Category Archives: birthdays

April 24, 2017 – A to Z Challenge – T

Life in Leith – A Short Story

Last night Tim and I went into Leith for a few pints to celebrate his birthday.  We were joined by the other members of our football club.

Lots of joking around and checking out the young ladies in the pub.  I had my eye on one particular lovely one named Maggie who had red hair and a fine form.  She seemed interested so we shared a few pints.  Turns out she had been in school with Tim and knew several of my other friends.  I had actually dated her cousin at one time and I hope she did not know too much of the history there.

Originally, because it was a work night we were just going to have a few but it ended up with us being there late and drinking more than planned.  Well, to be honest, maybe we made no efforts at control.  I even managed a tulsa which probably made me look the fool to Maggie but by then I hardly cared.

After the last call we worked at finishing up our drinks and singing Happy Birthday to Tim.  As we left the pub and headed for the car one of the Garda pulled up and asked us to stay where we were.  Not thinking anything was up we stood and did as he asked.   He handed us the card –  “Please read the following”.  Tolstachaolaois-  I did try hard to do it but it just did not come out right.  I started giggling and just could not stop.  The Garda was not impressed.

Then what he wanted to know was who was driving.  Guess it was not going to be me.  Tim enjoyed his celebration and we found a way home and continued to celebrate long into the night.

November 28, 2016 – History repeating itself

November 28, 2016
Been a busy week. Thanksgiving was great at our daughter’s house. She is vegetarian but cooks a mean Thanksgiving Dinner. It was a good day even though it was threatening to snow. Had a very interesting discussion with son in laws father about the election, about employment issues in America etc. I thought he was going to take a very conservative view but it turned out we were on the same page. Jobs are not coming back because of technology replacing humans in factories. So, if a company were to return to the US there would be few jobs coming with it. He works in the energy industry and I learned a lot from our discussion. Things like the way they now do coal mining without miners. Some fantastic machine that does the work of 10 men.

The next day we took off for DC to have an early 5th birthday with the younger granddaughter. It has been a great weekend. Saturday, we went to the Baltimore Fire Museum for a visit to Santa. While there my brother, his daughter and family came along to meet up and we all went out to lunch. Only problem was they put us in two booths and the little kids were in one with one adult. I did have a good conversation with nephew in law. He is a very interesting person and I don’t think until recently that we ever had a good conversation. Would love to see them more often.

Back at our son’s house we gave the little one her birthday presents. The big gift was a stuffed calf. She has been asking for a real one for a pet and I thought this might appease her for a while. She seems to really like it and has been sleeping with it every night and playing with it all day. I love finding a gift that is a hit.

Sunday the kids had a birthday party to attend so hubby and I went down to the National Art Gallery. It was great. I got to see both buildings. The modern art really threw me. I don’t like most modern art. But the impressionists were fabulous, they had a Magritte there that I really liked. He is one of my favorite artists. The Hudson River School artists were also so great to see. They have one Leonardo da Vinci there that is beautiful. So many people missed that it was a two-sided item. We took the metro both ways and walked to the station. I was very sore when we got back due to my recent total lack of exercise.

We took the crew out to dinner at Brookland Pint. It was delicious and the kids are so great to go out to eat with. They are very well behaved for 5 and 7.
Today everyone was back to work and school so after dropping the kids at school we went down to the Museum of Native American History. It was depressing to say the least. Reading of their history and how well their communities ran and then the white men arrived and decided to make North American a white, Christian country. We decimated their populations and ran them off their lands. If they refused, we killed them. Then to top off the day there was this movie about the Hawaiian people. It was just so sad how we took their lands and just told them tough luck folks. But then I realized nothing really has changed in this country. What is happening in North Dakota and the response from DC is to ignore it all. Or at least so far. When they were hosing people down in sub-zero weather and no one in power stood up I knew this situation was not good. The people I would have put my faith in like the President have failed me on this one. And after heading some of the history today I realized just how hopeless the situation is for our first nations peoples. I wish I had a magic wand and could make some changes in the hearts of Americans.

Am very tired to night and it is a long drive tomorrow. But has been a very good weekend.

May 1917 – Charles O’Connor Diary

May 1 – Cold stormy day snowed some and rained most of the day. J Bevins here this eve.
May 2 – I went to the Bay to J G Chapmans funeral. I had a talk with H Willis re line fence. This was a cold blustery day snowed a little all day. A Slack and Myers called on their way home from Wilfred Yates wedding. The roads are very bad today.
May 3 – Marshall and I went over to build the line fence on the Shook place. But did not do anything at it as Marshall made the following agreement with Jim Burns. Marshall is to give Jim a rent of so much. (I do not know the amt.) for this season and Jim and I are to get the lines run before another season so we can put up the line fence and each of us is to bear half the cost of the surveyor. Fergus sent out his mare and colt. Gordy Leadbeter put 5 head of cattle in the pasture. I got up a load of stove wood.
May 4 – Marshall and I fixed fence most of the day. Some warmer today. Marshall started the team on the land. McClean drove them.
May 5 – I worked around the place all day. I put out some manure. Marshall took two calves to the station. He got me a small bag of salt.
May 6 – At home all day. Nane Donnelly and wife came here at noon and spent the afternoon.
May 7 – This is a fine day. I worked around the place and put in some garden stuff. I planted a few hills of potatoes.
May 8 – I put the mare and colt across the creek and they came back.
May 9 – I went to Seeleys Bay had my dinner at Donnelly’s came home afternoon. I got some grass seed for Marshall.
May 10 –I worked around the place most of the day. I put the mare and colt over in the pasture.
May 11 – Wet day nothing doing. Marshall and I went up to Frank Tye’s. Then went back to the pasture to look about the cattle. Sall Haskins put his yearling in for the season.
May 12 – I worked around the place forenoon and went to Lyndhurst afternoon. P Flood was here today for dinner. Cold day.
May 13 – Madeline and I went to Lansdowne to Mass got here at 1:30 the roads was very bad fine day but windy.
May 14 – Cut wood in the door yard most of the day. This was a cold day.
May 15 – Worked around the place I went over to see the colts and cattle. P Flood here for dinner. Marshall went for hay this eve.
May 16 – Cold day there was quite a snow storm and a little rain.
May 17 – Marshall and I went to Lansdowne to mass as this is a holyday did not get home until 2 oclock fine day some warmer.
May 18 – Worked around the place most of the day. Fixed the line fence. There was two loads of cheese shipped from the factory today. I got 36 lbs curd from Johnson.
May 19 – Worked at line fence until 2 oclock then Madeline went to Lyndhurst. Marshall worked all day at the fence. Thunder storm this eve.
May 20 – There was a good rain last night but this is a fine moring. Marshall and I went over to see the cattle in the pasture.
May 21 – Marshall and I worked around the place all day. Fixed some fences. Daisy had a cold this eve.
May 22 – Wet morning and most of the day we took the Jersey cow down to J Bevins.
May 23 – I went across the creek C Riley put a colt in the pasture yesterday. The Red Heffer came in last night. Marshall and I fixed fences most of the day.
May 24 – I intended to go to Gananoque today but the roads are very bad and its rainy some so we did not go.
May 25 – We worked at the fence most of the day. The old mare had a colt this eve a great big Sorral mare.
May 26 – We finished up the fence forenoon and went up to Joe Tyes for a bull. I went to Lyndhurst got some things paid for all I got.
May 27 – Madeline and I went to Lansdowne to mass. Fergus and family was here when we got home. A Slack, wife and Cora, Bridget Flood and Percy came afternoon was here until six oclock. Fergus started for home at five oclock. Madeline went home with them.
May 28 – I went to see the colts and cattle forenoon and went to Gananoque afternoon I got there at 8 oclock. Madeline and I spent the eve at J McArdles.
May 29 – Wet morning G Hill started work at the house. We started for home after dinner got home at four.
May 30 – Worked around the place all day. Helped to fix up planting ground.
May 31 – Worked at the planting ground and planted some potatoes. This is a very fine day. there was an earthquake this morning.

October 4, 2015 – Toys, puzzles and farmers market

I was too tired to write last night after the drive down here.  I had awakened at 5:30 am in a panic and could not get back to sleep..  My stomach calmed down around 9:30 and I was able to get away shortly there after.  After all the weather scare all week about heavy winds and rain it did not happen.  I got here around 4ish and surprised the kids since I could not get bars on my phone so could not call them to say I was in the neighborhood.

As we were unpacking Sol grabbed one of her presents and opened it and was happy as a clam.  I told her no more until later.  Turns out the Friends Lego set is just her thing.  She was able to follow the directions and put together everything herself.  She and lIttle Bear spent time playing with it and other Lego set characters they have. After dinner she got the rest of the presents and was so happy.  They were up late putting together the larger Lego Friends set – a Vet hospital – so bed time was a little hairy.

Turns out Ian’s training does not start until Tuesday so tomorrow they will take care of the coming and goings.  Then Tues, Weds, and Thurs I am in charge to dropping off and picking up from school.  And as it turns out school is closed on Friday for teacher conferences so the girls and I are going to have a day together.  I figure we will go to the play ground, out for lunch, movie time and then more outside play time.  They are hard to get away when they are playing with their legos and other toys.  They are so imaginative and get into playing very seriously.

We stayed up chatting last night so it was around 1 when I went to sleep and then the same thing happened again as the morning before. Woke up early in a panic.  Did some breathing and relaxation and eventually took some medication to slow things down a notch.  Don’t have a clue what the stress is about but I find it entirely too annoying. Going to try and figure somethings out and maybe go up to the Coop tomorrow and pick up some natural cures. Drinking lemon/ginger tea to try and keep the stomach calm.

I have a theory about what is happening but it does not make a great deal of sense to me.  It has been almost two years since my last attack of dry heaving and not being able to eat. Every time I have to travel I am afraid it will happen again after getting one in Seattle which I had known was coming on in retrospect since for a month before the symptoms had been happening – drop in appetite, trouble sleeping etc.  My doctor says I have a right to feel anxious since that was darn scary out there. The other two attacks were when I was at home and perfectly happy except for the symptoms which started the month before each attack.  The first was after my gall bladder surgery and I was sure that it had something to do with that but the surgeon did not want to hear that. And they found 18 polyps in my stomach and I figured that was it.But then it happened again and then again.  So who knows what the heck is the matter with me but I am sure angry about worrying about it happening again.  At this point my appetite is hearty so I don’t think another attack is coming on but how not to think about it is another thing.  Oh well.

Two letters from Sheila tonight. Figure I owe to those of you who read this to read the letters.  Tomorrow I am going to start working on putting some of the letters from the two sisters into a format for publication so it will be interesting to see how it flows.  And I might start putting some other historical information on here as well.

29 Nov 1944

Dear All:

Received letters from Mom written the 20 Nov, and Dad, Eileen, and Ferg and was so pleased and glad to get them, they were grand. I have up to date received Xmas parcels from Mom & Dad, Eileen & Mary, Ferg & Connie, Mary, Norah, Auntie May Shea, Helen O’Connor Jarrell and have loved them all.

I am wondering Mary if you would take some money from my bank account of get Carmel, Agnes, & Helen something real nice for Xmas for me, and I would appreciate it so much as I just can’t get them anything here as things are too high or too many coupons, one or the other always seems the case.

I open Helen O’Connor’s and it was a grand box with Helena Rub., face powder, lipstick and creams a grand box and I loved it.

Doylie and I went to Bournemouth, it was a 6 hr drive but we were both in high spirits so we really didn’t mind it, in fact we enjoyed it very much as it was all cross county, we left from Hayward Heath station, by way to Brighton, then to Southhampton to Bournmouth, you can see it all on a good map of England. It was all new country to me and I enjoyed it all so very much. At Bournemouth, it is wonderful, we went down to the coast and walked about a mile along the sandy sea shore and looked out over to where France is and it gave us a real thrill to think we were actually there, saw the tide come in and it was so very nice. Stewart Boyd had left so I didn’t see him, but Joe Doyle, Mary and I had a grand time just talking and fooling around. Took pictures which I shall send when we get them. It was a grant trip, even if we didn’t have much time, I enjoyed it all very much.

Well dears, this is all for now and love to you all and I miss you all.

Love Sheila

2 Dec. 1944

Dear All:

Received Mother letter of the 27th to-day, our mail is really going very well and fast, but I’m afraid you are not getting all mine, because I wrote Mom & Dad a letter, letting you how much I loved your box and Mom said in her letter she couldn’t figure out why I had not received it. I loved it each and every little parcel and as yet have not opened the unfood ones. Also received a parcel from you with soap, stockings and photo album and loved it all.

By the way on the customs slip that you paste on my parcels, you should put Patt’s address for the other address, as occasionally they get mislaid and in that way one or the other of us will get them.

Thank you very much for sending me the papers & magazines, I loved them so much, as we never see any Kingston paper around here.

So glad Hap Lorenzer arrived safely back and hope you see him soon. I shall be anxious to hear what you think of the presents I sent you.

I am coming off nites, Monday the 4th and shall not be sorry, in fact I shall be very glad to get on days again. Dolyie and Suddsie are on days again. Doylie sends her love to you all and Suddsie sends hers to, says she feels she knows you all, as I talk about each one of you so much, now she asks when I get a letter from Marg or Norah, she will ask about the kids. Funny but nice eh?

Well dears, shall close for now and Mother dear, do take care of yourself, and I hope Eileen is much, much better now, and I miss you all very much. Shall write soon again.

Love Sheila

September 6, 2015 – warm day for my birthday girl

Today is the birthday of my lovely daughter Norah..  she is off on a great birthday trip,with her partner in crime Andrew since he has a birthday as well.  Hope you both have a wonderful time.

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No blogging last night because the computer was being bad again.   Hubby left yesterday so he can get ready for work which starts this week.  I am cleaning.  yesterday was kind of funny really.  I have been seeing signs for town wide garage sales in lovely Lansdowne so thought I should go and support it. well, good thing I did not bring a bunch of people with me because it turned out to brethren houses, maybe four?? So since I was there I hit the two antique stores which are great for browsing.  I found a very old book called the Little Bear series.   I purchased it for my little bear down in DC.  I think she will like it very much.  I found another very old children’s book for the girls. but little bear is for my little cutie..

then I returned home with the intention of starting to clean. I did some but in this heat can you imagine the difficulty with inspiring oneself to do anything.  I did do a couple of things but not as much as I had planned to do.  So today I cleaned the school house and the spare bedroom after having brunch at the Legion Hall in Mallorytown with Pete and Carol.  was fun and then I decided to take a ride and went down to Lyndhurst to checkout the antique store there…. No luck but then decided to take a ride. I drove out Red Horse Lake Road. Interesting in this areaI think of as pretty flat that it goes quite far uphill.  there is no one along that road until you  get to the end where there re lanes towards cottage on the water.  so I turned around and come home. It was nice up there and I will bet in October the levels will be lovely up there.

Found another treasure yesterday……pictures of Sheila and her friends she talks about all the time in her letters so will post them and one of Sheila and Patt in England

23 rd Sept 44

Dear All:

I don’t really know what got into me this last week but I just didn’t seem to be able to write letters at all. I just did not seem to be able to sit down and write at all.

I have seen London, and loved it every part of it. Norm (Patt’s friend) came back to England,   He has hurt his radius from the upper part – compound fracture, has a cast on and they will be doing secondary closure on it any time now.   He is at No 2.   He phoned and I met him in London. He met me at Victoria Station and we took a taxi and registered at the Hotel Waldorf, and then went for a walk down to Trafalgar Square and really I felt like I was in a dream just seeing it, it is wonderful and saw the Admiralty and Admiralty Arch, and Buckingham Palace, but well all, I was disappointed at that as I thought it would be fairyland castle but it is real very military etc. Saw the square that the King and Queen inspect parades, saw the monuments to all the Br. Empire and stood on Waterloo Bridge & saw Big Ben. ST. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey and Piccadilly Circus,. It was all so wonderful at 6:00 we went to a play called “While the Sun Shines” by Terence Rattigan. The actors were Douglas Jeffries, Robert Long, Hugh McDermott, Jane Baxter, Ronald Squire, Eugene Deckers? & Brenda Bruce.It was a comedy and very, very good.

I saw all the London Sables and they are not rabbits hair to say the least, they are really something. I enjoyed every minute of it all and really think London is perfect. We had marvelous meals and Norm is grand.

Received one of Mom’s parcels and loved it. Everything was super.

Shall write again soon.

By the way, I have not received any cigarettes from you people yet. Please send some.

Love Sheila

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Waldorf Hotel London

September 4, 2015 – The inevitable has happened

    Opinicon Lodge..

Well, it happened. I am living with a 70 year old man.. Who would have ever thought it would last???? I know some people who were sure it would never last but tee hee we fooled them.  I am really lucky to have met this kind, gentle, caring person to spend my life with.  He does have a temper that is like a flash in the pan kind of thing. I get mad and stay mad.  He hoots and hollers and does not have a clue what it was about 30 minutes later. Ask me in two weeks and I can still tell you what I am angry about.  Oh well…

We had a lovely day. It started with his getting ready to go for a run but as he was out in the road the phone rang and I managed to catch him before he passed by the School House so he got to speak to his two little darlings.  I love a five year old with a sense of humor.   “Grandpa I hope you have a strawberry cake….. giggle, not really you can have blueberry” She knows he hates strawberries. The three year old just mimiced her sister but that is okay. she is learning.  Then they sent videos on youtube wishing him a happy birthday.  Very sweet.

At 11 we took off for Chaffeys Lock and the Opinicon Lodge.  It is lovely there. We walked around for awhile and then went up to the restaurant to wait for Mike and Cheryl.  We got out seats and they arrived shortly.  The lunch was very good. I had something new for me – pulled pork tacos. They were yummy.  Then we shared a flourless chocolate cake for dessert – since he was not getting a cake other wise.  It was to die for… so good… worth the trip just for that.

Then MIke, Denis and I went down to the Lock and watch the boats going through and toured the museum.  It was such a nice day. Warm in the sun, pleasant in the shade, blue skies and just very comfortable and a beautiful spot. We went to the Lock Masters House Museum which is very interesting and not too big.  Mike identified one of the sons of an old lock master as his 12th grade English teacher and then met the fellows grandson as we were leaving.  That was so nice.

In the afternoon there was packing, and dismantling the Fairy Trees. I packed away all the decorations so that next summer we can do it all over again.  I love those trees and I think it will be fun to add things next year.  I hope the girls come so they can see them again while they are little and can invest in them. Denis had to get his clothing packed and he offered to take the washing home and do it there with the new machine that holds more than the little one here. So he is.  We already packed things into his car so he will be ready to go more easily in the morning.

Tomorrow I am going to the Lansdowne Townwide Garage sales.  Want to see if I can find a book case and maybe a comfy chair and a futon.. not likely everything but a bookcase would be good.

This summer has been the best summer we have had up here.  No stress, lots of us time, and just relaxing. I hate for it to come to an end and I would love to have a little kid meltdown.  I love it up here. I can be reclusive if I want, social if I want, exploring and adventuresome or just sitting and reading books for two months or three months.  It is not long enough for sure

But it is ending and I have to accept it one way or the other.  I dread going back to TV which I will be totally into with in a week.  Am looking forward to my Tai Chi and Chair Yoga classes.  And to see if I can get the town to deposit more old unused prescription and over the counter drugs than any other community in the capital district.  I love a challenge.  I will start that campaign on weds with posters and flyers to go all over the town.  Such fun…. I know some of you are cringing.. but it is totally who I am and I enjoy it so don’t worry, I am not falling back on my commitment to do things for me. This is for me.

So back to Sheila’s letters. I want you to know I have been given a great idea about how to put these letters into a book so am thinking I may do a switch here. I might start putting Charles O’Connors diaries from 1895 – 1918 on here. I could do a few days at a time. What do you think???? They are fascinating examples of life on a farm at that time in history.  He wrote almost every day. My dear Grand Aunt Madeline took the first diaries and rewrote them and deleted anything she did not like from them so we miss a lot. But they were at the farm all that time.  I would love to see diaries from before then because Gr Grandfather was moving the family around to Watertown, was trying to start a new life in Providence RI etc but none of that worked out and then ended up back at the farm. Good luck for us or none of us would even be here today.

So here is Sheila’s letter for today

12/9/44

Dear Mom & Dad:

I’m still on nites and you will be very glad to hear I have enjoyed my turn so far very much. I’m on one of the easier wards in the hospital and the boy who works with me is one of the best guys a real good head. Pardon all the mistakes, I guess I’m writing faster than I’m think. True to my usual self right?

Had letters from Pattsy and Carmel yesterday and enjoyed both so much. Pattsy enclosed Mom’s letter that was to both of us and love it. Patt seems very thrilled crossing the La Seine and then who wouldn’t be eh – but I guess she is really seeing war, what a sight it much be to ride into those cities and just see rocks and stones in piles and heaps eh.

I am thrilled about the news these days as it all looks so good and cheerful eh..

Have been doing nothing of any importance lately. Our leaves have been cancelled for while owing to shortness of staff, and they are sending all nurses over 40 home to Canada, so about 8 went from here, thus our leaves cancelled. We don’t feel a bit badly about it as we hope we’ll all be able to get them together that way.

There is really not much news as I’ve been sleeping all day and working all night.

I looking forward to your parcels and shall love them. Have not received any cigarettes from you yet and I’m getting low on them but expect they will come soon. Got the ones I sent myself while at Debert and some from Jack but none from you but guess they come in time.

Well dears, this is all for now, and shall write again soon.

Love Sheila

p.s. I’m a full Lieut now. Send me Mrs. Wells address Mom & I’ll write her.

September 3, 2015. tomorrow’s big day

Yes, there are some big days in ones life,   I believe that turning 70 is one of them.  for many people it is the beginning of the end and yet for others it is just a continuation of the “Big Adventure”.  I think that the latter would describe Denis turning 70.

At forty instead of having a mid life crisis he returned to college at night and over the years received a bachelors degree as well as a masters in American History.  after taking some time off to figure out what he was going to do next a stroke of luck happened…. SUNY Albany decided to offer a PhD in .american History again..  So he applied to the program as a part time student and after some discussion the department decided to accept him as a part time student.  and when his job went away to Philadelphia we figured out he could do school  full time so off he went to college full time.

in 2002, I think, he finished his PhD.  That was some wonderful occasion   I wish my mom had still been around with her faculties in tack since I know how thrilled she would have been for him.    the kids came and watched him defend his dissertation which was an experience.  and then the graduation.

Since shortly after he graduated he has been teaching at Union College, not just as something to do, but with a passion for learning and teaching.  he has been able to take a trip to Fnland to present at a conference, take 24 students fr a mini term in South Africa in Dec 2010 and then last fall we both went with 19 students to the Universiy at Galway for a semester.  all of this keeps him so passionate and excited about this new career.  he has developed courses that were never offered before, a History of Union College, Women in Sports, A Novel View of American History and others.  It is all keeping him young and involved and excited about life.

so on Sept 4 when he turns 70 I think he will celebrate by looking forward with excitement and not with and regrets.  he has four fabulous grown up children, two beautiful grandchildren and a wife who loves and admires him and supports his efforts.   so hopefully on November 2 this year Imwill be writing about his success in running the New York City Marathon which has been his goal for this seventieth birthday.

Happy Birthday Denis and may there be many more for you.  lovingly, the Thorn

February 22, 2015 – how to make sure every one knows,when your birthday is!!!!

Today is Sue Armer Browns birthday.  It does not matter which one it is, no really, all that matters is that you remember Feb 22, is her birthday.  I learned a valuable lesson from Sue about birthdays.  The month before her birthday every year that she lived here. she would start the countdown.  I called her up and she would say, “just remember 30 days until my birthday.” this would go on daily for the month. By the time the day arrived we were all ready to party, whether it was pizza and brownies cooked by Sue or food we brought over, we knew that was the day to celebrate,   On asking her how this all started she happily told us it came from her mother who told her how important it is to celebrate your life and your birthday is a very special day and you need to honor it.

I like the idea of celebrating ourselves and being happy for our presence here on earth and in the lives of those close to us.  Even after Sue moved away and went to work at Cooperative Extension she told me how she put a tear off pad on her desk where everyone could see it and had a count down to her birthday. Everyone loved it.  Now I am sure there are people who would question the self promotion but in truth, I like it.  I don’t do that myself but I did throw my own retirement party.  I wanted to invite people that I know the folks in my office would not have thought to invite and there were people I did not want there who were part of the reason I retired when I did.  I had a great time and talked way to much since I did not think about giving a speech and annoyed several people very close to me by some things I did not say but nothing I can do about that now….  I had a great time and enjoyed myself hugely….

now that I am over 70 I figure I should celebrate every birthday as something special since I don’t have a clue how many more I will have or remember having.  and no matter what your age I would encourage you to celebrate the gift you are to those you love and who love you….

Life is a journey and considering the down times, you might as well make the most of the fun times and make your own fun times,

The good news today is that the sun was shining and we went for a walk and that made me feel a whole lot better.  and this evening I am going to my first write-in at Denny’s in Latham.  never did that before but thought I would try it. Might get back into the book if I do.  So am writing this now rather than late tonight.