Where did 2019 go?

Muriel2017It’s December. Where the heck did 2019 go? I remember when it started. Seems like yesterday. Is it a plot? Whatever, it surely is a despicable act. Whoever stole it is a truly evil villain and should be hung from the rafters.


In January I was extremely excited


I was thrilled with this 2019 calendar

about the new calendar my Chandra gave me. It featured Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg doing her exercise workout. I was thrilled with it. I also remember wondering what to get Joe for his birthday. The guy is so creative with surprising me with unusual gifts for my birthday or whatever, it’s hard to do as well. ( Of course I know I don’t really have to.)

old yellow telephoneWasn’t that just yesterday? What happened? How did it ever get to be December? Today, I started calling around to see if I may have forgotten 2019 somewhere in the neighborhood. After all, I AM becoming a little forgetful.


My local Safeway


I checked at my local Safeway. The gal at the service desk had no idea where it could be. She looked at me in utter confusion. She must not be too bright….


Then, I tried the Apple Farm


My local Apple Farm

where I buy my fruits and veggies. They had my gray gloves behind their counter and were happy to get rid of them, but nowhere did they have the year I lost.

Terra Breads

I enjoy breakfast at Terra’s


I’m a determined sort. I went over to Terra’s, where I like to have breakfast. They once found my hearing aid, which fell out of my pocket, surely if they found 2019 they’d keep it for me. But, no, they didn’t have my year either.

The bakery where I sometimes buy bread?  ‘2019? You’re looking for 2019??? Lady, have you lost it?’
‘Yes. I’ve lost it.’ What doesn’t she get?


I’m no quitter

If I were a quitter, I’d have given up, but I’m not. I decided to check at home. It can happen. I sometimes misplace stuff, don’t you? I looked under my bed. Nothing but dust bunnies there. Was it in a closet? No. A kitchen cabinet? No. The linen closet? No, no, no! Goodness me. I REALLY can’t find it.


Hey, we can use a little help here. Do you have it? This just isn’t fair….


Flagrantly Flirting….


photo by my Chandra

At last fellows, I’ve got my revenge. I now have the advantage. I am able to flirt flagrantly and get some good laughs and hugs every day. As you get older, you can’t get away with that. If you behaved like me, they’d call you a dirty old man and call the cops. I NEVER get that reaction. People just smile and join in the fun.


L A, during the 80’s. Looks like I started ‘flagrantly flirting’ long ago

Walking along the Avenue on my way to breakfast, I may see a young couple hugging and ask shamelessly, ‘Is this gorgeous guy giving out free hugs this morning?’ Invariably I get the hug and a laugh from both of them. Often enough, the three of us hug. Let’s face it, I’m no threat.


Reiner graciously gave me his seat at Terra’s. What better excuse for a hug with a cute guy.

My dear friend, Trudy, says she puts up with me because I make her laugh.


Trudy, who puts up with me because I make her laugh

Daughter Susan says when she thinks of me, it is always of me laughing. (Truth be told, Susan makes me laugh more than I ever could make her do so. She is a clever AND funny girl.)

Daughter-in-law Chandra, a favorite in my life, tells me she loves to laugh with me — and we certainly do often laugh together. Chandra particularly enjoys teasing me about my frequent flirtations with waiters, which, admittedly, I am guilty of. They’re so often cute……

Waiter at Mexican Rest. & Me, SF 2013

Dinner with kids at Mexican Restaurant. Well, isn’t he cute?


Dinner in S.F. with kids. Chandra and I laughed our heads off.

How can I resist cute waiters???? There are many more I’ve hugged and don’t have photos with. My Chandra was present and so took these while she laughed and teased me.





No one is safe when I’m around.. I joke with employees on trains or at airports.

Muriel and boyfriend on train, 2013

A new friend on the train

Today’s airports are intimidating for everyone, however, since my vision isn’t what it used to be and my relationship with computers is tenuous, I really do require help. I ALWAYS get it. When I spot two or three male employees together, I’ll approach and tell them I’d like the handsomest to help me. They laugh. They all offer their assistance.

As a result of this nonsense, I get many smiles and the very best of service everywhere.

Muriel's 80th-7100155.jpg

Greg, who makes me laugh more often than just about anyone.

So many people add so much to my life!!!

Vinson and me

Clowning with my gorgeous ‘grandson’ Vinson

Hurrah! I did it!


I’m technologically Challenged

My children say I’m technologically challenged and they’re right. Computers and websites ARE beyond me at times, so I’m feeling particularly proud of myself right now. Somehow I managed to complete a late request for air miles on the Aeroplan website. I can hardly believe it.

It had been well over a year since I was able to travel. That meant I’d not seen Michael and daughter Susan’s new home in Nevada. New hip firmly in place, I could finally make it and even climb the 17 stairs (Susan counted them) up to their second floor to see every corner of their lovely abode. Before anything else could go wrong, off I went.

I was so excited, I didn’t focus much on details or the fact I was traveling on the July 4th holiday. It cost more? So what? It was well worth it. Son Rafi, his Chandra, and their Remy drove from San Francisco to join us. Everyone spoiled me and I had one of the best birthdays ever.

Whether because I hadn’t ordered airline tickets for so long, or just forgot — yes, that’s possible too — I didn’t get my air miles added to my Aeroplan account. Maybe now that I’m a real bionic woman I’ll be able to use them.

The dozens of hard copies generated by this transaction in our modern, ‘paperless’ society were stacked high here and there wherever I’d dropped them upon my return, gathering dust on my desk, guest bed and the dining table — how could there be so many?

Mom, look I'm telling you 2

I felt guilty

They stared at me accusingly every time I walked past, making me feel guilty. I know very well how to feel guilty. I do that almost as well as I worry. They had no choice but to wait for me to clear up other matters deemed more important on my long ‘to do’ list. Finally it was time to bite the bullet.


It must be here somewhere

First thing that morning I took a deep breath and tackled the stacks. I refused to be overwhelmed by the quantity. I started by eliminating and setting aside all the extra pages and pages of legal stuff nobody reads anyway. Those papers themselves could have represented a whole tree.

old yellow telephone

I got on the phone

I got on the phone and spoke with a woman at Aeroplan, who confirmed, indeed, I hadn’t claimed the miles. She gave an involved explanation of what I needed to do, besides which, she seemed sure the expertise I required was beyond me. Plus, at this late date, it could only be accomplished on their website. It sounded so difficult, I now wonder if she was purposely trying to discourage me.

That’s all I needed. Challenge me and I’ll surely take you up on it. Well, waddaya know!

I was better to him than you were

That’s all I needed.

After I assured them I wasn’t a robot and filled in all the spaces for the two flights home, it seemed to work. Was I sure it was right? Did I know I’d receive credit for my missing miles? Would they believe I’m not a robot? I had no idea. However no red flags went up, the request was accepted, and they acknowledged by yet another email they’d received it. Hurrah!

It was reassuring to know just that it went through. That, in itself, was an accomplishment. I decided if I do get the air miles, I’d let you know. I did hear from them.

Here’s what their email said:

Your missing miles have been deposited. We’re pleased to let you know that your request for missing miles for (my name) on ticket number 274939843639 has been approved and 896 miles from the following credit request(s) has/have been deposited:

True, that’s not such a big deal, however, I made it on their website — and that IS a big deal!








All They Can Do Is Say No……

Photo by Timothy Stark

Photo by Timothy Stark

The car thing

My car is a 1988 U.S. made Toyota Corolla FX, which was never made in Canada. I like it. I’m used to it and it has served me well for many years. So has my local mechanic, whom I am very fond of and who has often been more than kind and considerate. When he said my troubled car needed a new carburetor and that he could not find another for my old faithful, I asked what alternative we had.

My wonderful little 1988 Toyota Corolla FX, not made in Canada

My wonderful little 1988 Toyota Corolla FX, not made in Canada

‘We’ll have to fix your old one.’

‘How much will that cost — about?’


Was the old car worth it? Perhaps not, but I thought it might be to me — I’m in no position to purchase a new one and not quite ready to give up driving altogether. He’d need it for a week, so shortly after this conversation, I left it with him when I went to Montreal to visit family.

My local mechanic has always been very kind and reliable

My local mechanic has always been very kind and reliable

He had no way to reach me for any changes in cost or confirmation of any kind while I was away. When I returned home and went in to see him, he asked about my trip. I told him I was spoiled rotten as usual, and asked how my little car was.

‘Great. It runs beautifully now.’

‘What’s the damage?’


‘Yikes! I was not expecting THAT much….’

‘We had to replace a lot of parts, plus rebuild half the carburetor.’

I thought about it for a few moments, what to do? I was ready for $400/$500, but wow. I decided, even though he’s often been very good to me, to ask if there was anything he could do.

‘W-e-l-l, I’ll cut the labor by $200, there’s nothing I can do about the parts.’

I appreciated that. I was also glad I had worked up the courage to ask. $200 is a lot to me. Yes, it was still a lot for an old car, but it is running very well and I am pleased to have it.


The phone and internet thing


I called my server and the conversation over the phone went something like this:

‘I’m ready to move to another provider for my telephone and internet service.’

‘Are you not happy with our service.’

‘It’s okay, but my friend is paying $45 a month for the same service I pay over $100 for. She also gets free calls to China while I have to pay for every single long distance call I make.’

Poor guy -- has to deal with the likes of me

Poor guy — has to deal with the likes of me

‘But, you realize that’s only for six months, after which her costs will go back up to the regular price.’

‘Six months? Listen, I’m 78 years old. I may be dead in six months. I don’t care about what happens in six months?’ (What could the poor guy say to that?)

‘Well, I could reduce it somewhat for you, but not that much.’

‘Good enough, but I also want free long-distance calls to the U.S. and Canada.’

‘I’m sorry, I can’t do that.’

‘C’mon. You can tell your supervisor I threatened you.’

‘Are you threatening me?’


‘What will you do?’

‘I’ll sing!’

‘Go ahead and sing.’

‘Are you sure?’


‘Okay. “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck, Hug

'Hey, I gotta tell you about this crazy lady who called me today...'

‘Hey, I gotta tell you about this crazy lady who called me today…’

around the neck and a barrel and a heap, barrel and a heap and I’m talking in my sleep, about you, about you, Oh, I love you –etc., etc…..” (Right to the very end of the song. The guy never even interrupted. He listened quietly to the whole thing and then..)

‘Okay. I’ll give you free calls to North America.’

‘Ah, you are a dear. Thank you so much — can I adopt you?’

Then he asked if he could help me with anything regarding my internet service. I told him I had taken enough of his time. I’ll bet he had the greatest time afterwards telling his friends and colleagues about this crazy lady who sang to him that day. Right? And … I am very much enjoying the free long-distance calls I have — until October.