Hyperbole

March 20th was not only the first day of spring, but it was my 79th birthday. Wow! I’m sitting on the cusp of being an octogenarian. How do I feel? I feel great, in the notorious words of my Daddy who always responded with those words when asked how he felt. I have my aches and pains, mainly in the back and legs, but I have survived cancer twice and seem to have a lot of zest for life left in me. Of course, Dimitris helps. He keeps me busy, hopping on airplanes whenever possible to travel where we’ve never been before. You will remember that we recently spent a week in Hawaii. Last year, we traveled to Washington, D.C. and, the year before, we were in Hong Kong. He is about ready to head back to Greece where he will spend time with his mother and sister as well as friends in and around Athens. He and I spent yesterday together all day, eating breakfast at Denny’s and eating Mexican pizza at Carmelita’s for dinner. When assessing my birthday, I must admit that birthday cards in the mail were few, but I reported to my brother that “Facebook birthday wishes posted to me were in the ‘millions.'” He quipped back, “You sound like Donald Trump,” and I guess I did. Heaven forbid!

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My “Pew Pals”

My partner and I are very regular in attendance at King of Peace MCC. Since Dimitris and I have been attending together, we have made some wonderful friends with whom we sit and chat pre- and post-service. BJ and Albert live together in Gulfport although they are not in a relationship. They have had us over to their home several times. Bob Estrada probably has the warmest smile of anyone in our congregation and, when he is in town, he is almost always in church. Steve and Juan, another couple not in a relationship, are fun people to be with. They have come to our house three times for movies. Finally, Rob, whose partner is a minister in another church so doesn’t attend with Rob and Harry have been good friends with whom we have socialized. Rob can’t always sit with us as he volunteers as an usher/greeter. While Dimitris is in Greece for four weeks beginning March 28th, I will depend on the guys who usually sit in a little section of pews on the left side of the church–my “pew pals.” Last Sunday, none of the “gang” showed up, and Dimitris and I left the post-service refreshment room quickly as we had no one with whom we could chat. I’m counting on you, “pew pals,” to keep me company, at least on Sunday mornings when I will be attending church solo.

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The “Deep State”

When President Kennedy was assassinated, there were many conspiracy theories concerning the number of people who were involved in his assassination. When the United States went to the moon, there were conspiracies suggesting that it was all staged in a Hollywood back studio. In the world today, especially in our nation’s capital, conspiracy theories abound. One of the strongest theories floating around today is President Trump’s claim that Barack Obama had Trump Tower wire-tapped during the campaign. So far, President Trump has provided no proof that this illegal act actually happened. If it were true, the ex-president would be guilty of a felony. A new term has surfaced and a new conspiracy theory has given birth. The term “the deep state” has become shorthand for shadowy forces in the government that are blamed every time a negative news story is leaked about President Trump. Some conservatives believe that, within the federal civil service, a cabal of Obama administration holdovers, liberal bureaucrats and intelligence officials is working to undermine the president. Hopefully, after serious probing has been done and facts have been applied to the fiction, this matter will be cleared up and guilty parties will pay the consequences.

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Bon Appetit

When I was growing up, my mother did all of the cooking. My daddy would make hamburgers every once in a while or some fat back gravy, but the majority of the cooking was left to mother. I had one brother and no sister, and neither my brother nor I had a hankering to learn how to cook. When I got married, I married a wife whose mother was Italian and a wonderful cook. Helen probably would have learned to enjoy cooking more had her mother not been such a good cook and so domineering in the kitchen. When Dimitris and I met, I asked him, “Do you cook?” When he said no, I knew we were in trouble. Both of us have learned to cook a few items. He’s the tilapia and crock pot chicken soup king while I can prepare a meatloaf and make a spaghetti meal that is passable. Recently, I added a new item to my culinary preparations: stuffed mushrooms. It was my daughter Robin who served me stuffed mushroom that were out of this world good. It was she then who passed on the recipe to me. It’s simple: get some nice sized mushrooms and remove the center stem. Stuff in some cream cheese, bacon bits, chipped onions and add a little salt and pepper. Cook at 350 for thirty minutes, and they are out of this world good. I never thought that anything that came from the kitchen of Thom Cooper would be offered as tasty.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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And Now for the Rest of the Story

Remember the blog that I wrote about my partner, “The Flosser?” Well, give him credit for going above and beyond our wedding vows by flossing my teeth every evening for weeks. However, I realized that he is going to be in Greece for four weeks at the end of this month. At that time, I will be without my “flosser” and must floss for myself. I tried threading the floss but couldn’t see well enough because of the distance between my face and the bathroom mirror. Seeking to remedy that situation, we went to Walgreens and found some toothpicks that have little cleansers on one end that are supposed to clean under bridges, but I found that I could use them on some of my teeth but not others. My last resort was to find a mirror on a stand (since I can’t hold it while flossing), and I found the perfect mirror at Bed, Bath & Beyond. When I got the mirror home, I stood it up on the corner of the sink, sat on the toilet lid, and found that the view was ideal for flossing. Now I can give Dimitris permission to make his next trip to Greece as I will be flossing using my new bathroom mirror which, on one side, magnifies 8 times.

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Facebook: C+

Several years ago, my brother insisted that I needed to join Facebook. As a movie and book critic, it had become a necessity for him. Since I was blogging, he suggested that Facebook would be a venue for my promulgating my blogs. So, I joined and was, for a short time, fascinated with the postings. Indeed, I signed up so that my blog would be automatically posted. I noted right away that blog access came more easily, and the number of readers increased. Although I am still on Facebook, I use it minimally. I see that there are people who put every event in their daily life on Facebook, I see messages that suggest that, if I don’t pass their message on, God is going to punish me. I recently learned that a friend has passed away. I may not have learned of his passing had it not been for Facebook. I think Facebook has it positives, but it also has its negatives. I seldom post anything personal and use my account for “liking” those who post something positive and uplifting. I do not check Facebook multiple times each day so please don’t use Facebook Messenger hoping that I will get the message quickly. I will get it much more quickly if you send me an e-mail. Yes, my blogs are still posted every other day. You can read my blog by going to http://www.bobosbest.wordpress.com if you haven’t “friended” me on Facebook. By the way, no, I am not on Twitter and wish that the President of the United States would quit using his account for his opinions, especially those not based on facts.

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The Survivors

When Dimitris and I were in Hawaii, the most awesome place we visited was the Pearl Harbor site where the Arizona Memorial is located. The memorial itself is beautifully crafted but the breathtaking moment was standing inside the memorial and reading the list of names of those who gave their lives on that day in December, 1941, and are buried in the ship beneath this shrine. While there, we were privileged to find two Pearl Harbor survivors, one 95 years old and the other 97. They were autographing pictures and standing besides admirers who wanted a picture taken with them. I photographed Dimitris with the 97-year-old. Sitting next to me were two people with whom I struck up a conversation. They turned out to be a daughter and son-in-law of the more elderly gentleman. They told me that he used to come to the memorial every day but has been unable to do so lately. We soon learned, when a cake was brought out, that it was the 97-year-old’s birthday. Of all the places we visited on Oahu, this was the day and the place we will long remember.

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