Sunday, March 5, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Friday, March 3, 2023

Memories ~ The Firestone Library, Princeton, N. J.


                                                     Firestone Library, Princeton University

When I first came to the U.S. sixty years ago, I worked for a family in Princeton, N.J., looking after their children and helping with household chores. The family sponsored me for my Green card. After I finished my job with them, I decided I wanted to stay in the U.S. and in Princeton. 

I had no thoughts about a career or about studying for a degree. I had studied philosophy and 19th century English literature in London, pretty useless for getting a job here. Actually I didn't have any plans that I can remember, except that I wanted to stay in the U. S. 

In order to do that, I needed a job. 

One sunny morning, I went for a job interview with a professor of economics at the University. He was an older gentleman, originally from Vienna, I believe, and he was very charming. I have forgotten my brief interview, but never the extended conversation about everything that followed. At the end of which, he offered me the job and I accepted. 

The job location was in the building at the top of this post, the Firestone Library on the Princeton University campus. 

My immediate supervisor was a woman who was on vacation when I was hired. I learned I needed to be a very good typist. Which I was not. I told the professor this and that I would stay late and practice on my own time to get better. This was fine with him. 

However, typing on those old fashioned typewriters was not what I was meant to do, at least not in this department, where, as it turned out, one needed to be an extremely fast and accurate typist. 

The main part of the job was typing papers for the graduate students on those horrible green sheets with tons of copies behind the front page. You just couldn't make mistakes on those things. 

The job was just not for me. So when the female supervisor came back and found out that I would not be able to do the job, she fired me. 

I was OK with that, because I too knew I couldn't do it. 

However, I've never forgotten her parting words, which really stung: "You only got the job because of your looks!"  

This made me absolutely furious because the old professor and I really liked each other. I was way taller than he and he was way older than me. Yes, I know some women, particularly back then, probably got hired because of their looks, but the time I spent with the professor was not about that. We were both immigrants, he had fled the Nazis, I had fled boredom and anxiety, and we were able to connect and have a conversation about EVERYTHING. 

Looking back, I realize that I was too young to know how to deal with a comment like that. I was actually so hurt that I never forgot what she said and how unfair I thought it was. 

I was also too young to know how to deal with unfair stuff.

Many years later, with more life experience, I would not have been so hurt, but at the time I was. 

And I never forgot her exact words.

But now I think back on what a great experience it was to meet a world famous economist, have an inspiring conversation with him, and to get to spend some time working in a building like the Firestone Library on the Princeton University campus. 


The Princeton University Library with holdings of more than 7 million books, 6 million microforms, and 48,000 linear feet of manuscripts is among the largest libraries in the world by number of volumes. ~ Wikipedia

Monday, February 27, 2023

More Snow

I can't believe all this snow we are getting. Hopefully it will help with the drought, at least some.

I'm like a kid at Christmas when it comes to snow. I love to see the snow fall and I love to see the mountains to the east covered in snow. It gives them an alpine look which suits them well. 

We got a lot of snow, so much that without a 4-wheel drive, I'm pretty much snowed in. The power has held up well. It went out sometime between 3 and 4 Sunday morning, when most people were asleep. But it didn't take long for it to come back on. 

I had charged all my devices and had a cup of coffee prepared, in case. Fortunately, I didn't have to drink it cold.

Of course, snow is at its best when you have nowhere to go.

Snow is still predicted for Wednesday morning, when I'm supposed to have surgery on my leg. The dermatology doctor removed a mole and the pathology report was not good, so more tissue needs to be removed. 

I believe the medical staff comes up here from about 50 miles away, but I'm not sure. If so, they may not make it. 

I will call them today to find out if there's a backup plan. 

I really, really want to get this surgery done.

But I'm a little worried because of the predicted snowfall. 

Good thing though, we don't have to go to Bakersfield, this doctor comes to us, which is so great. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


"It does not matter how slowly you go

as long as you do not stop."
~ Confucius 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Snow, More Snow, And Rain, What -- Rain?

It snowed a lot and I was so happy! . 

A lot more than what's on this old photo from my blog archives. 

I will try to figure out what's wrong with uploading my current photos soon. 

Faith and I went for a walk in the snow on Thursday, up the hill on my road, now covered in snow. Then along the short flat part, flanked by juniper trees. 

After that, I walked down the hill, while Faith was busy examining the news she found with her nose along the way. Who was visiting us during the night, did anything happen worth noting? 

Once she found a round cotton ball, all that remained of a cottontail rabbit, its cute little tail. It was round and fluffy, Faith sniffed it and politely left it where she found it. 

Princess, one of our angel dogs, found a deer antler. 

I found a coyote's paw. Just a short part of a leg and a paw. A very gruesome find, for sure. And the worst thing I've found so far.

Sorry, I digress...

I'm enjoying myself here with Faith, as the wind is now picking up outside. When I checked the weather earlier, it said snow and rain! Sorry, weather, but rain atop snow, we really don't need that. 

And now it's raining. 

So disappointing. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Living With Type 1 Diabetes While Fighting Breast Cancer In Remission


My cancer journey began last summer with a questionable mammogram. I've done well since then through all the tests, scans and surgery 

Then came the pills!

Anastrozole, is their name. 

And I crashed one night last week. I don't want to write about the details, trust me, it was bad. 

And for someone like me, who always trusted in my strength and resilience, it was shocking. 

In the days that followed, I looked into this medicine and its side effects.

I knew the medicine reduces my estrogen levels in an effort to prevent a return of my estrogen-fueled cancer.

As it turned out, there were two things I didn't know. 

I didn't know how severe a reaction I would have as I began to feel the results after a month on the medicine. 

My mind, my emotions, and my feelings took a sudden turn down into a very deep and scary hole. 

I'm fine now, I've read the document the pharmacy supplies with medicine, the one written in the smallest print ever.  

Researching this, I also learned that the lower your estrogen, the higher your blood sugars. Which explains why I've had such a difficult time controlling my diabetes lately. 

And when your blood sugars are high, your brain gets cloudy, you can't think as well, and everything just becomes so difficult.

The combination of high blood sugars, lower estrogen and difficulty sleeping caused my breakdown. Scary stuff!

I feel better emotionally, but my blood sugars are still scary high, requiring scary high amounts of insulin to control. 

I've never in the 33 years I've had diabetes experienced anything like this. 

It's clear to me now that if these estrogen-reducing pills don't work out, I will take my chances with the cancer returning and skip the pills. 

Or risk all the horrors of Type 1 diabetes gone wrong. Which is just as horrific and deadly as cancer gone bad. 

And right now I have diabetes. 

I do not have cancer.  

And being able to manage my diabetes is now my main concern.

Finally, I'm wondering if I'm making a fuss about nothing, just some pills that should help me in the long run. 

After all, I don't need chemo, this could be so much worse.

I will let the oncologist and my diabetes team know what I'm going through.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Memories ~ Los Angeles and Pasadena


Jumping many years ahead to 1973, I found pictures of my Los Angeles home. This is the building I lived in for many years. It was located only seven miles from UCLA, where I worked. I lived in the upstairs apartment, to the right. A lovely old Spanish style apartment. Back then the garden was very lush and beautiful and I had a banana tree outside my window. 

This is the street where I lived. Most of the trees are jacaranda trees, so lovely when they bloom in spring. 

As it turned out, the street became very important in my life because Errol, my late husband and love of my life, moved in across the street from my building. His house, where I also lived later, is hiding behind the bushes here. 

Finally, while Errol and I were dating, he told me his dad knew a guy who had won a house while gambling in Las Vegas. The house was located in Pasadena and Errol talked me into buying it. 

It was a lovely house with a huge garden and a beautiful ancient oak tree next to the bedroom window. This was the only house I ever bought by myself. 

Errol remodeled the kitchen and the back bedroom, where he  added an ensuite bathroom and a loft. I'm glad to see that the house is still there and looks to be well maintained. 

I almost forgot, Errol and I got married in this house on February 21, 1987, 36 years ago today. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

 "Emotional well-being is more than the absence of mental illness. It's that resource within each of us which allows us to reach ever closer to our full potential, and which also enables us to be resilient in the face of adversity."
~ Vivek Murthy


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Memories ~ Online Photos Of My Schools, Street And More

I was bored one afternoon recently, so I decided to go online and see if I could find pictures of various places where I spent time earlier in my life. I found a lot, which will of course be more fascinating to me than to you, but I still want to share. 

Here are a few that I found:

 Enskedefield elementary school where I started my education in the fall of 1947. I was seven years old.  In those days it was called a folkskola, where most or all children went for their first four years of school. After that, a child had the option to transfer to a school that would lay the groundwork to higher levels of education, sort of like the American middle and high school. 

All this is of course now changed and I have no idea how the present school system works in Sweden.

Sadly, mean spirited little boys also attended this school. Since I was taller, certainly much taller than they, I was bullied a lot. 

When I was eligible to transfer to middle and high school, I told my parents I wanted to go to a school for girls only. Fortunately, they still had them back then.

This is the school I transferred to in 1951.

This is during a break at my school. I enjoyed studying and I was good at all subjects, except math, as it became more advanced. 

This is the rear of our house, no pictures were available of the garden. We had a large yard in the back where my parents planted just about everything. We first moved there in 1944.  Times were tough then, food was rationed, and war raged outside our borders. 

Looking back and understanding now the work involved in planning and planting that garden, I so wish I hadn't taken it for granted. I wish I had thanked or complimented my parents for their huge effort. 

Our garden had everything: Winter and summer apples, plums and pears. Bushes of red and black berries, gooseberries,  and raspberries, which grew the length of the garden. Of course, there were potatoes and other root veggies and flowers too. All kinds of perennials, maybe not so many annuals. A forsythia bush grew large at the corner of our house and I had a plum tree outside my bedroom window. 

This is the street where I grew up. I'm amazed at how narrow it was, as it was built before everyone had a car. It was a lovely street to live on as a child. Our neighborhood was fabulous too, built on the grounds of a former estate, Enskede Gard, we lived on a street called Cabbagepatch Road. No wonder everything grew so well in our garden. 

The manor house of the estate stood in its beautiful park. It is still there. A few of the farm buildings were converted to a riding school with stables and an indoor arena.

As a young girl, of course I was in love with horses. I took riding lessons and had my first volunteer job there, grooming horses and mucking out their stalls. 

The riding school is still there and is now the largest in the Stockholm area.


You aren't off the hook yet, I plan to continue to share my life via photos I find online. It was just too much fun for me to stop now.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

Sharing a winter picture Errol took many years ago of our dog Princess in a snowy landscape. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Rust ~ Post No. 40


Photo: Vince/Jane B. not sure who took this fabulous shot.

A great photo of an old rusty pickup truck to celebrate the 40th Rust post today. 

Many thanks to Vince and Jane for helping me keep the Rust posts going. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

 On Kindness

Here I am, home after my surgery back in November and still loopy from the drugs. Kindness comes in the form of the wrap that Jeanne crocheted for me. It's huge and warm, I use it as a robe now on cold mornings. One of many large and small acts of kindness from Jeanne.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

On friendship...

Photo: Jane B.

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

Proverbs 27:9 


Monday, January 16, 2023

An Update


I've had a difficult time feeling like myself, like the person I always was. This has affected my ability to think, to feel inspired, to be creative, to keep up my blog, keep up my email correspondence with my closest friends, and everything else I've always enjoyed.

Jeanne suggested this may have something to do with the anesthesia I had for my surgery back in November.  

I finally looked it up, just in general online, and found this, which is not from my usual medically reliable places, like John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. I just googled the question. But it makes sense.

“As many as 40 percent of elderly patients (over 65) experience a decline in mental function immediately after surgery.”

Recent studies have found that general anesthesia when used on the elderly, can increase the risk of dementia and the development of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.

This explains some of what I've been feeling and I will discuss it with my NP when I see her next week.

But it is in no way as serious as dementia, more like a continuing brain fog where I'm able to function, just at a slower pace. It's weird, but not unpleasant. 

I think the best way to fight this will be to keep doing the things I've always enjoyed, including keeping up with my friends, my blog, my walks and eating well. 

It may just go a bit slower than it did before. 

Here's a foggy picture to go with the story of my foggy brain.

Other than that, the PET scan I had the other week, came back with really good results, the nodule in my lung has become even smaller and there was no sign of cancer or anything else of concern. 

So great news to end this post with.

Before I go, I must mention that we have had a lot of rain. Much needed rain and there's more to come, maybe even some snow. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Rust ~ Post No. 39

My peripatetic friends and master contributors to my Rust posts found one of the largest rusty pieces so far. 

And then this:

It doesn't get much better than this!

Thank you, Jane and Vince, Masters of Rust Spotting. 

And I'm so grateful for your contributions. There would be no rust posts without you two. 

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


On a Sunday morning, I'm sharing reflections of the setting sun.

Have a great week. 

Faith says: Catch many balls, walk a lot, and enjoy your lives. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Beautiful Utah


Photo Credit: Vince B.

Subject Credit: Mother Nature 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a happy 2023


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