Archive for the ‘Smooth or Crunchy’ Category

There used to be show called Truth or Consequences on TV in the 1950’s thru the early 1970’s.  We now have a real time reality show called Trump and Contradictions.

Every politician accuses his or her opponent of flip-flopping their position on certain ideologies and promises, some more than others.  We are now in the MOST more than others.  The following examples are either direct quotes from a speech or a tweet and some are reported remarks.  For example:

September 27, 2016 – “If you’re not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for”?

March 31, 2017 – “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse or big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion”

June 15, 2013 – “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS?? ZERO”.

September 2013 – “President Obama, do not attack Syria.  There is no upside and tremendous downside.  Save your “powder” for another (and more important) day.”

April 5, 2017 – “…These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Amad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution”.

August 2012 – “An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”.

September 2016 – “Any time you see a story about me or my campaign saying “sources said”, DO NOT believe it.  There are no sources, they are just made-up lies.”  

November 2012 – “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make United States manufacturing non-competitive”.

September 22, 2016 – In the first presidential debate, Donald Trump denied saying that he stated climate change was a Chinese hoax.

October 9, 2016 – “If I win, I want a special prosecutor looking into Clinton’s “situation“,”.

November 22, 2016 – President-Elect Trump said he had no intention of pressing for an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server or the financial operations of her family’s foundation, dropping the “Lock her up” pledge that became a rallying cry for his campaign for the White House.

July 8, 2015 – Candidate Trump, “Hillary Clinton was the worst Secretary of State in the history of the United States”.

May 11, 2016 – “Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman. I’m a little biased because I’ve known her for years. I live in New York. She lives in New York. …”.

Jan 30, 2017 – Trump: “Keystone and Dakota pipelines will be built with American steel … the pipe to be manufactured with United States steel,” Trump said.

March 3, 2017 – The Keystone XL pipeline won’t be required to use American-made steel to earn construction approval from the Trump administration, the White House said Friday, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated claims.

June 15, 2016 – I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me –and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

Campaign promise – Trump has insisted that he will force Mexico to pay for the wall, but Mexican officials have refused. The president’s budget request Thursday included $2.6 billion, mostly for first stages of the wall.

March 9, 2017 – When asked whether the neighbouring nation would foot the bill, he said ‘Uh, no’ – Senator Mitch McConnell.

Trump is at his most bewildering when it comes to nukes. He has repeatedly insisted that nuclear stockpiles should be reduced, saying last week, “I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially.” 

But it’s difficult to square that view with the position he took in December, when he tweeted, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

He elaborated the next day that he had no problem if that position led other countries to build up their own nuclear capabilities. “Let it be an arms race,” he reportedly told MSNBC.

And we’re not even 100 days into this!!!


Let Me Just Say This About That

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I found this years ago and saved it and while sorting through “stuff” yesterday, I came across this and once again realized how telling, insightful and truthful it really is.  So, here’s it is, an autobiography written by Portia Nelson.


There’s A Hole In The Street


I walk down the street.

      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

      I fall in.

      I am lost…………I am helpless.

                        It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

      I pretend I don’t see it.

      I fall in, again.

I can’t believe I am in this same place.

                        But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out. 


I walk down the same street.

      There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

      I SEE it is there.

      I still fall in………..it’s a habit……but,

                        my eyes are open.

                        I know where I am.

It’s my fault.

I get out immediately. 


I walk down the same street.

      There is a hole in the sidewalk.

      I walk around it. 


I walk down another street.




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No measured words, no Uhs to buy time to think.

The truth is hard.

The truth is hidden.

The truth must be pursued.

The truth is hard to hear.

The truth is rarely simple.

The truth isn’t so obvious.

The truth is necessary.

The truth can’t be glossed over.

The truth has no agenda.

The truth can’t be manufactured.

The truth doesn’t take sides.

The truth isn’t red or blue.

The truth is hard to accept.

The truth pulls no punches.

The truth is powerful.

The truth is under attack.

The truth is worth defending.

The truth requires taking a stand.

The truth is more important now than ever.



What would WC have to say with viral social media ie, TWEETS!



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political pin

Vote For Trump because…

The following post was COPIED. Unfortunately I copied it from someone who also copied it and did not know the author.  Sorry I can’t give credit where it is due.

You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to be in Wall Street’s pocket. Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and eliminate the Fiduciary Rule, letting Wall Street return to its pre-2008 ways. You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s emails. The Trump administration is running its own private email server.
You voted for Trump because you thought the Clinton Foundation was “pay for play.” Trump has refused to wall off his businesses from his administration, and personally profits from payments from foreign governments.
You voted for Trump because of Clinton’s role in Benghazi. Trump ordered the Yemen raid without adequate intel, and tweeted about “FAKE NEWS” while Americans died as a result of his carelessness.
You voted for Trump because Clinton didn’t care about “the little guy.” Trump’s cabinet is full of billionaires, and he took away your health insurance so he could give them a multi-million-dollar tax break.
You voted for Trump because he was going to build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it. American consumers will pay for the wall with taxes AND via import tariffs. Twice.
You voted for Trump because Clinton was going to get us into a war. Trump has provoked our enemies, alienated our allies, and given ISIS a decade’s worth of recruiting material.
You voted for Trump because Clinton didn’t have the stamina to do the job. Trump hung up on the Australian Prime Minister during a 5pm phone call because “it was at the end of a long day and he was tired and fatigue was setting in.”
You voted for Trump because foreign leaders wouldn’t “respect” Clinton. Foreign leaders, both friendly and hostile, are openly mocking Trump.
You voted for Trump because Clinton lies and “he tells it like it is.” Trump and his administration lie with a regularity and brazenness that can only be described as shocking.
Let’s be honest about what really happened.
The reality is that you voted for Trump because you got conned. Trump is a grifter and the American people were the mark. Now that you know the score, quit insisting the con-man is on your side.


I did NOT vote for Trump, did you?


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Well, now Donald Trump has been in the White House for less than two weeks and already the process of destroying democracy and establishing a new form of Fascism has begun.  The hallmarks of an autocracy are evident.  

Proclamations in the form of Executive Orders have been issued like autographs and held up to the camera so he can be the one in the room doing show and tell today.  Some are more show than tell. Here is a list of EOs so far:

Look - Show and Tell

Look – Show and Tell

1.An order instructing agencies that whenever they introduce a regulation, they must first abolish two others.  Sounds logical but the premise is based on reducing restrictions on companies and institutions that impede its ability and freedom to do whatever they want in the pursuit of profit. Yeah that’s true

2. A memorandum to restructure the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.  This allows Trump to put Steve Bannona known racist and alt-right supporter on the Council and God only knows to what flagrant measures General Flynn will stoop after he tweeted insane nonsense during the election.

3. A memorandum directing the Secretary of Defense to draw up a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS. I thought he already had one! He said so during the election but was keeping it a secret from our enemies.

4. An order to lengthen the ban on administration officials working as lobbyists. There is now a 5 year-ban on officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government, and a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. So now instead of a 2 year on lobbyists joining the administration, it’s been revoked to just one year! On the face, the order sounds good but read deeper and you will see that in fact we have less insulation from scandal than before.

5.  An executive order imposing a 120-day suspension of the refugee program and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from citizens of seven terror hot spots: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.  This is ONE BIG HOT MESS.  And this one is not sitting well with lots and lots of people. The protests have begun and will continue.  This is not well thought out and for some bizzaro reason doesn’t include those Muslim countries where Trump has business interests. NO conflict of interests huh?

6. Two multi-pronged orders on border security and immigration enforcement including: the authorization of a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the stripping of federal grant money to sanctuary cities; hiring 5,000 more Border Patrol agents; ending “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships.  OMG, seriously him and that stupid wall.  One day it’s described to have golden arches and a gate, the next day it may be a figure of speech, the next day it got higher and higher.  Talk about a taxpayer revolt – don’t tax me so you can build a monument to your own ignorance!  AND he’s taking federal funds away from the sanctuary cities.  Since they number well over 200 and many are densely populated, doubt this will go over without major resistance and think of the Senate and Congressional votes lost in 2018.

7. A memorandum calling for a 30-day review of military readiness.   Really? Why not just call upon your heads of the military and tell them to do so.

8. Two orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines. He also signed three other related orders that would: expedite the environmental permitting process for infrastructure projects related to the pipelines; direct the Commerce Department to streamline the manufacturing permitting process; and give the Commerce Department 180 days to maximize the use of U.S. steel in the pipeline. Taking backward steps to protect the environment is one thing. I think the best  line in this order is the use of US made steel – this from a man who had his ties made in China and his Make America Great Again hats in Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.

9. An order to reinstate the so-called “Mexico City Policy” – a ban on federal funds to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion. The policy was instituted in 1984 by President Reagan, but has gone into and out of effect depending on the party in power in the White House.  This one is just great – after all the party who most definitely wants to keep the government out of our private lives holds the most unusual thought process that allows us (USA) to say we will help you out BUT not if you allow abortion.  Whatever happened to “Don’t tread on me”?

10. A notice that the U.S. will begin withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump called the order “a great thing for the American worker.” We shall see now won’t we?

11. An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers as a way to shrink the size of government. This excludes the military, as Trump noted at the signing. I guess the plan for hiring 5000 border patrol guards does not fall under this mandate.

12. An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of ObamaCare that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.” Again, the uproar continues as more and more people sign up for the affordable health care act before it is repealed and replaced with ??????

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Death is…final, painful, dark, lonely and forever.  And as the song goes,”…forever is a long, long time“.  Death is a passage, a cyclical expected conclusion.  We know death is nearby when a person is very old and frail.  Or when someone is suffering from an incurable disease.  Then death is welcomed with open arms.  We pray – please make the suffering stop and when our prayers are answered, we cry.  Isn’t this what we hoped for?  But loss is painful even when you know it’s inevitable. It feels like there’s an anvil sitting on your heart and you think the knot in your stomach and the lump in your throat will never go away.  The loss is real, the pain is real, our hearts are heavy.

Life is affirming, death is negating.

BUT, but.. what happens when death like the proverbial thief in the night, swoops in and steals a life? Who knew? NO ONE!!! Nobody knew death was lurking nearby, no one suspected the Angel of Death was about to pounce.  We didn’t know that yesterday was the last day we would ever see, hear or speak to our friend?  How could we know? There was no time to prepare ourselves for her SUDDEN DEATH.  The horror and shock and disbelief do little to take away the knife-like pain in your chest.  This isn’t a heavy heart, no, it feels like someone ripped your heart out!  Denial shows up and for a bit, you tell yourself this can’t be true.  She can’t be dead…I just saw her, I just texted her, we were together all day on Easter, I made her hat for God’s sake. And you don’t really believe it happened anyway – because sometimes the tragic truth is too much to bear, to comprehend.  Yet the pain, the searing, stabbing pain, you know it’s true.

What am I going to do? Where am I supposed to go? Why isn’t she sitting at the desk next to me? How could she do this to me?  Yes, pain is personal and self-involving.  I ask…why did you leave me? 

Sudden unexpected death is horrible., SNAP! Just like that. She was my friend and now she’s gone.  She was a mother and now the girls are motherless, she owned 2 adorable little dogs – what’s going to happen to them?  A whole life has to be dealt with; leases, electric bills, credit cards, phones and on and on.  Who is going to remember that there is food in the refrigerator?  Who stops all the mail? What will they do with all the furniture?  Shall I clean out your desk?  Our lives are filled with SO MUCH (stuff and such) that the dismantling of a life is one hell of job!

“…and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”.  I hope your soul and your spirit are in a good place.  You left us without warning and that wasn’t very nice of you.  I miss you already and wonder what I’m going to do without your laughter to make my day at the office fly by.  Who am I going to tell my Peter grocery store tales to?  Who am I going to walk home with?  It’s all very empty right now. 

I’m so sorry you’re gone, I’m so sorry you’re not here, I’m so sorry for your daughters and I’m so sorry for myself and my husband who misses you terribly.  He really did want to hang those drapes you know.  You have left behind so many people who are really really hurting right now but thank God, you left us with some wonderful memories and nobody can take those away.

See you in the ‘ hood…


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A week ago today, I woke up and could hardly walk!  Somehow, some way, my lower back seemed to have disconnected from the rest of my torso.  Well that’s what it felt like.  I couldn’t stand up straight and even I popped two Tylenol, an hour later, still in pain.  I spent all of last Saturday in my apartment hobbling around and moaning now and then. By evening I took the one and only Alleve in the house.  We have two vintage deco lamps on our piano, one of the bulbs burnt out.


After a very fitful night of sleep, I woke up and still in severe discomfort.  A long hot shower with the water pouring on my back only felt good while I was in the shower.  Given that we were in the apartment where the hot water supply is seemingly endless, I considered staying there forever.  However, the thought of more wrinkly skin and vanity being what it is, I decided I better get out and try to move around.  Believe it or not, there were still some reindeer that had to be put out.  Reindeer, you say?  Yes reindeer, my ecumenical concession to my Jewish husband when it comes to Christmas decorations.  Of course there’s a wreath and even two metal sculpture trees which light up from within with a candle.  And there are Christmas cards, usually NOT holiday cards, and two vintage stockings hung from the fireplace as well as a few Christmas village houses nestled among the plants on the living room window sill.  The warrior in me soldiers on.  By early evening I take one the two Tylenol with Codeine we have in the house.  One of the light bulbs in a foyer lamp has burnt out.


Thinking I had a Monday morning meeting, I scramble around as best I can, still my lower back not working in conjunction with any other body part.  I’m walking half bent over and on a tilt.  I know I can’t walk to work so I take a taxi.  WHAT? NO MEETING??!!! Well sitting at my desk is no more uncomfortable than sitting at home and besides at the office I have a whole bunch of sympathizers around me.  Actually sitting or lying down on my back with my legs curled up to my chest IS the only comfortable position.  Today Peter and I are going to the afternoon SAG movie, Mr. Turner.  I leave my office at 2:00pm to catch the 2nd Ave bus and will transfer at 57th St to a crosstown bus which will take me to West 57th St at 6th Ave.  The traffic on 2nd Avenue is a f_ _ _ _g nightmare.  The bus does not move.  It takes the bus more than 30 minutes to get to 55th St from 79th St.  YES I could have walked there quicker but I can’t really walk.  At 2:45, sirens are screaming as everything comes to a halt and let’s an ambulance through.  If you’ve never been to Midtown during the Christmas season, you really can’t imagine what is going on…it’s absolute gridlock everywhere;  Pedestrians crossing at all points, more cars on the street than ever, the windows of Bergdorf and Tiffany beckoning crowds and the tree at Rockefeller Center causing more jam -ups. 

Far INTO the Maddening Crowd

Far INTO the Maddening Crowd

At 2:55 I’m at 57th St and between Madison and Fifth and we have stopped again (not that we ever really roll along) and now two firetrucks are approaching from the west and all vehicles move over.  There’s is some stupid little black car that is playing chicken with the bus and wants to get in front of us!  I’ve got to get to 6th Ave and be in the theater before 3pm because then they lock the doors! I telephone Peter and tell him I probably won’t make it and will go home. By 2:58 we still haven’t crossed 6th Avenue to the bus stop.  When we do I practically leap off the bus and make my way across the street and up to the theater. It IS after 3pm and even though I’m bent over a bit I look up and see a woman going in and then another.  I try to walk faster and when I get to the doors I can’t believe they’re still unlocked.  At that moment, Peter comes into the lobby to see if I’ve made it.  The nice lady at the entry desk greets me with “Thank goodness, you made it”.  When I tell her I’ve been on a bus for an hour, she suggests I should have walked!

When the movie is over and it is over 2 hours long, we go out to find a) it’s raining b) I will never make it home in time to hostess my Mah Jongg group at 6:30 and c) I cannot take the subway which would be quicker because I can’t negotiate the stairs! and d) the bus doesn’t appear to be an option because as far as the eye can see, it’s traffic, traffic, traffic and I can’t imagine getting on a bus again.  I call one of the players and ask her to call the others and delay the game by a half hour.  Peter is annoyed because I’m in a rush, can’t walk and we are in frigging Midtown in the middle of the the Christmas holiday which looks a little like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  I start to walk east in the rain, bent over while he is kvetching about no rain coat and no hat.  He also has predicted that I will NEVER  get a cab because by now, I have walked (read hobbled) as far as Fifth Ave. and gone south to 56th St hoping to avoid the madness of 57th St.  OMG there is a cab two cars away – I am waving my arm like a lunatic and rushing thru moving traffic to grab that cab.  Thank you Lord and the TLC.  Just before my guests arrive, I take the last Tylenol with Codeine.


I have to meet an appraiser in the morning and then I’m off to the office.  Actually standing up a bit taller and feeling pretty good.  Tuesday is also a SAG movie night but this time I have to be there by 6pm.  Janice, my friend from the office is also invited to tonight’s screening so we’re going to go together.  I tell her there’s no way we can go the bus route, we have to take the subway system.  Janice is not all that familiar with the subway connections so I say, “Just follow me”.  First we wait and wait in the rain (yes raining again) for a bus.  But since NYC is always doing something that requires scaffolding we are at least standing under the shed (bottom floor of scaffolding) while we wait and wait.  The though of trying to walk mostly at an incline to Lexington Ave to get on the subway seems like a really painful option so I say let’s wait another minute or two for the bus to come.  Well waiting for a bus to come in NYC in the rain is like waiting for a tea kettle to boil.  At this point Janice wonders if her Metro card has any money on it.   The bus comes and as I walk down the aisle I hear that dreaded sound of a bleep rather than a ding signifying the passenger’s Metro card has insufficient funds.  Luckily the driver says she owes 55 cents and lets her drop the change into the slot.  Janice has got to add money to her card when we get to the subway station.  We have to walk two blocks from the bus to the subway and halfway there Janice calls for a halt.  Well once we are at the subway station, of course we miss the train that is there because JB has no money on her card!!! Oy!  Another train comes along fairly quickly and I lead her through the rush hour hordes of people to the another subway line on 59th St.  Soon we are on an R train headed for 7th Ave and 57th St.  We arrive at the theater with time to spare – traveling underground is really the only way to go at this time of year.  When we got home, a bulb in one of the den lamps burnt out.


The back pain is not only still there, it is bad.  Our office is donating toys to Cassidy’s Place and I go out at lunch time to find a suitable gift – this is the last day to donate.  We are having a meeting at 3pm and a holiday toast at 4pm.  It’s a very busy day.  By 3:00 my back is aching so I got two aspirin from the front desk and washed them down with champagne! By the time the meeting was over and the party underway, I felt ok.  But not for long.  I had to meet my friend, Barbara for a holiday dinner à deux and walking the few blocks to the restaurant was just agonizing.  Dinner was wonderful, the food was great, the company delightful.  Unfortunately I had to walk home and even though it was only a few blocks I  just inched along in the rain- Yes raining again!


Before I left for the day I opened the freezer and OMG the stuff in there was slightly defrosted and I thought maybe the door had been ajar all night.  The night before I had a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream and maybe I didn’t close the door completely!  Surely the diet gods are behind this!  I’m meeting Janice at a property a few blocks away so I walk there and by the time I arrive I know that I can’t go along on these showings because there will be a lot of walking along the way.  I go back to the office and sit.  Once home, I put this massaging machine behind me and just let the pressure and circular movements massage the base of my back.  Peter is about to make a drink and head to the freezer to get some ice cubes only to discover that THERE IS NOTHING FROZEN IN THE FREEZER!! The ice cubes are water, the broccoli is mush, the frozen fruit is soggy and soft and all of the herbs have turned into green slime.  Just f_ _ _ _g great!  It’s 8:00 at night and I don’t know whether we need to call our landlord who of course will not be in his office or try the Super.  Peter heads downstairs and as luck would have it, our Superintendent is in his office.  Technically, he is supposed to do work in our apt only at the behest of our landlord since we are not the shareholders – it gets complicated in New York.  Anyway, once he heard of the dilemma he instructed a porter to switch out our refrigerator for one that was in a vacant apt.  First all of the food had to be removed and a lot of the stuff thrown out.  The refrigerator was actually pretty cold because it hadn’t been opened all day.  After a lot of measuring and moving of furniture in both the living room and the dining room (because that’s the only way this new refrigerator was going to get into the kitchen), the door were removed, the old one moved away from the wall giving us full view of years of dust and stuff.  The new refrigerator is bigger than the old one and it’s BLACK!   By 9:30 I’m microwaving some Chinese noodle soup that had defrosted.

OMG It's Black!

OMG It’s Black!


We finally got ourselves out the door and headed to Ocean Grove for the weekend.  We hadn’t been to the cottage in two weeks so when we arrived it was about 50 degrees!  I pushed up the thermostat  and began to unload our stuff.  Once done, we headed off to do grocery shopping just as the house was warming up.  The cats curled up in their beds which are next to a radiator. 

Actually Nora Decided To Sleep With Nicky

Actually Nora Decided To Sleep With Nicky

We got home at about 6pm and wow the house felt cold.  After unloading bags and bags of groceries which required the door being open, I checked the thermostat and pushed it up higher to get the heat to kick on.  Five minutes, ten minutes – NO HEAT.  There’s a whole lot of cursing going on….  Peter goes to the basement which is actually only a Yankee basement, not much bigger than a Manhattan kitchen and to reach it you have to climb down a ladder, not stairs and of course move about 10 things that are stashed in the back area which I refer to as the Hoosier room.  He finds a reset button and nothing happens.  We wait.  He pushes the button again and after a few minutes, the furnace kicks on.  Pretty soon the radiators are hot.  And then 15 minutes later, the furnace stops.  By 8:30 we are freezing and again tempers are flaring, it is really, really cold in the house and someone (not me) thinks going back to NYC is the answer. NO WAY! I’m not leaving the house with no possible heat so the pipes can freeze and burst – you know who grew up in an apartment building!  We call the emergency number and are told we will get a return call. NO CALL.  At 10:00 we call again and about 11:00 we get a call.  The nice man on the phone who had been sleeping was willing to come out BUT I suggested he try to walk Peter through some possible solutions.  After 45 minutes on the phone, the furnace kicked on.  And 15 minutes later it stopped.  The only possible choice we have at this point is to go to bed with a lot of covers and hopefully a cat too.  Before I went upstairs I really wanted to finish watching the finale of Grace Point which was On Demand.  I had a heat shirt on under my pajama top, a corduroy shirt over that, a scarf around my neck and gloves on and socks and slippers.  I can’t fall asleep if my nose is cold and every time I sort of covered it, I felt like I wasn’t getting enough air. Not a good night. 


About 4:00 am I got up to use the bathroom and the radiators were hot. Oh joy!  At 8:30 we woke up and the house was cold as were the radiators. OH NOT JOY.  Peter calls the emergency number at 9:30 and is assured Gary will call us.  At 11:00 am he calls again.  No call back.  Well by now I’m in the middle of making Beef Minestrone in the crock pot and roasting some cauliflower in the oven and oh boy that 450 degree oven helped to keep the kitchen warm.  I made us hot oatmeal for breakfast.  By 2:00pm we still had no call back and I called the emergency number and I was not as nice as Peter was about being trapped in a house that is registering 52 degrees waiting for a phone call.  I told the not-pleasant- customer-service lady we had to get of this freezing place and gave them a cell phone number.  Within 20 minutes we get a call from Gary who says he has tried to call us but our voice mailbox is full. WTF? There are no messages on our phone.  He arrives shortly and is very personable and knowledgeable and after some looks here and there, he finds the problem.  The furnace is over full of water causing some pressure problem but how did it get that way?  30 minutes later he discovers that the pig tail needs to be cleaned out.  Don’t ask!  As I write this last line, he is packing up his gear.  The radiators are not hot yet but God and Gary willing they will be! 

The day isn’t over yet so I’m not sure what else can go wrong today, you never know.  I might have to call my sister-in-law, Juanita to see if Mercury is in retrograde because believe it or not, the kitchen light in the cottage wouldn’t go on but that turned out to only be a loose bulb and the battery on Peter’s computer died about an hour ago.  Stay tuned….   

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

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I really like some commercials and I admire clever ad campaigns.  For example, how about the Absolut ad that appeared in the 90’s for years, each one more clever than the one before!  I have a notebook full of Absolut Ads that depict various states, capitols, artists, emotions and ideas!  This was an ad campaign that “had legs” as they say in the industry!  I love the Geico Gecko, well really he is cute! But I hated the Geico cavemen commercials.  Who can forget Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?”  Or Bert and Harry Piels?

Cutesy Cubs

Cutesy Cubs

A couple of years ago, I was (and still am) enamored and enchanted by the Cartier commercial, L’Odeyssee de Cartier.  It is a spectacular piece, (in my opinion) and I’ve actually posted it on my blog previously.  I raved about it to all my friends, much to the chagrin of my friend, Gail, who works for Tiffany’s !! I believe it was beautifully-crafted and targeted to the sophisticated clientele that actually shops at Cartier’s! 

So what the heck is this year’s Cartier Christmas ad?  It is as bad as last years which was almost cartoonish and now this year they have gone all Disney on us!  We see two cute little cubs frolicking in the snow, knocking Cartier’s signature red boxes tumble down from the snow cliffs in the heavens to land under Christmas trees around the world.  I don’t know whether or not Cartier has switched ad agencies  or whether some company has convinced them that their brand is best represented by playfulness rather than mysterious, sexy fantasy which has been the hallmark of Cartier ads for several years.  Cartier jewelry is not playful and it is not inexpensive, hardly the arena for young cub buyers! 

If you haven’t seen this little ditty, take a look at this year’s Christmas ad.


Now watch this one and tell me which one do you think best represents  the Cartier brand?


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My friend Murray Head loves squirrel watching as much my husband and I do.  Better yet, he photographs these cute critters in the wilds of Central Park and in our backyard at the Shore.  We feed the squirrels lots of peanuts and have ears of dried corn on a wheel.  These backyard acrobats love to hang onto the spokes of the wheel and nibble the corn.  Both Murray and my friend Wendy spent Thanksgiving with us and it was all about the squirrels because Wendy makes daily trips to Central Park where she feeds her squirrels.  As soon as she starts up the path to her bench, the squirrels come running out to grab the almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts she brings them.  Here we are at Costco loading up on food for our furry and feathered friends.

All photos courtesy of Murray Head


Birdseed and Peanuts

Just Sitting Around Chewing A Peanut

Just Sitting Around Chewing A Peanut

Anybody Here?

Anybody Here?

Can You Find The 5 Birds Patiently Waiting?

Can You Find The 5 Birds Patiently Waiting?

"Oh Wow, A Veritable Candy Store"

“Oh Wow, A Veritable Candy Store”

Squirrel On The Corn Wheel

Squirrel On The Corn Wheel

This Poor Little Guy Lost Some of His Tail!

This Poor Little Guy Lost Some of His Tail!

Yes, I Do Have A Big White Belly

Yes, I Do Have A Big White Belly

Pink Is My Favorite Color

Pink Is My Favorite Color

"Geez, Hazelnuts!  Must Be A Holiday Or Something"

“Geez, Hazelnuts! Must Be A Holiday Or Something”

"I'm Just Looking"

“I’m Just Looking”

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

Feeding The Hungry On Thanksgiving

Feeding The Hungry On Thanksgiving

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We LOVE Halloween in this house!  I have been a Halloweenie my whole life.  Every year, coming up with an unusual costume or make-up, making the kid’s costumes and later in life, having the best time dressing up and turning our apartment into a mini-spooky house!  Tonight was no exception! We’ve spent the last two days, digging out some special effects we’ve accumulated over the years and setting up our scenario.

There’s a ghoul hanging on the outside of the door, that should be a warning to all of what to expect if they should dare to enter! I took before and after photos of my husband;

Handsome Pete

Handsome Pete

Scary Pete

Scary Pete











The lights were all out, there was a strobe light on the floor, a fantastically horrific soundtrack screeching and howling in the background, candles lit everywhere, candy in a basket, and we were ready for the kids to arrive.  Peter spent the morning creating this fabulous Jack O’ Lantern.

Sinister Pumpkin

Sinister Pumpkin

He also put together a fiendish looking but kindly gent named George.  George doesn’t look so well, his complexion is quite gray, it’s possible he’s dead – he never says a word!

Ghastly Ghostly George

Ghastly Ghostly George

This little old crone sat off to the side observing all the comings and goings;  We must have had at least 7 Frozen Princesses, a couple of super heroes, a banana and a pirate.  Wednesday Adams and a couple of other TV characters appeared at the door;  Some of them would not cross the threshold and for the life of me I can’t imagine why there were afraid!

The Old Crone

The Old Crone


A Glam Ghoul

A Glam Ghoul

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