Entries 550 - 526

ENTRY #550
DATE:  04/08/17 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  All set with EZ-Pass!

     Woke up this morning to a day filled with NO PLANS AT ALL so I grabbed the MP3 Player, jumped in the truck and drove up to Auburn, MA to the EZ-Pass Customer Service Center. Since Connecticut is currently a Toll-Booth-Free state (though I don't know how much longer that will last), I had to go to either New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts to find the nearest Service Center. I already had a good idea where the one in Auburn is located, so that's the one I chose.
     I'm all set! The transponder is already stuck to my windshield and it's loaded with a 100 bucks so that should last quite a while, LOL! Hamburg, here I come! 19 days and counting!
     And now, since it's only 1:30, I'm headin' out again to play with the camera a little more! Ciao for now!

ENTRY #549
DATE:  04/02/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  The NIKON is out'a the box!!!

     I finally got the new camera out'a the box, loaded it with batteries and hit the road today to see what it could do. LOL, I was out all day long. I left my house at 11:00am and never got home 'til 7:00pm... and, I gotta tell ya, it was AWESOME to be out with a camera again!!! It's been four years since my last camera died and I've missed being out "in the field" immensely!
     My first stop was St. John's Cemetery right up the street from my house. Then I headed over to Milford and hit St. Mary's Cemetery on Gulf Street and King's Highway Cemetery on Cherry Street. From Milford I headed up to Trumbull to Gate of Heaven Cemetery... then down to Bridgeport to Mountain Grove Cemetery and, finally, St. Margaret's Shrine on Park Avenue. It was a busy day!
     Came home with over a hundred shots and loaded them onto the computer immediately. Since this was my first time out with this camera, I didn't play with any of the settings at all. Before I start changing settings, I have to get accustomed to an established base-line for comparison purposes so I just kept it in AUTO all day. Out of the 100+ shots I took, I kept about 80 of them. I'm very impressed with this camera! 16 mega pixels! The quality of each photo is simply fantastic! I haven't played with the MACRO feature yet but I probably will my next time out.
     Here's my favorite SHOT OF THE DAY.... taken at St. Margaret's Shrine in Bridgeport....

ENTRY #548
DATE:  03/27/17 (Monday)
SUBJECT:  A [Wet] Weekend with Dad...

     Spent the weekend in New Hampshire with my Dad. It was a nice visit. Wet, but nice. I say "wet" because the woman who lives on the second floor, right above my Dad's apartment, managed to doze off while she was filling her tub for a bath.... the floor in her apartment was completely flooded by the time she woke up from my Dad pounding on her door. By the time he came back downstairs to his own apartment, there was water gushing through the ceiling in his bedroom. And when I say "gushing," I mean gushing. Good grief... all I kept thinking was, "I just spent 210 bucks for a passport so I could visit Niagara Falls? Who knew I could see it for free right here in my Dad's bedroom!" What a mess!
     After the waterworks, we watched a couple DVDs I brought along. One was Last Vegas with Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas and Robert DeNiro. I love that movie; I think it's hilarious... but my Dad wasn't all that crazy about it. The second one was Olympus Has Fallen, another Morgan Freeman film. That one was a HIT with my Dad. With ME too, LOL. Even though I've owned the DVD for about a year, I had never watched it before. It was awesome! It had us both on the edge of our seats! Goooooooood movie!!!
     The drive to and from New Hampshire was interesting as well. The last time I made the trip was back in June for Father's Day. Things have changed since then. All the toll booths getting on and off the Mass Pike have been ripped out. It's now a CASHLESS trip. Which means, if you don't have the EZ-Pass transponder on your windshield, you get a bill in the mail every time you pass through a toll zone. I dig the fact that I don't have to sit in a line of traffic anymore to pay a toll but, the thing is, I'm really not interested in having to pay a bill every single time either; that's a pain in the butt. And considering I'm driving all the way out to Hamburg on the "Mass Pike" (I-90), which is the "NY State Thruway" once you cross over the border, I have no idea how many toll bills I'll be getting in the mail. Goody, goody!
     Soooo... "Get EZ-Pass" has been added to the top of my Things To Do list before my trip at the end of April.

ENTRY #547
DATE:  03/23/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  The Brain says YES; the Body says HELL NO!!!

My brain is writing checks that my body can't cash!

     The Friar had me in stitches the other day and he doesn't even know it. I was sitting here at this computer laughing so hard my eyes were tearing and my abs were aching. Seriously, I really thought I was gonna wet myself from laughing!
     It has been a long time since the last time he's seen me. I've gained a considerable amount of weight since then. He doesn't realize that I'm -- let's see, how can I put this delicately? -- a FAT PERSON now! So when he innocently suggested HIKING as a possible activity we could do when I'm out there I almost fell out'a my chair!
     My brain and my body have two very different opinions on the matter of hiking, LOL. Immediately after reading Marcel's email, my brain said, "Yeah! Hiking! Excellent! Can't wait! I can get some awesome nature photos as well as some gorgeous shots of The Friar as we hike along through the woods, with Lake Erie as a back-drop! Very cool! Can't wait! Yeah, bring it on! Woohooo! Raring to go!!!"
     Um, my body though, was not happy about the prospect of hiking at all, LOL. My body said, "Wait... what?!?!? Hold on here, who's going hiking? Not me??!! Hiking? Wattayamean by hiking? Define hiking! You mean, like, the shit you do with a football? 'cause that I can do! Hell, I can hike a football all day! But if you mean hiking as in traipsing along a country trail, through the woods, up hill, on a warm-to-hot Spring day, sweating, gasping for breath, um... not so much! We can try it if ya want to, but chances are good The Friar's gonna see you throw up that day! I would advise you find something else to do... unless, of course, you plan on inviting the Paramedics along with us, then OK, I'm game. Then, at least, they'll already be there on the scene when it's time to haul my ass out'a there on their trusty stretcher!"
     The Brain: "C'mon, it'll be fun! Think of the photos we could get! Think of the scenery! Think of all that fresh air! C'mon, please?!?!? We can do it!
     The Body: "Um. No! Nope! Can't do it! I'm already trying to catch my breath just thinkin' about it. Nope. And, not for nothing but, let's not forget the person suggesting the hiking is an 84-year-old, diabetic, cardiac patient! Seriously, find something ELSE to do 'cause I'm thinkin' one of you is gonna drop out in those woods! Nope, not a good idea! Not gonna do it!"
     The Brain: "But...."
     The Body: "Nope!"
     The Brain: "But what about..."
     The Body: "Nope! You wanna take pictures, Niagara Falls and the Botanical Gardens are much more up our alley and you know it!"
     The Brain: "But what if..."
     The Body: "NOPE! Have you forgotten what a Charlie Horse feels like? How 'bout one in each leg at the same time? Let's see how you manage crawling out of bed in the middle of night to walk those off!!!
     The Brain: "Fine, Fat Ass, you win! We won't go hiking! Lose some weight, dammit!"
     And that's, pretty much, how that went. The Body won that battle. The Brain is still kind'a sulking over the whole affair though. LOL, I'm starting to think The Friar will be running circles around me the entire weekend! He's 84 years old and he's talking about hiking?!?!?! Ayuh, time for me to eat another salad!

ENTRY #546
DATE:  03/22/17 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  My New Camera!!!

Went to Best Buy as soon as I got out of work this evening...
     The camera, a Nikon CoolPix B500 ($259.00)
     Two 64gb memory cards ($60.00)
     A three-year warranty ($75.00)
     Two packs of 24 "AA" batteries ($34.00)
     Plus tax, or course, the total purchase was approximately $450.00.
And y'know what the best part of this is? Thanks to all the Best Buy gift-cards I got for Christmas, it didn't cost me a single dime!
     It's not even out of the box yet. And, unfortunately, it probably won't come out of the box until sometime NEXT week 'cause I'm too busy to focus (pun intended) on a camera right now. But at least I finally have it! That's half the battle right there! WOOHOOOO!!!
     Here's the new toy...

ENTRY #545
DATE:  03/21/17 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Wow! That was fast!!!

     I am amazed!
     Got my Passport in the mail today!
     It only took ten days!

ENTRY #544
DATE:  03/19/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Reservations are Made!

     Woohooo!!! I'm another step closer to my trip at the end of April. I made my hotel reservations today! And I'm thrilled too! I booked a "Superior King" room which means there's a mini-refrigerator in the room; there's a microwave in the room; there's a coffee pot in the room; and there's a KING SIZE BED in the room! The bed I currently sleep in - at home - is only a Twin, LOL. I can't even remember the last time I slept in a King. My god, that hotel bed is gonna be HUGE and I can't wait! Plus, I won't even have to share it with my cats! Oh, and get this.... it's only costing me sixty bucks a night! It's in a great location too. It's only 2.3 miles away (right up the road) from where The Friar lives. It's right off the highway. There are plenty of gas stations close by. There are plenty of coffee places close by. It's right next door to a restaurant. It's only 4.6 miles away from the Mall on McKinley Parkway.... and, let me tell ya, McKinley Parkway in Hamburg is basically the equivalent to Route 1 in Connecticut -- every store I could possibly need is right on McKinley Parkway. And, YES, I have already checked -- there is a Barnes & Noble right at the Mall, LOL!!!
     "Check In" time, on Thursday the 27th, is 2:00pm. "Check-Out" time, on Sunday the 30th, is 12:00 noon. Now that I have that information, I can finally start figuring out what time I wanna leave my house Thursday morning. MapQuest and GoogleMaps both say it's "6 hours, 54 minutes" so figure seven hours. However, since it's a weekday I'm sure I'll be hitting rush hour traffic somewhere along the line. I also have to figure in stops for gas/pee breaks and maybe a stop or two to stretch the legs a bit, dunno. I honestly have no idea how long it's gonna take me to get there. I'd say 85-to-90% of the trip is on I-90 so that's good. Once I hit the open road I can set the Cruise Control and sit back to enjoy the ride and just chill with the MP3 player blasting. I can only guess that it's gonna take somewhere between eight or nine hours. If I plan on a nine-hour trip, and Check-In is at 2:00pm, that means if I leave my house at 5:00am I can go straight to the hotel. But... do I want to hit town that late? Hell, half the day is already shot by then! That kind'a sucks. I'm almost tempted to leave my house at midnight so I can get there early-early.
     From my door to his, it's 426 miles and Google says seven hours. Hmmm. Based on some familiar trips (as I try to figure out a point of reference here) ---
  - My Dad is 200 miles from me and that usually takes me three hours, including one stop along the way.
  - Bangor, Maine is 400 miles and that takes me about six hours, give or take, including one stop along the way.
  - My friend Betty lives in Weston, Maine which is almost 500 miles and that takes me eight hours, including two stops along the way.
So it seems 7 hours for 426 miles is pretty accurate. It's all gonna depend on traffic jams and how often I need to pee, LOL.
     *sigh*  I'm over thinking this. Screw it. I'll plan on leaving at 5:00am and I'll get there when I get there.....

ENTRY #543
DATE:  03/17/17 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  St. Patty's...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

ENTRY #542
DATE:  03/14/17 (Tuesday)

     Thanks to Winter Storm Stella, I'm home from work enjoying a Snow Day! And my shop is also opening late tomorrow morning (at 10:00am) for the same reason. Life is good!!!
     To celebrate this unexpected day off I decided to spend the day with Jimmy Stewart, one of my favorite actors! As the snow swirled outside my window, I curled up on the couch with both the cats - a steaming mug of hot cocoa set before me on the coffee table - and enjoyed a five-movie marathon! It included It's A Wonderful Life, You Can't Take it With You, The Shop Around the Corner, Flight of the Phoenix and Rear Window. It was a great way to spend the afternoon -- indoors, safe and warm!!!
     Other things worth mentioning are...
     1.  Adrienne and I went to see The Shack on Saturday, March 4th. It was awesome! It was so good, in fact, it's actually hard to decide which I thought better, the book or the movie! I think I'm swaying slightly towards the book being better but it's impossible to decide. Honestly, though, they were BOTH excellent!!!
     2.  I've updated the Dove's Bio page with a bunch of new links in the "Favorite Websites" section. I've also created a new section for Blogs that I visit occasionally. Y'all might find some of them interesting so check them out sometime.
     3.  After sharing my story about finding Fr. Montanaro (after 40 years) with Adrienne over dinner, I'm still undecided what I'm going to do. She thinks it would be "weird" to visit him. I tend to agree but... for some reason... I feel compelled to see him though I don't know why.
     4.  Paid off my credit card today! Sent them a whopping $1,500.00 payment so that'll give me "full access" for my trip to Hamburg next month! WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!
     5.  Um... this whole "Giving up Barnes & Noble for Lent" thing is driving me nuts. I don't know what I was thinking! It's tougher than I thought it was gonna be. I've already driven passed the place TWICE and it's only been 14 days, LOL. Next year I think I'll just spend the 40 days in the desert!!!
     6.  Went to the Post Office on Saturday to apply for a Passport. That was interesting. Expensive too, LOL... $210.00 it cost me. This Passport is also for my trip next month to Hamburg. Back in January, when I first brought up the idea of visiting for a few days, one of the first things he asked was if I had a Passport so I could get into Canada. I figured he was thinking about Niagara Falls.... but I emailed back saying that I've already done The Falls and really didn't need to again. He replied with, "No problem," so I thought the discussion was over. Apparently not because he brought it up again last week. At that point I figured: A - it is good for ten years so why not? It might come in handy someday. B - if that's what The Friar wants, that's what The Friar shall get. And, most importantly, C - even though I've already done The Falls, I've never done The Falls with him. This is probably one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I don't want it to pass me by. I want to take photographs of him at The Falls; and I'm gonna have to rely on the generosity of strangers, too, 'cause I'm gonna need photographs of us together at The Falls. So, yeah, I decided he was right and that I definitely needed to get a Passport! I paid extra for "Rush Expediting" so I should have it within two to three weeks. Fingers are crossed!!!
     7.  My boss finally OK'd my TOR (Time Off Request) for my trip. I'm heading out there on Thursday, April 27th and heading back home Sunday, April 30th. I also took Monday, May 1rst off so I can recuperate from the trip before going back to work.
     I'm definitely excited about seeing Marcel again... but I'm actually getting a little nervous too. I mean... I just don't know what to expect when I get there. Though I 'spose it's best to not expect anything; just let the time shared take us where it will. But, y'know, that old adage Absence makes the heart grow fonder isn't always true. And in this case, let's face it, it's been fifteen years since we've seen each other. That's a long time. Time changes people. Health changes people. Age changes people. Diet changes people. Medication changes people. Geography changes people. Marcel and I, both, have seen our share of "change" through the last fifteen years. I just hope we still click, that we still get along, the way we used too. We always shared the "gift of gab," our conversations naturally flowing and meandering all over the map, covering a wide variety of topics. I really hope we still have that. Oh, and how I want to make him laugh! I wanna make him laugh the way I make my Mom laugh when I visit her. I so want him to enjoy this visit. I just... um... I just don't want to disappoint him.
     I'm also a little nervous about how I'm going to react when I get there, LOL. He's always been a soft spot in my heart and I fear I'll probably burst into tears the moment I see him. I'm hoping I can keep my emotions in check. Again, keeping my fingers crossed!
     8.  I still have to get the new camera, LOL. I've been procrastinating about it for months. But now it's Crunch Time. I've only got 44 days before I hit Hamburg. Not only do I have to decide which camera to get, I also have to learn how to use the thing, LOL. I seriously have to get off my ass and deal with this. Hopefully sometime next week I'll have time after work to go shopping!
     Hmm... I think that's about all I have to talk about. Soooo... ciao for now! Back to my Snow Day!!! Wooohooooooooooooo!!!

ENTRY #541
DATE:  03/10/17 (Friday)
SUBJECT:  RIP -- Robert James Waller...

May he rest in Peace.
...August 01, 1939 -- March 10, 2017...

Lives end; Legacies carry them on.

ENTRY #540
DATE:  03/08/17 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Three Generations...

"...we are family..."

     The above image captures three generations of women in my family. I put together this collage for my Mom as a Mother's Day gift and gave it to her about fifteen years ago. When she unwrapped it she began to cry so I know I did good, LOL. To this day, it still sits proudly on a shelf in her living room...
     Two things make this charming little collage quite unique...
          One: I chose those three photos intentionally because they are all black and white.
          Two: I chose those three photos because they were taken exactly TWENTY YEARS apart.
     LEFT: Annie - taken in 1944 (my grandmother)
     CENTER: Janie - taken in 1964 (my mother)
     RIGHT: Myself - taken in 1984
FAMILY... it's a wonderful thing!!!

ENTRY #539
DATE:  03/04/17 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  Trump's Hair...

     Back on December 15th, 2005, I posted an entry here (#46) about Trump's hair. The entry is titled You Look Like an Ass!!! LOL, even back then I thought he was a jackass and that was long before he ever stepped into the political arena.
     As it turns out my sentiments are shared by many... and not just about him being a jackass; about his hair as well! I just stumbled upon these two comparisons and cracked up laughing as soon as I saw them. I thought them both share-worthy so here they are...


ENTRY #538
DATE:  03/01/17 (Wednesday)
SUBJECT:  Ash Wednesday / Remembering my Grandfather...

     So I stopped at St. Catherine's on my way to work this morning for ashes. To be perfectly honest, I can't even remember the last time I participated in Ash Wednesday. Five years ago? Maybe ten? LOL, no idea, but it's been a long time, that's for sure. And I really don't know why I did it today; I hadn't planned on it. My original plan was to get to work a little earlier than usual 'cause we've been really busy lately and I wanted to get a jump on the day. But as I was driving past the church - I guess you could say 'the Spirit moved me' - and I made a last-second decision just in time to pull into St. Catherine's driveway.
     Turns out I was right on time. Not for the ashes though. As I was getting out of the truck I happened to notice an elderly woman parked in a Handicap spot right in front of the church. As I began walking in that direction, I watched as she proceeded to get her walker and oxygen tank out of the back seat of her car. She was alone and she was struggling. At that point I started to jog in her direction to give her a hand. All of a sudden there was a CLATTER and down she went! I don't remember, really, exactly what happened... but, apparently, I must've dove in her direction because, in the blink of an eye, I ended up cradling this woman in my arms. I actually caught her before she hit the ground! It happened so fast. I have no memory of throwing down my purse and keys. I have no memory of diving. I have no memory of catching her. Just all of a sudden she was in my arms and I was whispering, "You're OK, Hon, I've got you, you're OK."
     She was quite shaken by the whole thing (as was I), so I escorted her into the church and got her settled in the front pew. Her hands were still trembling and she was winded so I jogged back out to the parking lot, collected her walker and tank and hurried back inside. By the time I got there, a Priest (I think it was Fr. Philip) was already kneeling by her side, consoling her. He took the walker from me and I reapplied her cannula tube, her eyes never leaving my face the entire time. As I tucked the tubing behind her ears, I smiled and asked for her name. "Vera," was all she offered. I think she might have been in shock.
     As I stood to leave - forgetting all about the ashes - Fr. Philip(?) told me he saw the whole thing happen from the office window. With a chuckle he said he'd never seen anyone move so fast! He also added that he was very grateful that I'd been there. When I turned to go, Vera reached out to me. I took her delicate hand in both of mine and bent towards her so I could hear. All she said was, "God bless you." That was enough for me! I leaned in closer and kissed this perfect stranger on her cheek. It was then she finally smiled.
     It didn't hit me until I pulled into the parking lot at work that I never did receive the ashes. It totally slipped my mind... but as I remembered the quake of Vera's trembling hands I figured there are things in life more important than ashes. I was there at the exact moment when Vera needed someone. That's all that mattered. That's what made Ash Wednesday for me today!
     And for those of you who might be wondering, it's Barnes & Noble I'm giving up for Lent. That's gonna be tough. No new books from now until Easter??? LOL, God help me!!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

     For me, today isn't just Ash Wednesday. The first of March also marks the anniversary of my grandfather's death. He passed away 19 years ago. Even though it's been almost twenty years, it feels like just yesterday. I miss him. I don't think one day has gone by where I haven't thought of him.
     He was a truly beautiful man. Tall. Handsome. Funny. Smart. Loving. Gentle. Patient. Strong. Dedicated. He was definitely one of the Greatest Loves of my life!
     He taught me how to shoot a .22 rifle when I was only five years old. By the time I was six, he was calling me Annie Oakley...
     He taught me how to play Checkers...
     He taught me how to play Badminton...
     He taught me how to toss horse shoes...
     He taught me how to throw a football...
     He taught me how to row a canoe...
     He taught me how to walk in snow shoes...
     He taught me how to pick the "Potatoe Bugs" off the bushes in the garden...
     He taught me how to pick the apples and pears he grew from his fruit trees...
     He taught me how to drive his riding lawn-mower...
     He taught me how to "tie flies" for fly-fishing, using bird feathers and horse hair...
     He taught me how to be patient and still, allowing the Chickadees to perch on my finger-tips so they could pick the offered sun-flower seeds out of the palm of my hand...
     He taught me the proper way to pick up a Garter snake [in great haste] in order to rid its presence from my Grandmother's path, before she'd begin screaming bloody murder at the mere sight of the poor creature, LOL...
     He tried to teach me how to play Cribbage and failed miserably, for which I take full responsibility, LOL. To this day, I still don't get it...
     And he's the one who introduced me to the work of Stephen King. It was his copy of The Shining I picked up [at the age of ten] and began reading one night after he'd gone to bed.
     But out of all this, the fondest memory I have of him is when he'd creep out of his bedroom at night for his Midnight Snack. He'd have the same thing every single night; three Graham Crackers, snapped apart [by their dotted lines] into twelve equal pieces... and he'd butter each and every one, placing them all neatly on a plate. He'd pour a glass of milk and then he'd carry it all to the kitchen table and finally take a seat to eat, completing the ritual. The only thing that differed on the nights I was there was that instead of one glass of milk, he'd pour two. We'd sit in the dark, just the two of us, in the middle of the night, the kitchen lit only by a small night-light, sharing that plate of buttered Graham Crackers. With a quick grin and a wink of his eye - his cue that said finish up - we'd both toss back the remaining milk in our glasses and head back to bed. Not a single word would be spoken the entire time... but it was a moment worth thousands!

ENTRY #537
DATE:  02/26/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  1943 Copper Wheat Penny / 1944 Steel Wheat Penny...

     I have a coin collection. (Ayuh, I'm a big nerd, I admit it, LOL!) I started collecting coins when I was nine or ten years old. It began, one day, when my grandfather gave me an entire roll of 1943 Steel/Zinc pennies. For those of you who may not know, or remember, 1943 pennies were made out of Steel (then coated with a layer of Zinc to give them a shiny appearance) that year because the Copper was needed for World War II. These Steel pennies are sometimes referred to as "War Pennies."
     Being that they were only minted in 1943, you'd think they'd be worth something today. However, since millions were produced, a Steel penny - even in MS+ condition - is only worth about 45 cents. If you happen to have one that's never been circulated, it could be worth up to $10.00 at auction...
     If you're looking for big bucks in the world of collecting "War Pennies" the two exceptions to be on the look-out for are the 1943 Copper Wheat Penny and the 1944 Steel Wheat Penny. Both were "minted in error" and are extremely rare. Chances are good you'll never see either one in your lifetime, LOL. Here's a breakdown of the War Penny values (at auction)...

     1943 COPPER WHEAT PENNY (minted in error): $60,000.00 - $86,000.00

     1943 STEEL WHEAT PENNY: $0.45 - $10.00

     1943-D STEEL WHEAT PENNY: $0.45 - $12.00

     1943-S STEEL WHEAT PENNY: $0.65 - $25.00

     1944 STEEL WHEAT PENNY (minted in error): $77,000.00 - $110,000.00

     Now, why am I writing about this today? I'll tell ya why...
     As I was emptying all the loose change out of my wallet and loading it all into my piggy bank I almost had a heart attack! I came across, what I had initially thought was, a 1943 Copper Wheat Penny. When I brought it into the living room to examine it under better lighting - again - I felt my heart skip a beat. Even under the brighter light, the year still appeared to be 1943. I then raced into my office to dig out my trusty Jeweler's Loop and -- woe is me -- it's 1948, not '43. LOL, oh well...
     Again, being the BIG NERD that I am, here's a short article I just found to help you determine if you've actually got a genuine 1943 COPPER WHEAT PENNY burning a hole in your pocket...
     Enjoy! And happy hunting!!!

1943 Steel Pennies:
     If you have a 1943 penny that looks like it is made out of copper, here is how you can authenticate it and tell if it is a genuine 1943 copper penny or a fake one. (First of all, be aware that the 1943 penny was issued in zinc-coated steel because the USA needed copper for the war effort. Any genuine 1943 copper pennies are extremely rare mint errors. Learn more about your silver-colored 1943 Steel Penny.)

Copper Plated 1943 Fakes:
     At one time genuine 1943 Steel pennies were copper plated and sold as novelty items at coin shows and flea markets. Many of these coins were then spent and ended up in circulation alongside genuine Lincoln cents. Over time, people who knew that 1943 Lincoln pennies were supposed to made out of zinc-plated steel would recognize these coins and think that they had found a rare mint error.
     The easiest way to tell if your 1943 copper cent is merely a copper-plated steel penny is to test it with a magnet. If the magnet sticks to the penny, it's made of steel which has been dipped or plated in copper. Such a penny is worth about 15 cents as a novelty item. This is the most common method of deception in making a genuine 1943 steel penny look like it was made out of pure copper.

Altered 1948 Penny:
     If your 1943 copper colored penny doesn't stick to a magnet, then look at the date carefully (using a magnifying glass, if possible).
     If the tail of the 3 does not extend well below the "line" of numbers, it is probably a cut-in-half 8 (see the photo above). A very common fraud involving the copper 1943 cent is to grind away part of the 8 in the date of a 1948 penny. If the 3 in your date looks like half of an 8, your coin is not a genuine 1943 copper penny.

Chinese Counterfeit Coins:
     There are some high-quality counterfeit coins that are being manufactured in China. These are made to resemble a genuine 1943 Lincoln cent, but the Chinese counterfeiters use copper blanks. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell the difference between a genuine 1943 copper penny and a Chinese counterfeit. Fortunately, Lincoln cent experts at third party grading services can tell the difference by closely inspecting the coin under a stereo-microscope.

Seek a Second Opinion:
     If your 1943 penny does not stick to a magnet and the last digit in the date "3" does not look like it was altered from a 1948 penny, then you should seek a second opinion from a qualified coin dealer for a professional opinion. Most dealers do not charge to have a look at your coins and give you an informal verbal appraisal. If they believe it is authentic, you can ask them to submit it to a third party grading service on your behalf.

ENTRY #536
DATE:  02/23/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Home with a UTI / I'm Bored / The Search for a Priest!

     Good grief! I am so bored. I can't wait to go back to work tomorrow. I just hope I won't have to run back n' forth to the bathroom all day long once I get there, LOL.
     The antibiotics are definitely working. As of yesterday afternoon, I've been peeing normally, though it's still an unsightly shade of orange. I just took the last Phenazopyridine tablet so hopefully that hideous color will clear up soon.
     I'm still grossed out by this whole thing, LOL. I threw out two of my face-cloths today 'cause I want to get rid of anything that might have any active bacteria on it that gave me this damn UTI in the first place. I also threw out a hand-towel, my tooth brush, some lip gloss and my nasal spray that I've been using for the last couple days since I'm now developing a head-cold. Then I hit Harmon's Discount Store in Milford to replace the items I tossed. While I was out I also picked up half a gallon of Cranberry juice AND a bottle of ULTRA STRENGTH 500mg Cranberry Concentrate Supplement softgel tablets. Once I'm off the antibiotics, I'll start taking the Cranberry tablets along with my One-A-Day and Vitamin C pills. Can't hurt, right?
     After a day and a half off from work, I'm bored already. Daytime television is awful. I'm not in the mood to watch any of my DVDs. And I'm in between books right now. I just finished Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman... and I can't decide what I'm gonna read next. I have so many books piled around here it's OVERLOAD and I can't make up my mind. I think I'll have to resort to closing my eyes and settling on whichever book I happen to touch first. We'll see...
     I've been sitting here, online, for most of the morning/afternoon just hangin' out. I managed to locate a Priest from my childhood named Fr. Montanaro. I haven't seen him for almost FORTY years but I had a dream about him last night. In fact, after I woke up, it took me about three hours to finally figure out who he was and from where I knew his face, LOL.
     He was working/living at the St. Ambrose Church Rectory in Bridgeport (where I attended grammar school) the last time I saw him. He used to hang out with us kids sometimes during our break for Recess. It was always a treat for us when he'd visit. I remember how we'd all RUN to meet him when he was spotted crossing the street from the Parish Office to the playground. He'd play Kick-Ball with us; and Duck-Duck-Goose; sometimes he'd even jump into the middle of the Dodge-Ball pit; and, of course, he was easily enticed with a football...
     But the biggest treat of all - the biggest honor, I should say - were the occasional Piggy-Back Rides he'd offer us! Oh my goodness! If you were the lucky "Chosen One" that day, your playground status was immediately elevated to HEAD HONCHO for the rest of the afternoon! Riding on this man's shoulders was serious business; it was a BIG DEAL to all of us... like... a major KING OF THE MOUNTAIN moment!
     And then - one day - he was gone. Just gone. We were all "little kids" back then so we never got an explanation. I remember one afternoon during Recess a group of ten or twelve of us ganged up and stormed across the street and banged on the Parish Office door looking for "Fr. Monty," and the only thing we were told was, "Sorry, he doesn't live here anymore. He was transferred." That sucked! That really sucked. Even though we were just "little kids" at the time - and probably seen as nothing more - a little warning would've been nice. He didn't have to actually explain anything, but he should've at least come over and said goodbye to us at the very least. I mean, what the hell? We loved him! After the Parish door was slammed in our little, heart-broken faces, we all sulked back to the playground, some of us in tears...
     I can't remember what year it was when he left. I graduated from St. Ambrose in 1984 and he had already been gone for quite some time. Maybe 1980? 1981? I have no idea... but I haven't seen him since... so why on earth I dreamt of him last night is a total mystery. LOL, maybe it's the medication I'm on, who knows?!?! But it made me curious. I wondered if he was still alive. I wondered if he was still in Connecticut.
     For the last four hours I've been digging around online. I started with obituaries first and, thankfully, there isn't one so that's a plus! This man has absolutely no "web presence" at all. No web site; nothing on MySpace, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. I've searched email data-bases, cell-phone data-bases, various Diocese web sites, the online White Pages. I've used different search engines too including AOL, Yahoo, Google, and Bing! and I've found a whole bunch of nothing. My last resort was to search newspaper archives and, from previous experiences going that route, that's always a nightmare. And, I gotta tell ya, when you do a search in the newspaper archives for a particular Priest's name, you get hundreds and hundreds of returns but they're all either wedding articles or funeral articles or, unfortunately, sexual abuse articles. Unless the Priest actually "makes headlines," searching the newspapers is nothing but a head ache!
     Sadly, he did kind'a make headlines back in September of 1994. In fact, the story made it all the way to the NY Times. Some of you might remember the incident if you were living in the Bridgeport area back then. [Former] Mayor Paoletta was shot, along with two others, in front of a church... and Fr. Montanaro was one of those "two others." My god, the poor guy actually took a [stray] bullet standing right outside his church! Here's the link to the article if you care to refresh your memory...

Former Bridgeport Mayor And Two Others Are Shot

     Eventually, I came across his name attached to another article/message board about Holy Rosary Church and the Holy Family Parish in Bridgeport.... but that church closed down so it was nothing but a dead end. That - somehow - led me to St. Emery's Church in Fairfield but he "retired" from there in 2015. But that was only two years ago! At least I was "closing in" on him, LOL. After clicking on what feels like thousands of links I finally hit pay dirt! I found him!!! He's currently "Weekend Assistant" at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Roman Catholic Church in Brookfield, CT!
     My current dilemma is... now what? Now that I found him, what am I gonna do? Am I actually going to drive to Brookfield to pay him a visit? Why would I do that? It's been forty years. What do you say to someone after forty years? "How've you been?" seems a bit redundant, LOL. Plus, I was just a little kid the last time he saw me. Hell, I honestly don't know if he even knew what my name was. I'm sure, to him - back then - I was just a random, nameless face, one in a group of many children on a playground. It's not like we ever had a personal, one-on-one relationship. It's not like he was one of my teachers. And I'm not Catholic so he wasn't even my Priest, he was just a Priest that I knew simply because I attended that school. So we have no history, there's no personal connection that would warrant a visit, really, other than a few fond childhood memories. How would he react if I just showed up at Mass out of the blue one day? Would it be awkward for him? Would it freak him out? What would we talk about? He's in his mid-70s now (he'll be 77 in October).... and I've read stories online about how some Priests struggle with loneliness, especially in their elder years, after they retire. I'm wondering if, because of that, he'd enjoy a visit even though I'm - basically - a stranger? I really have no idea what to think, or do, about this. But then why'd I bother sitting here for four hours looking for the man?!?! LOL.
     I just dug through all the old photographs I have from my grammar school days and I can't find ONE shot of him at all. I could've sworn I had a couple of him standing right in front of the school's Main Entrance but they're nowhere to be found. Bummer!
     And during my four-hour online search I only managed to come across a handful of pictures of him. Like I said, he's got no online presence whatsoever. That's truly amazing in this day and age, LOL. Here are the pics I found...

.................Father Guido Montanaro.................

     I can't believe it's been FORTY years, LOL, and as soon as I saw the first picture I recognized him immediately. The photo on the left was taken in 2011 at a carnival hosted by Holy Rosary Church [at Jennings Beach]. The photo in the middle was taken on October 11, 2015 during his Retirement Luncheon at St. Emery's in Fairfield. Not sure when the one on the right was taken; March 2016, I think, shortly after he joined the staff at St. Marquerite's [because it's from their web site]. When I stumbled upon that first photo [on the left] I was shocked. His face looks exactly the same as I remember it; the only difference is the lack of hair.
     Hmmm.... now I just have to figure out what I'm gonna do. It would be nice to see him again but... [*shrug*] ...I feel kind'a weird about showing up after all this time. I dunno...

ENTRY #535
DATE:  02/21/17 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  I have a UTI. I am so grossed out right now!!!

     Woke up this morning, felt completely normal, nothing wrong at all. Got dressed, made my coffee, jumped in the truck and headed off to work.
     By the time I got to work, Porter had already made a pot of coffee so I helped myself to a cup and got down to business. Then I had a second cup... and in between all the coffee, I was also sipping from my trusty water-bottle that I keep at work at all times.
     By 10:00am I had already trotted off to the "little girls room" three times. Didn't think anything was unusual about that, though, since I had been pounding fluids all morning long.
     By 2:00pm, I was heading to the bathroom every forty minutes or so... and by 4:30pm this afternoon, I was in the bathroom every 15-20 minutes with a constant have-to-piss-like-a-racehorse sensation.
     Obviously, by the time I left work at 5:00pm I knew something was drastically wrong so I went directly to MedNow, the walk-in center right around the corner from my house...
     After answering all their questions, having my temperature, blood pressure, and blood-oxygen level recorded, having my back pounded on and my abdominal region poked and prodded, and peeing in a cup twice - which, upon my own inspection, I could see was now rust-colored with blood - they informed me I have a Urinary Tract Infection.
     The doctor called in two prescriptions (200mg Phenazopyridine and 500mg Ciprofloxacin) for me, then handed me a note saying I can't go back to work 'til Monday, the 27th. When I saw the date on the Return-to-Work slip, I laughed and said, "Um, today's only Tuesday. I can't be out the rest of the week, that's impossible. You gotta change this." After hemming and hawing a few moments the doctor finally relented and said it had to be a MINIMUM of two days... so he changed the RTW date to Friday, the 23rd.
     It's not that my boss would have a problem with me being out that long. In fact, he'd be fine with it, I'm sure. The problem is that I'm a workaholic and my own guilt would drive me bonkers. There's no way I could take three days off with no notice, leaving everyone else there to fend for themselves that long. I was hired, pretty much, to "run the place," and that's what I do. So, even when I'm not there for ONE day, I come back to PILES of work that have to get processed. After being out THREE days, it would take an entire week for me to get caught back up again. No thanks. The stress I deal with on a day-to-day basis is bad enough as it is, LOL.
     My next stop was the pharmacy at Walgreen's. As soon as I walked in the door I had to race to the bathroom. Then, by the time I got up to the counter - after standing in line - to give them my name, I had to pee AGAIN! By the time I paid, got out'a there, and made it home, I thought I was gonna die! OMG, this totally sucks... on many levels, LOL.
     First of all, I can't go anywhere or do anything because I have to pee constantly. Or, at least, it feels like I have to pee. I can't even concentrate long enough to read!
     Second of all, they warned me - ahead of time - that the Phenazopyridine would probably change the color of my urine to a "dark yellow" or even "orange," and that I shouldn't be alarmed, it's perfectly normal. Well, all I have to say about that is THANK GOD they warned me because I probably would've driven myself immediately to the Emergency Room! The color coming out of me right now is a color that should NEVER - for any reason, under any circumstances - come out of the human body! Never! Ever, ever, ever!!! Even though they warned me, I gotta tell ya, the Shock-and-Awe effect every time I pee is quite horrifying. OMG, it's a fluorescent, Crayola Crayon orange. THIS IS NOT COOL!
     Third of all, I am forty seven years old. I have NEVER had a bladder infection. I have never had a UTI. Hell, I've never even had a yeast infection. EVER - in my entire life!!! Now that the drugs have been in my system for a couple hours, physically, I feel fine. The constant urge to pee is just about gone already. But - psychologically - I am a wreck. I am so thoroughly GROSSED OUT right now I can't even find the words to properly describe it. The fact that some kind of bacteria has somehow infiltrated it's way into that part of my body is totally creeping me out. I feel so... unkempt, so dirty, so unclean. I feel this obsessive need right now to completely sanitize my entire apartment. I want to buy a brand new toilet. I wanna buy all new underwear. I feel like I've been sleeping in a gutter, lying in filth - like a homeless person - with strangers spitting on me as they walk by! I just want to submerge my entire body in a tub filled with Antibacterial Gel and stew in it for hours!
     I actually feel like I've been physically assaulted, that's how "dirty" I feel. And I can't even figure out how I contracted it in the first place. I'm a clean person. Granted, I'm not obsessive about it but... I bathe regularly. I wash my hands before meals. I wash my hands and use hand-sanitizer whenever I visit the bathroom, whether it's in my own home or out in public. I don't rely on just toilet-paper either; I use wet-wipes also to ensure that I'm as clean as possible. I don't drink from another person's cup, bottle or straw. I don't eat food off another person's plate or fork. What the hell???
     I visited the Mayo Clinic web site to see what I can find out there as far as where I got it from. They say certain kinds of E.coli can cause UTIs. I 'spose that's possible. I have been eating a lot of salad lately. I suppose I could have ingested some E. coli from some of the vegetables if they weren't washed properly. I don't think that's likely, though, since I have no other symptoms. There's no fever, no nausea, no diarrhea. Mayo also mentions it could be related to the menstrual system. After menopause, apparently, UTIs can become problematic in some women. They only mention AFTER menopause though, so I don't think that applies in my case either. They say UTIs can be caused from certain medications too. That doesn't apply to me 'cause I don't take anything. And, of course, they also mention sexual intercourse as a possible cause. That definitely doesn't apply to me either since it's been almost twenty years, LOL. So I'm at a loss here. I have no idea where I got it or how I got it and I'll probably never know and that's fine. I just hope I never get another one because this totally sucks...
     On a positive note, when I looked up the pills the doctor prescribed I was very pleased with what I read about Ciprofloxacin, LOL. Here's what www.drugs.com has to say...

What is Ciprofloxacin?  Ciprofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone (flor-o-KWIN-o-lone) antibiotic that fights bacteria in the body. Ciprofloxacin is used to treat different types of bacterial infections. It is also used to treat people who have been exposed to anthrax or certain types of plague.

     LOL, I'm thinking that if this drug can fight off PLAGUE then my little UTI doesn't stand a chance!!! That's good to know!
     I am still grossed out though... big time!!!

ENTRY #534
DATE:  02/19/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  "The Shack" hits theaters on March 3rd!

     OK, so the book (by Wm. Paul Young) came out back in 2007 or 2008, or around there somewhere. I had heard "the hype" surrounding it and, honestly, it made me a little hesitant to read it back then. And then, of course, things came up as things usually do and life goes on... and over time I had completely forgotten about this book.
     A couple months ago, as I was browsing around in Barnes & Noble I found myself standing in the Religion/Christianity section and the cover of The Shack caught my eye. I grabbed it off the shelf, read the back of it, then put it back. As I continued to roam around the store I kept circling back to that book. On my fourth circuit of the store I finally added it to the armload I was lugging around and said in a huff, "OK, now I'm done, I gotta get out'a here," and off I went to pay!
     The last two books I had read were both by James Patterson, Woman of God, one of his newest novels and Virgin, one of his oldest; both sharing plots regarding faith, miracles, and God's presence in the world. And, oddly, both were about women! Woman of God dances delicately around the idea of a woman becoming the next Pope [and her journey getting there]; and in Virgin, the story combines the Sun Miracle of Fatima in 1917 and the Second Coming of Christ as predicted in Revelations. Although, the Christ Child that's born in this story turns out to be a little girl!
     As I settled down on my couch for the evening with my new purchases spread out before me, I reached for The Shack and, once again, read the back of it...

     Mackenzie Allen Philip's youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.
     Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.
     In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant, THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question: Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain? The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

     ...then I started to read. Including the Foreword, the After Words and the Acknowledgments, the book - in its entirety - is only 287 pages long so it's a "quick" read. I read it from cover-to-cover that night. I could not put it down. Literally. I actually carried it into the bathroom with me when I had too! Though the read is quick, the journey this book takes you on is long and vast, far and wide! It is an absolutely beautiful story... about how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit interact with each and every one of us on a daily basis! This is a ground-breaking, barrier-shattering piece of work! I think this is the first time, ever, where an author and a publishing company both had the actual balls to step up and present The Trinity as three contemporary, flesh-and-bone human beings! Depicting them in this manner has an astounding effect on the reader! And what it says on the back cover about how "you'll want everyone you know to read this book" is exactly how I felt when I finished it! I was compelled to go back to Barnes & Noble and purchase every single copy they have so I could hand them out to people. If it wasn't for the fact that it was 3:30am when I finished reading, I probably would have done just that!
     I saw the first Preview for the upcoming film today! It's hitting theaters on March 3rd and I can't wait! That's a Friday and I plan on seeing it Opening Night! Octavia Spencer is playing GOD and, I gotta tell ya, she is perfect for this role! She's exactly who I envisioned while reading the book! The Casting Agent for this movie hit the nail directly on the head when he/she first mentioned Octavia's name! Here's an inspiring shot of the foursome on the set...

Left to Right: Avraham Aviv Alush as Jesus, Sam Worthington as Mack, Octavia Spencer as God/Papa and Sumire Matsubara as the Holy Spirit/Sarayu.

     "Then," Mack struggled to ask, "which one of you is God?"
     "I am," said all three in unison. Mack looked from one to the next, and even though he couldn't begin to grasp what he was seeing and hearing, he somehow believed them.
Cited text: novel/page 86
     Look at all their faces! They are all so beautiful! You can tell they were all spiritually inspired, touched deeply, by the story. Can you imagine what it must feel like for an actor to actually play God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit? It must have been a remarkable experience for all of them. All four faces are practically glowing. I cannot wait to see this movie!!!

ENTRY #533
DATE:  02/18/17 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  "Drizzled" and "Nutella" -- two of my favorite words!

     DRIZZLED. That's a word that makes me happy! Especially when I see it on a menu!

     NUTELLA. Another word that makes me happy! Especially when I see it on a menu!

     So... when Adrienne and I had breakfast this morning - at Chip's Family Restaurant in Milford - and I saw the words drizzled with Nutella, I think my toes actually curled in ecstacy!

     Fresh Strawberry Belgian Waffle: Served with whipped cream, drizzled with Nutella and topped with shredded coconut!

     I sigh in contentment... Good Lord and Amen!!!

  ...Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy...  

ENTRY #532
DATE:  02/16/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Mmm-Mmm Good!!!

Some newly discovered Yummies I thought mention-worthy...

     Caramel M&Ms!

     Strawberry Arctic Curiously Cool Mints (by Altoids)

     "Beer n' Brats" potato chips (from Lays)

     Blood Orange [sugar-free] Mints (by Velamints)

     CoffeeNut M&Ms!

     Orange-Mango Iced Tea (from Wendy's)!

     Maple Bacon Hot Chocolate Mix (from Gourmet Village)!

     Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Mix (also from Gourmet Village)!

     Pina Colada Tic-Tacs!

     Bourbon Pecan Caramel Sauce (from Stonewall Kitchen)!

     Karamel Sutra ice cream (from Ben & Jerry's)

     Apple-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt (from Oikos)

     Double Dark Chocolate Gelato (from Talenti)

     Truffle Kerfuffle (from Ben & Jerry's)

Vanilla Ice Cream with
Roasted Pecans, Fudge Chips &
a Salted Chocolate Ganache Swirl
OMG, this is the best ice cream ever!

Mmm-Mmm Gooooooooood!!!

ENTRY #531
DATE:  02/14/17 (Tuesday)
SUBJECT:  Hope you have a ...

ENTRY #530
DATE:  02/11/17 (Saturday)
SUBJECT:  A Little Covered Bridge in Kent, CT...

     What a lovely day today! My first stop, at 9:00am, was H&R Block to have the taxes done. Had pretty good luck there. Between Federal and State, I'm getting back almost $2,100.00. Very cool! I've been going to the same H&R Block office for about 25 years so I'm pretty friendly with my agent, Linda, now. All the tax stuff was handled in about 13 minutes but I was there for a little over an hour chatting with her about our cats, our vehicles, our cell phones, our families, scrap booking, and Jackass-Trump. Was a fun visit!
     With nothing else planned for the day, I decided to find one of Connecticut's few remaining covered bridges. I had heard about Bull's Bridge many years ago but wasn't exactly sure where it was. I knew it was on Route 7, off 202, somewhere... but I figured once I got close enough to the area there'd probably be some signage I could follow at some point. Was a really nice drive! I took Route 25n all the way from Trumbull up to the Brookfield area. Cut down 133 to New Milford Road. Jumped on Route 202 to Route 7... and then just followed that right to the bridge. Didn't need any signage after all. You can see the bridge off to the right from Route 7. Actually drove across it twice in order to check out both ends for possible parking and photo-ops when I eventually go back with an actual camera to shoot it. I'm sure the scenery in the Fall will be fantastic!!! For now, here's a pic of Bull's Bridge I swiped from the "images" search I just did. This is pretty much what it looked like today thanks to all the snow we received from Storm Niko this past Thursday...

     And if y'all want a little info about this Historic little bridge, here's a couple links for ya too...

Bull's Bridge - Wikipedia

Bull's Bridge - Kent, CT - Connecticut's Highest Peak - BerkshireHiking.com

Connecticut Covered Bridges - Bull's Bridge

     Anyway, it was a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon... just me and my ol' MP3 player cruising around scenic CT! Was much fun!
     Once I returned to Fairfield County I headed to Barnes & Noble in Westport. I was looking for a book of Renoir's collected paintings. Then I hit the B&N in Milford... then it was on to the B&N in North Haven. Good grief! All three stores and not one book on Renoir! I even hit the used book store in Milford, Penny's Bookshelf, and nothing there either! Although, it wasn't a total wash... at the B&N in North Haven I did find a gorgeous book of Giotto's work for $45.00 so I brought that home! And since I just finished reading Fredrik Backman's My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - which I thoroughly enjoyed - I bought everything else he's written as well, LOL! I also found an interesting novel in the Historical Fiction section called Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow, about Harry Houdini! That should be a fun read!
     So that was my day today. I'll probably spend tomorrow curled up on the couch with a cat or two and all the books I just bought.... NICE!!!
     Ciao for now!

ENTRY #529
DATE:  02/09/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  This Crazy Weather...

  Just an observation...
     Yesterday it was 66 degrees here.
     Today we got 13 inches of snow thanks to Winter Storm Niko.
     Like I always say, if you don't like the weather in New England, wait ten minutes!
     Good grief!

ENTRY #528
DATE:  02/05/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  A Super Bowl Miracle...

     OK, as I've stated numerous times in the past, I am a Patriots fan. I have also stated recently that I love to scream at my TV during a "good game" whether it's to root them on or to chew them out as plays go bad, LOL. Well, I gotta tell ya, during this year's Super Bowl LI, I damn near lost my mind... as well as my voice! OMG, by the middle of the second half I almost changed the channel figuring there was no hope for the Patriots. Why I continued to watch at that point still remains a complete mystery to me but I am SO GLAD I did!
     Good grief... for the last 30 minutes of that game I was actually standing in the middle of my living room, 3 feet from my television, frantically rocking back n' forth like I had some kind of syndrome that requires a special helmet, as I watched the clock tick down! Thank goodness for the invention of the 2 Point Conversion!!! ...and God bless Tom Brady!!! 34 - 28!!! They actually won AND made History doing it! Turned out to be a very awesome game after all!!!
     Sudden Death in a Super Bowl. That was unbelievable!!! Why couldn't they have played that well during the entire game?!?!? It would've saved me from chewing three fingernails down to the quick... not to mention the strain on the vocal chords!
     I am so glad the Super Bowl is only once a year. I just can't take that kind of stress, LOL!!!

ENTRY #527
DATE:  02/02/17 (Thursday)
SUBJECT:  Punxsutawney Phil!!!

     Happy Groundhog Day!!!
     Actually, I've never understood the hype surrounding Groundhog Day and the whole "Punxsutawney Phil" thing...
     I mean, seriously, folks -- look at your calendars! The first day of Spring is the first day of Spring... no matter what that fuzzy little rodent sees when he climbs out'a his hole.
     I will tell you though, as I sit here looking at his photo, the country in me is starting to show, LOL.... I'm sitting here thinking Hmmm, I ain't ever had Groundhog meat; I wonder what they taste like??? Because, y'know, look at the size of that pudgy bastard! He's got to be big enough to feed at least six people, LOL! Just imagine... Groundhog Burgers on the grill! Maybe some sauteed onions on top with a little A-1 Sauce, or some Hot Sauce... served up with a side of 'tater salad or maybe some cole slaw... and an ice-cold beer??? I don't know 'bout y'all, but that's soundin' kind'a good to me! And you know what they say, as long as you cook it right, you can make damn-near anything taste good!
     Ayuh... I am a Redneck Woman, through n' through...
     LOL, I'm also a Redneck Woman who has had nothing but salad for a MONTH! No wonder I'm lookin' at a Groundhog going, "Mmm-Mmm-Good!"
     Ciao (chow?) for now!!!

ENTRY #526
DATE:  01/29/17 (Sunday)
SUBJECT:  Trump's Muslim travel ban???

     OK, so... once again, this guy's a jackass. He's placing a travel ban on Muslim nations??? Is he kidding with this shit???
     I will give him a speck of credit for this one; just a speck, though, on a molecular level, LOL. I think his heart is in the right place, but his head is still all jacked up. I get the point behind the ban... he wants to keep terrorists out of the country. Of course he does, I do too; we all do. But if he's looking to join "The Einstein Club" with this move, his membership card will forever be denied.
     First of all, there is absolutely no way to enforce this ban. It's impossible. Period.
     Second of all, not all terrorists are Muslim. And even if they were, there's no way to determine which Muslims are and which Muslims aren't. They don't exactly show up at the airport waving big friggin' signs...
     Third of all, what good is the ban going to do against the terrorists from OTHER countries? Or against the terrorists/terror cells that are already living here? Is Trump actually dumb enough to believe that there aren't any terrorists currently living within our own boarders?
     His way of "thinking" (and in his case I use the term thinking rather loosely) is solely based on Racial Profiling...
     Now, unfortunately, I "get" that too. I'm guilty of that myself. Hell, immediately following 9-11, I was looking at lots of folks with a sideways glance. I was checking their shoes for fuses. I was ready to pat people down to see if they had bombs strapped to their chests. Right after 9-11, you bet your ass I was; I admit that. But, the thing is though, the difference between myself and Trump is that I was looking at EVERYONE with that sideways glance. I didn't give a shit who I was looking at. If I didn't know you, I didn't trust you.
     Trump's problem is that he's trying to assign a color/race/religion (take your pick) to the word terrorist. The only word you can assign to terrorist is CRAZY... and, let me tell ya, CRAZY comes in all different sizes, shapes, colors, races, religions, sexes, and ages.
     Ayuh, he's a jackass, end of story.

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ENTRIES 500 - 476
ENTRIES 475 - 451
ENTRIES 450 - 426
ENTRIES 425 - 401
ENTRIES 400 - 376
ENTRIES 375 - 351
ENTRIES 350 - 326
ENTRIES 325 - 301
ENTRIES 300 - 276
ENTRIES 275 - 251
ENTRIES 250 - 226
ENTRIES 225 - 201
ENTRIES 200 - 176
ENTRIES 175 - 151
ENTRIES 150 - 126
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ENTRIES 100 - 76
ENTRIES 75 - 51
ENTRIES 50 - 26
ENTRIES 25 - 1