Monday, July 20, 2015
 
MEMORIES, MUSIC AND IRVING BERLIN
You name it, I've seen many outstanding plays in my day - comedies, dramas and musicals.

There were times when I couldn't afford the price of a "good seat" but for the price of $2.00, climbed those stairs at the theatre and sat in the second balcony, it didn't matter as long as I got to see the show!

Still going to the theatre every chance I get!

As soon as I was notified that tickets were available to see "Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" my friend and I signed up. It's a good thing because the tickets that Brooksby had were sold out pronto.


Hershey Felder in "Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" at ArtsEmerson. (88 Entertainment)


When they offer a trip, it includes transportation, which is a big deal, especially if it's going into Boston.

Hersey Felder did an amazing job as Irving Berlin. He told the story of his coming from Czarist Russia to New York's Lower East Side. He got to be known as "the singing waiter." That's how he earned some money.

Several times during the performance Felder gestured to the audiences as he played a tune, inviting us to sing along! We knew the words, we knew the melodies.

As he told the remarkable composer's story, the more he became alive to me. By the last scene, I really felt I was seeing Irving Berlin in the flesh!

It was a two hour show, no intermission.

He spoke about Berlin's ups and downs, his happy marriage, and love of his family.

He died in his sleep at the age of 101.

According to Berlin's obituary in the New York Times he has written a staggering 1,500 songs.

Some songs by Irving Berlin in no particular order:

God Bless America
White Christmas
Always
What'll I do
Blue Skies
Puttin on the Ritz
There's No Business Like Show Business
Let's Face the Music and Dance

Plays
"Annie Get Your Gun"
"Call Me Madam"
"As Thousands Cheer"

It's hard to pick a favorite but right now I feel like it's "Puttin on the Ritz."

IRVING BERLIN'S 100TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION


In order of appearance:
00:00 Shirley MacLaine opens with - "I'm Happy"
03:28 Opening title and performers are announced.
04:24 Walter Cronkite introduces Maureen McGovern & Jerry Orbach.
06:30 Maureen McGovern & 06:57 Jerry Orbach - medley
11:54 Michael Feinstein - "I Love A Piano"
14:50 Nell Carter - "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
18:13 Isaac Stern - talks about Berlin's piano, which is there on stage.
19:30 Irving Berlin singing in 1968
23:06 Willie Nelson - "Blue Skies"
25:45 Ray Charles - "How Much Do I Love You" & "What Will I Do"
32:52 Old clips of Mary Martin & John Raitt
33:40 Beatrice Arthur, MaryAnn Plunkett & Barry Bostwick - medley
44:46 Jerome Robbins
45:06 Garrison Keillor speaks about Berlin & "sing/talks" song "All Alone"
47:30 Natalie Cole - "Supper Time"
51:11 Frank Sinatra - "Always" & "When I Lost You"
54:56 Members of the United States House of Representatives & the Senate (standing on steps of the Capitol building) sing Happy Birthday to Berlin.
55:26 (Teri Garr in one of the ads I didn't take out-wish she was in the show!)

56:00 Very short clip of Irving Berlin singing "Easter Parade"
56:28 Morton Gould talks about Berlin's prodigious output of music
58:15 Old clips of Al Jolson, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman & Rosemary Clooney.
1:01:29 Rosemary Clooney - "White Christmas"
Published on Aug 30, 2012
1:05:44 Shirley MacLaine - introduces Tommy Tune
1:06:36 Tommy Tune - "Putting On The Ritz"
1:11:22 Bob Hope talks about Irving Berlin.
1:12:45 Madelyn Kahn - "You'd Be Surprised"
1:16:19 Movie clip of Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers.
1:17:00 Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams & Diane Schuur - medley
1:20:42 Tony Bennett - "Shaking The Blues Away"
1:23:24 Walter Cronkite - talking about movie "This Is The Army"
1:25:05 Irving Berlin singing "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning"
1:26:00 Ronald Reagan movie clip & military singing and marching into the show.
1:30:00 Marilyn Horne - "God Bless America"
1:33:57 Berlin receiving medal in 1954 for "God Bless America"
1:34:40 Shirley MacLaine - "There's No Business Like Show Business"
1:35:50 Grand Finale


Sunday, June 28, 2015
 
A FOURTH OF JULY MANICURE
It was time for my son to have his Mercedes-Benz serviced and invited me to take advantage of Mercedes-Benz of Burlington's complimentary manicure, "while you wait, have your nails done."

A few months ago I had the pleasure of that experience and didn't hesitate to say, "yes."

When I walked into the salon I noticed very attractive and clever red, white and blue decorations.
The manicurist explained that the colors were chosen in recognition  of the upcoming holiday.

In keeping with the theme of the holiday she suggested I choose from a shade of blue- light blue, medium or deep blue!  WHAT!

When I do my nails myself, it's always a clear or natural shade.  Never, ever did I wear a dark color!!!

I made a quick decision and said, "ok, lets do the dark blue."

Once she finished doing that part of the manicure - she asked me if I would like to `add some shimmer to my nails.  I don't remember exactly her chose of words but again I had to make another decision!

What the heck - you only live once!

I must say , it was a fun thing  to do!

My son Steve upon seeing my "DO" took a photo of his mom with her Fourth of July manicure, posted it on his website and received a surprising number of comments.



"Ma, you should make a post about it and find out why so many people responded to this particular post."

OK, so I'm trying to figure it out myself.

Is it because I'm close to 90?

Is it because I had them done in blue?

Is it because I had fun doing it?

Is it because I did something I never did before?

Or is it all of the above?





Friday, June 05, 2015
 
Sharing Yiddish at Brooksby Village Over Dinner with Friends
Here at Brooksby Village there are many residents that lead groups on a variety of subjects.

For example there's Calligraphy, Art, a Writers group, a book club, foreign films, a knitting group and even a Style Workshop.

Whatever your interest is, you'll find it here!

I'm not through yet, there's a Spanish Conversation Group, a French Conversation Group, and for the past year there is a Yiddish Conversation Group dinner which I lead.

I stress the fact that I am not a teacher. I'm there to encourage the people to speak Yiddish, even if it's half English and half Yiddish, it gets the mind going.

What still surprises me is - even if they think they don't know the word, it comes back to them. That has happened to me too.

Someone might say a word that I haven't heard in years and I remember it!!

We meet the first Thursday of the month. I send out flyers letting the group know time, place and what the theme of the evening will be.


Image: Recent Flyer

Recent themes were Passover,Mother's Day and just last night it was Father's Day.

I encourage the group to prepare something to present in Yiddish.

A handful do it in Yiddish, another handful do it half Yiddish / half English, and some just tell their story in English.

For those who do not prepare anything (and there are a lot of those) they get stimulated and add their two cents! That's ok too.

We hold our get-togethers in a private dining room that seats a maximum of sixteen people.

Last night I asked one of the lovely waitress to take a picture of our happy group at Brooksby.


Image: Our group

We sure are a happy bunch!







Saturday, April 25, 2015
 
PART TWO: THE MAD MEN AFFAIR
Last time I wrote about Mad Men I was disenchanted with the show. I didn't like the turn of events, and the way the characters had aged. Every thing and everyone was going downhill, especially Don Draper.

When I look back at my thoughts then, and how I feel now, it's like when a person is caught up in a relationship, and they see only what they want to see, and go along with whatever is happening because they care for the person.

It's hard to let go!

You try but you just can't do it.

Well, that's me.

I can't let go!

There are only a few episodes left. I have to see how Matthew Weiner will put closure to the lives of all the characters on "Mad Men."

Here are some of my thoughts about how the show will end!

PEGGY OLSON

When she started working at the agency she was a young, innocent and ambitious person who learned a lot from Don and wanted to be an in charge person like her boss. She did accomplish that, but what about her personal life?

She recently went on a blind date with a great guy. They hit it off and spoke about going to Paris together.

Her bags are backed, flight is ready for takeoff. Her phone rings - it's an emergency call from a major client - they need her attention immediately - What is she going to do? Like Don - career comes first.

Peggy cancels her trip.

Will she end up like Don with nothing?

JOAN

She worked her way up to a well deserved high paying position at the ad agency, had a bad marriage and recently met a retired guy who is very interested in her but not keen on being a dad to her four year old son.

He's going to try to make a go of it because he's smitten with her.

But will he stick to his guns?

BETTY

Don's first wife is now happily married and has become a better mother and an understanding person. She's going to college to become a psychologist.

She will find great satisfaction in her chosen field.

DON

He has lost everything, no home, no family and is not the brilliant young ad man anymore.

Reality sets in - He has hit bottom - has to stop smoking and drinking.

Rumor has it that Matthew Weiner has opened up a rehabilitation center and so Don Draper runs quick like a bunny to get admitted.

And what do you know - Betty is going to be his psychologist!

My question to you is:

How do you think the show ends?




Monday, April 13, 2015
 
MY AFFAIR WITH MAD MEN HAS ENDED

Photo: Justina Mintz/AMC

MAD MEN SPOILER WARNING:

For those of you that are still hooked on Mad Men and have not seen the most recent episode there will be spoilers on this post!

BUT FIRST: MY HISTORY WITH THE SHOW

When Matthew Weiner first introduced Mad Men seven years ago I fell for it, hook line and sinker!

The sets were exactly like what you would have found in the 60's. The ad agency office had the typewriters, the phones and the employees dressed in the clothes of that era.

Men wore suits and skinny ties.

Women wore high heels, short skirts and tight tops.

Men held the high paying jobs. They smoked and drank.

Women did the work but did not receive recognition for it.

Sexual harassment was not even a word than but it was happening.

The show won me over for many reasons.

I was an office worker in the 50's and the 60's and could relate to how the cast members dressed, their hair styles and how they connected with each other.

EVERY SUNDAY NIGHT WAS AN EXPERIENCE

I'd watch the show, try to capture and understand what was really going. The next day I'd call my friend who was equally involved with the show. Between the two of us we would try to figure out what "he meant by that."

There came a time when we were able to see Mad Men a second time and THEN between the two of us and the reviews we read were able to "get it."

FAST FORWARD

All these years we have seen the cast through thick and thin, seen them age, have affairs, get married, get divorced, watch them drinking, smoking and dealing with drugs.

The seasons have been short - before we knew it another season ended. We didn't like waiting for the show to come back.

OK, here we are again. This is the final season - no more Mad Men! From what I have seen so far it has been very disappointing!

This last episode took the cake! Megan and Don are getting a divorce,and come together to settle matters.

Megan tells Don she wasted her youth on him and blasts him out, "you aging, sloppy, selfish liar."

He quietly says, "you are right."

Reaches into his jacket pocket, pulls out his checkbook and writes a check for one million dollars and hands it to her!

She doesn't believe it - he tells her it's real.

She takes it and walks out.

SIDE BAR

Don has not aged well.

I don't like Roger's white mustache.

Peter has a very receding hairline.

Lot's of Don's old girlfriends show up.

This episode was like a poor soap opera!

Were you hooked on Mad Men like I was?

What are you thoughts now?

MORE:

Mad Men: A Million-Dollar Goodbye


Sunday, March 29, 2015
 
A CAPPUCCINO AND A MANICURE
Every few weeks my son and daughter-in-law take me on an adventure!

It might be just going to the supermarket or running some little errand that needs to be taken care of but believe me - it's never a routine trip.

There is something special that happens every time.

Just spending time with them is special!

The other day the plan was to go to a fairly new Wegman's in the area. It's huge, has a large variety of prepared foods and in many instances the price is "right."

As we were riding along in my son's gorgeous new Mercedes-Benz he said that he wanted to stop at the dealership to have his car washed and vacuumed.

OK, fine - that would give me the opportunity to see and experience the new Mercedes-Benz of Burlington dealership I have been reading about.

As soon as we drove in someone was there to greet my son and find out what service he needed.

Ok, great.

My first impression of the place - it did not look like they were selling cars - it just looked like a very impressive place to leisurely shop for shirts, jackets and various gift items.

But, the best is yet to come!

While the customer is waiting to have their car serviced, they are invited to the Coffee Bar for coffee or a cappuccino. You can also choose to have a manicure at the Nail Bar!

Guess what? You know the answer... I chose to have a delicious cappuccino and my nails done. The coffee was so good that it didn't even need any sugar!



I'm so happy that my son had to have his car serviced.

You know what - I think he planned the whole thing so his mother could have that special and delightful experience!


Monday, March 02, 2015
 
A VERY SPECIAL SUNDAY
Stop and think about it - "If you don't go out, nothing happens."

Weeks ago I received an invitation to a cousin's 100th birthday party. It was called for noon time, at a town close to Rhode Island, that's at least a two hour ride from where I live.

My thought was "I want to go to this special party, honor my cousin and share this special time with family that I haven't seen in a very long time.

I'm no chicken and the thought of getting up early, making arrangements and going on that long ride was a turnoff.

I thought about it, and thought about it some more, and finally decided that was what I wanted to do!

The arrangements were made: I got a ride with the MBTA, which took me to my daughter-in-law Carol's home in Boston. From there, I assumed we would take off for the hinterlands.

Since I made good time getting to Carol's, she asked me if I would like to drop into Steve's Boston Media Makers meeting which was being held that morning!

YES, I'd love that!

Steve's been holding those meetings for ten years now. I have seen them on the internet but never attended the meetings.

We surprised Steve and his group! I have never met any of those in the group but I KNEW them. What a great feeling!!!





After that excitement we took off for the birthday party.

The birthday boy is as charming and handsome as ever! A number of his family and friends paid tribute to the kind of person he is. Letters were read from Robert Kennedy's nephew, Barney Frank, and President Obama and his wife.

We got to see dear cousins that I haven't seen in a very long time, one of which is 101 years old!

One person greeted me with a big hello, I thought - "who is she?"

There are times I forget names but this was different - I didn't know who she was. It turns out she's a cousin who has let her hair grow gray! It took me a while to really recognize her in her new color. She's a lovely person and I finally can say she looks good with her "new hair."

We were served a delicious lunch topped off with an unbelievable dessert. When the waiter served me the dessert I thought "this must be for everyone at the whole table."



No, that entire serving was for me!

Think about it - if I hadn't gone out,  nothing would have happened! ;-)



Monday, January 26, 2015
 
BREAD, MILK and TOILET PAPER
Bread, Milk. and Toilet Paper

The Boston area is bracing for a huge blizzard that could bring as much as 3 feet of snow!

This reminds me of the Blizzard of 1978.

Mom and Dukakis

The governor of Massachusetts, Mike Dukakis, dressed in a casual sweater, appeared on television to advise the people to prepare for a massive snowstorm.

I had never paid attention to what the governor of the State was up to, but I listened to him, was impressed with what he had to say, how he said it and what he was doing to handle this major event.

Ever since then I have followed his career, through good times and bad. He always got my vote.

Now, back to what's happening here.

I live in a senior development with approximately 1,800 residents.

We have our own television station which updates the community on many of "the happenings." Today we have been informed that a contingency meal plan will be in effect, since all restaurants will be closed.

Today "Packed Dinner Service to Go" will be available from 3:00 pm to 5:00pm.

From what I hear about the weather, it probably will be available tomorrow also.

Because of the pending storm, supermarkets have been inundated with shoppers loading up on bread, milk, and eggs.

A funny thing happened a few days ago.

My son took me food shopping, and since he will be away for a few weeks, I decided that I had better load up, so I bought more than I usually do.

One item I bought a lot of was "toilet paper." In retrospect I thought about my large purchase...

When I was living at home with my parents I was always concerned about us running out of toilet paper, SO when Filene's Department store had a sale, and would deliver, I took advantage of that sale.

We never did run out of toilet paper!

Most shoppers load up on bread, milk, and eggs, I load up on bread, milk, and toilet paper! ;-)

Bread, Milk. and Toilet Paper


Thursday, November 27, 2014
 
Happy Thanksgiving!
Family PhotosThanksgiving 159 Steve

This photo brings back such good memories of a fun childhood. I love how my mother is laughing so much. And it's funny that my dad set up this shot. ;-)

My mom says: "That photo says it all! Those were the days my friend. Happy Thanksgiving!"


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.




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