January 30, 2019 – NATIONAL CROISSANT DAY

I’m so glad I looked at today’s calendar. Who knew it was National Croissant Day? Could be fancy roll day for all I knew. Add 231 more calories to your diet day would work too.

Who makes up these days? Is there a committee that sits around a large table making up this stuff up? I miss the good old days of calendars that only showed the days of the week and Federal or National holidays. You remember the ones, New Year’s Day, Washington and Lincoln’s birthday, Memorial Day and so on. Geese, now we have combined the birthday’s to have President’s Day.

We also on most days get to pick out what National Day we want to take notice as most days have several choices. January 30th, must have been one of those days that the committee was bored. There is only one title while yesterday had four or five titles to pick from.

Are these days only for American’s or do other countries celebrate too? Do the French celebrate a Croissant Day or is everyday a celebration of this fancy roll?

Is it necessary to run to the local grocery store or bakery and pick up a few croissants for dinner tonight? I already have a Mexican dish on the menu. Maybe I should have conferred with the calendar first? Maybe I should have made French Fries for dinner?

Don’t jump to any conclusions as I just read, ” “The croissant began as the Austrian kipfel but became French the moment people began to make it with puffed pastry, which is a French innovation,” says Chevallier. … Legend credits the French queen Marie Antoinette—homesick for a taste of her native Vienna—with introducing the kipfel, and thus the croissant, to France.

Maybe I should serve the little pastries more often since my Grandfather came here on a ship from Austria. That I knew!




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One Day It Just Happened

In the beginning it was always with me, the fear, the wondering, and the questions. The fear of it coming back. The not knowing if or maybe just when. Always something or someone to remind me. Never really looking in the mirror, as the scar was burned into my mind. It was always there, up front and foremost.

Then one day, it wasn’t. I don’t even know what that happened. I supposed it happened when talking about it all became easier. To answer questions regarding the discovery or the surgery became a matter of fact. No longer embarrassed by the lopsidedness. No longer embarrassed by the scars.

Then one day I realized I hadn’t thought about any of it for a long time. It was a day that I happened to look at the calendar and noticed another year had passed. Another year of being cancer free.

And so today started, knowing today marks the 11th year of my mastectomy. Eleven years of cancer free living. Several years of all the fear, questions and wondering gone. Now just something that was in my past. Something that pops up in conversations every now and then but without fear. Mostly when someone comments on the other tattoo I have on the back of my neck that celebrated my fifth year. A year of importance in the breast cancer world.

I am blessed in so many ways. I was diagnosed early, lymph nodes were all clean, needed no chemo or radiation, I had the loving support of my husband, daughter and many friends. With all of that I found it hard to look too far into the furture, but here I am eleven years later.

Happy Anniversary to me and to everyone that is celebrating being cancer free for any amount of time: a week, a month, a year or years! It’s a great day to be alive.

Why Do I Laugh?

The only excuse I can come up with, is that my mother always said, “Might as well laugh about it because crying never solved much of anything.”

So has been my life, me laughing at the most inappropriate times. How can anyone find something funny at a funeral and yet I seem to have that knack. Which doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing in these times of celebrations of life. But back in the day when funerals were a somber affair, I’ve had many people laying the ol evil eye on me as I choke back laughter of a memory of the dear departed. I can’t count the times I’ve had my hand squeezed in disapproval, in other works, shut up Dawn! This is not the time and place to laugh.

And so was it this past Saturday. After eight or nine hours of a steady hard sideways rain beating the South side of our house, it appeared that the wind had let up some. We were sitting at the bar finishing up our dinner when I noticed water in the floor. Strange little puddles in a place where no water should be. I said not a work until I confirmed my suspicions. Having to tell my husband we had a leak in the roof was not something I was looking forward to.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he’s a tyrant or such. The fact is he’s all but disabled with several issues with his spine. Climbing ladders, bending and physical labor, including even bending over to tie his shoes is very painful. But the bubble of water under the paint and drywall was nothing we could ignore.

To make matters worse this had to happen where the tall part of the house meets the roof of the main level. No way to get to up there except my extension ladder. After a few minutes of tearing away the wet drywall, there was finally a hole large enough that Kev could get his head into a better position with his flashlight to view the suspicious place. With me standing below him, holding the ladder to make myself feel better about him being six feet off the floor, the power went out.

And then it happened! I started to laugh. First let me tell you, up here on the mountain when we loose power it’s dark, like pitch black dark. Even when we have power it’s dark as we have no street lights up here. So here I stand, in the dark as Kev has his head stuck up in the whole in the ceiling along with the beam from the flashlight. I was thinking, ‘Really power company? Now?’

Of course now! Couldn’t be more fitting. I start to chuckle to myself. Might as well laugh, right? But that came to a quick halt when Kev pulled his had out of the hole and realized the house was dark. I supposed he was wondering why I had turned off the lights as he asked if we had lost power. I will not repeat the names he called the power company but sailors would have run from our house.

With me again holding the ladder, this time outside while Kev went up on the roof to nail an old shower curtain over the place where the rain was leaking in, I said several prayers that he would not slide off the roof. I was totally relieved when I heard him coming back to the ladder. The ladder and I were on the front side of the house where the rain was blowing over.

As he reached the ladder I looked up and realized it had stopped raining. “So now it stops raining!” Kev says.

“Well, at least the place is covered and the lights are back on,” I say as I bust out in laughter.

Thank goodness my husband loves me because at this point anyone else laughing might have had second thought about laughing at the situation.

The good news is after several phone calls, the problem is fixed, no more water running in as it rained again three days later. Now, we just have to get the drywall repaired and painted.

Rude Awakening

Having spent most of my adult like working like a fool, long hours for many weeks and months. I’ve held down jobs that most men would not physically do. I worked twelve plus hours then went home and worked around the house. After all, I was raised to believe hard work never killed anyone. Who was the fool that said that?

Okay, so maybe I’m not dead and I’ll soon be sixty-nine years old. I refuse to say I’m going to be sixty-nine years young. Another foolish saying. We would all like to think sixty-nine is the new forty-nine but it’s not! A lesson well learned this morning as I attended a water aerobics class.

Now granted, I’ve pretty much been a couch potato or slug as I like to say, since I had back surgery last summer. Seems that I just got over the surgery when my hip decided it was their turn to announce that I’m not a spring chick any longer. Sweet, another excuse to be a lazy slug.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that just walking the dogs was not as easy as it once was even though my hip had given up on being painful. How can this be, after all I’m not even seventy? Oh, the silly things we ask and tell ourselves.

Okay, I give myself a pep talk. There must be a gym/pool here in the mountains somewhere that accepts my Silver Sneakers program from my Medicare Advance Insurance. Dammit, another excuse down the drain, as there is a facility not far away that has just what I’m looking for: water aerobics.

Today was my first day. I won’t say I was the youngest of the group but I was pretty far down the list. I’ve got this, I told myself. After all I use to go to water aerobics when I lived in Arizona two years ago. Plus I swam before class. Class had already started as I was four minutes late arriving. I was greeted with great big smiles and lots of welcomes. I was feeling really good about this.

I jumped right in and joined the group. All was well until I realized the eighty-five-year-old lady who had introduced herself was running circles around me as she talked. Actually running in the water while pumping her Styrofoam barbells. Yep, she was kicking my ass and smiling at me at the same time. Thank God the instructor said that everyone goes at their own pace here. If you need to slow down, then slow down.

Thank goodness, as I was pondering if my face hitting the water when I passed out from lack of oxygen would wake me up. So I slowed down a bit, which was a rude awakening. Me having to slow down? Then I found myself in a fight with a water noodle. Shamefully, I must confess that the water noodle kicked my ass too. Surely, no one over the age of seven can actually stand on a water noodle? I was proved wrong as while still fighting with my noodle, I noticed not only the eighty-five year old woman preforming the exercise, but so was everyone else. Kindly, the older lady turned to me and said for me not to worry about the noodle thing. It takes practice.

I can’t even begin to explain the relief I found when the instructor announced for all of us to go back to the shallow end of the pool. We all placed our noodles on the side of the pool and begin doing our cool down stretches. Praise the Lord, I’ve made it to the end of the class.

With big smiles most of the others asked if I would be back on Wednesday. I wanted to say, if I can move. But, I smiled back stating I was surely try and expressed how much I enjoyed the hour.

Only an hour? I thought I would need help getting up the pool’s ladder. My muscles felt like jello and I felt the need of a nap. Soon I was dressed and in my car heading home, thinking that I was going to be fine and Wednesday didn’t sound too horrible. After all I could rest on Tuesday!

As I drove the twenty miles home, I realized that I will have to skip the class on Wednesday as I need to drive my husband to the eye doctor that morning. I tried not to smile but the slug in me took over. I have till Friday to recover. Life is good.

39 Years and Still Kicking

If you would have told me thirty-nine years ago that one day I would be retired and living in the beautiful Smokey Mountains I would have thought you were stoned or crazy. Even more so if you would have told me that I would write several books. I couldn’t even keep a journal back then. I would start one and a few weeks into it, I would think, no one wants to read this stuff.

As thirty-nine years ago today, I was in the middle of a grand opening of a truck stop in North Canton, Ohio. A day I also marked as the day I quit smoking.  Why not add just a bit more stress to the day? Sounded like a great plant to me.

I don’t remember much about the opening, just that I remember I now held a job were I could afford a nice townhouse for my daughter and myself. Even after paying all the expenses, I still had a bit of money left over at the end of the month. Usually I had more days than money. 

I had moved away from my home town and state to begin a new chapter in my life. I was too young and dumb or too sure of myself to be scared. I knew not a soul in my new town but my guardian angel must of been with me as I ended up in a nice neighborhood and a wonder sitter for my four year old daughter. 

Sitting here this morning, I look back at all the places I’ve been, the people I have known, the things I have experienced, the choices I made, some of which were great adventures, others…well I keep on trying.

Once again I packed up, moved to a place where this time we, (my husband and I) moved to a place where we knew not a soul. But I have found peace in this place. It has given me time to reflect and enjoy. When it seems that all is wrong with the world, I look out over the mountains and breathe easily. I surely didn’t take the easy road or the less traveled, but I’ m here and grateful. 

People ask me how I could move so far away from my family and friends. I don’t know how to answer that other than we just packed up and went. I know not what the future holds for me. This may not be my last home. I can only hope. But in the meantime, it’s the best place for my soul. Giving me a time to reflect on things that happened thirty-nine years ago and all that has happened since. 

I am now keeping that journal and I’m probably right, no one wants to read that stuff but from that comes more ideas on other books. I just need to stop enjoying my surroundings and get to writing.  Oh look…..there are some deer feeding out back!


What Happened

Again today I find myself asking the same question I’ve been asking for a
while now. No one seems to be able to give me an answer.

I spent my teens and early twenties in a country much divided politically
with war taking the lives of Americans. People had different
opinions, different beliefs, and a different ideology.  Many protested and
yes there were riots, but I never
experienced the inability to converse with each other.

Many nights I spent in at times heated conversations on all current events, including politics. No one ever got mad
and went home. No one ever called anyone names or insinuated the other person was ignorant.  No one ever,
“if you feel that way I can’t be friends with you.” If we were friends, we accepted we were different and
remained friends.  This is now from
what I’m experiencing a thing of the past.

The sad thing is: the negative, no tolerance for anyone that doesn’t think
and feel like I do is not someone I want to be friends with any longer is
coming from the same people that once sat around discussing world events. The same people that vowed to make the world a better
place
. Wanted all to be open-minded.

Several months ago while I waited for my oil change, I sat with three strangers in the dealership waiting room
discussing religion and politics.  There was no yelling, no name calling,
no one got mad and walked out, and at the
end when our names were called, we all
said it was nice talking with them and wished each one a good day.

Complete strangers! And yet, people I
know say they can’t discuss politics with anyone;
it’s
too upsetting. I’ve been told
they can’t stand to even talk with the other side. Side? I thought we were all
Americans?

When people say they can’t understand how anyone can support or believe what
another person is saying, do they not think the other person might be feeling the same way? How can we ever come to terms
with our differences if we refuse to discuss those very differences in a respectful manner?  

Someone, please explain what has
happened to us. People I thought were kind-hearted,
and caring are spouting hate to and about
anyone that doesn’t see eye to eye with them.
People have told me they get physically sick to their
stomach to even think about politics.  No
one is open-minded enough to try and see
the other person’s point of view.

If this is the state of our future, we are in big trouble. Everyone can’t be right if everyone is
wrong. We can’t hear others because of the
outraged voices from our mouths.  There
can be no compromise if we can’t hear the other person.  Once in a while, we need to shut up and
listen before we make up our minds.

What happened?

 


No Reply Needed

With all that I have, I’m trying not to be negative with what I’m about to say, but I’m afraid I have finally lost my belief that most humans are good people. It’s taken me a lifetime to come to this point but here I am.  If you’re reading this, you might care but probably not, and it doesn’t really matter. I’m writing this so other people that are feeling the same way will know they are not alone.

Over the past couple of years, I have seen behavior from people I would have bet my last dollar on that they would never, ever say or do the things I have heard or saw.  Could be they think the same of me.  But what I have observed is people becoming the very things they say they hate. And hate is not too strong of a word. It comes from their mouths and writings.

Of course, that has always been a difference of opinions, from the time I can remember. The first biggest difference of opinion in my lifetime was the Vietnam war. I was in high school.  And although so many of us felt different ways about what was going on, I don’t remember anyone every talking hateful towards me or threatening me.  I don’t remember anyone ever talking down to me just because I felt a different way. I was never made to feel little, told to shut up, or even wished I would die. I never had friends walk away from me because of who I voted for, or tell me to never talk to them again. Not so much the case these days.

People have become a society of hate.  Don’t like someone’s opinion, then the hate is on.  Not being a Democrat or Republican, but more of a moderate human, I see fault with both sides.  Sadly what I see is both sides are so wrapped up in their opinions, they fail to hear anything the other side says. They just know that hate it.

If we as a nation don’t start trying to work together, we are doomed. And I hate that. This past week I heard from some politicians that now the elections are over, both Dems and Republicans will start working together and with the President. That lasted about one day. Then it was they are going to do everything in their power to stop anything the President wishes to do, right or wrong. 

Both sides are blinded by their hate. I’m only going to give one example, and that is with immigration and the border. Both the Clintons and President Obama are on video stating the very same ideas that President Trump is saying now. It was good then but now when President Trump says basically the same things, it’s bad. Horrible. He’s a racist. Etc. I ask myself why? Since William Clinton was in office the gang population of this country has gone way up. MS13 in my opinion should be put on a small island and let them rot.