Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gratitude. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Things I Didn't Know I Needed

I have to admit I am highly susceptible to suggestions.

And it doesn't help that I am addicted to women's magazines.  My idea of a wonderful morning is waddling downstairs, having my morning OJ with a touch of Perrier and immersing myself in a stack of magazines.

But those magazines have all kinds of ads and articles trying to get me to buy or do things, shaming me if I haven't done my spring cleaning using this new miracle mop, admonishing me to moisturize with this new miracle formula and inspiring me to buy this new miracle bathing suit that promises to make me look ten pounds thinner.

If I didn't know I needed these things, I do now!

I know my susceptability is a problem, because when I am shamed, admonished and inspired to do something, I am driven to try it.

For example, a recent article was titled "Life requires a crisp white shirt!"

OMG, I thought, I didn't know that.  Do I have one?  And if I do, is it crisp enough?

When I am standing in line at the store, I know very well items are placed at checkout for impulse buying but I can't help it.

Gum.  Right.  I didn't realize I needed some gum. Need that minty, fresh breath.  Oh, look, what a cute little Beanie Baby. I need that!  "Summer Recipes 5 ingredients or less."  I think I need that (I have over 200 cookbooks at home).  Fourth of July plates are half off!  I never thought of 4th of July plates.  I need those!

You get the picture.

It all started with an ad for a Bikini trimmer.  What a nifty little thing, I thought.  I didn't know I needed that.  So I ordered it. But when it arrived, I realized I had not worn a bathing suit for almost 10 years and I didn't own a bikini!  And ow!  The damn thing hurt!

The View's "Must Have Monday" is like crack to me.  Every Monday, they showcase all kinds of items I didn't know I needed at huge discounts.  Today there was a $60 clothes steamer for $20, 32 makeup brushes, a curling iron that looked like a vibrator and a "legacy box."  I don't know what that is, but I now know that I need it.  I bought a purse from them once that I didn't know I needed.  It's still hanging on the chair in the kitchen.

My house is full of items I didn't know I needed.

  • A librarian action figure that shushes you when you pull on her arm

  • A sparkly sign that says "I'm so glam I sweat glitter."

  • A "Dammit Doll" (it's a little stuffed doll that when you are mad you can whack the table with it and yell "dammit, dammit, dammit" instead of whacking Hubby)

  • A creamer shaped like a cow (you pour the cream by holding its tail and the cream comes out it's mouth) - and I don't even put cream in my tea or coffee!

  • Zebra print boots

  • A collie


Our houses are all filled with stuff we didn't know we needed until suddenly we did!

But in the end, what is important is that I know the things I DO need.

I know I need my family.


That weekly phone call from my adult children and seeing the little grandkids

A cuddle with my dogs


Oh, yeah, and Hubby too.


I need friends, a creative outlet, to feel my life has meaning, time alone to appreciate what I have (and watch TV), healthy activities, wine.

So I guess it's OK to clutter our lives a bit with things we didn't know we needed as long as we also fill our lives with what we really need.

Oh, I just thought of something else I didn't know I needed.


I didn't know how much being grateful for what I do have adds to my life. It puts things in perspective to look up at the sky or at a beautiful flower or at your children and give thanks for being alive.  No amount of stuff you didn't know you needed can replace that feeling.

Why don't you try it?

And ask yourself...

What do I really need?

Why not take some time today and every day to ask yourself that, to feel gratitude and say "thank you" to the universe for what you have.

But while we are on this topic.  I keep seeing ads for a pelvic surgical mesh transplant?  Do I need that?


See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I'm Grateful For

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we contemplate what we are grateful for, right?

Here is what I am grateful for:

  • Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, 
  • Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
  • Brown paper packages tied up with strings, 
  • Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, 
  • Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, 
  • Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings, 
  • Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, 
  • Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, 
  • Silver white winters that melt into springs

Just kidding.  I stole that from "The Sound of Music."

So I guess the first thing I am grateful for is my strange sense of humor. 

At least, after all of these years, I still have one.

But seriously, it's important to take the time to be grateful for what we have.

I used to threaten, I mean, tell my children we were going to spend Thanksgiving volunteering at a homeless shelter, serving food to people less fortunate, so my kids would appreciate what they had.  I never followed up on that but scores of others have and do.  In fact homeless shelters report huge numbers of volunteers doing just that on Thanksgiving and for many families, this is an annual volunteer activity for them.  But what we don't often hear from the homeless shelters is that they wish people would volunteer other times during the year. That's when they are needed most.

The same goes for gratitude. 

It's not enough to think about what we are grateful for just once a year.  Gratitude is something we need to embrace every day of the year.  Gratitude is something that must be practiced or we take for granted much of what we have.

Recently the power went off and I couldn't believe how helpless I felt.  Sure we had candles and flashlights so I could have read a book or, heaven forbid, talk to Hubby, but the thought that not only could I not watch TV, my TIVO wasn't  taping my shows!  I was going to miss the latest installment of "The Housewives. Worse, I couldn't check Facebook or my email.  I was cut off from my social network!  I couldn't tweet, I couldn't Facetime or Skype.  It was sobering.  Well, not exactly.  Wine doesn't need electricity.  But, now I wake up every morning and say thank you to the electricity gods.

One good thing about getting older is you eventually have the time to be grateful.  When we are in our twenties, we are too busy searching for a mate, in our thirties and forties too busy with our careers and children, in our fifties too busy getting rid of our mate and worrying about getting old and fat to be grateful for what we have. 

When we retire, we have the time to reflect and be grateful. 

So I have added that to my daily routine - to be grateful for at least three things every day, year round. 

But it's important to not wait until you are old to be grateful, because sometimes it's too late.

Thanksgiving naturally brings up all kinds of memories about family, for some of you happy memories, for some of you, maybe not so much.  I have happy memories of Thanksgiving with my family growing up, except I didn't like getting served last, as was the custom in my family - the oldest got served first (I was the youngest) - or having to do the dishes.  But what I should have been grateful for at the time was my Dad always saved the drumstick for me (which was my favorite) and he helped me with the dishes.

Thanksgiving 1966

So thinking about my parents this time of year, I am grateful that I was able to show appreciation to them for all they had done for me before they died.  I wish I had done more, though, and shown them more love. But that is the natural cycle of things.  

What I have learned since becoming a parent myself is beautifully expressed in the book "Life Gets Better:  The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing Old" by Wendy Lustbader. 

"We realize how helpless our parents had been during our youthful experimentation -- how they tried to warn us against foolish choices, how our petulance silenced them, how they thought of little else when we were off taking those risks without thinking about them at all. Parenting has never been fair.  We love our children far more than they love us, and in doing so we realize how dearly we were loved by our parents."

I had never really thought of it that way but it explains a lot.

So I am thinking of my parents today as I write this, grateful that I at least in some way thanked them for their love and support and then passed that on by loving my own children as they did me.

In addition to that, I am grateful for the usual things:  Waking up in the morning alive and well, Hubby, my kids, my grandkids, my friends, my career, a roof over my head, I still have my own teeth...

But another reason to be grateful every day and a perk of old age is the ability to be grateful for the little things.

So today I am grateful for:

The wine-guzzling poodle who shows love to me every day (I just need to help him with his drinking problem)

A day off once a week

---Hubby says every day is a day off for me, because I am retired, but that's not true.  I am really busy most of the time:  keeping up with my "1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project," writing this blog, meditating, volunteering, going to the gym, arranging my shoe collection, watching "The View."  I am grateful for one day a week where I can just let life take me where it leads.  Most often it leads me to the TV, but that's not the point.

My blog and those of you who enjoy it.
---I have realized I am a communicator and for good or ill, I'm going to communicate, dammit!

My feet. I have nice feet.  Feet don't get fat.

A nice glass of wine (or two) by a crackling fire after a hard day of retirement

My friends, old and new

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Like I said, it's the little things.

What are you grateful for?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanks for reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie

"The Theory of Everything,"

My Week in Reviews,

and the latest on my

"1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project."
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gratitude and the Week in Reviews

[I review the movies "Dallas Buyers Club," "The Way Way Back," "Scenic Route," "The Internship," "And While You Were Here" and the book "House in the Sky."]

But first


It's the day after Thanksgiving and, except for the scream I let out that was like a banshee from hell when I stepped on the scale, I am full of gratitude.

And when I think of all that I am grateful for, happy and sometimes funny memories come flooding back.

So the first thing I am grateful for is all of the happy and funny memories I have.

So here is my list of what I am grateful for with some accompanying happy and sometimes funny memories.


We found each other over 30 years ago when we were both at loose ends, and over the last 30 years, we have tied those loose ends together and created a happy life.  He has been a good husband and father.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy, Funny Memory:  On our first date, late into the evening, we sang a boozy duet of "Endless Love" together (and I'm not talking about karaoke.  It was just the two of us).

I knew he was the one.

My son

He and I were all alone and I didn't know what the future would be until I met Hubby.  Now 33 years later, my son is a successful attorney and partner in a law firm.  But more importantly, he is a wonderful, kind man, husband and father.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy, funny memory: When he was about the age in the picture above, he told me he loved me "more than life itself."

I was so happy!  I couldn't believe it.  For one thing, what a mature thing to say, but even better, that he loved me that much.  It wasn't until later when he was watching Walt Disney's animated "Robin Hood" movie, which was a particular favorite of his, that I overheard "Robin" say to "Maid Marian," "I love you more than life itself."

So much for that. 

My daughter

My daughter was an amazing student, like her brother.  She was given the opportunity to go to Stanford and that has held her in good stead as she moves forward in her career.  But she is also a wonderful, kind woman who is happily married.

And I am grateful for that.

Happy, funny memory:  When my daughter was learning to speak she had trouble with her compound consonants such as "TR."  She would turn them into "F's."  She also used to like to point at things she would see as we were driving around and yell out what they were. 

Trucks were a favorite.

Well you get the picture.  My mother was not amused.

My parent's long lives

Since I wasn't born until my parents were 40, I am so grateful they both lived to be in their 80's and 90's.  When you think that my parents were 72 when my son was born, it was a miracle he and my daughter (they were 76 when she was born) knew their grandparents at all.  But even though they were young when they knew them, my parents are remembered by my children.  And it doesn't hurt to come from a family with longevity.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy, Funny Memory: My Dad playing and singing this on the piano.

A peanut sat
On a railway track
His heart was all a flutter
Around the bend came number ten
Choo! Choo! Peanut butter!!!
And then he would chuckle that deep so-satisfied-with-himself chuckle of his.

And this time of year especially, my mother's pies.


I know there is much to despair about with FB but being able to keep up with old friends and meet new ones has helped me immensely as I have moved to a new town, embarked upon retirement, and, dare I say it, old age?  I can keep up with my children, my friends, my relatives, my old friends from long ago...

I am grateful for that.

Happy Funny memory:  I am talking to and sharing with friends from 40 years ago which brings back all kinds of happy and funny memories.

Seattle Stair Walks

Walking is my favorite exercise.  Yes, I go to the gym, but long walks are my exercise of choice.  Add to the walk new neighborhoods and environments and I am in heaven.  When we first moved to Seattle we went through at least two "urban walks" type books and that helped immensely to get to know the place, but we have had the most fun with "Seattle Stairway Walks" by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo. Seattle is a town of hills and stairs to get up and down those hills.  Every walk includes beautiful residential areas, lush greenery and stairs and more stairs.

Happy Memory:  That my ass is smaller because of this book.


I am grateful that I have a pension from 30 years of work and can retire.  I know many people can't (like Hubby) or worry about how they will manage without a job.  Retirement enables me to spend time with myself, something I am finding very rewarding.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy Funny Memory:  Working on it.

My Nexus card

We would go to Canada and when crossing the border see this entrance to the border patrol called NEXUS.  It hardly ever had any cars in it.  I decided to investigate.  Hubby and I are now "trusted travelers" and we can not only use that fast line to get across the border to Canada, but we can use the TSA Pre-check line at the airport.  We can keep our shoes on, no need to pull out the Ipad or the cosmetics.  It's quick and easy.  Love it!

I am so grateful for that.

Happy, Funny Memory:  Thinking nah-nah-na-nah-nah as we whiz through security at the airport or across the border.  No, not really, that would be immature and mean.

The fact that tea isn't fattening

It seems like such a small thing, but let me tell you...anything that is not fattening is a blessing.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy Memory:  High tea at The Ritz in London.


With children and grandchildren living hundreds and thousands of miles away, Skype helps keep us connected.

I am so grateful for that.

Happy Funny Memory:  Watching "Cars," the movie with my grandson.  He is obsessed


When we first got TIVO, I thought this would change my life - well, my TV viewing habits anyway.  No more would I be a captive to the TV.  I could set up automatic recording for shows I liked and then watch them when it was convenient.  Well, that was the idea. 

The reality is it affords me the opportunity to watch way more TV than I ever could have without it. And that's not a good thing.  I find myself setting up Season Passes (this is an action that will automatically record an entire series of a program) for shows I probably never would have watched. 

Not so happy, but funny memory:  I fell to a new low when I actually watched an episode of "Buying Naked."


Hubby gave this to me for Christmas last year.  It works with TIVO and allows you to watch everything on your TV remotely from an IPAD or another device as if you were in real time at home.  It is very cool when you are traveling, especially in other countries where the TV is in a different language.  Not that I spend much time watching TV when I am traveling. Really, I don't.

Strange, funny memory: Here is what I have used it for.  When I am traveling, I turn it on and if I can access my TV from my IPad, I know my TV is still there and we haven't been robbed!


I am grateful for libraries, not just because they sustained my career, but because libraries represent what this country is all about:  freedom - the freedom to read, the freedom to access information, the freedom to view and it's a place for people to gather to exchange ideas.

I am grateful for that.

Happy Funny Memory:  All of the wonderful people I have worked with and met, some very funny.


No elaboration needed here. 

And there is someone else who is grateful for that who will remain nameless, but his initials are W.G.P.

He is so grateful for that.

Speaking of which, my list would not be complete without my gratitude to the Wine Guzzling Poodle and his two cohorts.  They have given us too many happy, funny memories to recount.

This actually is not a complete list. 

I think of things I am grateful for every day.
I am grateful for that!

What are you grateful for?


Now on with the Week in Reviews. 

Take a break from holiday madness, do something nice for yourself, and lose yourself in a film or a book.



Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a hard living homophobe who finds himself with the AIDS virus.  It's 1985 and he can't get the drugs he feels he needs to save himself.  So he sets up a "buyer's club" to help himself and other AIDS sufferers get the drugs they need from Mexico and other countries and the FDA tries to stop him.

Much was made of McConaughey's weight loss and his transformation is amazing.  But Jared Leto must also be recognized.  Looks like he did the same thing.  You would never recognize him from teen heartthrob days, though he makes a beautiful woman.  Both will no doubt be recognized by the Academy come Oscar time. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you liked Silkwood or Erin Brockovich, you will like this film.  But it's the acting that stands out here.

Movies You Might Have Missed
And some you will be glad you did!

(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
Duncan is 14 and on vacation with his mother and her new overbearing boyfriend.
An unflattering picture of adults at play through the eyes of children.
It's interesting to see Steve Carell in an unsympathetic role, but Allison Janney is the one who steals the show in the role of the ditzy, drunken next door neighbor with a heart of gold.  You don't often see her play these types of roles.  I am thinking - Academy Award nomination?  Also Liam James is a fine young actor who can convey his character's transformation just through the use of his shoulders.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a sweet coming of age story that shows how the sins of the parents can rain down on the children. 
Highly recommended.

Scenic Route (2013)
Two lifelong friends are on a road trip through Death Valley and their truck breaks down.  Bad stuff happens. 
I enjoy the occasional horror film and that's what I thought this was going to be, but actually, it was more of a character study about what happens when you are stranded and broken down into your barest most base self and secrets and regrets are revealed - a kind of demented, violent "My Dinner with Andre."
Rosy the Reviewer says...It's one of those "will they or won't they" get rescued movies with an ending that will likely spark discussion. I liked it but, Josh, you are too handsome for a Mohawk and romantic comedies miss you!
Two salesmen (of the worst kind) find themselves jobless so talk their way into an internship at Google.
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are both funny guys and this was a cute premise, but this film misses the mark.
Rosy the Reviewer says...This is no Wedding Crashers.  
It's predictable and I didn't laugh.
Unhappy married woman in Naples meets and falls for a young boy.
The lush Naples backdrop is the star here.  Otherwise, a rather vapid story with vapid characters.  Jamie Blackley, the young love interest, is worth watching.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like travelogues, you might enjoy this.  And can Kate Bosworth be any skinnier?

***Book of the Week***

A House in the Sky (2013) by Amanda Lindhout
An adventurous young woman travels to dangerous destinations and finds herself a kidnap victim in Somalia.

For 460 days, Canadian Amanda Lindhout endured all kinds of deprivation and sexual abuse at the hands of her captors, resorting to converting to Islam in hopes of finding compassion in her captors. 

Rosy the Reviewer says...a harrowing read.  If you liked "A Mighty Heart" or "American Hostage," you might like this.

Try your local library for DVDs and books listed.

That's it for this week.


See you next Tuesday
where I will share my travel tips for seniors
(and others too)!

Thanks for reading! 
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