Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #42 Mission Statement

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

Outline a “mission statement” for your life.

My Mission Statement

At one point in my life, when I was in a stable well-paying position,  I joked that I wanted to live long enough to be a “burden on society.”  In my reality, this did become my mission statement.

Part of the reason for this truth is my own fault. I was never a competitive or driven person for most of my life I just rolled with the flow and never needed to make long term plans. For a very brief time in my life things were on an upward trajectory and it looked like I would wind up as a complete and solid person.  Sadly that was not to be.

I grew up in a poor house and never learned the benefits of saving money or developed the tools to be able to do that.  No idea of disposable income versus savings versus retirement.  My grandparents were always retired in my lifetime and money was never talked about, but they seemed to be fine.  My mother did not work outside the home until I was a teen and then it was part-time.  In high school I worked part-time and saved the $100.00 needed to go on my senior class trip and didn’t save for anything after that.

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Junior College after high school didn’t require much money and my job more than paid for all of that.  Within a year I decided to quit school and worked full time, lived at home and only took public transportation.  Had a great wedding on the cheap.  Fast forward three kids and 1 divorce later with no savings or pension on the horizon.

At times I worked 3 jobs just to make ends meet and saving was not a possibility.  The company I was working for was hit bad by the recession and my job was eliminated.  First time ever on unemployement.  Back to college for the third time and I found a great position that I loved but did not pay well.  Then 9/11 happened.  My small pension and 401k were hit very bad and I lost my job again.

At my age it was almost impossible to find a position and wound up working at a big box store for minimum wage and part time only.  So with all this happening close to my retirement my Social Security is tiny and it’s very hard to understand the system.

Help, I really am a “burden to society”.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, humor, kathy70, music, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge # 39 It’s Nap Time

 

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.  My personal goal is to do this for one full year.

Question:

Do you believe “power naps” are beneficial?  Do you think they should be incorporated into the workplace?

Is It Nap Time Yet?

Yes I do believe in “power naps” and I do take them.  A power nap is considered  a nap of 15 to 35 minutes.  I don’t have the ability to automatically wake up so I set an alarm for these naps.  If I don’t have a set agenda or an appointment I will just allow myself to wake up naturally.

Today it was a 15 minute nap because I had a rough night.  My pandemic worried brain woke me at 3 AM for no particular reason.  Over an hour later still awake I put on some soothing music to sleep another 4 hours.  So after lunch is a 15 minute quick nap and I am refreshed again and ready to move on.

While working at one of my large telephone centers, we had a “quiet” room.  This could be used after you had a tough call to reset and get back to the phones.  One of my coworkers had a family member pass away and she needed to simply sit in that room for a bit before leaving for the day. Mainly it was used by agents to take a quick nap

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We all have from time to time a day with too much activity and so that room came in handy.  I once had a Paul McCartney concert on a school night that went way too late in the evening.  Before everyone had cell phones, I grabbed a kitchen timer as I walked out the door that day.  Lunch found me pulling into a quiet park in the area and setting the timer for 45 minutes, then right back to work.  I think that was more of a rescue nap than a power nap. LOL

Some corporations are realizing that a short nap can really do wonders and allowing employees to check out for  1/2 hour or so.  Sleep deprivation can be brutal and cause damage in lots of ways.  Maybe with the work from home scenario we are in now, more people will learn how to sneak in that little nap and better handle the 9 hour day they are putting in at the computer.

Take a nap!!

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Quilts, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #38 Bag Lady

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

How do you keep yourself organized?

Bag Lady

Pre-pandemic and quarantine, many of us had lives and in some cases very busy lives.  As an active senior citizen with a variety on interests, I had my fingers in a large variety of pies and enjoyed every minute of it.  My solution was tote bags.  Not only did I make my own, at many events and functions I received them as a participant.  It also told me what day of the week it was.

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Monday, I was going to one of my quilt guilds and based on what project I was working on, I had a tote bag with all my items in it.  Throughout the week, if I came across a pattern or some fabric that I was not going to use, into my quilt tote to take for the sharing table so others might take the items home.  Also, during the course of the meeting some of us worked on small hand held projects to pass on or share with others.  I also made sure that this was right by the front door on Sunday night so I did not forget to go to the meeting.

I taught several different crafts in my community so based on what I was teaching that week I would organize by tote bag. If it was flower arranging, the containers and oasis and tools in one bag, for making bracelets it was beads and wire and another type of tools required.  If I had a special request from a student I would make sure the items went into that bag.  For work, it was a whole different group of items in my tote bag.  Gym days, another tote bag. Not included are the bags  I took to the grocery store to cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For many years now I have driven a pick-up truck and this means no trunk, if I had a trunk some of these bags would have been left in the vehicle until needed.  On really good days, I walked out with three separate bags for my current days events.  I did make sure bags were different colors and styles so I did not arrive at the gym with only my jewelry making supplies.  Now that could be a whole new direction to this story.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Computers, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Sewing, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #36 Shopping Spree

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week. My personal goal is to do this for 1 year.

Question:

Do you prefer online shopping or in-store shopping?  Why?

A Shopping Spree

Let me start by explaining that this group was formed in September of 2019, no idea of a world wide pandemic was even a concept at that time.  All these questions were  simply looking at a changing world.

Fast forward to 2020 and this question takes on a whole new meaning and resonates with people who never even considered online as an option.  (Note to self, check with my non computer comfortable friends and see how they are shopping.)  Needless to say, my response to this is very different today than last year.

In today’s world for almost everything but fabric and shoes online shopping is the new winner for me.  I tend to spend less online because I can hop from screen to screen and check out all the prices,  I can also do this at 3 AM when I can’t sleep because I am worrying about the pandemic.  I am not a drunk shopper which some 3 AM shoppers are so no surprises arrive two weeks later.  Some friends are on both ends of this scenario, they will remain nameless.

Fabric is hard for me to buy online.  A friend once said it was fun to watch me in a fabric store because I shop mostly with my hands.  I walk down the aisle with my hands  touching on both sides and my second reaction is to color or pattern.  So I have to be backed against the wall to buy fabric online.

The other thing is shoes.  I have wonky feet and had one surgery and don’t really want more so I do wear the comfy granny type shoes.  My granddaughter is the queen of online shoe shopping, before her wedding a shoe box arrived every other day it seemed. She ordered a variety knowing she would not keep them all.  Some had to be shipped back but some had returns to their local store.  This is a good thing to check when shopping online.

How do you feel about online shopping?  I’s a bit sad to see the changes in the brick and mortar shops.  I would like to see a world where a mom and pop local store could expect to fill a shop and have walk in traffic.  It has been a while since I have been in any remote locations where they have those 10 foot by 25 foot shops that a single person can operate.  There is no mall where that fits, if they have a kiosk the rent is usually out of range.  So maybe online is the only answer now????

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, Aging, Chicago, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Happy 74th Birthday

I have fulfilled one of my wishes from last year and I made it to 2020…a classic example of be careful of what you wish for.  I will celebrate my birthday in some capacity, not sure yet what that will be.  I am a firm believer in celebrating and have been for a number of years.  It’s my old grandson story, I can see my kids rolling their eyes now.

Several years ago, my grandson was turning 5 and I was gone for a couple of days so I would not be at his birthday celebration.  When I came back, I asked about his birthday and he had a good party.  Next he jumped up and raised his arms above his head and said “See I am bigger now that I am 5.”  He was so excited, how could I not celebrate my birthday as much as possible.

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I will let you know afterwards what I actually do.  My plans are pretty low key right now, so Happy Birthday to me.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Chicago, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Fathers Day During Covid-19

My father passed away over 40 years ago and I still miss him just about every day, do we ever get too old to need a dad, I don’t think so.  What makes it tougher is that my relationship with my mom was divisive at best and a daily battle.  In the Unites States we celebrate dad the 3rd Sunday in June, other countries have many other dates to celebrate.

For a time dads were the butt of the joke on television and at the movies, then the switch was flipped and he became the stern authoritarian person.  Occasionally you saw that dad’s really knew best or had a good idea or was just a good guy trying his best.  My dad was close to being the last one at least in my eyes.

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My dad holding me in the yard.

As an adult I discovered that one of my brothers thought he was an idiot, another thought he was useless at best and another was very much afraid of him. I adored him and wish we could have had some form of father/daughter talks.  My dad like many of his generation was not a talker, he was the strong silent type.  I can remember only a couple of one on one conversations.  I know he talked to my mom and sadly she used to talk bad about him to me,  how he spent too much money on Christmas.

I am sure life for both of them must have been very hard.  Minimal education and working hard to get ahead, a large family that always needed something more.  My dad always worked at least two jobs when I was a kid.  But I did the same thing, as a single parent it was two or three jobs when I could do it and it never seemed like it was too much.

Must be the quarantine or the social distance from the world that is causing me to be so reflective and missing my dad after all these years. Talk to your kids while you can or more important, listen to them and they will teach you.  Hope all you fathers have a great day out there and just love your kids, hug them extra today.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Anchorage, Challenge, kathy70, Quarantine, Travel, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge# 33 Mountain Climbing

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The group goal is to do at least one per week.

Question:

Have you ever thought about climbing a mountain?  What do you hope to gain by this accomplishment?  If you have climbed one, describe the experience in detail.

Me???  Mountain Climbing???

Never in a million years would I have ever considered climbing a mountain at the top of my list of achievements or goals or bucket list items.  Due to this writing challenge, I think it has just been put on my bucket list.

My mountain of choice is Flattop Mountain just outside of Anchorage, Alaska.  This is one of the most climbed mountains in Alaska.  It is easily a one day event and it is 1.5 miles high and 1350 vertical feet high.  There is a shuttle service that goes from downtown Anchorage to the mountain.  The suggested time is 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the trip up and down the mountain.Flattop-Mountain-Trail-04

When I lived in Anchorage several years ago I was in flabby physical shape.  Working a hard physical job toughened me up and I started walking a bunch more than ever.  Since I came back, off and on I kept with it.  This year I really became more serious about staying in shape and easily walk over 3 miles in a day and do that several times a week.

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A few of the people I worked with took the trip to the mountain with small children and made that hike.  My grandson when he visited there made the trip to the top.  Next trip to Alaska this is first thing added to my schedule.

Only goal is to say I have done it.  I have hiked to the top of some mountains in the Blue Ridge range and the Appalachian range, but never really more than getting off the road and hiking the short distance to the top.  I don’t think they really count for this.

I love a bucket list add on as much as I love something checked off the list.

Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Germany, music, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #32 Mercedes Benz

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  We have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one question per week. ( My personal goal is to do one year.)

 

Question:

Have you ever tried anything on to see how it would fit (not clothing)?

My shot at a Benz

Well over 30 years ago, I had an opportunity to try on my favorite car, a Mercedes Benz.  Thank you Janis Joplin, I was a huge fan of her song Mercedes Benz.  I will always let people know, I am not a car person,  I can’t tell a Ford from a Nissan from a Lexus.  The only two cars I could identify as they drove past were a Volkswagen or a Mercedes and it was just because of the song.

I was working for a small gas station/tire shop/auto repair shop and it was mostly family that worked there.  The wife of the owner drove a Mercedes at the time and I told her that one day I wanted to drive a car like hers.  Fast Forward about 2 years.  I find an older car for sale at my price point.

I go to meet the seller and it is about 10 years old, dark green sedan,  I ask if I can take this to my mechanic  and have it checked out.  I proudly pulled up to work the next day in my “new” car.

I go in and start working and wait until the owner comes into the office so I can talk to him. He does not seem as excited as I am but said yes he will look at it.  Puts it up on a rack when time permits and checks it out. At the end of the work day, he has me walk down and look at my car on the rack and he begins to show me all the rusted out places under the car.

He knew where to look for the weak spots, the undercarriage is full of rust and holes.  as pretty as the car looked, it would need major repairs and soon. Sadly that car went back to the owner, I moved on and have never owned “my”car, nor will I.

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Lyrics

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.  My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends.  So, oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Posted in 2020, Aging, kathy70, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Purple

“I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” Alice Walker

Surround yourself with purple.  Only then will you have peace of mind.

Wear purple when you want to encourage fantasy, mystery and imagination.

“Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen.”  Charles Dickens

“When I am old I shall wear purple.” Jenny Joseph

As with many of us, I really try to live a healthy lifestyle.  I quit smoking many years ago, I enjoy eating vegieburgers,  I try several times a week to get out and at least walk a bit.  The problem is that some days I only see the flowers, oh wait that is never a problem. As with many,  I am drawn to purple flowers in a garden.

Day two of walking this past week brought me to a whole new area and new flowers, enjoy.

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Posted in 2020, Aging, Challenge, Chicago, Food, humor, kathy70, Quarantine, Uncategorized, Writing, Yes

Challenge #26 Perfect Pizza

This challenge comes from a small writing group.  we have a large series of random questions that we answer and share.  The goal is to answer at least one per week.

Question:

Describe your perfect pizza in detail, including how it would be cooked and what toppings would be included.

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Today’s Perfect Pizza

That is such a loaded question that I can’t even believe myself that I would choose to write about this.  Maybe it’s a side effect of the pandemic craziness that has engulfed us all. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t go to a local Pizza Parlor and sit down to order my pizza.  Maybe it’s because I feel the need to order a pizza from a local place just so when this is all over I can go there and sit down and have a pizza.

Over the years I have fond memories of pizza.  We had a neighborhood place that was just the best.  I can remember going there with my Girl Scout Troop after an activity, which I can’t remember, and I can remember the taste of the pizza.  I ordered milk with mine that day and some of the other girls said, “Hey, we are out for dinner why not order soda?”.  To this day my favorite beverage with pizza is milk.  They were saying hey mom or dad won’t mind and we are drinking soda, but I was not going to change my request.

I remember it was cold outside and very warm in the pizza parlor with the ovens going.  Maybe we had come from a nursing home where we sang Christmas Carols or we may have had a roller skating party with other Girl Scouts, both are very possible.  It may have been a special meeting where we put together special treats to take to patients at a local hospital.  It’s funny the two vivid memories from that day were the pizza and my drinking milk.

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I live near Chicago, which is known for it’s pizza among other foods and I have eaten pizza all over the country and I do love Chicago style pizza.  This  pizza that is my now “perfect” pizza comes from a restaurant on the same street as the one I went to all those years ago with the Scouts but about 4 block East.  This new pizza is a hand tossed pizza that has malt in the dough ( I could not taste it.)

I am a fan of sausage pizza and this had sausage that was crumbled and spread over the entire top so you had sausage in every bite.  The sauce is critical and this was also a secret recipe.  The sauce was almost a marinara sauce, but very delicate, and you could see veg and herbs in the sauce.  Next I had diced fresh tomatoes, also scattered all over the top, my last ingredient was black olives.  I love the sharp taste they add to the pizza.

The pizza was very thin with a light but crunchy dough and I enjoyed every bite of pizza even the next day.  The flavor overall was unique and I think that is the secret recipes for dough and sauce.  My new favorite pizza and I will be running to this place as soon as they open again.