Archive for January, 2013

SUNday Morning

This morning as I tuned into CBS Sunday Morning I realized that I was developing a new ritual. Over fifty years ago I had a Sunday paper route and I have made it a habit to read at least one Sunday newspaper since that time. Today I sensed the change in my ritual that has come about in the past three years. My husband may say the change is due to my inability to have our dog retrieve the paper for me.
Newspapers have been in decline with the emerging electronic advances. First television news programs and commentators slowly replaced the print media and now the internet dominates with its speed and many sites. However, we still subscribe to a Sunday paper and I make it a habit to read most of it.

This Sunday morning I tuned in for the full ninety minutes. In the central time zone “Sunday Morning” begins at 8 AM. I find myself multi-tasking during the show, eating breakfast (blueberry muffins), emptying or loading the dishwasher, dressing, planning tonights dinner, and going over my weekly calendar. These activities would not be possible if I were reading the newspaper.

Charles Osgood has become my favorite anchor. He opens every show with the traditional teases. Today’s main theme was the Presidential Inauguration. Along with the cover story there are several features which I enjoy – Almanac, Television, Passage, Profile, Opinion, By The Numbers, and Nature. I always manage to gleam some interesting facts/trivia, knowledge, and reaffirm some of my educator/life philosophies.

Almanac was presented by Mr. Osgood and reviewed the life of Audrey Hepburn on the anniversary of her death in 1993. She is a favorite of our daughter so I sent her the link on this story.
Television featured Highclere Castle otherwise known as “The Real Downton Abbey.” I texted a good friend to tune in because like so many others we watch the series on PBS.
You can’t have an Inauguration without the President so several stories, including the Cover Story, pertained to past Presidents, and as a student of American history I sat down and paid close attention. Two Presidential biographers outlined what they believe were the essential qualities in a good President. A President must be wise and honest, (taken from John Adams letter to his wife Abigail), he must have courage, patience, determination, and integrity. D. McCullough stressed that the good Presidents, “Lead not only with actions but with words.” I especially liked D. Gergen’s addition to the list – persuasion. He cited Thomas Jefferson as the first President to use inside the beltway persuasion to achieve political success. I also felt that both men wanted a President to be friendly, especially with his political adversaries. Citing J. Meacham in “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” Gergen said, “He believed, I think rightly, that it is harder to say ‘no’ to someone when you know them.”
Passage was another Osgood piece and covered the passing of Dear Abby. I grew of reading Pauline Phillips “Dear Abby” advice column in the newspaper. She died of Alzheimer’s disease this past week at the age of 94.
By The Numbers Nine was the number today. This is the number of Presidents who were not sworn into office on January 20th before noon. I learned that Calvin Coolidge was staying at his home in Vermont. The house had neither telephone nor electricity so the news was delivered to him in the middle of the night by his father who later sworn him in by the light of an oil lamp.
Profile talked with Warren Buffet on life and investing in stocks. He is very interesting.
Nature took us to the USA’s first national park, Yellowstone. This segment is always wordless and is about a minute long video that the show closes with. Today I watched the geysers in the snow, beautiful.

SUNday Morning always features numerous suns. Today mt favorite was a snow covered sun.
Check out the show next SUNday Morning on CBS

Frog Friday – Take II

I had another one of those aha moments while preparing some cookies for dinner with our Grandson and his baby sister. Well, really I was craving chocolate and tonight’s dinner presented me with a good excuse to indulge.
For years I’ve made peanut butter cup cookies (SIL’s second favorite treat) but had trouble taking them out of the mini muffin tin. Just last month while working in the kitchen with the cooking channel on I picked up a neat trick.
To make removal of the cookie easier you place two narrow strips of parchment paper under the cookie dough ball before baking. After cooling grasp the strips and the cookies easily lift out.
YUM. I had to use Hershey Kisses instead of miniature peanut butter cups because I had irresistible chocolate urges two nights ago. I’m never going to lose those extra pounds.

Now, did you notice how I tied this baking into Frog Friday?

Preview – Frog Friday


I just couldn’t resist adding the above photo to my blog. This Frog snow sculpture comes from my sister in New York state. published a story about a woman in Cazenovia, NY who resolved to do thirty works of art in 30 days. Check out her story on the following link.

I do love all things Frog.

Frog Friday

IMG_2129 - Version 2

I just spent the last week de-Christmasing the house. Of course that meant taking down the Frog Tree. As I was carefully replacing the various Frog ornaments in their boxes and wrappings I begin writing my first Frog Friday post in my mind. Each ornament brought back fun memories and then I had that aha moment. Write about the Frog Tree!

I picked up the camera and began taking photos.
The colorful angel Frog you see above has been placed at the top of the Frog Tree for almost twenty years. The first Frog Tree was a scrawny four foot affair that has now grown into a five footer with many branches. Over the years many friends have suggested we just leave the tree up year round but then I think of the joy/memories I have as I put it up in early December and take it down in early January. In the beginning the Frog ornaments came from my husband and children. These Frogs were lovingly placed on our main tree until they became so numerous we decided to do a Frog Tree. Each Frog carries a wonderful story; there are Frog ornaments from my Mom (a flying angel), sisters, nephews (Cub Scout sewing badge), nieces, sister in laws, students (Frog holding chalkboard), and many from dear friends (Nancy made two in ceramics class). In addition to the ornaments we have Christmas themed Frogs under the tree on top of a red fleece blanket decorated with Frogs, my sister made this one summer while we were visiting. There is also a growing collection of Frog statues on the sideboard. These Frog statues show Frogs as Santa in a sleigh, building a snowman, carrying presents, and even decorating a tree

Ready to be packed away.

Ready to be packed away.

This is just a few of the Frog ornaments pre packing.

By now you are wondering, “Why Frogs?” The answer will be revealed in the next Frog Friday.

Hoppy Frog Friday!

2013 Beginnings

The title of this first post is not exactly right, but I’ve procrastinated far too long.  Perhaps a better heading  would have been, “What To Do?”

That is a  question I’ve asked myself many times over the last eighteen months.  It was two years ago that I started the retirement process and at a recent holiday gathering a good friend and fellow educator contemplated her upcoming retirement. She wondered what she would do all day.  I reassured her that there was plenty to do.  She laughed and said, “I know, just look at you and your partner in retirement, Dee.  It seems we hear of a new adventure or activity every week!”  

I have been thinking of that exchange for three weeks now. The questions that arose over and over were: What have I learned about myself, my family, our neighborhood, Kansas, and the world? What life lessons have I applied to retirement? What activities have I found fun and fulfilling? And finally what did my lifelong friend, Nancy, mean when she told me there would be no regrets?

Now, I have come to the conclusion that this blog will be about what I’ve been doing with myself since retiring from the education field. There will be posts about family, learning, senior moments and frogs. One of my 2013 resolutions is to post at least once a week.

Hoppy New Year!