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Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

Dear Readers,

Did you ever realize what an important role color plays in our lives?  It’s what we use to illustrate a sunset, depict a bridesmaid’s gown or even to describe a granddaughter’s eyes.  It also details our emotions.  We can be “green with envy” or experience the “blues”.  Color can excite you, calm you or make you claustrophobic.

In the world of color, various names are given to each individual pigment.  There are the primary colors of red, yellow and blue we learned in kindergarten but there are more specific names assigned to the diverse and distinct shades of each color.  I know of two areas where the names of colors are raised to a whole new creative level:  wall paint and nail polish.

Benjamin Moore describes yellow as “laguna yellow”, blue as “tidal wave” and plain ole beige as “stone house”.  OPI Nail Polish has a set of colors called the “Hong Kong Collection”.  Here are the names of a few polishes:  “A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find”, “Red My Fortune Cookie”, “Bling Dynasty”, “Chop Sticking to My Story” and “Panda Monium Pink”.  My favorite OPI color is “Cha-Ching Cherry” from their Las Vegas Collection.  It sounds like the happy sound coming from a slot machine that has just registered a winner!  These inventive names of the various tones work together to tell a story.

Employees of these companies concoct the names.  But who are these people? Are they young or mature; are they frustrated novelists or hip advertising people?  And how do they choose what to call each hue?  Do they invent these labels in small office cubicles or do they sit around a large table in a corporate boardroom?  And are they sipping wine or smoking some funny stuff?

Well, whoever these people are, God bless them, because they certainly make color and life a lot more interesting for all of us!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

There’s an element of excitement and energy in the air when living downtown.  The hustle bustle of people going to and from work, the steady flow of traffic during rush hours, and buses busily streaming in and out of the depot are all very exhilarating.  Even the wailing of police and fire sirens is thrilling.  In other words, Mimi loves city living.  Let me give you some examples of the action that played out during the July 4th weekend

Friday was the first Friday of the month and this evening is set aside as a time for visiting art galleries, museums and restaurants in the downtown area.  Quite a few people engage in this monthly ritual, complete with a different band each first Friday that performs outdoors on blockaded streets.  My husband and  I like to take our outdoor folding chairs to this area for front-row concert seats, enjoying the music and watching the passers-by.  The best part of this evening was observing the charismatic band leader coaxing the audience to come and dance in the street.  About 30 or 40 people, young and old, heeded his call and proceeded to dance the “Electric Slide” together.  I felt as though we were all having one big party!

Saturday morning a Dixieland band plays outside “Big Ed’s” restaurant in City Market.  I make a point of listening to them every weekend and July 3 was no exception.  They sang old songs from the 30’s and 40’s; the same tunes my Dad loved to croon.  The arrangement of “I Want To Be Happy” did just that to my mood.  This melody, along with the outstanding sunny morning, made my day.  I kept thinking that life doesn’t get any better than this!

Finally, on July 4th there was a grand Independence Day celebration on the grounds of the state Capital Building.  Twenty-nine immigrants became American citizens and it was inspiring to attend this ceremony.  The Raleigh Band played patriotic songs and wreaths were laid in front of the various war memorial monuments.  The crowd stood at attention for the Pledge of Allegiance for the Flag and the National Anthem.  Taps was played and thoughts of our dead soldiers came to mind.  New citizens posed for pictures with their families in front of the monument honoring three US Presidents from North Carolina:  James K. Polk, Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.  There was a children’s parade with the little ones sporting hats they constructed at the celebration.  It was comforting to see so many people enjoying the festivities.  I felt proud to be an American!  And to be an American savoring all the pleasures of “city living” is even better!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Recently flew from Raleigh to Louisville and while I was at the airport a couple of random thoughts bounced around in my brain.  I’d like to share them with you.

Saw a young man wearing a red shirt that read “I put ketchup on my ketchup!”  That immediately reminded me of my father who absolutely loved ketchup.  He would splash ketchup on anything – eggs, hash brown potatoes, cottage cheese and crackers.  He even let it flow into New England clam chowder.  Of course, he could have ordered Manhattan clam chowder but it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as making ketchup smiley faces on a bowl of New England clam chowder!

Every airport restroom in America has faucets that turn off and on with a hand sensor.  Many times the sensor is broken and I feel like such a fool waving my soapy hands and no water comes out.  I noticed that the paper towel holders are now using sensors.  I experience even more frustration shaking my wet hands trying to dislodge a paper towel.  Don’t even get me started talking about the sensors used to flush toilets.  That’s another whole story too long to tell!  All I can say is that it’s best to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

The following are random thoughts from Mimi on the three most familiar modes of transportation:  planes, trains and automobiles.

Every air traveler knows that since September 11, flying is not as simple or as easy as it was previously.  Thoughts of squeezing all my cosmetic and grooming aids into 3 ounce containers and then into a quart-size plastic bag is distressing.  The routine security check seems to change each time I fly.  Shoes are no longer placed in a bin but directly onto the x-ray conveyor belt.  My new lightweight sneakers barely missed getting jammed in the mechanism.  The flight check-in procedure is done by the travelers at self-service computers.  It can be intimidating for passengers not familiar with computers.  And what about all those hidden flight charges?  American Airlines sells pillows and blankets for $7 each and the price of a cold beer is $6.  (At least, I hope it is cold!)  My biggest gripe is forking over $3 for an airport terminal purchased bottle of water.  Talk about a captive audience!  A friend recently suggested packing an empty plastic bottle in a carry-on bag and filling the bottle at the water fountain.  I tried it and it works beautifully and I’m $3 richer!

Now let’s talk about trains.  I live in downtown Raleigh near the train station.  Every night at exactly 10:33 PM the train whistle blows as it rolls into the station.  The sound of the whistle conjures up thoughts of life on the rails and how hobos would sneak onto empty freight cars and ride from city to city during the Depression.  I wonder about the passengers on this present-day train; where do they come from and where are they headed.  And what about the conductor and train engineer?  How many more stops do they have before they can call it a day?  The familiar sound of the train whistle alerts me that it’s time to snuggle in the blankets and settle down to sleep.

My final observation is about my 1995 Nissan Altima.  My husband gave me this car for my 50th birthday.  He added all kinds of extra options:  custom-made leather seats, CD player and “moon roof”.  He presented it to me as part of a surprise birthday celebration.  I love that car!  I’m still driving it and with only 63,000 miles on it, I’ll drive it as long as I can.  My only regret is that it is no longer garaged during the harsh winter months.  But every May when we return from CA, my husband connects the battery and the engine faithfully starts.  Now that’s dependability!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Mimi had every intention of writing a mind-blowing blog about a subject that would keep you entirely involved and totally interested in reading every last word.

But, you know what?  That didn’t happen!  This past Sunday (my day for blog creating), there was a marvelous art festival being staged just a block away.  My husband and I sauntered over to the site, fully intending to only stay 30 minutes or so perusing the arts and crafts booths and maybe listening to a song or two on the outdoor stages in the park.

We sat down to listen to the music and there on the stage appeared the Papa Mojo Zydeco Band.  As the band warmed up, I kept thinking:  I can’t stay – I have a blog to write.  But the pounding rhythm of the zydeco music seduced me to stay and 30 minutes turned into 2-1/2 hours!  It was the wailing sound of the harmonica along with the pulsating beat of the drums and the strumming of the metal washboard  that did me in.  I thought:  the heck with going home and writing.  I’m staying right here listening to this glorious music – and that’s exactly what I did!

There’s no earth-shattering blog today but Mimi does have excellent memories of a warm Sunday afternoon spent totally enjoying Papa Mojo and his Zydeco Band in the heart of downtown Raleigh!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Had a tremendous Mother’s Day complete with a tasty family brunch at a neighborhood restaurant and an extended phone conversation with my daughter in Connecticut.  I started thinking about what makes a Mom truly happy.  Now don’t get me wrong – mothers enjoy restaurant meals, flowers and candy but I’ve come to the  conclusion that perfect happiness is all about the small things.

Happiness for my sleep-deprived daughter-in-law was having both little ones sleep until 7:45 AM on Mother’s Day.  That sure beats a bouquet of flowers!

Reading an off-beat, irreverent card sent by my daughter brought a smile to my face.  My son drove by me on my morning walk and stopped the car just to wish me a “Happy Mother’s Day”!  It was heartwarming to receive a card from my sister and another card from my niece filled with photos of my favorite great-niece and nephew.  My younger sister called long-distance to extend best wishes for Mother’s Day.  My husband remarked that I looked “pretty in pink” right before we left to attend the family brunch.  My granddaughter bestowed a Mother’s Day hug and kiss on me.  Even at church this morning, I was surprised to receive a packet given to all the mothers containing an envelope filled with mint flavored hot chocolate mix, an Andes mint wafer and two pieces of milk chocolate Dove hearts.

These are all little gestures that are small on money but big on love and added together they made my Mother’s Day a joyful one, indeed!

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

On February 9, 2010 I posted a blog about inspirational clippings that are taped on the inside cabinet door over my washer in the laundry room.  The following is a prayer taped to that same door.  I think it’s worth sharing with you.

Our Home

May this house be a sacred

Dwelling for those who live here.

May those who visit feel the peace

We have received from You.

May darkness not enter.

May the  light of God shield

This house from harm.

May the angels bring their

Peace here and use our

Home as a haven of light.

May all grow strong in this place of healing, our sanctuary

From the loudness of the world.

May it be used by You forever.

Amen.

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Walking is such an invigorating event.  When the sky is brilliantly blue, the birds are chirping, and a gentle breeze caresses your face, all your senses are experiencing one of life’s greatest treats.

And a big part of this treat is observing fellow pedestrians.  Sometimes it’s amusing and other times disturbing; like the time I passed a young teenage girl wearing a tee-shirt emblazoned with “The Dead Kennedy’s”.  Maybe it was the off-beat name of a young band.  But to someone of my generation, that title is very sad.  Having lived through the murders of both John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, the term “dead Kennedy’s” is almost sacrilegious.  The entire nation endured a period of great loss and mourning accompanied by a profound loss of innocence that forever changed our way of thinking.  We all remember where we were and what we were doing at the time the news of JFK’s assasination was televised.  Even Walter Kronkite, the trusted news commentator, choked up when he delivered the time of the president’s death.

But this young girl has no idea of the feelings evoked by reading “The Dead Kennedy’s” on her tee-shirt.  She’s too young; this all happened too many years ago.  In fact, we’re now at a time where the term “Dead Kennedy’s” means different things to different people.

I spent the remainder of my walk wondering how different the world would be had both John and Robert Kennedy lived.  It was a lot of food for thought to be digested on a beautiful morning walk!

Keep smilin’!

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Moving is Messy

Dear Readers,

As I noted before, we have recently moved from a single family house to a condo.  The move was “messy” in many ways.  From a physical standpoint, the mess comes from all the packing and unpacking of numerous boxes, filled with newspaper and tissue paper used for cushioning fragile items.  But the biggest “mess” is in my mind; lots of angst, worry and confusion.  Let me fully explain this.

First there is the problem of picking out and purchasing a new home.  Will we like the neighborhood?  Is that small guest bedroom really large enough to accommodate infrequent guests?  Is the garage big enough for two cars and storage of belongings we can’t bear to part with?  How will our furniture look in new surroundings?

Then there is the ordeal of actually buying and negotiating a purchase price with the condo owner.  Many mornings my husband I woke up and wondered if we had a deal or not.  This painful process is also going on in connection with selling the old house.  Is it sold or not???

Well, we finally overcame both of these hurdles.  Yes, we had truly sold our house and purchased a condo.  You would think the “mess” is over,  No, it isn’t!   We have moved in and now getting used to new surroundings is “messier” than I could have predicted.  The bathroom medicine cabinet is located to the right of the counter instead of the left and I swear it doesn’t work as well when applying my makeup!  The kitchen has a big center island, which is nice but I’ve never had one before.  I have to learn how to navigate around it and how to incorporate it into my routine of meal preparations.

I know this all sounds pretty petty but we are all such creatures of habit.  Pretty soon I’ll get used to everything and the “mess’ will be eliminated from my mind.  Until then, I guess I’ll just take my own advice and

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Received this text message on my phone Tuesday, March 9 from my son:  “Margaret Ann was born at 4:06 PM, EST.  She weighs 7 pounds and she is precious!”  This message came straight from the delivery room in Raleigh, NC.  Mimi and Papa are overjoyed at the news of the birth of our second granddaughter.  She even arrived nine days early!

Maggie has been in my thoughts a lot lately.  Yesterday was her first Sunday and I wandered how she would spend other Sundays in her life.  I hope she enjoys the leisure time it provides.  That leisure time will take many forms:  Sunday brunch at the Morning Times; an excursion to the art museum; or maybe a Sunday matinee at the theatre or the movies.  Of course, she will have to be much older to enjoy these activities.  For the near future, Sundays will be a day of snuggling with her Mom, playing with her sister on the backyard slide or watching her Dad prepare a special Sunday dinner for the family.

She has her whole life ahead of her and I hope she can take the time to savor and enjoy each moment it brings.  One thing I know for sure – she is part of a big family that loves her very much.

Welcome Maggie!  And remember to always

Keep smilin’!

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