Jul 212015
 

living small has its own rewards.

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green and blue

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you can often opt for quality.

rather than quantity.

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“ if you want quality in your life

you want it in everything.

you want it in a cup of coffee.

you want it at dinner . . .

whether you make it yourself or buy it in a restaurant.

you have a standard.

and you appreciate the differences.

luxury is not about style or trends.

it’s truly craft.

a tradition of fine things done well.”

                                                                                       ~ barbara barry

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ah. easy for the rich you say!  but i am not rich by any means!

and i beg to differ.

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quality to me means many things.

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it’s buying one of something.  something well made.

something that is made to endure.  not break soon and be discarded.

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it is not owning 12 of something . . . the same thing . . .

just because . . . well . . . “you know. i might need it someday!”

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it is a soft towel.  made well.  only three or four at the very most.

they stand up to laundry.  they remain a delight.  they don’t number two dozen.

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eating on simple dishware.

for me . . . white . . . like the french love.

white shows off the food . . . not the plate.

simplicity at its best!

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fresh food.  a few favorite dishes made well.  i never tire of them.

perhaps i’m a boring gourmand.  i don’t require great variety.

i like what i like and i like having it routinely!

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i don’t shop and i don’t window shop for entertainment.

and when i do ever have to shop . . .

i tend to shop more like a man!

i have never enjoyed “the hunt” of an all day shopping trip most women love.

i go to the store where i think the item i want will be.  and i usually buy it there.

simple. quality. done.

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i probably got that and my thriftiness from my new england grandmother.

she went to the city every few years and bought two ‘boston stroller’ dresses.

i think that was the name of them.  they were well made.

she donated old ones to her church.  she had a very small quality wardrobe.

she wore english walking shoes until she was an older lady.

then she wore stockings with simple white keds tennis shoes with everything! even to church.

she was adorable.  i loved her and her wisdom very much.

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i don’t own dresses like hers.  i live now in a few well made items that make getting dressed

easy and pleasurable . . . and most importantly of all . . . comfortable!!!

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if you live a small life . . .

whether from choice or whether from circumstance . . .

you can still live very elegantly.

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as a matter of fact . . . there is a certain elegance i think in living with less.

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it leaves room in one’s life for the more important things . . .

like this . . .

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dolphin in sunsetcourtesy:hdwallpapersinn.com

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here’s to all the wonderful quality things in life!

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til soon old bean!

til soon.

Jul 132015
 

summer

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some of us live in the cool waters of the pool.

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lordy hot

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some of us have cool friends

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cool friendscourtesy:kevinduffyphotography.com

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some of us just let it all hang out.

well.

maybe our tail anyway.

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hang outcourtesy:pinterest.com

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for SOME of us . . .

the dang summer heat just makes us

well.

grumpy.

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grumpycourtesy:pinterest.com

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and me?

or should I say I?

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well . . .  it was 90 (32) degrees here last night at 10 pm . . . humidity 70 %

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today it will reach 101  (38)  with still high humidity.  which they say will make it feel like

106 (41) on your skin.  and there will be days and days of it now no end in sight.

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so . . .

i mainly just hibernate until another season is upon us.

our summer here last year lasted until the end of november.

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so . . .

it’s living like harriet the hermit for me old bean in the blessedly air conditioned wren house.

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picture me enjoying mostly

THIS!

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tibetan terrier and fan

courtesy of galleryhip.com

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til soon old bean!

til soon.

stay cool!

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OH!  and P.S.

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surely . . . there is NOBODY left who doesn’t already know THIS . . .

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but if there is some person you know left who still thinks it’s okay . . .

TELL THEM!  IT’S NOT!

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say to them . . .

 “put YOURSELF in there in a fur coat with only your tongue to cool you

and see how long you last.”

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just don't

Jul 062015
 

it doesn’t take much.

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life is full of little joys.

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shower curtain clearcourtesy:mdchrysalis.org

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one of the simple little joys in my life is a new shower curtain.  mine was quite old. it had done its job well.

but it had torn finally at the top.  so . . . i recycled it with my few other plastic container items.

and then i went to target.  on a mission for a simple shower curtain for my tiny bath area.

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 i bought myself a new one.  just like the one in the picture above. exactly like it actually.

it’s  inexpensive but good.  simple.  well made.  no bells or whistles . . . other than it’s of non toxic material.

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i just wanted a mostly clear one with a little pattern.  to let in as much light as possible. have to have light!

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the room feels too small for a fabric one and a liner.   and i like the simplicity of using just one anyway.

but . . .  aren’t some of the fabric shower curtains BEAUTIFUL old bean?  such gorgeous colors! oh my!

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my bathroom is really two rooms.  the large counter with a sink called the vanity area . . . think hotel suite.

which of course . . . it used to be.  maybe why i feel like i’m on holiday all the time here.  LOL.

as a matter of fact . . . i can show you just what it looks like. only it’s not my own photography.

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the picture below is of the exact model of my own . . .  in the apartment complex where i live.

 only i have different towels of course.  and different flooring in the vanity area.

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 because i live upstairs . . . the floor of my vanity area is carpeted . . . like the rest of my apartment.

well . . . except for the kitchen and the small entryway at the french doors . . . and by the fireplace!

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in the bath itself the floor is antiqued porcelain tile.

 though to me the antiquing part of it just looks dirty in this picture.  it doesn’t photograph well at all.

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there is a lovely marble strip on the threshold between the bath and vanity. simple. clean. neat.

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what looks dirty in the picture is really beautiful in real life.

how odd! usually it’s often the other way around in life in many ways.

have you ever noticed that too?

LOLOL!

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bathroom

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i needed a simple shower curtain that lets as much light in as possible.  and this one does!

i’m so happy about it.

life is good.

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til soon old bean!

til soon.

Jul 032015
 

1973

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the royal yacht brittania

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” hello ma’am! “

britannia

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it was july 4th 1973.

i had flown to upstate new york to visit my darling mother the week before.

she thought it would be fun to drive to kingston ontario on the 4th!  it was fairly near our village.

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we sauntered through the beautiful town.  had tea at a little place called “the wee blink bonnie.”

yes! THAT’S where i found the name for my little cottage that i would eventually own after bob died.

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we wound up at dusk with a lovely picnic lunch on a huge grassy bank by the great st. lawrence seaway.

people were starting to gather around us.  and yet there was a cool breeze and room for all.

i usually don’t enjoy great crowds.  but everyone was friendly and relaxed and it was lovely.

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suddenly on the near horizon a beautiful ship came into view.  blue and white with red trim.

it swooshed quietly and slowly through the waters.  little boats of all kinds circled gaily around it.

those probably couldn’t happen or wouldn’t even be allowed today.  the world has changed.

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its flag was waving merrily.  mother and i had no idea when we left that day that we would be seeing

a part of history!  even if it wasn’t our own!  and on the 4th of july yet!

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 queen elizabeth II and the duke of edinburgh . . . prince phillip . . . stood waving to all of us on shore . . .

just like this picture below.

X673 LP3D 27/07/1990 The Queen and Prince Philip review the QE2 from onboard the Britannia at Southampton.

X673
LP3D
27/07/1990
The Queen and Prince Philip review the QE2 from onboard the Britannia at Southampton.

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at one point she waved a little white handkerchief.  people cheered!  we joined in!  LOLOL!!!

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just think . . .  we would have been considered TRAITORS in an age past. HANGED!!! or SHOT!!!

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wars are so senseless really.  i think they’re all about ‘time’ in the end.  just a point in time.

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rev war

enemies finally become friends and supporters . . .  over and over it happens.

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all of our nations in this old world.  each with their own pride and flags.  and yet

we’re all just people too. simply people. we want to live and eat and sleep and love our children.

.

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so many wars that often result in steadfast friends later on!

how can that be?  but i’m so happy that it is. at least in the end . . . that way.

the flag

so you have to wonder what everybody had to die for! why can’t they just figure it out?

at least i wonder that. when will we all learn? not to hate?  but then i’m a pollyanna. i confess.

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i just want everybody to get along!  and don’t bother to tell me how silly that is old bean.  i already know!

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it’s far more complicated than how i see it. but in the end. the results usually seem the same.

and the passage of time has the answers.

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that magical night over the water . . . there were fireworks.

the most magnificent i’ve ever seen since!  mother and i sat there on our quilt in sweaters . . .

sipping white wine and eating cheese and crackers.  and it was a feast!  how i loved that lady.

how lucky i was to have her in my life.  to be my mother. to have this memory with her even now.

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we oohed and awwwed !!!

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over watercourtesy:marinemax.wordpress.com

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we found out later that queen elizabeth and prince phillip  were there to visit the tercentenary of kingston

and the centennial of the royal canadian mounted police.

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magicalcourtesy:universailhub.com

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it was a beautiful happy 4th of july for two americans who shared it with their old enemies!

LOLOL!

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happy fourth everybody!  have a wonderful safe and colorful holiday!!! keep your cool!!!

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til soon old bean.

til soon!

Jun 292015
 

 ”  i’d love to but i’m so busy!  “

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we’ve all heard it.  we’ve all said it.

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but i’ve discovered a lovely thing.

if you live long enough and stay healthy enough and then retire . . .

you don’t have to say it anymore!  unless you just want to be too busy!

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calm in your heart

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” our lives are frittered away by detail “

~ henry david thoreau

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if it was true in the 1800’s . . . how much more so today!

urban rush hour

urban rush hour

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 i  always worked under constant DEADLINES.

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what a strange word.  would we die if we didn’t meet the dead line? would we be dead?

  i always met the daily deadline. come hell or high water. sometimes working through lunch.

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i had no idea i was under such stress because i really loved my job.  my body itself had to tell me.

it raised my blood pressure to dangerous even life threatening levels.

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every day i made the deadline.  but at what cost? what cost to me? silly really.

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i’m so thankful to finally be retired.  i think of each of you still who are working those hours.

crazy hours. some like my dear cindi . . . who has no decent help at work right now.

and in her job . . . lives depend upon her BEING THERE and doing her job. and so she does.

  being a manager with the ultimate responsibility all on your own shoulders!

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then there is the busyness of commuting on a busy highway. the busyness of simply getting to the busyness

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TRAFFIC MM -- Traffic backed up all over the area this morning like this westbound traffic on Interstate 195 westbound. It was backed up onto the ramp from the South Shore Expressway and into Seekonk on 195 at 8 a.m. Heavy morning traffic all over the area for 9to5 blog

courtesy: unboxedthoughts.com

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i look at that now and don’t know how i did it for so long. a totally ridiculous way to live.

terrible for mankind AND the environment.  and yet i did it.

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all i knew was . . . i had to keep working.  to have any kind of retirement at all.

and jumping around from job to job was just not an option.

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it took me almost an hour just to get to work.  then the same back home.  horrible traffic.

twenty years of it!  the close calls.  the numbness of it. the constant construction it seemed.

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when did our lives become like that?  why do we allow it?  so we can buy more stuff?

a bigger house?  another new car? new furniture? a boat? bigger and better and more toys?

surely not!  i hope not!

 because the american way of always BUYING EVEN MORE STUFF is just not worth it old bean!

there is SO much more to life than that!

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HOWEVER

for most of us . . .  it’s simply our livelihood and we have to pay the bills. we have to live.

we have to pay for our children’s education . . . or we are paying for our own retirement as i did.

.

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but what about the down time? the time for you. the time to just be you and relax.

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what is your down time like?  do you even have any down time?  do your children?

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i worked once with a really neat lady.  i liked her very much. she was funny and smart and likable.

 she had two young sons.

she had them enrolled in everything under the sun.  they were going to something or other every single day.

every single weekend.  very busy.  not even counting all the school activities!

they both played an instrument.  they both were in many sports with constant practices and playoffs.

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all sportscourtesy:panamericanworld.com

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they were active in their church youth groups.  all wonderful activities in their own right. but . . .

they always ate on the run.  and she was their taxi driver as well as working full time.

i don’t know how she did it.  she once admitted to being “hyper ”  . . .  and said she got bored easily.

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one day her youngest son simply said to her

” mom. when am i gonna just get to stay home? “

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she laughed when she told me that and i laughed along with her to be friendly.

but on the inside . . . i was thinking . . .

how sad.

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there are SO MANY fascinating things to learn about and explore!  we never need to be bored.

so much fun just discovering simple things. and one of the best things to discover is oneself.

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i’m not sure if that can be done on the run!!!    unless you discover how tired you are!

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there should always be time to just chill.  and simply  remember that . . .

life is good.

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a beautiful day

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til soon old bean.

til soon.

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happy monday!

Jun 272015
 

you know how i love classic movies old bean.

and of course you recognize rogers and astaire!

telephonecourtesy:makingniceinthemidwest.com

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that’s a still from one of their movies.  a fun romp. just as they all were.

see that thing on the desk?

it’s a telephone! yup! with CORDS!   LOLOLOL!

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i’m not a fan of ALL musicals in the musical genre. i like many though.

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and i especially love his.  they make me feel good.  it’s the carefree elegance i love.

he carried that unassuming personal elegance into everything he did . . . until his dying day.

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an elegant old gentleman . . .  he died at the age of 88 with pneumonia.

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he had more grace and athletic ability than any one man should have.

such simple unaffected style . . .  right to the end.

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gentleman fredcourtesy:rubylane.com

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at the age above . . . i’ve read he had two favorite things for lunch every day.

a smoked turkey sandwich and a bowl of homemade vegetable soup!

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i like knowing that for some reason.

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but let’s turn back the clock.

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yes. elegant always.  almost english in his sensibilites.

he once said actually that he felt most at home in england. he loved it there.

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he and his sister adele were the darlings of the stage in london.

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adele astaire was known to be utterly charming. obviously beautiful. and with a very wickedly

naughty mouth!  she LOVED bawdy jokes. he adored her of course. and . . . the english loved her!

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 she married lord cavendish and lived happily there  . . . thus  breaking up the brother and sister act.

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sister adelecourtesy:rounddancing.net

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and so he became our famous favorite man in top hat and tails . . .

though in real life it is said he hated formal attire and considered those his “work clothes!”

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with rita

with rita

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with ginger

with ginger

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ultimate sophistication!

again with ginger

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and there were so many other lucky ladies of film that got to dance with him.

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later . . . a glorious movie in color with the enchanting audrey hepburn . . .  set in paris . . .

talk about elegance!

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funny face

funny face

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 in real life early in his career . . . he married a lovely lady not in the film industry.

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his first wife phyllis . . .  beloved by him for many years until her death from cancer.

phyllis had a little speech impediment.  she couldn’t pronounce her R’s.

she called him

fwed.

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it was endearing. to him and to all who knew her. she was his sweetheart.

and the mother of his children.

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wife and soncourtesy:thetimes.co.uk

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i dearly love ALL his movies. and many are favorites. especially those with ginger.

but . . .

one of my best favorites of his movies is holiday inn. with his friend bing crosby.

it’s always how i start the christmas season.  i put up my little tree. i pop some corn and

i sit entranced once again . . . at the holiday inn.

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astaire movie hi

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how wonderful that we can still see his grace and person . . . as real as if he were still here.

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he was a gentleman.

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manners today

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good bye dear fwed.  and thank you for all your hard work and grace. we love you.

  for just being fwed.

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fred gif

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til soon old bean.

til soon!

Jun 232015
 

OH MY GOSH!

does it get any more adorable than this?

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watch again and look at his feet!

LOLOL!

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oh little fellow . . . i love you!

and . . . you’re waking up your darling little sister!

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adorable ducklingcourtesy: content in a cottage … my friend rosemary’s wonderful blog!

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life is good.

even for tiny little wings and big feet!

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til soon old bean

til soon!

Jun 212015
 

daddy's hand

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you were stern.  i don’t remember you smiling all that much.

i was in total awe of you.  your strength.  your voice.  your respect.

i wanted to earn it at a very young age.

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i knew you better after you died.  because i became best friends with my mother… your wife.

she told me all about you.  she loved you so.

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and you loved all of us . . .  her . . . the marine . . . and me.

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you left such a huge hole when you died so young.

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the marine and i are both way older than you were then.

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i think you’d be pleased how we turned out.

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especially the marine.  he’s so much like you.

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we both learned to work hard.  to be honest with our words. to be loyal.

to ” buck up ” as you used to tell us!  that alone has served me well.

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perhaps you told us that so much because you knew you would have to leave early.

and we would need resilience and courage and a sense of inner strength.

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i’m glad i knew you for the short time we had. i had even a little longer than the marine.

i’m an old woman now.  well. the press calls my age old!  though i don’t feel it!

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but to me . . . you will always be the childhood name i called you . . .

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happy father’s day daddy!

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i miss you to this very day.  and on this day i wanted to honor your memory.

oh the talks we would have now that i’m an adult!  it would be such fun!

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thank you for being in my life.  every girl should have a daddy like you.

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til soon jim.

til soon!

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and to all my wonderful peanut readers . . .

if you have never read jim’s story yet and would like to . . .

it’s full of courage and proof of the man himself.  he’s worth knowing indeed.

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you’ll find him on the side bar of past posts  ‘ the good ones . . . jim reed ‘

i’m off to re~read it myself right now.

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AND

i wish all of you the best father’s day ever!

Jun 192015
 

this is a beautiful man.

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leo bcourtesy:prolificliving.com

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a fellow minimalist.  a father of six. a happy husband long standing.

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it’s simply a pleasure to know him.  to know OF him.

he almost looks like a teen ager doesn’t he?  he’s not.

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his blog is zen habits.

 i discovered it years ago when he had just started it.

now he has millions of followers of his writing . . . from all over the world.

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i’m sure many of you may already know him.

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he’s one of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet.

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worth a visit!  especially if you’re feeling frazzled or wondering what your life has become . . .

if you’re over stressed and over worked and just looking for some peace.  and quiet.

even a little moment of it.  visit leo.

you can google it as zen habits.  or it’s on my side bar of friends.

only i would google it.  just type in zen habits.

and click on the words that say ‘start here’

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there are a handful of his very best posts at your fingertips!

and a perfect place to start.

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and final thoughts . . . by another wonderful leo.

the late doctor leo buscaglia.

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leo quote

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he also said this . . .

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a single rose

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til soon old bean!

til soon.