Archive for December, 2010

Lena Kadel

December 31, 2010

Lena Kadel & daughter Rose Marie-1914

Lena Kadel was only 22 when her 18-month-old daughter, Rose Marie stood on her mother’s lap.  The year was 1914.  They lived in Germany where the Kaiser was in power.  This is one of a treasure trove of photographs my wife, Gisela, inherited from her mother, Rose Marie.  Lena was Gisela’s grandmother.  Lena wanted to become a doctor, but her father discouraged her. The wealthy leather factory owner told Lena that “nice girls” don’t become doctors.  It would be two generations later before her ambition to become a doctor was fulfilled by 3 of her grandchildren.   One of those physicians is a woman.

A dry news day

December 30, 2010

 The late Jim Axel was a long-time newsman in the metro Atlanta market.   After Jim retired to Florida, he told me that he rarely watched or listened to the news because, “I know what they’re doing.”    I’m not sure what Jim meant because someone interrupted our conversation.  I’m going to guess that Jim didn’t like the way “show biz” has become such a dominant influence in reporting the news.  I’m guessing that Axel also objected to producer rather than reporter-driven newsrooms.  For examples, just listen or watch your favorite news programs (not shows).     Regardless of what’s happening, stations must fill the time.   So what do they do on a dry news day?   Listen and watch.  Perhaps you’ll see what Jim was talking about.

Jane Wyman still exists

December 29, 2010

Jane Wyman 1917-2007

I watched a movie this evening starring Jane Wyman.  It was her  1948 “oscar” winning performance in Johnny Belinda.  Her depiction of a deaf young woman who killed the man who raped her was well told and acted.    Wyman had a long career.  She died in 2007 at the age of 90.  She was married 5 times….the last two times to the same man.   By far, her most famous husband was Ronald Reagan.  She was his first wife.  Reagam was Wyman’s third husband.   They married in 1940…divorced  the same year of her academy award winning performance.  They had two children together.   Wyman’s performance in Johnny Belinda reminds me of the fallacy of a line from another actor in another movie.   He said, “when I am gone and those who knew me are gone, it will be as if I never existed.”   Perhaps that is true for that fictional character, but for Wyman and other film legends, they will exist as long as their movies.

I can HEAR!

December 28, 2010

Jim Barger is a “Hearing Aid Dispenser” at Costco in Smyrna, Georgia.  At no cost or obligation, he’ll test your hearing.  He ran a series of tests on me today… first on my right ear   then my left.  Jim also tested my skull’s ability to hear sounds. Hallelujah!  The “Hearing Aid Dispenser” says the results show that I don’t need a hearing aid.   Jim  told me he wishes he had my hearing.     I hurried home to tell my wife who wanted me to have the test.  I also told her she should stop mumbling.

Snow through Misty’s eyes

December 27, 2010

Misty always has been an indoor cat.   She has occasionally scampered through the door to the outside but returns very quickly.   So most of her exposure to snow has been through the window looking out.


Misty stayed on her window perch for a long time today.  This 9-year-old feline seemed fascinated by the beauty of the falling flakes.   There may have been other creatures stirring, perhaps the squirrels that live in our trees, but I didn’t see them.   My guess is that they like Misty were staying within the warmth of their homes…likely snuggled together as the temperature remained near freezing. 

Misty’s watching!

The weather outside was

December 26, 2010

our invited guests opted not to come because they felt it was too dangerous to drive.  Their decisions left my wife, Gisela, and I to enjoy all the wonderful food she prepared.  I expect we’ll be eating left-overs for several days.

Our entree’ was a departure from our usual turkey.  I’m not sure I’d ever had “Beef Wellington” before.  I can’t believe it either.  The crust was excellent, but red meat is not my thing.   It may be tenderer as a leftover when Gisela turns it into beef stew.  Side dishes were potatoes, a green bean concoction, and

a salad.   We also had croissants, pumpkin pie and figgy pudding!

For those who didn’t come, now you know what you missed.

T’was the Night before Christmas(at our home)

December 25, 2010

“…..The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there…”    So wrote New York Bishop Clemenet Clarke Moore in 1822.  Moore already was well known for officiating at the swearing in of our first President, George Washington.  At our home was Marlee so full of life. Doesn’t know that she’s supposed to be in bed with visions of cat delicacies dancing in her head.

And mamma in her shawl and Misty in her fur cap Had just settled in for a long night’s nap.  “..When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.  Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.”

On our mantle was an angel carved by our friend Bill Jordan.  “..And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof  The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.  As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down St Nicholas came with a bound.”   He must have seen the angel, but “…went straight to his work And filled all the stocking, then turned with a jerk.  And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!”                                                     “…He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.  But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, ‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'”

The heat is off

December 24, 2010

Marlee seems to no longer have the hots for Misty.  They lie quietly next to each other without Marlee trilling, chirping or presenting herself in heat.  We’re encouraged to believe that their relationship will revert to wrestling and playing together.  Misty seems to like the platonic attitude much better than Marlee’s earlier attempts at “hooking up”.

A trilling-chirping surprise

December 23, 2010

In my blog posted yesterday, you may have read two theories about why kittens trill and/or chirp.    In Marlee’s case, our Vet says neither apparently was correct.   This is a picture of Marlee shorlty after we adopted her from the Cobb County animal shelter.   Just 4 months later, she’s already ready to find a mate.   Marlee’s in heat.   She’s been encouraging our other fixed female feline, Misty, to engage in sexual activity.   Misty isn’t interested so Marlee trills and chirps in an effort to attract her.   With the time- table recommend by our Vet, we’ve scheduled Marlee for spaying January 10th.   Until then, our sympathies are with Misty!

A trilling kitten

December 22, 2010


The newest member of our family, Marlee, is displaying a characteristic we’ve never heard before.   She trills or as my wife says, the sound is a mixture of trilling and chirping.  Perhaps you’ve heard this sound before from one of your felines.  A search of the web shows that it’s not unique, but is unusual.  It was satisfying to read that it’s a sound a kitten probably learned from its mother when she was calling her baby.  It’s a sound of love and affection which the writer says Marlee is giving to us.   Another cat owner believes the trilling-chirping is a sound of excitement.  That also fits what we’ve seen and heard when Marlee and Misty (our other feline) are playing together.   For whatever reason Marlee  trills-chiirps, we were happy to know it doesn’t mean she’s complaining or is in pain.  Trill on, Marlee!