Sunday, December 28, 2008
I've only been down in Florida less than three weeks and have already seen some good movies and a wonderful one man show.

A BOY - "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"

Some of my friends chose not to see the movie because they knew it was about the holocaust. True, the theme is about a terrible time in history.

There have been many films that tell the story in different ways, always difficult to see but never the less, worth seeing.

This time it's seen through the eyes of an eight year old. boy. He befriends an eight year old boy who is in a concentration camp.

He has no idea of what is going on but sees some things that he questions. To give you an example of one such moment: the family has a prisoner working in the parents home as a servant. One day the boy falls and injures himself, the servant tells the boy that he is a doctor and knows just what to do.

That day the boy sees the prisoner peeling potatoes and questions his parents, "why would he chose to peel potatoes if he is a doctor?"

If you do see this movie, be prepared for a shocking ending.


I've never owned a pet, but I must say I thoughly enjoyed this movie. The movie is about Work, Play, Fun, Love and a Dog!!

The movie was largely filmed in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. I particularly enjoyed some scenes that took place in Boca Raton which is a short disance from where I live.

The cast was great! It's the first time that I saw an appealing Owen Wilson act in a film where he was not just a silly guy. Jennifer Aniston was his devoted and understanding wife.

I was pleasently surprised to see Alan Arkin as Owen's editor at the Sun-Sentinal, that's the paper I read here in Florida.

And another surprise was Kathleen Turner as a dog trainer! If I hadn't heard her voice I would not have recognized her.

Enough said.

If you feel like a fun movie, this is it!


Over the years I have seen Mike Burstyn at least three times. Has he gotten better over time, or has my appreciation of his talent grown? I think it's the latter.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Mike, his father, Pesach Burstyn and mother, Lillian Lux were stars in the Yiddish theatre. He shared the stage with them at the age of three and stole the show!

He has performed on Broadway in "Barnum", "The Rothchilds", "Jolson" and will be doing a show on Broadway, "Lansky."

Mike sings, acts, tells jokes and is a storyteller. Whatever he does, he has the audience in the palm of his hand. Speaking of hands, I was aware of how he was using his hands to get the message across.

After he did his final number the audience yelled out in unison, "MORE." And, he did MORE.

I feel privileged to have seen Mike Burstyn again and to have shared that experience with the audience.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Happy Holidays!
Hanukkah Wrapping ( from 2004 )

Hanukkah Unwrapped ( from 2004 )

The Garfields wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Xmas, Feliz Navida, Joyeux Noël, Happy Christmas, Mele Kalikimaka, Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008
Jury Duty Almost Kept Steve in Massachusetts
A week before Steve was preparing to leave for Florida he received a notice for jury duty and had to report to the court house.

Jury Duty

The judge that qualifies the jurors explained that she is very tough and would not put up with any flimsy excuses. (It was going to be a murder trial.)

When it was Steve's turn to explain why he could not serve, he said, "I'm planning to take my 83 year old mother to Florida and help her open up her condo and get settled ." The Judge said, "you are excused."

One day last week a friend called and asked if I would like to join her for breakfast the next morning. Well, I am not an early bird and don't really care to go out to breakfast. I haven't seen this friend since last winter since she lives in Chicago, was anxious to get together so I agreed to meet her at a new breakfast place. They offer a $3.29 breakfast special until 11:00am.

The special includes two extra large eggs, oatmeal served with raisins and brown sugar or home fries, bagel, cream cheese and coffee.

No sooner did we get seated when two ladies were seated near-by. They looked vaguely familiar to me but I couldn't place them. My friend looked over at that table and immediately recognized them!

Sedona Red Rocks

We meet them three years ago at Senior Summer School in Flagstaff, Arizona. One lady lives in Florida and the other lives in New York! What a wonderful time we had catching up and reminiscing about our great time at Flagstaff.

That experience reminds me once again of my mother's expression, "If you don't go out, nothing happens." If I didn't go out to breakfast that morning I would have missed an opportunity to renew friendships with two lovely ladies!

Saturday, December 13, 2008
Day 2 in Flordia: Amazing Breakfast and Some Shopping
We started day two with a nice walk outside. Well, Carol and I did. We met a nice neighbor who was walking too and he told us all the different routes he takes on his walks. If I was living down here, he'd be my personal trainer. What an inspiration.

After our walk, we collected my mom and went off to breakfast at 3 G's Gourmet Deli. We had a great hot pastrami sandwich from there yesterday, and went back for breakfast today.

We missed the breakfast menu by an hour, but the lunch menu included some breakfast items.

My mom and Carol shared the Spinach, Bacon and Feta Omelet:

Spinach, Bacon and Feta Omelette

I had the most amazing Fruit and Nut French Toast. It's a homemade with fruit nut bread with raisins, dates, walnuts, dried apples, dried cranberries, and cinnamon dipped in egg batter and grilled golden.


On a Sunday they go through 20 loaves!

Fruit and Nut French Toast

Here's Carol leaning up against our Chevy Impala Hertz Rental Car. My mom thinks this is the best photo.

Checy Impala Hertz Rental Car

The parking lot for 3 G's is insane with lots of people stopping in the middle of the road to unload old people and their walkers. This parking lot is not for impatient people.

After breakfast we took a road trip to Festival Flea Market on Sample Road in Pompano Beach, FL. This is the big one. It's so big that you need to make sure you remember the door you came in so you can find your car in the parking lot when leaving.

Festical Flea Market on Sample Road, Popano Beach, FL

There are lots of great bargains here on clothing, eyeglasses and jewelry.

Here's what one of the tables full of wathces looks like:

Festical Flea Market on Sample Road, Popano Beach, FL

There was a very interesting wig store there and I was intrigued by the sample heads with wigs on display:

Festical Flea Market on Sample Road, Popano Beach, FL

In this picture you can see how mammoth the flea market is. There are rows and rows that look like this. My mom is trying on a hat she'd never buy. Carol looks on.

Festical Flea Market on Sample Road, Popano Beach, FL

Our next stop was the Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise, Florida. The mall is said to be the country's third largest. We shopped in the Colonade area of outlet stores. It was lots of fun and Carol got a few things for great deals.

Saqwgrass Mills Mall

After shopping we stopped in at the Grand Lux Cafe. It's the parent company of the Cheescake Factory.

Grand Lux Cafe

Inside it looks like a casino:

Grand Lux Cafe

On a technical note, I used my iPhone version 1.0 Google Maps to see where we were and follow the route home.

Google Maps in iPhone

Google Maps on the iPhone is a great program.

Carol and I leave tomorrow, so from here on in, my mom will be filing updates from sunny Florida.

Friday, December 12, 2008
Down in Florida, Getting Settled
Hi everyone! We're down in Florida and I'm posting this batch of photos I took while we get my mom settled.

Mom Goes to Florida

Waiting for the flight at Logan Airport while reading the Boston Globe G section.

Mom Goes to Florida on jetBlue

Good bye cold weather!

Publix has a great bakery

Publix has a great bakery.

Got her Carriage Back

You've got to watch your basket though. My mom's got stolen!

There's the Guy that Took My Carriage

We turned around and my mom's carriage was gone! We finally found it. This guy took it and walked away. Thought it was his.

Chevy Impala Has Lots of Trunk Room for Groceries and Luggage

Chevy Impala Has Lots of Trunk Room for Groceries and Luggage.

Macbook connected to Comcast

To connect a new modem on Comcast, after hooking it up to the computer, call Comcast and they'll turn it on for you.

Don't bother with the installation disk or website.

Yeungling goes with Coca-Cola Wine Glass

My mom's condo does not have a wide selection of glassware. Carol is forced to drink wine from a Coca-Cola glass.


Relaxing with a Yeungling. I love it, can't get it in Boston. Part of the reason I love it.

Stay tuned for more from Florida.

Sunday, December 07, 2008
It seems that every year before I take off for Florida, it snows. I'll be heading South on Thursday and wouldn't you know it, it snowed this morning.

Photo by Grandpa Kato on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND

The trees and shrubs look beautiful, the roads are clear and there is no heavy accumulation. This gives me an inkling of what's coming to the Northeast. Today's snow does not require a snow shovel or a snow-plow, but the time will come.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to Florida. It could be cool, it could be cold, it could rain, it could be hot but one thing for sure, it won't snow!

The closer I come to the departure date the more I think about previous winters spent there with my husband and the years I've spent there as a widow.

My husband and I were in our mid sixties when we started spending our winters down South. If there was a show to see, an outdoor concert to go to, a course to take, a dance to attend or a new area to explore, we were there!

I think we took just about every class that our community offered.

My husband even took flower arranging and Mah Jongg!

In later years we slowed down a bit but still were very active.

Florida - West Palm Palm Beach: CityPlace

Now, as a widow, I have slowed down a lot. Now I still go to the shows at my complex but not as often as I did years ago. I haven't taken any classes but I still go to outdoor concerts, go to the flea market, the movies, relax at the pool, and play Mah Jongg.

Every season is different, the past few winters some of my friends have not been able to come down. Things change.

Jet Blue on the way to Ft. Lauderdale

I'm lucky, I'm still able to pack my bags (still taking too much stuff) get away for the winter and enjoy the sunshine!

My next post will be from sunny Florida.

My sunglasses and bathing suits are ready!!

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