Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Magic Show at the Upper Moreland Library - Oven is fixed! - Poem: What's that man doing down a hole?

Image result for photo of many keys

Keeper of the Keys. Wrote this true story several years ago. Click here.

Tonight at the Upper Moreland Library was a Magic Show at 7 pm.

Read this story about Dick Gustafson and wife Joanne.

Ah, to be as productive as they are at EIGHTY-FIVE years old.

Here's his website.

I invited Eileen next door to go with me. I successfully drove in the pitch dark night, wearing my driving glasses.

Dick was a riot!

When he called for volunteers from the audience he said, Don't go turning your head to avoid me. I'm gonna call on you anyway.

He did call on me to look into a deck of cards, a quick peak, and remember the card I saw. The card arrived in a green bucket, from which we plucked the card.

King of Spades.


Wonder who designed playing cards? The Answer Man says... Click here.

Dick kept saying Find everything you wanna know in the public library!

The audience was laffing and applauding. Eileen enjoyed it immensely.

***
Finally decided to get my oven fixed, IF, that is, it can be fixed.

Teddy from Dave's Appliance was here and repaired it in about an hour an a half. Didn't need any parts. A bunch of pipes were clogged up and he thoroughly cleaned them with rags and dishwashing detergent.

Cost about $221.

Teddy remembered me from fixing my fridge. He's got five kids and lives in Hatboro.

My oven is an old fashioned Caloric which they don't make any more.

Then I wanted to bake something in the oven. My first thought was Davey Ire Pancakes my friend Helene used to make when I'd visit.



Following a recipe, adding ingredients, measuring, and using sugar was positively frightening for me to do. Swear to God!

***

Was helping a family find another psychiatrist as Dr Robert Desmond of Lansdale had a stroke and lost many of his cognitive abilities.

How tragic!

He was on our Top Doc List.

***
Wonderful show on PBS


Description: Discover the cosmological 
secrets behind America's ancient cities.
 Scientists explore some of the world's largest pyramids and 3D-scan a lost city of 
monumental mounds on the Mississippi River; native elders reveal ancient powers of the 
sky.

Followed by native Americans parading in their ancient clothing. Both surreal and magical to see them.

It was a weeper.

Over and out for today. I did send out an email alert which goes something like this, ladies and gentlemen:

Hi everyone,

Thanks to Nancy for these suggestions.

The Benefits of attending group when you are well.

Many individuals only come once, when they're depressed and rarely show up again.

The group is too depressing, they say.

We're trying to remedy this.

Would more guest speakers help? We're in the process of scheduling someone to do mindfulness and yoga.

Attending when you're well will help you stay well and you'll help others stay well.

Alcoholic Anonymous promotes this.

If you're 'slipping,' you can ask for help. Call us! Many folks have frequent or daily phone calls to lift the spirits of others.

As a subscriber to the NY Times, I don't read news that will bring me down. Same with watching films on YouTube or Netflix.

Like it or not, these penetrate our psyches and we may review them over and over again.

No matter how bad you feel, challenge yourself to do something fun.

Of course, don't go overboard on these.

Suggestions include buying something online or in person. Marshall's has great clothes at reduced prices.

Caffeine, as we know elevates our mood, tho if you drink too much you'll feel bad.

Visit Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Chat with the Barista (coffee-seller). I also like Starbucks' chocolate croissant, not surprising for a diabetic with a sweet tooth.

In these dreary days, keep the lights on in your home. Use a light box if you wish. Check with your psychiatrist to see if this is a good idea and go online to find the best one.

Play rousing music to lift your mood.

WHAT'S THAT MAN DOING DOWN A HOLE

They're here in front of my house
every single day. A dozen or more
no matter what the weather. Fixing
the sewer mains, in their coordinated
clothing - yellow hard hats, orange
safety vests. Do they buy them at
Marshall's or Target?

Friendly young fellows talking
their man talk. They just helped
my electrician get through.
Go now, while you've got the chance
they said to Teddy.

It's a wonderful world when you've
got a job, friends from work,
and a reason to get out of
bed in the morning.

AND DON'T FORGET TO SEND IN YOUR IDEAS FOR OUR COMPASS.

FEEL FREE to email me at RuthDeming at Comcast.net with any suggestions you have about this email or anything else.
               
***
I am wearing my new $14 pair of PJs I bought at Walmart. They are warm and soft as silk.

Will poetate about em the morrow.



Sunday, November 11, 2018

My life just changed with my announcement we'll do another Compass - Poem about Nancy -

The Times had a magnficent essay with film clips about Freddie Mercury at the LIVE AIDS CONCERT back in 1985.

Watch it on YouTube here.

I was so energized by his 26 minute performance, I decided to announce we're gonna do anudder Compass magazine. At first I thought it would just be online, but that's no fun. You need to hold it in your hands like a book and turn the pages.

B/c November 11 is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of World War II, loads of war films are shown on TV.

I watched Bridge Over the River Quai - can you hear me whistling the famous tune? - and William Holden was ready to go home since he'd finished his tour of duty BUT he was bamboozled into blowing up the RR bridge in Burma.

Image result for blowing up bridge of river kwaiAlec Guinness gave a superb performance of a captured British officer who is helping the Japanese win the war. That's called a traitor, but he is so dedicated to his mission, he has no idea.

In the car I'm listening to THE HOBBIT.  I have no idea what it's about, yet I keep listening and listening. They just sang their second song, well done, for sure, but what the hell is it all about, Alfie?

Should I "wiki" it to find what it's about?

Watched THE GUNS OF NAVARONE with Gregory Peck.

Imagine me lying there next to Scott and watching film after film.

He slept thru every one. Weekends are his time to catch up.

Also began watching THE LONGEST DAY with an all-star cast starring John Wayne. Went home after an hour. Very cleverly done with little snippets of conversation between different groups of Americans.

And now I've just biked 25 minutes while watching MAGNUM P I

Scott opined that women wanna see sexy Tom Selleck so that's why he wears shorts and shows his manly hair. Funny how women are attracted to hair in a guy - I am! - but a woman with orangutan like hairy arms is a turn off.

Image result for tom selleck

He turned 73 in January of this year. I'll be the same age on December 25. Wonder if he's still in BLUE BLOODS.

Here's a few poems, but first I wanna share wid ya what I'll be reading in bed tonight. New sked for Pennypack Trust, Hagy's one-day trips (can't go on any as I cain't drive to Sellersville to catch the bus) and a library book about female artsts like

Helen Frankenthaler-1956.jpg

Helen Frankenthaler (1928 - 2011)

Holy Cow! She was married and divorced to Robert Motherwell.

***
WE ALL HAVE FRIENDS NAMED NANCY
I SAID TO JANICE FROM VERIZON

Nancy, they've been trying to
fix my long distance dialing
for more than a month now.

That's why I haven't called you,
Nancy, in my childhood home of Ohio.

Nancy from across the street
needs no phone call. I just
run up her huge hill,
dodging the dog poop
and ring the bell.
Bark! Bark! Bark!

There was a Nancy from Shaker
a lovely wide girl whose dad
drove us to the three-ring
circus downtown.

How we craned our necks
to watch the high-wire walkers
as the elephants marched in
smelling of, well, elephants.

A single elephant foot could crush us all
Nancys or No Nancys, like many
of us, already dead.

***

DRIVING TO OUR WRITING GROUP

I wrote something good
yes, very good, the words
flowed out like coffee
from a pitcher.

Why, then, was there only
one copy in my bag?
Printer jammed!
Printer jammed!

A worse obstacle I faced
when I got on the main road
my car shimmied and danced!

Sidled from side to side
as if I were at a country
and western dance

Titanic winds assailed
my car as if it were
nothing more than a
piece of Kleenex

Relax, I said. Relax.
Either you'll get there
in one piece
or you'll be buried
in a plain pine box.

***

SHOPPING LIST OF ANOTHER IN VERY NEAT HANDWRITING OR IS IT HANDWRINGING

tape
creamer
lactose free milk
dinner
baby dinners & fruit


Her stationery was ringed with watermelon.



Thursday, November 8, 2018

What! Another frigging gun shooting! My first piano lesson - Poem: Crime Scene - Why my feet are so tired - Verizon, like a screwball comedy - screws up again


How'd you like to wake up in the morning with an article from the Times announcing 12 Dead in a Popular Country and Western Bar outside Los Angeles. Read story from ABC News here.

CRIME SCENE
DO NOT CROSS THE YELLOW TAPE

Shooter dead!
Who cares?
He shot my girl
Ducking under the tape
I went inside our favorite bar
A crime scene now
What horrible words
Like in a western movie
by Peckinpah

Her blonde curls
turned crimson red
I pretended she had
fallen asleep and would
carry my MaryBelle home
to bed. Chicken soup
would fix her up.

Officer Murphy took my shoulder
and led me out, out into the
world that mattered no more.

The shooter was dead. If 'n he wasn't
I would have gotten my hunting rifle
and drilled his body with more holes
than on a Swiss cheese sandwich

Life don't matter no more.

***

In addition to emailing it to a slew of friends, I sent President Trump an email saying STOP GUN VIOLENCE and printed out my poem.

***

It really disturbed me, not that the others didn't.

On the PBS New Hour Last Night I discovered an opinion columnist for The Times who interviewed a double-talking Republican. Her name is Bari Weiss.

What a remarkable writer!



***
Remember the creature in my basement? I told Scott it's a spider who hops.

That ain't no spider, he said, it's a cricket. He's got a couple of his own.



Could we implant this into Trump's brain?

***
Before I left for my first appointment with Joanna, my new piano teacher, I ate loads of healthy food so I wouldn't get a diabetic low.

The first time I drove out, directions in hand, I couldn't find it.

Called her and she clarified the directions.

The second time I drove out, I still couldn't find it.

The third time I drove out I used a cab from Bux-Mont Cab Company.

Kevin had the route on his GPS screen and we got there in 8 minutes. $5 plus tip.



Joanna lives in a huge house with a dog named Annika, a Russian name, she said.

She's very young - 24, she said - and her 1 o'clock student was waiting for her near the grand piano.

She gave me a couple of books - a music book and a book of theory - to take home.

No way was I gonna call anudder cab.

Yep, anudder long walk home in my brown clogs and navy blue socks.

Joanna came outside w me to help me get my bearings. Her dad owns a bathroom shop right next door and there was his huge truck backed in. I skinnied through and realized where I was.

A huge street I needed to cross. I can't distinguish between if the HAND that comes on means STOP or GO. But I carefully limped across the street. A nice quick limp, sort of like my cricket.

Oh, I haven't drunk any water since I been home.

At 2:30 pm, Janice from Verizon is sposed to call me. She was calling from West Virginia, Mountain Mama, take me home where I belong.

Janice promised to get my long distance service up and running. I don't blame her, but it's not working as I called my friend Helene and the Verizon voice said I was calling out of my service area.

I do have notes I have filed under my Verizon bills.



Anything else Ruthie Darling?

Yes.

I was not in the mood to work on my November novel, tentatively titled KATY AND THE GOLDFISH. But after watching Amenpour - among others, she interviewed Walter Isaacson and Doris Kearns Goodwin, whom I napped to - I simply went into my office and began tapping away.

As Cathy, the librarian, said to me, that's the way to get it done. Little by little.

Scuse me now. Time to visit Scott.









Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Day After the Election - What? Garbage Day already? - The Creature in my Downstairs Bathroom - And to think that I saw it while walking around the block (title from a Dr Seuss poem walking around Mulberry Street)




Just emailed State Rep Tom Murt to congratulate him on his decisive victory over his opponent. You'll be happy to note, I said, that altho I'm a lifelong Democrat, I also voted for Abraham Lincoln, before your time.

We had a very helpful New Directions meeting last night. My friend "Janice" told me, if you don't know someone's name, just say, "Nice to see you," instead of "have you been here before?"

Face recognition. A tough one for me.

I said to one guy, "Did I see you in the parking of the Giant?"

Eeeeeek!

Wrote our group early this morning.

If anyone wants a copy of my 66-page YES I CAN, please email me and I'll send it posthaste.

One woman wanted it. "Erika" also gave me her home address so I could mail her one of my postcards or greeting cards.

Mark Amos of Buxmont Printing printed up 250 for me. Half are left over. Send me your mailing address if you want one.


I missed Mailman Joe - getting your Vitamin D today, eh Joe?" - finally, he said,

but I kept the card in my car just in case.

When I was pulling into the Upper Moreland Library I saw a mail truck and ran after him with the card.

Mail trucks are so important to me.

How can I properly celebrate them.

Speaking of mail, I received a small formal ivory colored envelope addressed to a Jack somebody at my address.

Opening it up, I saw it was a condolence card for the death of his wife.

I wrote the man back and said I've lived here since 1989 and he should look up the correct address.

***
I had to pick up some important things at Giant. Unsalted peanuts, most importantly.

Was afraid I might be Low, so I ordered some Egg Drop Soup from Helen - the other soups in the soup booth - didn't look none too good.

Sat down and began eating the zoup and began coffing. This often happens to me when I eat soup or other liquidy things like watermelon or strawberries.

So what do I do?

Went up to the Starbucks counter and ordered a chocolate croissant, warmed up, please.

I am so friggin polite.

It was delicious but I hadn't brought my insulin with me.

313 when I got home.

Image result for starbucks chocolate croissant

Was thinking of getting a cheese Danish, but when you've had the best, said Paul Newman, why settle for less.

Image result for paul newman and joanne woodward

Oh no! Look what I just found.

The Untold Story of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Guess what I'll be reading about I finished bloggering.

THE CREATURE IN MY DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM

Big as a black widow spider
It not only hops but glides
into the air like the man
on the flying trapeze

There again this morning, I tried
to vanish it yesterday by leaving the porch door
open a crack, hoping to lure it outside.

Why, ole man, do you stay inside?
Is it the love of  my new electric toothbrush?
Dainty towels Mom gave me when I first moved in?
Or, simply, me, in my blue polka dot pajamas?

***

AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT WHILE
WALKING ROUND THE BLOCK

First, of course, we check our blood sugar,
so we don't pass out and possibly die
on the corner of Cowbell and Sleighride.

I've got so much more to do before
I vanish forever like steam from a
horse's nostrils.

Swinging my arms, the way Rich Fleisher
did last night when he walked to our
meeting from Jenkintown, I inhaled
the smell of autumn leaves
still sailing randomly from
rows and rows of trees.

Walked over a block of sidewalk
where leaves of every color
every genre, every religious
persuasion had so covered
the cement it was like
a Piaget test on falling
off a cliff.

The men were out! Pouring black asphalt
from a dump truck onto the street.
The smell was heavenly! If you like
the smell of gasoline, of sulphur
from a lighted match, or the way
waning Chanukkah candles smell,
then hurry out here.

I'd gone up a huge hill
Now it was time to go down
Only one way to do it
Run like Aunt Ethel
has come to visit
her Caddy with fins in the drive
though she's been dead
and buried for 45 years.

***



Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Day - Where's my famous motivation? Poem: Where the Hell am I ?

Township Commissioner emailed, "Weather tomorrow is going to be wet and messy.  It will be easy just to stay home but more important to get out and do your civic duty.  Embrace the day and what it represents."

Spoken by a true leader, Sam, who runs Buxmont Transportation.

Scott and I got there nice n early. So did the whole town.

"Well," I said to Sam, "we're here tho it's wet and messy."

I had an appt with my endocronogist, Cecilia. Brought my notebook with my diabetes stats and headed out, directions in hand.

Construction ahead! Could not go further.

Then Scott re-routed me. Couldn't find the place.

The rain was unbelievable!

Wipers:  ta-da, ta-da, ta-da!

One of the worst storms I've ever driven in.

At home, went to bed for a little lay-down. Listened only to the noises on the street and myself berating myself for missing my appt.

Knew I was sleeping bc of the funny little dreams I was having. Just snippets that made no sense.

***

November is Novel-Writing Month. Registered on NANO.

They wanna know everything about you.

I immediately went off, ooh, it was so frustrating!

Started my novel. For research, went to the Upper Moreland Library and stared at their fish tank.

Just brewed some Dunkin Donuts Coffee to help work on my novel. Good progress! Just finished Chapter One.

***
Columbo is on YouTube. Watched two great episodes. Scott remembers them well.

The great RUTH GORDON, of Harold and Maude fame, starred. Check her out at Wiki here.

Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon 1946.JPG
She played a famous crime fiction author, who killed.... oh, you go on YouTube and find it your own sweet self.

Where will YOU be on Thanksgiving? I am awaiting a response from someone.

Am sitting here in the warmest sweater I have, othan the Penguin sweater I bought in a Louisiana, I believe, outlet store.

Confession: Am wasting time now before I write a poem.

WHERE THE HELL AM I ?

You've heard of hell,
Hades, Valhalla,
I was heading there
down a road whose
name I did not know:
Killer Pike.

Windshield wipers
kept their pace
faithfully, as
car lights blurred my vision
in front and behind.

Save me! Save me!
I cried inside.

Blair Mill Road, read the sign.
I slithered in front of someone,
and made a right.

No one on the road, yet.
Yes, here they come,
galloping behind.

I know where I am!
Stopped on a wet hill
at the red light.

Damn!

Will I slip and slide down?
God protect me!

Light turns green.
I press my pedal.
Car obeys like
Smarty Jones
going for a trot.

Home! Home! Home!

***



Old photo of window sill, full of sacred objects, including plant from Judy Diaz, a gift for my kidney transplant in 2011. She is living out in Colorado, as is Dr David Robertson, who I no longer view on Facebook, cuz I ain't on it, no more!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Part Two - Applause Applause as I sat in the audience listening to poets and writers do their thang

When I came inside the library, I followed this fellow.

Steve Delia, I exclaimed, I thought it was you!

Once a month, the Upper Moreland Public Library - UMPL - hosts a writing group called JUST WRITE.

Steve Delia asked the libe if they could have a reading. Great turnout!



Mike Cohen and Connie were at the reading. Here they are with others at a reading The Beehive held at Weinrich's Bakery.

Click here.

Both Mike and Connie read. She read about being a tall girl. Mike read about dying of various ailments.

It is so important that writers read their work.

Marie from my Book Club is part of this group. Her piece was about the school that was there before Home Depot and then The Giant Supermarket. Her point of view was that she was the school but didn't know it until bricks arrived and desks.

Can't remember who was who. One woman sitting next to me, Amber Hill, said she started attending in order to learn to write. Same thing, said Rudy, who sat next to me.

At one point, an 80ish woman got up and read her memoirs. Fascinating! Her name was Alter and I asked if she was related to Linda Lee Alter, founder of the Leeway Foundation.

Linda Lee Alter was born in 1939, so she's 79.

I got a Leeway writing grant in 1998.

Mike Cohen and Steve Delia have a couple of YouTube videos.

Let's watch one here. JUST DO IT !!!

Click here.

Mike Cohen: Life is to stumble about till we die.

Delia: K-Tel presents Steve Delia's Greatest Hits, hits that never made it, you can have all these great poems in one incredible package, the sign of a true artist - obscurity - these are the poems that kept Delia poor.

Marie from my Book Group was also there. She's the one who read about the school house. There's a memoir writing group at the Glenside Library.

Hmmm.

Should I go?

I would not call my book Memoirs of a Former Manic Depressive.


New Directions, the group I founded.

Part One - Spending the Day at the Upper Moreland Public Library - Poem: Sitting in the Howling Winds Eating an Apple

Old photo of the library taken by me.

Before I left home for the library, I packed food for this person w diabetes. From 10 to 11 am, I attended a Focus Group about Seniors. Donna, the moderator, asked us a no. of questions including how many times we visit the library.

I'm there about four or five times a week. Since I live alone, I said, I like the nice personalities of the folks who work there. Amber, Linda Jones, Sara, Cathy G and Margie, the director.

The group of about ten people came up with suggestions. All were eager to talk.  Sorry, can't find the backspace. Too dark in the living room.

Lower the cost of returning DVDs, which is a dollar a day.

Adrift

Scott and I just finished watching this film. Great acting as two lovers and adventurers attempt to sail a boat from Tahiti, where they met, to Hawaii.

A good suggestion was to put in a SLOW sign and a crosswalk when you cross the street from the library to the shopping district across the street, including Barnes and Nobel and Hair Cuttery.

The entrance to the library is one way only. I suggested making it two ways.

After the discussion group, as I had planned, I sat in the room and continued to read SHELTER, a book I disliked from our Reading Group, but wanted to finish bc of a few comments about the ending.

Meantime, Cathy G was readying the room for "Just Writers" who would have a reading there beginning at one.

As I sat reading Shelter by Jung Yun, my eyes began to close, just like at home. View her website hereThis absorbing, suspenseful d├ębut tracks familial obligation and the legacy of trauma in a Korean family.

I figgered I oughta go outside and eat an apple.

The winds were blowing everything in sight as I sat down on a cold piece of concrete and pulled out my apple. I polished it on my lavender colored jacket.

I rarely eat a whole apple, usually cutting it up in salads. Biting inside, I was surprised at the strength of my teeth. Oh-oh, I think I feel a poem coming on.

SITTING IN THE HOWLING WINDS
EATING AN APPLE

It had been years since I sank my teeth
into a nice juicy apple.

How good it tasted, the bright red skin
concealing finely compacted flesh

where juice was released finally,
to delight, in this case, me,

Sucking, and biting, I made sure it
was symmetrical as a sculpture.

When I finished,
wiping my chin with a hanky

I presented it as a gift to the soil
kneeling down to toss it

under a small umbrella of a
prickly juniper bush.



BTW, just watched the classic film THE ELEPHANT MAN, 1980. At first didn't wanna watch b/c it's so painful. Enjoyed it immensely.

The Elephant Man


Patrick Stoner said it took about 5 hrs to put make-up on John Hurt. It was extremely painful.