Saturday, January 27, 2007
On a Merry-Go-Round
When I first came down to Florida this winter I had some health problems that I had to attend to. It took about a month for me to get into the swing of things but since then I have been cooking on all burners. As a matter of fact I turned down an invitation to go to the movies on Saturday and if you know what a movie goer I am, that's saying a lot.
Since last Sunday there has been something doing every single day, even out to breakfast at a country club with a group, and going out to breakfast is not my cup of tea. I am not a morning person and for me, to go out to breakfast, that's really something. Why did I go, because I had heard the club was beautiful and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to see it. Yes, it was lovely!
To give you a sampling of what's going on here, this is what I was up to last week.
Sunday - A luncheon at a country club with an organization that I belong to.Those are just a few highlights of the week - then there are always errands to squeeze in like getting gas, going to the bank, going to the cleaners and on and on.
Monday - Mah-Jong
Tuesday - 9:30 breakfast at country club
Wednesday - Dinner and show at my clubhouse
Thursday - Lunch out and a card game at a friend's home
Friday - The Lettermen at my clubhouse
Even at 81 I'm still trying to learn to say "no, I can't make it," but finally on Saturday that's what I did, passed up the movie, just had to stay home and catch up with myself.
Now I'm looking at the February calender and this is a sampling of what's coming up:
February 11 - Chelsea Reunion - that's the city I grew up in, pepole come from all over - one year 900 prople attended - since that time the number attending averages about 600 or 700 people.The trouble with all these events is they come one day after another!! Ideally, it would be great if they were scheduled all through the month. What's a person to do -When I made a commitment to one, I was not aware of the other trips that were coming up. Somethings you just can't control.
February 12 - Hard Rock Resort in Hollywood, Fl. A bus will take us to this exciting resort, cost $30.00 per person. This includes the cost of the transportation, lunch money and gambling coupons. I'm not a gambler so I'm planning to have lunch and spend my time at the beautiful pool area.
February 13 - Florida Friends of Hebrew SeniorLife is planning "A Night in Polynesia Dinner Show" at the Mai Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Again, transportation is provided.
With all this going on I have not visited my blogging friends as much as I would like and find it a challenge to make a weekly post. If you don't see my posts as regularly as usual, not to worry, I'm not sick, have not left the country or have quit blogging, I'm just on a Merry-Go-Round and one of these days I will get off.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
With all the talk about the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards I thought I would make a post about what, "in my opinion" I would give the awards to.
BEST LOCAL RESTAURANT
SONNY'S, West Atlantic in Delray
The other night two of my friends and I ate at this local eatery. When we walked in there were no tables available for three people, only tables for two. After a short while a couple that were seated at a table of four got up from their table and went to a table that seated two, called out to us that we could have their table! Weren't they nice!!
Once we were seated we studied the menu and the three of us decided to order the Boston Scrod since we had heard their fish was good. Before the waitress came to take our orders a patron approached our table and said, "you look like nice ladies, I want to tell you that I had the lamb chops and they were especially good."
That did it, we all ordered the lamb chops!
flickr photo by by LynnInSingapore
The chops turned out to be succulent, tasty and very thin, not like the baby lamb chops that we expected. We came to the conclusion they were cut from a rack of lamb. We acknowledged this to our "friend" at the other table. She then proceeded to tell us about the great homemade apple strudel that the chef makes. Not only was the dessert delicious, it was topped with vanilla ice cream.
We met thoughtful people, we had a great meal AND during the meal the owner and chef sang a few operatic arias, and then to top it all he sang, "A Yiddish Mama." He's still learning the words to that one so he had a crib sheet. I bet the next time I'm at his place he'll have another Yiddish song under his belt.
Four stars to Sonny's
Four stars to the patrons at Sonny's
Palm Beach County Library
Once a month the library presents a book review which is conducted by a retired librarian who tells us she reads thirty books a week, yes thirty books a week. Her delivery is dynamic, knows her facts and has a great sense of humor.
Her approach is this:
First she talks about the authorThis month the book was, "Wish You Well," by David Baldacci. Baldacci is the author of ten New York Times best sellers and I believe he is only in his mid-forties. All of his previous books were mysteries, this one is totally different.
Then she talks about the book
Then she follows up with a question and answer period.
The setting is in south-western Virginia in the 1970s, it's a homespun tale which will take you on a roller-coaster ride and keep you turning pages.
Four stars for the librarian
Four stars for "Wish You Well"
Next month the book to be reviewed is "The Great Influenza" by John M. Barry. I don't know how I'll feel about "Influenza" but I will give it a try.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
MY TRIP FROM 65 to 81
Ronni has honored me by asking me to be a guest blogger on Time Goes By. The question she posed to me went something like this, "How have you changed, how has your life changed, how has your daily life changed in the past 16 years?"
What huge questions! Ronni picked sixteen years because she just turned 65. The answer, in a nutshell, is that my life is totally different now at 81 than it was back when I was 65. I'm a different person in many ways. Life happens, you need to adjust and to accept those things that you cannot change and go on with your life.
Many wives complain about having their husbands under their feet when they stop working. In my case, we had no problem, he did his thing, I did mine and then there were times we did things together, that way we made life interesting for both of us.
Soon after my husband retired we started spending the winter months in Florida.
We took advantage of the many activities that our complex offered. Like my mother taught me, "If you don't go out, nothing will happen." So I went out and things happened.
It was an opportunity for me to meet people who had different backgrounds and different ideas than my own. It wasn't difficult meeting new people to spend time with. It's not hard for me because I listen when most people talk.
I had to learn how to deal with people that were nothing like my good old friends from up north.
What I quickly realized was that you have a history with your old friends that is irreplaceable. There's a comfort level that is built up over years of shared experiences. I've been coming down to Florida for 18 years and have made a lot of friends, but only a handful of them approach the closeness and comfort of those old friendships.
Ah- losses, those were hard times - I lost my husband when I was 68, he was 74, Five months later his sister died, after that other family members and friends passed away.
It was during those days I realized how strong I had become. My husband had always encouraged me to do things for myself. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be driving today. So many husbands say to their wives, "honey, I'll take you wherever you want to go." They take care of all the financial matters and when "push comes to shove" the wives are helpless. Not so in my case.
For some reason I always have trouble spelling the word "decision." I think it's because I have had trouble in the past when it comes to making an important decision but as time goes by it's not as difficult as it once was. Experience is a good teacher.
After my husband died I knew it was time to sell the house. The friends that I had were all married, had lives of their own and I had to make a new life for myself. What to do, where to go? I gave it a great deal of thought, thought about it and thought about it. I almost made a mistake by considering a development where two of my dearest married friends lived. What a mistake that would have been! They were supportive but I needed to be where I could meet other widows and single ladies.
Fortunately for me, in that case, I moved very slowly and finally found a development where I knew a few single ladies. It took me three years to do "the deed" but it paid off because the day I moved in I knew it was the right place for me. The neighbors were welcoming and I fit right it.
Challenges of a New Life
Another big decision I had to make was, "Do I stop going to Florida for the winter." Even though I had been going to Florida for years with my husband, this was different - could I do everything that had to be done to get ready, I would be alone and have to make new friends, it would be a totally new life.
I sat on that for a while and then a light bulb went on, "if I wasn't happy, I could always come back home." At that point I was strong enough to realize that's what I had to do. If I hadn't gone that winter I wouldn't have been going all these years.
How Have I Changed?
Another big question. I'm more confident, assertive and independent. I'm more selective about how I spend my time, I'd rather read a good book or be on the computer than spend it doing something I wouldn't enjoy.
When I was 65 I did not think about age, my health was good, I baked, I cooked and had family and friends over for dinner, Now at 81, no more baking, very little cooking and very little housekeeping, I move a lot slower now but what needs to get done, gets done today, if not there is always tomorrow.
At the age of 77 I started blogging. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that it would enrich my life the way it has. When I was a child I was this shy little girl and look at me now! I've been on TV, been written up in newspapers and made speeches!! This all came about because when I asked my son, "What is Blogging?" I took the challenge and started a whole new chapter in my life.
There's a lot of living to do between 65 and 81, there are bumps and pot holes in the road, but they can be repaired and life can be beautiful!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
What most people down here in Florida try to do is "not cook." Well I am no exception.
There is a deli near me that has everything you can imagine for a quick and easy meal, you name, they have it. Cold cuts, white fish, sable, lox, cream cheese, cream cheese with chives, cream cheese with vegies, chopped liver, chopped herring, tuna salad, chicken salad, crabmeat salad, potato salad, cole slaw and off course, knishes. I could go on and on but you get the idea. Are you still reading this or are you on the way to the kitchen to fix up a quick and easy dish?
Flickr photo by OiMax
Two of my favorite items are the barbecue chickens and the rolled cabbage which comes in a delicious sauce. Both freeze well and when I know that I will be eating in, I just take the item out of the freezer, cook some rice or bake a potato in the microwave and I am in business.
Well, the other day I took out the container of rolled cabbage and was all set to prepare the rice (minute rice) which goes so well with the sauce. I opened up the container and started to pour it into a pan in order to heat the contents.
Well to my surprise, there was no sauce, no cabbage, just some liquid that looked like chicken soup!! Guess what, it was chicken soup!! At that point I took everything out of the freezer trying to find the rolled cabbage - never found it!!
I remeber being in the deli and asking the salesperson for extra sauce ( Iove it so) I saw him fill the container and after that I can't tell you what happened. There definitely was a slip between the cup and the lip!
That night I had two surprises, one- no rolled cabbage for supper, instead I had hot dogs and beans.
Life is full of surprises, what are you going to do, you just have to go with the flow!!
Monday, January 01, 2007
Millie's Yiddish Class
Take a look at Millie's Yiddish Class: Lesson 1.
Learn Yiddish online with Millie's free video blog lessons.
At this time of year I always think of how I spent New Year's Eve at various times in my life.
It had to be in the 50's when my three single friends and I did not have a date for New Year's eve. Now, that was a terrible thing, it summed up the whole year. We were in our mid-twenties, were not married and did not even have a steady date. In those days if you were still single at that age people thought there was something wrong with you. We really were ahead of the times because today many girls don't get married until they are in their thirties.
Well, we were all feeling down in the dumps because the big night was approaching and we had no plans. Hallelujah the phone rang and it was one of my friends who told me that her married cousin was inviting the three lost souls to her home for dinner New Years eve.
We didn't have dates but we were welcomed to share the evening with some wonderful and very thoughtful people.
A FREEZING NIGHT
Another New Years evening that I'll never forget was here in Florida a few years ago. Every year they have what they call, "First Night" which is held outdoors, live entertainment and all kinds of fun outdoor activities that are part of the gala evening. Tickets were purchased and plans for dinner were made. The restaurant we went to was crowded noisy and expensive.
The forecast for the evening was "low 40's and high winds!" I bundled up, put on whatever I had to buffer the cold BUT, it was freezing out. The girls I went with were hardier souls then I, they had to stay until the ball dropped and if that was not enough we went out for coffee afterwards, I didn't warm up for days!! I never did that again.
Flickr photo by cobalt123
The first winter in Florida, after my husband retired, we went to a Chinese restaurant that not only had good food, but they also had a great band and were right near the ocean! It was the "in place" to go, not only were we with our friends but there were many people there that we knew. It was like old home week!
After midnight my husband and I took a walk on the sandy beach, we were wearing light clothing, no jackets, there was a balmy breeze and a full moon. For newly arrived snowbirds it was an unforgettable experience!