Saturday, July 28, 2012

My Daughter, A Medical Laboratory Scientist

It was just about three months ago that I was thrilled that my daughter was taking her last final. Then, two weeks later, I blogged about her graduating with honors. I thought, at the time, that I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has spent the past four years working long hours and studying thick textbooks and it seemed like the four years would never end. She studied night and day, weekends, and took classes for three summers. I know how hard she worked. I was right there by her side. I helped her whenever I could by proofing papers, researching topics and even reading and learning about some of the things she needed to know so we could discuss them. Anything to save her a little time here and there. I baked her brownies and cupcakes, and made sure we took her out whenever her schedule permitted. Trips to the mall were far and few between, but we seized the moment when we could to try to give her a break from studying.

Yesterday, my daughter took the MLS ASCP exam for her New York State License. She studied for two and a half months for it. We had all the review books home before she even graduated. She reviewed all the material for seven or eight areas of laboratory science and answered practice questions daily. She was determined to try to pass it the first time around. I have to admit I was a nervous wreck yesterday. Not so much because I didn’t believe she could pass, because she worked harder than anyone I know to make sure of it. But, there is a certain amount of luck involved too. The 100 possible questions of the exam are taken from an endless data base and randomly selected by a computer. The amount of information that is required for the exam seems like a bottomless pit. One "review" book was 700 pages or more long. One never knows which of the thousands of questions the computer will generate for your exam, or if they will be in your strong areas or weak areas. All you know is that, at the end, it tells you if you passed or failed, when you hit the “End Exam” button. And yesterday, when my daughter hit that button, she PASSED! 

When she called me and said, “I’m done,” there was a certain lilt in her voice that I hadn’t heard in such a long time. I knew she had passed, but I had to ask. She said the words I was praying to hear, “I passed.” True to herself, she was still modest in her achievement. “I don’t know how I passed, it was hard. I won’t say anything until the results come in the mail, just in case.” That’s my daughter. No "woo hoo's," "no boasting or bragging, just quiet modesty. There are no words to describe how proud I am of her at this moment. And I am so happy for her. To celebrate, she only asked to watch a movie last night with her sister…a movie on demand at that. She enjoys the simple things in life and she loves her sister.

My daughter has chosen a field where she will make a difference in this world. I really never thought about the people who work in the laboratories of all the hospitals. Laboratories are open and working 24/7. The technologists have to go through a vigorous college program in which they might as well be majoring in biology and chemistry together. It’s very difficult. Their last year of college requires attending lectures for two eight hour days a week plus three full days at a hospital laboratory for 18 credits a semester. They are tested every week in one subject and/or another, and they have eight to nine subjects to cover, all pertaining to lab work. There are no pass/fail grades allowed. There is a minimum passing grade of 70 in every subject to stay in the program. Once they manage to graduate they have to prepare for their licensing examination or they will not likely get hired. Out of thousands of students at my daughter’s college, only 13 graduated with a BS degree in Medical Technology. It’s a very small group compared to other majors. Some dropped out because it was too difficult. The number of graduates of all the colleges in the country only fill about 50% of the demand for all the positions open. Once you get your license you are supposed to be a “hot commodity.” But it sure takes a lot to get to that point…and my daughter is there!

I developed a new respect for laboratory technologists in these past four years. We always hear people praise their doctors and nurses. These are the people they “see” caring for them. But, behind the scenes are the unknown laboratory scientists, running the tests on bodily fluids and tissues, who are actually the backbone of the medical field. Without them, doctors and nurses would not be able to do their jobs. It is from these test results that doctors can make or confirm their diagnoses; that they can prescribe medication and treatment that will ease symptoms or cure illness; that they can determine a prognosis for how long the illness might last or how it will progress. I never thought about that before, but having been down this road with my daughter, I am very much aware of it now.

My daughter went on an interview a few weeks ago, it was her very first one, and nothing came of it, unfortunately. Maybe they didn’t want to take the risk that she might not pass her exam, maybe they found someone with experience who had their license. I really think it is their loss. I know my daughter will make an outstanding contribution to the hospital who hires her. She is a hard worker, a fast learner and she is committed to doing her best. Next week she has an interview at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. That is the hospital that has taken care of me for the past eight years. I can’t help but think how fitting it would be if she were to be hired there. It would be an opportunity for her to “give back” for all the care I have received and to help others who have been stricken with this disease. I hope this is part of God’s plan for her, He has been watching out for her every step of the way. He knows how special she is and so do I.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mitt Romney Goes To London…

I swear I am not following politics this year. I washed my hands of it because it gets too heated and people sometimes take things personally, when they aren’t meant to be. We all have our own ideas of what is best for the country, just different visions on how to get there. But, every now and then, something comes up in the news and it’s in my face once too many times for me to ignore. Today it’s Mitt Romney and his remarks concerning London and the Olympics. I am having a hard time processing this for several reasons.

Mitt Romney basically insulted Great Britain and it’s preparedness for the Olympics when he said, “There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.” 

Romney made his comments on the first day of his visit to London. Way to go. Let’s face it, we are not the most popular country on the planet and what we don’t need from our “leaders” is for them to insult our allies. Foreign policy and diplomacy are supposed to be critical skills for the office of President of the United States. The President isn’t supposed to alienate allies, is he? Maybe I am missing something? I also fail to see what business is it of Mitt Romney’s how London prepares for and handles the Olympics? Did they offer him advice when he hosted it in Salt Lake City in 2002? I’m sure they know far better than he does the pitfalls of their city and what precautions need to be taken. Seems to me he got off on the wrong foot. It was a time when he should have been positive and supportive of London, an opportunity to further strengthen our bonds and celebrate their hosting of the games. Instead, he was critical, condescending and insulting. And there is no “backspace” or “delete” button once his words were uttered, they were memorialized for all time and spread like wildfire across the media and internet. 

If this is how Mitt Romney chooses to approach our allies, what will he say to our enemies? Does he know the meaning of diplomacy? Do we really want him to be the person discussing more serious issues with foreign countries when he can’t seem to just be polite and congratulate London without causing a ton of bad press over insensitive and unnecessary remarks? He has angered our allies and put them on the defensive and no amount of backtracking is going to fix it, because they aren’t stupid and they know it’s just about damage control. I can just hear our “enemies” now, “if that’s how he talks about his friends, imagine what he has to say about us?” I don’t know about you, but it makes me nervous to think of him discussing disarmament and nuclear weapons with other countries.

I seem to recall, when President Obama was campaigning and went overseas, he won over many countries. So many countries welcomed him and were happy he was running for our highest office. He was praised and held in high regard.

Romney, on the other hand, not only made himself look bad, he made America look bad. His first “test” in foreign policy, “don’t offend your allies” was an epic fail. And this was just the beginning of his trip, he has more countries to visit. No doubt he will try to be more careful. Will he succeed in not alienating others, or is it too late? In any case, there will definitely be no Gold Medal for Romney in foreign policy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Real Estate Pictures Lie…Or The Magic of Digital Photography

Yesterday, my Realtor took me to three houses, two of which I picked out from pictures online, a third he picked in error. I was expecting to see what I saw in the pictures, so I was telling him "wait till you see the inside of this house! This is what I am looking for…blah. blah, blah." After all, pictures don’t lie, right? Wrong.

We went into the first house and my jaw dropped. The pictures showed a lovely house, all light walls, a nice eat-in kitchen that actually looked like it was in move-in condition. Nope. The place was pretty dirty with white dingy carpet throughout. Maybe I am too fussy I thought to myself? Maybe there is no such thing as move-in condition? 

He takes me to the second house on my list of prospects. Immediately I am leery, because I now know that pictures lie. Right in front of the house is a huge tree that is leaning like the Tower of Pisa, but at least it’s leaning away from the house. It’s on the property line shared with the neighbor and the Realtor starts explaining that to remove it I would usually share the cost with the neighbor. Now is this the way I want to start my peaceful life? Negotiating with an unknown neighbor about tree removal? Not! But we go inside to explore what I saw in the pictures. It’s the same house alright, but the kitchen, which looked modern and spotless, was grossly dirty. Look, I am by no means the best housekeeper on the planet, so if my kitchen is cleaner than another kitchen, we have a problem. The house was cluttered and actually had more stuff than mine in it. I can’t complain about that. But, it’s not really in move-in condition and certainly not as nice as it looked in the pictures. I wonder if they can airbrush the dirt out of the real estate pictures?

The third house he took me too wasn’t on my list because it was on the outer edge of the neighborhood, but he mistakenly thought he had gotten the address from my list. Ok fine, I’m a good sport and I’ll go see it. It’s not bad, but not what I envision to be move-in either. If I were 30 years old and wanted to do some cleaning, work and fixing, maybe these houses would be okay. I just don’t feel like renovating a house at my age, that’s all. I may have to go looking at higher priced houses to get what I am looking for. Who knows?

Tonight we are supposed to be getting a visit from potential buyers for our house. I hope they were out looking at the same houses I was. I tell you, my house is starting to look better with every house I see. Too bad the neighborhood is not up to my need for peace and quiet. I hope these people fall in love with my house and make a decent offer. I hope my pictures look like what they are going to see. They should, they were just taken. If they make an offer in the ballpark I’m taking it. Hopefully, then I can get serious and make some offers of my own soon. Wishful thinking, I know. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family Reunions...

I have always envied families who plan large reunions and all get together at the same time. Our family mostly did that for weddings and funerals, and not even then, because so many lived too far away to come, and the expense of traveling was too much. But this past weekend we had a reunion of sorts. Not everyone could come. We lost quite a few family members, my parents, my aunts and uncles who live on in our memories and were there in spirit. But this weekend, six of my cousins came in from Florida, and stayed with another or our cousins who lives here. None of us ever expected it to happen. Everyone has a busy schedule with work, doctor’s appointments, illnesses and poor health. But somehow everyone cleared their schedule, changed their plans and we were all together for a few days. It took us back to our childhood and to some wonderful memories of days gone by. Once we were all children playing, laughing and thinking we would never grow old. Now we all have children of our own who, after hearing stories about their family members, are now meeting, spending time together and, getting to know each other. 

When I was a teenager, I used to spend my summers in Long Island with my cousins, who had five children. They welcomed me out there and I looked forward to going throughout the school year. I loved getting away from the city and enjoyed the peace of the suburbs. Mostly, I loved the fact that my cousins had young children and babies, two of which were born during the years I stayed out there with them. I loved being able to take care of the babies. I had a second family and they treated me like their daughter. My parents would come out to see me every weekend and my mother brought bags of groceries with each visit. When their family moved to Florida in December of 1973, I was devastated. I was in my second year of college at the time. They moved away because times were tough here and it was hard to get work and support a large family. My cousin thought he would have a better chance of providing for his family down there. I understood that intellectually, but emotionally I was suffering a great loss. But, I was able to spend the next couple of summers in Florida with them, and that helped ease the blow.

It was my cousin, four of her children and a granddaughter that came up this past weekend. We went out there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As I walked in the door on Friday, desserts in hand, I was greeted by one of my cousins as he called me by my mother’s name. “Hi Aunt Jennie!” He had been planning this from the night before to get a reaction out of me, and he did! 

It was a whirlwind of past memories, food, laughter, food, good natured teasing, more food, hugs and kisses, and food. I discovered that I have turned into my mother, a lovable character, that I swore would never happen. I can’t deny I am a lot more like her than I ever thought I could be. We talked about the “family gene” the bad gene that many of us have, including our children; and that some of our children managed to escape because of our spouses. It’s a gene that makes you short tempered, demanding, controlling, a little OCD, somewhat snarky and critical and more. We are all very much aware of this dominant gene, as so many of us have it to one degree or another and display the same behaviors. We even argue about who has more of the gene than others. No one wants to admit to having the most, but no one can deny it’s part of them either. But, as we talked over old times and teased each other, little things that were said proved what we already knew, most of us possess this dominant gene. And, anytime someone said something that reflected the “gene,” one of my cousins would yell out “ZING.” I can’t even count how many “zings” came out over the weekend. But each time we heard it, we would all break out in laughter because we knew where that comment originated, from the dreaded gene.

I don’t know if other families talk about their genes the way we do, but we blame everything on that gene. If we snap or lash out at someone, it’s because of the gene. Irritability and an out of proportion anger comes from that gene. Poor coping skills can be traced to the “gene.” And we understand each other, because we have all felt the wave of the gene come over us. It’s undeniable. It’s out of our control. We all hate it, but we are victims of heredity. What can we do? We have to just hope it gets watered down with future generations, until it becomes extinct. 

You know what else is undeniable, besides that damn “gene,” is the love we all have for each other. Two thousand miles and years of not seeing each other has not changed any of us or the way we feel about each other. We came together this weekend as though we had never spent a minute apart. It was as if time stood still. Sure we were all older and had gone through many difficult and joyous life experiences. But emotionally, our family bonds were as strong as ever. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. I was happy to see everyone, but I lament over all the time we have lost because of distance. How many more family reunions could we have had? Who knows. Maybe not so many, with kids off to college, with work and each of us having to deal with so many of our own problems. Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to get together very much anyway. I’ll just be happy with this visit and hope that next year we can all do it again.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

House Hunting Trials & Tribulations...

Well, my house is ready to show, for what it’s worth. This past Thursday, the Realtor made appointments to show me four houses. The two I asked to see four weeks ago have offers now and I never got to see them. They seemed to be exactly what I was looking for, mainly move-in condition and in the right price range and location. I am pissed about this to say the least. I wanted the opportunity to at least look at and consider these houses, but I relied on the realtor and missed the boat. There aren’t that many houses for sale in my area and of those, hardly any are in move-in condition. Oh well…

So we went to see these four houses.  I am hoping I got my point across about what I want to see and envision myself buying. He even had the pictures of the two houses I really liked to help him figure it out. We saw four houses and I did not like any of them. I basically wasted two hours of my life.

One house, the cleanest one, only had two bedrooms (I need three) and was on the outer edge of the neighborhood I wanted. I want to be in the center of the neighborhood. We all know where that is, it’s the prime location around here. So much for that.

The next couple of houses we see have oil heat. I didn’t think I had to specify I want gas heat because I thought most people had already converted to gas. I don’t want to be bothered with oil heat and deliveries every month or so. When I complain about th eoil heat, he tells me that is “fixable.” Oh yeah? Right after I pay a boat load of money for the house, I can just convert to gas heat just like that? I have nothing else to do because the rest of the house also needs work…and is NOT in move-in condition. In one house the wood floors were atrocious and needed sanding, also “fixable.” How many ways can I say I do not want to “fix” or have anything “fixed”? One bathroom just needed to be ripped out and gutted. Is that “fixable” too? I don’t mind having a painter come in to change the color of a wall, but I am not about to hire a contractor to overhaul a house I paid a lot of money for. I am freaking tired.

One house has an unfinished basement that is a total mess. That would be fine if the rest of the house was “move-in condition,” but it wasn’t. Guess where the half bath was? Right! In the mess of an unfinished basement and that’s not even the best part. The best part is that the half bath is a toilet and tank sitting on the basement floor right out in the open. Yep. No screen, no partition, no curtain…just a toilet. Might as well have been a hole in the floor. And what happens if someone decides to come down there while you are doing your business? Did I just fall into the Twilight Zone?

I gave the realtor another list of potential houses after we were done looking around. So far I have been a pretty good sport about all this, but my patience has thinned out. I hate it when I talk and people don’t listen to what I am saying. If I see one more house that’s not move-in condition, where I want it to be, in the price range I am willing to pay I am going to have a stroke. On top of that I want to see if he takes me to the places I have researched online this time, the ones I feel might have real potential. I am still pissed I did not get to see the first two houses. 

And so goes the house hunting saga! I’m sure to have more stories to tell after we go out again to look around. I hope this is going to be a long, protracted process. Oy Vey! The picture above seems to best describe my experience so far!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Mom and Prayer…

My mother was not a religious woman by any means. I only remember her being inside a church on weddings and funerals. But somehow she instill in me the power of prayer. Every time I had a test to take, she would ask me what time it was being given and told me she would prayer for me at that time. I actually believed her prayers worked more so than my studying, and I always got good grades.

I seldom took of a day from school. I had to be really sick to stay home. I was always afraid I would miss something and not be able to catch up or make up the work. Of course that was ridiculous, but that’s the way my mind worked. One day, when I was in high school, I was too sick to go to school. I worried about it all day, which didn’t help. My imagination ran away with thoughts of how much I was missing. Thankfully, I was well enough to go in the next day. As I prepared to leave, I asked my mother to pray that I hadn’t missed too much work an wouldn’t have a lot of homework to make up. She said she would, and off I went.

The day started as it always does. Nothing unusual was going on at school. I got to class and took my seat. Suddenly, the fire alarms went off! Great I thought, this will kill some time and there will be less work for me to have to worry about. Little did I know, it’s wasn’t just a fire drill, it was a bomb scare. Someone had cut up a broom stick and painted the pieces red and tied them to an alarm clock. The bomb squad had to be called in to check it out. Meanwhile, an hour went by, then two hours went by and kids were leaving the school and going home. They were sick of waiting and half the day was gone with no end in sight. I’m thinking to myself, what the hell kind of prayers is my mother saying? She practically got me a whole day off!

We were finally allowed back into the building as the “bomb” turned out to be a joke. I proceeded to my next class. When I got there, there weren’t many students at all. Besides me, there were maybe one or two, not enough for the teacher to waste her lesson on. So we were told to take out our books and keep busy. I did my homework from yesterday and copied notes I had missed. The rest of the classes were the same. By the end of the day, I had not only caught up with notes and homework, I even got a little bit ahead because I was able to do the next day’s homework too. Needless to say I was relieved and couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mother how well her prayers worked.

My mother was amused with my little story and, of course, happy I was no longer stressing and whining about my school work. I told her I don’t know what she did or said in her prayers, but it couldn’t have worked out better for me. If I hadn’t been convinced before in the power of prayer, I was sure as hell 100% a believer after that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anthony Weiner Back So Soon?

Just one year ago Anthony Weiner resigned his office after denying he had tweeted out pictures of his crotch. I haven’t forgotten the scandal. I’m sure very few people have. And yet today, I hear news that Weiner is considering running for mayor of New York City. I guess he threw it out there to see if it would stick? He isn’t ready to give up politics just yet, and he is hoping voters will agree with him or have forgotten what he did just one short year ago.

I don’t know what he is thinking? Any opponent in a mayoral race is going to bring up this scandal in a hot minute. He is going to drag his wife, family and friends through this ordeal again and make them relive his disgraceful, perverted behavior? Is he going to say he went for therapy and is cured, I wonder? What makes a person do these kinds of things in the first place? And, not only did he commit the deeds, he lied multiple times to try and squash the scandal, which only got bigger and bigger, like Pinocchio’s nose.

The problem with politics and political leaders is that no one expects them to have integrity, morals, honesty, ethics. We expect next to nothing from our leaders. We make excuses for them like, what he does in his personal life shouldn’t be use to judge his ability to do the job. But shouldn’t a person’s ethical behavior apply across the board? If you are a liar in your personal life, won’t that cross over into your professional life and vice versa? These are core values and the essence of who you are. You can’t separate your lack of honesty, ethics and acts of amoral behavior in one part of your life from another.

And so Anthony Weiner is going to try to reinvent himself and run for mayor. Right now he is putting feelers out to see how much controversy the idea with create. He’ll tell us he has changed, learned his lesson, and is ready to move on and serve the people of New York City. It’s a shame really. The election is this year and he has been waiting for 12 years to run. He went and ruined everything last year. I’m not quite ready to forgive and forget, when it comes to Weiner’s weiner. He showed poor judgment over and over again. He showed he was not loyal and faithful to his new bride by engaging in more than  flirtatious conversations with other women. He showed us he is a hell of a liar. He is an embarrassment. I think this idea is a huge mistake. The media will have a field day with him and his possible slogans. “Anthony Weiner: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!”

I, for one, have seen everything I want to see regarding Anthony and his weiner. I’d rather have Oscar Mayer run for mayor.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Kennedy Curse...

I will admit that I have not been a fan or admirer of the Kennedy Family. I’ve heard too many thing about how they came by their wealth, and though I can’t tell you the details, I know enough to know it wasn’t by legal means. Growing up I have always heard about the Kennedy “curse” because so many bad and tragic things have happened to members of the family over decades. I can’t help but wonder, how many of those are the result of bad karma and how many were brought on by themselves? The one incident that has haunted me for years was in 1969, when Ted Kennedy drove off the Dike bridge and landing in a pond, which resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. It has always bothered me that he left the scene of the accident and never notified authorities until he sobered up. Obviously, he was driving drunk and we will really never know if there was more to it than that or not. The parents of the young girl did not give permission to exhume her body for further tests. That is another thing I found odd and suspicious. I have always felt they were paid off by the Kennedy’s to keep their daughter’s body buried along with any evidence that might shed light on what happened.

What brings this old case back to mind today is another “accident” by a member o the Kennedy family. Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife of New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, was arrested for D.W.I. yesterday after leaving the scene of her accident. She was driving under the influence of drugs when she crashed into a tractor-trailer. After she hit the truck she kept driving, even with a flat tire, until she could go no further. Other drivers were calling authorities due to her erratic driving. Kerry Kennedy was not injured and fortunately didn’t injure anyone else.

I think many of the tragic things that occur in this family are the consequences of their poor choices and bad behavior. They may think they are above the law. Rich people often do. They have the means to hire the best attorneys and investigators to get them out of any legal problems they get into, so why worry? They can always make bail, money is not an issue. You can bet your boots that they aren’t treated the same way you and I would be treated if we were arrested. And that goes for all celebrities too. 

Some of us wish we were rich, we fantasize about it, we dream of the things we would do with millions of dollars. Just yesterday I was saying that I think too much money can be a curse. I think money makes people lose sight of what is important in life. It shifts their priorities to greed, power, and materialistic things. It makes them feel they are above everyone else, that they are untouchable. I think it also makes them sad and depressed. Money brings fleeting happiness, a momentary high. Money can’t buy you true lasting happiness or love. It can’t restore your health or turn back time. Those are the things that are important in life, but money makes you lose sight of them.

Kerry Kennedy has three daughters, twins age 17 and a third daughter, age 15. They need their mother. What could ever be more important than that? She has the money for the best rehab in the world if she wanted to go to one. Yesterday, she could have killed herself and left her children without a mother. Yesterday, she could have killed someone else’s mother or father or even an entire family, by making the decision to get behind the wheel of her Lexus. Is all this part of the Kennedy curse or the curse of having too much money and time on your hands? I don’t know.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Meeting With Realtor...

Hopefully, the ball will get rolling!

We have been talking to the Realtor, a friend of the family, for the past two months and I have blogged about some of our encounters. We left off with my getting the house ready to show and he was going to get me in to see the two houses I found myself. You may recall, the house he did take me to see was everything I didn’t want in a house. So we agree to get my house ready to show while he looks for houses I might like.

My husband and I get to work on doing a few cosmetic things around the house to make it more appealing. We have been working on that mostly since he retired June 1st. Today is the day we finish up the last of it in the basement. We wanted to refresh and clean it because it’s unfinished and not very great looking. So the Realtor calls and we set up a meeting this past Wednesday after dinner. He has papers for us to sign and he wants to take pictures. He calls me at 7:15 to say he will be here in 15 or 20 minutes. An hour later he arrives, papers in hand. He is frazzled. Apparently, he just discovered that his wallet and camera were stolen from his car and he had to make calls to the bank and credit card companies, which is the reason for his delay in getting here. I am sympathetic to his issues, but I feel like I’m almost doomed.

After several minutes of discussing his theft, he starts to discuss the paperwork we have to sign. We decide we don’t want an open house or for sale sign up or MLS just yet. I have neighbors I would rather not have parade through my house, especially if I am stuck living here for a long while. All the while we are talking he receives a minimum of four phone calls. Two calls from his relatives who live in Ohio that he just dropped off at the airport, to tell him they arrived safely and asked him about his wallet. Another two calls from tenants of a building he manages, who are complaining there is a water issue in their building. He tells them he will be there in a little while. I am a bit exasperated to say the least. So far this hasn’t been going well at all. I like the guy, but nothing has been going right so far. 

He was going to take pictures with his cell phone, but then decided he should get another camera for that. The pictures should be of good quality since they might attract or discourage buyers who see them online. I agree. Hopefully, he will be back soon to take care of that and get this ball rolling. He says he has a potential buyer who has been waiting to see the house. He may be a friend of my attached neighbor and that could be a good thing. We’ll see what develops with that. Meanwhile, I am waiting for pictures to be taken and I still want to see the two houses I gave him addresses for. When do you think that will happen? Stay tuned. 

Now I need to get back to the basement and finish up down there. My husband has two meetings next week for part time work and I have lots more to throw out of the house. Then we will try to enjoy the rest of the summer and have some “fun.” I hear “fun” is a good thing from people who have tried it.

P.S. I know I have been neglecting my blogging and hopefully, once the major work is done, I will have plenty to say about everything. Thanks for bearing with me during this hot, humid, and exhausting time.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

RIP Ernest Borgnine…

Ever since I was a young kid, I would hear my mother say deaths come in threes. And, it always seemed like they did. Three celebrities would invariable die within a few days to a couple of weeks of each other. I just accepted it. Then I had my own kids and tried to pass on this piece of wisdom to them. My older daughter wouldn’t buy it and gave me a hard time about it. How famous do all the people have to be? What is the time limit between deaths? Etc etc etc. She is always a pain in the neck like that, questioning everything to death. Of course, I didn’t have the answers to all her questions because I just accepted my mother’s words as true without skepticism. I gave up trying to get my daughter to accept it.

Ernest Borgnine died today. It’s just 5 days after Andy Griffith died. It’s within the “death comes in threes” timetable. Another icon from my childhood is gone. But Ernest, like Andy, was up there in years. He had a long and happy life. His acting career was amazing. There wasn’t a part he played that I didn’t enjoy. There was something very special about him and in act he reminds me quite a bit of ndy Griffith in that he smiled a lot and for a big man, he had a very gentle nature.

My favorite movie of Ernest Borgnine is “Marty.” My husband introduced me to it years ago because he liked character movies. Ernie played an Italian man, in his thirties, who never married and lived with his mother. Everyone in his family is married, siblings and cousins. Marty can’t seem to find the right girl. He wants to be married, but he has low self esteem and doesn’t think he is very good looking. He suffers many rejections and heartache because he is really a very sensitive guy. Marty’s mother, family and friends are typical Italians. They want to see everyone married. They badger Marty all the time about his not being married. It only pours salt in his open wounds. The movie tells a good story, and it is full of typical Italian ways and thinking. Being Italian myself, I could relate to it and even had a few laughs, as I could recognize some of my own relatives in the dialogue. I won’t spoil the movie by explaining everything that happens, but I do recommend it if you are an Ernest Borgnine fan.

Ernest Borgnine will be greatly missed. His work has touched generations of people. Most of the actors today don’t come close to measuring up to the likes of Ernest Borgnine. It’s another sad day. Rest in peace Ernest Borgnine.

Note: I know I have been slacking on the blogs lately, but I have been working very hard on the house and haven been to tired to crank out a blog. I couldn't let the day go by without saying a few words for Ernest Borgnine. Now I am afraid my blog is looking more and more like an obituary. Bear with me, I hope to be back to writing regularly soon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RIP Andy Griffith…

Another piece of my childhood gone.

Andy Griffith died yesterday. He was 86 and had a long, good and fulfilling life. I imagine he loved acting, he was always so good at it. Something about him was so charismatic. I loved him as the sheriff of Mayberry and as Matlock. I watched those shows religiously. I grew up watching Andy and whistling the ever popular theme song. I loved the way he would wolf down those hotdogs in Matlock at the end of many episodes, saying, “Hmmmmmm hmmmmm.” 

I loved the way he told stories, he had you hanging on his every word. And he had grin from ear to ear that would make you forget your problems and smile with him and at him. A man of many talents, he played the guitar and sang, and incorporated his love for music into his characters. I never knew it, but Andy had a degree in music and was a high school English teacher, before going into acting. He has touched the hearts of generations of fans over his lifetime.

I’m not surprised that Andy didn’t get caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle. He lived his life in North Carolina, with his wife. She issued a statement following his death:  “He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s Grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”

Andy made a lot of people happy. May he rest in peace.