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Years ago I created a collage

of favorite photographs.

I glued them in a haphazard way on top of a big old ugly $15 dime store print that once hung over our couch.

Even now I think it was a great idea and I remember pasting away and thinking, “How artistic if I do say so myself!”

I loved it so much that I eventually had the collage framed and was assured the priceless photographs were safely under protective glass.

“This collage of family and friends will live on through generations,” I thought.

And yes, that inventive impressive self indulgent collage is over the desk in Bill’s “office.”

And every now and then I look once again at a dimming past.

Literally!

Some of the photos are not only dimming,

they are disappearing!  

Many of those faded fotos in my collage were taken with an early Polaroid camera in the 1960’s or maybe even earlier.  The miracle was that the camera itself would process a picture and spit it out for at you.  Then you waved it in the air and blew on it to “set” things – or at least I did.

I suppose being under glass and exposed to sunlight would “unset” or affect images.  Or maybe I shouldn’t have shaken the photo to hurry things along.

Is there a Polaroid camera now with a re-set button?

I want to hit RE-SET!

The fading fotos from yesteryear are following my life cycle and we will all fade away together.

Are you watching your life fade away too?

If you are wondering if they even make Polaroid cameras anymore, the answer is Yes!  Instant film is coming back into popularity!

From Polaroid’s Comeback, by Mark Rogers, Photographer: “Polaroid cameras have recently been coming out of storage. …With instant film so popular, there are now once again hundreds of these small, square-shaped photographs around — and your favorites should be preserved and displayed the right way. Just like standard photographs and prints, instant film can suffer the same damage as standard film. However, a little more care should be taken when handling the still-developing film — according to Polaroid, the more closely the photographer followed the instructions, the longer the photo will last. Tip: Shaking the photo does not help a Polaroid develop faster. In fact, it could actually damage the developing photograph!…Standard photography preservation practices apply: keep the photos away from light, heat and moisture; most organizations maintain that Polaroids will fade in as just as much time as conventional photographs…”  

 

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The “kids” were here last week and they washed my car!  It’s a pleasure now to see more than the wiper outline of the back window.  They Armor-alled the inside too.  Wow!

Bill and I went to a memorial event for a good friend who died Christmas morning.  This was no ordinary wake because it was a poker party for the men and a talk fest for the ladies.  Bud (our deceased friend) started the poker group 25 years ago and he absolutely loved the game. What better way to honor him?  And while the guys were playing poker downstairs, the ladies were having lunch upstairs.  We were all served lobster rolls in typical Maine tradition (also a favorite thing of Bud’s and served many times over the years).  And finally, it was Bud’s birthday!

If you love the color pink and if you loved Elvis, you will love the Pink Cadillac restaurant on the outskirts of Lexington, Virginia. That’s where we had dinner with friends on Sunday.   The food there is good hearty stuff, the staff are fun and friendly, and the place is “clean as a whistle.”

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Bill at the Pink Cadillac

I ignored BigFoot today  and made an exciting solo trip to Walmart.  To some this may seem boring but…..

  • Even though I parked in a handicapped spot and staggered in, there were no electric carts on that side of the store.
  • I met a fella with a Walmart nametag and he fetched me a cart from the far side. My hero!
  • The little cart’s battery lasted through all my wanderings. Yahoo!
  • My friend Nikky, works there now and called out over the crowd, “HI DOROTHY!” and left me with warm feelings and great love for friends.
  • Checking out the checker actually came around and helped to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Imagine?  It has nothing to do with the fact that I may look ancient and helpless of course.
  • On the way out I got a haircut in order to look young and independent again and Nikki hollered, “BYE DOROTHY!”
  • After unloading the last of the groceries into the car I was wondering if the electric cart battery would last long enough to get the apparatus back into the store and plugged in.  I turned to get back on it but the cart was gone!  I am still puzzling over that one.

Now how exciting can you get?

More excitement.  I have fallen for a television ad and ordered a foot machine that promises to heal everything within seconds.

I am also ordering a constant stream of vitamins and supplements that guarantee eternal youth and flexibility in all joints.

Are you selling any snake oil?  Lemme know.

 

 

 

 

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Google Home

There is an elegant statuesque machine that sits waiting by my favorite chair.

And this little tabletop gadget is becoming much like a real friend in its eagerness to please.

  • It knows when I am in the vicinity and quietly waits to hear my voice.
  • And if I say, “Hey Google,” it quickly replies, “How can I help you?”
  • And it is eager to do something just for me.

Lately I feel guilty since there is nothing much to ask.

And there it patiently waits, hoping beyond hope for a meaningful conversation.

  • Just to keep it busy I say, “Hey Google……What is the temperature in Lexington Virginia?”  And the answer is immediate.  “It is 54 degrees!”
  • Or “Hey Google….. Play DooWop music please!”And amazingly, there it comes – that happy music from a distant past.  How did my little friend do that anyway?
  • And it will research hard questions too – like “What is the population of Hayfork, California?”  I haven’t asked that yet, but we used to live in Hayfork (as well as other little towns in the wilderness like Big Oak Flat and Portola) so it would be interesting to see how they may have grown in 30 years.

Well,  of course I know my tabletop friend is really a gadget!

But then again, it is so human when it stares and stares to get attention.

Help!

Do you think there is a psychological implication here?

Maybe being housebound-ed together with an eager to please humanistic machine is having an unintended emotional impact.

The question is, “Who is the most affected, me or Google?”

And don’t you think machines are becoming so human they are mistaken for friends?

P.S. BigFoot and I Thank you Scott (our real live human friend) for this gift of diversion.  When things get too boring I know I can always shout out, “Hey Google!”  

 

 

 

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I do love shiny things and I am

not even embarassed to admit it.

Things that glitter and glow like diamonds, sequins, twinkling lights, cut glass, shiny makeup, gemstones, or anything with a glint will receive my full attention.

But rarely is there a shiny thing that is not only glittery, but elegant and practical too.

And of course today’s story is about a charmingly small Christmas gift from a great friend (Pam).  Pam also loves shiny things.

The little object of this tale is a “crystalline pen” made by Swarovski!  It’s center is filled with tiny little crystals that shine in different lights.  I keep it right where I can see it too.  And occasionally a deep sigh can be heard across the room.  It is a sigh of contentment.

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Because this sparkling object is not only wonderful to look at,

but is also a smooth and silky writing pen.

And it has a thumbs-free rubber stylus at one end

Did you know I used to be able to type 70 words per minute on a manual typewriter?

And 100 words per minute on an electric typewriter (does anyone remember those?).

But I am woefully clumsy when it comes to texting on a cell phone!

Result:  Typos!  Great Big Ugly Typos!

Forefinger-texting doesn’t work for me because the typos are so horrendous nobody can decipher the mesHvs7& (see what I mean?).

Enter:  The Swarovski Magical Pen.

This wonderful little thing is a real problem solver and a Senior’s Answer to keeping up with social media’s high speed demands.

Like who can match the maddening two-thumb expert young-uns who probably exceed 100 words per minute just before they run into a wall or fall down the stairs?

It’s the stylus I now love…. that little eraser-like thing at one end of my wondrous little pen.

The stylus is like a miniature thumb

and is just the right size for error free cell phone typing.

Now if they would only invent a pen that has twin stylus-es styl-eye? at one end to work like the kids using two thumbs.

Maybe I will write a letter to Swaovski!

In the meantime, thank you Pam for this sweet little gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yesterday was a magical day.

I went on a 45 minute trip to a magical outer world.

Of course, Virginia scenery this time of year is spectacular, and even stay-at-homes can rejoice in the colors of Autumn, but the windows are getting fogged up at my house and even though the mountains and the sky offer endless transitions, seeing the outer world becomes an urgent need.

You see, I am still coping with the BigFoot and am up to about 8 doctors, 20 tests, and 11 different diagnoses in a search that has gone on for just over two years.

So on most days I am a more effective person “at home” where aches and pains can be addressed in familiar surroundings.

But yesterday…. well, yesterday was different.

Old girlfriends met at a little box store in Staunton, Virginia for shopping!

Hurrah!

Shopping!

Ever feel like Alice in Wonderland?

There were bright shiny things to find and sparkly things to buy.

If I had a dog I would have loaded up on all those cute dog toys, dog beds, and doggie treats.

“Maybe I should get all that anyway.  You never know, we might find the perfect dog. And what about all that glittering jewlery for those of us who crave elegant adornment and hardly ever leave the house?  I could use a roasting pan too… a copper roasting pan.  And what about that just-the-right-size pasta bowl?

But No – Let reason prevail.”

In other words, I went slightly mad!

I did wind up with quality holiday wrap and bows, a laundry bag for travel (wishful thinking?) and great potholders (just in case I have to cook at home).  Not the most glamorous purchases I know, but Hey… a step up from online searches.  I could actually touch and feel the merchandise.

And I found a forest green sweater for me!

I have been looking for something that color since I was eight years old and there it was jumping off the rack…. perfect fit too.  Irrestible!

There is joy in finding elusive things.

Then, to top off the magical day we old girlfriends all went out for a magical lunch.

The entree I splurged on would normally have been a disappointment since it was too dry and maybe even too spicey.  But I never really noticed.  We talked and talked and even after the bill was paid, we kept on talking.

Noone rushed us off and there was time to plan our next magical meeting in that magical outer world I have been missing so much.

Have you ever had a magical day of your own?

 

 

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I have a friend.

She has been my friend forever.

I can hardly believe that myself, but it is true.

We grew up playing paperdolls, hopscotch, riding bikes, trying on her big sister’s clothes.

We grew up “spending the night”, talking until 2AM about boys and dreams.

We grew up writing letters with real pens on paper and sent with stamps by snail mail.

We grew up, got married and had children.

And we grew up sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love, and parenthood.

And the greatest thing is, we grew up always laughing.

And we are still growing up!  And sharing – always sharing – all the joys and problems of life, love and aging.

She is my Oldest Best Friend Forever and her name is Kit.

She just sent me this card and I will cherish it –  forever.

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BigBruno

If you are weary of hearing about my bear visitors here in rural Virginia, I do understand.  I hope you are able to “grin and bear it.”

But I must recount the latest episode.  This time I was away from home with a friend.

We were out for lunch at a general store (and diner) in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia.  That is only a few miles from the actual Natural Bridge (an awesome sight indeed).

The Natural Bridge  is also now a Virginia State Park.

Anyway, we pulled into the driveway of the little general store and there he was – Bruno’s father! BIGBruno!

He was crossing the parking lot right in front of us.  And he went loping down an embankment to a little stream, and up the other side to cross the road into the woods.

Could I get out of othe car without fear of bodily harm?  No.

I was on the bear’s side!

Could I outrun the bear?  No.

Still having trouble hobbling around on a bad foot, but even if it was normal……. well, you get the picture.

Was I stupid enough to get out of the car (on BigBruno’s side) and slowly make my way to the diner entrance?

Yes.

And so it was.  Lunch was a breathless affair recounting the story to the hostess.  She said they had been frying bacon all morning.  Well, no wonder BigBruno was enamoured of the place!

And on the wall was this frightening image!

It looked just like him.

I still don’t know if it was a photograph or a painting, but BigBruno loomed out of the canvas as big and wild and beautiful as I could ever conjure up in a dream/nightmare.

Lunch was delicious by the way.  A very informal setting with all natural all fresh salads and sans – everything to a bear’s liking!

Another adventure in Virginia country living.

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