Sunday, July 28, 2013


She came into my shop about 3 or 4 times a year.
She put a smile on my face.
One of these clients you do not forget.
I can see her now walking in the door .
"hello my dear Mrs. K. how are you?"
"terrific now that you are here to cheer me up"
"You may not know it but I jist celebrated my 96th birthday and I do need
to give myself a gift, so I will browse in your lovely shop!

I could never get over the fact that here she stood almost 100 years old and
she wanted to buy herself something.

I see her in her navy blue suit , a sort of shantung worn by much younger people and it had a little white border. Her blouse was pure white silk with a little bow and an exquisite brooch (broche to me)
her shoes ,of course, navy with white trim and a tiny heel.
Her hat was a fine straw hat with a white rose which reflected her snow white hair.

A long time ago she told me that she was a preacher';s wife, a real Southern Belle.
She had lived most of her life in South Carolina. Her husband had joined the Lord, she said and she smiled.
She would add that he went "home" too soon for he was a gentle man.
She was petite and rather thin, one would wonder if her legs could keep her up but she walked at a steady pace.

I would help her look for what was on her mind and often she would find the right item, mostly jewelry or if I had vintage gloves she would try them on. She was what the French call "une coquette", she came out of a box and one had to look at her , you just could not help yourself.

The majority of my clients would come in with china ware, cut glass, old pearls , martini glasses, Hummels and Lladro. They would all have the same sing song :"I am too old to use this, I no longer entertain, I no longer can keep up with the dust, my children do not want this, my daughter does not even talk to me, my granddaughter just wants what fits in the dish washer. My maid no longer comes and I can't polish the silver, can you please sell it for me."
The majority looked very unhappy, the end of the road bothering them, the memories to be buried.

The Floridians who come here in the summer to cool off (try that this year!) would always have these
different color suits ready to go jogging or not....bright colors, bracelets by the dozens and bright lipstick.They stood out but as widows they had to sell the NC property so more "stuff" . I almost always told them to go for auctions, I knew that I could never pay enough so that helped in the long run.
Buying? are you kidding? they would walk around the shop and say :"I have this and have that but better quality, of course. "

I would observe the older women and started to think what road I was going to take when I would turn 80.
Would I wear all these colors still? I sure do! Would I wear the jog suits and the hoodies? Never.
I look like always a gypsy antique dealer with long skirts ,jewelry and much color.
It's my style but at 5.7" I can carry it a bit. Did I say 5 '7" ? I am lying I shrunk 1/2 inch.

I have given a lot of my "goodies" to the girls because they wanted them and appreciate them.
So that helped me. I was not a Hummel fan and could not afford Lladro so I am safe here.
I did like sterling silver and must admit that I no longer like to polish it and never had a maid to do it, well, I am lying again, Brie used to polish for me until she grew this brute force and one day twisted one of my candle sticks into a pretzel. That was her last polishing job.

 Surely one who grew up without a touch of silver anywhere not even silverplate , a mother who prided herself if she could buy stainless steel forks that had to be 18/8!  Why the silver longing? I did not learn about 925 sterling till my Bob came into my life and had all these different gorgeous patterns of teaspoons for his coffee. He taught us all to look for the 925 never mind 18/8.

Rhonda was quick to go to the church bazars and find the spoons she liked (she was not into sets yet) if it was sterling it was going to be hers. She'd go to the cashier and say things like :"I like this so much do not know if I have enough pennies...(sad face) usually she got them for free from old unsuspecting sweet church ladies. Especially the Episcopalians, Rhonda 's testimony, she said they had the best silver.
Then she'd come to the shop we had and tried to sell them to us.

So as I watched the elderly in my business I decided I wanted to be 94 dressed like a gypsy and still go shopping.

Well, I did it in a big way. Since my bead shop was closed unexpectedly I have been brooding about my office/workplace. It's not as orderly as I would like it to look at it every day and slow down on beading. I am blue about the subject, I miss it  and yet I do not have the courage to start again in another place. I need too much help for setting up a new shop and then keeping it up. Brie needs a rest and Rhonda is hardly home as her hours are brutal at work.

So on a whim  I decided to make the room again a dining room, nothing fancy, nothing expensive I did all that during the younger years. I wanted something very European and country looking nothing modern and I told the kids that Christmas eve was on me with the new room!!!!They love it!!!!!!!!

Just like I decided within minutes to give up my dining room I decided to have it come back.
I had put my solid mahogany table on the side of the street with a sign "FREE" ten minutes later it was gone. My chairs were from my grandfather so the girls each got 3. That took care of it.
Entered the beads and plastic drawers piled on plastic wheels who could not keep up with the weight.
The white plastic turned yellow like over night. As long as I was working in there I had no problems but with the changes also came the nostalgia of again having the kids here for Christmas.
So at 81 1/2 I went to the consignment shop and bought a Bavarian kitchen table strong enough to hide under if a tornado comes and four high back chairs just like I had in my house in California.
Who buys furniture at my age? Who cares? I am old enough to know better and old enough not to give a damn.

I think my preacher';s wife is "home" and smiling at me.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Mediocre Farmer

Ok. Ok. So I admit it, I am a mediocre farmer.
How do I know that for sure?
Well after years of farming I am at 269 points, my friends are at the max 450 points.

If you are from another planet you probably do not know about our "Farms".

" Farm Town was initially sent out in February of 2009 to a few select members of the Facebook community in order to “iron out the bugs.” The game was finally added to the Facebook Application Directory in June 2009 and debuted as the fourth most popular game on Facebook."

 My son who lives with me knows that I love games, especially on the computer.
He saw the birth of the Farm Town as something "Mom would love". so he started me on this innocent adventure.  He did  need someone to "harvest" his field so he had different motives.
In the early days you had one field and you plowed, planted and harvested one little square at a time.
Time consuming it was.
I was his slave to go and harvest the pineapples he planted, always the same fruit because it yelded the most points. You keep on planting and eventually you get points which will buy you more land, seeds, animals,trees, castles and lean-tos.
With real cash and Paypal it is only a few "clicks" and you can shop for whatever your greedy heart wants that day.

Young Bob left the game after the second farm, so did my Sabrina, I on the other hand do not give up with ease as I now have 19 farms. Last week I gave up my 5.99 in REAL cash so I could get a combine which does 3 things all at once. It harvests, plows and seeds about 9 squares all at once. It saved me at least an hour of work the 19 "estates" I own.
I think I was singing all day when I bought the combine, it is so cool.
Now if you strangers to this game think I am a nut case, think again.
There are millions in this game, all over the globe.

I have farmer friends in the UK, in Greece, the Ukraine, Thailand New Zealand  and every state of the Union in the USA.

With my farmer friends I have made a friendship circle. In the 50's and 60's we had Round Robins with letters who did a circle of friends. Took forever to get to the end of "round". Now every morning I get my coffee sit by the computer and chat with the world.

I feel very lucky that I have that connection. I am somewhat of a loner, I do not drive, I do not like to be in particular clubs, groups, organizations of this and that. I never have. I kept in touch for decades with a very few loyal terrific friends. I am in heaven with my computer.

In the meantime Farm Town is so big that I can't keep up with it all ,I am OK with that.
Some days I just want to work the farms in every aspect, the flowers, the trees, the animals, the plowing. Then there are weeks I do not look at anything. When I come back it is always there waiting for me to play catch up.

Now and then I will splurge 5 or 10 bucks for some tool I would like but it is not something that will upset my budget. It is not a gambling thing. Now keep me OUT of Vegas, there I am in trouble.
I am a gambler, why do you think most people are in retail? They gamble if they buy this or that wholesale and can sell it for a profit , that is pure heaven.

This morning I did feel a bit out of sorts when I was planting dandelions. Who does that? My real ones are a quick fix with some poison and they droop but in Farm Town what do I need them for? I have not figured it out yet, everything they put up has a reason. Now I have a rabbit hutch with 22 rabbits. I wonder can I move the hutch and let the rabbits have a field day?

I love the windmills, of course I do. These are RED you can see them the minute you are on the field, they make flour out of the wheat you plant, better plant a lot. There is a bakery and pizza place ,then there are B and B';s with huge breakfast menus...and on and on.........

Sorry, I have to run I have to plant lemongrass........what was that for???I can't remember.....but I will find out...........
See you in Farmtown.

Monday, July 22, 2013

"would it not have been nice if Zimmerman

would have given this young man a ride home to get out of the rain" I am quoting from a sermon by an Episcopalian priest.

Are these days gone? Totally gone?

Now we can play cop and carry a gun and offer a bullet instead of a ride.

Better yet it is called self defense.

Outrage at our judicial system with all the loop holes and the prejudices there.

I just read in Time that by 2040, (I thought that is when my son will be 70) not so far that time it is estimated that the "whites" will be the minority in the USA.

What will happen in the meantime?
More murders now also black on black in the ghettos?
More innocent people being shot?
A little girl was shot yesterday during a funeral service for a relative who had been shot.
Does any of this make sense?

Hatred for each other?
Profiling? We all do that, lets be honest.

Profiling is very dangerous it makes you use judgment on someone you do not even know by name.
I was brought up with prejudice and profiling.
I did not figure it out till much later in life.
Both my mother and father had been kids during WW1 in Belgium.
Both hated the Germans with a passion.
If someone would walk by us speaking German my mother would turn white from anger.
She would say words under her breath I never heard her say out loud.

WW2 came and I surely joined my parents in hating the Germans and this hatred lasted with me for decades. One such national would walk in my shop and my help had to take over ,I would not serve them and would often run to be sick to my stomach.
I did not know these people and I disliked them with a horrible passion.

A German person I will never meet in person  but became a friend of mine on the internet has changed my mind. I do not even know how to explain it. She is German and I adore her and we write every day a few words here and there. Over the past few years she had given me great advice and helped me over hurdles.

I am sorry that I perhaps lost other friendships because someone was born in Germany.

I speak with an accent and the first guess strangers ask me is :"You German?"
In the past I would have a whole story for an answer and it was not a pretty one.
I so wanted to be able to say a "TH" sound but it is not going to happen.
Now I just answer and say "No Belgian, and I speak Flemish therefore the accent".
Leave it at that.

Can I forget the war? No, not ever.
When I see the kids in the Middle East, in Africa and wherever there are fights ,bombs, airplanes, soldiers , I feel in my heart that all these boys and girls IF they survive will have these horrors scars in their mind.
I just hope that they can grow stronger from the experience, I think I did.

So what will happen now that America is back on the sing song about we MUST OVERCOME.
If we had Zimmerman would not be a vigilante, he would not need a gun, he would not have taken a life and he is not the only one. Who knows how many similar incidents are hidden under the rugs. It took the child's parents to bring that incident to the light and ask questions.

I see  no quick answers but for the moment the sad picture is back on the front pages, wake up America, forget colors, we are all human beings who would enjoy not being afraid.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New care for dementia patients.

Yesterday I could not spell "flood" no matter how I put things together nothing jived and the more I panicked the worse it got. I was stuck on "flud" and flud it was.

I scrabble for too many hours these days. I am petrified when I forget one little item.
I want to be clear of mind.
I want to remember everything.
I do not want to sink in a dark space like Bob did.
I so wanted to help him but I could n't.
YET..I could have done better....

I just read the New Yorker and an article by Rebecca Mead about new procedures in care giving.
Years ago already in England Thomas Kitwood, a social psychologist , started to view dementia and the care in a different light. He started the Bradford Dementia group. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading a campaign ,the Dementia Challenge, that aims at providing sufferers with the service and support they need.

In Belgiam the city of Bruges declared itself "dementia friendly", clerks are trained to anticipiate a shopper may have problems remembering.

in Arizona a model care facility named the "Beatitudes" has so many new ideas and while I was reading Ms Mead's article I could still feel what I could have done better.
The struggle with the bathing comes to mind.
Not that I required a bath every day anymore but when I thought he really would feel better having a good "wash down" he became violent. At one point I put towels on the bathroom floor and just washed him down while he was punching me. I was thinking that I had to win. There are ways of calming them down and working with the moods.

It is interesting to see that we are beginning to think of these patients as real people...they need to be
taken care with more dignity than sitting in a chair all day in a hall, head bent down smelling of urine.
There are options as we see in Arizona.

If you have someone with that mental problem do read the article, it may help both of you.

New Yorker May 20.2013  the sense of an ending by Rebecca Mead