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OK, so I'm curious. All these years you've managed to stay a size 2, yet how did do you make it through the holidays?


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I have been a clothes horse for years – no, make that decades – so really cannot afford to let my weight fluctuate more than a few pounds.


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That makes sense, although it sounds obsessive. So, how do you resist delicious food when it's right in front of you?


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Easy. I live alone, so do not buy fattening foods that I would find "irresistible" or if I am craving something, I only buy a single portion.


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Clearly you haven't succumbed, as so many of us have during the pandemic, to treating yourself to comfort food. Anyway, sometimes it's out of your control. For example, the dozen delicious cupcakes that Kris sends each of us every year to celebrate the New Year.


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It is a very thoughtful gift as everyone loves cupcakes. In fact, a few years ago, when they arrived, I offered one to the porter who brought them up. The smile on his face was so heart-warming, I decided to share the balance of the cupcakes with the building staff … and everyone was surprised and happy. Funny how cupcakes can make people smile.


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So, every time someone gives you food you either don't want or won't eat, you give it away?


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For the most part, yes.


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Well, that's honest. But don't you think knowing that would hurt the feelings of the person who sent it?


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I doubt it. I cannot imagine Kris thinks I will eat all 12 cupcakes. With other gifts, I would hope the sender would understand, especially as when you give a gift it is the thought that counts. And, not only do I appreciate their gift, but they are making other people happy as well. There is a ripple effect.


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Valid point. I shared my cupcakes, too. Although I did eat more than I had intended as they were so good, and I had to try all the flavors. I made up my mind that I rather have them go to my waist than waste them.


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Cute. Rationalize them however you want, as long as it is a conscious decision. Sometimes I just take a bite or two of something and then destroy the rest so I do not have to exercise any willpower.


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I remember you doing that back in the good 'ole days when we'd go out to eat. You'd have a bite or two of your dessert and if no one else at the table wanted the rest, you'd pour pepper all over it. The first time you did it, everyone thought you were crazy, until you explained it.


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Well, in my case I would rather waste the food than have it end up on my waist. We all have our priorities.
Photo by ideeone on iStock


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I'm still shaking my head, in amazement and amusement, at you telling me how there are people claiming that birds aren't real – they're surveillance drones.


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At first, I thought it was a joke. But then, I found a Newsweek article on the "Birds Aren't Real" movement that claims the government killed all birds and replaced them with surveillance drones.


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Well, if you hadn't forwarded it, I'd have thought you were messing with me! Anyway, my absolute favorite part is the "logic" that when the birds or drones or whatever you want to call them sit on powerlines, they're recharging. That's hilarious.
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Photo by Joseph Sohm for Shutterstock


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When I read the "Breaking News" email about the passing of Colin Powell from complications from COVID-19, I realized that many of us didn't even know he was being treated for illnesses that weakened his immune system. To me, he always seemed to be one of those incredibly strong and resilient men that could overcome anything, as I knew he served as the country's first Black national security adviser (during the Reagan administration), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under President George H. W. Bush) and secretary of state (under President George W. Bush).

I first became aware of Powell during Operation Desert Storm and was living in Hong Kong at the time (shortly after I married a Brit, Shell assigned him to the Far East). I can remember being halfway around the world from home while watching seemingly non-stop news briefings featuring "Storming Norman" Schwarzkopf, with his "larger than life" details about the extraordinary precision of the airstrikes. At the time, it almost seemed more like a computer game than an actual war.

However, Powell had a far greater impact on me as he exuded calm mixed with steely determination, projecting an air of confidence that you sensed came from experience and deep personal commitment. And at this time of war and conflict, he provided a comforting feeling of power and control.


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I will not pretend to be a history buff, nor will I reflect on Mr. Powell's greatness as a military figure, statesman, and trailblazer. I will leave that to others. But, several things stand out about Powell as a man. First, he put America ahead of political party, stating, "I'm just a citizen who has voted Republican, voted Democrat, throughout my entire career, and right now I'm just watching my country and not concerned with parties."

Thanks to Punchbowl News, I learned that as a young man, he worked in a toy store, and the owner, a Russian immigrant Jew, admired the young Powell so much that he impressed upon him the importance of getting an education. Powell was so touched by this that he stayed in contact with him for the next 50 years. (I loved the sprinkling of Yiddish phrases as Powell tells the story.)

Of course, I could not help but smile rewatching this video of Powell along with two other motorheads, Jay Leno and (at the time) Vice President Biden "racing" Corvettes. And, may explain why one of my many favorite Powell quotes is, "Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror." But in his passing, you cannot help but look back over all he did for our country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. May he rest in peace.

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can't believe that Halloween's almost here, and the house isn't already decorated. Can I use the fact this is the first year I'm an empty nester as an excuse?


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Does that mean that you are not going to decorate?


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No! But without Sawyer home asking about it or prodding me by pulling the decorations out of the garage, it's still just sitting on my "to do" list. But fall is my favorite time of year, and I love seeing the house with all the Halloween decorations, so it will happen.


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I would think you could just put out the inflatables and be done with it.
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