Category Archives: Perennial Ponderings

Perennial Ponderings on aging, menopause, life, love and women using humor to wade through life.

Zagreb – Ancient Modern City

Zagreb, a city of ancient buildings whose windows proclaim more modern pursuits, such as HM, Pandora, Guess: ATMs located on the sides of buildings whose structure might be 400 years old. New buildings squeezed between old, although the definition of new here might mean the building is only 100 years old. A city of steep streets leading to hidden alleyways with more architectural treasures.

           

             

 

I loved the feel and energy of Zagreb. While it is a bustling city, there are parks and trees all over. It’s a city that invites you to stay a while, to explore its secrets and meet its people.

 

We strolled through the open market, full of homegrown fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish, and homemade crafts, such as crochet tablecloths and scarves, tatted lace blouses, and so much more.

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YUM! homegrown & fresh

All of the outside stalls have the same umbrella pattern, it was explained to us that each city has its own pattern. These umbrellas proudly displayed Zagreb’s pattern.

Zagreb’s Pattern

The indoor market offered fresh fish, meats and more. The delicious scent of homemade bread drew us in, the homemade olive oil encouraged us to eat a bit more than we should.

Indoor Market

Leaving the market, we headed up the hill towards Zagreb’s Cathedral. Croats are primarily Roman Catholic and there are many beautiful churches and shrines to visit. The Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia, majestically towering over trees and buildings

Tallest building in Croatia

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Gothic in style, breathtakingly beautiful.

 

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Entrance Statues

Window at the altar

There are many different styles of tile on the floor. The patterns represent different cities.  I don’t know if I took a picture of Zagreb’s pattern or not.

Outside in the cathedral’s square is a gold stature of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by Archangels at the base.

Entombed at the altar in a glass coffin is the body of Cardinal Stepinac. I felt it was disrespectful to take pictures inside the cathedral without prior permission, so I limited myself to the few you see here. You can learn more about this beautiful church here.

We also visited  the Church of St. Catherine, although it was not open for visitors.

There are numerous cafes and coffee shops, most offer outdoor seating with an open invitation to sit and visit for a bit. No rush here.

Art Cafe

This particular cafe feature art by local artists.

 

After a bit of refreshment we continued our journey through the city of Zagreb…

 

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Plitvices Lakes National Park

Rarely do things make me speechless, although I do tear up with joy frequently. Plitvices evoked both of these. It’s beauty is difficult to put into words, therefore, this blog will be written with pictures and only a few words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around every corner there is yet another awe-inspiring sight. Trails are clearly marked and you are not to leave the trail. One of the reasons for this ruling, other than the destruction of delicate flora and fauna, is the possibility of landmines from the Croatian War for Independence.

No this picture is not upside down!

The travertine walls of the park create the beautiful turquoise water. Every where you walk the energy is uplifting.

 

The park is filled with animals of all sorts, birds were singing, but most chose to avoid the public.

This guy made a brief appearance, much to the delight of his photographers.

I don’t know that my pictures do justice to Plitvices’ beauty.

The color contrasts of the park are spectacular!

A small rain storm brought the fish to the surface

and a lone duck out for a swim.

Through the leaves of the trees you can just catch a glimpse of the boat ride. I’ll bet the views from the boat are stunning.

Can you see now why I am at a loss for words?  Plitvices Lakes National Park is breathtaking.

Next: Touring Zagreb

 

 

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Represent

The Trump Inauguration has stirred up a lot of dust, the most recent concerning the 50 or so Democrats boycotting the ceremony.

I’ve heard and read both positive – Good for them! Standing up for what they believe is right! It shows strength of character!

And negative – How many Republicans boycotted the Obama Inauguration? 1! Sore Losers!

and on and on…

The one that really started me thinking was this – You were elected to represent, so represent!

That comment had duality written all over it.

Are they representing their district by not going, thereby expressing the feelings of their constituents?

Or would they represent more effectively but attending even though they disagree with the President-elect? A symbol that although they do not agree with him, they will not go quietly into the night?

Who’s to say? They chose the action that they feel best expresses their thoughts/feelings and hopefully, those of the people they represent, not only is that their job but in this country that is their right.

P.S. to our President-elect – if you must remain on Twitter then please use #agreetodisagree and leave it at that.

Count Your Blessings

“Count your blessings instead of sheep”  – Rosemary Clooney sang this Irving Berlin song in the movie White Christmas. In the hustle and bustle and yes, stress of the holiday season, this is great advice.

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So often we lay in bed worrying about packages arriving, money spent, who should sit next to who at Christmas dinner and whether Great Aunt Betty will forget to add the sugar to her cookies again.

Wouldn’t counting your blessings be a better routine after you crawl into bed?

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1)Thank you for the giggles I shared with my daughter today.

2) Thank you for Taco Tuesday with family.

3) Thank you for the cookies I received at this year’s cookie exchange.  (I’ll have something to replace Great Aunt Betty’s cookies without the extra work.)
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4) Thank you for my warm home and comfy bed.
You get my point. Soon all problems both real and imagined disappear. It’s wonderful
to drift off into sleep with positive thoughts and a smile on your lips. Your dreams will be
brighter helping you to wake up refreshed. 
 
Embrace this positive practice. Uplift yourself and you’ll lift up those around you.
Wishing you many blessings this holiday season,
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MaryBeth & Sherry 🎄

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Voter Fraud aka Is it Rigged?

Ballots in Colorado were mailed out beginning 10/18/16, here’s what we’ve learned so far.

Many voters received more than one ballot in their name, non-citizens received ballots, some are voting twice using stolen ballots.

All of this has been documented in just 7 days.

Is the media reporting it? Some outlets are, but what will state government or the Feds do about it is the bigger question?

Our form of democracy is 238 years old. It’s not a perfect system but it’s pretty darn good. It’s the power of politicians and their cronies that’s pretty darn bad. When faced with corruption or fraud, politicians cry and point their fingers at the opposing political party. Few, if any are willing to address the issue from within their party.

“Off with their heads!” is the unified cry. “It’s the Republicans fault!” is heard from the Democrats side, “It’s the Democrats fault!” is heard from the Republican side. Media chooses a side and provides a slanted report designed to lead the public in the direction they desire. The real problem is that we buy into this.

We, the People, shake our heads in disgust, “those darn Republicans, those darn Democrats!”

We, the People, should focus on the victim, ourselves and our freedoms. We should turn off the media, damage their revenue flow and they’ll change their tune. Media is no longer about honest reporting it’s all about revenue.

Politicians are no longer about serving their constituents, they are concerned with special interests and their personal revenue flow. Stop buying into it and they’ll change their flow.

We, the People, should stop pointing fingers at each other and point right at the problem, the politicians and the media, whose collective power is damaging to us all.

 

Writer’s Block

There is always something going on in my head, but every now and again, I simply can’t find a way to express it.

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Has this ever happened to you? What is your method for overcoming this block?

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I don’t find it a bad thing, this loss of train of thought. I sit back and wait for the train to come full circle. It always does!

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Often, once it pulls back into the station of my mind, I am thinking about it differently, making it easier to put thoughts into words.

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So, here I sit here patiently waiting for the train to arrive.

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On another note, we will be embarking on a  road trip to California shortly, we will be hauling a trailer full of household goods back, and there lies the adventure. Neither of us has pulled a u-haul before! We will be sure to let you know all the fun (read funny) details of our 1000+ miles trip.

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Sherry and I thank you for reading, liking and commenting on our blog.

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Here’s to a Happy Life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry 📝

 

 

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Colorado Wine Country

Road Trip – Part 3

Leaving Parachute we headed to Palisade, CO aka Colorado Wine Country.  We had booked our stay at the Wine Country Inn.

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Surrounded by wineries and not far off the highway, the inn is lovely, the staff friendly and helpful. While checking in, we solicited their advice about wineries they would recommend we visit. The woman at the desk asked us a few questions to get a feel for our taste in wine. Sherry answered as I rarely drink alcohol. 🍷Based on Sherry’s replies, she gave us a map and suggested a few wineries. As we had arrived in mid-afternoon and the temperature was 102° , she kept the list short. Most of the tasting rooms close at 5 p.m. Off we went.

Palisade Map

There are bikes to rent at the hotel and around town that allow you to bike from winery to winery. For us, it was simply too hot. There are also luxury wine tours, horse-drawn carriage tours, etc. to personalize your visit.

Palisade’s motto is Life tastes good here all year long, and is known for its peaches, simply delicious.  Be sure to try some.  If you have time to visit the art galleries and lavender farms, do.

Our first stop was Canyon Wind/Anemoi Cellars. Surrounded by the vineyards, the tasting room has a few tables out on the lawn under beautiful shade trees. We said hello to a group of women enjoying their wine and entered the tasting room. There is a small storefront with a warehouse in the back. The owner gave Sherry a couple of samples, and discussed wine-making with us. Sherry bought a Chardonnay and we continued on our way.

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Our next stop was High Country Orchards and Colterris Wines.

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In addition to wine, there are lots of fresh fruit for to enjoy.

After tasting, Sherry preferred their 2014 Cabernet Franc and  2015 CORAL White Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colterris Franc

As this was our second stop, it was hot and we were hungry, we decided to sit on their patio for a bit. We ordered a glass of the White Cabernet Sauvignon. What’s a glass without some brie, crackers and of course, chocolate! As a non-wine drinker, I can tell you that this white Cabernet Sauvignon is wonderfully delicious.

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After an enjoying our light lunch, we moved on. A short drive up the road, we stopped at Colorado Cellars, they offer fruit wines and mead, in addition to their reds and whites.

I apologize to Colorado Cellars for not taking pictures, I’ll blame it on the glass of wine I had at lunch.  I did purchase the blackberry wine and Golden Nektar Mead for tasting at my next family game night.

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Just around the corner, we pulled into Carlson Vineyards. They are Colorado’s original winery.

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Carlson Vineyards has a nice gift shop in addition to a tasting room. They offer a shaded outdoor area too. Here we sampled several fruit wines and browsed their gift shop.  Although we did not buy wine here, they were quite good.

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Our next stop was Hermosa Vineyards. Here we had the pleasure of the meeting the owner, he told us that he crafted the wines to his personal taste. He talked about his process and different grapes. He provided buckets for us to dump any leftover wine, which was probably a good idea as we’d been “tasting” for a couple of hours at this point. Sherry enjoyed all the wine she tasted here. I bought a Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and the Dessert Wine, which he had us taste with a piece of Dove chocolate. Heaven! Sherry purchased the Cabernet Franc.

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We had a lovely visit at the Hermosa Vineyards tasting room but it was now time to head back to our hotel for a swim and a meal.

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The view from the pool is breath-taking, the water cool and quite welcoming after a hot day.  We dined al fresco, seated among  blooming flower gardens and baskets. The meal was tasty, we recommend the macaroni and cheese. Yum!

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We’ll be back in Colorado Wine Country soon we hope. It’s perfect for a Mother/Daughter, Girlfriends or Couples trip.

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Here’s to a Happy Life!

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MaryBeth & Sherry

 

 

 

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Moving Forward

Recently, in our lives there have been many things to grieve, divorce, death, relationships, world problems and the current state of America.

We aren’t going to offer an opinion on the world’s problems or America; politics or otherwise. We’ll leave it to the media and the internet to misinform you.

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It seems as we age that sorrow comes into our lives more often. We shed more tears, reminisce more often, sit alone in silence. It may seem odd to find joy in grief, but it is usually there nonetheless.

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Both Sherry and I have lost both parents; we both took care of our aging parents at one point. If at first this seemed somewhat of a burden, in the end in it was a blessing. It allowed them to stay in their homes surrounded by the things and people they loved, letting them be at peace.

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For us, the gift was the ability to move forward in our relationships with them, seeing them not so much as a parent but as a friend. I’ve always felt that it helped me to repay the years that they devoted to me even though they did not expect any payment.

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In divorce, after grieving your loss, there is a sense of freedom, a re-bonding with yourself and friends that may have been neglected along the way.  Your bond with your children changes as they see you in a different light.

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There is pain in loss and we are all entitled to experience it. Feel, bemoan, embrace your grief and when you are ready actively seek out the joy that your loved one, your ex-spouse, or ex-friend left in you. Rejoice in your memories and get out there and make more!

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Here’s to a happy life! 🍾

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MaryBeth & Sherry

 

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How to Survive the Big M

Yep! We’re talking menopause.

While researching menopause causes, symptoms and the treatment/prevention of the aforementioned, we’ve come to certain inevitable conclusions:

There is no known prevention for menopause. We know, we know, for the most part we don’t mind the end result of menopause, but, by golly, isn’t there a way to avoid the discomfort? Nope, just like exercise, we got to go through it to get to the end result.

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After thorough Internet research, here’s what we’ve learned.

 

Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause hot flashes.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause insomnia.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause joint pain.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause night sweats.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause mood swings.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause weight gain.

Okay, now that every man has groaned and uttered “Ewwww” and left this blog, let’s talk turkey.

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Sorry to say menopause appears to be a fact of life for most women. And if you think about it, for their partners. They enjoy it vicariously through us. You’re welcome. Did you all honestly think we were going to go through this without you?

(Insert evil laugh here)

Okay, we are done laughing and back to this blog.

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As you can see by our bullet points above, the best thing you can do is avoid eating or drinking anything and everything. Difficult, we agree, but think of your waistline!

Based on the fact that we enjoy eating and drinking, we’ve decided to put together our own list of do’s and don’ts.

How to avoid or lessen the symptoms of menopause.

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Do go through menopause with a buddy or two. This is the safest way. Keep your buddy on speed dial for emergency texts and calls.
Don’t decide for your buddy what they can and can not eat. This prevents injury to yourself and others.
Do go out with your girlfriends and laugh. This eases any and all symptoms
Do go out with your girlfriends and their significant others. The sympathetic nods amongst the significants makes them feel like part of the team. (Did we just call menopause a team sport?)

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Do live near a nice cold swimming pool, lake or ocean. Do feel free to take a plunge at anytime. Do not feel free to do so naked. Alternate solution: Keep your bathtub full of cold water at all times – Do feel free to take this plunge naked.
Do take anyone who says “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”, to a local sauna, sit with them until they get up to leave, pull them back down and say “nope,not done yet” and “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”

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We sincerely hope this helps .

Read this book for more humor on Menopause .

menopause sucks

And this one for safe and natural ways to balance your hormones.

Dr

 

Here’s to a Happy Life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

Visit our sister site : Calming Interiors

 

How To Be Interesting?

I recently came across a book titled “How To Be Interesting” or something to that effect. I only vaguely remember the cover and title, I have no idea who the actual author is.

I thumbed through the book quickly to get an idea of its contents and/or ideas. Some of the suggestions were eavesdrop, maintain eye contact, smile or laugh easily and often.

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Smile More wallpaper by Roman Atwood and Brittney Smith

There are whole blogs to be written on just those 3 suggestions, so just a quick note. While eavesdropping is considered to be rude, often in tightly packed places, it is unavoidable. The author’s point was that you can learn a lot about someone this way and then engage them in conversation based on what you overheard. I’d proceed cautiously with this one.

Maintaining eye contact is consider rude in some cultures and is known to make some people very uncomfortable. However, in a one on one conversation with someone you know this would definitely indicate that you are actively engaged.

As to smile or laugh easily and often, it may well make you interesting as people will wonder what you are up to! They may even be inclined to come over to you and ask. That would be interesting.

In my opinion one of the best way to be interesting is quite simple – Be a Listener. When someone talks to you, LISTEN. If you truly listen to what someone is saying to you, then you can respond appropriately and start a good give and take. Now you are both involved and interested!

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It seems obvious to me that most of us want someone to listen to us. Obvious because isn’t the dominance social media the perfect indicator of this need?

We strive through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Whisper among others to voice our opinions, our emotions, our concerns. Likes, comments, re-tweets, etc are indicators of our success in being heard. Social Media is here to stay, but it’s impersonal for the most part.

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Social media means I can’t watch your facial expressions or catch you at an unguarded moment. I can’t feel your energy nor hear your laughter. Do you need a hug? I’d rather do that in person not by liking and sharing. Wouldn’t my being there in person to interact with you make both of us much more interesting?

What do you think makes others interesting? Let us know in the comments, we’d truly like to know.

 

Here’s to a happy life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

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