How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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Beijing, Part 6: The Great Wall

word-cloud-7

Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin

I ate too much again at the buffet-style breakfast. We English 8 met in the main lobby at 8:30 a.m., then traveled an hour or so by mini tour bus to the mysterious Great Wall.

A few facts about the Wall:

  • Sticky rice soup and mortar were used to glue the bricks together
  • Started -200 BC
  • Has been worked for over 2,000 years
  • Bullet holes from last battle still evident
  • Needs expensive maintenance due to time and tourism
Some shops

                                                                              A few shops

What a happening place. Tour buses clogged available parking space. Small shops galore offered touristy goods for sale, from postcards to fridge magnets, hot tea, cold drinks and all sorts of knick-knacks. One, a department store type business, carried everything you might imagine. Would you pay $39 USD for a T-shirt or $25 for a kid-sized one? Would you pay six or seven dollars for a two-inch square fridge magnet? They also carried silk, jade, pearls, life-size Terracotta warrior replicas and furniture. Prices included shipping. For the life of me, I couldn’t sort out the prices aside from the shipping costs out of curiosity.

Approaching the Wall Steps

                                                                Approaching the Wall Steps

We left the tourist traps behind and headed uphill to the entrance of the Great Wall. We saved shopping time for later. The walk was steep. We rubbed elbows with people from all over the world (figuratively).  You don’t dare touch anyone. A light drizzle began and Sue and I escaped inside a battlement. Inside and out we meandered. Hordes and throngs of people stared at us everywhere. Our English Group 8 wandered off in different directions with an agreed on time to meet at the large department store halfway down the hill.

Looking ahead

                                                                            Looking ahead

Carolyn lost her camera on the Great Wall. She’d taken off her coat due to overheating and left it on a ledge and walked away. Ten minutes later, she realized it was missing. Dreading it would be gone, she and her husband retraced their steps anyway. Had it been me, I would have cracked under the stress and gone into shock. Forget going back to be heartbroken.

A Steady Climb

                                                                       A Steady Climb

Surrounded

                                                                           Surrounded

When Robert heard the story, he insisted on checking if the camera had been turned in. What were the chances of such luck?  He knew who to ask and was informed an announcement had been made over the Great Wall loudspeakers about ten times regarding the camera. A security guard had picked it up and turned it in. Each of us rejoiced as if it had been our own camera. Carolyn glowed.

http://www.history.com/topics/great-wall-of-china/videos/seven-wonders-the-great-wall

 Higher Now

                                                               Higher Now

At Ground Level Again. Most of these women are over 80, I'm sure, but energetic as 20-year-olds.

At ground level again: most of these women are over 80, I’m sure, but energetic as 20-year-olds.

Beijing driving and cars:

  • Rush hour is all day long, not at any specified times
  • Driving restrictions by last two digits of license number / odd vs even
  • Penalty for ignoring, sometimes 100 points
  • Drivers have 12 points per year
  • If you lose your points for the year, you must redo license.
  • If caught driving drunk, or even after 1 glass of wine or beer, can lose license forever
  • 3 million more cars since the Olympics
  • Cost of a car (i.e. Hyundai), $10,000 each, manufactured in China
  • An Elantra in 2005, cost $25,000 U.S.D.
  • Lots of new models now because more citizen able to afford cars
  • They like German models
  • Gasoline 7.8 Yuan per liter, about $1.30
I'm still standing

                                                                      I’m still standing

~ *~

Next on February 24th – Beijing, Part 7: Ming Tombs

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.

 


53 Comments

A Freestyle Writing Challenge – 10 minutes on the clock…

I was tagged by Sally Cronin at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/  – who promotes authors, musicians, painters, photographers and shares lots of advice for a healthy lifestyle on her blog. Even as she promotes others, she is an author of many books as well. Check her out, her blog is a smorgasbord of awesome information.

This is what you have to do…

1 Open an MS Word Document

2 Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat

3 Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!

4 Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.

5 Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (its only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)

6 You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best

7 At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

8 Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).

***

I set my time for 10 minutes (I cannot reread this or I’ll start tinkering).

My challenge is: If you had your time over, what profession would you choose and why?

I had to think about this question as I cannot imagine doing anything differently in my life. I’ve always known what I wanted to do and have gone after it. I wish writing hadn’t taken a backseat to my working life, marriage, a family and divorce but that’s how it goes. I’m back writing now and that’s all that matters.

We live in a small Northern Ontario town. The only office I had seen was the town doctor’s: his receptionist’s desk with patient records and all kinds of paper. I made up my mind I would work in a large office and write a book. Around age eight the cast was set. Everything in my life fell into place one way or another, although not always in the order or manner I anticipated. Let’s face it, like anyone growing into life, impatience dogged me and it still does.

I had friends who couldn’t make a decision about anything, needed to find themselves, were confused about what to do with the rest of their lives and that always perplexed me. On the other hand, I also have believe I was born lucky. The next step always seemed to lead me to the next one and so one. If I ran into difficulties or roadblocks, they didn’t last long. The next thing came along.

I have always been happy as me. No matter who had what, I felt no need to compete. My focus was never the biggest house, car, or a closet full of clothes. More meaningful were a few good friends, lots of books, new experiences both good and bad.

Regrets? I’ve had a few. Possibly that is the human condition, but once one door closed, I never looked back, wasn’t even tempted. Whether this is a good trait or not, I cannot say. I seem to work on the premise once something is over, I file it, shut the door and go to door number two and three and so on.

No. of Words: 331

9 min 23 seconds

***

These are the people I would like to tag for this challenge, but none are obligated in any way to take part. This is a fun post. Do pass it on.

Sheri Mathews – http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/

John Howell – http://johnwhowell.com/

jleahy http://tribalmystic.me/

 Donna Parker – http://yadadarcyyada.com/

Kate Loveton – https://kateloveton.wordpress.com

 

Should you accept this challenge, scroll down for your question. Do not peek until you are ready to start typing.

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My challenge to YOU:  What is the next technological device the world needs now?

 


83 Comments

On the Yangtze Day 16, Part 7: Ghost City and Stairway to Hell

I had never considered how precious a pen might be. I’d brought four with me and lost one. Almost out of ink, I began worrying what I’d do without one. I liked gel pens but had no idea they run out so fast. At home I’d pull another one out of my basket of dozens. Why hadn’t I brought more?

LUNCH

Salads

Cauliflower (lemon flavoured); red kidney beans and chick peas; fruit salad (with bananas, ugh); spicy red leaves (yum); tendons of beef mutton; mixed 5 kind of bean salad

Sliced oranges; cantaloupe (honey dew); whole pears; sliced red cabbage, sliced cucumbers; grape tomatoes; chunks romaine and red cabbage; chopped hard boiled eggs; raisins; real crumbled bacon

Dressings

French, Italian and Thousand Island (none of these are what we recognize as such)

Mains

Rice ball, duck breast in brown sauce; stir fry vegetables, bacon of Sichuan style; baked sweet potato; stewed beef brisket; pasta with mushroom cream sauce; steamed egg; stewed sliced fish in tomato sauce; steamed white rice; duck and pickles soup; cream of corn soup, and buns

* * *

The 3:00 p.m. extra excursion was reinstated: Ghost City Tour and Stairway to Hell (in place of cancelled Goddess Stream Tour previous day).

To visit Hell and Ghost City, we climbed (we were told) about 500 steps. No, it wasn’t continuous. The ground levelled out at intervals and showcased temples and statues and bridges etc. I stopped counting after 10 or 11 steps as I huffed and puffed to keep up with the crowd. With no illusions about completing the ascent, I soldiered on. Talk about a workout in muggy weather yet!

Heaven Hill under Construction

© All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

Look waayy up! Model of Temple of Hell.

Model Temple of Hell

© All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

Too many groups crowded around their guides, some with megaphones. It was too noisy and congested. I gave up listening.

The way down sloped at a steep angle and I was careful not to fall on my face. The road was paved and wide enough for a car, but used for traffic. Members of my group had disappeared. Some had lost interest. I came down alone.

At one point I saw no-one and heard only birdsong and my runners thump against the asphalt, then, another set of footfalls clunked behind me. My heart in my throat, I stopped to pretend-fix my laces and caught sight of a man fiddling with his camera. I wasted no time hoofing forward till I went around a bend in the road and saw people milling around. As well, I came upon a disfigured man, lying on the ground begging. This was my second experience since Shanghai.

At the bottom, we’d come through an open market. This time a particular display caught my attention. I stopped and bought a bottle of wine (either Great Wall label or Dynasty). After a brief negotiation, I paid 50 Yuan or $8.30 USD.

Outnumbered thousands to one, I found myself surrounded by Chinese tourists and the loud chatter of Chinese voices. Taking a deep breath, I approached the closest open mini-bus and said the name of our ship with a dramatic question mark attached. The driver nodded. Everyone stared. We waited to fill two more seats and proceeded to the top of more stairs. The driver stopped, I jumped out and booted it down the stairs, down the long walkway to another dark semi-enclosed market where everyone gaped. At least that’s how it felt. I noticed guys eating noodles, bottles of wine on offer (drat), lots of soft drinks, beer cases, and other food stuffs.

Hot and sticky, all I wanted was a shower and to cool off. I’m surprised my legs held me upright after all the stairs I’d scaled in the past couple hours. Aha. I forgot how we’d left for the excursion. I was guided the same way back through two, or was it three, ships anchored side-by-side.

After a quick shower, I went out on the balcony for some air. An almost breeze teased me. Smoking in the state rooms wasn’t allowed and alarms were installed in the ceiling. Puffing outside was okay. Tourists hanging out over their balconies sent smoke clouds and some of the smell settled in our room.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie  (I can’t believe how crooked the imprint is)

Tonight is our last night on the cruise ship. Time to dress up for a fancy Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

This is the only time we had a menu for any meal on the cruise, not even at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. This was a dress-up affair again and I felt tall in the four-inch spikes.

After dinner we paid up our chits and packed our bags, which were deposited in the main lobby. A new adventure awaited the next day.

 * * *

Additional links:

This link gives brief blurbs about the various ghosts.

http://www.lovethesepics.com/2011/04/freaky-fengdu-ghost-city-wtf-china-34-photos/

This one provides a 4.12-minute tour, but is difficult to understand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RuKGpIOQJ0

* * * 

Next time on January 30, Chongquin, Day 17, Part 1 (Flight to Guilin)

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Right Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie


151 Comments

Beijing Day 4 / Part 1 – The Great Wall

I ate too much again at the buffet-style breakfast. We English 8 met in the main lobby at 8:30 a.m., then traveled an hour or so by mini tour bus to the mysterious Great Wall.

Some facts about the Wall:

  • Sticky rice soup and mortar were used to glue the bricks together
  • Started -200 BC
  • Has been worked for over 2,000 years
  • Still has bullet holes from last battle
  • Needs expensive maintenance due to time and tourism
Some shops

Some shops

What a happening place. Tour buses clogged available parking space. Small shops galore offered touristy goods for sale, from postcards to fridge magnets, hot tea, cold drinks and all sorts of knick knacks. One, a department store type business, carried everything you might imagine. Would you pay $39 for a T-shirt or $25 for a kid-sized one? Would you pay six or seven dollars for a two-inch square fridge magnet? They also carried silk, jade, pearls, life-size Terracotta warrior replicas and furniture. Prices included shipping. For the life of me, I couldn’t sort out the prices aside from the shipping costs out of curiosity.

Approaching the Wall Steps

Approaching the Wall Steps

We left the tourist traps behind and headed up-hill to the entrance of the Great Wall. We saved shopping time for later. The walk was steep. People from all over the world rubbed elbows. A light drizzle began. Sue and I escaped inside a battlement. Inside and out we meandered. Hordes and throngs of people stared at us everywhere. Our English Group 8 wandered off in different directions with a specified time to meet at the large department store.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead

Carolyn lost her camera on the Great Wall. She’d taken off her coat due to overheating and left it on a ledge and walked away. Ten minutes later, she realized it was missing. Dreading it would be gone, she and her husband retraced their steps anyway. Had it been me, I would have cracked under the stress and gone into shock. Forget going back  to be disappointed.

A Steady Climb

A Steady Climb

Surrounded

Surrounded

When Robert heard the story, he insisted on checking if the camera had been turned in. What were the chances of such luck?  He knew who to ask and was informed an announcement had been made over the Great Wall loud speakers about ten times regarding the camera. A security guard had picked it up and turned it in. Each of us rejoiced as if it had been our own camera. Carolyn glowed.

http://www.history.com/topics/great-wall-of-china/videos/seven-wonders-the-great-wall

 Higher Now

Higher Now

At Ground Level Again. Most of these women are over 80,  I'm sure, but energetic as 20-year-olds.

At Ground Level Again. Most of these women are over 80, I’m sure, but energetic as 20-year-olds.

Beijing driving and cars:

  • Rush hour is all day long, not at any specified times
  • Driving restrictions by last two digits of licence number / odd vs even
  • Penalty for ignoring, sometimes 100 points
  • Drivers have 12 points per year
  • If you lose your points for the year, you must redo licence.
  • If caught driving drunk, or even after 1 glass of wine or beer, can lose licence forever
  • 3 million more cars since the Olympics
  • Cost of a car (i.e. Hundai), $10,000 each, manufactured in China
  • An Elantra in 2005, cost $25,000 U.S.D.
  • Lots of new models now because more citizen able to afford cars
  • They like German models
  • Gasoline 7.8 Yuan / litre, about $1.30
I'm still standing

I’m still standing

Next on July 4th, Beijing, Day 4, Part 2: Ming Tombs

For all related posts, click on China Tab at the top of the page.

 


104 Comments

Beijing Part 3, Day 3

My iPad Mini tells me this picture was taken at 6:31 a.m. Fog hung over the city our first morning. Sue hadn’t slept well and had been up and down all night. My unconscious self hadn’t moved all night and I heard nothing. Sue picked up the wake-up call, “You wake up now.” After a quick shower, I felt refreshed. I think.

Morning has broken

Morning has broken

Breakfast had started at 6:30 a.m. The eating area this time was on the second floor unlike the first one for dinner the night prior. There were no shortage of choices: buffet style for visitors from both east and west. The usual items such as bacon; sausages; eggs boiled or eggs to order; various familiar cereals; yoghurt; bread to slice; rolls; butter and jams were available. As well, roasted potatoes, corn, pasta, congee soups, spring rolls, and a variety of vegetables and more were on offer. Of course, an assortment of juices, coffee, tea and sliced fruits: watermelon, cut-up oranges, bananas, sushi, and tossed and bean salads were available. Prior warnings, by the travel agency, about not eating anything not boiled, were uppermost in our minds. I passed on most of these, though the presentations made my mouth water.

Introductions: At 9:30 a.m., our guide, waited in the hotel lobby and the bus waited outside. The dazzling morning sun had burned off the fog and the fresh air smelled of glorious summer. What a leap from winter, which we’d left behind almost two days ago, to a balmy Chinese spring.

Our tour guide was called Robert in English. I believe he was 40-something. He had the hint of a tummy, but otherwise has an average five-foot five, or six-inch frame. He didn’t avoid eye-contact and his command of English was excellent.

Our bus driver didn’t need to speak but he helped the ladies step up into the bus. I evaded his assistance. I didn’t want help. I don’t need any—not yet. Our traveling companions, the English 8 Group were all retired and eager to start.

Jim and Carolyn (Canada)

Russ and Bonnie (Canada)

Ernesto and Lorena (Mexico). They have a daughter in Canada who fingered the travel ad

Sue and I (Canada)

Upon arrival at the Temple of Heaven, the ladies squirmed and the inquisition began. “Where are the washrooms, please?” Who knew the ladies all followed an unwritten rule: never miss an opportunity. My mantra had begun at Chicago airport.

Each squat had a door though / Thank you Wikipedia Commons

Each squat had a door though / Thank you Wikipedia Commons

Park Bathroom

  • Had both squat and pedestal toilets
  • Men’s and women’s washrooms across from each other
  • No toilet paper supplied
  • shared sinks are in between the two
  • Both sexes wash their hands side-by-side
  • Soap supplied
  • Driers weak, no paper towels
  • Counters drowning in splashed water

I lucked out with a pedestal model, but the floor and toilet seat were a wet mess. How does this happen? Thank goodness I came prepared with my own paper and dried up the worst bits so my clothes wouldn’t get dirty. I managed not to slip and fall and I hadn’t even needed to use a squat toilet. I hadn’t thought to pack a change of clothing. My first flush was an oopsie. I forgot to put the paper in the basket instead of flushing it. The sanitary system cannot handle paper as well due to the extreme volume of usage. We were stared at. I smiled, washed my hands and waved them around when the drier didn’t work. It felt strange standing shoulder to shoulder, next to a man, in what feels like the women’s washroom.

Temple of Heaven (the park)

Short sleeve weather?

Short sleeve weather?

The area was park-like and filled with young people, seniors and everyone in between. We had come dressed for summer and removed our light jackets. The day was warm and the air clear. Most of the locals wore wool everything, long sleeves, hats and quilted jackets. Even the older folk stretched limbs (legs) against wrought iron fences or practiced Tai chi. The younger groups—most of them female—danced to music (comparable to line dancing or Zumba here).

Tai Chi and in Quilted

Tai Chi and in Quilted

IMG_0151

A few of the older generation (gulp) were contortionists. Say what? I have pictures to back ME up. See. Ouch. My back and legs can’t do that. My teeth hurt to watch. How is this still possible at this guy’s age? He must be over 75 at least.

Ouch

Ouch

The man in the red sweater holds something akin to a bird (as in badminton). Demonstrations for its use look similar to a soccer player keeping his ball in motion. The feet and ankles are kept active. An effective exercise, I think and your competition is a small white plastic thing with feathers you must not allow to touch the ground.

  • Hawkers everywhere, with shawls, scarves, kites, badminton-like birdies etc.
  • Hawkers were persistent but not rude
  • Young and old come to the park for exercise and fresh air
  • I saw no dogs walked
  • Birds taken for walks. Their cages were hung on tree limb
  • It was the weekend, a Sunday
Elastic Man. How old are you?

Elastic Man. How old are you?

We had free time to wander the park for about 20 minutes. Throngs of people surrounded us everywhere we turned. I imagined all these people were occupants from the many tall apartment buildings. The belief there is that fresh air and exercise are necessary to a good life. I kept a low profile—I might have gawked once or twice—the locals stared openly. It is their country after all and we were the odd balls.

Next on June 13th, Beijing Part 4, Day 3 (cont’d)

Click on CHINA tab at the top of this page for all links about this trip.


84 Comments

Broken Butt

This is serious. If I hear any gigglers in the back, I’m closing shop and going home–the better to lick my wounds in private. Nah, not really.

Two weeks ago, I sat at my dining-room table busy reading posts and leaving comments. The trouble began when I decided to sit on a card chair. Because I’ve been spending so much time on my laptop in this room, I find I hate my dining-room chairs. The seats are sprung (cushioned without any wood underneath) and too deep for me. Most of the time I end up perched on the edge of the chair, hunched over for long periods of time. I don’t notice until the back of my neck becomes stiff and the area between my shoulders, slightly lower than my neck aches.

I chose a card chair for size and thought I’d hit the jackpot. With my back supported, I sat up straight and the back of my knees hung over the edge of this chair just right. Thanks Baby Bear.

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

What went wrong?

After some time, my concentration of all things blogging, found me on the edge of the chair. This is a run-of-the-mill card chair. You know: a metal square surrounding a lightly padded seat? Yep, the metal edge bit into the bottom of my butt. So, I moved around to lessen the numbness but it wouldn’t go away. The clock read I’d been at it for two hours. Time to go to bed.

The next morning when my feet hit the floor, my butt dragged. I might be mistaken for one of those wooden folding drying racks you setup in your bathtub on rainy days. On the other hand I FELT like the capital Greek letter sigma which means summation. In a nutshell, standing and movement meant pain and bent knees. What a picture. Blah. I can imagine muscle tone loss everywhere but not there. I’ve always considered I came well-padded. Wrong again.

For two weeks I haven’t sat comfortably. I tried cushions, regular foam, and a memory foam pillow. Stop laughing. Nothing helped. I’d broken my butt and had to I avoid stairs at any cost.

Today, I joined some friends at a walking trail for a 5K workout. At first every muscle I never knew my butt used to get me around pulled in the wrong direction, but I hung in there and it has probably loosened them up. I believe I’m getting to normal.

Up to this point, I’ve experienced no major physical issues except for this crimp in my lifestyle. I must remember I’m not sixteen anymore (although I feel about twenty) and shouldn’t take anything for granted anymore.

I can’t understand why I’m falling apart.


39 Comments

Butt Out

It’s nice we live in a free country, isn’t it? You can shop where you want, buy and wear what you want, and do almost anything so long as it’s legal.

I’ve heard visitors / newcomers from other countries say they are appalled at how North Americans go out in public: in jeans or shorts for all occasions; T-shirts too small or too big, ripped or dirty; scuffed and / or filthy, grimy shoes or flip-flops, beat up and grubby running shoes etc.

If you’re at home in the backyard cooking, cleaning, painting, cutting the grass—go for it. I don’t disagree with what you choose to wear or how you wear it. You’re the king of your castle.

Is it too much to ask a little care about your appearance in the grocery store, pharmacy, coffee shop and so on?

Should I be waiting for the light to change, please do not pass me on your bike with your pants half off. Male or female, this picture of you crouched over the handlebars isn’t attractive.

I don’t want to trip over you when you bend down to reach for the spaghetti sauce in the grocery store. That exclamation point down the back of your pants is not my idea of a room with a view.

As well, when I am in the pharmacy looking at vitamins, I have no interest in an introduction to your butt cheeks.

Worst of all, when I’m enjoying myself in a coffee shop, I never want to drop my face in shock when you flash your fat, hairy behind a foot-and-a-half from my face and I faint from shock. On the banquette. Ugh. Someone, half-dressed like you probably sat in the very spot my nose almost nuzzled.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

I don’t know you and most of the other patrons don’t either. Please be kind to strangers and don’t flash that thing at me in public? Can you not feel a breeze? Don’t you care how you look? Consider your hygiene as well as that of others.

On the other hand, if you are still within a block of over-the-hill, and have a nice tight…like you know—plumbers, contractors, firemen—the calendar types…

Nope. Forget it. Don’t show off what your pants are supposed to cover when you’re out and about in town.

Then again, what goes on behind closed doors, but that’s another story.


4 Comments

Is There An App for That?

I LOVE my cordless phone. When I’m on the phone, I usually pace trying to get in my 10,000 steps for the day (chortle, chuckle, cackle). The more phone calls I get or make provides me with the most exercise. When I first got that phone, I tended to misplace it (and still do) in any number of weird places around the house. I soon learned to go to home base, push the locator button which caused the phone to beep and flash until I found it and turned it off. What’s not to love, right?

I take off my glasses all the time. I put them down and wander away. Because this mostly happens at home (in familiar territory) it takes me a couple of minutes to realize I can’t see properly. Then I try backtracking to find them but I can’t see well enough without them so I can’t. Why do I continually take them off in the first place?

Not only do I need my glasses to find them but I also need them to see period and to hear better when someone is talking to me. It would be nice not to waste so much time looking. Of course, I could use one of those glasses-on-a chain hung around my neck but nah, I’m just not ready for that yet. Why don’t they have an app for that? For finding my glasses? Surely that can’t be so hard to do.

Recently, I took the jacket off a new book I wanted to stick my nose into.  I then put the book down, forgot about it and couldn’t find it anywhere a few minutes later. There it was finally, on my dining-room table, a black covered book placed on a black binder. No wonder I didn’t recognize it. A thought flashed through my mind. Don’t I have a remote for that? I can sure be a tad silly but I’ve no control over what my mind wants to conjure up in a moment of desperation.

While I sat scribbling these ideas, my handwriting was so bad because over the years it’s turned to chicken scratch. I had lots of things crossed out, inserted; all the goobly gook before the cleaned up and finished copy.

I’m in the habit of forgetting I’m not at my keyboard. My finger itches to do what its been trained to do: to highlight and press the DELETE key. Whoops, can’t do that on a writing pad.

I find it amazing how quickly and totally I’ve become so dependent on a quick technical resolution: a remote for this and a remote for that, a button on my keyboard or the remote to start my car, or open and close the doors and so on.

I keep hearing this new phrase everywhere, “Is there an app for that?” or “There IS an app for that.” I don’t have an iphone or an ipad but I wonder if there will be an app for finding things I put down and can’t see for looking.

There’s a STAPLES commercial that comes to mind. I haven’t seen it for some time but they advertise their EASY button. It’s a big RED tabletop button (the size of an upended round cereal bowl) with the word EASY printed on the top. Shopping at Staples and finding what you want is as easy as pressing that button.

I could use one of those unless there is an app for that already and I haven’t heard about it yet. Couldn’t we all at one time or another?


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Hello world!

Let’s cut the crap! None of us is getting out of here ALIVE (much to my surprise—I don’t THINK so!). I’m making the choice to make the most of it. Hopefully I’ll grumble, whine and complain all the way to…you know where: that last vacation in the sky (none too loudly). You CAN stand out in the crowd and make everyone else miserable OR you can try to look on the bright side. There always is a bright side, isn’t there?

I’m a grandma and keep busy looking after my two grandkids. I read voraciously. I like my bookclubs because they aren’t boring. We eat, drink and talk books (eat and drink are the operative words). I’ve started golfing. I try to exercise although I can’t always manage to squeeze it into my day. I enjoy my friends and family. What else is there?

I’m economical  by choice. I get riled when people act like we have nothing to lose. Money doesn’t grow on trees; neither do our seemingly endless resources. Call me cheap if you want to but if you don’t know the value of a dollar by your mid-thirties, in your old age you WILL be poor. How will you survive? Everything keeps going up except for body parts being tugged downwards by gravity. Only two things are certain in this life and even the best of us can’t avoid them: death and taxes.

My quest is to grumble as quietly as I can manage to as Mother Nature disowns me inch by painful inch. I’ll TRY to own up to what’s happening and try to own it but I hope to find some joy into the journey.