Morning Gymnastics

This morning I watched an exercise workout while sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up. It wasn’t on my phone or my tablet. It was in the arborvitae that line the far end of my back yard.

A dark figure caught my eye as it moved from behind the thick branches to a more visible limb. I wasn’t sure what it was because it was being back lit by the morning sunlight. It wasn’t until I saw a bushy tail flash by did I realize it was a squirrel. Not just one, but two squirrels.

They were scampering through the arborvitae like it was a jungle gym at the playground – quickly moving from branch to branch, from being in plain sight to disappearing in a flash. They were certainly getting their cardio in this morning.

Most mornings I just jump in the car and go, but today my back windshield was icy causing me to take some extra time. Normally, I would jump on my phone and scroll in situations like this. I am glad that for whatever reason, I took notice. It made me think about how much I must be missing in nature, in the world around me, in life in general because I am always in such a rush. What other gifts are awaiting me? Time to slow down and notice.

Happy Birthday, Lady Gaga

I will be the first one to admit that I was not always a Lady Gaga fan. The meat dress and her “Born This Way” entrance in an egg at the 2011 Grammy awards left me perplexed, yet the more I listened to her music the more I liked her.

The remake of A Star is Born introduced me to a whole new dimension of LG. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Bradley Cooper was in the movie – and oh, their duet!

After learning her story and a little about who she was under the shocking outfits and stage productions, I was hooked. Lady Gaga truly has a musical gift, but more than that she has a generous heart. She is always sending messages of self-acceptance. She is a champion of the LGBTQ+ community and mental health awareness. She walks the talk.

Gaga spreads a message of kindness, and she leads by example. Here are just a few.

2012 – Lady Gaga Pledges $1 Million for Hurricane Sandy Relief

2017 – Lady Gaga donates $1million’ to victims of hurricanes that tore through the US and Caribbean

2021 – One Last Time – concert with Tony Bennett – “Tony, we’re all so grateful to have witnessed your talent, your generosity, your creativity, and your kindness, and your service throughout all these years. Mr. Bennett, it would be my honor to escort you off the stage.”

2021 – The Power of Kindness Video – Lady Gaga discusses kindness, mental health and the journey to self-acceptance with a group of young people in a new short film.

2022 – Lady Gaga Discreetly Helped SZA Get Up on Stage With Her Crutches at the Grammys

2022 – ‘I got you’: Lady Gaga praised for touching moment with Liza Minnelli during Oscars ceremony.

2023 – Lady Gaga took a moment to lend a hand to a photographer who fell down on the red carpet.

So, on the occasion of her 37th birthday, I am wishing Lady Gaga a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Keep living your best life and inspiring others.

Operation Attic Purge

The last Saturday of every month is Operation Attic Purge. My daughter and son-in-law spend a few hours bringing down “stuff” from the attic for my husband and I to look at and hopefully get rid of. This weekend we tackled the loads of luggage that have been accumulated over the years.

Honestly, I had no idea how many suitcases and duffle bags were making their home up there…so many!!

I did know these were up there. Our first “adult” suitcases. We bought this “his and her” hard shell Samsonite luggage to go on our honeymoon. I think I may have had the smaller hard shell before then, but rounded out the set for the big trip. If I remember correctly, these suitcases only made one other airplane trip, and that was to St. Louis the spring following our wedding. It was a visit to see my brother and sister-in-law and their new baby girl. The luggage languished in the basement of our first home and in the attic of our current home never to cross the Pennsylvania state line again. They were replaced with soft-sided suitcases.

We ended up donating the salvageable ones (Samsonite included), keeping a few, and sending some to the trash can. We talked about the memories surrounding many of the bags and then let them go. It was a very productive purge.

A Heart Overflowing

This morning I opened the pouch where I keep my earbuds and charger and found this.

My granddaughter gave this to me months ago when she was visiting. I asked her if she really wanted Nona to keep it, and she replied, “This way you can remember me even when I am not here.” My heart just melted, and I was a puddle.

Last Saturday I got to spend time with my granddaughters and this Saturday with my grandsons. I can’t think of a better way to spend my days. Each time I am with them there is something new to discover about them. Each time I leave them (although sometimes very tired) my heart and soul are overflowing. Being a grandparent is the greatest gift in the world.

What my dear little Izzy doesn’t realize is that bracelet or no bracelet, Nona thinks about her four favorite family members every day, and it always brings a smile to her face, a warmness to her heart, and a lightness to her soul.

Rainy Saturday

Before I awake
I can feel it in my bones
Rain is on the way

That cold raw feeling
Seeping into every joint
Latching on to stay

What can make me warm
A blanket, some soup, or tea
Fuzzy slippers too

It brings a message
Reminding me to slow down
Nature’s in control


For the past eleven school years, I have been driving the same ten minute route every day to school. On this rainy Thursday morning I had a true lightbulb moment. It just dawned on me that the neighborhood I drive through five days a week has a method to its madness.

Here is a list of the streets that I pass, along with a few other connecting streets I found when I looked at Google Maps to confirm my suspicion.

  • Bell Lane
  • Franklin Lane
  • Wright Lane
  • Edison Drive
  • Ludwell Drive
  • Whitney Lane
  • Howe Lane
  • Fulton Drive
  • Blair Lane
  • Dillon Road
  • Purdie Lane
  • Shepard Drive

Do you see a theme here? Well, it took me eleven years to figure out that I was driving through a neighborhood whose streets were named after inventors! Duh! How did it take me so long?

A Place of My Own

The only problem is I don’t have a she shed.

I love spending time with my husband, but every now and then I dream about having a little place of my own – a hideaway – a reading and writing retreat space. Maybe something like this only with a different color palette. I like more of a blue and white cottage style or earthy shades of green, and brown.

Ideally, this would be located in a wooded area near some running water or a lake. Nature brings me so much inspirataion, and I’d love a place where there is a definite change of season.

So what is on my wishlist?

  • electricty
  • heating and air conditioning – even if it is portable
  • windows that open and have screens. I love nature but I am not a bug or bird person when they get too close for comfort
  • a hotpot to boil water for my tea or a Keurig so I can have a chai latte every now and then
  • a mini fridge for my veggies, fruit, and cheese and maybe a bottle of sweet reisling or moscato
  • something on which to play music – a record player for my vinyls – maybe somthing for my CDs (yes, I am this old) or I can always go to my trusty Spotify on my phone.
  • a drawer full of writing and drawing utensils
  • Books – lots and lots of books
  • Notebooks

I am sure there are things that I am missing. Feel free to send me some ideas for what to add to the she shed in my mind.

Three Alarms

“A three-alarm blaze broke out Tuesday afternoon at Our Mother of Consolation School in Chestnut Hill and appears to have completely destroyed the building, according to an official at the site of the fire.

The official compared the swiftness with which the flames swept through the building to the fire that engulfed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.” The Chestnut Hill Local

Tonight I am feeling sad for the children, parents, and teachers of Our Mother of Consolation School in Philadelphia. A fire broke out shortly after the school was dismissed at 2:45. About 40 children remained at school for an aftercare program but were safely evacuated when a parent of one of those students noticed smoke when she arrived to pick up her child. The building is a total loss. Thankfully the church and convent next door to the school did not sustain any damage.

Teachers pour their heart and soul into their classrooms often spending quite a bit of their own money. It is heartbreaking to think of all the “things” that were destroyed in this devasting fire. I know that things can be replaced, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the teachers involved. And what about the kids? Seeing their school go up in flames is traumatic. What if they left a prized possession at school today?

Our classrooms are like our home away from home since we spend so much time in school. I know how difficult it was for teachers at my school when a tornado ripped off part of our roof and water destroyed several classrooms. Fire takes the devastation to a whole new level.

When I go to school tomorrow it will be with a sense of gratitude for being able to teach in my own classroom. I will be holding the OMC community in my thoughts and prayers as they process what happened today and begin to make plans for their future.

Leave a Message at the Beep

Over the past week, my husband and I have had similar experiences. We call to make an appointment or to check on a missing piece of information we need to make decisions and have to leave a message rather than speak to a human. Now, I get that employers in all different fields are short on employees, but do they realize how frustrating it is when a customer/consumer leaves an inquiry and it goes unanswered for days upon days upon weeks?

On one hand, I think that I might be too used to the almost instantaneous replies of texting and messaging, but on the other hand, if a person/business still uses a phone to communicate shouldn’t there be someone to answer said phone and reply to voicemail?

I am old enough to remember answering machines that were separate entities from hardwired landlines. My parents sold advertising, and our home was their “office.” As soon as we came home from being away for any length of time – a day, an afternoon, a couple of hours – the first thing that happened was someone raced to “check the machine” to see if there were any messages. Then one of my parents returned the call once they banished us from the dining room where the phone sat.

Okay, so before my rant goes on too long, I better make sure that I am not a culprit of this form of torture and “go check my machine.”