Tuesday, September 09, 2014
 
MY EXPERIENCE AT THE RACETRACK
Twice a month Brooksby Village offers a trip to Suffolk Downs, which is a thoroughbred race track in East Boston, Massachusetts.

Friends who have gone to the racetrack have told me about the great seats they had in the air-conditioned restaurant overlooking the the finish line and the wonderful buffet luncheon.

It was time for me to check it out before it no longer exists, depending on the outcome of this months casino decision.



From what I observed, most attendees at the track were seniors, who came with a group bus like I did.

We were given a racing program with an explanation of the betting process and our own betting windows. Since most of us were "of a certain age," the betting windows couldn't have been closer.

The buffet was a bit of a walk but I guess they figured "we had to eat" and would make the effort to get to the food!

I started out betting $2.00 to WIN. I lost!

After a few races I bet $2.00 to PLACE. I lost!

After those losses I bet $2.00 to SHOW. I won .40!

The lunch was good, the races were not my cup of tea!

HIGHLIGHT OF THE AFTERNOON

I got to talking to a fellow gambler who lives here at Brooksby. When I told her my name she asked if was related to John Garfield - not the actor but someone who she worked for when she first got out of high school. Lets say she was in her early 20's at the time - now she must be in her 80's - that means it has to be about 60 years ago!!!

She worked as a bookkeeper for my cousin John Garfield!!!

We exchanged memories about her boss and my cousin. He was the type of person that made an impression on you - tall, handsome and a charmer!

Her thoughts exactly!

Even though she enjoyed working for him, she did leave when a better position was offered to her.

In my previous post I wrote about "If You Don't Go Out, Nothing Happens."

How True!!!

I didn't win at the races, but I had an opportunity to share some memories with someone who knew my cousin so many years ago.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014
 
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU
I want to thank each and every one of you for your good wishes on my birthday!!!

It seems that as the years go by the birthdays became more meaningful - the days fly by, the weeks fly by and the YEARS - boy do they fly by!!!

It seems like I had a birthday not too long ago, and before I know it another one will be around the corner.

I guess the point is, just make the most of what you have and what you can do each day - life is to short to be little!



As my mother used to say, "If you don't go out nothing happens." I think about that a lot and you know what - it's really true!

Thanks again for making my day so special - Wishing you lots of special days too.







Sunday, August 17, 2014
 
I THOUGHT I COULD OPEN EVERYTHING
Hi, Steve here,

Before we get to my mom's post about opening things, I want to jump in here and wish her a happy 89th Birthday!
Have a Great Day.
Love Steve

Now back to my mom:

A few years ago my son Steve and I did a series of videos called "I Can't Open It."



There was always something that I could not open!

I always had a running list of things that were impossible for me to open.

Doing those videos were fun and a learning experience for me. I learned how to open most everything so we discontinued that series.

Time passes and we can always count on change which leads me to the current time and a story to tell.

One day last week I had the pleasure of spending time with a friend of mine and her daughter.

My friend has been living in Florida for many years and recently moved back to Massachusetts.

I invited them to visit me here at Brooksby, have lunch in the dining room, see the grounds and spend time at my apartment.

Would you believe that in all the time that I have lived here, I've never had lunch in the Overlook dining room.

I'm just not a lunch person so it was a treat for me. The reason I'm even mentioning this is because I really enjoyed what I had.

So you say, "so what was so special about your lunch?"

I had a BLT on WHITE toast bread! Haven't had a sandwich like that in years - who eats white bread today? Me, Me, Me!

Now, getting back to my visitors - I was concerned about the distance my friend would have to walk from the clubhouse to my unit. I welcome the walk that I have, it may seem like a long walk to some people but I don't mind it at all, it gives me some exercise which I wouldn't get otherwise.

I have a unit that is on the first floor, my patio faces the clubhouse and if I chose to, instead of trampling through long corridors I thought she would appreciate a much shorter walk - I took the shortcut.

We get to my place, I pull out my key and "I could not open the door." I tried, she tried, - no, it would not open!!!

Finally, I left them sitting in comfortable chairs getting a suntan while I trampled off the long way round, came to my front door, the key worked, I got in and opened the patio door. Success!!

My friend's daughter took the video you are about to see!

So things haven't changed that much - I still can't open everything! ;-)




Monday, August 04, 2014
 
Report: Charlie Baker, Massachusetts candidate for Governor, at Brooksby Village in Peabody
Hi,
Steve here.

I asked my mom to let me know what she thought of Charlie Baker, Massachusetts candidate for Governor. Baker spoke at her retirement community, Brooksby Village, today.







She sent me this email:
Hi Steve,

Was very impressed with CB. His father introduced him, well spoken, worked in Washington. CB well over 6 feet tall. Got to shake hands with him - strong handshake - felt like he did some hard work with hands.

Large attendance - Spoke clearly, down to earth - lives in Swampscott.

Ran for governor in 2010 - lost - decided to run again - some people run because they want the job - he’s running because he wants to do the job.

When he was a youngster his parents - one a Democratic - one a Republican would have conversations about the government and he learned how strongly they felt.

Voters will be asked to vote on Question 1 - re gas tax - change it so that it does not automatically increase every year due to inflation. Vote YES.

Education in schools should not be because you live in certain area code. Should be good wherever you live.

How to help economy - help bring in small businesses. That would increase employment

Re: prisons - Those who have mental or physical problems should be helped by other means - not put in prisons. Prisons should be for violent criminals.

Question from audience: What’s first thing you will do when in office? Hire the most outstanding people and they in turn will get outstanding people.

Isn’t that what Obama and Walsh have done and they try to do?

One thing he said that you would have liked hearing. Get the state running more efficiently with state of the art technology. He’d go right over to MIT and get them to help.

Re: Registry of Motor Vehicles. They are open to suite their time frame. They are working for the PEOPLE and should be open for when the workers can come and not have to take time off from work.

Young people are leaving Ma. because cost of housing is high. State should make it easier for builders to build housing that young people can afford.

Question asked - how does he feel about casino in MA. He’d vote YES - try ONE in Springfield because city needs help.

I’m surprised that I remembered so much of what he said - he really made a positive impression on me. I’m glad that I went. -

Look forward to hearing what the Democratic candidate will have to say.

Mom
Great email from my mom.

Do you have any thoughts about the Massachusetts governors race?

Update:

This is impressive. Charlie Baker liked my mom's email!




Sunday, July 20, 2014
 
IN THE OCEAN WITH THE LITTLE MERMAID
When I was a youngster, and through my grown up years, my greatest pleasure was being at the beach, either taking a walk, being in the water, collecting sea shells or just looking at the waves, it was always a great pleasure for me.

That just might be one of the reasons I loved seeing the play, "The Little Mermaid," at North Shore Music Theatre, so much.



The minute the play started I was hooked. The opening scene took place under the ocean where I saw puppets on sticks to represent schools of fish. To me they looked like REAL fish swimming in the water and I felt like I was there with them.

Adrienne Eller is the mermaid Ariel who has a beautiful voice and a playful personality.

As the story goes Ariel wants to leave the sea and live with humans above ground. She gives up her mermaid tail and gets legs. After much drama she meets Prince Eric, played by Bruce Landry. When the two of them sang together it was a perfect fairy tale scene.

Kecia Lewis plays Ursula the Sea Witch, oh, she was so wicked, had a wonderfully wicked voice, and wore an eight-legged gown!

There were many different types of fish "in the sea" wearing amazing costumes!



Seeing all those ingenious costumes reminded me of the elaborate gowns worn in "La Cage aux Folles."

The amazing cast, the clever sets, the unbelievable costumes and the 12 piece orchestra made it one of the most enjoyable plays I have ever seen!

Before the show started, a spokesman from the theatre made some announcements and then asked how many children under the age of twelve were present. There were quite a few - all were very well behaved and did not make a sound while the show was in progress.

I liked what he had to say to this young audience. He hoped that what they experienced would wet there appetites for future plays in their lifetime and that they would take the place of today's theatre goers.

Now that I've seen the play, I want to see the movie.

Wonder how it will compare. Who would have thunk I'd want to see a fairytale?

Guess I'm a kid at heart!


Saturday, July 12, 2014
 
HAPPY DAY - HEARTY MEAL - HEARING CHALLENGE
HAPPY DAY

Whenever I spend the day with Steve and Carol it is a happy day, and yesterday was no exception!

We enjoy each others company.

I always have something that needs repairing, adjusting and seldom need anything opened.

I'm pretty good at that now!

HEARTY MEAL

The British Beer Company recently opened up just a five minute ride from where I live. Steve has eaten in this restaurant in other locations and was anxious to see what this one was like, So yesterday we paid a visit to this casual eating and beer place.

From what I observed, they specialize in pizza and beer.

As a matter of fact the pizza dough has beer in it!



We ordered a pizza and a greek salad, which was large enough to serve the three of us. The salad could even have served four people.


The pizza dough was just right and the toppings were delicious. I took two pieces home!

HEARING CHALLENGE

A few months ago I finally broke down and invested in hearing aids.

I'd been having trouble hearing especially when having dinner in the main dining room. It's a large room with high ceilings and many soft spoken ladies. We usually are seated at a large table of six and as I have said, a few ladies speak very softly. I have asked them to speak up - to no avail. Not only that but one of the ladies takes her hand and places it in front of her mouth so it makes it even more difficult to hear what she says! I relayed this to a friend of mine and her reaction was, "maybe she has bad teeth!"

Some nights when I go to the dining room my hearing instruments (that's how the dealer refers to them) are so loud that I have to remove them. There are times when they help, but I find that I still need adjustments.

Now getting back to what I experienced at the British Beer Company, you ain't heard nothing yet!

It was SO EXTREMELY LOUD that I had to remove my hearing instruments and place them in a little container that I carry just in case I have a problem. By the way, when the waiter was seating us he did say that we were being seated in a quiet area! Ha!

We were all pleased with the drinks and food that we had but the noise was a turn-off.

As we were leaving my daughter-in-law said the next time we crave pizza, they would stop, pick it up, and we would have it at my nice quiet apartment! ;-)


Saturday, June 28, 2014
 
KIDS DO THE DARNDEST THINGS
Do you remember the TV show "Kids Say the Darndest Things" hosted by Bill Cosby? That show was always good for a laugh. When Cosby asked the little one a question you could never imagine what the response would be.

I thought about that show as a result of what happened here recently.



One day last week I had a friend visit. Joining her was her five year old grandson. Kevin was a very well behaved child who brought along a small bag of miniature cars to play with. He spent some time on my patio and after a while came indoors and played with his toys on the rug.

His grandmother told me that he loves his cars, is very creative and spends lots of time making stories about them. We had a lovely afternoon and I was very impressed with this little guy who made no waves, was content with what he was doing, and the entire afternoon there was not a peep out of him.

The next day as I was walking through my living room I noticed the tray that I keep on an end table was in an awkward position. That's not the way I would ever place it! Even when I have my cleaning lady, she dusts and places the items back where she finds them.

As I pondered the changed position of the tray I keep looking at the table and realized a favorite and handsome little frog was missing!!!

Oh my goodness - could that sweet little youngster have taken it? I thought about it for a few minutes and decided that I had to call my friend and tell her (in the most gentle way) that my lovely frog was missing.

Fortunately she did not lose her cool and told me she would question Kevin about it.

She called the next day.

I was very happy and relieved when I heard Kevin's story. Looking at it from the eyes of a five year old I can now understand what went through his mind!

To paint the picture clearly I must tell you that I have a large wooden bird cage in the corner of my living room.



When he saw that adorable frog sitting alone on that big table he thought that the frog would be happier in the bird cage where nothing could happen to him!



Kids can do the darndest things and we have to try and understand them!

Have you had any experiences where you try to understand what is going on in their little heads?




Tuesday, June 17, 2014
 
LOST MAN MEN - FOUND LOUIE
Last week I wrote about the loss of my love, and involvement, of the show "Mad Men."

How was I going to manage without knowing about each of the characters lives?

I had to adjust, make up my mind and wait until next season.

Surprise! Considering I'm a woman close to ninety, I found someone else!

Who could imagine that I could find someone that I would care for so soon after a break-up. Well, it happened to me last week!

Matthew Gilbert, who writes for the Boston Globe, introduced me to "Louie," and I have been involved with Louie ever since.



I've seen all of Louie's shows that I could get "On Demand" and am right up to date on the current shows.

This FX series - created, written, produced and directed by it's star, Louis C.K. is a most unique show - drama and comedy - mostly drama of every day life.

When I think of a comic doing a TV show, I think of someone like Jerry Seinfeld. He and his gang got themselves in trouble, but not really serious situations - there was always a laugh.

Louie is a guy who is an insecure, lonely, divorced middle-aged comic with two young daughters. He lives in New York, his neighborhood is noisy, he has a bad back and an unsympathetic doctor.

None of this sounds funny, and it isn't, but it's done so well, you really have empathy for the guy.

A few episodes take us into his "love life." Yvonne Strahovski is the girlfriend, and what a character she is!

She makes mud out of him, but he loves her!

In one of the outstanding episodes, they went back in time, and told the story of Louie when he was a teenager. No humor in that one but a very powerful story was told!

If an award is to be given, that episode should get it!

OK, I lost Mad Men, found Louie, and you know what - This past Monday was the season finale.

How much can a woman my age take?

Well, I have to learn a lesson from Louie and take one day at a time and find something to laugh about!

Has anyone else been going through what I have experienced?

BONUS:

Matthew Gilbert:
‘Louie’: Finely tuned bleakness
The darkness and light of ‘Louie’

Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee:
LOUIS C.K. "Comedy, Sex and The Blue Numbers"


Wednesday, June 11, 2014
 
LIFE WITHOUT MAD MEN
This past Sunday was the last episode of Mad Men for this season.

For the past seven weeks I have looked forward to seeing what Matthew Weiner had cooked up for the Mad Men gang. Now there's nothing to look forward to this weekend!

This season was split up and cut short.



Now I have to wait until NEXT YEAR to see how life turns out for all those characters that I know so well.

The show was on from 10:00pm to 11:00pm. Some nights I would watch it a second time and catch things that I missed the first time. Sometimes after the show was over I would go to AMC.com and read reactions and thoughts from viewers that gave me food for thought.

Every so often I'd look at the clock and see it was 11:30, it was 11:45, it was 12:00, the comments kept coming but this girl had to go to bed.

I wasn't done yet!

I have a friend that is hooked on the show like I am.

The next day we would get on the phone and analyze what had happened the previous night. What fun that was!

Sometimes she or I would mention something that took place that was subtle, you could miss it.

Each episode always had something that would surprise us, puzzle us, shock us or just leave us wanting more.

The midseason finale was fantastic.

What a surprise ending - Robert Morse who played the part of "Bert" dies.

Robert Morse made a big hit when he was a young man in the musical "How To Succeed in Business Without Trying."



He's now in his 80's, he did a marvelous song and dance routine with a group of chorus girls to the tune of "The Best Things in Life are Free."



What a way to end the season!



Sunday, May 25, 2014
 
THE SHRINKING VIOLET, OR ACTUALLY CRANBERRY
For years I have been enjoying Ocean Spray cranberry juice.

Sometimes I just pour it out of the bottle and have it "as is." There have been times that I add a squirt of lemon juice or add some seltzer water, serve it to friends and always receive compliments about what a refreshing drink it is.


Image: Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice. Courtesy Ocean Spray

As times marches on I have found that the 64 ounce bottle of juice was getting heavier, not that the container had changed, it was me that was changing.

I liked the product, but was finding it just too awkward to handle, let alone that the bottle was hard to open. ;-)

I found an easy solution for getting the top off, just got one of those plastic or rubber disks that worked beautifully.

Grabbing hold of the bottle was another problem that I solved easily.

I just poured some of the juice into another container!

THE SHRINKING PRODUCT

Recently I needed some more of that good stuff, I saw it was on sale, and made my purchase.

When I got it home I realized that the bottle was harder to handle.

Yes, I've gotten older and weaker but this was ridiculous. I haven't aged that much in such a short time!!!

So what's a girl to do?

I did my homework before I called the company, compared the old bottle to the new bottle, and saw "they had changed the contour of the bottle!

Not only that, there was 4 ounces less in the new container.

I called Ocean Spray and explained why I was calling. Customer Service listened, heard what I said, and in appreciation of the time I took to bring my concern to their attention would send me a manufacturer's coupon.

Sure enough it didn't take to long before I received a letter explaining why the changes were made.

"Unfortunately, given rising prices of ingredients, fuel and packaging one way to defer these costs was to decrease the size of the bottle."

When I do use the coupon, I will look for a smaller size bottle of cranberry juice.


Image: Available Sizes. Courtesy Ocean Spray

No doubt, in the end, that will cost me more, but the convenience will be worth it.

I just hope they don't decide to shrink that size too!


Monday, May 12, 2014
 
"TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME" - I DID - 73 YEARS!
SIDE BAR - For the past few weeks I have not had anything that I was inspired to make a post about - Today is different - I have TWO posts that I want to share with you.

FIRST:

How did I go back in time 73 years? I have heard songs and seen movies that tell, and show, you how it can be done. Well, here's my story!

Brooksby Village offered residents the opportunity to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra perform at Merrimack College in North Andover. Transportation was provided and the cost was minimal.



As soon as I learned about this opportunity I called and made a reservation for myself and a friend. Space was limited so I didn't want to miss out on what I expected to be a great evening!

It was the greatest!

MY GLENN MILLER HISTORY

When I was a teenager I could not get enough of The Glenn Miller Band with their unique jazz sound and their great vocalists.


Image: High School Yearbook

When they appeared in Boston my friends and I would make a day of it, go in early, get the best seats available, sit through the movie until "the show started." Just seeing the band perform once was not enough! The plan was to pack a lunch and when the movie came on again some of us stayed and got better seats and some of us went to the lounge and had our lunch! Some of us even did our homework there!

I still remember the thrill I had before the show started, the curtain was closed and the band started to play "Moonlight Serenade"- the curtain opened and there they were!

"Wow!"

Spending one day at the movie house was great but NOT ENOUGH! What we did was "SKIP SCHOOL" and spend another memorable day with the Miller Band.

But we weren't through yet.

Once we left the theater we knew where the players would exit the theater and we'd be there to get their autographs. That way we got to know their names and the instruments they played.

For the longest time I would buy Downbeat Magazine to be updated on their appearances and their lives.

Now, 73 years later I got see the band again.

The feeling of anticipation and excitement was there, the band played that wonderful music, and it brought back so many wonderful memories.

The highlights of the evening were far too many for me to mention here, but I can't resist mentioning just a few - Pennsylvania 6-500, String of Pearls, At Last, and In the Mood!

I remember jitterbugging to In The Mood and knowing that we would have to keep dancing for a long time until that number was over!



The evening also made me aware that wonderful music stays alive!

NOW FOR MY SECOND POST OF THE DAY

MOTHER'S DAY

When Mothers Day comes around I know I'm going on a mystery ride.

Sometimes I guess where we are going, sometimes I don't. It's a fun thing we do. One thing I know is, we never go to a restaurant where we have to wait. My son and his wife always manage to pull that off.

When the day came, we headed north. OK, that wasn't too difficult for me, I figured we'd be going to New Hampshire or Maine, probably Maine.

I was right! Kittery, that's where there are many outlet stores. We shopped at a few places. Crate and Barrel got a little of my business.

Now it was time to eat - We were fortunate to walk into a restaurant and be seated right away.

The fun part of that dining experience was "trying at least a half dozen samplings of Maine beers. I'm not a drinker so when I go out with Steve and Carol I ask for a small glass, that way I can join in on the sampling.


None of the beers were to my liking but it was fun trying.


Let me tell you, I slept well last night!


Sunday, April 27, 2014
 
EIGHTEEN IS BETTER THAN TWENTY TWO
Bet the first thing you thought of when you read the title of this post was - what could be better about being eighteen than being twenty two years old?

Gotcha!!

I wasn't referring to age, I was referring to the price of cushions for my patio chairs. 


Eventually it will get warm, the sun will come out and I'll want to sit outside on comfortable chairs and enjoy it all.

This leads me to tell you about today's shopping trip with my son and daughter in-law. While I was shopping for some spring clothes, they went looking for outdoor cushions. They know what colors I would be happy with and brought me three different types.

One was thin at a low price, one was of a medium thickness with a moderate price and one was thick at a high price. 

In my opinion, the high priced cushion, at $22.00 was to much to pay for an item like that, especially at Walmart. After all I was going to have to buy TWO pillows, that meant they would cost me a total of $44.00.

I wish you could have been a fly on the wall and heard the discussion we were having about why I should consider the most comfortable and best looking pillow of the bunch! 

They convinced me to buy the $22.00 pillow!

By the time I got to the check-out register I was a happy camper and what do you know, when the cashier punched in the price of the pillows they rang up at $18.00 each. Boy, what a pleasant surprise that was!!!


I was brought up during the Great Depression and even as a youngster I knew my parents where having a difficult time making ends meet.

Even as a child I loved reading the newspaper and realized how hard things were. I stopped asking for money to buy the paper.

On the other hand my father continued to read the Jewish Forward. He did what many families did, they read the newspaper at the dining room table, that was our shared activity, our entertainment and how we learned what was going on in the world.

I think anyone growing up in those days never forgets how it was to make a living and values a dollar.

It's been many years since those hard times but it's something that just stays with you.

So, to me it was a big deal to spend that much for outdoor cushions for my patio chairs.

See, so even at my age, I can change!

Ha!!!



Tuesday, April 15, 2014
 
MY ADVENTURES ON THE TOWN
Do you remember the 1944 musical "On The Town?" Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Jules Munshin perform as three sailors who have a 24 hour leave in New York. They somehow manage to find love and incredible adventure in the Big Apple.

I thought of that movie because I recently had two adventures on the town.

It's just about a month since I had my surgery and I haven't done much of anything except eat, drink and not be merry. The healing process takes a lot longer than 24 hours so, no exciting adventures for me.

BUT I must tell you that I did have some exciting experiences("loosely speaking")recently. It all depends where you are coming from to think that something is exciting.

If you have been home for days on end and then you get out into the world, that in itself is exciting! I'll never forget the time I took my sister-in-law out for a ride after she had been ill for sometime, how thrilled she was!!! We take all that for granted until we don't have the freedom or ability to come and go as we please.

FIRST ADVENTURE



My son and daughter-in-law asked me if I would like to go out to restaurant at a recently opened mall. YES, I would!!! I felt good and getting out would be great.

It so happens that there was a sportswear shop in that mall close to the restaurant. What a great opportunity to "maybe buy some new spring clothes!!!"

We went in, I tried on a few items and that did me in. Guess I wasn't as chipper as I thought I was.

Dinner was great but trying on clothes was just to much for me. I'll have to look more seriously at shopping via the internet!

SECOND ADVENTURE



That first adventure taught me to limit my "ON THE TOWN" adventures so my "big deal treat" was to go into a Walgreens and buy a few products.

To top the day off we went to a casual restaurant for a bite to eat.

Let me tell you, I had the greatest time doing something so "NICE AND EASY."


 
Mad Men is Back and My Mom Can Relate
Hi,

Steve here. My mom was going to make a post about Mad Men being back for a new season, but she was underwhelmed with the new episode.



More: ‘Mad Men’ Enlists the Graphics Guru Milton Glaser

We'd talked about the photos we were going to use to illustrate her Mad Men post, and they are too good to leave on the cutting room floor.

So here they are:


Mom and Dad, Mad Men Style.


Me and Mom when I was 1.


70's Mom.


Me and mom, 2014.


Monday, April 07, 2014
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONNI
Today happens to be April 7.

It's a special day for one of thee most special, talented, knowledgeable, humorous, thoughtful, caring and good looking bloggers in the world.

That happens to be my opinion, but anyone who reads Ronni's blog, "Time Goes By" will surely agree with me.

As far as "good looking", just take a look at this photo of "sparkling Ronni!"



Whatever you are doing Ronni, keep on doing it.

Wishing you much happiness and joy today and all year long!




Wednesday, March 19, 2014
 
I'm Home!
Happy to be home.





Sunday, March 16, 2014
 
Having some laughs with the doctors.
Here's and update on my mom's fix-up surgery.

Everything went extremely well.

She's doing great and having some laughs with the doctors.



They are unhooking her from things and she's going for three walks today ;-)

Might get discharged Monday or Tuesday.

Thanks for your thoughts.



Monday, February 24, 2014
 
YIDDISH CONVERSATION


Even though years go by there are some things that you never forget, they just stay with you. What I'm thinking about today is a Yiddish group that I conducted at a Jewish day care center about thirty-five years ago.

I've always enjoyed speaking Yiddish. My grandmother lived with my family when I was a little girl. Fortunately for me she preferred speaking her "mother tongue" so when I wanted to communicate with her I had to speak Yiddish.

Over the years I've always looked for a group or class where I could use my Yiddish. When I spent my winters in Florida I found a synagogue, a temple or a community center where I could spend an enjoyable few hours using "my mother tongue."

Well right now I don't remember what inspired me to start that Yiddish group so many years ago but I can tell you it was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable undertakings that I have ever experienced.

In those days there were still many Jewish people that could speak Yiddish and because their physical or mental needs necessitated they spend some of their time at the center, they came looking for companionship and activities.

From the first day that I conducted "my class" they were hooked and so was I! The group consisted of about twelve people, I got them speaking Yiddish, laughing and singing. The day that I was getting ready to go to the class I had a spring in my step and when I left the group I was flying high! I still remember walking out of the center feeling like a million bucks!

So many years have gone by and I still have that warm feeling when I speak Yiddish.

Here at Brooksby they have a Winter program called "Live and Learn" where residents are invited to participate in a program of residents teaching residents.

A bell went off in my head, "why don't I offer a class in "Yiddish Conversation." I did not have any idea of how many people would be interested in signing up but I really wanted to give it a try. I did emphasize that I would not be a teacher but we would help each other find the "right word."

We have met for two classes so far and what a group we have!!! There are four people in the group that speak a good Yiddish, one lady brought in some good old Yiddish songs that we have sung, one lady brought in a huge Jewish dictionary that helps us when we can't think how to say a word, and a couple of men have contributed some humor.

So far, so good. I signed up to conduct four sessions. Two more to go. We have had some laughs, sung some songs and reminisced.

HEALTH NEWS

A few weeks ago I had some health issues and many tests - "seek and they shall find" - well, they found something that needs to be taken care of so in a few weeks I'll be off to the hospital "to be taken care of."

My group wants more "Yiddish" so we are all looking forward to talking a blue streak when we get together again!


Watch more Millie's Yiddish Class videos here.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014
 
THE DOCTOR, THE DINNER AND THE BUTLER
Did you ever have the experience that while it was happening you thought, "this is just not working out right." Well that's what happened to me yesterday.



Monday night is movie night here at Brooksby. Usually it's a good old film. Last night was different! "The Butler," a 2013 film was to be shown at 7:15. The girls and I made plans to have an early dinner so we'd be sure to make the film at 7:15.

It so happens that I had a late afternoon appointment with a doctor - yes, I'm still seeing those guys. I showed up on time but the doctor was running a half hour late. (so what else is knew) eventually I got seen, had to meet the girls at 5:00 in the dining room. Somehow I made it!

We were a party of six, needed a large table so we had to be seated in the private dining room. We told the host that we had plans to attend the evening movie. We were seated and waited and waited - no one showed up! I went to the front desk and told the host our problem. He found out that someone had neglected to assign a server for our table!

We were seated at 5:25 and did not get our entree until 6:40 p.m!

When we arrived at the movie it was 7:10 p.m. Biggest crowd we've ever had!

Ok, it's 7:15 - nothing is happening! Finally the person in charge told us the PROBLEM she was experiencing. "The person who was supposed to bring and show the film was not responding to her telephone call. What to do!!!

Someone had to go to the man's apartment and find out WHY!
Come to find out, he forgot!!!

Meantime this large crowd was waiting patiently. (I wonder if young people would have been so patient)

There was a gentleman in the crowd that said he would be able to show the film once it got to the theater.

While we were waiting the lady in charge told a few jokes and some people in the audience put their two cents in too.
The jokes were corny but very well received by the audience!

The Butler took me through a vivid trip of three decades of history while he served eight presidents.

Considering all the things that were not going right, in the end we laughed about the whole experience!


Saturday, February 01, 2014
 
I'm Home


I'm home, and back on the telephone, learning how to take a photo with my webcam.



Sunday, January 26, 2014
 
OY VEY!
Thanks for all your comments on my last post. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.

I was out of the hospital for a few days and then landed back in here for more tests. One good thing I can say is I've got a beautiful private room with a nice view of the snow and cold outside which is something I don't miss.

I'm meeting lots of nice new doctors, and the nurses are taking great care of me.

I'm trying to keep track of everyone!  

Who's Who? What's What?

Here I am enjoying a nice cup of hot Dunkin Donuts coffee.





Monday, January 20, 2014
 
Don't Worry. Be Happy.
Hi there. Steve here.

My mom wanted me to drop in and make a post because she hasn't posted for a while.

Last night she ended up in the hospital after feeling weak.



She's having some tests. We'll know more tomorrow.

Don't worry.

Carol and I visited her while she enjoyed her liquid dinner.



Over the years we've shared some funny stories about hospital food.



Here's proof that she was in the hospital today.



I left her a note on her whiteboard in the room.


Have Fun!

She got a kick out of that.


Sunday, December 29, 2013
 
I HEARD FROM THE RIDE, BUT DO NOT HEAR FROM MY HEARING AID!
Let me explain, This is an update about two of my recent posts.

The first one is in regard to proving to the MBTA that I still qualify for THE RIDE.

The second post was about my new "set of ears."

THE RIDE

This could be a long story but I will try to make it short and sweet.

First I'll tell you it was not a sweet experience.

The MBTA driver picked me up twenty minutes late, drove me to the Charlestown office building and parked the van in front of a huge set of stairs!

I informed him, "I don't do stairs!" He moved the van to a spot that I could manage.

Oh, I just realize that I did write about that but I still can't fathom that he wouldn't understand that it could be difficult for an elderly person, especially those who use THE RIDE.

The interview took about ninety minutes, there were forty questions, yes I said forty questions!

EXAMPLES:
Would you like to learn to ride the bus or subway if such training were available?
I AM NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT RIDING THE BUS OR THE SUBWAY.

Are you able to cross busy streets by yourself all of the time, some of the time or never?
NEVER. I DON'T GET INTO THAT SITUATION BECAUSE I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO WALK FAST ENOUGH TO GET ACROSS.

APPROVED


The good news is I received a letter from THE RIDE Eligibility Center informing me that I am eligible for Unconditional service which means I may use THE RIDE for all my trips.

BUT get this: "Your eligibility is for the following period: 12/12/2013 to 12/30/2016.

I'm not saying another word about that!!!

THE HEARING AIDS

The first time I wore them with a small group of people at home they were OK.

I heard paper crackle, water running and the people talking loud and clear.

I adjusted the sound and it was OK.

The first time I went to the dining room the background was noisy, the waitress's voice was LOUD so I turned the power down and it was better.

This past week when I was at home, I had company and I found the aids were not working.

One night wore them to the dining room, they did not work at all.

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?


I was just getting used to putting these "ears" in.

Now, it's probably a small thing that needs adjusting, but I don't know what it could be.

This is what is known as, "a learning experience."

I'll be calling the Doctor tomorrow, giving him an update, and hopefully will be able to see him this week, and hear better after that!


Monday, December 16, 2013
 
I WAS TAKEN FOR A RIDE!


Image: The Ride. Courtesy MBTA

About a month ago I received a very large postcard from "THE RIDE Eligibility Center" informing me that my eligibility to use THE RIDE will expire soon.

To continue to schedule rides I would need to renew my eligibility.

In addition, they informed me that new procedures have been implemented by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. An in-person interview with a mobility-coordinator is now used to determine eligibility for THE RIDE.  Free transportation to and from the interview would be provided.

YEARS AGO
Years ago if you were a senior or a person with a disability you could  apply for THE RIDE by having a doctor Fill out a form which explained why that individual qualified for that service.  

I did that, was approved, and have used THE RIDE to take me to places like Boston, where the traffic can be horrendous and the roads are unfamiliar.  

All these years I have never heard a peep out of them.

HOW THE RIDE WORKS FOR ME
I call in advance, make a date and time, pay the required sum and hope that they don't pick me up long before the time requested.  Many times there are other people on the bus so it can take a LONG time getting where I want to go.

It's not perfect but it does get me where I want to go!

GETTING INTERVIEWED
I just couldn't believe they were requiring me to appear in-person.

I hadn't heard anyone tell me that they received the same postcard.

Living here at Brooksby Village,  there is a social worker that you can talk to about whatever is troubling you, so I called, asked about the supposed new way to renew your eligibility.

YES, she said, that's how you have to do it now!

Once she confirmed the message I had received, I called, was informed that the interview could take up to NINTY MINUTES and THE RIDE would provide free transportation to and from the interview.

THE DAY CAME
The driver arrived 20 minutes late, no apology, and I had the bumpiest ride I ever experienced.

Finally we arrived at our destination!

What a huge building and what a huge set of stairs!

I informed the driver that I do not do stairs!

"OK",  he says and drives over to a location where there is a long, steep ramp.  I had no problem getting up that slope, BUT I'm sure there are plenty of people that would find that difficult. 

And this is where seniors and people with disabilities have to go to renew their eligibility?  

The long and short of this tale is the interview lasted close to ninety minutes where I had to answer FORTY questions!

THE WAITING GAME
I should hear from the MBTA by December 30.  

If I qualified for THE RIDE years ago, I certainly qualify now.

I was taken for a ride.

One never knows.

I hope I get taken for more rides in the future!



Sunday, November 24, 2013
 
NOW HEAR THIS!
Pay attention to what is going to be said!

For the longest time I've been having trouble hearing.

It's been especially bothersome when I'm in a crowded restaurant, having dinner with friends, trying to hear what they are saying and trying to respond accordingly.

Here at Brooksby, I'm having dinner practically every night with a group of at least five friends at a large table. The dining room is noisy, crowded and to add insult to injury, some of my friends speak like they are telling me a major secret!

I know that I have a hearing problem, but those sweet, dear friends not only talk with the softest voices you ever heard, BUT two of those genteel ladies hold their hands in front of their mouths like they think I will attack them!

I have told them to speak up but just maybe they don't hear me!

When I'm home watching TV, I can raise the volume to my liking and I have no problem.

When I see a foreign film, I have no problem because I can read the subtitles.

When I have a conversation with one or two people in a quiet environment I'm fine, no problem.

Vintage Ads for Beltone Hearing Aids, Circa 1950s

One night at dinner I DID HEAR one of my friends say that she goes to an audiologist here at Brooksby Village and is pleased with the care she is receiving.

A few friends have told me about problems they have had getting their hearing aids adjusted and having to go time after time to get the right "sound."

That has been a turn-off for me - paying lots of bucks and still having problems with the hearing aids.

Ok, I'm willing to pay the price.

I accept that, as long as I don't have to travel a distance every time I need an adjustment.

When I learned that my friend is pleased with the audiologist right here at Brooksby, I called, made an appointment, and will see him in a few weeks!

Vintage Bosch Omniton MT 80 SP Hearing Aid, Circa 1970s

What experiences have you had getting fitted for a set of "new ears?"

I'm looking forward to HEARING from you!


Monday, November 11, 2013
 
GRADUATING FROM THREE TO FOUR PILL BOXES THEN FLAMENCO DANCING


Years ago, when I first started to take my required medications, I had one pill box.

That worked well for many years.

As time went by I had to take more med's and the weeks were going more quickly. It was time to fill two boxes for a two week period.

OK, that was good for a while, than it happened again.

In recent years I've been taking more med's so it takes longer to fill the boxes. So what's an efficient girl to do? She has been filling three boxes to carry her through for a three week period.

We all know that as one gets older time goes more quickly.

It certainly was true for me this October!

I couldn't believe how fast the month went.

Next time I go out to the store, I'll have to buy another pill box!

Why did October go so fast?

Let's see if I can paint you a picture of some of the things that made the month fly by.

"The Great Gatsby"

1. I signed up for a six week class, book review of "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Each week we were assigned a few chapters. At class the instructor lead us in a discussion about what we had read.

At the fifth session, we attended the movie, and on the final night of the class a discussion was held: "How did the movie differ from the book?"

My impression - I enjoyed the book more than the movie.


The Great Gatsby

Chamber Music

2. Years ago I stumbled into a short Chamber music presentation. My reaction at that time was, I don't care for that type of music. First impressions can be wrong!

It so happened that a friend of mine told me she was going to a Chamber Music concert being held at a beautiful church, would I like to join her?

Well, I remembered how I felt about that type of music but I was intrigued by what I had heard about the church so I said, "yes."

Glad I gave chamber music a second chance.

I was hooked!

The Soul of Flamenco

3. I signed up with Brooksby Village to attend a performance at a local college for an evening of an all-star cast of Spanish dancers, singers and musicians.

I had never seen Flamenco dancers - they were incredible - the two hour presentation was amazing.

That's just a sampling of what I did with my time in October.

It's no wonder the time just flew by!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013
 
FREESTYLING WITH MY SON FOR JIMMY FALLON
When my son Steve heard that Jimmy Fallon, the one and only of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," was inviting Moms to enter a freestyling competition, he immediately called his mom and asked her if she would "go for it."



Being "Thoroughly Modern Millie" she said "sure."

We got together, had a little talk about it and decided to do a test run.

It went so well, there was no need to do another one. Steve sent the video off to Jimmy and we waited patiently to see if I would be a qualifying "freestlying mom".

I was not one of the selected moms but let me tell you, we had fun doing it!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Our submission:



The supercut of Late Night fans recording their moms freestyle rapping:




Thursday, October 10, 2013
 
HOW TO WASTE TIME AND ENERGY
I don't expect there will be many people rushing to read this "How To" post but bare with me, I have to get this off my chest.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND

Up until last winter I had been spending the cold months in sunny Florida. There have been times when someone will ask me, "Do you miss Florida?"

DSC_1119_pp
Image: Walter CC BY

My first reaction has been, no, I really didn't mind being up North in the winter. I just don't go out when it is bitter cold.

Now when people ask me the same question, I have a different answer.

Yes, what I miss is how easy it was to find a small shop that catered to an elder like me. The shops were small, the staff was helpful and the prices were moderate.

Oh, and shopping at a flea market was terrific!

When I went into the fitting room the salesperson would check on me - "Do you need another size, another color or a different style?" And all this with a smile.

SHOPPING UP NORTH

There's a world of difference when I have to go clothes shopping up here.

I put it off as long as I possibly can, but there comes a time when a woman has got to do what a woman has got to do.

I have loads of spring and summer clothes but they don't do me any good in the cold months, so I finally decided to go out into the real world and try to find some clothes that would fit me.

I expected to find no moderately priced little shops, and no helpful salespeople.

I DID THE DIRTY DEED

The time came, I made up my mind, I couldn't postpone it any longer. Made myself a hearty lunch, a strong cup of coffee and took two Aleve.

I was as ready as I was ever going to be!


Image: North Shore Mall Courtesy SIMON PROPERTY GROUP

I entered the shop with high hopes.

Maybe this was the day I would find something!

Well, apparently Wednesday was a good day to shop because I found TEN sweaters that were priced right, my size, good colors and did not have to be hand washed.

Into the fitting room I went!

The long and short of this story is, nothing fit!

I came home wiped out.

I wasted my time and used up all my energy.

NEW WAY TO SHOP

For the longest time I've been considering shopping on line.

After this fiasco, I decided to order something from a sportswear company, no shipping charges, and if I have to return the items they enclose a return package.

Wish me luck!

How about you, do you shop online?



Friday, September 27, 2013
 
BINGEING ON BREAKING BAD
There's a first time for everything.

For the first time in my life I've been participating in a marathon.

It's not the kind that you run in, it's one that you watch on TV, from morning to night, day after day!

Breaking Bad, the long running award winning crime-drama is having it's final episode this coming Sunday night.


Image: Breaking Bad. Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Skyler White (Anna Gunn) and Walter White Jr. (RJ Mitte) in Episode 1 Courtesy AMC

For fans and people like me, the marathon started on Wednesday morning and has been running day and night ever since!

And you know what, I've been watching every chance I get!

When Breaking Bad first came on the air I tuned in and was turned off by all the violence.

I didn't like it at all, just not my cup of tea.

So, what happened?

A few months ago I happened to be watching the Charlie Rose show and he was interviewing Bryan Cranston.

Charlie Rose | charlierose.com
Image: Breaking Bad cast on Charlie Rose Courtesy PBS

When I found out that HE had the lead role as Walt Whitman in Breaking Bad I was really amazed at what a bald head and eye glasses can do to change a person's appearance!

I gave the show a second chance and got hooked!

There have been many write ups about the storyline so I won't go into it.

What I want to do is write about how the actors are so realistic in the roles that they play.

For example, in one episode, one of the major characters gets killed, he is shot several times and dies!

Following that episode there was a special program, Talking Bad, discussing Breaking Bad with some cast members present and what do you know, the guy I just saw get killed, was alive, joking and smiling to beat the band!

That night it took me over an hour to calm down.

Ninety percent of the show can be very earth-shattering, bloody and shocking. I welcome some moments of relief where someone shows empathy, love, or there is a bit of humor.

I must say, very little humor.

Maybe I'm stretching it when I say I find a funny spot - for example:

The lawyer is asked to get the right person to "do the job."

His response:

I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy.

Guess I am stretching it but a girl needs a little relief!

Do you watch Breaking Bad?

Are you hooked, and how did you feel about all those sad characters who couldn't get their lives on the right track?


Sunday, September 15, 2013
 
THE JEWISH NEW YEAR AND OLD FRIENDS
Last week the Jewish people celebrated the Jewish New Year 5774.

Here at Brooksby Village the Holy Day Services were held in the chapel.

ROSH HASHANA - Thursday, September 5th at 10:00 a.m.

KOL NIDRA - Friday, September 13th at 6:30 p.m.

YOM KIPPUR - Saturday, September 14th at 10. a.m.

If for any reason a resident was unable to attend services they could watch them on Brooksby's TV Channel 918.

I took advantage of what was offered and saw the two morning services on TV.

Bayonet Soldiers Observe Rosh Hashanah in Afghanistan
Photo by Sgt. Christopher Klutts: CC BY-NC-SA

The ROSH HASHANA service started at 10:00 a.m. and concluded at 1:00 p.m.

I throughly enjoyed the service, heard and saw everything, and didn't get out of my chair until it was over.

I did the same for the YOM KIPPUR service.

I was able to hear, see and appreciate the entire service.

Now about the KOL NIDRE evening service - that was really special to me.

Two of my dear friends who I have known for well over fifty years, moved into Brooksby three weeks ago.

Many years ago they lived in Massachusetts, and in later years they lived in Florida.

Like what happens to many of us, it came time to make a change and they decided to come back to the area where they had spent their growing up and married lives.

Over the years my friend and I shared many good times together and when we each got married, my husband, her husband and "us girls" got together often.

Even when they lived in Florida all year round, my husband and I made it a point to keep in touch. In later years when my husband passed away, we would get together for a good time visit.

I'm going to backtrack here a bit.

My friend and I had many phone calls during the period of "decision making time."

Whatever questions they had about living at Brooksby, I was there to fill them in.

And believe me there is much to know when you make a move like this.

BACK TO THE PRESENT\

Since KOL NIDRE was going to be an evening service, which started at 6:30, we arranged to meet for dinner and then attend the service together.

Sharing the holiday with them meant a lot to me.

What I was very delighted to see was HOW MANY PEOPLE my friends knew "from way back when."

When I came to Brooksby I did know a handful of people and believe me, it's a help when you come into a place and know someone who tells you all the little important things that makes adjusting to a new life style easier!

I myself met someone that night who had just come in a few weeks ago and when she heard my last name, she asked if my husband's name was Aaron and did he come from Lynn?

Yes, she knew him, they had belonged to the same club together!

The world gets smaller all the time.

I have found if you talk to someone long enough you will find out that we are all connected!

SHANA TOVA to all.


Sunday, September 01, 2013
 
DRIVING MISS DAISY
It has to be a good twenty five years since I saw the movie "Driving Miss Daisy."



As I think about it now I realize there are many reasons that I remember this movie so fondly and so well.

The movie stared Jessica Tandy as Miss Daisy, a wealthy strong willed old Jewish woman, and Morgan Freeman as her African American chauffeur.

Dan Aykroyd was her understanding and patient son. 

As Miss Daisy aged, she became more dependent on her chauffeur, and yet she was impatient with him. The years go by and toward the end of her life she has a genuine love for the man who has been there forever 'to meet her needs."

I was in my 60's when I saw "Miss Daisy" and even then "felt" for her.  Her son did whatever he could to help his mom but she didn't fit into the community and was "alone." The chauffeur understood her and put up with her crankiness and demands.  What a pair they were!

So what made me think of this movie that I saw so long ago?

I'll tell you.

I've been living at a retirement community for a year now, meeting people from nearby communities and many who come from out-of-state.

They are mostly in their 70's and 80's,  high school graduates, college graduates, homemakers, office workers, and many who have had amazing careers.

So many times the conversations turn to when they drove, and why they had to give up driving.

The story I hear most frequently is where the son or daughter is concerned that the parent is moving to a new area and they will not know the roads, and let me tell you, the roads in Boston are tough.

So the newcomer gets here with NO CAR.  

Another story I hear is that the family is concerned that the parent is no longer capable of driving and they either sell the car or give it to a grandchild.

I hear that story time and time again.  

True, the person should not drive anymore, they are a threat to themselves or is a danger on the highway, but by not driving anymore they give up their independence, and that's a very hard adjustment.

Even though Miss Daisy didn't drive, and gave her driver a hard time, she had a good friend and right hand man to take her were ever she wanted to go.

I still drive, although I don't drive at night, don't drive long distances, or drive into the city.

Tomorrow I'm going to a family party that is far away, and on the other side of the city.

My kids are arranging for a car service to drive me.

Tomorrow, the driver will be Driving Miss Millie! ;-)





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