The Fight of Our Lifetimes

A Week's Worth of One Elder's Trivia

category_bug_journal2.gif Monday posts are becoming problematic. I always write a day ahead and lately, my brain seems to take a holiday on Sundays leaving me both slothful and mute. I putter around, read a bit, take a walk, maybe watch a movie, listen to the radio (more about that below) and then I discover the day is gone.

Last Monday, I skipped writing altogether. This week, I am filling in with a few photos of recent events of interest to me, but I doubt for you. If Sundays continue to be flat, I hope I can figure out something better for Monday over time.

It's been raining or overcast here for many weeks. Someone told me it has been 58 days in a row. Last Wednesday, however, there was an astonishing interruption – a gigantic hail storm.

It started with no warning - nickel-sized hailstones rattled down for about 20 minutes – rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat – pounding on the sidewalks and bouncing off the windows. It was amazing to watch.

Here's what the front of my apartment looked like right after it stopped and the sun came out for about 10 minutes.


Thirty minutes later, it had all melted. If you'd been napping, you'd never have known it happened.

Certainly I must have spent tens of thousands of dollars over my working life having things done to my hair. I swore, when I stopped working, I would never enter a hair salon again. For six or seven years, it grew and grew until, recently, it became more effort to care for than I want.

So on my birthday I got it whacked off – in a salon. Here are the before-and-afters.

Old and New Hair

Not much different, but it's sure easier to take care of now.

Speaking of my birthday, I celebrated that evening with my brother and his wife at home here for dinner. They brought this beautiful orchid plant which I hope not to kill.


And this birthday cake – black forest with cherries hidden in it – with seven candles (instead of 70).


Back when most of us here were kids, there was no television yet and I've been a radio listener since childhood. But internet radio is difficult or, anyway, has been for me. Some stations stream their live programming, some don't and the stations frequently cut out suddenly for no reason I can figure.

It is harder than you would think these days to buy a radio that doesn't cost hundreds of dollars. I've been bitching about my lack of a good radio for a long time and I guess my brother and sister-in-law heard me because they also brought this internet radio.


I am thrilled. First, it is simply and gorgeously designed – elegant enough, I think, for the Museum of Modern Art design collection. It connects through my Wi-Fi to thousands of worldwide stations and, if I want, to Pandora.

Although I received the radio on Thursday, I didn't get around to setting it up until Saturday evening - which goes a long way to explaining how Sunday got away from me, having a new toy.

Before now, the only radio I had was in the car. You have no idea how much time I spent there after returning home to finish listening to a piece of music or a news broadcast. This solid, sturdy new radio with an excellent speaker will now change my life.

Here's an older photo of Ollie the cat who has not wanted to cooperate recently when I've had the camera in hand.

Ollie on the Bed

But that's just a lead-in to tell you about the possibility that there may be a new addition soon to our little family. I've been feeding two stray cats who come by the apartment. One, a big black-and-white, has no interest in me beyond cadging a meal.

However, the other is a brown, stained glass cat, not much more than a kitten, who is almost Ollie's twin even down a necklace. She is cute and very shy but little by little, over the past weeks, she has been allowing me to get closer to her although not to touch her yet and I haven't dared to try a photo.

When I go in the house, I fancy that she seems to look longingly through the door.

Time will tell. Why do I think, if she decides to live here, that Ollie will be a pain in the butt about it?

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, June Calendar: Intruder


Because he will be jealous!! His mama paying attention to another? Unthinkable!

Great radio! Good to know you had a nice birthday celebration.

You need to add another photo to your header with your new do- I like it! Great idea, an internet radio that looks like a regular one.

Love a mundane post!!
In today's world, it's an "Ahhh."
What exactly is this radio? - name, please. I'd like to look into it!
Ollie and a new cat? Well, you never know. Every now and then great companionship arises and you just scratch your head.

Ollie looks like he might just take to a little girl cat. I have found that older cats (probably dogs too) tend to make allowances for young animals that they might not for full grown buddies.
Good luck with the orchid. I have managed to kill two of them. I can't seem to figure out how to water them properly without drowning them.
By the way, Happy Birthday!!

It's a Livio Radio. It comes in two flavors - Pandora which I have and an NPR version.

Either way, there are tens of thousands of stations. The sound quality is excellent, although I suspect that depends on the strength of your home network.

You can find out more here. Also at Amazon and other retailers around the web.

Is Ollie a special breed?? He has an unusual spotted coat that I have not seen on what I call "All American" cats like my five four footed buddies.

Ronni, your hair is beautiful, hooray for you in not coloring it.

Glad your birthday was a happy one, your radio is very interesting and I, too, would like to know more about it.

If Ollie is male and your prospective new kitty is female it's possible it would work. From my experience with strays, that helps. Good luck with that. Ollie is very aristocratic in the photo.

Your hair looks great! And I second the motion for adding a picture......
But WTHeck....now I have to learn about this radio like "setting it up!" Can't I just push the on/off button? I swear I have e-overload:):)

Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday & thanks so much for this column that took me away from the mad world, however briefly! Dee

Twin City Joan...
Yes, Ollie is a Savannah cat. He is 15 percent serval, a medium size African wild cat. The rest is a combination of two sort-of new domestic breeds, Bengal and Serengetti.

I wrote a little more about that here.

Ronnie---Here's a story about a study of senior brains under attack by frequent interruptions of thought. As you might expect, today's gadget-driven life takes its toll on short-term memory.

Complimenti on your new haircut and thank you for the BRILLIANT post! If this is a taste of what Mondays are going to be like from now on in, WOOHOO!

Our Phoenix hailstorm cause millions of dollars in damage, but it was exciting and unusual to watch! I'd say, bigger than golf balls! Lots of damaged cars...

Your cake sounds and looks awesome - my favorite combo of sweets: cherries and chocolate! Yum!

I wrote about cats (and birds) in my latest blog, too. One neighbor's cat appears to be part wild cat, too. I will post a picture to show you all. It's HUGE with pointy ears and long hair.

I'm happy that your brother and his wife gave you such a lovely 70th birthday.

I am really behind times. I didn't know there was such a thing as an internet radio. I still don't understand how it differs from a regular one. Google, here I come.

I have a story about a friend who had a male cat and decided his feline needed a girlfriend. So he found a stray and brought her home. The resident cat hated the newcomer and chased her all over the apartment. The two of them knocked stuff over, shredded the curtains and did a lot of damage. It was not a romance made in heaven.

Maybe you should introduce Ollie to the kitten very slowly. He has been King of the roost for a long time.

You know you have drop dead gorgeous silver hair...I am jealous...

You will find me and Ollie in the closet until things improve around here.

Your hair looks good. I don't let mine get too long for the same reason and, of course, I don't wear mine up that often.

The cats will likely adjust better for her being female. He might enjoy it once he decides it's not a threat. I want a female cat as right now we have two boys and they are okay but a female is just different. They do spat at each other off and on but some cross words from me usually put an end to it.

First of all, good luck with the orchid. My sister sent me one for her birthday, and so far so good. Also, the grounds near your apartment are beautiful, so the rain seems to promote something good. I love the radio. Must look into it. The cat is cool. See you can write a nice blog, and interesting too on Mondays. And I needed it. Dianne

Love how smooth and silky your hair came out. Enjoy these every-day-things posts, too.

I like your hair. I'm about there now. I like the kitten too....that's how I found Frazier. I dearly loved Frazier.

Why not ask us what we thing should be here on Mondays? Giving back? Volunteering? What's available. Part time Jobs?

What perfect gifts, Ronni. Can you take a photo of the kitten?

I've had short hair for so long that I hardly remember when it was longer. Because it's fine and straight, maintenance required a LOT of time, product and process! Short doesn't. Anyway, your new cut looks great.

Being a fellow Pacific NW resident (Seattle area) I can certainly relate to RAIN--we had hail last week, too. It's mid-April, for Pete's sake! Today, at least so far, it's actually not raining and the sun is peeking in and out. More rain is in the forecast, however. Same old-same old.

I hope you can give the little kitty a home. Ollie probably won't like it at first, but he should adapt if you introduce them slowly. The shelter I volunteer for recommends keeping the old and new cats in separate rooms (this assumes that the new cat-parents have the space) for a few days and limiting contact. About 5 years ago we adopted a very skinny, very frightened black male cat that had been eating what we put out and watching our two privileged indoor cats from afar. One cold morning I left for work, and he was huddled on our doormat. The next day we took him to our vet, and except for worms, he was healthy. He's an affectionate, playful boy and just a great cat.

Your hair looks great! And what a wonderful birthday you had — the gorgeous orchid plant, the yummy cake, the radio — and family to share it with.

If you made a wish as you blew out your candles, may it come true.

That sure was a heck of a lot of hail. Looks like snow. We didn't get hail although it was forecast as a possibility. Instead, we got one of the loudest thunderclaps I've ever heard (during the night, of course). Took a while to get back to sleep.

Nice to see Ollie again, even if it's not a new photo of him. It'll be interesting to see how (if?) he adapts to another cat moving in, if she chooses to do so.

BTW, it's okay with me if you decide to post "serious stuff" or not, be it a little or a lot.

Gorgeous hair Ronni. And, I had no idea such a radio existed. I too sit in the car to listen to the end of some music or a news program on NPR. I really enjoyed your pictures. It's nice to see a slice of your life.

I love your new haircut Ronni...your hair looks so pretty. I'm trying to get my daughter, Jenna, to cut her VERY long hair...about the same length yours is. Maybe I should show her your pic and how cute you look.

Sounds like you had a very nice birthday with your family...cool cake.

I suppose Ollie would have her tail out of joint for a while if you added that new little kitty to your family...but she'd probably adjust in time. Have a great week Ronni... ~Joy

Ooops, my mistake...of course I know Ollie is a HE. Don't let him read my comment Ronni... ~Joy

About 20 years ago we had a stray cat that wouldn't come in, although she kept getting closer and closer...and, of course, ate the food we put out for her. When she finally deigned to come in we found out it was so she could have a comfortable spot to have her litter.

Thanks for the info about the radio.

If you are looking for a Monday item, I would love to see you spotlight the Pure Land Mountain blog off your Elder Blogroll list. His posts from Japan about the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear problems and the effects on his family are riveting

For myself, I love the "where you are now" post... I always appreciate a little daily trivia or facts of life. For me, it always adds to the depth of a person. It is what most of our lives consists of -- these ordinary things. About hair -- I too let mine grow longer when I retired but in the end, cut it all off and am now strictly, "wash and go" - no more headaches either.

Ronni -

I like your new haircut - you look great - happy belated 70th!

Your new radio is so cool. Perhaps you can tune my show in - Saturdays 6-9PM on KFJC 89.7FM in the SF Bay Area, at kfjc.org on the internet. 6-8pm is very eclectic, 8-9pm is instrumental surf music. I am DJ "Cousin Mary" - have been having a blast doing this for the last 4 years - I began when I was 59!

I met some people from KBOO (90.7FM) in Portland at a San Francisco music event - seems like they might be doing some good work that you could sample on the FM dial, too.

Thanks for all your time posting to TGB and for loving radio.

Another happy birthday to you!

Is this going to be the first fatal step on the slippery slope to becoming that feared "crazy old cat woman"?

My blood pressure stays in normal limits on days I don't have to encounter more news of idiocy and greed in our leadership. Thanks for the easy post. What became of your Elder Geek? Something like that would work for Mondays. Miss Saul, too.

I hardly ever listen to anything but NPR, so the car and the laptop work for me, but woowoo, that's a purdy new toy!

Once in a while in Spring, we'd get those surprise hailstorm in No. Cal. In Iowa, if there's hail, it's time to head for the basement.

Sounds like you are content, actually.
As to the orchid: Don't try to hold on to it after it's finished blooming. While it's blooming, keep it out of direct sun, spray it water, don't let it get wet feet, and you'll be fine with it.
Just enjoy it for now. If you like orchids, buy another one when that one's done. I have an orchid house here in Hawaii, and in order to have several blooms at a time, I have at least 200 plants. Trying to baby along one plant is a waste, because they bloom seldom.
And good luck on your new family member(s)
That radio looks interesting. I might take a look at one.

Thank you for the orchid instructions, Hattie. I'd have trouble growing dandelions - well, I'm not quite that bad, but close enough. I appreciate the help.

Ronni, those are nice photos of you. You wear 70 well.

Long ago when I had my old cat Stagger Lee I decided he was lonely and brought home a kitten. He peed in her food dish and never spoke to me again, even after I found her a new home. I was devastated. So proceed with caution.

Your hair looks beautiful. I'm just starting to let mine gray now, at 54. So far I like it. I hope mine stays smooth and shines like yours.

No fair...you have way more hair than me...you can still wear it long!!! I know there are more pressing issues in the world, but, it is so much on my mind at times!

Congrats on getting your hair back under the control you want. Looks good, but if you're pleased with it, that's what counts. I always appreciate the natural hair color look without all the hairdresser hoopla dying, tinting and the like.

I love all your trivia, Ronni - maybe you should keep Mondays as trivia treat days!

Because, being a male cat, he will! Two cats eventually will at least tolerate each other, however, and it's easier to bring in a young(er) female than another adult of either sex. Hope it works out for you and the apparently homeless little cat.

Happy belated birthday!

I like your new haircut a lot. And I envy you the color. I am still a dishwater blond at 73 years of age and need to get it colored to keep from looking mousey and to give my fine thin and thinning hair some body. Oh, well.

Savannah cats are supposed to be sociable, or so the sites I visited said when I was considering getting one last year. Of course, Ollie has been the king of the castle for a while now so he may be annoyed if he has to share your attention.

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