My Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend heralds the unofficial beginning of summer. 

Memorial Day Commemoration 2008
Memorial Day Commemoration 2008 (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

Although the weather doesn’t always cooperate, a majority of American families plan bbq’s and get togethers.  We visit friends, drink beer and soda, forego all pretense of diet, and call macaroni and potatoes, salad.  We play ball and take Alka Seltzer before bed.

I grew up in Manhattan, and all the relatives were scattered throughout the five boroughs. Memorial weekend was marked with a trip to either Orchard Beach or Coney Island.  Once there we met with friends of my Mom and Dad.  These were people from the neighborhood that they had grown up with.  The fortunate boys (as they called them) that had returned home from the war.  These patriots always stood with hand over heart when the Star Spangled Banner was played, whether that be at a ballgame, or the strains coming from the heavy, D battery-powered radio at the beach.  As children we were told to stand as well.  Toddlers mimicked their elders.

I remember that there were parades held, but don’t recall having gone to them.  My father and all my uncles served in World War II, but they didn’t speak of it. As a child I didn’t make the connection between Memorial Day, and the honor due the fallen of present and prior wars.

Years later my first cousins and I took this Holiday as one of the opportunities to visit and celebrate our bloodline.  We brought along our own children, and the parents who remained to us.  The aging reminders of ‘The Greatest Generation“.  About this time, we had our own homes in the suburbs and all displayed the American Flag.  Myself and cousins were first or second generation Americans.  My mother was eleven months old when she arrived on our shores.  That didn’t make us any less patriotic.  I remember my Grandmother cooking up a feast for the 4th of July.

WWII, The Korean War, and The Viet Nam War were all behind us.  We were a land at peace for a brief time, celebrations and silliness could be displayed without conscience.  Despite that, the flag flew to boast our allegiance.

One by one my cousins passed on, or we lost touch.  Our parents had long gone beyond the veil, and the glue that kept the extended family together seemed to lose its strength.  We tired of the old traditions, or perhaps we just started to get tired.  It’s a lot of work hosting these mammoth parties.  Whatever the case, we didn’t do it anymore.  Although invitations still came from friends. I hosted a few smaller events myself.  Sometimes it was a happening each day of the three-day weekend. Party, party, party.

Our own children, grown, are now scattered about so getting together for Memorial Weekend is near to impossible.  It isn’t the boroughs of New York City, but rather travel across many state lines for a holiday visit.  Though the brave heroes of the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan are remembered, perhaps with a heavier heart because it is all so fresh.  And I am now realizing how very young, and courageous they all are.

This year my Memorial Weekend was a working one for Jim and I.  Though we manage to harbor some tidings of the day, or once again, three days. We supped with cousins, Tommy and Regina at Lombardi’s on the Bay.  Caught a couple of evening baseball games. Yankees win 1, lost 1. Heard a few stirring renditions of The National Anthem, for which we stood, and God Bless America. Shed a tear for the fallen and wounded heroes of this current war, and those in the recent and long past. Ate the requisite hot dog and starch salads. and of course, always— Our beautiful flag waves with Command and Presence in the front of our house.

Thank you to the Men and Women of our Armed Forces, Yesterday, Today and Forever. The wind beneath our wings.

Bloomin Haus

English: Flowers in Sibiu
English: Flowers in Sibiu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Did you ever visit a garden with such a variety of flowers and plants that your senses are overwhelmed with the cacophony of beauty.  A riot of shapes and colors that you can’t decide which is the more beautiful.  Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most beautiful flower of them all.  Surely the mirror would splinter into a thousand pieces in an attempt to provide you with the correct answer.

     Today I went to a local nursery called the Bloomin Haus.  I am not sure just how big the establishment is, but it is laid out on both sides of a road. Possibly a total of several acres. On a nice day you can spend hours meandering among the containers of growing vegetables and plants.   Never mind the sensory overload caused by huge hanging pots of geranium, petunias, daisy and more in the twenty or so hot houses. You must restrain yourself from purchasing all you can carry.

    Should you take the time to cross over said road to the other side, there you will find trees, bushes, and a host of small orphaned animals kept for the pleasure of the would be gardener.  Definitely, you will be delayed further from going about your business.  One of the most beautiful creatures that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing at this tiny zoo was an albino peacock.  With its jeweled feathers fanned the sight stole your breath away.  It’s a treasure one does not expect when going out to buy a few flowers, and a bag of manure.  I have lingered in a day-dream when entering this world.  It rests there on Waveryly Avenue for all the world to experience.  All you have to do is go. 

    So there you have it.  I escaped today into a floral fairy land for just a few hours and returned home with a car load of beauty and vegetables.  Tomorrow I’ll dig out my little floral hand shovel, pull on my gardening gloves, and turn my own yard into a land of escape, if only for a little while.

    By the way, we one time did have a fabulous blue and green peacock on this small dead-end block, where we make our home.  Its presence in suburbia surprised everyone who had the good fortune to see it strutting around the tree lined street and grassy front yards.  Alas, after so many years, it went the way of the dodo bird.  I’ll just have to tack up my photograph of that memory to complete my private paradise.

Discovered in Ho Chi Minh's garden in Hanoi, V...
Discovered in Ho Chi Minh’s garden in Hanoi, Vietnam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Joys of a New Computer – Not! or Where’s the Geek When You Need One?

Rob geek cup
Rob geek cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is not the first time I will have complained about my trials with Computers.  I have gone to great measures and expense to make my experience with these life altering machines,easier.  I love this grand age of technology, and truly wish to fully submerge myself in it.  There is one problem, I don’t know how.

I have owned a computer since the Commodore 64.  Truly, I have tried to wrap my brain around how to get them, these infuriating, confusing, assistants, to do what I want them to do.  Then, as soon as I have mastered one system, I am told by several people, that my system is outdated.  You simple cannot have Windows XP as an operating system or write a novel on Microsoft Office 2003, in 2012, it is impossible. You must work on the most current technology available.  Never mind that what’s current changes every twenty minutes, or so it seems to me.

True to my stubborn nature, I did not take the word of the naysayers and did attempt to mix newer technology with older systems.  But the crepe hangers were correct, it just didn’t work. Time to put my dinosaurs to rest. No networking iPad and Windows XP. What’s a person to do?

I took the plunge and purchased a new laptop, running Windows 7.  I also got the newest Microsoft Office.  I should be in heaven, right?  Wrong!  I still want a lot of the stuff which is located on my old pc.  How do I get it transferred to my fast new laptop.  Remember I can’t network them – XP and 7,  No no no.  I want to move documents and music – how do I get my new laptop to print out on my current printer?  I have a wireless router, but have no clue how to network my stuff.  I’m beginning to long for an inkwell and a quill.

It’s not that I’m a total dunce when it comes to computers and such.  The difficulty stems from the fact that I was born about twenty years too early and it just doesn’t come easy.  Yes, I knew you would have figured out the solution to my dilemma after having read this far.  I need a Geek!!

Remember when being a Geek was a bad thing?  Who would have thought in the year twenty twelve they would be the most sought after individuals in the modern world?  So if you run across a bored individual who claims that they have knowledge of all the things I don’t have knowledge of, they just might be a Geek.  Please send that wonderful person my way.

Rock and Rollers – Quick Update

Portrait of girl with curly hair
Portrait of girl with curly hair (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all those who expressed interest in the saga of my hair and the outcome of the roller experiment, this is how it went.

I brought home my eight medium-sized pink foam hair rollers from Rite Aid and almost couldn’t wait to begin experimenting, however, I contained myself and waited for the following day.  As is my norm, I showered in the morning, washed and conditioned my hair.  After towel drying, (apparently not enough), I rolled all my soaken wet hair in said rollers. Then I did a few exercises and dressed.  No worry about exercising after showering, I never work up a sweat.  Heaven forbid.

Ok, I figured I had been patient long enough, so I pulled the rollers out of my still very wet hair.  Well, duh, I couldn’t wait all day for my hair to dry, and I certainly wasn’t going to go running around with these pink spongy rollers in my hair.  Needless to say, when it dried completely my hair frizzed.

Day two, I let my hair dry completely then spritzed a little bit of water on it and rolled just the sides and top layer of the back.  Dressed for the evening then unrolled my hair.  Rollers were in for about ten minutes, just enough time for the spritz of water to dry. 

Miracle of all miracles, I combed it out gently.  The curls were still underneath, but that gave it some body.  Top layers were nice and smooth with a little bit of wave.  Even my friend Carol, who does not throw roses, said it looked nice!

It is with some trepidation that I will attempt to duplicate this procedure.  Wish me luck.

Rock and Rollers

blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco
blow hair dryer Italiano: Asciugacapelli a casco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

      For those of you who have followed my blog, you are aware of the trials and tribulations that I experience with my hair.

     I will not revisit the horrific problems I have had with the coloring of it.  Suffice to say no matter what shade I mix up it’s always a crap shoot regarding what color it will turn out after the dye is rinsed away.

     My new nemesis, ok not new but something I don’t think I have written about before, are my curls, or frizz, depending upon the weather.

      I am in constant battle with my hair.  The only time it looks adult is when I am straight from the beauty salon and Richie, (my hairdresser at New York New Wave) has blown it out.  He performs magic.  I become sleek and sophisticated.
      When I come home from one of these events my husband cannot stop staring at me.  For all our years together my hair has always been naturally curly.  So curly in fact that when everyone was perming their hair, (I think that was the 80s) people assumed I had a perm.  NOT.  When I enter the house with straight tresses it is always a shock to him. He thinks it is very funny.  I do not find his reaction amusing, but I’m use to it.
     At this point in my life I don’t so much mind the curls, but I really can do without the frizz.  We are now entering super frizz season.  So what will I do about it?
     After all the discussion I’ve been hearing on television about the harmful chemicals we women use on our hair, nails, face, and body, everyday, I really don’t want it straightened chemically.  Besides I don’t want that stick straight look that chemicals would give me.  I am not one to blow it straight.  I tried that for years and although it did relax the curls, it seemed to reinforce the frizz.  What to do?
     Then I came across some pictures of myself in much younger days.  My hair was shiny and wavy. How did I do that?  The answer – rollers.  I set my hair with humongous rollers.  Sometimes I actually used beer cans.  I use to sleep on these things.  Well not really sleep but lay in bed balanced on the uncomfortable, uneven, rollers.  The true meaning of Rock and Roll. You didn’t really sleep.
     One time I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There I visited the Egyptian room and saw that King Tut, and I guess all royalty, didn’t sleep with their heads on a pillow but rather their neck rested on a curved block, their head floated free.  I tried my own version of this.  My neck on a rolled up towel, my head floating above the mattress.  It helped, but I didn’t get what you would call a full nights sleep.  But still rollers did the trick.  My hair was great.  How could I have forgotten this.
    Now I never want to sleep on rollers again, but today I ventured out to Rite Aid and bought eight pink sponge rollers.  After my shower I will towel dry my hair best I can, clip on a few of these throw back in time devices, and blow them with a hair dryer for three minutes.  No matter what, it can’t hurt, especially since it is supposed to rain tomorrow.  My hair will be in frizz heaven.
     I’ll let you know how I make out.  If you ask.