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! ;-)



Thursday, August 15, 2013
 
THE KID'S BIRTHDAY
In a few days this kid is going to be eighty eight years old!

"How can I say that?" you ask.

Well, I tell you what I've been thinking lately.

What was I like when I was a youngster?

Mom on a Horse

What was it like growing up as an only child in a small city like Chelsea, Massachusetts?

As a young child I was a very quiet little girl, made no waves, whatever mummy and daddy expected of me, that's the way I was.

MADE NO WAVES

In retrospect, I do remember making one big wave.

Mom as Flower Girl

It was a hot summer day and I wanted to go to the beach. For whatever reason my mother said "we can not go to the beach today." I was not a happy camper and persisted.

And you know what, we DID go to the beach that day!

I guess in some way I learned that persistence pays off.

BEING AN ONLY CHILD

In a conversation I had recently with a KID that lives here at Brooksby, I discovered that she too is an only child.

We bonded.

When we were growing up, neither of us felt that we were missing something that most of our friends had, siblings.

I do remember sharing time with a younger cousin who had two older sisters.

When she learned something "special" from her sisters, she would "spill the beans to me."

POSITIVE ATTITUDE

I never heard my mother complain.

Times were hard, but she did whatever she had to do with a smile on her face and a song in her heart! Oh, and could she sing!

That's where I get my positive attitude!

DEPENDABLE

My dad was a very hard worker.

In my growing up days, dad would come home from work and have to go down the creaky dark cellar stairs and stoke the furnace.

Even as a child I would be concerned about my dad having to do that.

He did what he had to do and that was that.

I'm a dependable person, but I wouldn't go down those creaky cellar stairs even though I'm still "a kid."

With my Grandparents

BIRTHDAYS

In my growing up years birthdays were "cake and ice cream parties".

The one that stands out in my childhood memories is the time my mom, dad, aunt and cousin went to a waterfront park and had the most delicious strawberry shortcake!

This year, one week before "the day," my son Steve and his wife Carol took me for a mystery ride to a waterfront restaurant in Gloucester where we dined at a table overlooking the water.

The dinner was delicious, the sun was shinning, and the kid had the greatest time!







Monday, July 29, 2013
 
WHY, OH WHY CAN'T I MAKE A BLOG POST?
Why, oh why have I elected to stay home today, even cancelled a dinner date with a group of ladies who are very good company?

Why haven't I made a blog post in a while?

Why did I HAVE to take a nap this afternoon?

Why should I be so wiped out?

How could I figure this out?

Ok, a light went on and I looked at my calendar!!!

The activities of the past two weeks had me on the go practically every single day!

For a lady who will soon be eighty-eight, it was just too much.

Some of things I did that had me on the go:

DOCTOR
A check-up with a Doctor - There's always an appointment with some type of Doctor!

MOVIES


The Glenn Miller Story - A Monday night movie
Have seen this movie a number of times but can never get enough "Miller"

Summer Fun with Charlie Chaplin


The Gold Rush
Saw this film many years ago and the one scene I remember is when "the Tramp"
is so hungry he cooks his "SHOE" and carefully bastes it so it's done just right.  He slices the shoe with great care and then like a fine gentleman eats the shoelaces like he's eating pasta!!!



City Lights
Charlie Chaplin was a perfectionist and when he was making this movie he had a problem - how to end the film -  he paid the entire company for months until he came up with the ending and what an ending it was!!!  I laughed during the film and at the end he had me in tears.

GAMES
Tuesdays it's a Mah Jongg game. The past two weeks I was a winner - doesn't always happen!

THEATRE
Have a season ticket for musicals at the North Shore Music Theatre



This month it was "The Wizard of Oz."
The cast members did a fine job and even Toto, Dorothy's dog did what he had to do every step of the way!



There was more but you get the idea!

PLAYING CATCH UP
When I choose to control my time, I plan on being out and about two days in a row, and the third day I stay home and "play catch-up."

Today has been a great day to stay home, catch my breath and get ready for another week which I hope will find me spending some time on my patio, relaxing. reading and not running around!


Sunday, July 14, 2013
 
TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF HAVING A COMPUTER
Having a computer has changed her life in many ways.

Now when she wakes up in the morning and feels like just staying in bed a little longer she thinks about what could be on her computer.

Millie's Bedroom at Brooksby Village

Could there be a message or joke from a friend, a news item of interest or a photo her son has taken on his daily walk?

Even before she has her morning coffee she has to go see what's going on in the world, that's saying a lot because she loves that first cup of coffee.

STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN
About two weeks ago she attempted to do her morning routine and what do you know, "nothing happened!"

NO POWER!

She tried this and tried that, nothing worked!

Bad Timing
It's never a good time for a computer to get temperamental, but her savvy computer son was on a week's vacation.

What to do?

She didn't want to disturb him, and didn't have a knowledgable friend or service person to walk in and save the day.

Finally she decided to call the Apple store where the computer was purchased.

A fine computer specialist asked questions and got the lay of the land.

Suggested she pull the power plug, wait a few minutes and reinsert the plug.

She told the specialist that the power cord was plugged into a surge protector on the floor behind the desk and there was no way she could get down there.

The specialist said she could pull the plug out of the back of the iMac.

She tried but it was hard to pull.

The specialist said to pull harder, and it came out.

Next the specialist said to put it back in.

"Put it back in?" OK. She tried.

It wouldn't go in all the way.

The specialist told her to push it a little harder.

She did that AND the computer came back to life!

She thanked him profusely and he responded accordingly!

Time went by, the computer worked fine and her son returned from his trip.

STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN AGAIN
She was having a grand old time until one day the computer started to act up, working but not behaving well.

She remembered what that fine computer specialist had suggested and pulled the power plug again.

NOTHING HAPPENED!

After having a few cups of coffee, she called the Apple Store and spoke to another fine computer specialist.

This time the specialist said it might be a defective power cord and would take five to seven days for delivery.

FIVE to SEVEN DAYS - forget that.

Fortunately her son had returned from his vacation.

Mother called and brought him up to date on the bad behavior of the computer.

He and his wife were fast as the Easter bunny, arrived with a laptop just incase, and the box that the computer had been packed in, just in case they had to go to the Apple store.



He checked this and that, and discovered what the problem was.

A plug on the surge protector had shorted out!

Off the family went for a very nice dinner and a stop at a Walmart store to purchase a 6 Outlet Surge protector.

It worked!



She's fortunate to have a son that knows his business and is there to help his mom when she needs him.


Sunday, June 30, 2013
 
I'LL BE MAKING A CHANGE IN JULY
What could Millie be up to now, you ask?

She's not going to Florida like she has in the past, she has gone from living in a condo to living in a senior community, and she's still driving!

I'll be observing my one year anniversary at Brooksby at the end of this month and as I have written over this past year, I'm very happy here.

I like my apartment, have met some great people, and enjoy many of the activities and programs that are offered.

There is one thing that I have been thinking about changing.

Brooksby offers a flexible meal plan where you can sign up for either a "20 Meal Plan" or a "Monthly Plan."

In the monthly plan the resident may use the plan for 30 days, or however many days there are in a particular month.

In the 20 meal plan, the resident will have 20 meals,, in any calendar month, to use at his/her discretion.

The opportunity to change plans is offered quarterly.

I'm making the change.

Millie at Lunch

When I first came to Brooksby it was all a learning experience, even going to the dining room.

Dinner is served from 5:00 to 7:00

That was hard to adjust to.

Which dining room to go to, who to sit with, should I have the soup AND the SALAD?

Should I have the PIE and ICE CREAM too?

How can I avoid the Brooksby Bulge?

In addition to all the afore mentioned considerations, I found going to the dining room every night just too much eating.

Being at the dining room at an appointed time was "not for me."

With the Flexible meal plan I can go to the dining room whatever day works for me!

If I'm out shopping and feel like having a bite to eat I can pick up a light meal or if I just feel like staying home and eating at 6:00 or 7:00, I can do that!

Oh and another plus, I won't be eating so much!

One thing does concern me.

I just might want to cook something and certainly won't want to fuss so I'll be looking for some nice and easy recipes.

Any help in this direction would be appreciated!


Sunday, June 23, 2013
 
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
A few months ago I had the opportunity to sign up for a series of plays that were to be held at a theatre in the round at the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Ma.

The package that was offered consisted of five plays.

If you signed up for that package, you paid for four shows, and got the fifth one at no cost.

Good deal?

The only trouble with that offer was that you really weren't excited about all of the plays but a good deal is a good deal so I decided, what the heck, I'm going!

Last Wednesday I attend the first play of the season.

It was "The Sound of Music."



I've seen the movie a number of times, saw the play and over the years whenever I heard the Roger and Hammerstein music I thought of Julie Andrews singing all the wonderful songs from that musical.

So I figured, ok, I'll see it again, it should be a pleasant afternoon.

Well, was I surprised!!

Here it is almost a week later and my friends and I are still talking about it!!

From the moment "Maria", played by Lisa O'Hare, opened her mouth and sang "The Sound of Music" I was mesmerized.



She not only had a magnificent voice, she was MARIA - the way she talked to the children, the way her body moved and how she danced - perfection!


Lisa O'Hare: Image courtesy Lisa Keating Photography

Captain Georg von Trapp, played by David Andrew Macdonald, was no slouch either.

As a widower and former navy commander he subjects his children to military style discipline. He did a fine job singing but what I really enjoyed seeing was when he "melted."

In one scene his youngest little girl stands before him with out-strechted arms and wants a hug from daddy - it takes a minute and he gives her a hug!

For me there were many moments where a song was sung by an outstanding performer where I did not applaud right away - I don't ever remember being so enthralled with the number that it took me a minute to respond!

Everyone involved with this production did a marvelous job and made "The Sound of Music" come alive to the audience!


Saturday, June 08, 2013
 
WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT TODAY?
I'm spending the whole day home, not going out to the market, not going to a doctors appointment, not going to get my hair done, not going to the bank, not playing Mah Jong, not going to the movies, not even going to dinner at the clubhouse.

After Chair Shopping With Mom: On the Patio

Imagine being delighted just to do the laundry, pay some bills, straighten out some drawers, make some overdue phone calls and even make a post!

I've been out just about every day this week.

At my age if I'm out two days in a row, I have to stay home the third day.

Sometimes I am able to control how I spend my time, sometimes I don't want to miss the game, the movie, or the concert, so I just GO.

Last week was particularly "NICE BUSY."

I took advantage of a trip offered by Brooksby to go into Boston's Symphony Hall to see the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart.

The program was, "Music From The Man Men Era." I had to go, no question.

I got more than I bargained for - not only did I hear music from that time period, Steve Lippia sang many of the Sinatra ballads. He didn't sound like Sinatra, but he had a great voice and it was a pleasure to hear the songs from that time period.



And then a big surprise - a large screen was lowered and what do you know, there was the opening scene and music to the TV show Mad Men!



THEN there were moments from previous episodes featuring stars from the show PLUS members of the POPS inserted into the action.

For those of you who watch Mad Men you know how many episodes have Don Draper in the elevator, Well in one scene Keith was in the elevator with Don!

The audience loved that!!! Me too!!!



Modern technology is wonderful!

I've had a great time today and it's not over yet.

Planning on heating up an easy supper, relaxing with a glass of wine, maybe even have a little ice cream for desert, and then put my feet up and look for a good movie on TV.

Can you stay home and be content or do you have to run?


Saturday, May 25, 2013
 
COMEDY AND DRAMA AT THE SUPERMARKET
Going to the supermarket is a chore for me, but a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

Got her Carriage Back

There are times when I just need a few things, so I drop into a small store where I can pick up things like milk, bread or bananas, that tides me over until the time comes when I say, "Millie, you really have to go to the BIG market."

A few days ago I got the message and could not put it off any longer.

Truth be told, once I complete shopping at the BIG store, park my car and schlep my purchases into my apartment, I'm a very happy camper because I know I won't be going to the BIG store for awhile.

Supermarket Inserts are Hardcopy Pinterest Boards.

While I'm at the BIG store, my goal is to get the things that are on my list, use the coupons that I have taken with me and not succumb to the specials that are at the end of every aisle.

Fat chance!

I never succeed in all of those goals in one shopping trip.

Sometimes I go hunting in my bag for my list, can't find it, look for the coupons I have worked so diligently to bring along, and discover that they have expired and the items at the end of the aisle are really good buys!

THE PLUSES
I can always count on a free hot cup of coffee, which is located right near the wonderful pastry department.

Sometimes, if I'm lucky, there are some samples offered to the weary customers. I appreciate the opportunity to stop shopping, have a hot drink, and help them promote their pastry.

There are times I see someone I know who feels the same as I do about shopping, so we stop and have a chat.

PEOPLE
I'm always on the look-out for a diversion.

There's the Guy that Took My Carriage

On a recent shopping trip I noticed what appeared to be a husband and wife shopping.

She was telling him that she wanted him to get her an item that was on the very top shelf. He reached for it, couldn't get it.

He stood on his tiptoes and still couldn't get it.

Finally he took his life in his hands and stood on a narrow shelf and was successful, HE GO IT!!!

Was the wife happy?

NO, he got the wrong item!!!

In a loud voice she said, "forget it, I'll get someone to help me."

I couldn't help thinking, "boy, what kind of marriage do they have?"

Next time I go to the market I hope I'll see something that will give me a laugh!

When you go to the market, do you see comedy and drama or just see high prices?


Thursday, May 16, 2013
 
ME AND THE MOVIES
One thing is for sure: As time goes by, things change, even the way I see movies today.

Movies Edited with Final Cut Pro

CHILDHOOD

When I was a youngster, going to the movies was the big event of the week.

My mom would pack me a lunch, usually a salami sandwich, just in case I got hungry. After all, I child would need some nourishment after spending a few hours watching the news, the coming attractions, a short cartoon, and the main feature.

In those days I don't think the movie theaters sold popcorn or maybe because it was the depression era it was cheaper to make me a sandwich than to buy the popcorn?

TEENAGER

Going to the movies with your friends was the thing to do on a Saturday night.

After the movie we would go to the local ice cream parlor and visit with the boys and girls.

One big thing I remember as a teenager was taking my young cousin to the movies for the first time, I was as excited taking her to the movies as she was seeing her first film.

DATING IN THE FORTIES

When a young man took you out on a Saturday night it was to a movie and then a stop at a sandwich shop for a bite to eat. The fellows were just coming out of the service, money was tight, so it had to be a really special occasion if we went out to dinner.

I'm going to skip ahead now to the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's to the present day.

All these years I have been an avid movie goer.

If there was a good movie to see, I saw it. If a friend wanted to know about a movie, they would ask me. All this was happening before Google, I was their source of information and loved keeping up with the movies.

NOW

Watch Full TV Episodes Online at XFINITY TV
Image: Watch Full TV Episodes Online at XFINITY TV

How things have changed!

First, in my opinion, the movies have changed. There aren't many that I want to see, that's a turn-off right away.

It's been a few years since I've stopped going to the movies like I used to.

In the nine months that I have been living at Brooksby Village I have not been "off campus' to see a movie.

Recently on Monday nights Brooksby has shown Life of Pi, Lincoln and Les Miserables. Once a month a film with Jewish content and a foreign film are featured. That's a great opportunity for me to keep up with outstanding films.

I also get to see a movie on Comcast Xfinity ON DEMAND.

The other night I saw Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs."



Now, that was a great movie!

I laughed, I smiled, I cried and remembered how wonderful a movie can be.






Thursday, May 02, 2013
 
NINE MONTHS LATER: What It's Like to Live at Brooksby Village
Ordinarily when you hear or read something that says "nine months" you think of the word, "pregnant!"

In this case, I'm referring to the length of time that I have been a resident at Brooksby Village.

Millie with new mirror at Brooksby Village
Image: Millie with new mirror at Brooksby Village

Here's a video that Steve took after I had been at Brooksby Village for one month.



What surprised me was that most of my thoughts and experiences were the same as how I feel today, nine months later.

SERVICE

The service is good, if I need some kind of help, I just make a call, and usually someone is Johnny on the spot or they refer me to someone that can provide the service I need.

RESIDENTS

Nine months ago I spoke about the friendly people that I was meeting. Well, that hasn't changed. As a matter of fact as time goes by I'm meeting more people, pretty much every day.

(Oh, if only I could remember their names!)

The other night my friend and I were seated at a table with a couple who had just returned from wintering in Florida. It turns out that the gentleman graduated from Chelsea High School a year after I did! We had quite a chat about the city, school and students that we both knew.

FOOD

Brooksby Village Meal To-Go

While I was "doing all the things that you have to do" before making the "big move' I was under a lot of stress, I just lost my appetite. This continued for a few months. I kept losing weight even though the food was good and people were telling me that new comers get the Brooksby Bulge.

Not to worry, I'm back to normal, enjoying the food and do NOT have the Brooksby Bulge!

VIDEO

Steve did a great job zeroing in on my apartment and the beautiful grounds at Brooksby.

I've made a few changes in the apartment since I moved in.

Millie's Bedroom at Brooksby Village
Image: Millie's Bedroom at Brooksby Village

One recent purchase is an ottoman which will give me a place to put "out of season clothes and whatnots."

MY ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE RESIDENTS

If Steve asked me the same questions today that he did nine months ago I would say, I feel the same way today as I did then.

Wouldn't change a word!

THANK YOU

Thanks to Steve and Carol for their moral support, physical help, encouragement and love.

I wouldn't be here without their love and caring.

Yes, after nine months, I can say, "I'm very happy living here at Brooksby Village."


Saturday, April 13, 2013
 
STEVE TOOK HIS MOM FOR A RIDE!!!
I'm sure you have heard the expression, "I was taken for a ride", which when used could mean "I didn't know what hit me" or "boy did that cost me big bucks."

Well, here's my story:

Steve had the opportunity to try out a new 2013 Cadillac ATS for a week.

He also had the thought that he wanted to take his mom for a ride to see how she felt about all that the car had to offer.

It so happened that I needed new patio chairs.

Steve knew they were on sale at Home Depot and thought they just might be what I was looking for.

What a great opportunity that was.

I would get a ride in that beautiful brand new Cadillac and also get the chairs I needed.



We made a date, he picked me up, and sure enough after trying various chairs I found a model that only looked good but they were also comfortable to sit on.

Anyone who's a senior and reading this knows, "the chair has to have arms and be easy to get out of!" Heaven forbid, if you sit in a chair without arms, you have a problem!

The attached video will tell you a lot about my experience that day and why I said "I was taken for a ride!"



I DID NOT KNOW that Steve had a camera going during that conversation!

If I could I would edit certain parts of the video but believe me, it's all au natural!

The chairs are great!

After Chair Shopping With Mom


Sunday, April 07, 2013
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RONNI AND CRABBY OLD LADY
Today's the day that Ronni and her buddy Crabby Old Lady share another birthday.

Flowers

Just the other day Ronni's buddy made a post about "all the things that could go wrong in a day, went wrong."

She said she didn't have a 'meatier story' that day:
Crabby Old Lady is acutely aware that this is a post so self-indulgent and so light and airy you may not be able to see it on your screen. She has several meatier stories in various stages of production but couldn't make one of them ready because her time yesterday got eaten up by ephemera – stupid, ordinary errands and chores that repeatedly went wrong. All day.
Well Ronni, I hate to say this on your birthday but "you were wrong."

That was not only a meaty post, but it was a great one!

We have all had days like that and your sharing it with me made me think, "Oh, that happens to the best of us."

No matter what you write about, whether it's serious stuff, fun stuff or your Saturday stuff, it's always something that I can learn from or something that gives me a smile!

Enjoy this birthday, wishing you good health, happy days and very few days that you might have Crabby Old Lady share with us!

Happy Birthday!


Saturday, March 30, 2013
 
Passover - NOW AND THEN
Last Friday was Good Friday, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and for the past eight days the Jewish people observed Passover.

These Spring-time holidays got me thinking about all the different ways, and different people I have shared Passover with over the years.

maxwell house
Photo by Howard Walfish CC BY-NC-SA

THEN

CHILDHOOD
When I was a child, Passover was celebrated at home with my mother, father and a few close family members.

The highlight of Passover is the observance of the Sedar which is held on the first and second nights.

During the service there is a point where we welcome Elijah to drink the wine that has been poured for him.

Every Passover, that I remember as a child, this took place.

I was a trusting child but I had my doubts about there really being an Elijah.

One Passover I had just "had it."

How could this happen? Who was this strange person, and how did he know to show up every year?

I JUST DIDN'T BELIEVE IT, so I decided to take a small piece of matzo and stick it on to Elijah's glass and see if he really did show up and take a drink!

No, he did not drink any of the wine!

Imagine what would have happened to him if he did partake in every Jewish home!

Oh my. Manischewitz!

ADULT YEARS
Many of those years were shared with my family and my husband's family.  Most years  were at their homes and in later years when the families grew we would celebrate the holiday at a temple or a function hall.

As time went by changes happened - close family members were no longer with us. When the family got smaller it was back to observing Passover at home.

FLORIDA YEARS
Being in Florida during Passover was a totally different experience! One year Aaron and I held the Seder at our Condo. There were a handful of cousins living in Florida at the time so we shared the holiday with them. One year we invited new and old friends for the evening.

One year we joined an organization which was holding a Seder at a fine country club. There was a Rabbi there to take us though the seder, there was a fine kosher meal with all the trimmings AND there was a band to dance to!

What a way to celebrate Passover! ONLY IN FLORIDA!

There were years that we went to restaurants that had a token service, not much of a seder but plenty of good food!

In my last few years in Florida my dear cousins invited me to share the holiday at their home with family and friends. Those get togethers were very special to me, every Seder had something special about it, the food was always great but the most memorable thing about it all was sharing the holiday with them.

Matzah, Maror, and Charoset.

NOW

BROOKSBY
Never did I imagine that I would be sharing a Seder with Steve and Carol at Brooksby Village.

There is a Jewish Council here that offers Friday night services, Jewish Films, a Yiddish Class and much more.

We joined a group of about one hundred people for a service and dinner right here on the premises.

A good time was had by all,  the guests participated in the service, the gefilte fish, chicken soup with matzo balls and the brisket were all delicious - and I didn't have to cook one bit!






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