Archive for January, 2016

SNOW, SNOW, GO AWAY…AND DON’T COME BACK, ESPECIALLY NOT ON FRIDAY!

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Dear Readers,

I tried to write to you yesterday on my I phone, but I found that, for some reason, unbeknownst to me, it didn’t  work.  I tried again today, and the same results!  So here I am upstairs on my computer in an almost suffocatingly hot room trying to post quickly so I can escape downstairs, where the temperature is normal.

In these old houses there isn’t a thermostat on each floor, so when it is a normal temperature of about 68 degrees downstairs, it is at least five degrees warmer upstairs.  (Heat rises.)  It can get so hot that it is sometimes necessary to sleep downstairs for a few hours and then try to sleep upstairs once the windows have been opened for a while and the door is kept open for cross ventilation.  A good solution to the problem is a humidifier, which I will be getting as soon as I can.  The snowstorm has prevented me from doing that as quickly as I would have wanted.

And what a snowstorm it was…the second largest snowfall in the history of New York, even beating the snowstorm of 1947, when I was just a toddler.  From what my mom told me and from what I have researched, that was one for the record books, too.   I have experienced many blizzards myself:  in 1969 when the Lindsey administration did little to clean up the mess.  That was also the year that I eloped with Nicky, my late husband.  We were supposed to get married on Valentine’s Day, but we had to cancel our plans due to the avalanche of snow and get married instead by the Supreme Court Justice of New York, (a friend of my neighbor’s.)   We had no choice but to  postpone our honeymoon until July of that year.  I also lived through three other blizzards while I taught English at a school on the south shore of Long Island.  Three times I was caught in blizzards and had to stay overnight at colleagues’ houses.

This was a challenging nor’easter for all of us in the northeast.  There were at least fifteen fatalities, and the number is going up.  It is important to remember not to shovel if you are not in the best condition.    That is how many of these people died.  Be careful!

My husband and I were snowed in to the point that we could not open any of our doors!  The two feet of hard-packed snow prevented us from opening the doors.  I called my landscaper since he does snow removal during the winter season, and he has helped us in years’ past.  But this time he did not show, although he said that he would.

My  husband wanted to wait for him until the next morning, (Today, Monday),  but I knew that everything would just freeze over and make it worse to shovel when we could get someone to help us.  So I called two of my friends, who are wives of elders in our Jehovah’s Witnesses’ congregation.  The husbands appeared soon after and cleaned up the two feet of snow on the steps and right in front of our door.  As a result we could get out the front door.  Then, a neighbor who had dug a path for us in front of the house, got the snow away from our side door, so we could open that one, too!  FREED AT LAST!

My hubby isn’t going to be driving for a while, but at least I can get down to the curb for cabs or friends and relatives who can pick me up for shopping, the bank and other necessary activities.  I am very thankful to my friends and their husbands for rescuing us.  No longer are we prisoners of the second largest snowstorm in New York history!

Until the next time, be safe, warm, happy and thankful to God and your friends and neighbors.  We all are in this together in so many different ways.  Therefore, we must help one another!

 

Cheryl

Some (Hopefully) Inspiring Winter Poems From My Own Anthology

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Here are the winter poems that I promised…straight from my anthology from 2007: “Poems of Joy and Praise To God.”

WINTER: A BRIGHT NEW SEASON!

A new season is upon us.
We can feel it in the air.
Each bear is selecting a cave now
And each lion winterizing its lair.

Yes, a new year has arrived,
Which fills our hearts with hope
That our problems will find a solution
And we will continue somehow to cope.

And whether we know it or not,
For each and every care,
Almighty God and His Son
Are as close as a heartfelt prayer.

So we have a lot to hang onto,
Regardless of Life’s vicissitudes.
The good and the bad around us
Caught within strange and bewildering moods.

Yet, if we keep our faith and hope within us
And live each day in our Creator’s way,
We’ll each play our part in God’s great plan
And we’ll meet in Paradise one day.

Cheryl Lodico

(A PRELUDE TO WINTER’S DEPARTURE IN JUJST A COUPLE OF MONTHS…)

WHEN WINTER BOWS TO SPRING…

Old Man Winter waves goodbye.
His yearly dance is over.
The once icy, unproductive ground Is transformed
Into verdant fields of clover.

The spirit of rebirth
Permeates the air
As the scent of cherry blossoms
Convinces us that Spring is really near.

The swallows are returning
In droves from Capistrano every day
While summer melons and other juicy fruits
Are no longer far away.

Hanging baskets of colorful tulips
Abound on our front porch
With enough protection from the sun
To ensure the sun will never scorch.

Yes, the warmth of Spring satisfies our souls
With the gentle strength of love.
We can find the sweet transition
Through God’s guidance from above.

Cheryl Lodico

I hope you enjoyed my seasonal and not-so-seasonal poems. Please read the previous article as well. It was also posted today!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

How Are We Doing In Regard To Our New Year’s Resolutions ?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

It is the third week of 2016 and time to evaluate how we are doing. I would be glad to begin by evaluating myself, and hopefully you will then be inspired to evaluate yourself.

In regard to blogging, I missed several days here and there, but I did much better than in previous years , where I missed weeks rather than just days ! Some of my blogs were detailed and contained much material relevant to the lives of viewers. I am referring to my blog on hobbies and /or pastimes for seniors, especially .

In regard to my using my cervical heating pad, I have missed only a few days. I intend to use it when I finish this blog .

As far as my art work , I have been busy doing some lovely pictures in my adult coloring book . The use of contrasting colors has been a challenge, and I have really enjoyed my art work . Today I want to do my own sketching and then coloring.

I have read almost every night in my mystery novels, and I am going to read a few more chapters this evening. I have four more novels
waiting to be read !

As far as my Bible and other spiritual reading, I missed a few days, but basically I have been doing well. I listened into several meetings since I have been sick with a bad cold . As a result of my mot feeling well, I have not been able to do my volunteer work in a couple of weeks. I have studied with my husband, though.

I want to do more creative writing. Maybe I will write a couple of new poems tonight! It would be a real challenge! If I have time, I want to type one or two winter poems from my anthology, “Poems of Joy and Praise To God.”

Taking math quizzes each day from the Math and Mind website has been helpful, too . I have been doing very well!

I haven’t been able to get out for my neck and back therapy because of my cold , but I am hoping to go later this week! When I am feeling better, I want to continue with my exercising at least three times a week. And I do want to get my pneumonia shot…Prevnar 13, as recommended by my internist.

I have been doing my necessary housework, and, of course, cooking and cleaning up. We can’t stop cleaning and cooking!

How are you doing? Please take time to evaluate yourself!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

I

Happy Anniversary To Us !

Friday, January 15th, 2016

It’s not fun having a cold on your anniversary , but my husband and I can celebrate next week. I just want to get rid of this annoying winter cold ! The saline spray and Aquaphor have been helpful, along with warm drinks like coffee and cocoa (I CAN’t drink tea… Never liked it !).

Anyway , my husband Manny and I have been married for 27 years. The time has flown by, despite the many challenges that every married couple experience. I am so fortunate to have two great step-children and the best three grandchildren anyone could ever have ! What perks for a second marriage!

Manny and I have helped each other through health problems of different kinds and the losses of people we love. That is so important! We have helped each other’s families and enjoyed being with our extended family members , who have become our friends!

We were married on a very mild day;,it was just 65 degrees! The wedding was small but just right for us…about 60 guests.

There are many lovely memories and with God ‘s help even better days to come!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

LIVING WITH WINTER : A POSITIVE OUTLOOK…

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

When I was younger, I actually loved Winter. Now I think the younger me must have been a little crazy; my feelings have changed dramatically as I matured. The younger me rarely got cabin fever because she was working hard, out all day, physically quite strong and emotionally full of passion for life. Now the older me is retired, and although she has many hobbies that she enjoys, she still spends more time in the house and feels the winter cold much more during an outing. She also has a harder time shoveling the snow and has to make do with less money than when she was working. She and her hubby also have more health problems than the younger version of both, which contributes to a seasonal sadness, a challenge to dispel. How do the older versions of ourselves reconcile with the younger ones? I will try to help you and myself with this dilemma.

First of all, we have to force ourselves to get out each day, if at all possible. Naturally, if there is a blizzard or even just a slightly heavy snowstorm, it may be impossible to take a walk or a ride, but on most winter days, taking a ride to town, seeing a movie or going shopping, etc. should not be an impossible challenge. Getting out means meeting people or at least seeing them. It means physical activity and maybe even a bite out…so it is physically and emotionally stimulating. If we cannot get out for long, let’s at least take a few short walks. It certainly breaks up the day a little. Let’s make sure we do it!

I like to structure my day so that, in addition to getting out for a while doing conventional things like shopping or banking, I also try to do some community or religious work. I try to do at least five hours of volunteer work each week. If I can’t do the five hours, I do what I can and don’t beat myself up for the deficit.

I plan an hour or more a day for secular and religious reading. Sometimes, I do my reading in the morning and at other times before going to bed…or both. Reading makes me happy and stimulates my brain. To stimulate my little brain, I also subscribe to websites that have math quizzes each day, photo quizzes, etc. Some of them are very challenging, but that’s good!

My art projects are important to me, too. I do original sketches and water colors when the mood strikes me, but I also like the adult coloring books. Just using the liquid markers to create an attractive picture raises my serotonin level. I can paint or color while I watch television, so I practice multi-tasking, too!

I enjoy blogging as I am doing now. It is so good to relate to so many people as I can on the web. So I recommend getting a website. You don’t have to be a professional author to do this. Just find out how to create one, or have someone construct one for you! It is fun and healthful in so many ways.

Creative writing is a wonderful activity, too. We can create poetry, short stories or begin that novel or non-fiction book we always wanted to write but never had the time to do while we were working. Then, we can illustrate our writing. Another idea is keeping a journal or a diary.

Social media is important, too. I am a Facebook person, but Twitter and Instagram are great, too. They are all wonderful ways for us to keep up with people whom we cannot see every day. There is nothing wrong with the telephone either. Call a close relative or friends and chat! You know, letter writing is a lost art, too…better than e-mails…more personal. Write a letter or send a beautiful card to someone whom you care about and could use cheering up. It’s just a nice, considerate, loving thing to do!

Housekeeping isn’t fun, but it has to be done, and it certainly does keep us busy. Handling our business matters, even if is just running our home and household, takes time, too.

If you can possibly afford to take a trip, do it! Go somewhere you have never been before. It does not have to be out of the USA. You can visit a state you have never been to before, even one right here in the northeast. Traveling is good for the heart, the soul and everything in between!

So even those of us who are retired have plenty of options. It is up to us to schedule all these things or at least some of these things. AND we don’t want to forget to exercise to keep in shape and make appointments to see our doctors and to take needed medical tests. These are all important activities, too.

The younger me loved to write poems about the beauty of Winter. I am going to include one of those poems. Maybe, there is some merit in my winter poems, I don’t know. I may not be a winter lover anymore, but my winter poems encourage and inspire me at this time of the year. Maybe they’ll have a similar effect on you.

And if they don’t there are only about 67 days or a little over two months until Spring!

The winter wind calls.
Its cry, whether shrill or hoarse,
Stirs the heart within.

Frigid air invades
Like icy fingers that chill
The spirit.

Out of the cold air,
Feel the cozy warmth inside,
Here by the fire.

Snowflakes fall below,
Each unique in size and shape,
Invading silence.

The above haikus or variations of haikus are from my poetry book, entitled “Poems of Joy and Praise To God,” published by Red Lead Press in 2007.

Until the next time,

Cheryl

Assert Yourself, BUT DON’T BE AGGRESSIVE!

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Hello, again! In a short while I’ll be watching the Golden Globes and a mystery movie on the Hallmark Channel. I vowed at one time that I would never channel-surf or even move from one program to another (during commercials, of course), but here I am doing what I thought I would never do! But what choice do you have when you want to watch two programs at approximately the same time? No choice indeed! At least the Golden Globes starts at 8:00PM and the movie at 9:00…so I have been given somewhat of a break!

Each Saturday on one Hallmark channel, there is a brand new romantic movie, and each Sunday there is a mystery on the other Hallmark channel. I am so happy there are two of them. Double the movies! Last night I saw a wonderful movie, entitled “Love’s Complicated.” What I loved most about it was that its two interesting and connecting themes were working out conflicts that most people don’t even want to admit they have and asserting oneself, even if one is very sweet and therefore reluctant to hurt anyone but oneself.

The main character or protagonist, Leah, is a gentle, sweet soul who also happens to be a fantastic writer. However, she allows her publishing company to bulldoze her, and out of fear of disappointing her dad and hurting her boyfriend, she is well on her way to writing her book the way someone else wants her to write it and getting married to a man with whom she is absolutely NOT IN LOVE!

She ultimately allows herself to be registered in a conflict management course by her boyfriend and actually learns a great deal from it. She meets a dynamic but often irritating (yet endearing radio personality and critic) and begins to perceive herself in a completely different way and make very healthy changes. Leah refuses to be dictated to by her publishing company and writes her novel the way she wants to. She even gives it a brand new title, “My Life As A Doormat.” Also, she must decide whether she must break her engagement to her current boyfriend to marry someone else with whom she can have much more than a modicum of happiness. (And we certainly can guess who that “someone” will be!)

I have been guilty of being too laid back at times myself and allowing others to mold me, so to speak, their way. I guess I have been afraid of being aggressive, a quality that has always been ugly to me, so, as a result, I leaned towards the other extreme and allowed others to intimidate me. I have worked on those issues without going to a conflict or anger management class, (which was one of the main settings of this movie), but it has been a hard journey. We don’t want to step on the toes of those we like or even love, but we don’t want to become a “doormat” either. Being that these issues were so personal for me, I truly loved the movie. I thought that the conclusion was fantastic, but you will have to see it yourself (there are many reruns) to see exactly how all the conflicts are cleverly resolved.

During the week I will give you all a rundown on how I have been doing with my New Year’s resolutions, but today I am in a rush. As I said the Golden Globes and the Hallmark movie await me.

One of my biggest career dreams is that one of my seventeen books be made into a Hallmark movie. Some of my dear friends have said that they thought many of my plots would work. But what must a writer do for something that wonderful to happen? If you know, please tell me. What a fulfillment of a dream that would be!

I have much more to say, but I will have to say it the next time. Until then,

Cheryl

NEVER STOP TRYING!

Friday, January 8th, 2016

I DIDN’T WANT TO LET THE EVENING GO BY WITHOUT AT LEAST A SHORT BLOG. I WAS AT A MEETING TONIGHT AND JUST GOT HOME. I feel comfortable now sitting at my computer and writing to you. Often, a short message is the most effective kind.

I was tired tonight and felt a little under the weather. I have had a cold for the last week or so and am finally getting over it. I guess that is part of the reason for my having felt tired and lacking in energy a good part of today, but I knew that I was going to the meeting no matter what. I missed Sunday’s meeting because of the cold, and I wasn’t going to let it make me miss today’s as well.

So I ate a little dinner and got ready. I put on a pretty dress and a little more make-up, and I was as ready as I would ever be.

Some friends drove me to the meeting, and we had a nice conversation in the car. When we arrived, I already felt considerably better. It was nice associating with my friends before the meeting began. The people in my congregation are pleasant, bright and easy to talk to.

The meeting was exciting since we have now for the first time since I have been a member a brand new format, which is more practical and direct. It provides a new and improved way to dig for and retain “Bible treasures.” I was well-prepared and followed along easily and even answered a few questions. One of my answers wasn’t as polished as I would have wanted it to be, but the main thing is that I tried my best and didn’t shrink back in timidity. When I don’t feel up to par, I tend to do that…withdraw a little. But tonight I didn’t! It made me proud of myself.

So my message tonight is to keep on trying, even when you feel that you’re not at your best, even when situations intimidate you, even when you are not as confident as usual. If we give ourselves that initial push, God will do the best. But we have to remember that we must do our part! I prepared, I went to the meeting, I tried…and God pulled me through. Now it is time for me to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening…and you, too!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

A Special Poem Rededicated To a Special Person

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

El Nino has been assaulting Southern California with unheard of amounts of rain. I know they needed rain because of drought conditions, but for many it was a bit much. But a lot of people love rain, and one of those people is my niece, Joanne. I must say that I like the rain, too. That is why I wrote a poem about it in the section of “The Five Senses” in my poetry anthology, which I self-published nine years ago and entitled “Poems of Joy and Praise To God.” I hope all of you like this poem, especially you, Joanne, who mentioned your love of rain in your Facebook post today. The poem shows the beauty of the sound of rain; thus, the title: “Did You ever, Ever Hear?”

DID YOU EVER, EVER HEAR?

Did you ever, ever hear
The sound of summer rain?
Droplets on the shutters
And around the window pane?

Did you ever, ever listen
To the staccato, dripping sound
As raindrops pitter-patter
On the cold autumnal ground?

And did you ever, ever drift off
To the plip-plop of a drop
As it slides and glides atop the roof
Before it does a grand flip-flop?

No. there’s nothing like a rainstorm
Or those lovely winter showers.
For each drop’s a steadfast worker
That preps the ground for springtime flowers.

I hope you enjoyed the poem! It was created one night when I was tossing and turning, but I couldn’t sleep. I was mesmerized by the sound of the rain on the roof: plip-plop, plip-plop. Before I knew it, I drifted off, but not before I took notes on the sounds of the rain. I used that to create imagery and put together this poem.
Voila! The poem was created!

Before I sign off for tonight, I want to encourage all of you to continue with your goals or intentions for 2016. Change is most often good. I am working hard on mine, but this blog helps to encourage me to stick to my New Year’s Resolutions. I am hoping that this blog is helping you, too.

Until the next blog,

Cheryl

WORKING ON THOSE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!

Monday, January 4th, 2016

It is January 4, 2016, and I am working diligently on my goals for this new year. One of them, of course, is to write this blog 5-7 times a week. So far, I am doing just that. I missed only yesterday. But I have many other New Year’s resolutions or major changes I want to make in my everyday life. I want to share them with you.

1. Blogging 5-7 times a week.

2. Doing my art work each day, using water colors, markers, colored pencils or crayons.

3. Using my cervical collar and cervical heating pad 5-7 times a week.

4. Reading from the Bible Scriptures or entire chapters every day.

5. Working on ridding my house of clutter of all types, including donating old clothes and books that I have already read.

6. Praying often throughout the day.

7. Eating healthier. Cutting down on, not cutting out, my dark chocolate kisses and home-baked cookies and cupcakes.

8. Reading my secular books at least an hour each day.

9. Keeping in touch with friends and relatives.

10. Watching my favorite television shows, but not watching excessively.

11. Attending as many of my religious meetings as I can, including weekly meetings, assemblies and conventions.

12. Visiting my grandchildren more often.

13. Forgiving those who have offended me over the years.

14. Cutting down on I-phone time and learning to use my tablet.

15. Exercising more on my stationary bike and walking more.

16. Going in for my colonoscopy.

17. Going to the chiropractic center once a week.

18. Writing creatively two or three times a week.

Wow! That is some list of goals; isn’t it? Will I be able to make all of these changes? Am I biting off more than I can chew? Well, at the end of each week, I will update you on how I am doing. Perhaps, some of you can share your goals with me and let me know how you are doing. If you want to write to me, I have an e-mail address just for my readers. It is CH571324@aim.com. I would welcome your comments and contributions to this section on New Year’s Resolutions.

Now work hard on those goals. I am going to give it all I can. I hope that you will, too.

Until the next time…I hope, tomorrow,

Cheryl

WORKING ON THOSE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

It is so good to be writing to you again. One of my goals is to be more regular in my blogging…not to miss weeks or even a month at a time! I will try so hard not to do that. It is more fun to visit with you often.

I hope all of you are working on your goals for 2016. Remember: you don’t have to think of ten or even five goals for this year. Even one or two to start with is fine! Think of the most important changes you want to make in your life.

I will fill you in on my own progress on my New Year’s resolutions. Twice already I have used my cervical neck brace: a few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve and tonight. I blogged on New Year’s Eve, yesterday and now today. I will put forth a huge amount of effort not to lose the memento. I am working on my my art projects, too, a little each day..I often watch television at the same time, so I am learning to multi-task.

I have read Bible Scriptures each of these first two days and I will be listening in to my spiritual meeting tomorrow morning, even though a cold prevents me from being there physically. I will work hard at taking care of myself and eating healthier each day so I won’t catch another cold this year.

And I will keep praying for myself, my relatives and friends…including all of you.

Choose yoiur goals. Write them down. Prepare a checklist so that each day you can check off what you have accomplished. That is what I am going to do tonight.

Most of all, let love permeate through you so that you can be compassionate and merciful to others. Try to forgive those who have hurt you so that God will forgive you. I know how difficult it is to make changes because I am grappling with these goals myself. But we can do it if we ask for some of God’s Holy Spirit to help us.

Have a restful evening. Enjoy your hobbies and recreation. There are some great movies on Hallmark Channel tonight!

Until the next time, remain well and happy!

Best wishes,

Cheryl