were everything from a lady bug to a very realistic police officer uniform. (Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that????)
Shewweee…. That got my old mind to spinning…
Back in the day, very few kids had the luxury of a store-bought Halloween costume. I remember the excitement as the holiday approached. The question of the day was “What are you going to be for Halloween?” Every self-respecting kid already knew the answer and believe me, it was not any one of the popular TV characters like SpongeBob Squarepants or Elmo or some super hero. No…our costumes were always homemade out of old clothes, scraps of material or a sheet with holes cut for the eyes. We were ghosts, hobo’s, pirates, witches…you get the pic? Oldsters will know exactly what I’m talking about. You younger people may have a bit of a problem grasping this concept….
A kid with a clever Mom, like mine, might be a spaceman or a ballerina… I was a black cat once. All that was required was a black leotard and imagination. Some ears and a tail were fashioned from black satin and my whiskers were drawn on with an eyebrow pencil. My mask was the simple black mask for upper face. Another time, I was a hobo in one of my Dad’s old shirts and pants. A rope held the way-too-big pants up and a beat up old hat was found for me by my Grandpa. A bandana stuffed with wadded up newspaper and tied to a stick completed the look. Of course my face was “filthy” with charcoal.
I could go on and on about different costumes we made with or without assistance from our Mom, but that’s not the point. My point is this… We were healthy, happy kids back in the day. We didn’t get something as frivolous as a store-bought costume. Hardly anyone bought a Halloween costume. Half the fun of Halloween was to decide what we would be then make our own costume. We used our imagination and we could be anything we wanted to be. If a little boy wanted to be Superman, well then…he went trick-or-treating in his favorite Superman PJ’s with some red cloth tied around his neck for a cape. What’s wrong with that?
I don’t think children today exercise their imagination like children did back when I was a kid. We did things like color in coloring books, finger paint, play games, create things out of clay – and it wasn’t Play Dough… No siree… Our clay was grey and hard to use until we worked it over with our warm little hands. We didn’t sit in front of a TV all day because back then, all we could see was a test pattern all day until 5 pm when television “came on”. Then we had the Mickey Mouse club at 5 pm, then the news, some evening shows and the broadcast day ended with a variety show where a cigarette pack with beautiful legs danced around the stage. I wasn’t allowed to watch that, but I peeked. Hee hee… Then the television went “off” until the next day at 5 pm. I sure wanted to have that cigarette pack for a Halloween costume!
Were we bored? No way! We played outside for hours every day and played inside when the weather was bad. In our imaginations, we were cowboys and Indians riding imaginary horses. Or we played physical games like Red Rover or King on the Mountain, hopscotch and the like. We used our imaginations and we exercised our growing bodies. I have nothing but fond memories of such a childhood.
I see kids today who are pudgy from lack of exercise and poor eating habits. Most need to be entertained by something…TV, video games and the like. When I was a kid, I got entertained with the Mickey Mouse Club before mostly adult programming was broadcast. One night a week, I got to see Kukla, Fran & Ollie. That is all. The rest of the time, I was tortured by fresh air, exercise and my imagination…
Oh…and Grimm’s Fairytales…
That is what REAL kids do…or used to back in the day. I’d love to see some real kids. Have you seen any lately?
By Darlene Cirinna
©September 30, 2011
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Photos from Photobucket, public domain.
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 2:11 AM
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I could certainly make a list of all the things I love, but it would be really long. So, I decided to pick out just a few of the things that I love.
I LOVE FAMILY & FRIENDS: There is nothing more valuable than your family, except your health. You realize this more and more as you age. Some friends are as close to my heart as family. You all know who you are…
I LOVE GOD & MY BIBLE: I have a deep, unshakable faith. I may have one of the messiest, rattiest Bibles ever. That is because I actually read it….
I LOVE OLD DOGS: Pets are not disposable, but there are lots of old dogs at the pound who are euthanized daily. I had 3 dogs from puppyhood to death. The first one to die was 17. Two years later, the other two died just 8 days apart. They were 15 & 16. After 2 more years of a too quiet house, I decided to adopt an old dog from the pound. He was 12 and lived to be 17. Next was a little old yorkie who they said was close to 20. She lived her final days out like a queen.
My heart broke when I saw a picture of a little dog on the pound site. Her face was the picture of misery while she suffered from one of the worst cases of flea allergy I have ever seen.
That was 5 years ago. She is 15 now. This is Maggie Mae today.
Our latest little angel was 8 years old when I adopted her. She was left behind in an eviction… The prior owner just LEFT HER AND WALKED OFF... I have tried not to judge that action, but I fail because the action is completely unthinkable to me.
County law required the pound make a reasonable attempt to locate her original owners. The process took 3 weeks. When I first saw her, she was nearly withdrawn from everything. She didn't have any interaction with me. It was like people didn't exist in her little mind. She was not interested in the world around her - at all.
To think about how withdrawn she was at the pound makes me want to cry. How could anybody just walk off and leave their pet behind??? Well, she has been with us for 15 months now and I love her very much. She will never be abandoned again because when I get a pet, it is for life. As I said…pets are NOT disposable. Molly is here for as long as God wills…
I LOVE VEGGIES: YUMMY!!! I love veggies so much that I even eat them for breakfast.
I grab a bunch of stuff from my veggie drawer in the fridge, then I start chopping. I stir fry it all together, toss in a couple of eggs, then top with shredded cheese. I call it my scrambled veggies…
Yes…that is jalapeno pepper you see in my scrambled veggies… Shut up!!! Walk away…it is none of your business. hahaha
I LOVE RETIREMENT!!! First of all, I must say that I loved my career. I worked 42 years total - 36 of those years in Human Resources for the State of Florida. Although I had days that I hated, overall I could not have picked a career that I think I would have loved more unless I had become a personal injury attorney, but that realization came really late in my career through my work with workers compensation laws and the family medical leave act. Who knew? LOL
But…back to retirement… I love retirement because, FINALLY, I can stay at home and enjoy all of the things I love. I said I wasn’t going to make a list, but I do want to share what I love doing in my retirement.
Sleeping until I don’t want to sleep any more
Long lingering time with my Bible and a cup of cappuccino
Breakfast at noon
Riding down to the lake on my adult tricycle with my little Molly in the rear basket and my camera in the front basket
Writing… Who knew I would ever write fiction. SURPRISE!
I LOVE LIFE!!!
It doesn't get any better than this....
By Darlene Cirinna
September 27, 2011
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 1:03 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I NEVER SAW THE COLORS
A ringing phone
Jerked from sleep
At 5 am
To the phone
A quick glance at the clock
No good news comes at 5 AM
NO – NOT EVER
For 5 AM news
I grab the phone
My mind screams
Over and over
It cannot be
I reject it
As I softly
Replaced the receiver
In my mind
I saw the colors
Yellow, orange, red
By 8 AM
On the road
A trip I did not want to take
As I drove north
I suppose there was color
Yellow, orange, red
The wind blew cold
My heart was colder
As I stood
On ancient ground
I might have seen the colors
If I had looked around
But all I saw was
It is one year later
I was walking yesterday
It was autumn
When Mom died
And I never saw the colors
IN HONOR AND REMEMBRANCE OF
GRACE KIRK WATROUS
1/7/28 - 11/11/08
REST IN PEACE MOM
Written by Darlene Cirinna
©November 11, 2009
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission of author.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
For the past few weeks, four blogger friends and I have been working on a new site for bloggers. The new site is called "ONE STOP BLOG WORLD".
At OSBW, you will find something for every day of the week. Blog inspirations will be posted on the same day of the week as the Facebook groups for GBE2 (Sunday), Writers Post Blog Hop (Thursday) and BFF (Monday and Friday). Plus, we have added Tasty Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday and Saturday Smorgasbord. Our main page will display all recent topics with links to the appropriate pages. Once you click on over to the topic, you will find that we have provided a place for bloggers to post links to their blogs.
Well, I could blather on and on about OSBW, but instead, I think I'll just post a link here and let you be the judge.
Come join us in this wonderful, new blog experience. Explore our site by clicking on the tabs at the top. You will find old friends and familiar faces. Plus, I am willing to bet that you will meet some new bloggers too.
So....that is my secret! There is a place to keep up with your favorite Facebook blogger groups....All in one place...ONE STOP BLOG WORLD!!!
Click on over and check it out for yourself... And be sure to spread our secret to every blogger that you know. K?
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 7:00 AM
Saturday, September 17, 2011
“Midge – commeer…” Harold called excitedly from the computer room. I rolled my eyes because I just knew that whatever had excited him was likely not going to excite me. But, being a dutiful wife, I leaned forward in my recliner and pulled myself out of the comfortable abyss… Then it started…
It all started with the photo of Palmer Lake and the rainbow that my friend Steve put on the internet. It seemed innocent…right? Who hasn’t seen a gazillion photos of a rainbow on the internet??? Well, I have to admit that it was the most beautiful rainbow photo that I had ever seen, but it certainly didn’t set me in a mood to pack up for a move to Palmer, Alaska.
You see, Harold is what I call a “Rainbow Chaser”. I don’t mean that in the literal sense of the word… Well…except in this case. Harold’s search for utopia has moved me all around the world. When he was in the army, he was stationed in Germany for three years. After we were married, he decided to move us to Germany because he loved it while stationed there. After a couple of years, Harold decided that it would be great to live in Atlanta. I enjoyed Atlanta, but eventually the traffic and the hubbub got to him, so he decided that it would be nice to live in Florida. So, Orlando was our next home. It seemed that we no sooner got settled when he saw an advertisement in the newspaper for “country living”. He was excited to purchase an acre of land in Okeechobee, FL, covered in palmetto and scrub oaks for only $10,000. He didn’t consider the cost of new home construction, so he settled for drilling a well, dropping a septic tank, installing a power pole, then having a dilapidated old trailer towed to the property. He said we would only live in that trailer until the new house was built. Yeah… Right… We lived in that trailer for 7 years before Harold was lured to New Orleans by a television documentary about the Mardi Gras and Cajun food. Yup…you guessed it…I was packing again…
Let me tell you…I lived in 18 different places in the 40 years of our marriage. The 7 years in that hell hole of a trailer, in the middle of a pasture and heated to unreasonable temperatures in the summer, was the longest we lived anywhere. That certainly wasn’t the utopia Harold imagined, nor was anywhere else that we lived. Me? I made the best of life where ever we landed. A documentary of my life would rightfully be titled “Steady She Goes”. While Harold was chasing rainbows, I was never with any one employer long enough to be vested in any retirement plans. Did I mention that I am adept and near psychic in financial matters? It wasn’t hard to see the writing on the wall early in our marriage. I foresaw a lifetime of poverty and misspent savings with Harold, so I quietly squirreled away first small, then larger chunks of my income from one after another of my minimum wage jobs. When my savings became too large to be stashed around the house, I opened a Roth account, an IRA and a money market account. I even dabbled in the stock market a bit. Of course, I had to have a post office box everywhere we lived, or I would have been found out quickly. If Harold had known that I was amassing a small fortune, he would not have been satisfied until he had drained every account for whatever it would take for immediate gratification. Nope…that was my own little secret between me, myself and I.
Harold and I have been living in Tennessee for the past 5 years. He seemed to have finally settled down into reality. So much so that I became confidant enough to finally reveal the savings so carefully hidden from him over the years. For me, it seemed that we had finally found utopia and that the rainbow chasing was over. Our home was built at the end of a country road with no near neighbors, which is MY idea of utopia. It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that I like my privacy and solitary time better. Harold had a small building erected that he quickly turned into a man cave. He enjoyed light wood work, specializing in folk type construction. His birdhouses are beautiful. The sales of his birdhouses at a local flea market substantially subsidized our retirement income. I had a rather large vegetable garden, a rose garden and a shed of laying hens to keep me busy. Honestly…what more could we want??? Gazing into my retirement future looked quite comfortable and carefree. Yes…I have Utopia, indeed!
Then Harold saw that picture of the beautiful rainbow in Palmer, Alaska, which stirred his usual discontent with our current life and I knew that his itchy feet would soon carry us away and over yet another rainbow to his next Utopia that somehow he never finds. Dread began to creep into my stomach to tie the usual knots…
My heart grew heavy with the knowledge that Harold was once again going to uproot our lives while spending a significant portion of our retirement nest egg that I worked so hard to save. It was more than I could bear… It was that exact moment when I made a decision that no one and certainly not Harold would ever make me unhappy again. I had to act fast before my whole world came tumbling down.
“Harold… I need to go out to the garden, and then gather the eggs. I’ll be back in a few…” Then, I tiptoed out to the man cave and selected just the right tool to secure my retirement years. Quick as a wink, I took care of my problem and planted him right smack in the middle of my rose garden. Carefully, I covered the whole garden in cypress chips until the garden did not appear to have been disturbed at all…just a well cared for rose garden… When I was done, I attached the sprinkler to the old hose to give my thirsty rose garden a nice drenching drink of water.
Later, I glanced out my kitchen window to see that the sprinkler and a delightfully sunny day had created a beautiful rainbow over my rose garden. I might have been a little smug when I said…”There’s your damn rainbow, Harold!”
Then I lived happily ever after….
(For the record…this is a fiction story. My husband is way smarter than Harold! LOL)
Written by Darlene Cirinna
© September 17, 2011
All rights reserved. Do not use
without author’s permission.
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 3:20 PM
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It only seems like a year ago that I married the love of my life, shown here in our 1973 wedding reception. I can’t imagine life without him. Nor do I want to. Fate and some unhealthy habits nearly took that choice away from us.
I can't tell you the number of times I tried to quit smoking and failed, but I can tell you that I smoked my last cigarette January 2009.
When the cardio surgeon told me that my husband could NEVER smoke again, something screamed in my brain that I WILL NOT BE HIS STUMBLING BLOCK! For me, it took a HUGE incentive - that being the life of my hubby.
We just had our wedding anniversary yesterday. We ALMOST didn't have the last 3 anniversaries together. Yes...he was classified as a candidate for “sudden death” in January 2009. I suppose that for some of us, a shock is necessary to get the brain in gear. I can’t say that I’m happy by how it all happened that both hubby and I are smoke free, but I am pleased with the result. Today, we are both healthier and looking forward to many more years together. For that reason...I will never smoke again.
If YOU need to stop smoking, I hope your incentive is as HUGE as mine was because with an incentive like that, failure was not an option. Don’t let all of the negatives take away your positive. So what if you gain a few pounds…at least you won’t be huffing and puffing when the time comes to take them off.
Should you be kicking the habit at this time or any time in the future, I wish you the very best success. Then, I hope you will encourage someone in the future as I hope I have encouraged you. It CAN be done and you will be so much happier and healthier for the effort it takes to become tobacco free. BEST WISHES!!!
Life is fragile and you never know what the future holds. One year from today, you may wish you took the effort it takes to quit. One year from today, you can already have one year smoke free and feeling the healthy benefits of having kicked the habit. One year from today could easily be a whole different reality for you. Life is a series of choices. Make good choices because your life or the life of a loved one may very well hang in the balance.
One year from yesterday, I believe my hubby and I will celebrate another anniversary. Yes...it DOES make that much difference!
Posted by Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ at 3:49 PM