Category Archives: Celebrations & Events

April Fools’ Day – Something’s Fishy

Creepy, manipulative, terrible hoax or a creative, fun-filled joke?

The positive view is that April Fools’ is good for one’s health because it encourages “jokes, pranks, and belly laughs and brings all the benefits of laughter including stress relief and reducing strain on the heart!

Here are some April 1st pranks pulled on whole populations.  You decide if they are creepy or fun-filled:

P.S.  Click here to find out the science behind WHY WE ARE SO GULLIBLE

Pasta Prank

1957: “Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. The BBC broadcast a film in their Panorama current affairs series purporting to show Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so that many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees.  The BBC was later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the news the next day.”

Welcome To Chicago!

1992: “Airline passengers descending into Los Angeles Airport might have experienced a momentary feeling of panic when they looked out the window and saw an 85-foot-long yellow banner on the ground that spelled out, in 20-foot-high red letters, “Welcome to Chicago.” It was raised above the Hollywood Park race track, which lay directly along the flight path for arriving planes, about three miles from the airport.”

Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity

1976: “During an early-morning interview on BBC Radio 2, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47 AM that day a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur. Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, and this planetary alignment would temporarily counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment the alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, the station began receiving hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman reported that she and her friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room. Moore had intended his annoucement to be a spoof of a pseudoscientific theory that had recently been promoted in a book called The Jupiter Effect, alleging that a rare alignment of the planets was going to cause massive earthquakes and the destruction of Los Angeles in 1982.”

Orange-Bearing Pine Trees

1950: “Motorists driving along the scenic Rim of the World highway near Lake Arrowhead in Southern California encountered something remarkable. All the pine and cedar trees lining the road had grown oranges overnight. The transformation turned out to be the work of the residents of the nearby town of Skyforest, led by the cartoonist Frank Adams. They had crept out during the night and strung 50,000 oranges in the trees along a one-mile section of the highway. The fruit was left over from the recent National Orange Show in San Bernardino.”

The Tasmanian Mock Walrus

1984: “The Orlando Sentinel featured a story about a creature known as the Tasmanian Mock Walrus (or TMW for short) that many people in Florida were said to be adopting as a pet. The creature was four inches long, resembled a walrus, purred like a cat, and had the temperament of a hamster. What made it such an ideal pet was that it never had to be bathed, used a litter box, and ate cockroaches. In fact, a single TMW could entirely rid a house of its cockroach problem. However, the local pest-control industry was said to be pressuring the government to ban TMWs, fearing they would put cockroach exterminators out of business. Dozens of people called the paper trying to find out where they could obtain their own TMW. Skeptics noted that the photo of a TMW accompanying the article showed a creature that looked suspiciously similar to a Naked Mole Rat.”

FAT SOX – Loose Weight from the “bottom” up.

2000: “The Daily Mail revealed that Esporta Health Clubs had launched a new line of socks, dubbed FatSox, designed to help people lose weight. These revolutionary socks actually sucked body fat out of sweating feet, promising to “banish fat for ever.” The American inventor of this weight-loss product, Professor Frank Ellis Elgood, explained that the socks employed a nylon polymer called FloraAstraTetrazine “previously only applied in the nutrition industry.” As a person’s body heat rose and their blood vessels dilated, the socks drew “excess lipid from the body through the sweat.” After having sweated out the fat, the wearer could then simply wash the socks, and the fat, away.”

Bob Blowfish sez: “A fish out of water is not a prank, no matter what the occasion.”

In Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, April tradition is often known as “April fish” (poissons d’avril in French, aprilvis in Dutch or pesce d’aprile in Italian).

This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. Many newspapers also spread a false story on April Fools’ Day, and a subtle reference to a fish is sometimes given as a clue.

http://hoaxes.org/aprilfool

Click here to Learn WHY WE ARE SO GULLIBLE

Frankly Freddie – Your Picks, My Treat

Dear Human-beings,

Thank you for responding to my survey. For every response I got a treat.

Here are the top rated areas you’re most interested in reading on CATNIPblog:

Tied for #4

  • Quizes to learn about myself
  • How to deal with difficult people
  • Managing time and commitment

Tied for #3

  • How to improve relationships
  • Nutrition for brain health
  • Finding purpose

No tie for #2

  • Stress reduction – be calmer & more relaxed

Tied for #1

  • Mood lifters – quick ways to feel happy
  • Animal Tails & Tales

Other:

  • How to “read” other people in order to improve relationships
  • Humor – everything is funny seen through the right lens
  • How to deal with old age losses – friends, health, purpose

Peggy & Judy’s pick:  How to live in retirement in the manner we’d like to become accustomed.

Freddie’s pick:  How to get lots of treats without more polls and subscriber drawings.

Maui’s pick:  How to achieve alpha-status over Freddie. 

IF you haven’t already you can still be entered in my drawing, Click HERE:

Frankly Freddie – Catnipblog Subscriber Drawing

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Frankly Freddie – I need your help

I’m trying to be very supportive, however, I think my human is sniffing catnip.

I was really glad she and her friend Peggy Arndt got together because Peggy gives me treats.  I was glad when they told me they were collaborating on a new blog where they were going to share the materials and techniques they used to help clients when they were psychotherapists because as a retired Certified Canine Therapist I want everyone to know how to make themselves feel good.

Now I’m upset.  They are calling the blog CATNIP because they think catnip makes you feel mellow.  If that isn’t bad enough they are dedicating CATNIP to Peggy’s cat Maui.

Personally, I think catnip makes you crazy and the blog should be dedicated to me.

Maui
Maui (not Freddie)

Now that they are both retired they seem to not be doing much of anything except wandering around*.   So they don’t go too far astray, I created a survey for them to help them be successful bloggers, like me.

Please fill out my survey for their CATNIblog!  

(You can choose as many areas of interests as you want and when you’re done click “vote”)

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author

 *Thank you for your kind response to this most delicate matter.

Learning to Walk

Baby Hippo Fiona is the cutest ever!  Mama Bibi and dad Henry probably not so much . . .

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“A baby hippopotamus, born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo, has struggled to stand, eat, gain weight and breathe.”

“But on Sunday morning, the zoo announced “encouraging news from hippo headquarters.”‘

“Baby hippo Fiona, now in stable condition, has taken her first wobbly steps.”

“Fiona was born at the zoo on Jan. 24, six weeks early. She weighed 29 pounds, when baby hippos are normally 55-120 pounds, the zoo says. She was too weak to stand and couldn’t nurse on her own.”

Read all about Fiona, click HERE!

Blame game: roosters, virus and my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

It’s the Year of the Rooster – I was born under the Chinese sign of the Rooster.  Always thought it to be a curse I was born under a sign that wasn’t fertile enough to lay an egg or two.

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According to my friend Sharon Bonin-Pratt (whose last post inspired this post) People born under the sign of the Rooster are hardworking, funny, trustworthy and talented.

I’m not hardworking, at times am funny, almost always trustworthy, and have latent talents that get laid but never hatched.

This Rooster year started off with a cold virus that delights roaming the cozy recesses of my sinus passages.   It’s day 11 (but who’s counting).  I’ve been a total slug – no energy, no resolve which gives me a perfect excuse for not making New Years’ resolutions.

(The truth be told, I never make resolutions for the New Year – learned long ago that when I inevitably fail to keep a resolution it leads to feeling badly.)  

What energy I have has been directed toward resolving to be more creative this year. 

In preparation I’ve been obsessively reading everything I can find on how to break my creative block and stop procrastinating.

Most everything I read about procrastination indicates that we procrastinate when we don’t want to do something that is not enjoyable.   Being a master procrastinator I also procrastinate with things that bring me enjoyment.

For inspiration, I read blogs of people who write, read or draw daily – all things which bring me enjoyment.  I feel badly I’m not like them  which leads me to read articles on procrastination and meeting goals (I know how to set them, just not meet them).

Finally the article below has liberated me! I know what to blame:

My dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is lazy . . . not me.

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Creative block here’s neuroscience how to fix it.

by Elizabeth Shockman

“What is it exactly that helps us be creative? What fuels us when we get into an especially productive work flow? What makes the hours disappear when our brains focus on a task?”

“What, in other words, is happening in our brains when we’re being creative?”

“Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says we know a little bit about what’s going on. Berlin studies the neuroscience of imagination, creativity and improvisation. And for those people who might be facing writer’s block? “There’s really no prescribed medication,” Berlin says. “There is no real magic pill.”’

Instead, she says, creativity depends on which part of the brain you might be using.

“When [people] are improvising, there tends to be a pattern of activation where they have decreased activation in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Berlin says. “And that part of the brain has to do with your sense of self, your sort of inner critic, making sure that your behavior conforms to social norms.”

“Translation? When you’re at your most creative, “basically you lose your sense of self,” Berlin says. “You kind of release your inhibition. The second you become too self-aware that comes back online and you lose that flow state.”’

“In addition to losing inhibitions, people who are in a creative state have increased activation in a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex, which has to do with the internal generation of ideas. In other words, the ideas are coming from within.”

“Some people, when they’re in the flow state … a lot of people say ‘It feels like it’s flowing through me. It’s coming from someplace else,’ you know, ‘It’s coming so naturally I don’t even have to think about it,’” Berlin says. “It’s called liberation without attention. You can only keep a certain number of variables in mind when you’re thinking about something consciously. But if you let it go, you actually can come to a greater understanding because the unconscious can do much more complex processing.”

“For those suffering from creative block, Berlin has some practical advice:”

“You have to take in all the information and then go for a walk,” Berlin says. “Go out, do something else. Because those people who sit there and just obsess over thinking about it too much, using your prefrontal cortex you’re actually limiting yourself. So letting it go can actually help you get over, let’s say a writer’s block or a creative block.”

I’d go for a walk but I have a cold.  Maybe some other time . . .

 

 

Spinning in control

It’s been a rough year.  Maybe it’s the media bombarding us with political enmity, flood, fire, war, death, illness . . .  but it does seem rougher than usual.   My resiliency is running low.  

To put things in perspective on this last day of the year I remind myself that this earth has been around billions of years and I am standing on a planet hurtling through space and haven’t fallen off . . . yet

NASA archive image, relase date October 17, 2000. This true-color image shows North and South America as they would appear from space 35,000 km (22,000 miles) above the Earth. The image is a combination of data from two satellites. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite collected the land surface data over 16 days, while NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) produced a snapshot of the Earth’s clouds. Image created by Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC Credit: NASA Earth Observatory NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram
NASA archive image, release date October 17, 2000.
This true-color image shows North and South America as they would appear from space 35,000 km (22,000 miles) above the Earth.  Image created by Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

The earth is moving about our sun at a speed of nearly 30 kilometers per second, or 67,000 miles per hour.  Our solar system–Earth and all–whirls around the center of our galaxy at some 220 kilometers per second, or 490,000 miles per hour.

“There are anywhere between 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way and an estimated 100 billion planets. Around one in five stars are like our sun, and astronomers have estimated that about 22% of them have planets the size of Earth in their habitable zone, where water can exist as a liquid. This means there could be 8.8 billion planets within the galaxy capable of supporting life (not accounting for composition of the planet or its atmosphere).”

“God has created the world as one—the boundaries are marked out by man.”

‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith

 

Antidote for Santa – Peace & Good Cheer

My Annual Christmas pome – Sick Ole St Nick undoubtedly struck a chord among my many many followers – well at least one . . .

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By Sharon Bonin-Pratt*

Goodness, I feel sorry for the poor man in red his weary reindeer and sled
Don’t blame me cuz I’ve never participated in dragging that man from his bed
The worst you can say is I’ve not enough candles and therefore can’t light
All my eight menorahs, yes, count ’em, eight Hanukkah for eight days of light
Tell Santa to give up the late ride and eat chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil
Safer to spin driedles, tell stories of brave Maccabees and the miracle of oil
And he’ll feel much better when he rises well rested at the end of this year
Not having delivered gifts heavier than a wish for peace and good cheer

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Happy Chanukah!!

*Disclosure:  Printed without permission from the author . .  

Annual Christmas Day Pome – Sick Ole St Nick

T’was the Day After Christmas Eve Pome

It’s true so they say that on Christmas day

old St Nick is always sick

from sugar, carbs, inhaling soot

and lunging sacks of children’s loot

Santa has to unbuckle his belt

to make room for cookies, and chocolate gelt

Popping antacids with each milk drink

he’s lactose intolerant, that’s why the wink

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Up all night,

by mornings light he’s a fright

The chubby ole fellow, no longer mellow

Back’s in spasm, eyes are red

Climbing to chimney tops, legs like lead

When home he goes, the ho ho hoes

have turned to moans

the silent night filled with grunts and groans

No longer just plump he’s a fat grump

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The reindeer too have lost their cheer

for all things festive in the New Year

His packed on pounds during the rounds

create huge drag for even a stag

They huff, puff and wheeze

looking for a stiff breeze

to help carry Santa over roof tops and trees

All the way back the reindeer pray

he’ll loose 50 pounds before next Christmas day

Cuz Rudolph et. al are running out of gas

hauling Santa’s growing ass

  *   *   *

Merry Christmas to all who indulge and bulge!

from judy and Freddie Parker Westerfield

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

Why Santa never gets caught

How Do Reindeer Fly?

Doodlewash is a blog I follow – both for Charlie O’s great water-colors but even more for his wonderful stories and descriptions about each drawing.

Today’s Doodlewash post inspired my pome.

Water-color by Charlie O'Shields
Water-color by Charlie O’Shields

Pome by judy

No one catches Santa on the roof

or in the snow sees prints

of tiny reindeer hoof

for Santa’s no bigger than a fly

and reindeer all the size of ants

ferry him through the Christmas sky

I don’t think it silly at all

to imagine reindeer quite so small

and know 

how Santa slides down chimney flues

with nary much soot on his beard or shoes

So make your cookies the size of peas

and leave the milk in a thimble please

Limit the weight of gifts and such

to crush an ant

 it doesn’t take much

   *     *    *

To read Charlie O’s inspiring story click here:

How Do Reindeer Fly?

21 ways to keep your sanity for the holidays

 Only  15 days till Chanukah!    15 days till Christmas!  22 days till New Year’s!  Time for my yearly reminder on how to keep sane.

Christmas:

  1. Instead of buying  a tree watch your friends decorate (and take down) theirs
  2. Convert to Judaism
  3. Sit in the lobby of a 5-star hotel and enjoy EXPENSIVE decorations.
  4. ADOPT a pig, instead of eating one.
  5. Make dinner potluck, you supply the paper plates and plastic cutlery
  6. Christmas dinner – Start with dessert and forget the rest.
  7. Sit on the beach in Bali.

8.  Go to bed on the 23rd and get up on January 3rd.*

9.  Only buy presents for Jesus.

10. Put a cover on the outside chimney opening so you don’t have to put out cookies and milk.

Chanukah:

11. Watch your friends decorate (and take down) their Christmas tree.

12. Convert.

13. Stay in a 5-star hotel for 8 days and nights.

14. Use credit cards instead of gelt

15. Instead of gambling with a dreidle at home go to Vegas

16. Don’t give presents, do good deeds

17. Go to bed on Thanksgiving and wake up on New Years**

18. Bake potatoes instead of grating them to death

19. Eat macaroons with Ben & Jerry

New Years:

20. *Remember! Stay in bed until the 3rd, unless you’re Jewish.

21. **If you are Jewish, go back to bed.

 

Peace on Earth & Sanity to all my Friends!

Children’s Pome for Adults – the REAL night before Christmas

Dear human-beings,

Besides being soft and cuddly a mission of mine is to bring poetry to the masses, of which you are some.   And I am here to bring you the truth . . . even though it might hurt.

Santa was frantic at the North Pole

Finances in the red, he was in the hole

Mrs Claus couldn’t afford sugar

For her cookies sublime

Dear old hubby didn’t have a dime

231739-royalty-free-rf-clipart-illustration-of-santa-freaking-out-poster-art-print

North Pole employment had exploded

and Santa’s credit had eroded

He’d spent his last cent on black Friday deals

and turkey with the trimmings for thanksgiving meals

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The night before Christmas he no longer had clout

When all the elves threatened a walk-out

Elf-union held all the chips

As evidenced by the grin on all the elf lips

For every elf in all the land

Had won a pay deal without tipping their hand:

Double pay all December

a free thanksgiving meal in November

Finally fringe benefits for elves was real

For Santa and the Mrs, there was no appeal

Santa had bitten his nails to the quick

Both right and left eyes developed a tic

All Santa could do was self medicate

So he stuffed his mouth from the cookie plate santa-claus-being-drunk-holding-beer-33377069

And downed all the rum from a hot toddy cup

his blood pressure sky-high, went up and up

His big fat belly shook like a bowl full of lead

While visions of bankruptcy danced in his head

So all you children and adults too

Have compassion and learn to make due  

STOP asking for presents and things you don’t need

YOU must now take heed.

It’s no time for greed

If you want Santa another Christmas to live

to every red-kettle-bell-ringer

Dig in your pocket and GIVE.

Poetically yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author
Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author

A Frankly Freddie Thanksgiving

Dear Human Beings,

Time for my ANNUAL Thanksgiving ‘Ode To Tom’ and tell you what I’m thankful for:

  • I’m thankful that I was not born in a country where they eat dogs.
  • I’m thankful you are all my best friends!
  • I’m thankful for all the treats I get even if I don’t get as many as I deserve
  • I’m thankful I am soft and fluffy so people want to pet me
  • DSCN4217Freddie Parker Westerfield,  Poet Laureate

A Turkey’s Tale

by Freddie Parker Westerfield

A turkey named Tom lived on a farm

His story is such, so they say

Waking at dawn

he’d peck at the lawn,

searching for bugs,

nibbling on slugs

of which he was particularly fond.

Then on Thanksgiving day

Gobbledy gobbledy gone!

So if  YOU took Tom from off his farm

in the middle of the night

please give him due thanks

for gracing your table.  (It’s  fitting and only right).

And for all the bugs and many slugs

which make him an organic delight

P.S.  I was told to tell you that my Human-being wishes you all things to be grateful for in your life, like she’s grateful for me.
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My BEST FRIEND Shari sent me this picture.  I think she might be a Turkeytarian . . .

 

How to cook a turkey FAST and painlessly (for you not the bird)

It’s THAT time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

img_00131 I have a reputation, among those who know me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though How to Cook A Turkey with 500 degree heat sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.

The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.   I’ve done this every year for over three decades and it’s never failed. 
All the people who have tried it do it again and again. . . except for the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey* . . . to see why, keep reading.
 
Ingredients:
10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
 
Directions:
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

 

Happy Halloween! Duds to Dudes

Since my “vertigo episode” I’ve been in a fibromyalgia flare-up, complete with exhaustion.  Today I peeled myself out of bed, put on my best duds and went to class to draw a dude.  Can you guess which one is me?

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After spending 3 hours drawing a nude dude this is what I looked like . . .

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Dizzy blond and I ain’t even blond

Friday: Spent all day and evening in the ER.  I was EXTREMELY light-heading, threw up, missed my art class and spent 24 hours in bed thinking I’d feel fine in the morning . . . WRONG.  

Saturday: In the morning the  room was moving and I wasn’t. Every time I moved I threw up and there was nothing to throw-up since I hadn’t eaten anything (You have probably created a nasty picture in your mind . . .  just make it even nastier).  

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Pencil sketch

The ER was even more fun.  Throwing up,  drawing blood, 2 CT scans (to make sure it wasn’t a stroke . . . it wasn’t) and finally, after 4 different anti-nausea medications and drips, I stopped throwing up. 

Sunday: I’m still dizzy and have to hold on to things to walk (it’s a bit wonky to type) but the good news, the GREAT news, is I’ve not thrown up.  The bad news is I’m still dizzy . . .  and  grey-haired.

"Such drama . ."
“If she thinks walking is hard she should try swinging from trees . .”

To my friends and acquaintances who suffer with Ménière’s disease. . . I have new compassion for you!

P.S.  For those of you I confused . .  I don’t have Menieres just plain Ditzy.

 

 

 

My Sketchy Life . . . Albee it

Edward Albee died the other day at 88.  He was a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright.  He intensely disliked it when asked what his plays were about but finally explained:

“If anybody wants me to say it, in one sentence, what my plays are about: They’re about the nature of identity. Who we are, how we permit ourselves to be viewed, how we permit ourselves to view ourselves, how we practice identity or lack of identity.”  Edward Albee

Most of the models in the life drawing classes have been posing for a long time.  They come equipped with props and pillows and strike dramatic poses that I defy anyone in “real” life to take . . . unless you’re an exotic dancer.

Graphite pencil sketch
Graphite pencil sketch
"quickies"
“quickies”
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Charcoal sketch

Art teachers explain that drawing isn’t about what the hand is doing it’s about training our eye to see what it actually sees rather than the internal image of what we THINK we see.

Right now my drawings are about trying to learn to view shapes and shadows, lines and limbs . . . and hopefully have my hands follow.  Someday, it would be nice to say the same thing Edward Albee said . . . that my drawings are about the nature of identity.

The pinnacle is the climb, not the mountain peak

A lovely reminder of what our souls know but our minds forget.

WORTH WATCHING

Gabrielle Garcia Marquez

Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in theSpanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Sneek a Peek into my sketchy life – nudes and buts

Sorry, I’ve been blogged-out for so long.  I know, I know, yet another sorry-I’ve-been-gone-for-so-long-post.  

BUT I decided today is a brand new beginning.  “BUT” literally and figuratively.  (For those of you who are squeamish scroll down to the nude part because I begin with the BUTT . . .  mine to be exact.)  

Just had a colonoscopy. The bad news – I didn’t have a very good day yesterday.  The good news – I lost 4 pounds.  The bad news – I have wasted today sleeping.  The good news – I don’t remember a thing.  

Now that I’m squeaky clean it’s time for a new start – Going to go back to cutting out (maybe down) on refined sugar & carbs and cutting up on the internet.

Here’s my latest sketches.  I start with my favorite:

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10 minute charcoal sketch
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20 minute charcoal sketch
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10 minute charcoal sketch

Puppy Power!

SoulPancake and Puppy Chow teamed up to share the #PowerofPuppies at a preschool, retirement home, and gym to transform an otherwise ordinary day. Share http://bit.ly/pwrofppys with someone who needs the power of puppies in their lives! For every video view, Puppy Chow will donate one pound of Puppy Chow Natural to Rescue Bank® (up to 500,000 pounds or until April 23, 2016).

 

 

Happy Easter Klatch Hatch

 Better to give life than eat it.

This watercolor by Kathrin Werner made me smile.   Happy Easter and beyond!

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Watercolor by Kathrin Werner

Kathi also has the best blog series – She’s created an alligator with attitude named Benni:   

benni_berghc3bcttewz

“As the landlord had forgotten to tell the other guests that Benni was a vegetarian, hardly anybody did sleep in that night.”

and you can brush up on your German when you read her blog:

“Außer Benni schlief keiner. Der Hüttenwirt hatte vergessen den anderen Gäste zu sagen, dass Benni Vegetarier war.”

Click here: KathrinsWorld

 P.S.  She even has an ETSY shop

 

 

Valentines NOT just from the heart

In case you’ve not gotten a valentine card for your sweetie it’s not too late to get something that’s personal, permanent and not just from your heart but from other parts of you too.

Lovey Dovey, Whenever I think of you I go crazy

Baby Boo, You are the lounge chair of my life. (Eames,no less)

Sweetie Pie, I could just eat you up!

My Love, Count on me to always watch your back.

Sweet Pea, I love you to the tips of my toes.

Baby, Take ALL of ME!

The First day of my Birthday Season – I’m Wrinkling in Strange Places

(Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees – days and days and days and daaaaaaaaaaays of celebration.  You can send me gifts in lieu of flowers or cake per my birthday season RULES, #3).

To celebrate I slept-in late . . . 

Oh nooooooooooooooooo – I have vertical ridges in my fingernails.  So, of course, I googled “fingernail ridges”:

“There are many reasons for ridged nails but the most common is aging,” says Dr. Phoebe Rich, M.D, clinical adjunct professor of dermatology at Oregon Health Science University. As we age the nail matrix becomes atrophied  in areas resulting in longitudinal ridging of nails. I tell people they are like wrinkles in the nails.”

It’s bad enough that my face is wrinkling . . . my neck is wrinkling . . . and now! my fingernails are wrinkling!

images

The next thing I know I’ll wake up and I will look like a Shar-pei.

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Bob Blobfish sez: ". . . I p"
Bob Blobfish sez: “I’d be upset too if I woke up looking like a Shar-pei”

 

My Annual Birthday Season!

After 71 times it’s getting a bit boring . . . another birthday . . .  Now don’t get me wrong I’m grateful I’m still around to celebrate but as Groucho Marx said: 

“Age is not a particularly interesting subject.  Anyone can get old.  All you have to do is live long enough.” 

The good news is my birthday SEASON** is getting longer . . . and so is YOURS.  In case, you’ve forgotten the rules (because you are getting old and forget a lot of things) and want to celebrate your own Birthday Season I’m reposting my repost from my reposted repost that I repost every year.
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Birthday Season Rules:

  1. Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old.  Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer.  With me so far?
  2. You are to celebrate your birth the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do,  each day.  So far so good!
  3. People give you presents the entire season.  SO GOOD, so far!
  4. You must be over 50 to qualify for Birthday Season status.  (Over 50 you need more time to celebrate because it takes you longer.)
  5. You may start your Birthday Season before the actual date of your birth.  But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old.
  6. Those who are under the age of 50 can celebrate a Birthday Season as long as they don’t tell anyone or demand presents.(Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.)
  7. You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
  8. Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive.  (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).

**In case, you’ve forgotten how the

Birthday Seasons Rules came to be

  (because you are getting old and forget a lot of things)

here’s how :

Many years ago my good friend Bernice and I were sitting in a motel room (don’t go THERE – we were at the motel, attending an imagery conference) eating doughnuts for breakfast.  We picked this motel because it had FREE doughnuts and coffee every morning.   It was just before our birthdays which are a few weeks apart.

A bit giddy from not sleeping well on motel mattresses and slightly inebriated on chocolate covered doughnuts, we decided that if we were going to get older each year we would at least take advantage of our accumulating age.  We created OUR BIRTHDAY SEASON.

"Food for thought . . . "
“Doughnuts . . . . . . .Food for thought . . . “

Click here for my birthday “make-overs” I was contemplating last year: 17 years and 2 months left to live

I Resolve to be Resolute about my New Year’s Resolutions

Changing behavior is VERY hard work.  I think conserving energy is very important in this hectic world and that’s why I’ve always tried to avoid toooooo much behavior change toooooo fast.

HOWEVER, as I get older there is less and less time to do all the things I want to accomplish.  So this year I’m determined to keep my resolutions.

My 2016 Resolutions:  

  1. I will think a lot more about how I could get a lot more organized.
  2. I will read more real life stories about how women lost weight and successfully kept it off.
  3. I will focus more on doing things that come easily to reduce the amount of wasted time on figuring out how to do what is difficult.
  4. I will stop dwelling on what I resolved to do in 2015.
  5. I will spend 2016 getting ready for 2017.

Wish me luck!

I wish you a HEALTHY 2016 filled with LOVE.P1040230

"There she goes . . . again"
“There she goes . . . again”

My Naughty or Nice Pome

When you’re stuck in the middle tween naughty or nice

here’s free advice to add some spice

Be sure to indulge in all things obscene

(as long as the police don’t intervene)

You can’t live twice . . . so shake, rattle ‘n roll . . . them dice

snake-eyes-7520068

What goes UP will come DOWN

The excitement is contagious.  WATCH!!!!!!


“With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine communication and Internet of Things solutions. The ORBCOMM launch is targeted for an evening launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.”

The 11 satellites were deployed approximately 20 minutes after liftoff at 17,000 miles an hour!!!!!!!!, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM.

 

ORBCOMM-2 Full Launch Webcast

Chocolate chip cookie – OREO – Brownie recipe!!

I have been Oreo-deprived for years. I don’t buy them because they are potato chips to me – can’t stop with one.  When my good friend Linda sent this recipe I thought I’d die and go to heaven.  AND it seemed toooooo simple.

I have 4 potlucks to go to so I immediately went to the big box store and bought a TUB of cookie dough, enough for more than 80 cookies.

NO trans fat
Healthy, NO trans fat
10 packages, possible trans fats
10 packages, possible trans fats

a 10-package box of Oreo cookies

 

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Triple Chocolate, triple trans fat

and a Box of brownie mix that makes 8 batches of brownies.

First Pot luck:

  • I ate 2 packages of the Oreo cookies to make sure they were fresh. 
  • 1 layer of chocolate chip cookie dough on bottom of 13″ x 9″ pan
  • 1 layer of Oreos.
  • 1 package of brownie mix (per mix instructions) poured over top.  Didn’t seem like enough brownie mix for the 13 x 9 pan so I made 2 packages.
  • Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes it was soup.  After 55 minutes it was congealed enough to remove. (and I was afraid the chocolate chip cookie dough on the bottom would be burnt).  Soft and squishy and any trace of Oreo had been drowned in the brownie batter.  BUT verrrrrrrrrry tasty.

Second Pot luck:

I ate another package of Oreo’s to make sure they were still fresh and this time only made one batch of brownie mix.

SUCCESS!!!

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2 More Potlucks to go . . . Need to buy more Oreos

Thanks Linda B.  You ARE the best!

An easy way for you to feel grateful EVERY DAY.

My brother Rick told me about The Greater Good.  Everyday I click on 6 of the sites.  With every click I remind myself to feel grateful to be living in a free country where I have access to things much of the world does not have.

It’s free and every click counts toward making this a better world.

(plus there are some cool free-trade things to buy that help people around the world)

Click on Greater Good and subscribe to get a daily e-mail reminder to be grateful.  Here are a list of the giving sites.

Research shows that feeling grateful doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps – literally helps – the heart.

judy's journal
judy’s journal

“A positive mental attitude is good for your heart. It fends off depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease, says Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Mills specializes in disease processes and has been researching behavior and heart health for decades. He wondered if the very specific feeling of gratitude made a difference, too.”

“He recruited 186 men and women, average age 66, who already had some damage to their heart, either through years of sustained high blood pressure or as a result of heart attack or even an infection of the heart itself. They each filled out a standard questionnaire to rate how grateful they felt for the people, places or things in their lives.”

“It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. “They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,” says Mills.”

“And when Mills did blood tests to measure inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury or plaque buildup in the arteries, he found lower levels among those who were grateful — an indication of better heart health.”

“So Mills did a small followup study to look even more closely at gratitude. He tested 40 patients for heart disease and noted biological indications of heart disease such as inflammation and heart rhythm. Then he asked half of the patients to keep a journal most days of the week, and write about two or three things they were grateful for. People wrote about everything, from appreciating children to being grateful for spouses, friends, pets, travel, jobs and even good food.”

“After two months, Mills retested all 40 patients and found health benefits for the patients who wrote in their journals. Inflammation levels were reduced and heart rhythm improved. And when he compared their heart disease risk before and after journal writing, there was a decrease in risk after two months of writing in their journals.”

“Mills isn’t sure exactly how gratitude helps the heart, but he thinks it’s because it reduces stress, a huge factor in heart disease.”

“Taking the time to focus on what you are thankful for,” he says, “letting that sense of gratitude wash over you — this helps us manage and cope.”

“And helps keep our hearts healthy.”

Much is required from those to whom much is given.
–Luke 12:48

He that give should never remember, he that receives should never forget. –The Talmud

How to cook a turkey FAST and painlessly (for you not the bird)

It’s that time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

img_00131 I have a reputation, among those who know me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though How to Cook A Turkey with 500 degree heat sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.

The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.
 I’ve done this every year for over three decades and it’s never failed.  (One time I did a 20-plus pounder and parts were not completely cooked so I zapped the parts in the microwave)
 
I’ve shared this with many others and it has failed only once — the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey . . . and has never eaten turkey since. To see why, keep reading.
 
Ingredients:
10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
 
Directions:
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

 

Turn the World Blue

“This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?”

“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Un Headquarters New York
Un Headquarters New York

Every year the U.N. and its member nations observe October 24th as United Nations Day around the world. This year, as the U.N. marks its seventh decade,

“Consider the creation of the infinite universe. This globe of ours is one of the smallest planets. Those stupendous bodies revolving in yonder immeasurable space, the infinite blue canopy of God, are many times greater than our small earth. To our eyes this globe appears spacious; yet when we look upon it with divine eyes, it is reduced to the tiniest atom. This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?” – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy

Frankly Freddie – National Human Day

Dear Human-beings,

Although it’s officially National Dog Day I am celebrating National Human Day.  (Have to toss humans a “bone” every so often)

Human-beings are weird critters but we canines love you anyway. We try to take good care of you but, as you know, humans can be stubborn, arbitrary and difficult to train.  That’s why most of us prefer to adopt those of you who are already toilet trained, like to walk and can open the refrigerator.  But humans who drool, roll around the ground and babble can be fun playmates even when they are as old as my human-being.

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Pulblished Poet
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, RET

Do me a favor and click on The Greater Good – Animal Rescue Site.  It’s free and every click helps all my buddies.  (There are also some Greater Good Sites that help Human Beings.)

And since It’s Freddie’s National Human Being Day treat yourself to a walk, a nap and something to chew on.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT, RET

Pluto and beyond “. . . will a Race one day stand really tall”

IF ONLY WE HAD TALLER BEEN

By Ray Bradbury

O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

“NASA New Horizons Pluto Mission Tribute Video! | NPR Hundreds of images from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto stitched together in retro newsreel form with audio of American science fiction author Ray Bradbury reading his beautiful poem “If Only We Had Taller Been.”‘

pluto-charon-false-color_wide-f242f06d28a8d782392397c78967cee8b205dda6-s800-c85

New false-color images of Pluto and the moon Charon exaggerate colors to highlight differences in their surface compositions, NASA says. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/14/422840586/nasa-zooms-in-on-pluto-for-closest-views-yet

 


From the Ridiculous to the Sublime on July 4th

You’ll have to go elsewhere if you want beer, back yard bar-b-ques and fireworks for the Fourth of July.  More interesting (to me) is Benjamin Franklin’s letter to his daughter, in which he explains his choice of the turkey, a “bird of courage” for the National Bird instead of   the an eagle, a bird of “bad moral character” and “a rank coward” to represent the majesty of our great nation:

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“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.”

“With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country…”

“. .  . For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”  Franklin Institute  Read more: American Myths, Smithsonian Magazine

I leave you with the sublime

Download “Amazing Grace” by Condoleezza Rice and Jenny Oaks Baker on iTunes: http://apple.co/1LElsTB

All proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Thanks Lyn!

Not on my bucket list, never on my bucket list, but if it were I now check it off

Google Maps Now Lets You Scale Yosemite’s El Capitan Mountain

 by  

“. . . Google Maps users can use Street View for a first-person climb on both the The Nose and a portion of the Dawn Wall routes for scaling El Cap.”

The advantage of Google’s Street View mountaineering is that you don’t actually have to risk anything to do it, except maybe a static shock from your mouse depending on if you’ve been shuffling your feet around on carpeting.”

” . . . Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell performed the climb used to capture the imagery . . . “

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/24/google-maps-now-lets-you-scale-yosemites-el-capitan-mountain/

 

READ THIS! – There is hope.

This fascinating article helps me understand the Baha’i principle – The “greater good” outweighs the “lesser good”.   I do know that good things are born out of suffering and sacrifice but I must remind myself that this world isn’t instant cup-a-soup.  

Below are some excerpts  

judy journal page - collage
judy journal page – collage

How The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Remade A Generation Of Somalis

“The world’s largest refugee camp is also a giant social experiment.”

“Take hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing a war. Shelter them for 24 years in a camp in Kenya run by the United Nations. And offer different opportunities than they might have had if they’d stayed in Somalia.”

‘”Probably the most interesting and misunderstood thing about Dadaab is that the refugee camp has had a kind of liberalizing influence,” says Ban Rawlence.”

“They are a ready-made middle class,” Rawlence says. “Educated Somalis who are ready and waiting to move into Somalia to rebuild the country.”‘

“The Kenyan government wants the experiment to end, soon. It’s pushing the refugees to return to their home in Somalia, though the camp called Dadaab is the only home many have known.”

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“Habiba Abdurahman fled the war in Somalia when she was six, with her mother and sisters. She had lived in a village where girls rarely went to school. Suddenly she was in a camp where international organizations offered free tutoring for girls to catch up academically. In her village, female genital mutilation was common. In the camp FGM was not only illegal but there were constant messages against it.”

“At 27 Abdurahman was elected a camp chairwoman, under election rules designed to promote gender equality. Last year she went back to Somalia on a U.N.-sponsored “look and see” trip to the liberated city of Kismayo. The trip was meant to assure refugees that parts of Somalia were finally safe enough to return to. But what she saw shocked her.”

“What kind of person would she be if she’d grown up there instead of here in the camp?”

Click here to read the entire article: 

How The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Remade A Generation Of Somalis

by GREGORY WARNER

 

 

Listen to the #1 song on the day you were born.

A strange and wonderful place this internet . . .  Here’s a site which plays the song that was Number One on the day you were born. If there is a video available with the artist, it will play it for you.

http://playback.fm/birthday-song

Enjoy the show Rick – MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! (I didn’t like my birthday song . . .)

Thanks Sharon for sending this!

Being tired is exhausting

I look normal, I act normal (relatively normal)However, I feel exhausted much of the time, my body aches from head to toe and my brain sometimes has trouble remembering or concentrating.  Please don’t tell me to exercise more, eat better, try acupuncture or go to a new doctor.  After 20 years I’ve tried just about everything there is to try that I can afford, swallow or legally do.

I don’t even care anymore what you call it: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, malingering . . . it’s just tiring being tired much of the time.  I push through it otherwise I’d have no life.  But the price for pushing can be days of crashing so I pick and choose my commitments.

Judy's Journal, Mixed Media, Collage
judy’s Journal, Collage

No one knows what causes it or how to make it better.  Looking back, I think I’ve had it my whole life.  But I’m lucky because it didn’t become full-blown until I was an adult.  For teens and young adults it’s really hard. Read this article by teens and 10 things they want the public to know.   Teens who live with chronic illness and the 10 things they want you to know.

I’ve blogged about it before:

The Mask of Invisibility and me

Fibromyalgia, Dx: Hysterical Middle-Aged Woman’s Syndrome

I prefer not to talk about it, write about it, dwell on it.  It is what it is and I’m blessed that it’s not life threatening.  But today is World Awareness Day for neuro-immune illnesses of ME/Chronic Fatigue (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Lyme disease, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). It’s an opportunity to raise public awareness of these conditions that impact millions all over the world.

It’s a good bet that you or someone you know has one of these invisible conditions . . . if you didn’t before, you do now.

“H” is for Hunger

This video is worth 2 minutes and 50 seconds of your time.  

“We surprised kids with a stunning fact: 1 in 5 children faces hunger in the U.S. Then we asked them for ideas on how we could fight child hunger together. Their thoughts were smart, creative, and heartfelt.

Visit http://ChildHungerEndsHere.com to learn more.

“Special thanks to ConAgra Foods and Points of Light’s generationOn for helping to bring together these bright, creative young kids to help #FightHungerTogether.”

http://soulpancake.com

 

 

 

“E” is for Earthrise

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” Corinthians 1:10

“God has created the world as one—the boundaries are marked out by man.”

“The conviction that we belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith. The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve…”

The Baha’i World Faith

Take a look at this spectacular view of where we all dwell.

“In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled,

the most important thing they discovered was Earth.”

Thank you so much Gloria for sending this video! 

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 

Pi Day – delectable anyway you compute it.

Most of you read my blog for cultural awareness and fast breaking scientific events such as Pi Day on March 14 .  This year it’s even more special because it’s 3/14/15!!!!!

 The Greek letter “π (pronounced pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.  That’s why Pi Day is an annual international celebration.

Now pay attention.  To celebrate you eat pie on 3/14/15 at exactly 9:26 am and again at 9:26 pm because “a sequential time occurs on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53.58979… following the sequence of pi to all digits.” Now THAT is something to celebrate.

There are NUMBEROUS* ways (over a trillion) to celebrate this most auspicious mathematical concept which you can find here: How to Celebrate Pi Day .  The best, and only way as far as I’m concerned, is to eat a pie.

Since pi is a Greek letter if you are cutting down on sugar you could eat Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) instead.

Pi Pie at Delft University
Pi Pie at Delft University

 *”Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.”  SEE!!! Culture and science can be fun!

Retirement is like sex

I don’t know about you but I secretly harbor “anticipations” when there is a first in my life – a hope that I will miraculously be a different person when I wake up the day after.

Because two big firsts – my 70th birthday and retirement – occurred almost simultaneously just MAYBE, I think, maybe this time I’ll have a genuine epiphany – spectacular insight into who I REALLY am at the core of my being . . . or at least a surge of renewed energy.

"I can't believe what she's saying . . . again"
“I can’t believe what she’s saying .  . . . . again”

I was trying to describe to a friend what it felt like the first day after I turned 70, saw my last client and was officially retired.  “. . .  kinda like right after my first sexual “experience” – I was disappointed that I didn’t feel like a different person, more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive, but I did wonder if other people could tell.”

Same experience all over again: Don’t feel any different; Don’t feel more mature, sophisticated, enlightened, intelligent, alive . . . but perhaps other people can tell something big just happened to me by how I walk or talk or act?

So far no one seems to notice anything . . .  maybe that’s because I’m trying not to walk funny.

My Birthday Season . . . I’m still 70

Received this birthday “reminder” from my friend Sharon, who, yes even after receiving this, I still call my friend.

Questions and Answers from CARP Forum

Q: Where can single men over the age of 70 find younger women who are interested in them?

A: Try a bookstore, under Fiction.

Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?

A: Keep busy. If you’re handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you’re done, you will have a place to live.

Q: Someone has told me that menopause is mentioned in the bible… Is that true?
Where can it be found?

A: Yes. Matthew 14:92:
“And Mary rode Joseph’s ass all the way to Egypt…”

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your over-70 year-old husband?

A: Tell him you’re pregnant.

Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly wrinkles?

A: Take off your glasses.

Q: Seriously! What can I do for these crow’s feet and all those wrinkles on my face?

A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out..

Q: Why should 70-plus year old people use valet parking?

A: Valets don’t forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 70-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?

A: Storing memory is not a problem, Retrieving it is the problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?

A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where should 70-plus year olds look for eye glasses?

A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 70-plus year olds when they enter antique stores?

A: “Gosh, I remember these!”

 

Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

I’ve been 70 for 4 days and I still feel like I’m 69 . . . maybe I’ll feel my age in a few more days.  

My long-time “Fibro-friend” came to celebrate my birthday with me.  She wasn’t invited but she came anyway. She said that’s what friends are for.  But I showed her and didn’t have a celebration.  Here’s my birthday pome to me (in blue) with an intro by “Mac”:

Happy Birthday from “Mac” and Me

(with apologies to Fleetwood Mac)

“If you wake up and don’t want to smile
If it takes just a little while
Open your eyes and look at the day
You’ll see things in a different way”

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow

Don’t stop. It’ll soon be here”

So don’t fret my dear

A new year to cheer

there’s nothing to fear

You may be old

but you’re still here!

A live performance of Fleetwood Mac’s classic hit, ‘Don’t Stop’ with help from the University of Southern California’s Trojans Marching Band

 

This is NOT a Kiss ‘n Tell moment. It’s not even Kiss ‘n Talk

How can you not admire people who are clear about what their priorities are . . . Ya gotta watch this to the end of the video! (I hope “green guy” has a sense of humor)

Thanks Sharon for the laugh!

I should’a announced retirement 10 years before I retired – A Valentine Love Letter

I’m a bit upset with all of you who have e-mailed me or commented on my retirement with such incredibly loving, affirming messages and gifts.   I’m upset because it’s now too late to use all of you for testimonials to promote my services.  Where were you when I could have taken advantage of you?  I could be retiring a millionaire.

There are so many people who have touched my life I can’t begin to list them all. These are just a few in recent time:   Sherry, Lisa, Linda, Margo, Susan, Joyce, Bryan, Adele, Liz, Peggy, Cathy, Doug, Chris, Ramesh, Paula, Ron,  Kathy, Denise, Ann, Rich, Nan, Kate, Erin, Alma, Kathe, Ruta, Lyn, Abbie, Jackie, Jan, Ida, Jan, Alma, Rosemary, Denise, Fariba, Margi, Diane, Vivian, Christine, Theresa, Mike, Becca, Carolyn, Vandi, Kim, Daru, Bernice, Deborah, Laura, Tessa, Hank, Jamey, Carol, Theresa, Mary, Blair, Barry, Sandyha, Marc, Cindy, Sam, Laurie, Sally (if I’ve left anyone out please be forgiving as there are literally hundreds and hundreds). 

I have met the most wonderful people in my life and career – people who dedicate themselves to helping others, giving to others, people who have gone through painful, frightening, confusing times only to come out stronger and wiser and more loving on the other end.  You all have been an inspiration to me and I say that from the bottom of my tired, irregularly beating heart.

I’ve been a psychotherapist for 30+ years and needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) it’s been a huge part of my identity.  I painted this canvas a few decades ago when I was in another “identity” shift – 

Acrylic on canvas
Acrylic on canvas

struggling with who I was as a person with a chronic medical condition.  The picture was done in about 15 minutes, spontaneously, without planning or forethought.  It surprised me.  It is symbolic to me of emergence and hung in my office.

It’s probably time to paint another and see if I’m growing a third head.

With love and gratitude to each and every one of you who have touched my life,

judyJudith

P.S.  I suggest you consider announcing your pending retirement or your demise (which ever you think may come first) as soon as possible so you can enjoy the nice things people say . . . . and find out who is keeping mum .  . .

In case you missed my announcement: Are the rumors true I’m retiring?

Friday the 13th – my LUCKY day

Seventy years ago I emerged from the womb – my mother’s to be precise.  If that isn’t lucky I don’t know what is.  

As you know,  I had decided to celebrate my Birthday Season for 70 days in advance this year.  However, it didn’t work out as I had planned because no one followed rule #3.  So I am giving you another chance.  Starting today I will continue to celebrate for another 70 days.  

Please review the rules so you understand what your part is.

Here are The Birthday Season* Official Rules that start again today:

  1. Beginning on the day of your birth your season lasts the number of days you are old.  You may start your Birthday Season before the day of your birth.  But you cannot exceed the number of days you are old. Consequently, every year your Birthday Season is one day longer.  With me so far?
  2. You are to celebrate your birth the entire season by choosing whatever you wish to do, or NOT do,  each day.  So far so good!
  3. People give you presents the entire season.  SO GOOD, so far!
  4. You must be over 50 to qualify for Birthday Season status.  (Over 50 you need more time to celebrate because it takes you longer.)
  5. Those who are under the age of 50 can celebrate a Birthday Season as long as they don’t tell anyone or demand presents. (Gargle thoroughly after breakfast to eliminate tell-tale “Birthday Season Breath”.
  6. You must eat doughnuts everyday for breakfast during your season. (If you don’t like doughnuts you can choose anything you want as long as it isn’t healthy).
  7. Every day of your season you must be grateful for being born and still being alive.  (After your Birthday Season is over you can revert to moaning about your age).

*For those of you who don’t know how “The Birthday Season” came into being here’s the link My Birthday Season or you can have your donut and eat it too. 

Retirement history II – put me out to pasture and plow me under (parenthetically speaking)

Good news! I was neither eaten nor chloroformed to live another day and tell about Part II of the:

The History of Retirement, From Early Man to A.A.R.P.

By MARY-LOU WEISMAN for the New York Times

PASTURE-IZING THE ELDERLY

“It was the world-renowned physician William Osler who laid the scientific foundations that, when combined with a compelling economic rationale, would eventually make retirement acceptable. In his 1905 valedictory address at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he had been physician-in-chief, Osler said it was a matter of fact that the years between 25 and 40 in a worker’s career are the ”15 golden years of plenty.” He called that span ”the anabolic or constructive period.” Workers between ages 40 and 60 were merely uncreative and therefore tolerable. He hated to say it, because he was getting on, but after age 60 the average worker was ”useless” and should be put out to pasture.” (I’m 70, that means put out to pasture . . .  and . . .  plowed under . . .  for the next crop)

THE BIG PAYOFF

By 1935, it became evident that the only way to get old people to stop working for pay was to pay them enough to stop working.  A Californian, (Of course California . . . where else . . . ) Francis Townsend, initiated a popular movement by proposing mandatory retirement at age 60. In exchange, the Government would pay pensions of up to $200 a month, an amount equivalent at the time to a full salary for a middle-income worker. Horrified at the prospect of Townsend’s radical generosity, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Social Security Act of 1935, which made workers pay (and pay and pay and pay) for their own old-age insurance.

LEISURE WEARING

“What used to mean going to bed suddenly meant banishment to an empty stage of life called ”retirement.” If people were not going to work, what were they going to do? Sit in a rocking chair? Eleanor Roosevelt thought so. ”Old people love their own things even more than young people do. It means so much to sit in the same chair you sat in for a great many years,”  she said in 1934. But she was wrong. (Yes, she was wrong. I sit because it’s too hard to get up) Most retired people wished they could work. (That’s because we are scared of being eaten or plowed under) The problem was still acute in 1951, when the Corning company convened a round table to figure out how to make retirement more popular. At that conference, Santha Rama Rau, an author and student of Eastern and Western cultures, complained that Americans did not have the capacity to enjoy doing nothing.” (the verdict is still out, I’ll let you know)

SENIORS ARE BORN

“The publication in 1955 of Senior Citizen magazine was the first widespread use of the euphemism (If Senior Citizen is an euphemism – “OLD-WOMAN” is a swear word) that, while intending to reconfer respect, instead made a senior citizen sound like an over-decorated captain in ”The Pirates of Penzance.” Its merely partial success may also be linked to the fact that there is something inherently suspicious about an age group that has to offer its potential members discounts to induce them to join.”

THE R WORD

In 1999, The American Association of Retired Persons, once the Welcome Wagon of retirement, dropped the word ”retired” from its name and became The American Association of R****** Persons. This change was effected in recognition of a basic reality — many of its members are not retired — and in anticipation of the baby boomers’ threat never to stop wearing Lycra, turn gray, stop carrying around bottled water or retire. (I have the Lycra, grey hair and bottled water  . . .  now to find me a job)

Part I of Retirement History

"I can't believe what she's saying"
“LYCRA!  I do not want to look”

My Retirement – be eaten or worshipped. Do I have a choice? (parenthetically speaking)

(Since this is the first time I’ve ever retired it’s important to understand what lies ahead . . . and behind.   I hope history doesn’t keep repeating itself even when I do.)

The History of Retirement, From Early Man to A.A.R.P.

By MARY-LOU WEISMAN for the New York Times
 IN THE BEGINNING

“In the beginning, there was no retirement. There were no old people. (Very true – in the beginning I was much younger) In the Stone Age, everyone was fully employed until age 20, by which time nearly everyone was dead, usually of unnatural causes. Any early man who lived long enough to develop crow’s-feet was either worshiped or eaten as a sign of respect.” (I’ll take the worship and pass on being respected)

“Even in Biblical times, when a fair number of people made it into old age, retirement still had not been invented and respect for old people remained high.  In those days, it was customary to carry on until you dropped, regardless of your age group — no shuffleboard, no Airstream trailer. When a patriarch could no longer farm, herd cattle or pitch a tent, he opted for more specialized, less labor-intensive work, like prophesying and handing down commandments Or he moved in with his kids.” (I have no kids to hand down my commandments to so I’ll concentration on prophesying)

ELDER HOSTILE

“As the centuries passed, the elderly population increased. (Very true – as time has passed I’ve increasingly gotten more elderly) By early medieval times, their numbers had reached critical mass.  It was no longer just a matter of respecting the occasional white-bearded patriarch. Old people were everywhere, giving advice, repeating themselves (I’ve always repeated myself, my occupation has been giving advice that is worth repeating), complaining about rheumatism, trying to help, getting in the way and making younger people feel guilty.”

Hanging on
Hanging on

“Plus they tended to hang on to their wealth (I hang on to the fantasy of being wealthy) and property.  This made them very unpopular with their middle-aged sons, who were driven to earn their inheritances the old-fashioned way, by committing patricide. (. . . a few benefits to having no wealth) Even as late as the mid-18th century, there was a spate of such killings in France. In 1882, Anthony Trollope wrote a futuristic novel, ”The Fixed Period,” in which he foresaw retiring large numbers of old men to a place where they would be encouraged to enjoy a year of contemplation, followed by a peaceful chloroforming. (ANYTHING peaceful at my age is appealing) But this was hardly an acceptable long-term strategy.”

 . . . to be continued . . . if I live long enough . . .

Part II of Retirement History

A Cautionary Tale – Pome

Boogie while you’re young

Pierce your tongue

Dye your hair green

Eat fat, not the lean

Don’t give a lick what makes you tick

Eat, drink and be merry

because if you tarry

you’ll soon be too old

all covered with mold

And have to scrap it off with a stick

First time she's made any sense . . .
First time she’s made any sense . . .

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