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Wish for the New Millennium:
Thought for 2013:
"Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when its the only one you have."
- Emile Chartier
December - The month began with what is becoming a tradition - Betty, Joan Kathy and I go to lunch at their Yacht Club and then to the craft bazaar upstairs... a sweet time with some very sweet women. I also had a Christmas dinner at the Hollander with Doug & Bonnie that was warm and festive and personal. The Kellers and I saw 12 Years A Slave, a powerful film that can still make me feel very sad indeed... I like Gary & Barbara very much. I did a lot of planning and prep work for the party I threw on the 28th but had such a good time I forgot to take photos of it. Nor did I take many photos of the lovely dinner at Tim and Randy's on Christmas Eve - but here are a couple:
Christmas day was very full - a morning gift exchange for the dogs and Paul & I... lots of squeaking and running around, almost like kids, so happy and so in touch with the moment and with play ;-)... but then it was time to wash up and visit Paul & Aleth for a gift exchange and a glass of champagne and a little chat with each of them while the other dressed for their Christmas dinner party. then home to greet the Kails for Christmas night. We made a fire outside and sat and talked until be came in and watched White Christmas and made Susan's Snow to Go and behaved like the kids we unleash inside ourselves occasionally. My Mid-Holiday Open House followed Christmas and was a very successful party. I brought together of various different groups, some of whom got to know each other during the evening but all of whom I like and would like to see more of in the coming year. NYE was an anti-climax for me after my party... I didn't get any direct invitations to join any group and so I decided to stay at home with Mister Knightly - and we made a very nice and comfy evening of it... though I would have been equally happy to party if it had been an easy option. We watched After the Thin Man and Song of the Thin Man and then we watched the fireworks from the back porch - and they were very nice indeed. Among my resolutions for 2014 is this one: grow more tomatoes! Here is my first... but alas that plant did not produce others so lovely. But the roma tomato was more gratifiying. I also had some lovely roses at Christmas time:
And, in a tribute to my niece, I wrote up a resolution in her style:
Wouldn't it be nice if my New Year's resolution was to forgive the past?
That's one of those that will take a lot of work on some days, and be easy on others... Happy New Year!
Sandie's Christmas Letter - 2013
Getting older tends to make philosophers of us all and so it's not surprising that I find myself reading articles, written by people about my age, that strike a more or less philosophical theme. I've long maintained that being born in the beginning years of the baby boom meant that every idea one had would soon turn into a national trend - and that trend may now extend to philosophical thought.
A recent article by P. J. O'Rourke began:
"We are the generation that changed everything. Of all the eras and epochs of Americans, ours is the one that made the biggest impression -- on ourselves. That's an important accomplishment because we're the generation that created the self..."
He then goes on at some humorous length to try and take stock, not just of himself, but the whole 60 to 70 Million of us boomers. This looking back and taking stock will continue to increase because the youngest baby boomer is now 50 and has arrived at an age from which to look back and reflect. I feel like I may be a bit ahead of the curve on this because I studied Philosophy as my major in college, but this could also just be my ego.
I do feel that I'm out of step with the times, even as I know I am very much a product of those times. I mean that every time I think I am marching to a different drum, I find that whole hoards are also marching to that drum too. If I rail against Pop Culture's dominance of the news, I can open the paper and read Terry Teachout lamenting "It used to be that we didn't take popular culture seriously, but now we don't take anything else seriously."
So, what should I take seriously? There is a lot going on in the culture that I do not like and about which I can do little or nothing - Commercialism heads this list. And there is a lot that my generation overturned in the culture that I miss - Generally accepted standards for conduct (and manners) heads this list. I can try to address these things in my own life and I do try - but I see how hard it is each time I fail, for as I said earlier, I am a product of the times.
Where does this leave me? Well, right where I am - a 66 year old woman who lives with and loves her dog and who has no children and little family. Who spends a great deal of time alone - happily for the most part. Who has many friends but few really close. Who is focused on her health and planning for her old age - and who still sees herself as about 28 years old.
And so, as I do each year, I've looked back at all the cards, photos and notes that have come to me through the year just ending (not the emails however) and I realize again that somehow, magically, I am loved. That while I may live alone, I am not alone. That while I accuse myself of selfishness, I do care for and love many others - and yes, Santa, (though I berate myself for not being better) I've been good!
These little insights are the gift that friendships give - to know one's self is not just to know what goes on in your own head but also to try to see ones self as others do... and to trust that their vision is also true. For me this translates into the feeling that even with all my many, many imperfections, there are still those who like me anyway... and it is enough. And as for the culture? I am reminded again that, "whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."
So, for the year ahead Mister Knightly & I offer this advice and wish:
Be Cheerful. Strive to be
and have a
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
November - Lena's visit continued in November with more days at the beach and several sunsets, a dinner with Tim and Randy which Randy cooked, a visit to the Hunts and yes, more shopping - then came time to send her back to Sweden and I was very sad to see her leave.
No sooner had Lena departed than Diane arrived to work on her new town home. We shopped for furniture, went to a pre-Thanksgiving party with some new friends and even had dinner with Richard & Sue... as is traditional, we also went to the beach for sunset! Diane's visit was followed by a big musical party at Marcia & Bill's which was one of the best I've attended and I've been to a bunch... and then it was time to start cooking for Thanksgiving! I cooked too big a bird and will be eating turkey for weeks it seems but it was quite a feast and I had fun. Now for the roller coaster ride to Christmas!
October - Such a busy fall and such a busy month... it began with a visit from Geri and we had ourselves a girls night out, which I really appreciated. Sheri and the Divas were back in the pool the following weekend for another photo session - great women! The 15th was the tribute to Helen Torres for 20 years of sponsoring the Orchestra in the park Free to the community. She is a wonderful and generous spirt=it and a dear friend. This photo shows her looking particularly radiant! This was followed by the actual concert which was great this year! Then it was time to get ready for Lena's visit - which began with a birthday party for Sheri... . Followed by major shopping and then a drive over to Bella Marea to visit the Kails... We swam in the ocean, well, Lena did and we lunched in St Augustine and had a wonderful time...
September - Perhaps my favorite month of the year... almost from its start, I could feel a slight change in the weather and the first stirings of what passes for the start of autumn in Florida. I began the month with the celebration of Paul's birthday - took him to dinner at the Hollander Hotel and took Rickie too (more as an apology for blowing up at him than anything else). Celebrated Doug & Jaeden's birthday with the gang at the beach, so another big birthday month! Mid month I returned to Green Bay Wisconsin for my 2nd home Packers game. Dear Diane drove 200 miles each way to pick me up in Milwaukee and save me several hundred dollars - what a good friend!! Great game and the Packers won! Home again I only had 4 days before going out to SF for Oracle OpenWorld. Bbo have me the good news that I was still employed, at least through October ,-) Oh well, what will be, will be... the conference was huge but first I had my traditional one night with Dion. We looked at a lot of her vacation photos and I must confess to a bit of envy at all the places she has been. I know I too have had some travel but nothing to compare with her month in China, and weeks in Peru, Turkey, Mascadonia, all of Europe, etc pea green envy! OOW was good, except I had a cold the whole time - still I partied on like a trouper... Saw the band Maroon 5 and they were good! Another September has now gone... alas but the fall is really here and the days are in the 80"s again so I can't complain.
August - Began with a baby pineapple ripening to a delicious fruit. This was immediately followed by a long series of birthdays - Marcia, Sandra, Geri, Brenna, and Mister Knightly who is now seven years old - where does the time go? Brenna and I had several chats on FB-Skype which were fun for me as I could see her on camera - I need to hook a camera to my PC. Toward the end of the month the Kails came over for a visit and it is always great to see them. Work took me out to Redwood Shores for meetings - Bob gave me the bad news that he might have to fire me... that always makes one feel so special - but otherwise it was an interesting trip and I have been told my days were numbered at work so many times now, I should be used to it. Ended the month at GeckoFest and a nice brunch with Bonnie.
Here is my baby pineapple and the Herd at the beach for Sandra's birthday.
July - As is my usual habit I began the month with a 4th of July pool party.
... It was a fun party too... lots of margaritas to relax my guests (none for me though) Then it was time to pack my bags and head to Billings Montana for a two week road trip with my niece, Susan... The details of this trip are chronicled in Travels with Susan 2013 under Places We Like.
Back home again (and I was really happy to be back home again) I joined the gang for sunset therapy at the beach .
June - This month we had rain and lots of it - in the typical Florida weather pattern which we had lost the last couple of years due to a drought - but June was full of late afternoon storms and big thunderheads, just like old times! I began the month with a Clam Chowder dinner for Tim & Randy and the next day the three of us went to lunch and explored the historic YMCA building - it was nice to hang out with them. I took Chris Silvia out for her birthday the following weekend and we saw the movie The Great Gatsby - only not so very great this time! The next weekend I took myself out to see Can you See Me? a clever movie about magician bank robbers which I enjoyed much more. For the Solstice I went out to the beach with the gang for sunset - the next night I hosted a dinner for the A&W gang. Dinner was excellent and they are a very comfortable group to be around. Thursday the 27th was the Bob Dylan concert in Tampa with Jerry - followed by a rainy weekend as the month draws to a close... coffee with Aleth is always great and stuff around the house is satisfying... had the trees trimmed - had Dorothy's necklace turned into a beautiful bracelet and just getting ready for the 4th party and my vacation in July rounded out the last weekend... I am a happy girl!
May - I know I say this every year, but May continues to be the birthday month...so many of them, only August is close... This May began with dinner for Tim & Randy followed by Donna the Buffalo at Janus Live - with Tim & Randy...and the Hunts... they are a super band and an old favorite, it was a lovely night! Also ran into Sheri & Manny Kool and came back to Grasshopper where Sheri had us all laughing until almost 2 AM. The following week I attended one of the free movies in the park with Doug P. and then joined the Herd in Vanessa to go to Tropical Heatwave... always a fun event and this year was no exception. As the birthdays continued, i had lunch with Randy and I had lunch and a movie with Ed (Mud was the movie and I liked it). At work I had a trip to Chicago to discuss business that went well, I think, time will tell. My new tenant Rick is proving to be a jewel and Paul seems to be getting stronger every day...Mister Knightly goes over every day to play - we have a nice little thing going on between our houses. Did a little hanging out at the A&W with Doug & Bill too... fun month!
April - Well, it all began with a conference in Denver, a wonderful excuse to wear my winter clothing a bit more and I love those excuses because I look much better in more clothes. Diane was there too so I had a buddy to drink with and one who likes to watch sports as well - we had lovely weather and then we also had snow. I got to have lunch with an old friend too, Sandra Sciadini who is looking pretty fabulous I think. For a brief while I considered becoming a traveling consultant but was very relieved when that didn't happen. Back home I had a nice lunch with Susan Hunt, went to one night of Blues Fest with my A&W friends and rented out the garage apartment to a nice guy named Rick. Diane came down to visit on the 26th to look for a condo to buy and she found one - hopefully it will close without too much problem. It will be great having her living near by eventually. We went to the Green Thumb Festival, picked up my new glasses and had dinner at Caddy's before she had to leave the new glasses are getting lots of favorable reviews - I will need to get photos of the 2nd pair in May some time.
March - We had a strange spring this year - robins came by my house in small flocks but they came over a span of several weeks, unlike in years past where flocks of thousands came by for a few days and disappeared until the following spring. The sight of robins made me feel spring would be early, but then a couple of northern fronts swept down and kept the weather chilly until the end of the month...boots & jacket weather and OK by me...
On the 2nd we celebrated Doug Pavone's birthday at the Columbia on the Pier. I had a great time, but my dear friend Randy later made comments about my behavior that had me talkin' to myself for at least two weeks...I hate it when that happens...all clear now, however. Went to Art in Bloom and then on to the Ale & Witch but the craft beer gave me a headache after just one and I decided I don't need to drink such strong beer. The Kails dropped in for a night but were hungover from the previous night so we were home by 10PM and gone early the next morning... a short visit. Marcia & Bill had their Music Party on the 23rd and it was quite nice... good food and friends and conversation and of course music... and dancing. And then I hosted the Egg Coloring party on Good Friday. So all in all a full month.
Over next door, I put a new deck and staircase on the garage apartment...now I can rest easy not fearing someone will fall through rotted stairs and break their necks. Mike left for a job in Texas promising to pay the back rent but I will be surprised if he does. now I hope to be able to tile the floor and find a new (nice) tenant.
February - was a fun month! Beginning with the SuperBowl or HerdBowl party at Marcia & Bill's which was a great time for everyone I think, but really great for me as I won $84 in the pool! The food that was set out for this party was also just fabulous...the Herd eats well. I had hoped to get down to the Ale & Witch for their 2nd year celebration but cold and rain kept me home, but I did go with Diane when she visited. Unfortunately the band didn't really move us, except to move over to Ruby's Elixer where the band was great but the crowd was smoking cigars and way too young for us... then we tried The Vue only to discover that there really isn't much of a Vue there.
We had a good visit nonetheless, shopping and hanging out and talking. It is nice to have a girlfriend to talk to. I probably spend 22 hours of every day without talking so when I get the chance I know I can over do it but it is fun to talk to friends and Diane and I take turns so it seems to work out. Cindy and I had a nice day going to lunch at the Art Pool Cafe and doing the girl talk thing... we don't have as much in common as Diane and I do, but it was one of our best outings together. and then it was time for Bonnie's 50th birthday party... I'd wanted to throw this for her and had a good time planning it and cooking for it - unfortunately my baked ziti was a disaster but people ate it anyway. My turkey was better and the collard greens were just fine. Fortunately others brought lots of great dishes too so there was lots to eat.
January - is a long month and for good reason, there is so much to do... movies to see before the Oscars, pruning to do on the roses, post holiday gifts still had to be delivered to Cindy and Julie, and weight to loose after stuffing myself through the holidays and before re-stuffing myself for my birthday! There were the preparations for having the house tented to e considered. But first, let me not pass over my birthday lightly... it was number 66 which seems an amazing number and makes one say dumb things about where did the time go or how fast it seems to go... I went out to dinner on the birth day...with Ingmar and we were joined by Doug & Bonnie... a nice evening all around...and the following evening I went to dinner at Tim & Randy's where Randy went all out in the kitchen to make a special mean of Cornish hens and and Marcia, Bill, and Sandra added salad and beans to the spread... after that I was up another 4 lbs! YIKES!! Here's me on the day it could be worse! After that there wasn't much to do except prepare for house tenting... to that end, I invited some of my new A&W friends over for a bon fire and chili made from a roast frozen in the freezer that I wanted to be rid of... it was a nice evening. The rest of the weekend was given over to moving plants and packing up cabinets. As January ends I am at Aleth's and have been for 3 nights... I will be able to get back in today ... here's the house under the tent! So as the month ends I am preparing for the stench of the critters who live under my house...
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|Sandie @ 63 Mister Knightly @ 3 years|
Las Tres Amigas - The Thompson
|Sandie, Chris & Susan in Las Vegas Randy, Tim & Ed|
|ICOE - In Case of Emergency|
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As you can see it is about a girl and her dog. We live in Florida. The dog is a perpetual puppy and the girl is almost 9 in animal years. You can contact us at this address: Click
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Mister Knightly and I wake each day with smiles on our faces. We strive to be happy without doing harm to anyone else in the process. This isn't very deep stuff, I know, but that's our philosophy and we're sticking to it! We hope you are enjoying your life. Send us an email and let us know what you think. As my dear friend Richard likes to quote,
"May the long-time sun
shine upon you,
all love surround you
and the clear light within you, guide your way home"
- The Incredible String Band