Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What To Do With Old Buttons

I have a button collection.  It's quite large.  I have thousands of buttons in fact.
Well, actually it's not really a collection.  I mean I don't go out of my way to collect specific buttons.  For example,  I am not on the lookout for that rare vintage antique Japanese Satsuma "Cat with Fan and Hat" button to finish out my Japanese Satsuma Series.   Which, by the way, a pair of these just sold on eBay for $100.  That's right $100 for two old buttons.
I would have to classify my buttons as more of an accumulation rather than a collection.
I used to be an eBay seller.  I sold vintage items.  In order to acquire vintage items, one must be on a perpetual treasure hunt.  That means constantly attending garage and estate sales along with sitting through hours of estate auctions.
I must have gone through a button phase because I apparently and frequently needed to be the top bidder on old sewing baskets filled with buttons.
Yes, I remember,  I did have a fascination with old buttons.  I think it satisfied some obsessive-compulsive tendencies that I may have a tinge of.   By that I mean, I could immerse myself in a tin of hundreds of buttons, sorting through them, grouping them together by color and size, two hole or four hole, metal, plastic or glass.  I would scoop up handfuls and then let them slip through my fingers. They felt smooth and silky.  Before I knew it, hours would have gone by and I would be surrounded by stacks and piles of buttons.
But, in addition to my slight OCD urges, I was aware that there are serious button collectors out there who will pay big bucks for just the right button.   The thing about buying buttons at estate auctions or garage sales is that you most always have to buy in bulk.  And you never know what you might find in grandma's old Christmas cookie tin.
Now, in order to find out if I had any of the rare ones, I, of course, had to have a means of  identifying the buttons and determining the values of the buttons I now possessed.   There is a bible for button collectors.  It's titled "The Big Book of Buttons" by Elizabeth Hughes, circa 1981, now out of print.
Because it is out of print, it too goes for big bucks.  But, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.  Isn't that what "they" say?
Yep, I am the owner, no make that proud owner,  of the rare and out of print Button Bible.
It's now years later.  My button phase has passed.  I did sell a few unique ones on eBay.  I probably even recouped the cost of the Button Bible.
But I am now left with hundreds and hundreds of plain old ordinary buttons.
And what does one do with plain old ordinary buttons.  After all, I've already sorted them.

Today, I am feeling quite sad.  Grief.  Interesting, I started out wanting to write about grief.  Suddenly, however,  I found myself thinking about my button accumulation. It's easier to talk about buttons, though. Less uncomfortable for me and for you. So once again I immersed myself in my buttons, just like I've done so many times before.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

We Live in Paradise

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I'm sitting poolside.  Our community pool.  It's a blue and white day.  The sun peeks in and out of the puffs.  Temp is about 84 degrees with the slightest of breeze.
There are 1200 homes here, and probably over 2000 residents.  Interesting that there are probably only about 50 people around the pool.  It's children's swim time now.  There are about 10 kids in the pool accompanied by their grandmothers.  The grandmothers sit in a chat circle bobbing on their mesh floats, not paying much attention to their charges.
Where we live, there are many different groups and activities to participate in.   We moved here 13 years ago.  I never joined any groups or had much interest in any of the activities.  This means I haven't met many folks.  For the introverted shy me, that's okay.
I started going to the three-times-a-week aerobics classes about six months ago. I've met some nice ladies there.  I just spotted one of my fellow exercisers.  She's sitting all the way on the other side of the pool.  I'm sure she doesn't recognize me with my shades and baseball cap.
We also have an indoor pool.  I think I might take a dip there.  No kids allowed.
I just overheard one guy say to his buddy, "We live in Paradise.  What could be better than this?"
Ross in Paradise

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Purple Snazz

FitBit Challange

I've been wearing a fit bit for probably about one year now.  A couple of months ago I upgraded to the Charge HR.   I chose the pretty purple one.  This snazzy model keeps track of my life, including constant monitoring of my heart rate and sleep patterns.  It even sends me encouraging text messages.
"Come on, you can do it, only 1,249 steps to meet your goal!"
FitBit Charge HR

I joined the FitBit community 60+ Group.  There are 847 of us in the group.  According to today's current  stats I was ranked #289 for last week's total step count and #342 for total miles. 
I had 67,529 steps which converts to 26 miles or an average of 3 miles a day. 

Yes, you see Joe M. there?  He's at the top with 359,291 steps last week.  He averaged 42,000 steps a day.  That converts to 20 miles a day. 


In addition to a Fitbit, about six months ago I started going to Aerobics/weight training three times a week. 

I am astonished at the results. 

I've gained 7 lbs., increased my body fat by 2%.  YAY!  HUH?

Okay, so here's my thinking and obviously my downfall.  I figure since I am wearing the Purple Snazz, it must be okay to have my three scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and rainbow sprinkles every night, right?  No?
Okay, obviously, FitBit has to have an upgrade to include a "spoon to mouth monitor".  And maybe it needs to change to a more stern parental persona.   
Like a loud "NO!"   "I said NO!"  "NO, means NO!" 

So, the bottom line is, I guess I have to "step it up".   Make that "I'm going to step it up!"

Watch out Joe M.  I'm coming for you!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Y.M.C.A - There’s No Need to Feel Down

Normally I am at my aerobics class on a Wednesday morning.   Yesterday afternoon I had a tooth pulled.  I couldn't imagine jumping around this morning.  Especially, since Wednesday's class is "Dance Music" day.  We never know, though, what genre our perky instructor has in store for us.   I didn't want to take the chance that it would be Disco day.

 ♫ Y.M.C.A! ♫
♫ It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A! ♫

I never could figure out those hand motions. 
Yesterday's experience was traumatic for me.  In addition to my normal fear and apprehension of all and any dental procedures, I also had an emotionally psychological reaction to the idea of losing a tooth.
I experienced a similar feeling when I had to have my gallbladder removed.
It's hard for me to explain, but I would probably liken it to a feeling of loss.  Is it possible to grieve a tooth or body part?
Perhaps it has something to do with facing the idea of an aging body.
Modern science and technology have extended human life expectancy.   For an American woman, it is 81 years old.  I suspect that by the time we reach that age, we will have acquired some form of a bionic body.
New knees and hips to keep us walking.  Repurposed veins to keep the blood pumping. Pacemakers and defibrillators to make sure the ticker keeps ticking.  Lens implants to clear our vision.  Yay, I will no longer need the glasses I have been wearing since turning 40.
The no longer needed parts, like the appendix or gallbladder, gone.
Our female plumbing, at the very least, probably will have been cleaned out or discarded.
Then, there is the kitchen counter or bathroom cabinet filled with plastic vials of pills.  Who won't have a list of medications taken on a regular basis by the age of life expectancy?
I was fortunate to be born healthy; everything intact and in working order.  I don't take my continued good health for granted.  Hence, the Y.M.C.A routine.
So, actually, now, that I have reflected on this, really, how can I possibly complain about having a tooth pulled when my son didn't even get the chance to experience the need for reading glasses?

Writing - It's like hindsight - 20/20.

I never really paid attention to the lyrics of the song Y.M.C.A.   It really is about the Y.M.C.A. organization.


Young man, there's no need to feel down.
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy.

Young man, there's a place you can go.
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal,
You can do whatever you feel...

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said, young man, what do you want to be?
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself.
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf,
And just go there, to the Y.M.C.A.
I'm sure they can help you today.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys...

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal,
You can do whatever you feel ...

Young man, I was once in your shoes.
I said, I was down and out with the blues.
I felt no man cared if I were alive.
I felt the whole world was so jive ...

That's when someone came up to me,
And said, young man, take a walk up the street.
There's a place there called the Y.M.C.A.
They can start you back on your way.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.

They have everything for you men to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys...'ll find it at the Y.M.C.A.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.
Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.'ll find it at the Y.M.C.A.

Young man, young man, there's no need to feel down.
Young man, young man, get yourself off the ground.

Y.M.C.A....just go to the Y.M.C.A.

Young man, young man, are you listening to me?
Young man, young man, what do you wanna be?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sorry, It’s Gotta Come Out

Valium, Novacane, Nitrous Oxide -and a mouth full of gauze.


Vicodin and ice cream for dinner.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Emma - Part Seven of the Red Sweater Serial

During the month of April, I participated in the A to Z blogging challenge.  A first for me, I attempted fiction for the first time.  I had such fun with it that I decided to give it another go.

This time I will be writing a serial type of story.

I took a longer than intended break from the story.  But as promised, here is part seven. 

This tale seems to have taken on a life of its own.  I wonder when I will come to the conclusion that the story should conclude?

If you want to catch up on the Red Sweater Serial, click on the tab at the top of the blog or you can click here.

Part Seven

Addie would never forget that day.  Even after all of these years, when she thought about it, her stomach clenched and her jaw tightened.
 She vividly recalled how the sticky hotness of the day felt. Sometimes, the smell of a freshly mown lawn would remind her of that long ago August afternoon, causing bitterness and anger to rise from deep down until it bubbled up into her throat.  She could almost taste the bile.
The day that Rachel found Emma’s birth certificate was one of the strongest memory jolts she had ever felt. The memory was of the day Bob told Addie about the affair.
He had called her in the middle of the day.  He sounded agitated and was clearly upset. 
“Can you send the girls over to Jane’s house when they get home from school today?”  he had asked.   “I need to talk to you.  It’s important.”
“What’s wrong?” asked Addie, feeling sick to her stomach. 
But, Addie knew what Bob was going to tell her.  She had known for months. 
When Bob got home, he went into their bedroom and threw himself onto the bed.  He put his arm up to his forehead and his body began to shake from sobs he obviously could not control. 
Even though she knew about his affair with Marge, Addie wanted the satisfaction of watching Bob struggle with a confession he was now forced to give.  
Addie's mind was whirling.  She had questions, so many questions.  At that moment, though,  she only wanted the answer to one. 
"Is it over?"  she asked. 
"She's pregnant," Bob choked out in a hoarse whisper.  
When Addie began to have suspicions of the affair, she was almost cavalier about it.  She realized afterwards, after many months of therapy, that her aloof attitude was her way of protecting her own feelings. 
But she never expected this.  She was shocked and horrified. 
"She's pregnant?"  Addie asked,  now feeling confused.  
"She's sure the baby is mine," said Bob.  "Don, well Don," he stammered.  
"What?!"  Adele shouted.  "What about Don?"  
"He had a...well, he can no longer father children." said Bob. 
Several weeks after Bob had admitted to the affair, Addie confided in her best friend Jane.
“You know that old saying that the wife is the last to know?” Addie asked Jane.
“It’s not at all true.  Wives are the first to know,"  said Addie.
"Bob treated me differently, you know," said Addie.  "It was as though he was annoyed at me all of the time.  I couldn't do anything right."  
That saying should be changed to, “Wives are the last to admit it to themselves,” said Addie. 
Now the memories of that day and the months and years to follow were coming back once again to haunt Addie.  
She had snatched the envelope with the birth certificate out of Rachel's hand.  
"Oh, I've been looking all over for that."  said Addie.  
"Whose is it?" Rachel wanted to know.  "Who is Emma?"
Addie knew that she would eventually have to face this day.  She and Bob had talked about it many times.  They were supposed to tell the girls together.  
Why had they put it off, she lamented. 
She managed to stall Rachel by saying that she wasn't feeling well.  
"Listen, honey, this has been a long emotional day for me."  Addie picked up the red sweater from the   back of her chair and wrapped it around her shoulders.  It was her favorite one of the many that Rachel had knitted for her.  
"Do you mind if we call it quits for now?"
Adele was relieved when Rachel agreed. 
"I'll call you later, Mom, to see how you're doing."

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Red Sweater Serial - Where is the rest of the Story? Who is Emma???

I received a comment on my blog yesterday regarding the Red Sweater Serial story:  “Where is rest of the story? Who is Emma????

Yes, I have been neglectful.   Excuse number one.  It’s Summer!  
Yeah, there is no excuse number 2, 3 or 4.  

But now that I have been called out, there are no more excuses.

The Red Sweater Serial continues on Monday!

One day last week we visited The Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.   Since the green head flies were swarming, we decided to do the wildlife drive.  

"Wildlife Drive: An 8 mile self-guided tour of saltwater marsh, freshwater habitat, and upland forest. This area is known internationally as a birding “hotspot”. Observation towers, complete with telescopes, are located at Gull Pond and Turtle Cove.”
That is the Atlantic City Skyline in the background

Widow’s Lace

Osprey Nest

Osprey Dad(or is it Mom?) bringing home fish for dinner

I want to go back again when we can get out of the car and perhaps climb some of the towers or wander down a path or two. 

If you want to catch up on the Red Sweater Serial before Monday, click on the tab at the top of the blog or you can click here.