Am I superstitious?

A little bit, maybe. Mostly involving things that would otherwise be pure luck. Sports. Lotteries. Weather. But not really superstitious because I don’t believe anything I do will actually change an event, but I wish I could. If wishing would make it so! Viewing my answer to this, I think I’m pretty much not superstitious. Everyone has a little thing someone in them, though. All kids are at least a little bit superstitious.

Here are Patience’s questions — and my answers.

1  Do you knock on wood, or use something similar (like cross your fingers), for good luck?

No salt throwing, no crossed anything (except I use the words when I’m writing a story, but don’t actually do it).

2  Does Friday the 13th have any significant meaning for you? 

Thirteen is a lucky number for Jews, but I don’t think any numbers are lucky or unlucky. They are just numbers.

3  What do you do with spilled salt, aside from cleaning it up?

Is there something else I should be doing? If so, I have no idea what it might be.

4  When you move into a new house, what’s the first thing you bring through the door?

Honestly, in all the years I’ve been in various new homes, I have never thought about it. There were a lot of rituals in Israel and I had to have our house exorcised because we failed to do the appropriate stuff. I thought it was pretty strange. Who knew? No one told me.

Superstition mountains, Arizona

5  Do you now, or have you ever, had a good luck charm? If so, what is it?


6  Is there any one thing that you refuse to do because it is “bad luck”? If so, what is it?

I never say “What could possibly go wrong?” ever because inevitably, fate will demonstrate what could go wrong. I try to not even think it. The same goes for “What more could go wrong?” and “We can’t possibly lose this game.” Something more definitely can go wrong … and you sure can lose that game, no matter how many runs you’ve accumulated!

7  There’s a ladder leaning against the wall and the only way to get to where you want to go is under it, what do you do?

Look up, make sure nothing will fall on me, then move on.

8  When you move out of an old house, do you leave anything behind, aside from memories?

Probably a ton of dirt and old canned goods. Is that lucky or not?

9  Does February 29th hold any significance for you?

Sadie Hawkins Day. Everyone knows that!

10  It’s the first day of the New Year, is there anything special that you should do?

I used to make a big, fancy feast. Everyone else had New Year’s Eve parties. I didn’t like driving on New Year’s Eve. Too many drunks on the road, but I figured by New Year’s Day, no one had much to do except recover from a hangover, so that’s when I had a party. These New Year’s Day party were traditional in England … 100 years ago, anyway. They were good parties.

11  What do you do with the “wishbone” of the bird you just cooked and/or ate? (if you’re a meat eater.)

When I was a kid, my  brother and I used to break them with our pinkies. I’m pretty sure nothing much resulted from this activity.

12  Do you believe in omens, good and bad? Or do you think that they are self-fulfilling prophecies?

I think if you believe you are a failure, you are likely to be one. If people keep telling you that you “can’t” do whatever it is, you won’t be able to do it. Kids believe a lot of stuff, even if they don’t want to believe it. It gets stuck in their heads.

13  Would you ever open your umbrella inside the house?

Yes, because otherwise, they don’t dry off properly.

14  If you see a penny on the ground, what do you do?

Ignore it. They aren’t worth anything anyhow.

15  In your mind, are black cats any different than other cats?

No, but I’m nice to them. They’ve had a historically difficult time.

16  What, if anything, do you do when passing a cemetery?

I’m glad I’m not (yet) in it.

17  Do you believe in premonitions? Have you ever experienced one?

Yes, and yes. Death has broad wings and you can feel the sweep of them when they are near.

18  Your mirror broke! What do you do? Aside from sweep up the glass?

I don’t think I’ve ever broken a mirror, but I doubt I’d worry about it.

19  Do you avoid whistling indoors?

I can’t whistle.

20  A bird has flown into your home! What does it mean?

I try to corral it and move it out before the dogs eat it. The dogs are not superstitious, just hungry.

21  Do you avoid setting new shoes on the kitchen/dining room table?

Yes. Shoes are dirty. I eat on my tables. I do put them in the sink to clean them when they are muddy. I’d use the basement sink — if I had one.

22  Your palm itches for no apparent reason, does this mean anything to you?

No. The soles of my feet are itchier than my hands, so if that means something, let me know.

23  Someone has just sneezed near you, what, if anything, do you say to them?

Take your disease elsewhere. I don’t need your cold!

24  You happen to be in a field of clover and find a four-leaf clover, what do you do?

Say “Oh, cool! I found a four-leaf clover!” Then everyone says “Oh, wow, nice.” That’s huge.

25  It’s the last day of the Old Year, what should be done before midnight?

Kiss my husband, of course.


Share Your World – July 24, 2017

List some of your favorites types of teas.

I like green tea with Japanese food. Black tea with everything else.

But mostly, I really like coffee. Tea is okay. I don’t hate it, but I have no real passion for tea.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Make me laugh? Commiserate? Offer useful suggestions? Pass along the phone number for someone who has the skills to fix something? If it’s just sadness and grief, there’s little to be done except listen. If there’s an actual problem that can be fixed, I’m ready to listen.

I rarely complain about how I feel unless I’m really pissed off. I don’t like whining, mine or anyone else’s and I’m a big girl. At 70, I hope I’ve got enough self control to not need to publicly air my feelings on social media.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coördination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do?

Bob-sledding. That always looked like serious fun. Furiously fast down an icy mountain? Assuming you don’t crash and break into little pieces, I think that would be great. Like skiing, but not having to balance on the poles.



There were at last count, 46 dams on the Blackstone River. That’s not counting any of its tributaries, most of which also have dams. We’ve seen maybe a dozen of them locally, but today, my granddaughter and I discovered another: Roaring Dam in Blackstone, Massachusetts.

There was a large factory here, now long gone. Every time you see a dam, you know there was a factory of some kind that used the power from that dam. The group managing the river has been trying to remove dams, so I don’t know how many dams remain and I couldn’t find a count anywhere. I’m guessing fewer than the original 46.

I have no idea which ones have been taken down and which remain. Removing the dams would allow the river to run freely and encourage trout and other fish to return.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of polluted soil buried near the dams. The river has come back a long way from being the most polluted river in the country during the mid 1970s. This is not a minor problem. The amount of pollution in the earth in those areas is hazardous to humans, animals, and the water itself.

This is a water shed. We all drink this water, whether we realize it or not.

But we are satisfied with how far the river has come. It’s hard to even explain how evil this river was. It was pure poison from top to bottom and now, areas are safe for boating and even a few area are safe for swimming. Anything that might upset the balance must be undertaken with the greatest care.

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2017


Long ago in a land far away, we had a Siamese cat. Mao — “cat” in Chinese. I don’t know if that’s Mandarin, Cantonese or some other dialect, but it was a good name.

English: A two-year-old seal point "tradi...

We got Mao as a tiny kitten. From day one, he was a feisty, chatty cat.  He was also our first cat, which his name reflected. Mao Ee (Cat 1). There were, of course, many more cats over the decades, in all the houses in I’ve called home (except this one where it has been only dogs). Regardless, there was never another cat like Mao.

When we traveled, friends took care of our house. I was a great grower of plants back then. Feeding the cats was one part of the job … but watering the 200 plus plants was — or should have been — the bigger task. Frank — best friend’s husband — was often tasked with house care in our absence. Mao was a thinking cat. A logical cat. He decided we were gone because Frank had driven us away. If Mao could drive Frank away, we would come home.

Therefore, when Frank came to the house to feed and water cats and plants, Mao attacked him. I don’t mean a little pounce, a playful swat. It was all out warfare. Mao crouched in shadows and attacked, all 20 claws outstretched, going for gore. Poor Frank loved cats and he and Mao had always gotten along fine. He had no idea why Mao was out to get him.

The moment we came back, Mao was back to normal, friend to the world. He had obviously been right. We were back … ergo, it must have been because he drove The Invader (Frank) away. Logical, yes?

After that, Mao attacked everyone who took care of the house in our absence. He was the terror of Our Crowd. It got increasingly difficult to get someone to take care of things while we were gone.

The years moved on and Mao moved with us. There were children, jobs, bigger houses, dogs. Life. We held celebrations … big Thanksgiving dinners. One memorable occasion, we had a full house including a dozen and half people and featuring a huge turkey. When the turkey was roasted, I put it out on the counter to set while I moved food in the dining room and greeted arriving guests.


I wasn’t gone 10 minutes. When I got back to the kitchen, Mao was on the counter, finishing off a drumstick. Its remains were still attached to the turkey — a ragged, conspicuously gnawed hole. Not the presentation I had in mind.

The husband and I consulted. We agreed and served the bird as it was.

“What happened to the turkey,” asked friends and family.

“Mao got it,” I said.

“Oh,” they said. “Pass the bird.”

It was a good Thanksgiving. Mao was some cat.