The Friday Five ~ January 15th

20200206_160117It’s strange to be in the middle of January and have the weather be so dry. We had the big three feet of snow a few weeks ago but after that not much at all. It makes me wonder what the weather will be like for the year 2021.

So now, here is this week’s Friday Five, in no particular order.

  1. I have a slight cold. No, it’s not Covid, just my usual sore throat, stuffy nose, and tiredness. Perhaps I am actually allergic to Winter! Who knows. Apparently, I look ill because after Zooming with a few friends a couple of them told me I looked terrible.
  2. I was carrying a basket of laundry to the basement to start in the machine, when I got my knuckles on my right hand smashed in the door jam. Now in my twenties, if I did something like this, I would have ended up with a few bruises. What happens now that I am 62? The skin on those knuckles just peeled right off! Sheesh! I remember when my grandmother and then my mother did stuff like this. Both lamented that as one aged their skin became like paper. Yeah, well, welcome to the old lady club, Maribeth! LOL!
  3. Looking down at my winter down parka (which is baby blue) I noticed that it really needed a bath. I followed directions and the first two washes just were not getting that grime. So I got my fingernail brush, and some liquid dish detergent (Dawn) and set about scrubbing the stained areas. Then I washed it one last time. Presto! The stains were gone. After that, I had to listen to tennis balls in the dryer while the parka dried out. Now I admit to being leery about wearing it as it really is a pain to clean. No pastel-colored coats for me ever again!
  4. My Christmas tree is still up, and I am still enjoying the bright lights. I think over the weekend I will carefully take it down and put it away. I simply wrap it up, carefully place it in a box, and that way next year I just pull it out and plug it in.
  5. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do once I can travel again. Where do I go? I think the first trip I’d like to go on is with my sister, cousin Janet, Mandy and Savannah. Maybe just a visit to Cape Cod for the weekend, but spend time with my girls! After that? Who knows. Maybe a visit to my friends down in Florida, or maybe Germany. But I am afraid it will be a long time until anyone can travel any great distance.

So, that is the week’s Friday Five. I hope wherever you are that your weekend will be happy and safe.

Maribeth Dackel

TBT: Kätchen

When I was growing up my grandparents used to say that I looked like Papa’s sister,  Kätchen. She was one year younger than Papa and they were very close.

Also, when  Kätchen first arrived in Boston from Germany, her first friend was my grandmother. Both girls were 8 years old, and my grandmother, being the little teacher she was, enjoyed teaching  Kätchen to speak English.

My grandfather told me it was love at first sight when he met Grandma Honey (Mary). And lucky for Papa he saw Mary quite frequently when she came over to teach and play with  Kätchen.

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As  Kätchen grew, she blossomed into a strikingly beautiful woman. Her dark brown eyes and hair and fair skin were lovely to look at. She was also a sweet and kind person, and those who knew her adored her.

KachenThe beautiful Kätchen married Raymond on April 8, 1918, in Boston, Massachusetts. She died on January 10, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, at the age of 21. She was about to give birth to their first child, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was ravaging Boston. Her husband had been away at WWI and came back. Anxious to see his wife, he snuck in to see her.

Unfortunately, he carried the Flu into her and their unborn child. Kätchen became very ill with the Spanish Flu and a few days later she and her baby passed away.

Her husband Raymond lost the will to live and died in 1925.

Both Grandma Honey and Papa spoke of her often. In many ways, Kätchen had been like a sister to my Grandmother.

It is probably the reason I have been so careful during our current Pandemic. I know how easily a life can end if you are not careful.

I like to remember the good stories that Grandma told me about Kätchen. The games they played and as they grew Kätchen taught Grandma Honey to cook in her family’s kitchen. Two young women sharing their lives as best friends.

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This & That ~ January 13th

As our days grow longer, I am thrilled with the extra daylight. In the past, I always enjoyed the dark days of Winter, but this year, I am really enjoying the increase in daylight.

Perhaps it is because of the virus. But I truly want to enjoy daylight once again! It is so freeing. So very beautiful.

My Christmas tree is still up, and the wine bottle that my friend Rachel gave me for Christmas. It has an adorable snowman painted on it and is filled with Christmas lights. I love it!

Arnie is feeling better. The scabs on his back are flaking off and I can see wonderful healthy skin!

20210111_142942He has come a long way since Christmas Day!

I was down two pounds this week. I am feeling more in the groove with the diet once again. It is too easy to fall into old, bad habits!

I got the cutest mini Bluetooth speaker from Weight Watchers. When you track all your meals you earn points. I knew I wanted this and just as I was close to getting it last simmer they stopped carrying it. I checked the other day, and they had them again!

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I ordered it last week and it arrived yesterday! I paired it with my Ipod and this morning, while I was reading I listened to music. It was so nice!

So that was my Tuesday! I hope yours was a good one and that you are happy, healthy, and staying safe!

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The Weekend Wrap ~ January 11th

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It’s been almost a year that we have been on Covid Lockdown, one way or another. We wear masks that obscure smiles, we no longer linger in the grocery store to visit with neighbors or friends. We’ve all been isolated from all the ordinary things in life that brought us joy. I never thought about any of this in my life. Who would ever imagine having to live like this?

That being said, I have to say that my daily dressing habits have drastically changed. I used to get up, struggle to get into my jeans, a turtleneck, and sweater, to face the day. Once I was staying home all the time, I discovered leggings. Not just any leggings, but fleece-lined leggings.

At first, I would wear these just at home. But after losing 60 pounds, and having a knee-length winter coat, I began to wear them out to shop or get the mail!

You see, wearing a mask, hat, and long jacket, I am pretty unrecognizable! So in these days of Covid-19 why not be comfortable?

Our lakes are freezing, which means the sounds of an auger being used to open a hole in the ice for fishing can be heard each morning. There are people skating and enjoying the day. Small groups. No one wearing a mask. I suppose they feel safe outside.

I go out with Anneliese and Arnie every time they go out, in my down parka, hat, and gloves. At 22 degrees (F) it is cold. At least the sun is shining today and we are not expecting snow for a while. Thank goodness. I just paid our plow bill for December and the first part of January! Eeeek!

Well, that’s my weekend. Hope yours was a good one and that you are remaining safe and healthy!

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Weekend Happenings

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I am having trouble with my shoulder again. It makes me quite angry because I feel like an old lady. I will be doing something easy, like scooping out a can of dog food for Lili, and suddenly pain grips my shoulder and I do things like drop the can or spill something.

I was actually supposed to get it x-rayed this week, but my doctor is out because she is sick. So I have to wait a bit for the x-ray. Meanwhile, I am living on Advil and Tylenol and I am hoping for the best.

It’s funny, you know, it’s not like I have done anything to injure it. The pain simply arrived one day and it seems to be getting worse. Old age, I am sure.

Meanwhile, this weekend I got caught up on laundry, read more of my book, and actually watched several episodes of a British comedy, “As Time Goes By”, as well as a movie, “The Queen”.

On Sunday I would like to put away my Christmas Stuff. Whether or not I actually do, who knows.

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I love the lights and right now the little Christmas tree all lit up makes me happy.

The Friday Five ~ January 8th

20200206_160117Here we are now in the middle of the winter. I wake up each day and ask “Alexa” what the weather is. With that, she gives me the current temperature and the outlook for the day. She even wishes me a good day. I lead a very little life. Here we go now, with this week’s Friday Five!

  1. I’m thinking that I simply cannot watch the news anymore. I do watch our local news in the morning to catch the weather, but I have stopped watching any other news. It’s all too upsetting to me.
  2. I’m reading a terrific book about the group ABBA. I’ve always liked their music and I wondered about how they all got together and made the music they did.

    It’s pretty interesting for a fan like me. And actually a good read. I put on their greatest hits softly in the background and read.

  3. Usually, I take my Christmas decorations down, but I like the pretty lights so much that I think I may keep it up for a while.
  4. Arnie’s back is coming along. The doctors ran a culture and tested it for sensitivities to antibiotics and so he is now on one that we hope will kick this bacteria to the curb. We are watching him closely and he will remain on antibiotics for another two weeks or more.
  5. My first week back on my WW Plan and I have lost four pounds.download

    Yay! I am planning everything and writing it all down!

So that’s a few of the things that are happening here in my world. I hope you all are well and have a wonderful weekend!

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Thoughts On Thursday

My heart is broken. I watched my beloved Country devolve into a wild, rioting, hate-filled morass! No one was there to protest peacefully. They were there to damage and cause nothing but trouble. Four people are dead. There is talk of removing Trump because he has become unstable. Let Pence serve out the next two and a half weeks.

What we need is peace. What we need is grace. What we need is for those who do support Trump, to step back gracefully, and follow the rules and the laws of this land.

If they do not like our Voting Standards (Which I do feel have become corrupt and need to be completely revised.) then, vote for people who will work on changing the system. I personally like Australia’s Voting Standards.

For right now, we must work together for peace. We must repair our Country from the damage that has been done to it.

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Never Wordless

A few bloggers I know do a Wordless Wednesday Meme each week. I knew that this wasn’t one for me. Since the day I was born I haven’t been wordless. In fact, my parents considered naming me Chatty Kathy.

All through my childhood, I was one of those kids who just talked. I drove my sister crazy. We would be lying in bed at night and I would start talking and asking her questions and I would go on and on and on. She would kindly tell me, “Good Night”, and I’d reply, “Good Night”, only to go right back to chatting all over again.

As the years passed I moved in with my Grandparents. I would sit and talk to my Grandmother for hours. I would tell her about school, about my day, and go on and on.

She once told me, after I had married and left home, that the worst part of my moving out was the silence. The one and only time anyone has said this to me.

A few years ago a friend of Jack’s’ was driving me across Florida to meet Jack at another airport. We were driving along and I was doing my usual chatting, hardly taking a breath. Finally, he interrupted me and said, “I bet you can’t shut up for 10 minutes”.

Ten minutes? Not a problem. We started the clock. One second, two seconds, three seconds…It was the longest ten minutes of my life! I did, however, make it, although I felt slightly queasy afterward. My reward? A dinner of fresh Blue Crabs at the Crab House!

I don’t think I talk as much as I once did. At least I try not to. In my “Golden Years” I have learned that it is best to listen, more than to talk.

Although sometimes if I am nervous or self-conscious, my motor mouth starts and I admit to being upset afterward that perhaps I’ve said the wrong thing.

Still, there is a lot of beauty in words, and I can appreciate that. I just need to remember to keep my mouth closed and my ears wide open!

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Back In The Saddle

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After several weeks of madness and mayhem with my eating, I reigned myself in on New Year’s Eve. I planned my meals, started to weigh and measure things, and removed all sugary things from my diet.

The first couple of days were hairy, but I am back in the groove again and this week I lost 4 pounds. Now I am sure most of that is water weight, but I will take it.

My goal this year is to get to my goal weight and stay there.

It is so hard to admit that you are not only a sugar addict, but that the things you love to eat are laden with sauces, breading, and are calorie and carbohydrate filled.

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So yes, I am a sugar addict and a carboholic! I need to become a bunny rabbit who eats their leafy greens! Or an eagle that swoops down and grabs a fresh fish for its meal!

How did you all do over the holiday? Did Santa leave you with more pounds than gifts?

Next year I do not plan to indulge the way I did this year. I will limit my celebrations to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That really is enough.

So for now, on this 5th day of January, I am Back In The Saddle Again!

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The Weekend Wrap ~ January 4th, 2021

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The weekend seemed to fly by despite it being a rather long holiday weekend. Neither Jack nor I stayed up to welcome in the New Year. After 2020 tricking us into believing THAT would be a good year, frankly, we both feel it’s almost best to ignore the change of the year. Who knows what 2021 will bring.

Jack watched his usual crime shows all through the holiday weekend, and I worked on my Genealogy. Quite interesting, as my sister and I finally found our finals links to John and Priscilla Alden who came over on the Mayflower. We’re so happy about this. Both our Grandmother and mother had worked for many years sitting in Libraries trying to find this link. I cannot imagine doing what Mel and I have done without the aid of computers!

I got a fantastic flashlight for Christmas from Mandy’s brother! I have never had such a good flashlight. It is small, so it fits in my purse, but has a really bright sharp beam! It’s made by Tactical Outfitters! I use this every time I take the pups out at night.

On the doggy front, Arnie’s tests are still cooking. The good news is that it is not a bacteria that is antibiotic-resistant. The next result will guide us to the right drug to get rid of this bacteria.

So in the meantime, I am shoving these horse-pill size antibiotics into Arnie, which he hates. The little bugger has figured out how to eat the treat, and then spit out the pill!

Anneliese is hanging on. The antibiotics for her UTI have helped. I am grateful for this.

Tomorrow is my first weigh-in for the New Year. I weighed myself last Tuesday and well, let’s just say that my celebration of Christmas, which lasted the entire month of December, put on a few pounds. However, at midnight on January 1st, I was back on track! Fingers crossed for at least a little weight loss.

Maribeth Dackel